The Town of Marana has enjoyed exponential growth and a booming local economy in recent years thanks to the many qualities that make our community great: beautiful weather, recreational opportunities, great schools, a business-supportive environment, and the excellent services provided by our hardworking Town employees. In 2020 alone, even during a pandemic, we saw more than 900 new home builds, placing us well at the forefront of top-growth communities in the state. As activity continues to increase, Town staff works hard to meet the needs of our growing population knowing that this is just the beginning of realizing Marana’s full potential.
As a growth community, now is the time for leaders to strategize the future. Our vision is to provide exceptional public service, a climate for economic sustainability, and a welcoming environment that makes Marana “Your Town” for life. To continue providing that exceptional service to a steadily increasing population, investments must be made. Personnel, supplies, equipment, and infrastructure must be timed and funded sustainably to meet the needs of new and future residents.
Staff looks to the direction of Marana Town Council in determining priority items that will ensure sustainable growth. Earlier this March, Mayor Ed Honea, Vice Mayor Jon Post, and Councilmembers Herb Kai, Patti Comerford, Roxanne Ziegler, John Officer and Jackie Craig went on a retreat to get inspiration from neighboring communities and to discuss their priorities. Here are just a few initiatives the staff will be focusing on based on their direction.
Marana Regional Airport is an asset to our community, both as a commercial transportation destination and as a recreational venue. After receiving more than 50 letters of support, including from Marana-based pilots and flight instructors, corporate jet operators, the US Air Force, and the Arizona Commerce Authority, the airport was accepted into a Federal Contract Tower program to build a control tower. With increased safety for air traffic, Town staff can continue focusing on aviation-related economic development.
As indicated by the latest Parks and Recreation Master Plan update, recreation is a large part of why people love living in Marana. We now have plans to enhance our current services with a future community recreation and aquatic center. Mayor and Council are very excited to establish the groundwork necessary to make this project a reality.
The Town prides itself on being responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars. We’ve maintained a strong reserve fund, and we are currently in a position to use some of those moneys toward projects that will benefit the community. While we will continue to maintain a strong reserve, we will now identify opportunities for these revenues and invest in meaningful projects such as the Tangerine Road Phase 2 expansion, development of Marana Main Street, or whatever projects Town Council identifies as a community need.
Marana has come far since its incorporation in 1977, growing from a small farming community to the bustling suburb we are today. We also recognize the role we play as a part of southern Arizona. Our leaders recognize the importance of collaboration with our neighboring municipalities, particularly when large issues can impact multiple communities. Our goal is to identify key projects that would benefit many through cost-sharing opportunities, as well as to hold recurring joint council meetings to unify our efforts.
There’s a lot happening in our community, and we understand if there are questions. We care about our residents and recognize that there are opportunities to get to know your elected officials. We hope to strengthen our ties to neighborhood groups, such as HOAs, so you can get to know your leaders and address any concerns.
To meet these priorities, staff is dedicated to being a five-star organization that embodies the values of respect, dedicated service, teamwork, and innovation. We do this by being humble, hard-working, and demonstrating the standard of professionalism you’ve come to expect from your local government. We love our community, and we work hard to make it a place you can be proud of.
Terry Rozema is the Marana Town Manager.