Avondale officials changing the road map
The Arizona Republic
Feb. 8, 2006 12:00 AM
Interstate 10 widening, quality of life and the
growing need for social services are not just Avondale concerns, but also the
And since the Avondale City Council has appointed a new mayor, a new vice mayor
and added three council members to its ranks in two months, the question is how
this new body will work on regional issues.
For the most part, it'll rely on its more experienced members who have beefier
Rolodexes to represent Avondale.
Ken Weise, the newest council member, plans to
follow the example of his peers when it comes to helping the city as a regional
"With Cardinals Stadium and the Loop 303, it will force the cities to work
together," Weise said. "I look at (Councilwoman) Betty Lynch's résumé
when it comes to regional issues and think it's incumbent on council members to
look at issues outside of the city."
Lynch has made it a point to involve herself in organizations and councils that
dig into West Valley issues, including the West Valley Human Services Alliance.
She is co-chair of the group, which looks at improving services from education
to health care in the West Valley.
Mayor Marie Lopez Rogers also has a long list of commitments to regional and
"Whatever is going on in a city near us will impact us to a certain
extent," Lopez Rogers said. "We need to make sure that we have our
Councilman Jason Earp said Lopez Rogers' experience and the contacts she has
made from her regional committees were among the main reasons he supported her
bid for mayor. She replaced Ron Drake, who resigned to run for the U.S. House.
One of the council's newest members has key involvement with one of the West
Valley's leading concerns: the South Mountain Freeway Alignment.
Councilman Jim Buster is a member of the Citizens Advisory Team for the South
Mountain Freeway Corridor study.
Where Loop 202 connects with Interstate 10 in the West Valley could hurt or
boost economic development in Avondale, and his knowledge could benefit the