Collins says gov't needs to be more citizen-oriented

By J. Ferguson

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Republican candidate Sharon Collins said one of the primary reasons she decided to run for mayor was that citizens were not being represented by government.

"I saw that big business was being represented, I saw that developers were being represented, but no one was representing the people of Tucson," Collins said.

Collins, 50, cited Tucson's water initiative Proposition 200 as an example of citizens being ignored by city government. She said 40,000 people signed up to support Proposition 200.

"The public is not stupid," Collins said.

Proposition 200 calls for banning direct delivery of CAP water into homes and businesses for five years unless CAP water could meet or exceed current ground water standards.

Collins said Tucson was the only city which uses a disinfectant, chloramine, when treating CAP water. She said the chloramine is ineffective in disinfecting the CAP water and that it will kill fish and plants.

"When you study it (Proposition 200), the recharge is the safest and cleanest way," Collins said. "It will work. It makes sense to me."

Collins scored a major political coup when she was endorsed by the Neighborhood Coalition of Greater Tucson, a group which has, in the past, traditionally endorsed Democrats.

Collins said her views on annexation had a lot to do with it.

"The people have a right to choose where they want to live and how they want to live," Collins said. "The city is spending millions of dollars fighting the people. Mayor Miller said we were not bringing them in fighting and screaming, but we are."

Collins said she would prefer investing her time in quality government, rather than in building a bigger one. She said it was a waste of time to fight with residents who have no desire to become a part of Tucson.

"They (people living outside the city's limits) don't have clean water and they don't have safe streets and if they don't like the way the government is run, then there is no incentive to come into the city," Collins said.

Collins said she supports Proposition 100, which will give a raise to the city council and the mayor. Council members are paid $12,000 a year and the mayor is paid $24,000 a year. With Proposition 100, council members would receive $18,000 and the mayor salary would increase to $36,000 a year.

"I think its a fair wage," Collins said.

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