General FAQs FAQ
- Where is The San Tan Area?
One of the most commonly asked questions to the San Tan Area Chamber of Commerce and its residents.
GSTAC has proposed the following boundaries for The Greater San Tan Area:
To the West: Power Road to Empire and then along Meridian (the current Maricopa and Pinal County divides)
To the North: Germann Road
To the East: Cumberland Road
To the South: Arizona Farms Road
To view a map of the proposed boundaries, please click here .
- What District do I live in?
The proposed boundaries for The Greater San Tan Area are currently broken into nine (9) districts. For a list of the districts, including the housing developments that are included, please click here
- How do I get involved with GSTAC?
Any resident of the Greater San Tan Area that wishes to be heard and to participate in determining the future of the area is welcome to become involved with GSTAC. Simply click here
to contact the GSTAC CORE and someone will get in touch with you shortly.
- What is the level of recognition for GSTAC at this time?
The answer really has two parts. The first part is recognition by the surrounding municipalities and Pinal County and the second is by the people within the Greater San Tan Area.
Surrounding Municipalities and Pinal County - We began last year to approach the surrounding municipalities and discuss with the Mayor and Town Planning individuals the possibility of forming an entity that would help unite the various neighborhoods in the unincorporated portion of Pinal County called the San Tan area. We were actually trying to determine what the reaction of the municipalities would be to the formation of a united voice. Because we did not have any specifics at that time we were talking only in concept, not in fact, however we were encouraged by the response and in some cases offers of assistance. At the same time we approached Sandie Smith as the Pinal County Supervisor for this area and began to talk conceptually with her. She was a great help in understanding what Pinal County could and could not do in relation to a group like this. It was only a short time ago that we settled on the name Greater San Tan Area Coalition (GSTAC) so no one really would be familiar with that name. Our intention now is to present GSTAC to the residents, municipalities, organized groups and specific individuals in the area to obtain official recognition by those entities and most especially convey the intention to create an area sub-plan.
Local area residents - We purposely kept the activities of the CORE group out of the public eye for the last year while the CORE Committee sorted through the various ways of building a process whereby all residents would have a united voice for the greater San Tan Area. We are now bringing the information public and moving into the phase where the public can make choices about the value of GSTAC. Recognition will only come from the residents as they get involved with the process and test whether what we say is true, honest and in their best interest. There is a misconception that the CORE Team is trying to be the “voice” of the community. It has been our intention and it will remain so to provide a process whereby every resident can be heard and the collective voice represented as speaking for the community. The (CORE) committee does not speak for the community.
- What type of background do you need for your committees?
Currently there is only one Committee called the Extended Visioning Team and it is part of the next organizing level within GSTAC that will help continue building the process, work within the districts and communicate with the residents within those individual districts. We are looking for individuals who can put their personal agendas aside and be willing to help unite the multitude of neighborhoods into a community that can have a unified voice. Individuals chosen as the District Representatives of the Extended Team need to be willing to be responsible to communicate to all residents within their District and fairly and objectively determine the needs and feelings of that district. Once the organization of the Extended Visioning Team is complete, they along with the interested residents within the “Districts” will identify, create and determine the guidelines for the Committees (Task Forces) that they identify are needed to tackle the various issues facing the community. So the short answer to your question is “background” is not the issue, real concern to develop a unified voice for the community and be a part of helping to create the future for the area is most important.
- At what point does GSTAC become a legal entity in which it can legislate what does or doesn’t happen in our area?
The Greater San Tan Area Coalition (GSTAC) is not and will not become a legislative entity. We are intending to pursue a non-profit status as the “legal entity” for tax purposes. Legislation remains the purview of government. The power to influence that comes from GSTAC is in its recognition that it represents the 46,000 plus residents in this area in commenting, challenging or advocating as a unified voice on matters that impact the quality of life and the future growth and development of the Greater San Tan Area. That is why GSTAC does not preclude any effort by others to incorporate, be annexed by surrounding municipalities or any other approach to governing the area. It is our intention to see that GSTAC survives regardless of who is “governing” the area. We are non-profit, nonpartisan, and not aligned with a person, political party or special interest group. If it is the will of the residents of the Greater San Tan Area to advocate for a particular position on an issue, then GSTAC represents that position. Those who do not support the “will of the majority” can still be heard as individuals but not represent that their point of view is the “voice” of GSTAC.
- How can you say that GSTAC represents the will of the people and not just the eleven people on the CORE team?
