During the Feb. 18 Board of Supervisors meeting, my fellow board members displayed an unprecedented level of vindictive intimidation toward me in retaliation to my request to increase road -repair funding.
Included in the Fiscal-Year 2013-2014 Pima County budget, was a $5 million allotment for pavement preservation, to be distributed at roughly $1 million per district. Upon initial review of the District 1 projects recommended by the Pima County Department of Transportation (DOT), it was clear the projects were skewed in favor of other districts. Other district projects included mill and two-inch fill of “poor-failed” rated-roads, while District 1 repairs was limited to minor patches on “good” roads.
I worked with the DOT and County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry to adjust District 1 projects to include “poor–failed” rated roads. This request was subsequently approved by Mr. Huckelberry on Nov. 14.
As the current fiscal year begins to wind down, I placed an item on the Feb. 18, addendum requesting the county administrator identify additional budget cuts for non-essential expenditures in the current budget year. It is the county administrator’s job to determine where to cut expenses in an effort to fund our desperately-needed road repairs. I simply offered the following recommendations based on my analysis:
• Cancel the $47 million 1997 HURF bonds remaining to be authorized.
• Reallocate any Fiscal Year 2013/14 surplus in light of the Fiscal Year 2012/13 ending balance of $44 million.
• Cut the annual allocation of $15 million to the University of Arizona Medical Center South Campus to fund Graduate Medical Education.
• Reduce the number of outside, non-medical consultants and service providers by $10 million, as we have only spent $4 million of the budgeted $26 million.
In complete retaliation to this request, my colleagues displayed a lack of decorum and consideration for the Pima County taxpayers by the orchestrated punishment through supervisor Richard Elias’ motion to move $872,000 of remaining District 1 road-repair funds into District 4 in order to repair Colossal Cave Road. This motion was seconded by Supervisor Ramon Valadez and passed with a 4-1 vote.
Voters need to remember these actions for the 2016 election when all five supervisors are up for reelection.
According to members of the audience, supervisor Ray Carroll coordinated the arrival of multiple speakers at the board meeting late in the day - just in time for this vote to urge the Board to fund repairs to Colossal Cave Road in his district. In orchestrating this, Supervisor Carroll displayed an unparalleled level of intimidation and disdain toward a fellow Republican.
These actions should outrage not only the voters in District 1, but all Pima County taxpayers. This action was taken by elected officials purely out of spite because I have been shining the light on the mismanagement of your tax dollars. Elected officials should act in a professional and ethical manner for the betterment of taxpayers - not in a retaliatory manner in an attempt to intimidate me from speaking on behalf of taxpayers in the future.
I have promised to shine the light and will continue to do so.
Thank you for your support as I continue to work to ensure Pima County establishes a dedicated revenue stream in the budget for road repairs. This was one of the issues I ran on and I promise to continue advocating for road repairs. We must stand together to ensure county tax dollars are spent on essential core services. Please contact my office at 724-2738, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or comments.
(Editor’s Note: Ally Miller is the District 1 supervisor for the Pima County Board of Supervisors.)