Pima County bond proposal renews war between ‘Sugar Ray’ Carroll and ‘Teabagger Queen’ Ally Miller

The Pima County Citizens Bond Advisory Committee has submitted a list of 96 projects to the Pima County Board of Supervisors. The projected cost is  $653 million. Read the 53 page BAC bond proposal Here (.pdf).

The Board of Supervisors is scheduled to consider a Resolution Ordering and Calling a Special Bond Election for Pima County on November 3, 2015 (.pdf) at its April 21 board meeting. The board may decline to ask voters for the money, it may make changes to the specifics in the proposal before sending it to the ballot, or it may ask voters to approve it without changes.

By adopting the resolution, the board would be ordering the election and approving the following seven ballot propositions:

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District 4 Republican Supervisor Ray Carroll wants $100 million for roads in the bond package. Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry wants $160 million in road bonds, and District 2 Democratic “Supervisor Ramón Valadez told Huckelberry to add as much as $200 million in road projects to an anticipated bond election ballot to address the many miles of roads that have fallen into disrepair over the years.”

In addition to the $160 million for road repair, County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry also recommended several other changes to the Citizens Bond Advisory Committee recommendations, listed below:

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If you want your say on these bonds, you have until the April 21 board meeting.

This bond proposal has renewed an ongoing war between District 4 Republican Supervisor “Sugar Ray” Carroll, and District 1 “Teabagger Queen” Ally Miller, which has been playing out in the editorial pages of the Green Valley News, in Carroll’s backyard.

Teabagger Queen Ally Miller is the one supervisor opposed to the bond election, and on Sunday she wrote an EDITORIAL: Vote no on bonds, demand responsibility defending the Arizona Tea-Publican legislature sweeping stealing revenue sharing funds and HURF funds for Pima County roads, and blaming her fellow supervisors and County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry for the causative effect  one would expect:

Years of poor management of funds that should have been used for road repairs and maintenance have put us in this most dire situation. Now, the county administrator is asking for $160 million for road repairs in the bond package. This is nothing short of insanity. The lifespan of a road repair is maybe two to three years at best. HURF (Highway User Revenue Fund) money should be directed exclusively for its intended purpose, ROAD REPAIRS.

In fact, Pima County already has a half-cent sales tax for ROADS in addition to the HURF revenues. Spending is not properly prioritized and monies are spent on discretionary projects subject to the whim of the board and those with the best connections to county administration. We fundamentally need to direct our revenues to the core services of the county — Public Safety, health and roads.

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The State of Arizona is cutting spending to make up for a huge deficit. One can agree or not with what they have cut, but one can’t disagree that it had to be done.

The same situation applies in Pima County, even more so. Our administrator continues to blame the state for most all our problems. Enormous discretionary spending has brought us to this point.

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The state is making hard choices and we must make even harder choices here in Pima County. I campaigned on fiscal responsibility and will remain firm and resolute through this process. Call or write your supervisor and urge them to make the right choices. That means saying NO to a bond election and passing a fiscally responsible budget.

This was all too much for “Sugar Ray” Carroll, who responded today with an EDITORIAL: Miller misleads on roads, bond of his own:

District 1 Supervisor Ally Miller should stick to misleading the voters and taxpayers of her own district rather than venturing down here to District 4 where the good people of Green Valley and Sahuarita are too sharp to buy her load of malarkey (“Vote no on bonds, demand responsibility,” April 12, Green Valley News).

Supervisor Miller also might want to reconsider comparing the residents of Sahuarita and Green Valley to zoo animals begging for food as she did in her column.

Next week, the Board of Supervisors will consider whether to recommend seven bond questions to voters that include funds for projects in Green Valley and Sahuarita. The Bond Advisory Committee is made up of 25 members appointed by the board and by each of the municipalities in the county plus the Tohono O’odham and Pascua Yaqui.

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And Supervisor Miller compares these participants in American democracy to hungry zoo animals?

In her column Sunday, Supervisor Miller continued her misleading distortions about county finances and road funding to serve her personal agenda.

She said road repairs only last three to five years. That’s not true. Most of the county roads in need of repair are lightly used neighborhood roads and the repairs will last for at least 10 years, if not longer.

She said the county has a half-cent sales tax for roads. That’s false. The county levies no sales tax. The Regional Transportation Authority, a separate quasi-governmental entity created by voters, has a restricted sales tax for road expansions and transit improvements and it can’t be used for Pima County road repair.

She claims state shared Highway User Revenue Funds are intended for road repairs only. That’s not true, either. They’re intended to support a public highway system.

Supervisor Miller has been clamoring for road repair funding since she got on the board and now that $160 million in road repair funding is up for consideration, she’s against it? I guess I don’t understand her real agenda. I’d rather fix the roads than just complain about them.

I’m OK with letting voters decide on these bond projects. I’m not OK with laying off Sheriff’s deputies, shutting down effective County Attorney and Superior Court diversion programs that save the county money, or closing parks and swimming pools, which is what will happen if Supervisor Miller tries to fund road repairs from a general fund budget.

Talk about reckless.

The Tucson Weekly has done more than any local news organization to document how Teabagger Queen Ally Miller is a tinfoil-hat conspiracy theorist who can’t get along with her fellow supervisors and staff. See for example, Ally’s Follies, Ally Miller’s Personnel Problems, and We Call B.S. And then there was this, Pima County Supervisor Ally Miller Moved Transportation Projects to Her Own Neighborhood, and Pima County Supervisor Ally Miller Has Odd Transportation Priorities.

But my personal fave of all time is Ally Miller’s 911 Call Makes Fark.Com:

[T]he Arizona Daily Star has reported, Miller called 911 because she said our reporting put her in fear for her life—and she asked the 911 operator if he could see about having the Weekly’s story taken down from our website. You can listen to the call yourself here. It was bizarre enough that Fark.com picked it up and more than 100 readers weighed in on it.

A.MillerIn related news, Miller herself set out to investigate the Oasis Road situation with the help of the Arizona Daily Independent, which published a curious screed that included the detail that Miller tumbled into the street while looking at potholes. A photo of Miller sprawled in the street was removed from the ADI website, but we’ve got it here.

Perhaps the most amusing part of ADI’s coverage of our coverage is the claim that Pima County was retaliating against Miller supporters who live along Oasis Road by not paving the section directly in front of their homes—when in fact the section of road that remains unpaved is actually in Marana. We’d say that was an important detail that ADI glossed over.

BTW, Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry was so concerned about Miller’s fall that he wrote a letter to Marana Town Manager Gilbert Davidson.

“The attached Arizona Daily Independent article discusses Supervisor Ally Miller falling in a pothole in Oasis Road and includes a photograph of the incident,” Huckelberry wrote. “Since the Arizona Daily Independent is an online publication with limited exposure, I thought I should bring this matter to your attention so you could consider making the appropriate repairs, as well as provide this information to your Risk Manager, given the article’s implications regarding liability.”

The perfect photo to capture this Pima County road bonds fight between “Sugar Ray” Carroll and “Teabagger Queen” Ally Miller.

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