Article

June 29, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Kelly Taft, (602) 452-5020

MAG Welcomes New Officers, Celebrates “MAG at 50”

PHOENIX (June 29, 2017)— Further developing a high-quality workforce in the West Valley and throughout the region is a primary goal of the new chair of the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG). At its Annual Meeting yesterday, the MAG Regional Council elected Buckeye Mayor Jackie Meck to lead the organization as Chair over the coming year. Other officers selected include Queen Creek Mayor Gail Barney as Vice Chair and El Mirage Mayor Lana Mook as Treasurer. The three at-large members selected for the MAG Executive Committee are Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell, Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers, and Mesa Mayor John Giles. Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton will serve as Past Chair, and will move into the Chair position for the MAG Economic Development Committee.

During his incoming chair message last night, Mayor Meck noted that MAG has been a key partner in WESTMARC’s West Valley Vision, which is examining West Valley growth. By 2050, the West Valley is expected to double, to more than three million residents.

“With approximately 70 percent of the West Valley’s workforce heading east to work, this effort recognizes that workforce is a critical issue for all of us,” said Mayor Meck. “A supply of good workers will draw businesses here. Being able to find a good, well-paying job will convince our kids to stay here when they graduate. I am looking forward to implementing these strategies to put our region at the top of every site selector’s list,” he said.

MAG also is pursuing a planning grant provided by the federal Office of Economic Adjustment to study and prepare for growth around Luke Air Force Base. Many of the world’s premier fighter pilots are trained at Luke.

“The base brings talented people, high-end jobs, and an international reputation to our region. The base is growing. MAG will work with the base and the surrounding communities to look at areas like housing, schools, and transportation. As Luke Air Force Base thrives, especially with the addition of another one-hundred-forty F-35s on the way, so do we,” said Mayor Meck.

Meck spoke about the importance of freeway connectivity and of freight traffic, noting that a result of a recent MAG budgeting effort that added more than a billion dollars to the freeway program means completion of the first phase of State Route 30. This new freeway corridor will help relieve congestion along I-10, our primary connection to the ports in California. The MAG Regional Council also approved a major amendment for consultation to clear the way for Interstate 11 to move forward with needed environmental studies. That amendment will be considered later this year.

MAG is a Council of Governments and Metropolitan Planning Organization that provides a regional forum for discussion, analysis, and resolution of regional issues, including transportation, air quality, economic development and human services. MAG prepares the 20-year Long Range Transportation Plan and five-year Transportation Improvement Program for the region. Founded in 1967, MAG celebrated its 50th Anniversary on April 12, 2017.

Officers are elected for one-year terms. Mayor Meck will lead the organization for the next year and will preside over the MAG Executive Committee. The Executive Committee serves as MAG's finance committee and holds many administrative responsibilities, such as amendments to the budget and contract selections.

Mayor Meck has served as MAG Vice Chair for the past year. He has served on the Executive Committee since 2014. He is Past Chair of the MAG Transportation Policy Committee and a current member of the Economic Development Committee.

Also during the Annual Meeting, Avondale Mayor Kenneth Weise was elected to serve as chair of the MAG Transportation Policy Committee, and Gilbert Mayor Jenn Daniels was elected vice chair.

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