At last Tuesday’s meeting of the Pima County Board of Supervisors, resident Mia Tittle filed a complaint against supervisors Ramon Valadez and Sharon Bronson, for “flagrantly biased, secretive procedures in making reactionary political decisions about transportation resource distribution.”
The supervisors have 15 days to respond to her complaint.
“Supervisor Valadez and Bronson you seem like nice people,” began Tittle’s address to the Board. Tittle then went on to explain that “it was clear that you had agreements between the two of you that you reconsidered plans for District 4 but not District 1,” said Tittle referring to the road repair plans rejected by a majority of the Board in December.
At the December 19th meeting, the supervisors approved a motion by Supervisor Steve Christy to reconsider a vote cast at the December 12 meeting in support of a small pavement preservation project for a handful of the County’s crumbling roads.
Christy sought the new vote in order to replace the County staff’s recommended plan for his district to one his office devised.
Despite the fact that District 1 Supervisor Ally Miller’s volunteer representatives in the project planning process offered recommended changes to County staff’s plan, Christy only offered a motion in support of his changes.
At the time, according to Miller, Christy had admitted to coordinating with other supervisors in plotting the reconsideration vote. Coordinating votes is illegal. Christy denied the coordination.
In her address, Tittle asked the supervisors where the meeting to coordinate took place “because I know it didn’t happen up here in an open meeting forum.
Bronson kept her face shielded as Tittle spoke. “That’s not the main issue though,” stated Tittle. “The main issue is that – as stated by Supervisor Valadez – he didn’t have a problem with the plan for District 1, he had a problem with our supervisor and you voted on that bias. Supervisor Bronson was right behind you. That is unacceptable.”
Tittle concluded her comments by calling out the media. She said they would not cover the scandal because they said “‘it was inside baseball.’”
Earlier this year, Arizona Daily Independent columnist and community activist, Albert Lannon, filed a complaint with the County alleging:
“Since at least 2013 the County Administrator has been actively pursuing, advertising, and promoting an Avra Valley route for a proposed Interstate 11 in blatant violation of BOS Policy, as expressed in Resolution 2007-343 (copy attached). He has used copious County resources and personnel in his continuing deliberate reinterpretation of BOS Policy, including the publication of maps (attached). He has spoken for the County in the current Arizona Department of Transportation Interstate 11 Tier 1 Environmental Impact Study (attached) creating the impression that Pima County favors an Avra Valley route for I-11, despite the clear language of BOS 2007-343, and Supervisor Bronson’s statement to a Picture Rocks community meeting prior to the last election that the BOS opposes an Avra Valley I-11 route consistent with BOS 2007-343.”
Lannon just received a dismissal of his complaint from County Administrator Charles Huckelberry – the person the complaint was brought against – in what appears to be a clear conflict-of-interest. Huckelberry said the county’s role with the ADOT study was merely “review and comment.” Lannon’s rejoinder cites chapter and verse of Huckelberry’s advocacy and copious use of county resouces for an Avra Valley I-11 route going back to three years before the ADOT study began. And while Huckelberry claims the Regulatory Bill of Rights does not apply, the Picture Rocks activist quotes the relevant Arizona Revised Statutes, which the county administrator alludes to but does not quote, pointing out the “clear and unambiguous language” defining BOS rules: “Rule” means a county statement of general applicability that implements, interprets or prescribes law or policy, or describes the procedure or practice requirements of a county. Rule includes prescribing fees or the amendment or repeal of an existing rule but does not include intra-agency memoranda that are not delegation agreements. (A.R.S. 11-251.18).
He also notes A.R.S. 11-1608, also cited by Huckelberry: The board of supervisors shall receive complaints concerning ordinances, regulations, substantive policy statements or county practices alleged to violate this article. The board of supervisors may review any ordinance, regulation, substantive policy statement or county practice alleged to violate this article and may hold hearings regarding the allegations. The board of supervisors may recommend actions to alleviate the aspects of the ordinances, regulations, substantive policy statements or county practices alleged to violate this article. Lannon continues to insist that the Board of Supervisors, and its Chair, is the appropriate body to consider his complaint.