Former Nurse, School Board Member, Legislator
FLORENCE—Sitting in her new office inside the renovated 1891 Pinal County Courthouse, San Tan Valley’s District 2 Supervisor Cheryl Chase says she is more than ready to hit the ground running.
“Pinal County has so much untapped potential,” Supervisor Chase said. “I think it is incumbent that we as a Board of Supervisors find out how to best move this county forward to bring jobs so our residents can work and live in the same location.”
As a lifelong resident of Arizona and long-time resident of Pinal County, the new District 2 Supervisor has served her fellow residents in a variety of roles throughout her professional career.
While living and raising a family in Kearny, Chase began her career as an industrial nurse for the Ray open pit mine and the Kearny copper smelter.
“I did that for 20 years,” the Supervisor recalls. “It was almost like being a school nurse for big kids. The injuries you saw were either simple or very serious.”
During that time, her good friend Ettie Croslin approached Chase about running for a position on the Kearny School Board.
“Ettie was leaving the school board and asked me to run for the open seat,” Chase said. “I hesitated at first. I really didn’t want to run for office. But then I relented and found out I loved the position.”
During her second term on the school board, Chase was approached by a friend asking her to take a chance at an open seat for the state legislature.
“I was surprised that they asked me to run for the legislature,’ she said. “I said: ‘I am a mother, grandmother, nurse and a school board member, I really don’t think I could run for the legislature.’” The friend convinced Chase that she was the type of person the district was looking for to represent them. Supervisor Chase ended up serving three terms as a state legislator from 2000 to 2006.
“I looked forward to going to the legislature every day,” Chase said. “I’d look at the capitol dome everyday and say to myself ‘I am really here.’”
As a legislator, Chase worked on hundreds, if not thousands of issues. But one that stands out was being able to acquire $3 million for a law enforcement and fire facility at Central Arizona College.
“That is one of my most favorite accomplishments,” she said. “When you are serving in public office you never know how one law will affect everyone, but this bill had a very positive impact on our first responders and the people they serve.”
Following her three terms in the legislature, Chase had the chance to work as a Community Relations Administrator for Sheriff Paul Babeu. It was a job that took her to every corner of Pinal County working with veterans, women’s organizations and domestic violence advocacy groups.
Then the political question was asked once again.
In the spring of 2012, then-candidate for Sheriff Steve Henry approached Chase about a possible run for Supervisor on the new five-member board.
“I was very happy working in the Sheriff’s Office,” Chase said. “I can say I had a possible future political run in the back of my mind, but it wasn’t a top goal. I am very pleased that the voters believed in me to elect me as their supervisor.”
Chase says she is looking ahead to the myriad of matters that will come before the board in the upcoming months. The challenges, the new supervisor said, will be “interesting and somewhat daunting.”
“There are of course a lot of concerns related to growth and public safety,” the District 2 Supervisor said. “I have no doubt I will be a strong voice for all first responders. I understand the issues they face on a day-to-day basis.”
One of the subjects that is key to her district is the expansion of Hunt Highway.
“I am concerned about that road,” Chase replied. “I see it as a major safety issue for everyone in the area. This is a priority for me. It seems that every time we have a significant rain, the road becomes flooded. I would like to address that very soon.”
Other areas Chase would like to look into are Animal Care and Control along with Air Quality.
“I’ve been doing a lot of fact finding in those areas,” Chase said. “We have a lot of good employees who care about their jobs and want to serve the public. I want to make sure we give them the resources so they can better handle topics from animal adoptions to dust control.”
Realizing she is on the first five-member Board of Supervisors for Pinal County has not fazed her for a minute. Chase says she is willing and able to tackle the issues that lie ahead.
“I love serving,” the District 2 Supervisor said. “I love being the voice of the people in my district.”