Know your candidates: Thatcher Town Council

Contributed Photo: Thatcher Town Council Member Ryan Rapier is seeking re-election.

This is the first installment of the Gila Herald’s candidate series for the council races for Safford, Thatcher, and Pima. 

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. We begin with incumbent Ryan Rapier and will have a new candidate featured each day until complete. 

Thatcher Town Council – Ryan Rapier

I’m Ryan Rapier and when I initially ran for Thatcher Town Council, I stated that my goal was to beautify Thatcher. From day one I have made improving our community’s parks and recreational opportunities a top priority. During my time on the council, the Town of Thatcher has achieved the following:

·       Installed grass on the fields of the “Gravel Pit” complex

·       Built a safer and more attractive bathroom/concession building at the “Gravel Pit” complex

·       Constructed a new skate park complex

·       Added shade structures and improved rubberized playground surfaces at the Reay Lane and Daley Estates parks

·       Reconstructed the sidewalks, curbing, and pavement of Church Street and provided an improved entry to Thatcher High School that includes an Eagle monument

·       Purchased the Red Lamp Trailer Park, removed dozens of dilapidated mobile homes, and cleared the land in anticipation of building a new business park that will provide Thatcher with increased dining and retail opportunities for residents and additional sales tax revenue for the town

Contributed Photo: Ryan Rapier

·       Started construction on a multi-phase recreation complex that currently provides our community with additional soccer/baseball fields and pickleball courts

·       Revitalized our Welcome to Thatcher signs on both the east and west highway entrances to Thatcher and planted a number of trees lining the north side of the highway beginning at the 20th Avenue intersection

I fully supported each of the projects listed above and at times took an active lead in ensuring their completion. However, I must recognize that it is the hard work and unbelievable dedication of our town employees that have made these projects a reality. Without our public works and street crews, none of these projects would have been possible. Due to their efforts, we have accomplished everything listed above and managed these projects in a way that has placed our town in a stronger financial position than when I first took office. 

It was never my goal to be a lifelong politician. It still isn’t. However, I also believe a person should finish the job they started. That is why I am asking for one more term on the Thatcher Town Council. There are three projects that I have been instrumental in that I would like the opportunity to see through to their completion. They are:

·       Construction of the business park in the former Red Lamp area

·       Completion of the recreation complex that is scheduled to include a playground area, a concession facility, a disc golf course, and an amphitheater

·       A community rec center to provide additional court space and other amenities that will enhance the quality of life in Thatcher

I believe I have been effective in accomplishing the goals I outlined when I initially ran for Thatcher Town Council. I now ask for your support once more so that I might finish what I started, to the best of my ability, over the next four years. Thank you for the trust you have placed in me to this point and for your consideration in the upcoming election.