District 2 rep elected chairman of county Board of Supervisors

County chair 1Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Chucri was unanimously elected chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors for 2015.

On a 5 to 0 vote, Mr. Chucri hit the ground running by spelling out an aggressive agenda for the county to follow over the next year.

Mr. Chucri represents Maricopa County District 2, which includes Scottsdale.

Chairman Chucri vowed to make county government more open and accessible, he pledged to work closely with the board to deliver a balanced budget, he wants to tackle the antiquated, out-of-date county personnel and government compensation process, and he promised a renewed focus on delivering quality government service in a more efficient manner.

“At its core, democracy is a conversation,” Chairman Chucri said. “Before any government can initiate a reform, implement a policy or take positive action, it must have the credibility, confidence and trust of the public. In these times, public trust is not a given. It must be earned.”

Over the past two years, Supervisor Chucri acknowledged the hard work of keeping the property tax rate low and pushing through necessary regulatory reforms.  Building on those successes, Mr. Chucri further promised to  maintain Maricopa County’s long record of fiscal stability.

But he said the county, like the state and city governments, faces a challenge recovering from the recent recession while addressing infrastructure demands and population growth.

Mr. Chucri, a Republican, now leads a five-member board of four Republicans and one Democrat. On the board, he represents East Valley District 2, from Mesa to Fountain Hills and Rio Verde, including Scottsdale. He is the president and CEO of the Arizona Restaurant Association, a position he has held for 13 years.

“Our vision is a government that listens … that resolves the problems that individuals cannot solve on their own and addresses those issues that recognize no city boundaries: Crime, disease, air quality, transportation and flooding,”  he said in his chairman’s address.

Mr. Chucri identified the county’s employee turnover rate as “worrisome drain of our resources, a needless flight of talent.” He called on the county to turn its attention to updating personnel rules, policies and practices.

Specifically, Mr. Chucri said the board should implement policies to shorten the length of time it takes to identify and hire qualified applicants for county jobs and to reward highly productive workers, regardless of their length of service.

“We need a county personnel system as productive as our most outstanding employees here,” Mr. Chucri said.

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