The Pima County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will likely pass one more meaningless resolution as they do during nearly every Board meeting. The only difference between this week’s grandstanding resolution and those normally offered is the supervisor who is offering it.
On Tuesday, in an effort to shore up the support he has lost for supporting highly questionable land deals, sales taxes and bonds, Supervisor Steve Christy is offering a resolution in support of Operation Stonegarden. The federally funded human and drug smuggling interdiction program, known as Operation Stonegarden, has become a source of dissension for Pima County supervisors and controversy for a handful of very vocal progressive activists.
For nearly 16 years, the County accepted the funds, but when President Trump took office, Supervisor Richard Elias, suddenly took offense. Although Elias, in his role as Board chairman approved the monies Feb 20th after a majority vote by Miller, Valadez and Christy, and much of the money had already been spent, Elias led the charge to disallow receipt of the funds.
Supervisor Ramon Valadez jumped on Elias’ anti-Trump administration bandwagon and was the third vote needed to decline the money. That decision opened the door for the less-than-popular Christy to offer his resolution that reads:
Non-Interference in the Pima County Sheriff’s Efforts to Secure Outside Funding
RESOLUTION NO. 2018 – 65, of the Board of Supervisors, of non-interference in the Pima County Sheriff’s efforts to secure outside funding. (District 4)
The Board of Supervisors of Pima County, Arizona finds:
1. The Sheriff of Pima County is a duly, legally, and publically elected official and office holder of and within Pima County; and
2. The Sheriff of Pima County, through legal authority as Sheriff and upon his statutorily authorized direction, is responsible for protecting the citizens of Pima County; and
3. Pima County has routinely and regularly accepted numerous and various grants from governmental agencies annually designed to assist the Pima County Sheriff’s Department in the protection of the citizens of Pima County; and
4. The “Operation Stonegarden” grant, from the Department of Homeland Security has been one of those numerous and various grants awarded to Pima County and the Pima County Sheriffs Department to assist the Pima County Sheriffs
Department in the protection of the citizens of Pima County for 12 consecutive years; and
5. That the Sheriff of Pima County has determined that the continued acceptance of the Operation Stonegarden grant by Pima County and the Pima County Sheriff’s Department is in the best interest of and will assist positively in the protection of the citizens of Pima County; and
6. That the Sheriff of Pima County has further determined that the termination of the most recently awarded Operation Stonegarden grant by the Pima County Board of Supervisors on September 4, 2018 will result in jeopardizing the efforts by the regional law enforcement community in Pima County in general, and the Pima County Sheriff’s Department in particular, involved in protecting the citizens of Pima County.
NOW, THEREFORE, upon motion duly made, seconded, and carried, be it resolved as follows:
That the Pima County Board of Supervisors will acknowledge, commit, and adhere to the policy that when the Sheriff is presented with a grant, whether local, state or federal, that in the determination of the Sheriff is fundamental to public safety in Pima County and said grant is consistent with the application of the Sheriffs statutory duties
and authorities as prescribed under Arizona Revised Statutes § 11-441 , the Sheriff may execute the grant on behalf of the County.
August 7, 2018 — Pima County Supervisor Ally Miller, once again, reiterated her support for acceptance of Pima County’s Stonegarden Grant and Deputies. Miller asked public members who supported Stonegarden grant to stand and be recognized.
Aside from being nothing more than a symbolic gesture, should the resolution pass, and the Sheriff proceed without the support of the supervisors, the County could be in legal jeopardy. What makes Christy’s resolution even more meaningless is the fact that the Board of Supervisors has budgetary authority for the Sheriff Department.
While Christy’s resolution is meaningless, it is expected to make for excellent political theater. The show begins on Tuesday, October 2, at 9:00 a.m.