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An Opportunity to Say 'Thanks!'

17 February 2011  

Representative Lucy Mason writes to her constituents, to her colleagues and to her friends.

Legislative District 1 encompasses 8,000 square miles of glorious landscape from the Grand Canyon, to Sedona’s spectacular red cliffs, and the majesty of the San Francisco Peaks just outside Flagstaff and Williams. Within a relatively short distance, there is the lush green beauty of the Verde River and Beaver Creek, and Arizona’s early territorial and state history reflected in the Sharlot Hall Museum and architectural styles around Prescott's Yavapai County Court House.

After traveling several hundred thousand District 1 miles over the last twelve years, I leave legislative office with a grateful heart. It has truly been an honor to serve the people of District 1, who in my opinion live in the most beautiful, dramatic and diverse country in Arizona. Understanding this diversity means grasping the vast variety of issues arising in eighteen cities and towns, eleven school districts, and many charter schools, churches, and Native American tribes.

Within each of these entities, too numerous to mention, are scores of friends and hundreds of supporters to whom I offer my sincere “thanks.” Among them are special dear friends whom I must remember by name, who have passed away. I will always be grateful to Senator Boyd Tenney, Judge Robert “Bob” Kuebler, Fran Greer, and Opal Allen for their friendship, support and mentoring. Their examples of selfless community leadership through my early years of office will always remain fresh in my memory.

I offer a special thank you to Prescott Area Leadership (PAL), an organization that for twenty years has provided a “servant leadership” training ground. In facing tough issues, PAL teaches the importance of bringing representatives from opposing sides together to work in a tone of respect. Often called “stakeholder “meetings, the process works as positive solutions are achieved.

As Chairman of the Water, Energy and Agriculture Committees and Vice Chair of Natural Resources as well as Appropriations, and serving as a member of many other House committees, I organized and facilitated stakeholder meetings to create collaborative, productive solutions. These meetings usually focused on challenging and often contentious water, energy, and economic development issues that can easily collide with natural resource sustainability and environmental concerns. These stakeholder processes produced legislation of which I am most proud.

In other instances, I led a continuous effort to enact vital 21st-century K-12 education reforms to reduce cumbersome burdens due to ever-increasing and expensive regulation, and created legislation to protect disabled and elderly vulnerable adults from financial abuse. I have authored budget-reduction bills, income and property tax-reduction bills, as well as bills too numerous to list on water policy and energy that invite new technology and research driven development. I have supported and worked with countless citizens, House and Senate colleagues, agency directors, and the Governor’s executive staff on legislative budgets, on health care, prisons and judiciary reform, universities and community colleges, and more.

Legislative action is serious. It is more than high-minded ideological arguments. Since it will affect every family and every individual, whether child or elderly, athlete or disabled, regardless of political party affiliation, race, position, job or income, it is about building results on sincere and selfless debate focused on those we serve.

For our system of governance, I am grateful. For my colleagues, whom I respect regardless of political or ideological differences, I am grateful for their willingness to serve. For the knowledge I have received during twelve years of public service as a City Councilman and Legislator, I am grateful. For the interactions, the debate, the friendships and experiences received, I am grateful. As a believer in true “servant leadership,” I will always be grateful for the opportunity the people of District 1 have given me to serve.

Representative Lucy Mason served on
Prescott City Council, as a Councilman, and in
the House of Representatives (LD1)

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