Desperate Huckelberry Touts Audit For HURF Spending Spin

Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry explained how the County "launders the money" on September 20, 2018 to the Green Valley Council.

After taking a pounding the past months by Pima County residents frustrated with the extravagant use of HURF money for anything but roads, County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry is touting the fact that at least the monies are be used in a legal manner.

No one has ever questioned whether or not Huckelberry has used the HURF (Highway User Revenue Fund) money legally, however, there a growing segment of the population questioning why Huckelberry insists on using the monies for speculative projects while ignoring the failing roads.

Pima County Supervisor Ally has been the only member of the Board of Supervisors to question Huckelberry’s priorities and why the Arizona Legislature allows the use of HURF funds for frivolities.

As a result of the Legislature’s failure, Pima County Supervisors Richard Elias, Ramon Valadez, Sharon Bronson, and Steve Christy have rubber stamped risky projects like the expansion of Kino Sports Park soccer fields, as more and more roads fall into disrepair.

On Wednesday, Supervisor Miller addressed Huckelberry’s latest rationalization for the risky spending outlined in the memo dated December 26, “In the last fiscal year, Pima County received approximately $91 million in distributions for HURF/VLT from the state of AZ.  As we all know, not even 10 percent of those monies have been allocated to road repairs for many years. Why not? The Arizona statutes don’t require that these monies be allocated to road repairs. Until those statutes are changed by our state legislature and signed into law by our Governor, the issue with diversion of these funds will continue.  It is NOT illegal to divert these funds to pay salaries and overhead. The wisdom of the diversion of those funds is another story. We all know what years of these diversions have gotten us.”

“The solution to this problem would be to enact laws that state 100% of those funds must be used for direct road repairs along with an annual audit and enforcement provisions that would allow the state to withhold funds in the event they weren’t properly utilized for direct road repairs.  If this happened, I suspect you would see a much downsized Department of Transportation along with a lot of road repairs.  Interesting concept that our monies would be used as intended and government would be streamlined,” continued Miller.

“Over the years, Chuck Huckelberry has expanded the Pima County Department of Transportation to a budget of $43 million dollars, the bulk of which is funded with HURF/VLT monies. There is also approximately $18 million per year that is allocated to payoff HURF Revenue bonds approved by voters in 1997; the balance of funds are distributed to the general fund. Imagine if we used just that balance of approximately $30 mil per year on road repairs?”   

“It isn’t difficult to understand that the Pima County Department of Transportation headcount of approximately 286 employees needs to be “right sized.”  Pavement preservation efforts for Pima County have been outsourced to private contractors for years,” explained Miller. “I agree with this approach as the private sector is most often more efficient than government.    As I presented in my alternate budget proposal last spring, for FY 2019 the Department of Transportation budget needs to be cut significantly and then these monies should be allocated directly to contracts for road repairs.  Pima County has a fully staffed procurement department that executes the procurement efforts for road repairs.  I have never understood the need for a department this size when the pavement preservation work is outsourced.”

Chuck Huckelberry and the majority on the board can’t seem to solve the problem. Their only solution to fixing the roads is to tax people more. That is wrong. This problem is easily solved if the will to do it is there.  We all have decisions to make regarding our budgets each year; do we buy that new car, or do we fix the roof?   One thing is certain, just because you can divert the money to the “nice-to-haves,” doesn’t mean you should.”

16 Comments

  1. Basic service to infrastructure is the role of government. “The strength of the Constitution lies in the will of the people to defend it.” Thomas Edison

  2. I was watching a program on TV the other night and they began with the sorry condition of roads in the area. I swear I thought they were doing an in depth look at our local area. Patches on patches, roads that never get repairs in a timely manner. Demonstrations on how shoddy repairs are done.

    Well SURPRISE, SURPRISE, SURPRISE as gomer used to say, but it was NOT TUCSON, PIMA COUNTY they were talking about. BUT another SURPRISE was that it was the local pols favorite city Seattle/Portland (forget which) but its also democrap dominated and they said they could repave for about hundreds of thousands per mile vs the local pols who claim it to be MILLIONS per mile. So yes we are not the only ones suffering, but millions of people are, but thats what the democrap agenda is. last month they filled potholes on our street (not all just a couple) some asphalt, some sand/pea gravel. A week later the holes were back! Another prime example is repainting the roads WITHOUT fixing anything or even trying to reseal the cracks. Makes a lot of sense does it not? The program gave a long presentation on how water caused the pot holes and how to try and repair. NOTHING like is done here. Some years ago here were repairs done to SOUTH TUCSON streets and they have held up, last year cot did repairs in same type of manner and streets are almost back to where they were to begin with rough pot holes starting etc.

    It was on the History Channel I think, maybe you can find and watch?

  3. Every government job now pays better than private sector jobs and with more benefits. PS is BS. They are not Public Servants as we are their slaves. Just look at their pension plans.

    • Really? By government service do you mean the armed forces who go where they are told and do our bidding which includes family separation, injury and very possibly death, or the police officers and deputy sheriffs who have to deal with the dregs of society on a daily basis and also face injury and death (56 so far this year). Those government employees? Yea, you speak with the jawbone of an ass.

  4. This situation can only be fixed by voting out the current board majority and replacing the county administrator is held accountable. Other jurisdictions are able to use their HURF and VLT to maintain roads and the general fund to pay all county employees, and Pima county should be no different. It is clear the current board majority and county administrator either can’t or won’t set proper priorities – priorities which are aligned with the residents needs and expectations.

    There needs to be a challenger for every democrat held seat in 2020 – will it be you?

  5. What’s the PR Dept budget? The local media keeps losing reporters to the county. The county must pay better. Also the “investigative” reporters must be looking out for their future as the never or at least rarely investigate the “Huckster”!

  6. Excuses, excuses…Chucks just buying time until then next crony deal comes along. Come on Steve, act on what you said about re-prioritizing the budget and/or makeup of the Board!

  7. “I have never understood the need for a department this size..” Why, its to give friends and family overpaid do-nothing jobs. Plus, those employees will definitely be voting Democrat in all elections.

    Always remember that the Democrat strategy is to put over half of the voting population on the government dole. That way they can never lose an election.

  8. Please focus on roads..not balloon enterprises and bloated departments. A highly competent relative is now working for DOT after coming from private enterprise. Hostile work environment unaccepting of her efficiency and new ideas and management tolerance of mediocrity is the daily fare.

  9. The simple fact is that the HURF funds are the Huckster’s slush fund and have always been. Cronies get their cut, and they pay for everything but the roads. Seems about right to me and you got 4 of the most stupid BOS members that don’t have a clue and love them some Huckster. Through the years, you have had a chance to replace them but the voters have proved that party loyality is more important than fiscal responsibility. Ain’t that simply great. But then change is so difficult for this little corner of Mexico isn’t it…….

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