City Speak: The Plan!

by Craig McFarland, Casa Grande Mayor-elect

The City of Casa Grande is in good shape in large thanks to our current City Council, Mayor and city staff. As we transition from our current Mayor and Council, we owe all outgoing and current sitting mayor, council and staff a big “Thank You for a job well done!”

The following list is a strategic plan . . . a road map. They are goals and objectives that have been compiled over the past few years while working and living in Casa Grande. These goals are areas that we must continue to invest in if we want to move forward and grow.

Some items on this list will take time to complete. They are in no particular order and all are important!

1. Casa Grande is “Open for Business”

  • Review impact fees and restrictive regulations (zoning laws and ordinances)
  • Set up a customer satisfaction survey to collect customer feedback (customers being anyone who interacts with the city)
  • Plan a meet-and-greet with AZ developers and builders in Casa Grande
  • Continue to support Casa Grande infrastructure projects

2. Market Casa Grande – develop our image, logo and communication vehicles

  • Form a Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) and fund it with a city bed tax
  • Create a city visitor/marketing website and mobile app
  • Construct a message billboard on I-10 to communicate to the 20 million cars that drive by Casa Grande every year
  • Incorporate and support Casa Grande economic development
    • Shovel ready, rail and Interstate-served industrial park
    • Airport
    • Current industries
    • Infrastructure plan (waste water treatment capacity, city roads, trails, equipment, buildings, parks, etc.)

3. Workforce Development – training, education, build a workforce ready to fill jobs

  • Form a committee to research and build a plan to better include the Millennial workforce
  • Arizona@Work to become the leader of this effort and support them
  • Use Central Arizona College, Casa Grande Elementary School District, Casa Grande Union High School District and Central Arizona Valley Institute of Technology as feeders for this effort to build a trained and ready workforce
  • Build an Arizona@Work training center in Casa Grande

4. Mayors A+ School Initiative

  • Promote our school success via social media and local news (public, private, charter)
  • Continue and expand the Mayor’s Reading Program
  • Convene a committee of public/private citizens to meet quarterly and address K – 12 issues and/or opportunities
  • Work with our school districts to improve community use of all public school facilities

5. Public Safety

  • Develop a taskforce to review Casa Grande fire station needs
    • East of I-10
    • Airport
    • Ambulance service
  • Continue to review response times for police and fire; work to meet or exceed national fire and police association recommendations

6. Community Recreation Center

  • Build the Community Center (as proposed)
  • Incorporate the Boys & Girls Club (including a teen center)

7. Further develop the Casa Grande Trail System

  • Casa Grande Community Center as the hub
  • Work with developers and land owners to expand and help build the trails

8. I-10 between Casa Grande and Chandler

  • Widen it to three or four lanes each way
  • Convene a meeting of all stakeholders at the Gila River Indian Community (GRIC) office
    • GRIC
    • Arizona Department Transportation (ADOT)/Governor’s Office
    • Pinal County
    • Casa Grande
    • Eloy
  • Look at the Regional Tax Authority (RTA) Sales Tax as a potential incentive to ADOT
  • Get it on the ADOT Plan – sooner, rather than later!

9. Public Transit

  • Complete the current city study
  • Liaison with local industry/business to discover needs
  • Coordinate with CART

10. Historic Downtown Redevelopment

  • Vagrant/homeless issue (work with EAM and Main Street)
  • Revitalize/evaluate “Life on Main” project
  • Support Casa Grande Main Street

As stated above, these are things to work on and goals – that if we can get them implemented – will make Casa Grande an even better place to live, play and raise a family.

INVESTMENTS in our community, in things to do, investments for children, our young people, our veterans, our homeless, our seniors, and ourselves . . . let’s IMPLEMENT THE PLAN!