Why Did Pima County’s Prop 463 Fail?

Pima County supervisors Richard Elias, Sharon Bronson, Ramon Valadez. [Photo from Pima County]

Failure by more than 11 points is a sound rejection of the Prop 463 road bond package.  It is a message that should be heeded.

It appears The 4 members of the board of supervisors,  Administrator Chuck Huckelberry and their supporters  are going directly to , you guessed it, “Supervisor Ally Miller and her voters” as the root cause of the failure.   They are correct that I opposed this bond election and they are also correct that the majority of the voters rejected Prop 463.    What they are missing is the Why of the failure.  Is it a flawed analysis or simply a refusal to acknowledge any responsibility for the reasons this bond failed?  One thing I believe we can all agree on is that pointing fingers and threatening voters that dared to vote against this bond is a very bad road to go down.  It is these voters who pay the bills…who write the checks who pay the taxes.

My first campaign slogan in the 2012 election was “Restore Trust “in Pima County governance.   I saw that the trust was gone…it wasn’t a slogan that got a lot of attention but it was clear as I was out in the community speaking to the voters that they had little faith in the Supervisors and their management of this county and specifically road management.   I believe the county board of supervisors and their appointee, Chuck Huckelberry, would be wise to consider their own contributions to the erosion of trust in Pima County government.

First, one need  look no further than an analysis of the data comparing the Prop 425 election  to the Prop 463 road bond results.  It should be noted that   Supervisor District 5 (Elias) approved the road bonds, however, the bigger story is found in the increasing distrust for the board of supervisors’ management of the roads.

The level of Distrust is increasing all across the County

When the data is broken down by district it seems  clear that voter distrust of the Board of Supervisors has increased significantly in just the last 3 years.   Most notably, Supervisor District 5 distrust has increased by an astounding  11.26%.    District 1 was second highest with a level of distrust that  increased by 7.84% in the last 3 years.  The fascinating data encompasses District 2 (Valadez) and District 3 (Bronson) where voter distrust is rapidly increasing.  While it is true that District 4 distrust increased the least, it is the district which has the least trust in   the Pima County Board of Supervisors.  And it is clear, democrat controlled  Districts 2 and 3 have increased their distrust by almost double.

The Voters sent a message….Again.

Voters said NO to an $815 million Bond Package in 2015 which included Prop 425.  The message was loud and clear.  I heard the message.  Voters just said NO again, for a second time in 2018 with a rejection of Prop 463.   The problem we have is that the 4 members of the Board of Supervisors, Huckelberry and all those who advocated for this bond did NOT hear the message.  They were too busy in their bubble of cronies deciding they would go ahead and spend millions on the projects the voters soundly rejected.  The BOS authorized $25 million on the courthouse and now in phase 1 it is expected $26 million for the Kino Stadium will sail through on December 4, 2018 without any consideration for the will of the voters.

It is stunning to read  that anyone  is suggesting punishing the voters who dared vote against Prop 462 bonds by only fixing roads in precincts that voted YES!    This is defying a democratically held election.    But this is the mindset we are faced with every day in Pima County.  How dare the taxpayers question us?

And on Nov. 20, 2018,  the county administrator and board majority approved a legislative agenda to lobby for yet another sales tax increase in Pima County to be foisted on the poorest of the poor.

Will you hear the Voters this time?

At what point will the board of supervisors listen?  Voters said NO and will continue to say NO.

It is time to prove to the voters that you-the board of supervisors  are serious about fixing the roads.  That you will do the following:

  • Cut the wasteful spending on the nonessentials
  • Cut the county budget
  • Down size head count
  • Use the $90 mil per year HURF/VLT for road repairs

Maybe it is time to heed the call of a resident, Mr. Chris King,   who presented a resolution at the November 20th , 2018 Pima County Board of Supervisor meeting declaring  that the citizens of Pima County have no confidence in this administration.  Maybe it is time to demand  the resignation of the county administrator.

**Supervisor Ally Miller is supervisor for District 1 and is serving her second term on the Pima County Board of Supervisors.



  1. Welcome to the sewer that is Pima County. Could be very well called Cronie County for the cronies have won. Aren’t you so glad that you continue to elect these people? Why not vote for a change every once in a while. Guess not, as they BOS continues to piss away your tax money on everything but the needed projects. So glad that I am gone. You get what you vote for and the county stinks more every day.

