Three candidates are running on Nov. 3 for Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors, District3. In our last issue, Bruce Bracker and Donna Federici responded to questions posed by the PRT by email. This month we are sharing Justin Luna’s answers. Some responses have been edited for space and clarity.
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. My altruistic personality is what has driven me to run. I have what it takes to be an effective and efficient leader. 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. As a dishwasher/busser and golf cart attendant 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.
What are the two biggest challenges the County faces and how do you plan to address them?
Lack of leadership and lack of growth. 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. 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. We need growth while preserving our impeccable land. 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.
What would you do to improve the County’s internet infrastructure?
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.
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 as 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. I will do everything in my power 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. If elected, I work and serve you! You are my employer! A true, genuine, caring new leader, with backbone, is what District 3 deserves.
Name: Justin A. Luna
Residence: How Long? Rio Rico, 23 years
Education/licenses/certifications/military: 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)
Recent Employment: Tampa Elite Sports Academy
Community organizations/activities: Member of the VFW
Previous Public Office/Service: None