MARICOPA — Bob Marsh is many things: traveler, coffee drinker, researcher, but above all, he is an engineer. He worked at the Microsoft headquarters next to Bill Gates creating the point-of-sales system for McDonald’s, boosting the company and changing the fast food industry significantly.
After retiring from Microsoft in 2009, he moved to Maricopa in 2010 with his wife with the intentions of settling into a community-based city. What he soon realized was the incredible growth and potential of Maricopa, and nothing stopped him from becoming a part of the process.
Since then, he been a part of many organizations and changes in the city, including the planning and zoning commission, 2040 vision update and the city general plan update. He ran for City Council in 2018 and is planning to do it again for the 2020 elections.
He was also a part of the Board of Adjustments and helped to re-write the zoning code for the city of Maricopa. The zoning code is currently one of the most comprehensive and updated in the nation, he said.
His previous job in Microsoft, in summary, was community development. And he is certain that his work experience can help the city of Maricopa to obtain the full potential of its community development.
Marsh has worked on the Village Site Project, which has already been approved from the city council and the planning and zoning commission. The project focuses on building Maricopa as a city of villages instead of a grid-based city such as Phoenix. The concept of the project is rather simple — basing the village off of a theme such as music, airports or theater.
“People are moving here from elsewhere, and they’re bringing with them the ideas of what a town is that they want to live in,” Marsh said.
A part of the project, Anderson-Russell, has already been in motion between Anderson and Russell roads on Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway. Its focus is on the Ak-Chin Airport, and will base the village surrounding the airport with potentially incorporating flight instructions and other factors based on the village.
“This is an opportunity to get our inputs in as to the future of this town.” Marsh said. “You can’t do this anywhere else in the nation.”
For Marsh, the next set goal is to win the 2020 City Council elections.
He emphasized the importance of having a diverse city council to tackle issues from multiple different perspectives.
“I’m running on the basis that having an engineer on the city council will be helpful, because most of the problems we are facing are engineering kind of problems.” Marsh said.
He addressed a few of the problems of Maricopa, including State Route 347 and the demand for a local hospital. As the population grows, these two are the top priorities Marsh thinks the city needs to overcome.
“At least I’ll have an engineer’s ability to dissect problems, figure out a possible solution, weigh the cost and propose solutions that can work,” Marsh said. “Engineering is a pretty special discipline.”