Name, title & city/town:
Bryce Hamblin, Mayor
Town of Eagar
Year elected to office: 2012
Years served as Mayor: Newly elected as of June 2012
Hometown: Eagar, Arizona
Population: 4,885 (2010 census)
Elevation: 7,090 ft.
Area within Limits: 15 sq. mi.
Why did you decide to serve in local government?
Eagar is my home town. As an attorney and father of a growing family with deep roots in the area, I have a vested interest in
both wanting to preserve Eagar's heritage and comfortable small town feel while also helping it grow and prosper. In deciding
to run for mayor, my hope was that by employing my familiarity with our community's people and heritage along with my business
background, I could contribute toward both of these goals.
What are the biggest challenges facing your town today?
Like many municipalities across the country, Eagar has seen a significant decrease in revenues. Eagar is almost exclusively
reliant on local sales tax and state shared revenues, both of which were already taking a nose dive when the Wallow Fire hit
in 2011. Although the fire only affected a relatively small portion of the surrounding forest, many summer visitors stayed
away. Making sure that we live within our means has been our first challenge, and will undoubtedly continue to be our
highest priority for many years to come. In addition, however, our council also recognizes that we cannot simply stop
providing essential public services. Our roads, facilities, and utilities all need to be properly maintained, and in some
instances, replaced. This has meant re-prioritizing the limited funds that still remain while working to develop our economic
base and bring in more revenues without raising taxes. No small task.
What opportunities do you see for your community?
Eagar is an incredibly beautiful place. We're nestled in a quiet valley at the base of the White Mountains. We have access to
amazing, un crowded trails for hiking, mountain biking and equestrian use. We're only a short drive from the best ski mountain
in Arizona and we have exceptional forest access for hunting and serene mountain lakes for fishing. As more people discover
what we have to offer the opportunities for growth in our retail sector will be enormous. Our ample natural resources and
trained labor force also present significant opportunities within the energy, manufacturing and forest product sectors. Finally,
with our low cost of living, affordable home prices and local access to high quality health care, we are a natural for people
who would like retire to a cooler mountain climate. Needless to say, I see a lot of great things in our future.
What are you most proud of during your time in office?
I am very proud of what we have already accomplished in the few short months that I have been in office. We adopted a very
conservative budget in June, and we are watching our performance against that budget very carefully. We have identified three
primary strategic goals for the next four years - developing and expanding our economic base, addressing our deteriorating
infrastructure and maintaining a structurally-balance budget - and we are working on developing action plans and results-based
performance measure to make sure we achieve them. We are making Eagar more business friendly by streamlining our zoning code,
improving customer service, and kicking off a new economic development and "look local first" program.
(Take a look - it's at www.eagaraz.org.) While we still have a lot of work to
do, we have a solid and talented team on our Town Council. I am confident that working together we can make it happen.
Why is the League important to cities and towns in Arizona?
Although we are geographically isolated, we realize that Eagar cannot survive alone. We need to work with our other municipal
partners to insure that our needs, concerns, and interests are clearly expressed to state leadership. The League of Arizona
Cities and Towns provides this service. Additionally, the League also provides the access we need to training, information
and advice that otherwise would not be available to a small town with limited resources.
League of Arizona Cities and Towns
1820 W. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85007