Rabb plans to be around for long haul - The Explorer: Pima Pinal

Rabb plans to be around for long haul

Attorney, former Congressional aide says he wants to help OV stay a good place to raise kids

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Posted: Wednesday, January 13, 2010 12:00 am | Updated: 8:18 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

Matthew Rabb, a candidate for Oro Valley Town Council, little resembles others who have thrown their hats in for the March election.

Single and 28 years old, more 20 years lie between him and his fellow candidates. He said the age difference could benefit residents if elected.

"I'm not beholden to any kind of group or organization," Rabb said, referencing interest groups that represent various constituencies.

It's not just his age that makes Rabb's candidacy different.

"I'm not running because I'm mad at someone or I think that the council is horrible," Rabb said. Quite the opposite in fact, he added.

As a Northwest native and a Canyon Del Oro High School graduate, Rabb said he wants to run because he wants to help Oro Valley remain a place where people want to live.

"I grew up here, and I plan on living here," Rabb said. "I want to make sure it's a great place for my kids to grow up in, whenever they come."

Rabb is not an amateur when it comes to politics. After graduating from the University of Arizona with a degree in political science, Rabb went to Washington, D.C., where he interned in the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pension Committee under Sen. Edward Kennedy.

Following his D.C. internship, Rabb, along with twin brother Michael, attended law school at Oklahoma City University. He passed the Arizona bar in 2008. Since then he and his brother have worked with their father for the Rabb Penny Law Firm.

Among the issues the town faces, Rabb said the budget is probably the most important.

"I believe that we should be looking to cut more spending before we ask residents for more taxes," Rabb said.

He cautioned the town should be mindful of the impacts when looking to make further cuts.

"Cuts to the police department are not like cutting other departments," Rabb said. "Asking people to sacrifice a little of their safety for the budget is a little scary."

He said the sign code review planned for later this year would likely be an important issue.

"I'm concerned, as I think many Oro Valley residents are, with losing our character," Rabb said.

He cited the call of some in the business community who recently petitioned the council to allow dusk-to-dawn sign illumination as a move he would not favor.

In the end, he wants residents to see him as committed to Oro Valley.

"I'm not an outsider coming in, Rabb said. "I plan on living here for a quite some time."

Rabb has not set up a campaign Web site. He said he intends to hold numerous meet-and-greets and spend time in the community letting people get to know him.

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