Many times, people don’t know what they have until they lose it.
Pima County already has its share of challenges: terrible road conditions, political leaders who refuse to support law enforcement, a history of unbelievable crony deals with our tax dollars, and the dishonorable distinction of being the highest taxed county in the state, to name a few. The current Chairman of the Pima County Board of Supervisors, Richard Elias, has a history of causing, promoting, or worsening the county’s critical issues.
Now, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis with far more questions than answers, Elias wants to make himself “king” of the county. By abusing state statute, this king of malfeasance will on Thursday ask the Board to vote to give him emergency powers to create or change law by only his proclamation.
Elias chairs a board where his party holds the majority; yet, he has frequently voted against those of his own party to further his own agenda. The supervisors in the majority can basically do whatever they want, and they have done exactly that, time and time again.
State law (Arizona Revised Statutes §26-311) provides for the chairman to govern solely by proclamation in times of emergencies including riots, man-made calamities, or civil disobedience. Specifically, the statute charges the chairman with “the authority to impose all necessary regulations to preserve the peace and order of the…unincorporated areas of the county” with suggestions as to the scope of this authority, but the explicit statement that the authority is “not limited to” the suggestions.
The Hearing Room will be closed to the public, but the following options are available for public viewing:
The meeting can be streamed via BOS Agenda March 19, 2020 or via Cox Cable Channel 96. Television viewing will be available in the lobby at 130 West Congress, 1st Floor and citizens can submit comments regarding the agenda items to: COB_Mail@pima.gov.
The one detail standing in Richard Elias’s way is the clause that requires that he be “authorized by…resolution” before he declares an emergency and takes these powers for himself. He has already prepared that resolution and called a meeting of the board to enact it. Of course, he has all but closed the meeting to the public; he does not want to hear what you—or any other citizen—think about this power grab.
What freedoms will Chairman Elias take from you?
What will he proclaim with his absolute power?
Why can he not convince his fellow Democrats to support him in an open meeting in front of Pima County residents?
Roughly one-third of the citizens of Pima County live in unincorporated Pima County and are about to lose due process and rights to their new sovereign. He is not an epidemiologist. He is not a friend to the taxpayer. He is not a fair, thoughtful, considerate leader.
Pima County needs leadership during these troubling times—not a king.