Last Monday, I submitted my packet to seek another term as Mayor of Superior. Since September 2016, it has been an honor and privilege to have served the residents of this very special community, and I am looking forward to continuing my service for the next four years. Most certainly, being mayor has not only been rewarding, but humbling too with a great deal of fun and excitement interspersed between the opportunities and challenges!
Also up for re-election are Vice Mayor Michael Alonzo and Councilmember Gilbert Aguilar, who both have submitted their paperwork to seek re-election. Councilmember Estatico opted not to run for another term, and at this time there is not a candidate running for this open seat. The Superior Town Council will be responsible for appointing a qualified member of the community to the position in early 2023.
With Councilmember Bruce Armitage, Councilmember Olga Lopez and Councilmember Vanessa Navarrette, together as the Town Council, we will continue to work vigorously to bring to fruition the many goals that we set forth. In the past few years, all Superiorites have admirably navigated through arduous challenges. Our town has overcome many obstacles as well and I am proud to say that we are on solid financial footing despite the curve balls that have come our way. And even more importantly are the many demonstrable achievements that have been realized throughout our journey.
Our community is fortunate to have a staff that cares and works tirelessly to ensure that everything is running effectively. When our Town staff and Council work together and in unison, we are able to accomplish even the most lofty goals that we set for our community.
Our focused and determined work are reaping benefits for all Superiorites. Last month, we received a Congressional appropriation for the Multi-Gen Center. This $2 million in funding will assist the Town in constructing the proper elevators and make other necessary modifications to fully transform the original Superior High School into the Multi-Gen Center.
We also received additional and substantial federal funding to develop the infrastructure needed to release water into Queen Creek. This $2.25 project is being funded through a grant from the Army Corp of Engineers. Construction at the Multi-Gen and on the Queen Creek Waterway will begin later this summer.
These two transformational projects were goals that we established to ensure our residents have a safe and sustainable quality of life in Superior. Soon, we will break ground on the repairs and rehabilitation of our wastewater treatment plant. This new plant, which experienced delays due to COVID-19 and supply chain issues, will operate in a much more energy efficient manner and will also be able to accommodate future growth.
It has been a full year since the Resolution Copper Final Environmental Impact Statement was withdrawn by the current administration. We continue to work with our Arizona Congressional delegation and agency officials to advocate for the re-release of the Resolution Copper FEIS. In the coming year, we will complete the process to purchase the reversionary right attached to our airport and also purchase the 580 acres of federal lands allocated to Superior in the Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation plan. These lands will allow the Town of Superior to have room for growth into the future.
Using our American Rescue Plan Act funding, we will continue to make significant park improvements and the Superior Swimming Pool park will have new playground equipment that will be modeled after an American Ninja Warrior course. With the acquisition of property at the Stone Avenue (aka The Dip) we are planning another park that will create another place to stop and enjoy nature.
There is no doubt that we will be confronted with new challenges in the coming years. Superior was grossly undercounted during the Census, which means that we will likely need to reduce our budget by $300,000 this year as State Shared Revenues are distributed based on population. We can all help to fill this gap by shopping locally as much as we can so we can keep our sales tax dollars here in Superior. We were also very disappointed to learn that the Arizona State Supreme Court ruled against the Pinal Regional Transpiration Authority sales tax. The taxes that were collected while this case made its way through the judicial system would have brought $300,000 a year to Superior for road repairs and maintenance. We are hopeful that at some point in the not-too-distant future, the funds collected over the past few years can be returned to Superior.
While this is only a short list of our major accomplishments and upcoming projects, I am confident that regardless of whatever challenges may come our way, we not only will successfully navigate through them because Together, We are Superior! And just as importantly, we are eagerly looking forward to creating new opportunities for our community that will immeasurably benefit all of our residents well into the future. Superior’s future has never been brighter, and I am grateful to have the honor to continue to serve our incredibly dynamic and resilient community.
/s/ Mila Besich