  2. Bravo Ally. You know the will of the voters of pima county. You treat us with respect. None of the other supes nor administrator huckelberry cares at all. We come to meetings to speak and they walk out while we are talking. They are all in for a shock as plans are in the works to recall them for gross neglect of their sworn duties. Elias and Bronson should have been sanctioned and made to pay back the money they stole from their office budgets several years ago. Get your resumes ready.

  3. If I was a betting person, I would bet that Pima county roads are the worst maintained roads in the country. We have a neglectful Board of Supervisors except for Miller. Many voters now realize that the more money given to the Board of Supervisors is just more money for them to waste.

  4. Arizona Daily Star columnist Tim Stellar blamed voter distrust for the bonds’ failure, but then changed his mind to say that “voters don’t actually care as much about road conditions as we thought…complaining is what they seem to want to do most of all.” I wrote the following Letter to the Star Editor:

    “Tim Stellar was right the first time — voters don’t trust the Pima County Establishment. Why? Besides the crony deals to buy failed golf courses and a bowling alley, not to mention putting us in debt to create World View and its exploding balloon; besides $15 million taxpayer dollars being spent to map a highway – I-11 – that will destroy the Avra Valley; and did I mention the Sonoran Corridor, an “auxiliary interstate” to provide a free access highway to campaign contributor Don Diamond ‘s big development? All hatched in the Pima County Administrator’s office with the blessing of a majority of Supervisors. Plus the fact that in rural Pima County, where I live, most of the roads are dirt and considered easements, ineligible for county maintenance. Maybe we could be a Rio Nuevo project to get around the state’s Gift Clause. Like Caterpillar, et. al. Voters say: Enough!”

    If the media hacks and the BOS majority would spend less time demonizing Supervisor Miller and more time doing their job — which includes controlling the county administrator’s crony deals and prevarications, maybe the roads could get fixed without a tax increase. It is time for us, regardless of party, to work together and develop honest and independent candidates for the 2020 BOS elections.

    • “regardless of party” – total ignorance to the politics and demographics of Pima County. It’s like being a radical San Francisco leftist transplant portraying themselves as ‘independent’ when in actuality, a liberal/progressive/socialist/Communist.

      “Destroy the Avra Valley”? Exaggerate much? Please cite ONE example in the entire country’s history of a highway destroying a valley. The reality is the no-growth, NIMBY radical leftists who impede and stop progress (you) have destroyed opportunities for our future generations for your own selfish needs. Proof positive – 5th poorest in the country. You should be so proud of that, spreading misery and poverty to all, exactly in your father’s footsteps. The seed of a Convicted Conspirator against the US didn’t fall far.

      Or do you expect the youth of Tucson to follow your path, as a slave master (union rep) exploiting the blood and sweat of labor to line your pockets.

      • “Destroy the Avra Valley?” Have you considered the environmental impact a multi-lane Interstate highway will have running less than one mile from Saguaro National Park? Oh, so you didn’t. You apparently not that much of a deep thinker.

        (BTW, I’m a libertarian-leaning conservative—all lower-case. I have no allegiance to any left-wing causes whatsoever. I do, however, want to prevent patently stupid undertakings such as the poorly-thought-out I-11 corridor.)

        • Yes – NONE. The saguaros will still grow and the animals will still be there. Have the roads around Saguaro National Park East destroyed the park? NO. Have the roads near any Park in the entire country ruined any of them. NO.

          Just another “get off my lawn” NIMBY. Let me guess, you’re retired and have no children living in this wasteland of opportunity?

        • Hey ‘deep thinker’ – do you remember your elementary school education? What do plants use to grow? Hold on…Carbon Dioxide.

      • I think we can all agree that we need to end the years of corruption and cronyism in Pima County. Albert Lannon has every right to defend his home. The Board of Supervisors passed a resolution that they wouldn’t allow I-11 to go through Avra Valley. They have never rescinded this resolution. In other words, they lied to residents of Avra Valley. Albert actually shows up in the board room and calls them out for their cronyism. I appreciate his activism and will work with Albert and anyone else who steps up to end this strangle hold on our community.

