Casa Grande City Council
The City of Casa Grande has a Council-Manager governmental structure. It is governed by a Mayor, six Council Members, and a City Manager. The Council meets the first and third Monday of each month at 7 p.m. in the City Council Chambers located at 510 E. Florence Blvd.
Meet the Mayor and Council
Mayor Craig McFarland
Born and raised in California, Mayor Craig McFarland has lived in Casa Grande since 2005. He is a graduate of the Cal State University Fresno and retired from Golden Eagle Distributors in January 2015 as VP of Sales after a ten-year tenure with the company, and 36 total years in beverage business sales management and operations.
Mayor McFarland began his first term as Mayor in December 2016, and his priorities include providing leadership, encouraging people, and promoting progress, in addition to increasing quality of life, encouraging new business, and supporting Casa Grande’s infrastructure and economic development.
McFarland has two children, Kelly and Scott, and five grandchildren, Dillan, Keira, Connor, Leila, and Brady. He has been married to his wife, Nancy for 39 years.
Mayor Pro Tempore Ralph Varela
Serving as the Mayor Pro Tempore since December 2016, Mr. Ralph Varela was originally appointed to fill a vacant seat on the City Council on April 3, 2012. He previously served on the Casa Grande City Council from 2003 to 2010. Varela previously served as Mayor Pro Tempore from June 2006 – June 2007.
Mr. Varela holds a BA in Sociology from the University of Texas at El Paso and a Master’s in Social Work from Arizona State University. Mr. Varela has been Chief Executive Officer for the Pinal Hispanic Council for twenty-two years. He is a National Consultant in the areas of non-profit fiscal management, cultural competency, and community mobilization. Mr. Varela has been a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Federal Grant Reviewer for the past eleven years.
Mr. Varela currently serves on the Pinal County Merit Commission. He is the Chairman of the Cesar E. Chavez Memorial Committee of Pinal County. He is the Finance Chair for Corazon de Latino Unidos. Mr. Varela is the Vice-Chairman on the Board of Directors for Sun Life Family Health Center and a Member of the Sunrise Optimist Club. Mr. Varela served on the Arizona State Liquor Board as appointed by Governor Hull from 1998 to May 2003. He served on the Casa Grande Police Advisory Board and Heritage Commission. He served on the St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School Board and the Tradition of Faith Facilities Committee. He was a basketball and soccer coach and served on the Pinal County Juvenile Court Community Advisory Board.
He is married and has two daughters. Mr. Varela believes in community inclusion and representing all constituents.
Council Member Mary Kortsen
Almost a native of Casa Grande, Mary Kortsen is serving her second term on the City Council. She served as Mayor Pro Tempore from June 2009 to June 2015. Born in Nebraska, Kortsen was raised in Casa Grande and has lived in the City for more than 50 years. She attended Central Arizona College and the University of Arizona.Kortsen was practically born and raised in public service. Her father, Dr. William Ford, served on the City Council from March 1965 to April 1969 and her father-in-law, James Kortsen Jr., served 12 years as a Pinal County Supervisor. One of Mary’s first jobs was working for the City as a lifeguard and concession stand attendant during her teenage years. Kortsen served on the Stanfield Elementary School Board from 1978 -1986, Casa Grande Regional Medical Center Board of Directors from 1984 -1997, and as Chairman of the Desert Valley Care Center from 1993 to 1997.
Today, Kortsen is self-employed as an independent paralegal and certified legal document preparer. She has two daughters, Jennifer and Amy, a son, Jimmy, and seven grandchildren.
Council Member Dick Powell
Mr. Dick Powell is currently serving his fifth term in office, which extends through June 2018. He has been a member of the City Council since June 1997 and has served as Mayor Pro Tempore for four years, most recently from June 2012 to June 2013. He is a member of the Republican Party.
Mr. Powell graduated from Casa Grande Union High School and holds a double degree in Marketing and Management from Northern Arizona University. He operates a 50-year-old Casa Grande retail business, is married and has four children…
Mr. Powell’s civic involvement includes membership in the Casa Grande Chamber of Commerce, Life member of the West Pinal Sheriff Posse (past President), 4-H Club member for 10 years – serving as a local and county leader, Town Hall Delegate to Casa Grande, Pinal County and Arizona Town Halls, Founding Member of the Greater Casa Grande Economic Development Foundation (past executive committee member), First Presbyterian Church member and elder, and member of the Casa Grande General Plan Update Committee. Additionally, Mr. Powell formerly served on the Casa Grande Union High School Governing Board for eight years during which he served as President for four years.
