First I'd like to thank the membership for their confidence in me to serve on the AZAGC board of directors. I'd also like to thank the board of directors for electing me to be your chairman once again in 2014.
2013 was a great year. The membership, committees, and strategic planning participants put the chapter on a course for increased involvement with the general public and policymakers. It was clear from your survey responses that you want the AZAGC to stay at the forefront of political and public engagement. 100% of members agreed that it is important for the AGC to be involved in political activities that affect our industry; 90.2% said that they would be willing to make contributions to support political activities that advance our industry.
You understood that in order to get stronger we must invest in making the community, and thus public policymakers, smarter about the importance of infrastructure. As a motto of this investment, we shared with you the following quote from Teddy Roosevelt:
Every [person] owes part of [their] time and money to the business or industry to which [they are] engaged. No one has a moral right to withhold [their] support from an organization that is striving to improve the conditions within [their] sphere.
With this in mind, the Ad Hoc Committee on dues and revenue made up of Robb Bottcher, formerly of Meadow Valley Construction and now with FNF Construction; Matt Gully, FNF Construction; Jeff Williamson, Sundt Construction; and Jerry Miller of Ames Construction created a roadmap to make this investment a reality.
The committee recommended a three percent increase in dues with an annual assessment to fund a concerted outreach plan the will educate Arizonans on the importance of infrastructure investment.
Following the suggestion of recently retired Howard Varner, we met with most of you to discuss the association's outreach plan. When confronted with the facts and the expected challenges our industry has, each of you understood and supported the plan to make the association stronger and more agile.
Another funding mechanism grew out of my discussions with the affiliate affairs committee. They suggested we offer sponsorships earlier in the budget cycle. This would allow them to plan and make suggestions to their marketing and accounting departments. I am happy to say that this suggestion is being implemented and I'd like to thank our inaugural Pioneer Earthmover sponsor CBIZ MHM, LLC.
What will we do with the money that we raise?
- Support pro-infrastructure candidates.
- Support legislators that support infrastructure.
- Educate the public and the legislature on the importance of quality infrastructure and what it costs to build and maintain Arizona's investment.
What is our message?
- Gas tax has been 18 cents a gallon since 1993 and its buying power is equal to 9 cents a gallon in today's dollars.
- Vehicles are getting better gas mileage.
- People are driving less.
- Our roads in in disrepair.
At the national level, the Highway Trust Fund will be insolvent in September. We need to alter this trajectory by educating the public so the next time there is an initiative they are armed with the facts so they can make the right decision.
Finally, I'd like to remind you that the chapter is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year. We are celebrating this event by honoring our Life Directors at the Annual Dinner and Awards Ceremony on April 11th at the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa. We hope to have a great turn out for this event.
Speaking of life directors, I am truly humbled to be included with the likes of Del E. Webb, Halsey Royden, MR Tanner, Harold Ashton, William Pulice and all the industry leaders that devoted their time to the AGC over the years. It is an honor to have the opportunity to serve as the Chairman of this great organization, and I look forward to a productive 2014.
Doug Declusin, Chairman
Arizona Chapter Associated General Contractors