Newsroom | My Past Year as Chair by Mayor Gail Barney

MAG News

It has been my honor to serve as your chair for the past year. It is gratifying to look back on a year of accomplishments.

Regional Council, Chair Message, Barney

It has been my honor to serve as your chair for the past year. It is gratifying to look back on a year of accomplishments—accomplishments that have occurred despite many changes both in and outside of the MAG organization. In fact, Maricopa County was named the fastest-growing county for the third year in a row. That is one reason the work of MAG is vitally important to the residents of our region. 

One successful initiative this year was to intentionally identify and organize MAG’s work around five core mission areas. These areas have been at the heart of MAG since its inception, but with many competing priorities, it was important to ensure they remain top of mind: safe and smart travel, the economy and growth, environment and sustainability, improving quality of life and efficient and effective operations. Throughout the next year, these core activities will continue to be drivers for the organization as well as the Regional Council.

We continued to deliver projects made possible by Proposition 400, the regional sales tax initiative supporting transportation. We saw progress on State Route 30 and on the South Mountain Freeway. We rolled up our sleeves to rebalance the freeway program and held a successful Sun Corridor Transportation Summit to discuss the need for additional transportation investment. We progressed on transportation studies that ranged from bicycling to commuter rail to freight and finally to transit, better informing our decisions. We prepared to develop the next Regional Transportation Plan, Imagine, by asking for and receiving input from more than 9,000 residents in the metropolitan area. Their feedback will be used to plan and improve our transportation system. 

A significant achievement for the air quality program was obtaining 22 years of clean data for carbon monoxide and 14 consecutive three-year periods with no violating monitors for the ozone standard set by EPA in 1997. Results from the past seven years also indicate there have been no violations of the PM-10 standard (dust).

MAG continued to support economic development efforts through its regional analytics division, launching new interactive mapping, analysis, and reporting tools that highlight MAG’s regional datasets.

We continued to examine the best ways to address the human needs of the region. From older adults struggling to make ends meet, to issues of domestic violence, to rising homelessness, there is still much work to be done to help those in our own communities. 

These are only a few of the successes and challenges we face at MAG. Though my term as chair ends, I will continue to work with my fellow Regional Council members, who are committed to solutions to these challenges. We will continue to learn from one another to shape success. 

Published May 2, 2019