Pima County Supervisors Shouldn’t Want Political Cover To Accept Stonegarden Funds

Pima County Supervisors Ramon Valadez, Steve Christy, and Richard Elias. [Photo from Pima County Facebook]

Why would the Pima County Board of Supervisors need to create a commission to advise them on the acceptability of the federal funds provided through the Operation Stonegarden grant when those grant funds have been accepted annually for over a decade? The answer is simple – they wanted political cover.

The Operation Stonegarden grant has provided millions of dollars to the Pima County Sheriff’s Office and other surrounding jurisdictions for the sole purpose of public safety. The funds have been used to pay overtime pay for deputies and other staff as well as buy equipment. The funds benefit everyone in Pima County and beyond by providing much needed money to areas struggling with cross-border criminal organizations.

Nothing has changed in the federal government’s requirements for how the money will be used. Nothing has changed in the local government’s fiscal situation that would make the money unnecessary or unwarranted. So what changed? Leadership on the federal and local level.

On the national level, President Trump is in office and the “Resistance” dictates that anything from the Trump administration is to be rejected. On the local level, the members of the Board of Supervisors, with the exception of Supervisor Ally Miller, have one finger in the air at all times testing the political winds.

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Three supervisors, Sharon Bronson, Richard Elias, and Ramon Valadez created the Community Law Enforcement Partnership Commission to provide political cover and interfere with the work of our duly elected Sheriff Mark Napier.

After the Commission was formed, all of the supervisors appointed their representatives.
After video showing the abusive antics by anti-law enforcement commissioners was made public, Miller and Christy pulled their members off the off the commission. Or that was what the public was led to believe. In fact, Christy only temporarily pulled his representatives off the Commission.

Sheriff Napier has bent over backward to accommodate the commission in a feudal attempt to gain their support for the grant. When he supposedly asked Christy to send his commissioners back, Christy unwisely accommodated the request rather than convince Napier that his effort was futile.

As expected, the commission voted against approving the Stonegarden grant for the second year in a row. Had Miller sent her commissioner back, the outcome would not have changed, but she would have played a part in legitimizing this illegitimate group.

The supervisors may find that the commission no longer provides cover and will move them under the Sheriff’s purview or make them obsolete altogether. Who knows?

What we do know, is that whatever decision is made will be a political one that appeases the well-connected or vocal groups.

If Sheriff Napier feels he needs or wants a commission, he and only he should appoint one to serve. However, it is counter-productive to attempt to work with a group so filled with hatred towards law enforcement and perhaps laws in general.

The Board of Supervisors must do the right thing and approve the Stonegarden grant as it helps provides a basic service people expect – public safety. Supervisors – the people are watching to see if you are going to continue to neglect the needs and wants of the general public and pander to the special interest to which you owe your office.


About John Backer 18 Articles
John Backer is an expert in cyber-security with over 30 years experience in the field. A popular activist in southern Arizona, Mr. Backer is often heard on local radio.


  1. I think Mr. Backer`s main premise is wrong. The Democrat Party majority of Bronson, Elis and Valadez did not want political cover for its decision on whether to accept the Stonegarden grant. It wanted political cover to legitimize its decision to reject the grant as a way to besmirch President Trump. The other thing Mr. Backer is wrong about is his statement that “On the national level, President Trump is in office and the “Resistance” dictates that anything from the Trump administration is to be rejected.” the Democratic Party nationally and the Democratic majority on the Pima BOS is more subtle than that and wants only to reject those funds which they can pretend will be used to discriminate against Hispanics or others so they can continue to make the false claim that Trump and the entire U S government is racist whenever it does not do what the Democrat Party demands.

  2. Come on You gotta back up Law Enforcement on every level
    These that opposse it are nothing but Drug Cartels pigs
    They want us to fail
    These are not Americans
    Who wouldnt want to be safe
    But the ones who dont care for their own citizens
    Shame on them
    Get the Grant Give them even more money
    Pima County citizens better wake up Your crime rate will soar and your chance of becoming a victim will increase 10 fold
    Who are these illegal lovers
    Who are these people that want more drugs pouring in
    Who are these people who reject law and order ! They arent Americans

  3. I’m not naive enough to think politics isn’t everywhere but how can anyone let it overshadow Public Safety? As expected, Christy is a crony playing along… Vote him out next year!

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