Just under a month ago, Pima County Supervisor Ally Miller, Dist. 1, was sworn into office after a hard-fought election with a lot of promises of change and accountability.
Miller, a Republican, has been elected to District 1, a seat held by Ann Day for the past 12 years.
Over the last four weeks, Miller said it’s been an eye-opening experience to start working side by side with fellow supervisors, some of which she was critical of in the election, and to get used to the learning curve that comes with a job managing a county with more than 6,000 employees.
Miller has spent much of the month getting her staff in place, getting her office set up and meeting constituents, attending meetings and getting used to the duties that go with the job.
While early, Miller said she is happy with how helpful Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry has been, and that it appears the Pima County Board Supervisors are going to move forward as a strong team.
“The biggest surprise so far is the strong team atmosphere and how welcoming everybody has been,” Miller said. “Despite the early portrayals of our differences, we are working well together. We have our disagreements, but we will work them out as a team.”
However, in one of the first votes of the New Year, Miller along with Supervisor Ray Carroll voted against a $35,000 salary increase for Huckelberry. In the 3-2 vote, Huckelberry is now making $265,000 annually.
“I ran on wanting change and accountability, I voted against this because I made a promise to voters,” she said. “And the regular county employees have not seen a pay increase in about five years.”
While Miller voted against Huckelberry’s pay increase, she wasn’t necessarily opposed to him receiving the increase. The rookie supervisor said he is managing a large county, and doing a good job.
Miller said she is not a fan of implementing salary caps, noting that if employees such as Huckelberry are doing a good job, then they should be paid for it.
However, even though she was complimentary to the long-time administrator, she also stressed there is a lot of work to be done in Pima County.
“The roads and pot holes in this county are a huge issue,” she said. “Sixty-one percent of the roads are in poor to fair conditions. It comes down to priorities. Roads are something I will continue to advocate for.”
Miller said she has spent the last month getting up to speed with the district needs, but she has not forgotten constituents. She has been taking calls, with many District 1 residents expressing major concerns with the roads.
“We have to look at a lot of the unresolved issues in District 1,” said Miller. “In the Foothills we are looking to fast-track some of the issues that have been problems for a long time.”
As she continues to get educated with the demands of the office, Miller said she will continue to focus on reviewing the county’s economic stability and in improving longstanding issues in the county.
District 1 includes the distinctive urban areas north of Tucson and many cohesive rural neighborhoods where the western way of life remains alive and well.
The district encompasses the area north of the Rillito River, east of Interstate 10, to one mile east of Sabino Canyon Road, and south of the Pima-Pinal county line.
It includes the Town of Oro Valley and the eastern portion of Marana, and unincorporated communities such as the Catalina Foothills, Tortolita, Casa Adobes, and Catalina.
Anyone with questions for Miller can email her office at District1@pima.gov, or call 724-2738.