COCHISE COUNTY, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Can the voice of rural communities be heard along the corridors of power in Washington, D.C.?
Cochise County Treasurer Cathy Traywick believes it can, and she plans to shout loud and clear as the new president of the Arizona Association of Counties (AACo).
"It's a great honor," she said of her position, which takes effect in January. "I will be going to D.C. and meeting with our state representatives to talk about the impact that the decisions made in Washington can have in rural areas.
"Being in this role allows me to have a bigger impact by talking directly with the decision makers who don't always realize how legislation can bring challenges for places like Cochise County."
Founded in 1968, AACo is the only state organization representing all county officials and the governments they serve in Arizona.
One of its primary roles is to represent county government at the state and federal levels to advocate for legislation that benefits both counties and local taxpayers.
"We work hard to make sure that what's in these laws is clear and concise because a lot of legislators don't always understand how our individual offices work," Traywick explained. "What works for one area, probably won't work for all areas. It's an educative process."
As the County's Treasurer – she was first elected five years ago but has been with the County for 25 years – Traywick is passionate about representing the interests of local taxpayers.
"I believe everyone should pay their fair share of taxes, but no more," she said. "Our role at AACo is to provide those checks and balances and to ensure legislation is not being passed solely for special interest groups.
"After joining AACo I realized there was a lot of good things I could do, and as president I will continue fighting on behalf of rural Arizona."