West Valley economic development organization hosts annual meeting

Maricopa County Supervisor Bill Gates, Tolleson Mayor Anna Tovar and State Representative Jesus Rubalcava at the WESTMARC annual meeting, Feb. 23, 2017, on the Arizona State University West Campus. [Bette Sharpe/Glendale Daily Planet]
By Bette Sharpe, Special to Independent Newsmedia

Quality of life issues in the West Valley will receive a more formal focus in Westmarc’s economic development package in the  coming year.

This was one of the many topics discussed at Westmarc’s annual meeting, Feb. 23, at ASU West.

Western Maricopa Coalition, or Westmarc is a nonprofit organization made up of 15 municipalities, the business community and education sector for the portion of Maricopa County located west of Interstate 17. It’s mission is to promote economic development and quality of life in the West Valley.

A three-member panel representing city, county and state levels of government spoke at the event.
Maricopa County Supervisor Bill Gates, Tolleson Mayor Anna Tovar and Rep. Jesus Rubalcava (D-Gila Bend) sat on the panel.

Each panel member was asked about their goals. They identified three main goals: education, economic development and workforce development. Rep. Rubalcava saw the need to invest in education by recruiting and retaining teachers and keeping health care affordable.

Mayor Tovar wants to establish bridges of communication and bring her city hall to a “new level of service.” The city is planning several beautification projects this year, she said.

Supervisor Gates wants to make county government more efficient. He said one way to do this is through technology on the technical side and from the public service side, improving the delivery of county services for mobile device users. He also wants to attract new businesses while supporting existing ones, and staying fiscally responsible.

Editor’s note: Ms. Sharpe is with the Glendale Daily Planet.

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