Economic development is the engine that drives our community. To that end, the 2016 General Plan set the foundation to guide Oro Valley in setting priorities that ensure long-term financial sustainability. Without economic development, the town would not be in a position to maintain the exceptional level of public safety and town services that we enjoy.
I continue to be an advocate for jobs in the high tech and bio tech industries – especially at our tech park known as Innovation Park. This location serves as the home to many technology sector employers such as Oro Valley Hospital, Tucson Orthopedic Institute, Icagen, Roche, Meggitt Securaplane and other top professional companies. In addition, an Incubator start-up called University of Arizona Center for Innovation at Oro Valley is under construction to provide much needed laboratory and office space for small innovators led by the University of Arizona.
All of this comes as great news. However, I’d like to further increase our high tech job growth by expanding into other markets that have not been explored by the current Staff and Council. This includes areas of Film and Digital Media, Higher Education, Semiconductor, and Software. We must think “out of the box” in order to evolve and grow with the ever-changing needs of innovation and technology.
While serving as a past member of Council, I was a strong advocate of signature events hosted by the Town of Oro Valley. Some of the many events the town has enjoyed have been competitive swimming meets, Professional Soccer, Triathlon and Duathlon Festival, Second Saturdays and live music concerts at Steam Pump Ranch and craft fairs at Oro Valley Marketplace.
We need to continue to promote our small business owners. I will look for additional opportunities to support the efforts of the Town’s economic development department and work with the Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce to support our small businesses. It is essential to promote Oro Valley as a unique destination that provides opportunities for business owners to live and flourish – knowing that the Town supports their efforts.
I believe that we can conduct our economic development activities while still preserving the reason why most people chose to live in Oro Valley: the scenic views and open spaces of the desert Southwest. I will always advocate for responsible development supporting smart growth for the town and oppose developments that create overcrowding, traffic problems, and diminish our small town feel without benefiting residents.