Marana voters spoke loud and clear in the town’s March 12 Primary Election.
All four Marana council incumbents will retain their seats on the dais after receiving overwhelming support. Councilmembers Herb Kai (3,845 votes), Jon Post (3,819 votes), Carol McGorray (3,428 votes), and Vice Mayor Patti Comerford (3,308 votes) each earned more than 50 percent plus one of the votes cast, meaning the race will not go to a General Election.
The incumbents defeated challengers Kent Crotts, who received 2,685 votes, and David Morales, who received 2,261 votes.
A total of 6,169 ballots were returned out of 19,753 ballots mailed out.
Voters also demonstrated strong support for a town-owned-and-operated wastewater facility after approving two ballot measures that will allow the town to take control of the Marana Wastewater Treatment Facility, previously regulated by Pima County.
Voters approved the town’s involvement in the wastewater business with a more than three-to-one ratio. The vote will finalize a seven-year dispute between the town and the county.
“When Marana residents last week voted to reauthorize the town to own and operate its wastewater system, they showed confidence in our ability to run a vital public utility,” said Town Manager Gilbert Davidson. “The vote was crucial to the future of our community and we greatly appreciate the faith our citizens have in the services we provide.”
After years of litigation, Pima County and Marana recently agreed that facility ownership could be transferred to the town with a payment of $18.2 million, which accounts for the outstanding debt owed.
Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry said he is pleased to see the long-disputed matter finalized.
“Given our longstanding experience with running a regional system, we know that running a sewer plant is a significant undertaking, but Pima County is pleased to support the town in its efforts and offers our expertise and assistance as the town proceeds,” he said.
All four incumbents have served as advocates for facility ownership.
“I was really hoping the measure would pass, and I was optimistic it would, but I was a little surprised by the extent it did,” Post said. “That is exciting though, because it tells me people really like the direction the town is taking.”
Humbled to be reelected, Post said seeing the wastewater agreement through will be one of his first priorities as he begins his next term.
“Now we need to implement it and build on it,” he said. “Hopefully this will be something that really starts to boost the commercial growth in Marana.”
Kai echoed that sentiment, saying it is crucial for the town to continue to find renewable resources. Kai was surprised but pleased with the election results.
“I’m happy that all our incumbents have made it back on for another four years,” he said. “I’m looking forward to seeing everyone continue to get things done in the town.”
The town will still hold a General Election on May 21 for a ballot measure that will look at setting alternative expenditure limitations.