Shirley Dawson believes her history of service makes her a prime candidate to be one of the next Gila County supervisors.
Dawson, a Democrat running in District 3, has held multiple public positions, including four years on the Globe school board and serving as co-chair of Globe's water committee.
Service is also an important part of Dawson's private life. She and her husband dedicated two years as coordinators for aid to Bolivia and Peru for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The couple spent that time assessing problems in each country and discussing possible solutions with government leaders.
Dawson hopes to bring that same spirit of service and discussion to Gila County.
"I'm not looking for a job," she said. "I'm looking for an opportunity to make our county a better county."
Dawson said she would like to increase the role of advisory councils in the government, allowing community members to discuss and solve a variety of issues.
"I've had people talk to me about such simple things as painting a stripe down the center of the road," she said.
Dawson also would like to focus on Gila County's budget and economy. Owning several small businesses over the years, including her latest endeavor, Flyaway Travel, has taught her to manage a budget, she said.
"I know how to make payrolls and manage funds so we can be successful," Dawson said.
Finding ways to attract a variety of people to Gila County will help improve the economy, Dawson said. The county should especially develop its tourism industry and retirement communities, she said.
Gila County also needs to provide better educational opportunities for current and prospective residents, she added.
"The community college needs to be expanded.
"We need to attract more students by improving the curriculum we're offering," Dawson said.