Monitoring the business of government like it's your own
When I was in the Arizona House, I spent days at the Department of Revenue so I could better understand the budget. I drove around in cars with social workers visiting families with crack babies so I could get a first-hand understanding of their roles, their needs and the issues they face. That helped me know what demands were real and what functions could be improved, done elsewhere or abandoned.
I will do the same thing in Pima County: Dissect the budget, functions, spending and operations to understand what is needed, what isn’t and what could be done better. I will do so with the expertise and experience gained not only in the Legislature but also as a successful entrepreneur who built my own business from scratch and was responsible for making sure everything worked efficiently and cost-effectively. No one else running for Pima County supervisor has that in their portfolio.
Voting for Good Government
Voting for good government requires more than comparing campaign slogans. It also requires looking at the candidates'
records. I have a sound record of fighting for
I have been a champion of small government, fiscal
responsibility, economic growth, and individual freedoms. I fought to
keep politicians from taking Arizona road money and using it for other
projects. As part of the Republican team, we brought fiscal
sanity and a balanced budget back to Arizona government. And, in what is
probably the worst economic downturn in our nation’s history since the Great
Depression, I brought jobs to Southern Arizona.
What's Needed to Make Pima County Thrive
Roads, jobs, transparency, efficiency.
That’s what I will champion when elected to the Pima County Board of Supervisors.
Citizens and businesses need better roads, not only to get around, but also to build a more viable and expanding economy. It’s much harder to attract businesses when they can’t get their products, services and employees in and out. Roads are our modern rivers of commerce, and Pima County has done a poor job maintaining them. I will allocate general fund dollars for road improvement and maintenance – just like cities in the region do – to make that happen. I will pay for that with more efficiency and with better use of existing bonds, which should go for long-term infrastructure rather than to make today’s life easier for bureaucrats.
My economic development vision is to continue expanding the region’s high-tech and bioscience industries, just as I did as a legislator when I successfully ran a bill removing barriers to their expansion and to their cooperation with the university. I also think local leaders can help recruit early innovators in those fields from Southern California by personal attention. Improving education also is a must.
I connect to Pima County, having knocked on more than 14,000 doors in the area so far, and I give out is personal cell phone number – 520-390-9946. I’ve been very available, transparent and accountable to my voters and to the needs of Pima County. I also believe that county supervisors should communicate directly with constituents, rather than speak through the county administrator, as is now the case.
When I was in the Legislature, I spent days with individual departments so he could see first-hand their needs, issues and processes. I’ll do the same in Pima County to find efficiencies and make sure the county’s resources are well spent.
Jobs Now and For the Future!
Innovation Park in Oro Valley has the largest cluster of bio-science jobs in Arizona thanks to some forward thinking developers, a pro-business environment and several private sector medical partnerships with the University of Arizona. However, companies investing money in drug development and testing want to be sure their research is protected while in development. State Representative Vic Williams noted that sometimes university papers provide, “a trail of breadcrumbs that the competitor can follow.”
Vic Williams has brought the Arizona bio-science community together with the University of Arizona to ensure that the results from medical clinical research trials will be protected. If these changes are adopted into law Sanofi and other firms will bring testing, jobs, and money to Pima County above and beyond current operations. Representative Williams commented that “This is a jobs creator, plain and simple”. Pushing this forward will yield immediate results for the entire state, not to mention adding to the 1,600 high paying, high tech jobs that already exist at Innovation Park.
Put your hands above your head and step away from the cookie jar
When it comes to spending at the state capitol, Representative Vic Williams says, “They are willing to put a lid on the cookie jar, but they keep punching holes in the side of the jar.” One example is the state highway fund, which is supported by gasoline taxes. Although that fund is specifically dedicated to building and maintaining Arizona’s roads, the state legislature has been using it to pay for other programs for the past few years.
State Representative Vic Williams has introduced HB 2771, which makes any raid on the Highway fund a debt that has to be repaid by the legislature. The bill has the support of 51 cities and towns as well as the Arizona Highway Users Association.