    • 100% right Albert. But unfortunately we have NO journalists working on the ADS and the powers that be want it that way. They do not want ANYONE peeking behind the curtain to see who is in charge and it sure isn’t the BOS who are given their marching orders NOT by the voters but by the Huckster who is in the pocket of the cronies like Click, Diamond, Grijalva, Eckstrom, the developers, the Chamber of Commerce and the enviros. Just witness the back room deals on World View, I-11 and the rest of the deals that will make the cronies millions and keep the taxpayer in debt for the next 20+ years. Yet no one is talking about the RTA which is set to try to rape the taxpayer for the next 10 years or so and the city and county will attempt to use the RTA funds for their own pet road projects. Someone please correct me if you think that I am wrong. The only way that change will come is at the ballot box and as long as incompetence is rewarded then the voters are getting what they voted for… Shame on them. Don’t bitch. You had your change but failed miserably in the last series of elections for the BOS.

      • Also recall, jdfast, that the RTA bond election
        actually did not pass until the County magically
        changed a stunning total of between 18-22% of all
        the votes, and destroyed the evidence when a lawsuit
        was filed. [Dems,Repubs, and independents originally]
        The Democrats and Republicans dropped out of the suit
        once they REALIZED it in fact was a massive fraud. Didn’t
        want to disturb the swamp of Pima County politics.

    • Great letter Albert, but will it actually get printed? I hope so but I wouldn’t hold my breath!

      I agree, we need to change the Board and get rid of Huckelberry.

      BTW Ally, nice article!

    • HORRORS, I agree with everything Mr. Lannon says! Joking aside, maybe we can clean up the mess that Pima County government has become. A good example of this spirit was exhibited just this summer in Oro Valley, so change is in the air. Good luck to Joann Marks` and others` efforts to retire the Pima Democrat majority Supervisors and County Prevaricator Huckleberry, whether by recall or at the next regular election. We should all look forward to supporting this effort. The audacity of the Tucson political media and others who are characterizing the defeat of 463 as a message by voters that we don`t care about fixing our roads is either the height of arrogance and evidence that they are a major part of the political corruption rampant in Pima County or pure idiocy. Finally, nothing is more anti-democratic and inimicable to self-government than to suggest that those who voted against 463 should be punished by halting all road repairs in the precincts that voted the proposition down.

    • Albert

      While I partially agree with your interpretation of Timmie. I believe there is another factor involved. A very simple one. The tax payers are sick of more taxes. While basic services get shortchanged. Everybody else sits around their kitchen table and balances the household budget and live within their means. Chucky and his minions just keep asking for “mo’ money.” And blowing through the cash flow. They refuse to prioritize their budget. Classic Dem playbook. City and county burn through their funding and screw police parks and roads. TUSD does the same thing and under pays teachers and discontinues extra curricular. And then goes back to the voters asking for “mo’ money!” Playing with somebody else’s money is easy and the 3 largest governments in SoAz are addicted to it.

  5. Thanks Ally for continuing to be the tip of the spear. Christy is a huge disappointment but then who would expect anything different since his buddies are CoC & Ray Caroll.

  6. Hard to imagine that any company or investor would even consider Tucson/Pima County. Under total Democrat rule for decades, between the crumbling roads, decrepit medians, closed businesses, urban blight, it truly is one of the ugliest places in America. But at least for hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars you can ride a choo-choo for a mile, eat pizza, drink a beer. What more can the populace (liberals/progressives/socialists/Communists) expect – a liberal white guilt utopia. No growth, no jobs, no future.

  7. What I said in response to Tim Steller:

    1/3: Supervisors have violated our trust before

    I have been a voting Pima County resident since I first moved here 25 years ago.
    In that time I’ve watched our county administrator and his rubber-stamp council
    literally steal money from Pima County coffers and direct it to wonderful projects
    – private use of road repair materials for a private driveway
    – private use of PC resources to help with a home remodel
    – supervisor road gets improved but mine does not
    – the list goes on

    2/3: Won’t raise taxes

    The red herring that Prop 463 would not raise secondary tax is politician-speak,
    and (as a longtime reader) I’m disappointed to see you trot that out. When we,
    the voters, approve a bond, we do so intending to pay a certain amount over a
    certain time for a certain thing and then… get this… STOP PAYING THAT AMOUNT.

    To tell us “taxes won’t go up” is to admit “we won’t actually be lowering them as
    we all agreed when we approved this other thing years ago.” Sorry, I’m not
    interested in screwing over the voters of yesteryear, of which I am one. Far more
    honest to say “the secondary property tax rate would rightly reduce, as the
    previous programs are near funding completion, and this proposition would
    restore that tax but use it to fix the roads”. That doesn’t sound so sexy, and
    likely wouldn’t have led to approval. Then again, 60% disapproval suggests
    that Pima County voters didn’t fall for the lie.

