Explorer staff report
Mary Snider, a 10-year Oro Valley resident and a Project Graduation founder, has announced her candidacy for a seat on the Oro Valley Town Council in the 2010 election.
"I want to play an active role in shaping the future of Oro Valley, and I believe I can bring a new voice to the conversation," Snider said in a release.
She is running for office after "long reflection, consultation with family and friends, and having received some strong encouragement from leaders in our community that I respect tremendously," Snider said.
Her announcement includes endorsements from Dick Eggerding, founder and president of the Oro Valley Community Foundation; Kevin Mattocks, president of the Oro Valley Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 53; and Dan Klement, president of the North Tucson Fire Fighters Association.
"Oro Valley's public safety agencies are some of the best in the region. As a council member, I will fight to protect our investments in police and fire services," said Snider.
Snider moved to Oro Valley in 1999, when her husband Greg was transferred. Not long after her youngest son began attending Ironwood Ridge High School, Snider realized Oro Valley lacked a safe and sober graduation night party, similar to a party her oldest son attended in California. With the support of other parents and friends, Snider coordinated efforts with the school district, city, police, fire, businesses and community leaders to establish Project Graduation at Ironwood Ridge and collaborated with organizers at other high schools, including Canyon del Oro, Amphi, Mountain View, Flowing Wells and Cienega.
She was recognized by the Oro Valley Police Department as the Citizen of the Year for 2006. Snider was also awarded the first "Legacy Award" from the Northern Pima County Chamber of Commerce in 2007 for her contributions to the community.
Snider sees a critical need to forge strong relationships between local businesses and the town. "Most of the people I talk with agree we need to provide an environment where existing business can prosper while attracting new businesses that will provide long-term economic sustainability in Oro Valley. We need to bring folks together in order to accomplish this. That is where I hope to come in, as someone that has been effective at bringing the community together."
Snider grew up in Portland, Ore. She attended college in Oregon before beginning her career with Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program. Snider's career in the health care industry spans 29 years and three states. She retired from her private medical practice consulting business in 1999. Mary has two sons, Barrett, 29 and Josh, 21. Josh graduated from Ironwood Ridge High School in 2006. He currently attends the University of Arizona. Barrett resides in California and is a legislative advocate for public schools.
"Now seems like the right time," Snider said. "The conversations around public safety and building sustainable revenues to secure our future are particularly interesting to me. I think I can bring a lot to the conversation. We live in a great place and we need to work together to make it even better."
Three council seats and the mayor's post come before the voters in 2010. Satish Hiremath has indicated he plans to run for mayor.