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Guest column: By working together, Tusayan can thrive

Every new manager wants to make a difference in the community that they serve.

In this community one of the most important differences has been a willingness to hold back; to not be the center of attention when occasion would have otherwise permitted. Before I took this position, the council asked me what my number one priority would be if I was offered the job. I told them it would be to work towards a greater sense of community within the borders of Tusayan.

Developing a sense of community does not begin with grand schemes and grandstanding.

It starts by turning inward and caring for the people who are closest to home. That is why when people come to visit us at townhall I often describe my role as more akin to a stay at home mom than an up and coming politician.

Our goal is to develop programs and opportunities here in Tusayan that assist our local residents and the council members as they go about their day to day work, so that our community can be as welcoming and inviting as possible for those who visit and do business with us.

The first way that we are attempting to do this is through a new series of contracted positions or RFQs that are being released to the community over the course of this fall and winter.

The town (council and management) is working to develop contracting opportunities with an eye towards our local businesses and residents. Some of these are slightly unusual opportunities, but these are unusual times. We know that these offerings won’t make up for the slow season that is soon approaching but our hope is that it will help to ease the burden as the holiday season approaches for our local families and businesses.

Second, some of you have noticed that our purse strings have tightened a bit with regards to contributions to third party organizations. As a government, it is our legal obligation and duty to our residents to ensure the appropriate use of taxpayer funds, and, that we make the most of every dollar that we spend. Prior to my appointment, the town had an audit where certain warning flags were raised. The council has been working to be responsive.

All of us at the town are committed to our duties and take them very seriously as we want to build trust with you through more transparent operations. That is why as we re-evaluate our agreements, we will be strengthening them to ensure that each is clearly stated and formalized in writing and that each achieves the best direct value for residents. This is how we commit to clear and transparent operations and ensure that whatever funds are expended will directly benefit you in one form or another.

Currently we are reexamining our relationships with Tusayan Fire District, our Chamber of Commerce, and others. Each of these organizations has taken a different approach to negotiations but each is working with us to provide services to the Tusayan community in this time of need.

As my first 90 days as Town Manager come to an end, I find myself ever happy to be here. There remains much good work to do and my gray hair continues to become grayer as we chip away at that work.

We hope that you will join us where you can and stay tuned to our developments. Please look to our website for new open contract positions and consider them, we hope that through them you can find ways to plug in and directly assist with community services that we are attempting to refine and provide to the community.

Working together, Tusayan can become more than just a great tourist destination…It can be an even better home for all of us.

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