MARICOPA — The Maricopa Flood Control District will hold an election Oct. 4 to fill one position on its three-person board of directors.
MFCD is a public entity that manages 12 miles of land that sits in the flood plain in Maricopa.
“Our role is to make sure those flood channels are operating efficiently so when we have a flood event, the water will go through town without damaging property or causing injury,” said David Alley, district manager for MFCD.
He said the organization holds monthly meetings to determine areas of improvement within the city. He said they are constantly pursuing projects that will mitigate flood damage. He stressed this importance by mentioning that it doesn’t have to rain in Maricopa to flood in Maricopa.
With the Santa Cruz wash and the Santa Rosa wash, the city is a prime location to collect water from storms in other areas of the state and Mexico. These washes flow through the middle of the city and some housing developments, and they could cause major damage.
“Before when it rained, it flooded a cotton field. Now, it would flood a house,” Alley said.
MFCD holds elections every two years. This year, they have one position available. The two candidates in the running are Bob Marsh and Scott Kelly.
“This allows me to be involved in the decisions that are being made that affect residents and businesses and to help ensure there are no negative impacts,” Kelly said.
Kelly said his father was on the board, and when that position opened up, his father encouraged him to run. As distribution system designer for Electrical District 3, Kelly said he has a lot of knowledge of what is going on in the community, which will allow him to serve efficiently in this role.
An engineering graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Marsh now serves on the city Planning and Zoning Commission. He too believes his experience has equipped him with the skills necessary for this position.
As an Arizona native, Marsh said he has seen the effects flooding has on the area, and he wants to play a part in minimizing that.
“I’ve seen what Mother Nature can do with massive flooding,” he said. “I’ve seen flood waters cresting up to the level of the Gila River bridge on State Route 347 in the 1980s, so I have a great respect for the flood channel management.”
The election will be Oct. 4. The following week, on Oct. 9, MFCD will hold a public meeting to certify the results and swear in the new member. This person will serve a four-year term. These positions are not compensated.
“The people who should have interest in this are people who are very community-minded, and they are aware that there are a lot of flood-related issues in Maricopa,” Alley said.
There are two ways to vote. The first way is in person at the clubhouse of the Villages Rancho El Dorado. The poll will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Voting officials will ask for identification and will check property records, tax records and voter registration records before issuing a ballot.
The second way to vote is by mail. Those who chose to follow this method should visit the district’s website www.maricopafcd.com, click on the “election” tab and fill out the request for an early ballot. Election officials will then mail a package with a ballot and instructions.
MFCD is financed by property taxes, and therefore every Maricopa homeowner pays a tax to keep the company in operation. Because of that, Peggy Chapados, council member and council liaison for MFCD, said it is important to know where that money goes. She said residents can do this by researching what the candidates stand for and what they plan to while they serve in this role.
“Any time a registered voter gets the chance to cast a ballot and get their voice heard, I think it’s an important responsibly that every citizen has,” she said.