Newly elected Board of Supervisors’ Chairman Bill Gates wants Maricopa County to “set the bar for how governments serve” by being “transparent and timely in what we deliver” and fighting “distrust and disinformation.”
At the annual “Passing of the Gavel” ceremony, Gates outlined his vision for how the nation’s fastest-growing county will defend democracy, grow the economy, and combat the continuing pandemic.
“Our focus should be helping people get things done — with low taxes, fewer regulations, and less red tape — so we create an environment where families and businesses can thrive,” Gates said.
“That’s why we’re going to cut property taxes in 2022 for the second year in a row. We can do that responsibly, so people have more money in their pockets without a negative impact on the service they get from us.”
As the country battles back from the effects of COVID-19, Gates said, “our potential to help those who truly need it will be greater than ever” thanks to additional federal recovery dollars that will assist individuals, families, businesses, and nonprofits. Gates reminded residents they could find a list of assistance programs at maricopa.gov/rescue.
This year 2022 is important because it’s an election cycle. He said county leaders will continue to combat misinformation while striving to make improvements to an already strong election system.
“In 2022, I am asking our team to run the most transparent elections this county has ever seen with proactive communications to reach diverse populations,” Gates said.
“And while our elections system is secure and not connected to the internet, we know that threats evolve so we will be adding technology to keep potential bad actors out, like cages around equipment to block all electromagnetic signals.”
His first major act as chairman will be presiding over a hearing addressing false claims by Arizona Senate contractors about the integrity of the November 2020 election, claims that led to the storming of the U.S. Capitol one year ago.
“The attempt to undermine democratic elections puts at risk everything else we take for granted in a free country — speech, security, economic progress. And that’s why the county has not been silent — and will not be silent — in the face of lies,” Gates said.
“We’ve seen what happens when people are falsely told that an election has been rigged or stolen. They storm a Capitol building. They threaten to hang or shoot election workers. They call fellow Americans traitors. The American family cannot stand for it. I will not stand for it.”
Gates has served on the Board of Supervisors, representing District 3, since 2017. Before that, he represented District 3 on the Phoenix City Council. He was elected chairman unanimously by his colleagues and takes over for Jack Sellers.
District 3 covers Anthem, Desert Hills, New River, Paradise Valley and Phoenix.