Representative Vic Williams' Debate Challenge
As a Republican member of the Arizona House of Representatives, I would like to address comments made by state Senator Al Melvin while speaking on KVOI’s morning talk show on Dec. 12th. My fellow Republican and seatmate felt compelled to agree with the host while I was being trashed and called a R.I.N.O (Republican In Name Only) for my support of Governor Jan Brewer and the temporary sales tax referendum that will expire in May of 2013. That led Senator Melvin to start pontificating about my political future. As if that wasn’t enough, he proceeded to make his own allegations against former Republican legislators, calling them similar names.
It is not the domain of Senator Melvin to decide who is a “good,” or who is a “bad,” Republican. That decision falls to Republican primary voters, who will determine at the ballot box who their nominees will be in the general election. In my view, Senator Melvin should heed the advice of Ronald Reagan, who developed the GOP's 11th commandment while running for Governor of California in 1966, it reads:
"Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.”
I believe Senator Melvin’s comments are more a reflection of his ethics and standards than of my fiscally conservative, pro-business voting record. A couple of years back, at a public forum the both of us attended where we were the featured speakers, Senator Melvin tried trashing me then, but it didn’t do well for him. By the end of the night he was being heckled by a rather fiscally conservative crowd. The difference this time is that he did it on the radio when I was not there to defend myself. I am not sure why he engages in such divisive rhetoric, but I am willing to take him on when he does so.
I challenge Senator Melvin to a series of public debates or a series of editorials regarding our policy differences to be hosted by an impartial party, such as the Explorer Newspaper. I believe the Explorer has been a quality and unbiased community news outlet for Northwest Pima County for many years. That is why I have approached them, and only them, to run this piece. In the meantime, I am looking forward to working with the Senator for the benefit of our community in the Arizona Legislature this year. I will not allow his inflammatory public comments to stand in the way of our work at the capitol.
NTSB Good Intentions Gone Too Far
As Chairman of Transportation for the Arizona House of Representatives, I feel compelled to weigh in on the decision from the NTSB to recommend a complete ban on PEDs (personal electrical devises) being used in the operation of a motor vehicle.
This call for action from the NTSB is too far reaching and goes beyond practical common sense. There will always be some element of risk when using our highways. To think that we will be able to eliminate any and all types of distractions while driving is not reasonable. Click here to Rep. Vic Williams’ interview.
In 2009, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 33,963 traffic fatalities across the country of which 5,474 (15%) people were killed in vehicle crashes reported to have involved distracted driving. While drivers under the age of 20 had the greatest proportion of distracted driving incidences, of those drivers involved in fatal crashes who were reportedly distracted, the 30-to 39-year-olds had the highest proportion of cell phone involvement.
It is clear that government should take action when it comes to developing and implementing a statewide “No Texting” ban with enforcement teeth. As a Member of the Arizona House of Representatives and Chairman of its Transportation Committee, I will use the full weight of my office to move legislation forward to ensure that Arizona develops a statewide ban on texting while operating a motor vehicle.
With that being said, it is all but impossible to have this discussion without contending with the counter argument that a “No Texting” ban facilitates nanny-state government. On the contrary, it is the role of government to fund and regulate our highways. Running a safe highway system is a basic state function. Every day that the Arizona State Legislature fails to act on this issue is another day that we allow a controllable public hazard to continue to exist.
When an unsafe highway practice such as texting while driving, excessive speeding or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is statistically identified, then it is up to the state to take action. If we were to follow the logic of the nanny-state argument then the state should play no role in regulating speeding laws and driving under the influence. That logic is as unsound as the NTSB’s desire to completely ban all PEDs.
If leadership finally allows the “No Texting” bill to be moved forward in the House of Representatives you will see a tremendous outpouring of support coming from all sectors of the business community, the trucking industry and the general public. If the bill is assigned to my Transportation Committees, I promise those who oppose this measure will have a level playing field to argue their case. With that being said, I am an enthusiastic supporter of a state-wide “No Texting” ban.