A primary election contest for two seats on the Marana Town Council is scheduled for Tuesday, March 8.

Incumbents Russell Clanagan and Roxanne Ziegler seek re-election, while newcomers David Bowen and Jeff Gray hope to claim the seats for themselves.

Mayor Ed Honea is running uncontested after challenger Bret Summers withdrew from the race.

Each voter can vote for up to two council candidates and once for mayor.

If any candidate receives more than 50 percent of the votes cast, that candidate automatically claims the seat they were running for.

If no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the votes cast, a run-off will occur in the Genera Election on May 17.

Candidates were asked to submit the issues they felt were most important to Marana residents. To be fair, their responses appear in the order in which they were received by The Explorer.

 Russell Clanagan

Before asking the citizens of Marana for their continued support of my efforts to serve them, I first thank them, and express my gratitude for their having given me their trust and the opportunity to help navigate Marana in the 21st century in ways that will benefit the community we call home.

Much has been accomplished by Marana’s town government in these past four years, which, I might add, seem to have gone by very quickly! 

The new Twin Peaks Interchange at I-10 was opened just a few months ago, and, by relieving pressure on the older interchange at I-10 at Cortaro and Ina roads, has increased convenience for many of us who commute to and from work, and made Marana more accessible to our friends and family when they visit. 

Marana’s government has added more green space for all of us who love recreation and the outdoors, by opening the beautiful Crossroads Park near Cortaro and Silverbell Roads.  As I frequently pass this park I can tell you it was immediately a popular place to pass some time with your children or pet. 

We in town government worked hard bringing the widening of Silverbell to four lanes between Cortaro and Ina roads.  Who could disagree that that is a huge improvement over the bumpy, two-lane rollercoaster we used to endure?

And for all of us Maranans who love to curl up with a good book, or have a convenient and comfortable meeting place for our group or club, Marana town government saw to the successful opening of the Wheeler Taft Abbett Library. 

These and other improvements your town government achieved during a time when great financial difficulties fell on families and governments.  Your town government saw to these achievements without raising your taxes one penny or laying off any of our public safety officers who work tirelessly to protect and serve our community.

None of these achievements were easy, and none were possible by Russell Clanagan alone. They required an effort by the mayor, council and town staff working in tandem with other entities such as Pima County, the Regional Transportation Authority and the Arizona Department of Transportation. 

It is my belief that Mayor Honea and Councilwoman Roxanne Ziegler have earned your vote and therefore we all should be re-elected to serve our community for another four years.

Thank you for allowing me to be a small part of that, and I humbly ask you to help me continue to work for you on the council.      

 Ed Honea

 In these challenging economic times, Marana has been forced to make tough decisions.  We’ve chosen to keep our community strong.

Because of these tough choices, Marana is poised to prosper. When some municipalities attempted to spend their way out of the downturn, our leadership chose prudent fiscal responsibility. 

We cut where we could and we supported the necessities like public safety. Our staff understands that it is our responsibility to be good stewards of the peoples’ money and because we’ve balanced our budget without raising taxes, our town is primed and poised to prosper.

We know that government and bureaucracies do not cause economic success. Governments can certainly hinder growth and destroy jobs.  They can also help create opportunities, but the private sector has the entrepreneurial know-how to innovate and create success. One example of this is The Ritz-Carlton hotel. 

This beautiful resort brings 350 jobs to our community and its completion is a true illustration of private industry and local government working together well. 

The permits and feasibility studies were fast-tracked in order to get the development started. Because of these efforts, the construction began weeks before the global financial crisis hit. Any delays could have resulted in the cancellation the plans. 

Instead, our Marana is home to a destination resort that will be an economic stalwart of our area for decades.

Our responsibility is to govern well. We can provide an atmosphere for growth that can benefit our community. We can strive for an economic climate that promotes smart growth and protects our All-American way of life.

These last few years have been a test and we are not out of the woods yet. My confidence in Marana and its citizens is unwavering and we are poised to prosper.

 David Bowen

Marana has prospered, but not everyone here is doing well.

Marana’s house de-valuation rate is the highest in the county, and our foreclosure and short-sales rates total more than one-third of Pima County’s. 

Tens of thousands of square feet of commercial property lie vacant. The Marana Council didn’t create our economic recession, but they can help solve it by focusing on business creation and jobs.

As the only business-owner running for town council, I understand how to attract businesses, and help the ones already here.

I will work to streamline the town’s business process by making town departments and regulations accessible in one location.

I began a financial planning business here 15 years ago, and I know the issues people face and the daunting obstacles they encounter when trying to start a business. While promoting economic growth, it is very important to me to maintain Marana’s natural beauty and its community feel.  

Our location straddling the I-10 corridor is like living along the Mississippi River a century ago.

