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The LIVING Interview

Robert “Bob” Jackson Mayor of Casa Grande, Arizona Interview by Rock Earle GC LIVING: Tell us a little about yourself – introduce us to bob jackson MAYOR JACKSON: I have lived in Casa Grande since 1991 having moved here from Reno, Nevada. I had been a partner in a mid-sized engineering company based in Sacramento and serving primarily northern Nevada and Northern California. I had decided that I wanted to move to a smaller community and was hired as the City’s Public Works Director. I retired from the City in 2002 and started a one-person engineering business helping local communities with their engineering issues. I have a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Nevada, Reno and prior to working in Reno worked in the San Francisco Bay Area and Albany, Oregon. I am a registered professional engineer in California and Arizona. In every community I have lived I have always been involved in trying to make it a better place to live. Over the years I have been involved in Community Strategic Plans, multiple non Profit boards and countless special events. GC LIVING: Why did you run for mayor originally? And then re-up three times? MAYOR JACKSON: After retiring and seeing some of the things our neighboring communities were doing I became increasing concerned about where we were headed as a City and felt new leadership was needed. In 2007 I was lucky enough to be elected to my first term as Mayor. After my first two years, I recognized that many of the initiatives I wanted to see move forward were still in the development stage and ran the second and third times to assure many of the initiatives were implemented. I really ran for my last term after talking to my wife, City Manager Jim Thompson

THE THELEADERSHIP LEADERSHIP EDITION EDITION

“I ran the first time on a platform of creating jobs for the community, improving our quality of life and providing the citizens better information on city issues and achievements.” and several other friends that encouraged me to run a final time to continue trying to move the City forward. We had several big projects that were not yet complete that I wanted to be a part of finishing. GC LIVING: What do you think were your major accomplishments? MAYOR JACKSON: I ran the first time on a platform of creating jobs for the community, improving our quality of life and providing the citizens better information on city issues and achievements. Some of the more significant things include completing almost $200 million dollars in infrastructure and city facilities during the most severe economic downturn since the Great Depression. Completing the work during this time allowed us to get good bid prices using some of the more veteran construction teams. We also were able to increase our Bond Rating three times during this peri-

od, lowering our interest rates and allowing us to have smaller annual debt payments. The biggest of these projects was the Water Reclamation Facility. This expansion has allow us to attract Ehrmann Dairy (the yogurt manufacturer), Franklin Foods (the Cream Cheese Company) and Tractor Supply Company’s Distribution Center. One the quality of life front we completed a significant trail system on Casa Grande Mountain. For years it had been used by hikers without marked trails and no trail heads. Today it has over 10 miles of marked trails for all skill levels and two trail heads to start from. The project was completed by volunteers and the use of Americorps teams at no cost to the local taxpayers. A second program that has gained some national recognition is our Let Move initiative part of a program implemented by Michelle Obama to address childhood obesity and health. We have received national awards for our program and have successfully partnered with the private sector to move the program forward. Sometimes being in the right place at the right time is a good thing. During my initial campaign I talked about using 21st century tools to help better inform our citizens. Working with City staff and a talented webmaster, we revamped the City’s website and public information programs. Today we receive over 20 million visits to our website, send out numerous news blasts to our citizens and are now televising our Council meetings as well as streaming them on our website. GC LIVING: What do you consider to be unfulfilled items of your terms? MAYOR JACKSON: The biggest unfulfilled

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Profile for ROX Media Group

Golden Corridor Living Magazine  

Fall 2015

Golden Corridor Living Magazine  

Fall 2015