    3/3: Won’t fix MY roads

    I disagree vehemently with your suggestion that funds be spent only where people
    voted yes, and am surprised you would even bring that up. That’s the OPPOSITE
    OF DEMOCRACY. Unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno. If funds are to be spent
    they should be spent to fix all roads that need fixing anywhere in the county.

    Here we come to the crux of the no votes. Pima County has declared the roads
    near me to be “so bad we can’t afford to fix them.” I can certainly understand
    that if the goal is to maximize the miles-fixed/dollar-spent ratio, they should
    stay away from my neighborhood.

    However, by ensuring my roads aren’t going to be fixed, and my property tax
    will be raised [back to what it is now, yes I get it], then the process is not longer
    democratic. I am happy to be part of a community where we ALL pay for better
    roads, and HONEST supervisors repair ALL our roads (yes, some better than
    others, and some sooner than others).

    I am not interested in untrustworthy politicians spending my money that we all
    originally agreed they wouldn’t get, on a scheme to improve some roads but
    not the ones that I and my neighbors and everyone I see walking their dogs and
    kids do everyday.

    The next time someone dreams up a Prop 463 part deux (and they will), they should
    ensure that
    – the money can only be spent on road repair, no administrative overhead, etc
    – locate funding sources and be honest about their impact on taxpayers
    Note: Phoenix got $6M from the Federal Government last year. Pima County: $0
    – all roads in need of repair should get some level of repair, no road “too poor to repair”
    – the schedule for repair needs to be reasonable, and by that I mean 2-3 years not 5-10

  8. “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark” a famous quote from a Shakespeare work and could have been written today to cover the last many years of corruption and incompetency that rules Pima County.

  9. The way to solve this is for the 3 and a half board majority look up supervise in the dictionary. Then maybe they would realize that their job is to supervise Huckleberry, not the other way around! I ain’t holding my breath!

  10. Supervisor Miller Why is it that the County Administrator is not elected by the people since he is spending our tax dollars. Other states I have lived in we the tax payers in the county always voted for this position. This is the only state I have lived in that I could not voted for the County Administrator.

    • We have elected Supervisors who are accountable to the people. It is the board majority that are approving everything he serves up. All 5 of us are up for election in 2020. Supervisors have 4 year terms and are up every presidential election year. Hold them accountable.

  11. Anything Chuck Huckleberry wants is NOT something to vote for. Anyone who works under him knows he’s a corrupt POS. He sells off county land, makes deals with the devil (Monsanto), and refuses to give raises to any county employee, even though they aren’t matching the pay of other counties. When you have new-hires making the same pay as employees who have been working for 10 years, you know there’s a problem. What happened to the pay-step program for deputies Chuckleberry??? Yet, He’s one of the TOP PAID ADMINISTRATORS IN THE COUNTRY. Not county, COUNTRY! Unfortunately, we can’t vote for him. We can only vote for the BOS, and for some reason people keep voting these morons in. It’s maddening! We, the people, need to sue the BOS for negligence and kick Huckleberry out. Pima County is suffering, and the promises that have been made have not been met!

  12. While far from Stellar, little Timmy Steller isn’t a real journalist. Sadly little Timmy is nothing more then a Dingleberry talking points cut and paste mouthpiece, a hack errand boy who is told by his handles to justify the continuous misconceptions, half truths and outright bold face lies.
    Timmy Steller a Journalist? That’s truly laughable. No greater misuse of the English laungage has ever taken place.
    While the justifiable excuses for utter failure by the board of stupid have free flowed for decades, the voters of Pima county are starting to show that they are no longer willing to support the county cronies conducting business as usual.
    Sorry Timmy, but with your puppet masters transferring the already dedicated HURF funding away from road projects and into the general fund, we’ve already paid for the road projects. To ask us to now repay for what we’ve never received is a sick joke, and to further justify it speaks volumes to your own misunderstanding of reality, but to suggest that those who voted against more wasteful misuse of public monies be punished really exemplifies who’s side your really on.
    Pima county deserves better government, and readers of the daily star deserve real reporting. I’m personally trying to do both at the same time by voting no on further tax issues and not doing business with the star or its advertisers. Perhaps only then will you get it through your thick skulls that you work for me, not the other way around.
    So in the meantime Timmy, you keep working up the food chain suckling on Dingleberry doing what your told and I’ll just consider the source whenever I hear you’ve stamped your name to another asinine cut and paste talking point.
    Journalist? Yea right. Lol

    The Oracle

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