Supervisor Andy Kunasek elected Board Chairman;
Will work on regulatory issues, criminal justice
Supervisor Andy Kunasek was elected as chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors for 2013 and vowed to work on giving greater flexibility and transparency to the county’s regulatory system to encourage economic growth.
“We need regulation that protects us where necessary,” Kunasek said in his formal chairman’s address, delivered shortly after county elected officials were sworn into office. “But we shouldn’t bury business and individuals in red tape and senseless regulations that exist out of habit, not need.”
He said that he would also assign County Manager Tom Manos to work with other officials to prevent the criminal justice system “from slowing down.”
“Each extra day in jail, the longer it takes to move a defendant through the courts takes money,” he said.
Kunasek also suggested the county follow the lead of the City of Phoenix and encourage “adaptive reuse,” the renovation of old buildings for new uses. “Today, we have more new innovative restaurants and businesses than we’ve ever had,” Kunasek said. “This is good for neighborhoods, small business and good for the economy.”
Kunasek has been chairman four other times as a supervisor, the last time in 2011. He has been a supervisor since 1997.
Recently elected Supervisors Denny Barney and Steve Chucri were also officially sworn in today. Both are Republicans and East Valley residents. Chucri, a Mesa resident, represents District 2 and Barney, from Gilbert, will represent District 1.
“I am deeply honored by this opportunity and will work to serve the people of the East Valley, listen to their concerns and stay focused on the things that matter to them,” Barney said.
Chucri added, “Local government is where the rubber meets the road. I look forward to doing good work at the county for the taxpayers of District 2.”
Returning board members, besides Kunasek, are District 4 Supervisor Max Wilson, of Litchfield Park, and Mary Rose Wilcox, of Phoenix District 5.
Wilson, who served as chairman in 2012, thanked his staff and county employees for working to make county government more transparent and easier for industry to do business. “There are thousands of men and women who work has every day to make Maricopa County a great place to live and work,” Wilson said.
Mrs. Wilcox is beginning her fifth four-year term on the board and her 31st year in elective office, said she is “eager and rarin’ to go” on county issues. She is a former Phoenix City Council member.