COOLIDGE — Jacque Hendrie-Henry is no stranger to city government.
Before she was elected to council, Henry worked in multiple city departments over more than 35 years of employment.
She began her career as a dispatcher, and eventually worked her way up as the dispatch supervisor and administrative assistant to the chief of police. As a dispatcher, she was also trained to be an EMT, acted as a reserve officer and a member of the reserve fire department.
At the end of 19 years at the Coolidge Police Department, Henry moved on to apply her expertise in other city functions, such as Public Works and Building Safety, Growth Management and City Hall.
Her varied experiences within different departments, she said, provided her with insight into some critical city operations, such as putting together the city’s budget and the need for city code.
But even long before she retired in 2010, Henry held on to the aim of one day giving back to her community by serving on council.
She was elected to serve her first term in 2012 and re-elected four years later. As an incumbent, she seeking to keep her seat in the 2020 election.
A lifetime Coolidge resident, Henry said that her primary motivation behind serving on council is to assist in bringing businesses that provide children, young adults and their families with fun things do to back into the community.
“Growing up here we had a lot of things to do,” she said. “We had movie theaters, the drive-in theatre, a bowling alley, skating rink— all that kind of stuff. I don’t know if we’ll ever be able to get it all back, but I’d like to get some of that stuff back for our community.”
Over the past four years, the council has gotten close to that goal through a heavy focus on economic development, with the largest and most anticipated project being the upcoming Nikola Motor Company factory. Last week, the company announced plans to hold a ceremonial ground breaking on site of the future facility on July 23.
Council played a part in paving the way for equipment manufactures like Nikola to see Coolidge as a viable destination long before the city was ever on the multi-billion corporation’s radar.
Henry noted that though city staff and Mayor Jon Thompson worked heavily with the company before and after its announcement to build a manufacturing facility Coolidge, council helped by annexing more properties into the city.
The Nikola Motors plant will be located on Housers and Vail roads, an area that was annexed in to the city in 2015.
Other past annexations have also proven fruitful to the city, Henry noted, such as the decision to annex the Coolidge Municipal Airport. Recently reconstruction of the airport’s main runway generated about $100,000 in construction sales tax revenue for the city.
“The airport was one of the things that I was really interested in because it could be a goldmine for the city,” Henry said.
Attracting more industry to the community is something Henry said she would like to continue to support if re-elected.
“I hope that we are able to get businesses here so that our citizens won’t have to travel (to work) and they can stay local,” she said.
Beyond her service to council, Henry is also an active member of the community. She belongs to a number of local organizations such as the Pinal County Chapter 36 Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary, the American Legion Auxiliary and the Coolidge Cotton Patchers Quilting club.
As an alumni of the Central Arizona College, she was also a receipt of the Wall of Success Alumni Achievement Award.