Know your candidates: Thatcher Town Council

Contributed Photo: Jenny Howard is running for re-election to the Thatcher Town Council.

This is the fifth installment of the Gila Herald’s candidate series for the council races for Safford, Thatcher, and Pima, and features Jenny Howard, candidate for the Thatcher Town Council.  

Opening the series is the town of Thatcher, which has six candidates vying for three council seats up for election. The candidates include incumbents Ryan Rapier, Heston Welker, and Jenny Howard, with newcomers Brandon Homer, Mike McEuen, and Alfred Barquin looking to make the cut. Each candidate was given the opportunity to provide their own editorial and picture. This fifth installment of the Thatcher series features incumbent Jenny Howard.

Thatcher Town Council – Jenny Howard

My name is Jenny Howard, I am running for re-election for a second term on Thatcher Town Council.  I came to Thatcher Council in 2018 with 20 years of experience in local government and municipal management and operations.  I am a past Public Works Director and Utilities Director for the city of Safford.  I have a 25-year background in the utility industry specializing in high voltage substations and transmission lines.  I am currently a project manager for a civil/utility contractor and we construct water lines, drainage facilities, and streets throughout southeast Arizona.  I own and operate Ginaveve’s Market Place (est. 2013) and The Tiny Bean drive-thru coffee shop (est 2021). I am a member of various boards and committees and am President of the SEACAP Board.

First of all, I would like to thank the employees who work for the town of Thatcher.  I have observed their work ethic on many occasions.  We are truly blessed to have such a committed staff of many talents and abilities and I truly appreciate each and every one of them.

Along with serving on the committee to develop the Red Lamp property, planning and construction of the Reay Lane recreation complex, planning of the recreation center, and other projects, I have also put to work my 20-year local government/municipal background I have enjoyed this past term and have been successful in implementing some important programs that the town did not have in place. 

·      The first is a “5-year Capital Improvement Plan” (CIP).  This plan allows for short and long-term budgeting and planning for major infrastructure and maintenance needs of the town. With a CIP in place, we can also seek funding and apply for grants and de-obligated state and federal funds to help pay for those projects instead of depending on the Thatcher taxpayers.

·      The next program is a “ 10-year Streets Maintenance Plan”.  Since the first day of taking my seat, I have been committed and diligent, (and a squeaky wheel) in working with the town engineer on creating and implementing this very important plan.  Funding the plan and the technical study of our streets has been a challenge.  I am happy to report that this spring, through a program with SEAGO (Southeastern Arizona Governments Organization), the study and mapping of our streets has begun and we will begin the creation of the much-needed plan upon receipt of that data.  We are behind the curve on this; we can build all of the recreation facilities, and businesses, and expand our commerce, but we must have safe and maintained streets from our homes to these places. This plan will assist us to provide them.  Rehab of Highway 70 through Thatcher is first and foremost. Highway 70 is owned by ADOT and they just approved their 5-year Transportation Plan. Highway 70 is not part of that plan and we cannot wait another 5 years, there are state/federal funds that will become available, and I intend to push for this project. 

I would truly appreciate your vote for one of the three Thatcher Council Seats on Aug. 2.  If you have questions or would like to visit please feel free to contact me through the town of Thatcher.