In late August, our Vail/Corona de Tucson community witnessed and experienced a most significant meeting.  Bear in mind, this meeting had been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, yet was re-scheduled and held while the virus is still wreaking havoc in our lives and on the economy. This meeting exemplified our region’s resiliency and resolve, and its continuity has become a model for community involvement, communication, and participation.

The meeting was our quarterly meeting of the Southeast Regional Council. Further, this meeting was different and unique, more than any other held previously since SERC was originally formed in 2017. This SERC meeting was conducted via Zoom. The challenges for a SERC Zoom meeting to be successful and effective were daunting. Yet, it was probably the most informative and wide-ranging SERC meeting to date.

We estimate that more than 1,000 community members joined the meeting.  Under the skilled, watchful eye and direction of our meeting coordinator, Rob Nemitz, all attendees, speakers, participants, and programs were expertly delivered and displayed. Lucretia Free, the SERC chair did her usual phenomenal job of lining up the speakers and presenters, providing a free-flowing management of the Zoom meeting, and allowing a clean exchange for questions and answers for all who attended.

And did we have a robust agenda!  We heard timely updates from an assortment of jurisdictional officials and corporate managers, speaking on a variety of topics and issues. One particular addition to our participant roster was most gratifying to me. City of Tucson Ward Four Council Member Nikki Lee gave a thorough and detailed presentation covering many subjects. Her presence and contributions to the SERC meeting demonstrated that her involvement in SERC represents a true and capable example of collaboration between Pima County and the City of Tucson. Additionally, we heard excellent reports from Pima County Sheriff’s Dept. Lt. Sean Payne, Vail School District Superintendent John Carruth, Rocking K developer Priscilla Storm of Diamond Ventures, Omar Mireles of HSL Properties, Brad Anderson of the Greater Vail Chamber of Commerce, Fiona DeYoung from the Rincon Valley Fire District, Ed Buster, member of the Pima County Library Advisory Board, Pima County Transportation Dept. Director Ana Olivares, and Jerimiah Moerke from the Arizona Department of Transportation.

There was plenty of time for viewers and attendees to ask thoughtful questions, of which there were many, and for our community to receive answers and responses from those who are shaping, leading, and influencing our Vail/Corona de Tucson area and Southeastern Region.

If you have additional thoughts or questions that weren’t addressed during the Zoom meeting, please contact Lucretia Free, our District 4 Southeast Region representative, at 520-609-6233.

In SERC, there is no better format and pathway to what an area and neighbors can do together to seek common ground, disseminate information, plan for our future, and watch our region grow, thrive, and prosper – and it can be accomplished in our own backyard following our own agenda.

SERC is your voice; it is our collective voice to speak together in a managed, unified, and cohesive manner.  And that single voice is being heard. If you have attended a SERC meeting, you know what I mean. If you haven’t, I encourage you to join us for the next quarterly meeting.

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Steve Christy