Every year the Town of Marana and the Chamber of Commerce host a State of the Town luncheon to share with the community all that’s happening in Marana. On Friday, April 14, we gathered once again to reflect not only on the activities of the past year, but also on the Town’s accomplishments over the past forty years. In 1977, a small group of neighbors took the bold step of incorporating themselves into their own town, and all around us we can see the incredible results of that decision.
In reflecting on what has allowed Marana to succeed, we start with our values of dedicated service, respect, teamwork and engaged innovation. Our core mission at the Town is to serve our residents. Whether we’re filling a pothole or coming up with a program to assist neighbors organizing community clean-up efforts, our single-minded focus is on figuring out how best to help our residents.
To deliver that level of service, we strongly believe we need to foster a culture of respect. For example, we’re currently planning next year’s budget. This process requires constant compromise as we determine how to provide a wide array of community services while adhering to the highest standards of fiscal responsibility. It isn’t always easy to make these trade-offs, but our culture of respect allows us collaborate for the benefit of all Marana residents.
Teamwork is our third core value here at the Town. Nearly every initiative we embark requires many people to work together, to pull in the same direction. Take our Star Spangled Spectacular, for example. This event requires huge contributions from our parks and recreation staff, police officers, public works employees and many more. With everyone pitching in this event has been a huge success, year after year.
Finally, when you mix respect and teamwork, you get our fourth core value: engaged innovation. Only when colleagues trust each other and they feel comfortable that they can suggest new, and often unexpected, ideas. These ideas can lead to creative solutions for challenging issues. A great example is the Project Ina app, which is helping businesses along Ina Road during construction. By linking our Technology Services team with our Development Services Center we were able to create an innovative tool that is increasing exposure for businesses throughout a long period of roadwork. Download the Project Ina app today on your smartphone and stay connected with Marana businesses and construction updates.
Altogether, our core values help the Town connect the community in meaningful ways. We have literal connections across Marana, including the Shared-Use Path that winds through Continental Ranch, as well as the network of trails in Dove Mountain. We also have abstract connections, like the Marana Citizens’ Forums, which brings together representatives from all walks of life to tackle complex issues. Last year, the citizens’ forum made a series of recommendations for Marana’s Development Services Center, which has made major updates as a result of these suggestions.
Community connections, in turn, help shape Marana’s sense of place. We want residents to feel a strong pride in Marana, that living here isn’t like living anywhere else. One way we do that is through our approach to traffic enforcement. The Marana Police Department believes strongly in vigilantly patrolling our streets to ensure safe driving. Every year, Marana police officers make more and more traffic stops, but at the same time, they write fewer and fewer citations. We believe that when officers engage with residents, when they have a conversation about why it’s important to come to a complete stop or drive within the speed limit, that’s often more effective than imposing a hefty fine. Most important, since we’ve adopted this philosophy, we’ve seen the number of traffic collisions decline, year after year.
Finally, we strongly believe that it is essential for us always to think far into the future. How will Marana grow twenty years from now? How are we preparing for that growth? One major effort we’re currently working on is construction of an updated wastewater treatment plant and recharge basin. This project will allow the Town to replenish the aquifer beneath our feet, a process that earns us water credits. These water credits in turn allow us to receive more water, which then allows for more growth. Though the new treatment plant and recharge basin require a significant financial investment, they represent the critical infrastructure that Marana needs to foster healthy growth and a strong local economy.
By reporting annually on Marana’s State of the Town, we aim to engage our residents to provide valuable information on where we are and where we’re going. If you want to stay up-to-date with all that’s going on in Marana, we encourage you to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and visit the Town’s website at www.MaranaAz.gov. And please, use any of these platforms to provide your own input on how we can continue to make this community great now and for many years into the future.