Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
I unfortunately read the Clueless GOP-spin reporting about the Pima County Board of Supervisors meeting in our sad small-town newspaper, the Arizona Daily Star Supervisors stage political theater in budget session.
Thank God there is still a real political reporter in Tucson, Bud Foster at KOLD 13. State lawmaker calls Tucson a "corpse" (now this is how it is done):
There is little doubt that Pima County has been frustrated by state lawmakers.
The county has charged the state with being too intrusive into local politics and upset that the state has been balancing its budget on the county's back.
Until today, the county could only make those charges in memos or select interviews with the media, never face to face and in public..
But the May 17th county meeting to approve a tentative budget provided a rare opportunity.
Two state lawmakers came to the meeting to oppose the county's proposed 11 cent property tax increase.
They walked into a hornets nest, giving the county a chance to vent.
State lawmaker Vic Williams, a Republican from District 26, was the first to open the debate.
"We have adjusted to tough times in the state of Arizona and we would wish you would do the same," Williams encouraged the board. "That you would look at other than raising taxes, reducing spending and providing fiscal responsibility that we've done in the state."
To be told that the state was fiscally responsible and the county not, was more than some could bear.
"The president of the board of supervisors association did make this statement - the state balanced its budget on the back of the counties," Supervisor Sharon Bronson told Williams.
To that, Williams took great exception.
"That is an inflammatory statement," he said. "That is not true."
But Bronson pressed the issue.
"A third of our budget is sent back to the state," she says. "So if they're taking it to balance their budget, then I don't know how to phrase that."
Another Democrat, Richard Elias from District 5, couldn't let it go either.
"The action you took this year... really gave us the impression that you used us down here in Pima County as a whipping post," he said. "And that hurt."
Even a Republican supervisor, and a former lawmaker, Ann Day got in the act.
"There's a mind set with Maricopa County Republicans that we're different down here. That we're liberal and we drink different water," she told Williams, and District 30 representative Ted Vogt. "They look at us with disdain. It's hard not to get caught up in that."
Some in Pima County feel that's what happened to the Southern Arizona delegation.
But Williams takes issue with that.
"To protect the economic vitality and economic interest in this region is the plan and what we feel we're doing at the state legislature," he said.
And he also took the city of Tucson to task for what he called the "miserable failures of Rio Nuevo."
"We have to work with the city of Tucson and the downtown area because we see it becoming more decayed, less prosperous and we don't want to be shackled to a corpse in our success," he says.
Elias said "I can't believe he called Tucson a corpse."
And Elias expressed some hope for the future asking the delegation treat "people in Pima County more fairly in your next session because you failed in that respect this year."
And another exchange between Williams and Bronson.
Williams said "we have to work together in balancing our budget."
But Bronson shot back, "I didn't see much working together."
"Well that's your perspective. I respectfully disagree with your opinion," Williams said.
That's when another former state lawmaker, now board chair, Ramon Valadez picked up the ball.
"When I was in the state legislature and I had an issue with someone in Southern Arizona, I picked up the phone and called," he said. "You didn't do that."
But Williams reminded them the phone works both ways and "you can call me anytime."
In the end, the county passed it's tentative budget of $1.3 billion which includes an 11 cent property tax hike.
Williams calls it a hike but Bronson says homeowners will actually pay less.
With a drop in home valuations, the bump in rates won't raise anyone's bill she says.
Williams says with a record number of foreclosures now is not the time to raise rates.
It sounds like Vic Willams wants to compete with Cap'n Al Mevin and "Don't make me angry" Frank Antenori for the Ideological Extremist of The Year award. Maybe we can agree to call it a tie.
Speaking of "Don't make me angry" Frank Antenori, his attempt to confiscate Pima County Wastewater Management's northwest treatment facility and hand it over to the town of Marana at a substantial discount, after the Superior Court ruled the town could not do so, caused the Pima County Board of Supervisors to authorize a lawsuit to challenge Antenori's confiscatory bill, SB 1171. Pima will sue over control of water plant:
Republican state Sen. Frank Antenori, who sponsored the bill, said the county's arguments are "lame," since the residents of Marana have paid sewer connection fees and rates all along. "They'll be paying off the remainder of the bond. It's not like they stole it."
Um Frank, all county residents paid fees and rates for this facility. Your bill does not require the town of Marana to pay a pro rata share based upon the actual cost/value of the facility. There is a constitutional principle in eminent domain takings cases called "just compensation," i.e., the "fair market value" -- the current value of land and improvements, based on what price the property would bring if the owner did not have to sell and the buyer did not have to buy.
Antenori's confiscatory bill, SB 1171, does in fact "steal" the facility for the town of Marana at a substantial discount.
Antenori said it's not about money anyway. "Huckelberry wants to maintain control. It comes down to someone in the county wanting to control who gets the water, because they can use that as a tool to control growth in Pima County. They're going to deny it, but that's the reality."
A bit of psychological projection here, Frank? It is the Tea-Publican tools from Pima County working on behalf of the Evil Empire, our colonial overlords to the north in the state of Maricopa, who are "wanting to control who gets the water" -- look in the mirror, Frank! -- and to micromanage Pima County and the City of Tucson from the legislature in Phoenix.
The goal of these Tea-Publican tools from Pima County is nothing less than to subjugate Pima County and the City of Tucson. They want to disenfranchise the voters of Pima County and the City of Tucson from having any autonomy in choosing their elected leaders in democratic elections, and to deny them the right of self-determination in setting public policy for themselves. They want to bring us under the thumb of our colonial overlords to the north in the state of Maricopa.
As I recall, these are some of the reasons why the American colonists fought a revolution against the tyranny of King George III. We have come full circle and are now confronted by a Tea-Publican tyranny from the Evil Empire, our colonial overlords to the north in the state of Maricopa.
¡Viva la Revolución! ¡Viva Baja Arizona!