Candidate Q&A - Ally Miller, Candidate for Pima County Board of Supervisors District 1 - The Explorer: Elections

Candidate Q&A - Ally Miller, Candidate for Pima County Board of Supervisors District 1

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Posted: Wednesday, August 22, 2012 9:05 am | Updated: 2:46 pm, Wed Sep 19, 2012.

Name: Ally Miller

Age: 56

Occupation: Retired

Where do you live? Northwest Pima County

How long have you lived in the area? 30 years

Short description about yourself

I am driven to see our community become a successful and positive environment in which to live and work. I have the passion, the experience and the leadership skills to bring jobs, transparency and accountability to Pima County. We need a strategic vision for Pima County along with clear expectations to which our county administrator is held accountable. I have a low tolerance for waste and incompetence and believe we have too much of both in Pima County government.

My educational background includes a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and an MBA from the University of Arizona Eller School of Management. My work experience includes accounting, financial program controls, auditing and contract negotiation in the aerospace industry at AlliedSignal Corporation (now Honeywell) as well as working as a Systems Engineer on a Joint Engineering Team at Intel Corporation.

Why are you running for the Pima County Board of Supervisors?

I have decided to run because I believe I have the skills necessary to move Pima County in the right direction. We need to stop electing people looking for employment as career politicians. I want to bring a new way of thinking to Pima County and most importantly, I want to see this county become a vibrant and thriving place to live. There is too much cronyism in Pima County government and it will take strong, determined individuals to move away from this type of governance. I am the individual who has a track record of holding government officials accountable. I held the Rio Nuevo Board accountable when I contacted the FBI to investigate the $230 million spending debacle. Shining the light so the citizens are aware of what is happening with their tax dollars is what will change our future. If the citizens choose to elect me, I look forward to bringing accountability and transparency back to Pima County government. We to look to the future versus tolerating more of the same.

What are some good things taking place in Pima County?

• I am very excited about new leadership at the Metropolitan Tucson Visitor Center under the direction of Mr. Brent DeRaad. It was disappointing to see this organization failing in past years however I feel optimistic Mr. DeRaad and his team are a shining hope for the future of tourism in Pima County.

• We have year round Outdoor activities for residents and visitors. This is a beautiful place to live with something for everyone. I like the health and wellness programs promoted in Oro Valley and Marana. Parks and recreation are the backbone of our county and we need to ensure we continue to improve programs we have in place.

• The residents of the community are becoming more actively involved and asking a lot more questions about this election than ever before. This is an indicator of a deeper concern for the direction of our county. I have gotten hundreds of phone calls from voters asking about my positions on the issues. This is exciting to hear from so many people. Citizen involvement will ensure a healthy and viable community for everyone.

What are your three top concerns with the county right now? What would your plan of action be to fix these problems?

• Jobs are the number one priority in Pima County. I would promote a partnership with the University of Arizona which has one of the top ranked entrepreneurship programs in the country. Pima County should be a jobs incubator by fast tracking new business startups through the permitting and development process. In addition, I would work in collaboration with our state legislators to open the pathway to bring jobs to Pima County. We need to work with our legislators and ask what we need to be doing to support them in their efforts to help bring jobs and prosperity to Pima County.

• Roads and Infrastructure are a disaster in Pima County. It is a safety hazard for commuters, children, bicyclists and our first responders. This is a result of years of mismanagement of our tax dollars and utter neglect of the public safety. We need to prioritize spending by cutting unnecessary and wasteful spending. We must focus on safety first.

• Accountability and Transparency are crucial to restoring trust in Pima County government. Citizens no longer trust our monies are being spent wisely and accounted for properly. We must appoint a quorum to the citizens Budget Advisory Board and conduct town hall meetings so citizens understand where their tax dollars are going.

If you are running in the Primary Election, what makes you the best candidate to move on to win the General Election?

• Character. I have the passion and the track record of holding public officials accountable. I have been attending city council, Rio Nuevo and Board of supervisor meetings for the past 5 years. It is time for courage vs. cronyism in Pima County. I worked to expose Rio Nuevo corruption by bringing in the FBI. The citizens of Pima County deserve better. They deserve transparent and accountable governance. I promise to work to restore public trust in our government.

• Experience. I have the education and work experience in aerospace and semiconductor industries. My background in finance and accounting will be critical to the implementation of cost controls to stop the unacceptable cost overruns we hear about year after year.

• Skills. I have the leadership skills necessary to attract high tech business and create jobs. I understand how to find and eliminate corruption and wasteful

spending. I have work experience in auditing processes, program cost controls and consolidation and process improvements.

What kind of new energy will you bring to a seat that’s been held by Ann Day for so many years?

I hope to bring the passion and energy to make Pima County a better place to live for all of the residents. We need to compete to bring new business to Pima County while working with the businesses that are already in place to ensure we are meeting their needs. We need a positive attitude throughout our government to help bring business to our community and make them want to stay in our community. I will hold town halls throughout the district to understand the concerns of the citizens and encourage more citizen involvement in Pima County government.

What are some specific changes needed in this district?

Pima County government officials need an attitude adjustment. We need to remember as elected officials we report to the citizens. We need to instill a “can do” attitude from top to bottom in the governance of Pima County. This attitude of serving our citizens and businesses looking for assistance needs to be positive and infectious if we want to be successful. We must not forget that businesses and citizens have a choice in where they live and do business. They have been voting with their feet and we have all seen the boarded up storefronts and decaying infrastructure. Let’s make this the most desirable community in which to live and do business in the southwest. Let’s start every day with the question of “How can we help?”

If elected, how can you work to meet the needs of your district, while also keeping the needs of the entire county as a priority?

I believe each supervisor has a responsibility to ensure Pima County as a whole is successful. We do that by prioritizing where the most critical needs are and work accordingly. We should not be using taxpayer dollars to pander to the select few during election years. I hope to hold town halls in the various areas of my district to determine the concerns of the residents and then meet with the other supervisors to discuss and prioritize where we should be focusing our spending to meet the needs of the entire community. This process should be fair and equitable for all citizens of the county. I have an open door policy as a candidate and intend to have an open door policy if I am chosen to represent the citizens of Pima County.

What are your thoughts on the ongoing dispute between Pima County and Marana regarding wastewater rights? In your opinion, what should happen moving forward?

I’d like to see this matter settled without further court action. This has been a lose/lose situation for all parties involved. I believe both parties are currently working to resolve this matter and respect the wisdom in that choice.

Negotiating in good faith is crucial to the successful resolution of this situation and I hope to see a positive outcome for all.

I’d like to see collaborative relationships built with our neighbors versus the strong arm tactics and bullying currently practiced by Pima County Officials. Pima County has a reputation to overcome and that will take working to build a new image by implementing honest and open practices.

Do you feel Pima County works well with its neighbors (Tucson, Marana, Oro Valley, Sahaurita)?

Pima County has a track record of working in a competitive versus a collaborative manner with our surrounding neighbors. These strong arm tactics are a losing proposition for all involved. Pima County would do well to benchmark the best practices of the successes of each of the communities and develop friendly relationships that make surrounding municipalities within Pima County successful. Oro Valley, Marana and Sahuarita are all successful communities even during this economic downturn and I hope to develop relationships and learn from the leadership in each of those communities.

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