An average of 90,000 vehicles pass through Marana each day, and many businesses could benefit from that traffic. Each traveler or commuter needs to eat, sleep, shop and fuel.

As your councilman I would want to investigate the ways we can capture that traffic. I will work to bring in higher education facilities, and to develop a Marana downtown identity.

I will also work to make sure Marana owns and operates its own wastewater treatment facilities, even if it means building our own.

This is the time to increase Marana’s infrastructure. Construction and finance costs have never been lower, and infrastructure must be developed before businesses will choose to build here.

The Heritage Arena should be improved and expanded so we can promote our unique farming and ranching culture.

The live year-round rodeo events should be advertised better so all may enjoy them and the town can benefit from the revenue.

Marana’s council needs to be more accessible, and as a member I would initiate regular town hall meetings so I can hear what is on peoples’ minds. The people of Marana’s ideas, concerns, questions and problems are important to me.

As your councilman, I will bring new vision, leadership and solutions to Marana. Thank you! 

 Jeff Gray

I was asked to write about what I feel are the most important issues to the voters in Marana.  And while the hot topic issues are certainly the regional landfill and wastewater facilities, I believe that what is on the mind of the average Marana resident are the same things that are on pretty much every other Americans mind in these difficult economic times; jobs, education, financial security and family.

I am focused on Marana’s future by making sure that Marana is business friendly. 

We need to keep fees and red tape for business owners to a minimum to encourage businesses to come to Marana, which will provide jobs and stimulate our local economy.

I am focused on Marana’s future by working to improve our public schools so every Marana resident’s child, including my own, will be able to benefit from a quality education.

I am focused on Marana’s future by working on strengthening our housing market. 

Putting people in the housing industry back to work and providing homes for families.

I am also focused on Marana’s future by supporting the regional landfill along with the wastewater litigation/legislation. 

It is my belief that for Marana to have control over its own destiny it must be able to have control over its waste and water issues instead of relying on Pima County.

The landfill would raise dump fees, which I would like to see directed towards infrastructure improvements as well as public safety in order to keep Marana’s police and fire fully staffed and equipped.

The wastewater facility would allow Marana access to the most valuable resource in the desert: water.  It would also allow Marana to keep water rates lower, allowing for residents to keep more of their hard-earned dollars.

I believe our Founding Fathers intended for our government to be run by the people we work with and live next door to in order for the government to be truly representative of its population. 

And as someone who lives and works here and has two children in the Marana public school system, I understand the challenges faced by Marana residents. 

I am asking for your vote in this election so we can meet these challenges together.

Roxanne Ziegler

I think what is most important for Marana families at this time is that we provide an environment that does not burden our citizens any further than what has been forced on us by our federal and state governments.

It is a time to regain our stability and prosperity — not by advocating more government — but by limiting government and listening to what the majority of our citizens want their community to look like.  

As your councilwoman, I report to you. You are my boss. Not our town staff, not our state or local government.  

As a citizen of the town of Marana, you have the power of the vote in your hand to shape our community.  I have proven myself to be a strong leader who listens to those I represent.

I believe that Marana’s government has an obligation to its residents to keep taxes as low as possible while still providing the safety and services to meet the needs of the community.  

We currently enjoy no property taxes in the town of Marana, which I will continue to support. I will continue to support sustainable growth and jobs in our town and set policy and champion opportunities that will transform the Town of Marana into a responsible, accountable government that delivers results.

And then there is the county of Pima in which the Town of Marana resides.

To ensure the health and welfare of our town and to guarantee our sustainability, we need to look holistically at our surroundings. What influences do we need to encourage and maintain and which ones do we need to change because the agendas or ideas of those influences are not favorable to our goals and the citizens of Marana?  

The most negative influence to our town is the Pima County administrator, who is appointed by the Board of Supervisors.  

His disrespect, attacks and questionable tactics toward the Town of Marana should outrage every citizen in our town. In the next election for the Board of Supervisors, I will do my best to find and support new representatives to start building a new board who will replace the current county administrator, bring integrity and accountability back to Pima County and work collaboratively with Marana.

I sincerely ask for your vote to re-elect Roxanne Ziegler to the Marana Town Council.

Polling place locations

Precincts — Polling Place

262, 364, 379, 415 — Heritage Highlands Country Club, 4949 W. Heritage Club Blvd.


006, 277, 397 — Town of Marana Parks and Recreation Dept., 13251 N. Lon Adams Road

261, 282, 396 — Sunflower Village Center, 9401 N. Sunflower Park Drive

014, 015, 041, 104,150, 222, 223, 225, 263, 264, 275, 278,291, 311, 411 — Wheeler Taft Abbett, Sr. Branch Library, 7800 N. Schisler Drive

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.