BARNEY: Maricopa County’s largest investments are paying off

Denny Barney represents District 1 on the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. (Courtesy of Maricopa County)

Maricopa County is the fastest-growing county in the nation. To keep up with growth, your county government has spent $1.4 billion since 2000 on capital projects.

These include newly-constructed buildings, major upgrades to existing buildings and other investments in infrastructure or technology. Beyond the price tag of each project is a story of how that investment has helped us better serve the public.

With the launch of our website “Building A Stronger Maricopa County,” you can see how wisely spent tax dollars translate into progress we can measure.

We don’t just build for the sake of building. This board is focused on making targeted investments, within our financial means, that allow for growth and position us to better serve the public 10, 20 years down the line.

If you visit the site, you’ll learn how an electronic health records system paved the way for Maricopa County to, among other things, better handle the opioid crisis; how energy upgrades have changed the way our jails operate and have led to millions of dollars in savings; how regional justice centers have taken courts out of strip malls and former parking garages, in some cases, and into larger, more modern, more customer-friendly environments.

You’ll see how we are making our parks system more comfortable and attractive to visitors, and how we are building roads that connect people to the things that are important to them.

The goal of the “Building a Stronger Maricopa County” project is to give you a sense of what happens after a building goes up or a new technology is implemented. What return-on-investment are you getting? When we build a courthouse, is it advancing our desire to provide equal access to justice for all?

When we go all-in on a new piece of technology, is it making us more efficient?

Maricopa County’s mission is to provide exceptional customer service at a good value to taxpayers. That’s what you would expect of any good business.

That’s the standard to which we hold ourselves. And that’s what we hope you’ll discover as you read these stories.

Editors note: Read more about the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors.

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