Justin Luna, Independent Candidate running for County Board of Supervisors, District 3, in Nov. 2020 Elections.

Residence: How Long? Rio Rico, 23 years 

Education/licenses/certifications/ military & Recent Employment: BA Psychology, minor Public Service & Leadership (University of South Florida), AA Liberal Arts w/ concentration in Psychology & AA General Studies (Pima Community College) / seven years active U.S. Army National Guard, Military Police. Certified (Secret Clearance), Engineer cross- trained (Heavy Equipment Operator) 

Community organizations/activities: Member of the VFW

Previous Public Office/Service: None

Why are you running for this seat on the Board of Supervisors?

This is home. Our home has not been well taken care of in many years. It’s time for our home to be treated with dignity, respect, and some tender loving care. The people of SCC deserve better! Residents are owed explanations for all matters that pertain to the public. My altruistic personality is what has driven me to run. I have what it takes to be an effective and efficient leader if the community will allow me to prove it to them. My upbringing, mentorship, skills, knowledge, and life experience have prepared me for this opportunity. I will do whatever it takes to ensure trust between the community and local officials is restored. Plus, I know I can do a better job than the incumbent D3 Supervisor. This is why I am running for this seat on the Board of Supervisors.

 What unique qualities would you bring to the Board of Supervisors?

A public service background, war veteran, courses in public policy, public admin, urban/rural development, I.O. psych, among others I took, as well as my attention to detail and communication skills. I make clear headed decisions, admit my mistakes, and have an innate passion for helping others. “An old soul with a modern twist” because I can get along with people of all ages and races. Making eye contact while speaking to others. As a dishwasher/busser (Tubac Stables Ranch Grille) and golf cart attendant (Rio Rico Golf Club) in my early teens, I know the meaning of a hard earned dollar. From my leadership experience as a sergeant in the military, volunteering for Operation Enduring Freedom, to living out of my vehicle when I first began at the University of South Florida. These are just a few examples of me doing whatever it takes to get things done. I will go above and beyond for District 3 and the County as a whole the proper way.

What are the two biggest challenges the County faces and how do you plan to address them? 

Lack of leadership and lack of growth. Why? We are a County divided and misguided. I plan to address the lack of leadership by utilizing my Army Values: Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage. Working Mon-Fri, showing my face in the community and being there for them year round; not just during an election year. Other challenges could have been appropriately handled with good leadership. From being proactive for COVID-19, to collecting about $6.5M unpaid taxes from Vatere LLC. Schools, well taken care of, public infrastructure/landscape in better shape, pedestrian sidewalks added, and lights in dark areas added. The interchange at Ruby Road wouldn’t be a headache, roads would be repaired correctly and more paved. Closing JP2 to save $200K may have been prevented. All three Supervisors voted to donate $150k and loan $100k for cold storage facilities. Very odd, since the current D3 Supervisor was chair (2012-2015) and now treasurer of the GNSCCPA. More people would be informed on all details pertaining to voting. 

As for growth, our County is behind compared to Green Valley, Sahuarita, Sierra Vista, and Nogales Sonora. Many SCC residents spend their money outside the County. My plan is to bring festivities, businesses, and public areas for all to enjoy. This will keep money here. I’m not advocating skyscrapers and four hour traffic jams. We need growth while preserving our impeccable land. Candidates always want to bring “more jobs.” Not only will I bring more jobs, but careers and passion. A job is a paycheck. A career is stability. But passion? That is happiness beyond measure. My guarantee is to offer all I can for District 3 and the County alike. So much so, that I am even willing to donate a percentage of my salary for the greater good of the community.

What do you think the County’s biggest environmental challenges are, and how do you think the County should address them?  A non-existent recycling program, no plan to conserve our water, no plan to reuse wastewater (at least for irrigation purposes), littering, and old mining areas needing to be thoroughly reevaluated to protect our precious water from toxic chemicals. We need to act fast by being proactive; not reactive. If elected, I have ideas on how and where to collect more rain water. A program for reusing wastewater, in order to conserve drinking water, will be on my agenda. As for the littering, a non-profit organization I have drawn up will help clean up our home through volunteers. SCC will save money and people will unite. Reevaluating the old mines may be accomplished through studies. One idea is to utilize university research students. A win-win in that the County will save money while college professors take advantage of educating students in their field of study.

What would you do to improve the County’s internet infrastructure?

If approved, my goal is to create a survey and get the thoughts from our community while working alongside key personnel in this matter. Do SCC residents want an improved internet infrastructure? At what cost? With more telework these days, information available at our fingertips, shopping via the internet, and online classes going on there is no doubt the internet infrastructure has to improve. Remember dial-up internet? Those who know, know how frustrating it was when internet download/upload speeds were slower than molasses. With such advanced technology these days, we will have to catch up.

In the past two years there have been calls from residents in the Eastern part of the county to secede and join Cochise county. What would you do as Supervisor to address concerns in the Eastern part of the district?

I don’t blame them, not one bit. I can only imagine how they must feel with the lack of representation for many years. I will assure them that I will do as much I can for them so that they feel proud to be part of Santa Cruz County. Repurposing JP2 is a top priority on my agenda. A suggestion of mine is a historic museum with history from Canelo, Elgin, Harshaw, Sonoita, and Patagonia. But the actual repurposing will come down to an Eastern side community vote. I will do everything in my power, within legal reasons, to correct the long lasting relationship damage done to Eastern part residents and the District 3 community as a whole. An open door policy is a must in rebuilding the relationship from D3 Supervisor to citizen. I’ll actually talk face to face with residents and keep them informed. The past cannot be changed but I can try my very best to change the future. Communication is key as a public servant. If humbly elected, I work and serve you! You are my employer! A true, genuine, caring new leader, with backbone, is what District 3 deserves.

Donna Federici, Independent Candidate
Bruce Bracker, Democractic Candidate and Incumbent