Chamber meeting presents Ft. Huachuca Deputy ProctorBy Francisco Barrios
Community leaders and people in general learned the impact of Ft. Huachuca’s operations in the area and the highlights of the 99th Arizona Town Hall in a combined two-in-one event presented by the Greater Douglas Chamber of Commerce and the Arizona Town Hall on February 16 at the Douglas Golf Course Country Club.
At first, James Proctor, Deputy of the Commanding General of Fort Huachuca presented the Ft. Huachuca’s Vision for the Future, involving Douglas and Cochise County.
Proctor focused his message on the future of the Fort and the new challenges to create a link to Douglas and Cochise County through agreements with Cochise College and the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education program to ensure quality education especially at High School and College levels.
Later, the Arizona Town Hall meeting introduced the highlights of the 99th Arizona Town Hall held November 6-9, 2011.
Tara Jackson, President of the Arizona Town Hall said that the mission of the Town Hall is to inform, engage and empower Arizonans to solve the most critical issues of the moment.
She also said that the topic discussed at the Town Hall meeting is energy and its impact on education, the economy, and the general quality of life.
“The result was a consensus of recommended actions to capitalize on Arizona’s unique assets and build a brighter future for generations to come,” Jackson said.
Other presenters included Jack Blair, Chief Member Services Officer for the Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative and Paul Newman, Commissioner of the Arizona Corporation Commission.
Blair said that in order to secure Arizona’s energy future, electricity specifically needs to be safe, reliable, but mostly affordable. He assured one of the biggest challenges is to find alternatives to educate state’s population to change some ways of using electricity.
“We have had an energy efficiency program and we have been trying to save people’s electricity for a long time,” Blair said. “The one thing that we need people to work with is educating people about electric usage.”
Newman, by his part said that the Town Hall is truly amazing because of the fact that involves the opinion of hundreds of community leaders, school leaders, business companies and interested citizens to create ways to maintain quality of life in the state.
“This is the third or fourth Town Hall and is by far the most interesting to me, because is looking for specific ways to secure Arizona’s future economy,” Newman said. “We were able to discuss where we are and where are we going through renewable energy and efficiency programs.”
After listening to the presenters several community members responded to the question presented by Town Hall host Douglas City Manager, Curtis Shook, what are the most important recommendations Douglas can make?
People agreed in the necessity of invest more in alternative energy sources, especially Solar; they also agreed in supporting the creation of incentives for increasing the use of solar panels and encourage the development of solar farms.
Finally, they all agreed that education is critical to the success of all these goals and it should include the topics of new technologies and changes and changes in building’s structures that would dramatically reduce energy usage.
The 100th Arizona Town Hall will take place from April 22-25 in Tucson and the topic to be discussed is Civic Engagement.