This is really the heart of the matter isn’t it. As a CORE team we have spent the past year wrestling with just this point. How do we gain public trust that what GSTAC is, really represents the will of the people and not decisions of and by the organizing group (CORE). The whole idea in creating the Extended Visioning Team and the Task Forces was designed to bring individual issues to the residents in an organized fashion, educate the residents using experts around the issue and then collect their feelings/decisions around that issue on a district by district basis. Once the issue was brought to the districts, the feelings of the residents within those districts would be collected and unified into a Greater San Tan Area position. The position would become the “voice” of GSTAC on that position and would be represented to the County, municipalities, developers, groups or any other interested party as the will of the people. The CORE members and District Representatives and anyone else who is speaking (testifying) on behalf of GSTAC represents that position on the issue (even if they personally disagree with it). It is critical in this open process that all residents can participate, stay in communication with each other within the districts, know what the other districts are saying about a particular issue and what the collective decision on the issue is. We intend to use the website and communication networks established within the districts (by the districts) to ensure that this remains a fully representative process. For those people who think that it can not be done or that we will somehow manipulate the system, I ask them to become involved in the process and help to make it work. There always seem to be a lot of people who are willing to stand on the sidelines and criticize, if you have a better way, let’s hear it. People moan about the situation in the San Tan area, why not be part of the solution. This solution has not been tried on this large of scale; come and help us make it work.
- Why did you create the structure with the CORE team, extended team, the districts and all that? Why not just ask people what they want?
When the CORE Team first began to meet early in 2007, we recognized that there were no consistent, organized communication networks within the Greater San Tan Area. In other words there was no organized way to speak with the individual residents on a broad scale about specific issues except through the newspaper, television or organized entities/groups. And while the newspapers are fine, they write stories that will sell newspapers not necessarily what represents a community perspective and it doesn’t provide a way to get consistent, representative feedback from the residents. We don’t have a TV station and there aren’t enough local groups to adequately cover the Area. So how do you get to and get from the local residents their individual and collective perspective on an issue? That was our challenge. Our solution was to take the whole Greater San Tan Area and break it up into balanced geographical districts based upon population, common interests and areas under development. We arrived at nine districts that are subject to change based upon public input and population changes over time.
We then wrestled with how to consistently get information to and from the residents within the district? Our solution was to create the Extended Visioning Team which is made up of two individuals from each district who will become organizers, facilitators, motivators and communicators within the individual districts. We added the Visioning Task Forces as a way the “District Facilitators/Leaders” could create district forums to bring interested residents of the district together to be educated upon an issue, debate the merits and limitations of the issue and arrive at a consensus view. That view will be the only view that the District Facilitator/Leader represents because it is the will of the people within that District. If the same issue is brought to all nine districts and they process the issue the same way, then the result is a collective view based upon the input from all residents which would be the will of the people of the Greater San Tan Area on that issue. The CORE Team and the Extended Team are then bound to represent that collective view to the whole population of the Greater San Tan Area through public forums, Pinal County, municipalities, organized interests such as SRP or ADOT and a host of others. If we are requested to testify before the County on a specific issue, the collective decision is what is represented not a personal view.
- So who are these Extended Visioning Team members and how did they get chosen?
Again the CORE team wrestled with the issue of finding individuals who would be accepted by their district as leaders and would fairly and accurately represent the issues to and from the districts.
Since we didn’t have an organization and no way to communicate with the residents, the CORE team had to take a first pass at finding and selecting people willing to step up as potential Extended Visioning Team members. We looked to the Chamber of Commerce, the leaders of the various organizations like Block Watches and others we personally knew. Through public and private communications we identified individuals who have shown interest in helping the community growth and develop. We purposely excluded individuals who had a single issue focus, political motivation, had only a history of complaining about what didn’t get accomplished within the area, were more interested in their own point-of-view and did not show interest in the larger issues affecting the community. Yes, there is a risk in doing it this way but there are two safeguards; one is that if the Extended Visioning Team members do not do their job, the residents will ignore or replace them, and two, the CORE team will be advising and monitoring the activities of the Extended Visioning Team and it can replace an Extended Visioning Team member not doing his/her job. Future replacements of the Extended Visioning Team members are expected to be through an elective process within the districts but created by the districts. We also expect members of the CORE committee to be replaced through an elective process once the organizing process is up and running. We expect to identify a total of 18 District representatives (two per district) and have them assist the CORE Committee in moving the GSTAC process forward.
Questions answered by GSTAC CORE