Maricopa County Supervisors appoint Thomas Galvin, land use attorney, to open spot on board
Armed with a decade of experience helping taxpayers, homeowners and developers in Maricopa County in high-profile public and private sector jobs, Maricopa County's newest supervisor Thomas Galvin says he is ready to get to work.
The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Wednesday to appoint Galvin, a land use attorney for Rose Law Group who was previously a policy advisor for an Arizona Corporation Commissioner, to the District 2 spot vacated last month by Steve Chucri. He was sworn in later in the afternoon.
Among a field of 22 applicants for the vacancy, Galvin stood out for his sheer knowledge of what the supervisors do and the issues they will face, from development to water, according to Board Chairman Jack Sellers.
Galvin joins the board at a time of intense scrutiny in the fallout of the Arizona Senate's review of the county's 2020 presidential election results. Galvin made one thing clear at a news conference after his appointment: He believes the county's election was fair, and he knows President Joe Biden won in the county, state and country.
"I understand some people are never going to be satisfied with what they hear about the election," he said as he stood in front of other supervisors. "But I know the facts, and I trust the men who are standing behind me."
Chucri resigned after secret recordings were released of him talking about his suspicions of voter fraud and slamming his colleagues after the November 2020 election. He has since apologized for his comments and said he doesn't believe fraud changed the outcome of the election.
The supervisors were tasked to appoint another Republican who lives in the district, which covers the eastern side of the county including parts of Mesa and Scottsdale. Galvin lives in east Phoenix.
He will serve until after the November 2022 election, when voters will elect someone to the spot. He said he plans to run in the election, and "plans to win."
Whoever wins the election will serve out the end of Chucri's term, until January 2025.
Who is new supervisor Thomas Galvin?
Galvin, 46, has lived in Maricopa County for 14 years. He is married and has a young son.
In 2016, Galvin ran for a seat on the board of the Central Arizona Water Conservation District, and lost.
Since 2015, he has worked at the Scottsdale-based Rose Law Group on business transactions, land use issues, litigation and renewable energy.
For local land use issues, which can often be controversial, Galvin has represented both developers and homeowners. He has represented clients before state and local governments, and various administrative agencies and boards.
He works on issues for individual homeowners, such as helping them secure permits for building additions and also represents the firm in high-profile cases that come before city councils.
In 2018, Galvin, acting for Rose Law Group, successfully represented the owner of a shopping complex to block a car wash from moving into the complex. More than a hundred residents living nearby signed a petition opposing the car wash.
"The proposed car wash that plans to display a giant duck does not evoke Tempe's vision for 'a city that is visually attractive,'" Galvin wrote in a letter to the city at the time.
Galvin plans to keep his job at the law firm, which he admits will take some juggling as he works full-time, serves on the board and campaigns.
He said he assumes some conflicts will come up, but he will "be mindful," of them.
Prior to joining the law firm, from 2011 to 2015, Galvin was a policy advisor to Arizona Corporation Commissioner Brenda Burns. He advised Burns on pending electric, natural gas, telecommunications, water and wastewater rate cases.
Burns told The Arizona Republic that Galvin was able to balance the needs of utilities and residents. She said he is knowledgeable about many of the issues that come before the supervisors, and he can be trusted to keep his word.
"I have nothing but wonderful things to say about him," Burns said. "He is a good man in every way."
Chucri told The Republic he wishes Galvin the best in the role.
"He is going to a wonderful place," Chucri said. "Maricopa County is the best place in the country. I think he will do a great job."
Chucri said one issue Galvin will face immediately in his district is a water issue in Rio Verde Foothills, north of Scottsdale. Homeowners there are attempting to secure a long-term water supply.
Chucri said he was able to help make progress on the issue, but there's still much to do.
Galvin tells other supervisors he will "earn and keep" their trust
Galvin was selected from a field of 22 applicants after the supervisors interviewed seven finalists.
Among what the supervisors said they were looking for was someone who they could trust, after Sellers said Chucri had broken the trust of some. The supervisors faced nearly a year of intense scrutiny and harassment after saying the election was fair and taking a stand against the Senate's review. They said they needed to find someone who could take the heat.
Supervisor Bill Gates said that Galvin is ready to take on tough issues.
"He is ready to do what's right," he said. "He is not going to tell people what they want to hear. He is going to tell people what they need to hear. That's the type of public servant we need right now."
In his application to the supervisors, Galvin wrote that he pledged to treat the supervisors and county staff with respect, "to consider each decision collaboratively and with an open mind, and to earn and keep your trust."
"Public service has never seemed more challenging," he wrote. "And it has never been more important."
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