Locals now have a direct line to the Tucson office of Sen. Jeff Flake, thanks to monthly office hours being held at Nogales City Hall.

Bob Brubaker, a Nogales native and 2007 graduate of Nogales High School, is now a regional representative for Sen. Flake’s office and held office hours on Tuesday afternoon to give residents of Santa Cruz County the opportunity to share their thoughts with the senator.

“We welcome any constituent who has any type of concern or comment we can pass along,” Brubaker said.

Flake, a Republican from Snowflake, was sworn in to the Senate at the start of 2013 after Arizona voters chose him to replace retiring Sen. Jon Kyl, also a Republican.

Tuesday was the second of what Brubaker plans on being monthly office hours in Nogales, he said.

So far, most of the local people who have spoken with him during the two office hour sessions have brought up problems they are having with a federal agency, such as Veterans Affairs, the Food and Drug Administration, and Social Security, Brubaker said.

After hearing from residents, those problems are taken to the federal agency involved for clarification, he said.

While there are those who come to the office hours to air a grievance, “some people just want to make a comment,” he said.

So far, about half a dozen people showed up at the March office hours, he said, but only one person showed up for Tuesday’s session.

“I think it’s great, especially since he’s from Nogales,” said Nogales resident Jerry Smith, a member of Bread for the World, a faith-based lobbying organization dedicated to ending global hunger, after meeting with Brubaker.

Smith said he spoke with Brubaker about the “key role” that Sen. Flake plays as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “I talked with him about how critical it is to provide aid to developing countries, “ he said.

In addition, Smith discussed “our local poverty issues in Santa Cruz County,” he said, noting the county’s high rates of unemployment and poverty.