Hallie Overman-Jackman is on the record: “I’m going to win because people want a change, they want transparency.”
Overman-Jackman, an Independent, is challenging incumbent Tommie Cline Martin, a Republican, for the right to represent Northern Gila County on the Gila County Board of Supervisors.
Overman-Jackman launched a series of meet-and-greet session with residents in the district earlier this month.
“These were planned prior to the primary — we didn’t want to do a lot of campaigning before then. We’ve had good attendance and good feedback,” she said.
Overman-Jackman said she’s heard a lot of complaints about the county.
“People want transparency. They want to talk to their supervisor, but the response has been slow or not at all,” she said.
She said she hears a lot about the work on Pine Creek Road from residents of both Pine and Strawberry when she recently visited there. They complained of poor treatment by county staff and the contractors.
“I was surprised by the number of people willing to share personal issues. They’re upset and feeling ignored. In fact, I think that is the biggest complaint — being ignored.”
Pine and Strawberry residents also worried about the impact the closure of Fossil Creek Road has had on businesses. “All they’re hearing is that’s the way it is and there’s nothing we can do about it.”
Overman-Jackman said she feels she has already provoked change. “The county has changed the way it reviews contracts and how it advertises openings for county jobs,” she said.
Overman-Jackman has lived in District One of Gila County for 13 years. She owned Total Business Solutions, a payroll and tax preparation company, from 2000 to 2007 and still provides tax preparation services. She is owner and president of Hurlburt Development and Overman Land Company, through which she oversaw the engineering and development of subdivisions. Hurlburt Development was the developer on the Chilson Project on Main Street, which was put on hold in 2007 when the real estate market became unstable.
Overman-Jackman has worked on several local, county and state election campaigns. She was appointed to the Town of Payson Zoning Commission, she was a board member of the Arizona Planning Association (an elected position) from 2004 to 2007. She has also served on the boards of Payson Community Kids, Arizonans for Kids, Rim Country Rotary (she is a past president), co-chair of the Payson Electric Light Christmas Parade, Magic on the Mountain (holiday lighting for Green Valley Park) for three years, chair for the Heritage Festival in 2008 and 2009 and Payson’s 125th Rodeo Committee.
She said while the county staff has been very helpful in providing her with information and answering her questions, she encountered resistance in getting details about the money the supervisors award in the name of economic development.
At the Sept. 18 meeting, the supervisors gave a Miami museum $25,000 in economic development money for maintenance and improvements, and the Pleasant Valley Fire District got economic development money to buy a new piece of emergency medical equipment.
The board of supervisors also recently approved a $12,500 grant to help pay for an environmental assessment of a site for a college campus in Payson, a project with a potentially $150 million annual economic impact. Backers have raised $125,000 of the $375,000 they need to finance an environmental assessment.
“It seems so unbalanced. We have the population. Nobody really expects we should have 80 percent of the money, but we should have more than we do,” she said, in reference to figures showing that Northern Gila County residents pay 80 percent of the property taxes on which the county depends.
Overman-Jackman said that as supervisor she would have access to educated and informed people she can call on for help. It is something she thinks the county should do more of — reaching out to its citizens as partners in making changes and improvements for everyone’s benefit.
She pointed to recent help the county gave a Globe group that is applying for a grant to buy a tri-plex for homeless families.
She said, the county should have let Rim residents know they could seek a grant to help the homeless. She is sure people in Northern Gila County that could have made a similar application. For starters, she said the Time Out domestic violence shelter urgently needs help after losing $130,000 in state funding.