Council Member Matt Herman
An Arizona native who has called Casa Grande home his entire life, Matt Herman was appointed to fill a vacated seat on the City Council in 2008. He is a third generation business owner in Casa Grande and cannot think of a better place to live. He was elected to serve his first full term through 2013 and served as Mayor Pro Tempore from June 2011 – June 2012.
Matt graduated from Casa Grande Union High School in 1994 and went on to earn a Bachelor of Science Degree from Arizona State University in small business management in 1998. While at ASU he was a member of Delta Sigma Phi fraternity. He is a graduate of Project CENTRL Class XVI and the Casa Grande Leadership Academy. Matt currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Casa Grande Valley and is past president. He is a member of the Casa Grande Rotary Club and is the Rotary Foundation Chair.
Herman is employed in the family business and owns half of another small business in Casa Grande. He is married to Erica who is also a Casa Grande Native and a teacher at Villago and Cactus Middle Schools. They have two daughters, Alexis and Jordan. Both Matt and Erica love raising their family in the city they grew up in and are excited about its future.
Council Member Donna McBride
Elected to her first term in office in November 2016, Donna McBride is a believer that you get out of your community what you put into it. After retiring in 2003 from Students Against Destructive Decisions after 20 years of service, Donna returned to Pinal County where she has worked for Pinal County Juvenile Court for over 13 years as the Program Administrator II and Public Information Officer.
Donna is a board member of the Casa Grande Alliance Against Drugs where she has been a coalition member for 12 years. Previously, she served as Chairperson and board member of the city’s Parks and Recreation Board as well as the Police Advisory Board. Donna was also the Youth Advisor for 10 years for the Casa Grande Youth Commission where she played an active role in opening the Casa Grande Teen Center. Donna serves as the Vice Chair of the Pinal County Town Hall Board and is active with the Mayor’s Reading Program. She is a past Board member and current volunteer for the BlackBox Foundation which provides community art and theater education.
Donna’s notable recognition awards include the 2010 Casa Grande Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Community Service Leader of the Year and a 2012 finalist for the Arizona Hon Kachina Award. In 2015 she was appointed by Governor Doug Ducey to his Commission on Volunteerism and Service Learning.
Donna and her husband Mike have 2 sons and 3 grandchildren. She is an active kayaker and in her spare time is a freelance writer and photographer.
Boards and Commissions
The City of Casa Grande has 20 boards and commissions that assist the City with information gathering and provide feedback on issues of interest to the community. Several boards are also granted decision-making authority by the City Council.
City Council Meeting Documents
The City of Casa Grande City Clerk’s office publishes all agendas, minutes, and statements of legal action for the City Council according to the laws established by the State.
If you need to access archived documents for City Council meetings prior to January 2011, please contact the City Clerk’s Office at 520-421-8600.
Candidates seeking election for municipal office will file nomination petitions with the City Clerk’s Office. The nonpartisan candidate petition is provided here. It is your responsibility to verify the correct form utilized in the jurisdiction in which you are seeking nomination. Additional relevant forms for campaign committees can be found on the City Elections page. All other questions about running for local office should be directed towards the City Clerk’s Office at (520) 421-8600.
In order to serve on a City of Casa Grande Board or Commission, the following requirements must be met.
- Must reside in Casa Grande for at least one year
- Must be a registered voter
- Submit an application for review and appointment by the City Council
If you would like to request a waiver for a requirement, a waiver request form must be submitted.
The Mayor and Councilmembers shall be qualified electors of the city and shall hold no other public office for which they receive compensation except that of a notary public or member of the National Guard or naval or military reserve. Candidates must have resided in the city for three years next preceding the date of such election or appointment. If the Mayor or a Councilmember shall cease to possess any of these qualifications or shall be convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude, that office shall immediately become vacant.
City employees are not eligible to stand for election or serve as Mayor or as members of the City Council.
Candidates for Mayor must be 25 years of age or older, and candidates for Councilmember must be 21 years of age or older.
The Mayor is pleased to issue Proclamations from the City of Casa Grande to recognize special occasions or outstanding achievements in the lives of Casa Grande residents. Proclamation requests can be directed to the City Clerks’ Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (520) 421-8600. In order to ensure adequate processing time, requests are asked to be made as early in advance of the event as possible. The City Clerk’s Office has the right to modify or deny any proclamation request.
The phone numbers and email addresses for the Mayor and Councilmembers can be found by clicking here.
Members of the public have the opportunity to address the Mayor and City Council during the “Public Comment” section of every City Council meeting. The calendar of City Council meetings can be found by clicking here. Additionally, members of the public are able to address the Mayor and City Council during designated “Public Hearings”, which can be found by clicking here.