As this is my first article with Prescott E News, I feel I must say a little about myself. I am Lucy Mason, married to Rex who is a hospital architect with HFR, a large architectural firm in Tennessee, who now have Rex heading their Arizona office located in Phoenix. We have three grown children and three small grandbabies. I am a former small business owner; and I've also established and chaired a 501c3 locally for Gang Prevention, served on the Prescott City Council as the water liaison assigned by two mayors for all regional and state water issues, and served as board Chairman for the Yavapai Combined Trust health insurance for over 3000 employees in Yavapai County.
Currently, I am serving Legislative District 1 in the Arizona House of Representatives as Chairman over the Water, Agriculture and (Energy) Committee. My focus has been on state water, energy related issues, education, forest management, law enforcement, and of course, lastly, but certainly not least, immigration issues, to only name a few.
While there is certainly no shortage of things to talk about, I will share my thoughts, goals, and ideas on current issues that the legislature grapples with on daily basis. I will give you updates on our state’s issues, bills, debates, and how you can help. We are partners you and I, and I look forward to hearing your concerns, questions, and what you want to hear about the most. There is always confusion about difficult or contentious subjects, so I will do my best to unravel rumor and false impressions.
The issues on my desk at this date are water and energy related. Drought concerns have me reading reports, scheduling meetings and working to make sure water policy meets state needs, and water supplies hold up against our significant growth. There are a number of good ideas on the table, but remember, what looks good to us on the surface may severely affect someone else. This is why I continue to speak with concerned citizen advocacy groups, and to bring opposing points of view together around the table to work in a tone of respect toward mutual solutions. With fear and rumor continually surfacing around water issues, we must continually educate ourselves from reliable expert sources to check, balance, and research to verify and/or correct inaccuracies.
The 2007 Legislative Session brought great news as Governor Janet Napolitano signed three water bills that I sponsored and shepherded through the legislative process, into law. The first breakthrough bill was one that allows county supervisors to turn down new development if there is not a 100-year Adequacy Determination by the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR). The Second bill, establishes a Rural Water Infrastructure fund for new development with an ADWR 100 year water supply approval to collaborate with a municipality outside of an Active Management Area (AMA). This was an important step to help fund large infrastructure projects for small cities and towns with equally small budgets. The third bill involved wells and water quality. If the Director of the ADEQ has determined a well is polluted or contaminated, no one can drill a well within one half mile from that well. Of course, the reason is that water flows, shifts, moves underground, just as it does above ground.
Let me end by describing District 1 as (by far) the most beautiful district in the state. Why wouldn’t it be with 8000 square miles that covers the Prescott, Prescott Valley, Chino Valley area, follows north to encompass the Verde Valley communities of Clarkdale, Cottonwood, Camp Verde, Sedona, Oak Creek , Williams, Munds Park and many others all the way to Grand Canyon! We are truly blessed to live in such glorious natural beauty. Nevertheless, we must also understand the responsibility we each bear to care for this natural beauty, and resources.
Next time we will talk about the energy issues, policies, and new exciting technologies to reduce our electricity bills.
Editor's Note: Here at Prescott eNews, we are thrilled to have Lucy Mason as a columnist. As the elected Representative for the Prescott area and beyond, Mason's knowledge and expertise will offer insight and information to our readers not easily found anywhere else. You are encouraged to leave comments and ask questions. We look forward to a vigorous discussion!