Since taking office in November 2010, my council colleagues and I have been privileged to play an integral role in a number of successes in El Mirage. These successes include new public safety and recreational facilities, improved roadways and water infrastructure, pro-business initiatives, and financial stability, thanks to fiscal strategies focused squarely on what we had to do and on what we could afford.
Yet, if anyone were to ask about the hallmark of our accomplishments thus far, I feel the answer must lie in making good on a pledge to our citizens to support Luke Air Force Base as a vital asset without equal for our city and our state. Through numerous discussions with residents and many other stakeholders regarding flight contours, noise effects, zoning stipulations, and other elements of Luke’s training of fighter pilots in the skies over El Mirage, the council was assured of the community’s overwhelming support for Luke’s mission. Such support mirrors that of all seven members of the city council and the governing bodies of our neighboring communities throughout the West Valley. Together with Luke leadership, elected officials from 12 cities, and representatives from the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, I have been privileged to serve on the Luke West Valley Council, which works to find mutually beneficial solutions for the benefit of member communities and the long-term viability of Luke’s operations.
The enduring presence of Luke Air Force Base means El Mirage will continue to have as its neighbor one of the most highly regarded military installations in the world.
For Arizona, Luke means employment of more than 8,000 highly skilled workers and a $2.17 billion infusion into the state’s economy.
The selection of Luke a year ago as the country’s newest training center for F-35 fighter pilots, as well as the recent announcement that the number of squadrons and the number of F-35s coming to Luke had been doubled, means the base will undergo a leading-edge transformation to secure its legacy as a superior training facility well into the 21st century.
Throughout this transformation, El Mirage stands committed to supporting Luke, knowing well that Luke’s expansion will inevitably influence the growth of El Mirage for many years to come.