Know Your Candidates: Thatcher City Council

Contributor photo: Jenny Howard is running for re-election to Thatcher City Council.

It is the fifth installment in the Gila Herald’s series of candidates for the Safford, Thatcher and Pima council races, and features Thatcher Council candidate Jenny Howard.

Opening the series is Thatcher Town, which has six candidates vying for three council seats for the election. Candidates include incumbents Ryan Rapier, Heston Welker and Jenny Howard, with newcomers Brandon Homer, Mike McEuen and Alfred Barquin looking to make the cut. Each contestant was given the opportunity to provide their own editorial and photo. This fifth installment in the Thatcher series stars the titular Jenny Howard.

Thatcher Town Council – Jenny Howard

My name is Jenny Howard, I’m running for re-election for a second term on Thatcher City Council. I came to Thatcher Council in 2018 with 20 years of experience in local and municipal government management and operations. I am a former director of public works and director of public services for the town of Safford. I have 25 years of experience in the utility industry specializing in high voltage substations and transmission lines. I am currently a project manager for a civil/utility contractor and we are building water lines, drainage facilities and streets throughout southeastern Arizona. I own and operate Ginaveve’s Market Place (2013 est.) and The Tiny Bean drive-thru cafe (2021 est.). I am a member of various boards and committees and I am Chairman of the Board of SEACAP.

First of all, I want to thank the employees who work for the town of Thatcher. I have observed their work ethic on several occasions. We are truly fortunate to have such dedicated staff with many talents and abilities, and I truly appreciate each and every one of them.

In addition to serving on the Red Lamp Property Development Committee, Reay Lane Recreation Complex Planning and Construction, Recreation Center Planning and other projects, I have also used my 20 years of experience in local/municipal government that I enjoyed this last term and were able to implement some important programs that the city did not have in place.

· The first is a “5-year capital improvement plan” (CIP). This plan allows for short- and long-term budgeting and planning of the city’s major infrastructure and maintenance needs. With a CIP in place, we can also seek funding and apply for grants and disengaged state and federal funds to help pay for these projects instead of relying on Thatcher taxpayers.

· The following program is a “Ten-Year Street Maintenance Plan”. From the first day I took my seat, I have been committed and diligent (and a squeaky wheel) in working with the city engineer on the creation and implementation of this very important plan. Financing the plan and the technical study of our streets was a challenge. I am happy to report that this spring, through a program with SEAGO (Southeastern Arizona Governments Organization), the survey and mapping of our streets has begun and we will begin creating the much needed map upon receipt of this data. We are late on this point; we can build all the recreation facilities and businesses and expand our commerce, but we must have safe and maintained streets between our homes and these places. This plan will help us provide them. The rehabilitation of Highway 70 via Thatcher is foremost. Highway 70 is owned by ADOT and they just approved their five-year transportation plan. Highway 70 is not part of this plan and we cannot wait another 5 years, there are state/federal funds that will become available, and I intend to lobby for this project.

I would really appreciate your vote for one of Thatcher’s three council seats on August 2. If you have any questions or would like to visit, please feel free to contact me through Thatcher Town.

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