Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry has cast aside all regard for the public’s right to know in response to a request by Supervisor Ally Miller for information related to taxpayer monies spent on art for The Huckelberry Loop bike path.
At Huckelberry’s direction, millions of dollars have been spent on the bike path he had named after himself while over 70 percent of the County’s roads are in poor or failing condition. At the same time, he has repeatedly sought tax increases on residents, who already pay the highest taxes in Arizona, to pay for the much needed road repairs.
The voters approved monies for public art along transportation public art monies to enhance transportation projects, but few imagine that the money would be spent on art along a bike path and not new or repaired roadways.
In what can only be defined as “defiant” behavior, Administrator Huckelberry (once again) refused to provide Supervisor Ally Miller with information pertaining to the cost of county-owned public art. Miller’s original request stemmed from a September 12, 2018 county press release and Huckelberry’s self-touted “Chuck Huckelberry Loop” Art Map … a webpage showcase for the more than four dozen art pieces along the soon-to-be-expanded bike path.
Yes, that’s right folks! A multi-million dollar bike path paid for by your taxes … while your roads crumble and deteriorate right before your eyes … and underneath your tired and abused tires!
Huckelberry declined to turn over the records based on a paranoid claim that Miller was “searching for information on which to oppose Proposition 463;” Huckelberry’s latest bond scheme. Huckelberry’s tenure has been marked by paranoia. From using staff to transcribe radio shows to stalking Miller on her personal Facebook page, his highly unusual behavior has concerned many residents.
In his response to Miller, Huckelberry claimed that her request for information on the art work would “take hundreds of hours of research since artwork on the Loop has been installed over a 30-plus year period using a varity of resources and programs.” However, as Miller noted on her website, Huckelberry sent an email on February 14, 2014 to the Supervisors stating, “a hard copy of the Pima County Public Art Portfolio” would be provided to each supervisor.
Huckelberry did not explain how the information available in 2014, would not be readily available now. Nor did he offer an explanation as to why from February 2014 to October 2018, the County would be unable to create and maintain basic records related to public art or The Hucklberry Loop.
“I am a duly elected representative of the residents of District 1 of Pima County,” said Supervisor Miller on Wednesday. “As such, I believe it is my duty and within the scope of my authority to request information to assist in carrying out my duties. Huckleberry’s response is clearly an act of insubordination. It is my opinion that County Administrator Huckleberry is violating the civil rights of the residents who elected me to this position.”