Marana wears a "yes" face, finding ways to get things accomplished, Mayor Ed Honea told a crowd of 341 people at the annual State of the Town breakfast Friday at the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain.
"We believe tomorrow will be brighter than today," Honea said. "We believe we can find solutions to the problems we encounter. We believe in imagination, innovation, and ideas. Our 'yes face' is about attitude, about how we approach things."
Honea named his speech "Leadership in Times of Adversity."
The mayor lauded developer David Mehl and the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, the community's new world-class resort at the foot of the Tortolitas. He mentioned the Twin Peaks interchange at I-10, the extension of Dove Mountain Boulevard and Camino de Mañana, and the opening of the new park at Silverbell and Cortaro. Honea noted the recognition Marana has received from the Metropolitan Pima Alliance, with three Common Ground Awards for collaborative public improvements, as well as national honors from the Associated General Contractors of America and the International Partnering Institute.
Honea also told the gathering that FLSmidth Krebs, a major Marana employer, is adding more than 30,000 square feet of manufacturing and office space to its facility near I-10. Krebs, which specializes in equipment for the mining industry, is investing more than $2 million.
And he celebrated the fact the Marana Health Center pulled its building permit this month and will begin constructing a 74,000 square foot facility on land directly across the street from town hall. "The Marana Health Center is an important community partner and a key to the future development of our new Main Street," the mayor said.
"I am proud to live in and serve Marana," Honea said. "I hope you leave today with this one thought: You are all investors in this community and you all are shareholders in the results. I challenge you to help us continue to dream, to make ideas happen, to grow this great community."
Imagination, innovation and the right attitude were important as we tackled the realities of the economy head-on during budget deliberations. Over the past three years, tough decisions have been made by our council and senior staff as revenues fell by more than 29 percent. Instead of reducing programs across the board, we took a common-sense approach to meeting these challenges. … We made the difficult decision to eliminate $4.6 million from next year's budget. Folks, what this means is that we will have a balanced budget without imposing new taxes or fees that burden our residents and business owners.
Ensuring sustainable water supplies has been, and will continue to be, a top priority. It is the reason we incorporated. I don't need to remind you that water is a precious resource. We are doing everything we can to properly manage the use and re-use of our water. We are continuing to work with our neighboring jurisdictions to find practical solutions for water delivery. We are also making plans to design an efficient wastewater system that will serve our businesses and residents.
If you are building a facility in Marana, we can gather staff in one room and conduct an expedited plan review process. Our goal is to save time and money for our customers without compromising safety, design and aesthetics. As I mentioned earlier, we have simplified our fee structure for many development-related services. And, we have not raised development fees in order to balance the budget.
Making Marana a great place to do business takes thoughtful planning. Over this past year, we convened a group of residents, business owners and industry experts to create our first economic roadmap. The Roadmap identifies target industries or businesses that we would like to attract to Marana. We are looking for business partners that complement our community vision and values, while providing good, quality jobs for our residents.