Guest Column: Anthony Smith: Pinal County’s most important change agent - The Explorer: Opinion

Guest Column: Anthony Smith: Pinal County’s most important change agent

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Richard D. Brinkley

Posted: Wednesday, October 9, 2013 4:00 am

Anthony Smith, Pinal County Supervisor, District 4, represents an area that covers SaddleBrooke, Arizona City, western Casa Grande and Maricopa, including everything in between these communities.  Smith’s district resembles a giant “L” at the western and southern flanks of Pinal County.

Smith’s background began with a B.S. Degree from Purdue University in Indiana. His career in the electrical utility industry building included operating coal plants and nuclear power generators. He is a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP). In 1997, Smith moved his family to Arizona to work for Motorola.

In 2007, Smith ran for Mayor of the City of Maricopa. He won his first election to public office. During his mayoralty, Smith was appointed Vice President of the Interstate 11 Coalition, promoting the idea of connecting metro-Phoenix with Las Vegas. Today, Smith’s initial idea has grown into the Guaymas (Mexico)-Nogales-Tucson-Pinal County (Air Park and Union Pacific Classification Yard)-metro-Phoenix-Las Vegas transportation corridor.

After two successful terms as Mayor, Smith set his sights on the Pinal County Board of Supervisors. Smith won a hard fought primary and romped over his Democrat rival in a Republican sweep of all but one elected office.

Smith ran on a five point platform: public safety, economic development, growth, transportation and communications. Public safety was first, as public safety is the primary and most important of any government’s responsibilities. Smith led the initiative to bring Homeland Security to the negotiation table to renegotiate the horrible contract that is costing Pinal County $2 million annually: a contract negotiated by Democrats under a Democrat County regime.

Economic development includes supporting Union Pacific’s Classification Yard at Red Rock, a huge job driver, and improvement and expansion of Pinal Air Park (allowing Pinal County to develop a revenue generating asset). The FAA recently concluded Pinal Air Park met federal requirements for federal improvement of the runways.

Growth means “smart” growth for all new county developments. Growth means operating with a balanced budget. Smith was the architect that created the framework for the Fiscal Year 2013-2014 budget that held the line at no property tax increase. Growth also means protecting Pinal County’s natural environment. Smith supported creation of an Open Space, Trails and Parks Department.

Smith’s transportation goals include using private-public partnerships to improve regional transportation initiatives such as maintaining a leadership position on the Interstate 11 advocacy group and supporting a new route between Interstate 10 and the City of Maricopa.

Communication means just that: more and better communication between the Board of Supervisors and their constituents. To that end, Smith has met his promise to hold regular office hours and meetings with SaddleBrooke and Arizona City constituents on a regular basis.

Anthony Smith brought his private sector business experience and common sense approach to Pinal County government. The changes in Pinal County government are apparent during the first year of Smith’s term. 

Supervisor Anthony Smith brings to Pinal County government a level of competence, experience and common sense that has been lacking heretofore.  And while Tony Smith is a refreshing change to the historical Pinal County norm, he will be the first to agree that Pinal County citizens need to be involved in their county government. As Ronald Reagan said: trust, but verify.

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