A political action committee, PAC for a Better Marana, has been organized and registered with both the town of Marana and Pima County.
Linda Zupi, a Marana resident and chair of the PAC, said the group registered and filed its statement of organization in early June with the Marana town clerk and the county's division of elections.
Zupi said the PAC's mission statement is "to promote, advance and improve the quality of life for the residents of Marana and unincorporated Pima County in the areas of education, growth and development of business, employment opportunities and local government."
Other members of the PAC's steering committee include secretary-treasurer Jeff Hodge, Dean Spencer, Graham Glauser, Albert Delgado and Tony Carranza, Zupi said.
"The impetus in forming the PAC was a concern for our schools," Zupi said. "We feel the key to successful growth and development in Marana to draw business in lies in the quality of education being offered and provided here for the children."
Zupi said the PAC meets at 7:30 pm on Wednesday nights in the Marana Middle School auditorium, where the group and members of the public hear presentations from political candidates.
An upcoming presentation July 27 is by Gail Griffin, candidate for state senator in Legislative District 25.
Hodge, a Marana resident since 2005, said he got involved with the PAC because he was "tired of sitting on the sidelines and watching the fiscal irresponsibility of political figures."
"The MUSD (Marana Unified School District) override this year drew my attention because they had an override in 2007 and what did they do with that money," Hodge said. He was worried MUSD might try to put another budget override on the ballot in November.
Hodge sees the PAC as helping to define the issues facing the community, especially in terms of the economy.
"We need to draw business back to the region because too many of our areas are dependent on tourism," he noted. "So we're pushing meet and greets and one-on-ones with candidates and incumbents to show the public where they stand on the issues."
Seven-year Marana resident Delgado said he got involved with the PAC "to make sure government is performing for the people and that politicians are more responsible and accountable to their constituents."
Delgado, who said he plans to run for Marana Town Council, said the PAC is a grassroots organization that's trying to impact local politics.
"We want people on councils and boards that reflect our values and are willing to be accountable for them," Delgado said. "I think this is the turning point in local politics."
Spencer, a resident of Picture Rocks who lives within MUSD boundaries, said his participation in the PAC "is to make a difference in policymaking."
Spencer, who plans on running for the MUSD board, said he wants "to be able to create a sphere of influence to better equip our school district to respond to the needs of the kids."
He also cited the need to attract businesses to the area.
"By making Marana a more attractive area to live in and have an educational system where businesses want to locate, means we'll be able to improve the quality of life in town," he said. "We need to encourage education to make a better community."
PAC for a Better Marana
7:30 p.m. Wednesdays
Marana Middle School auditorium
"To promote, advance and improve the quality of life for the residents of Marana and unincorporated Pima County in the areas of education, growth and development of business, employment opportunities and local government."