Miller asks Horne to investigate road-funds shift by Pima board

2014-03-05T00:00:00Z Miller asks Horne to investigate road-funds shift by Pima boardBy Jamar Younger
and Joe Ferguson Arizona Daily Star
Arizona Daily Star

Pima County Supervisor Ally Miller has asked Arizona Attorney General’s Office to investigate whether the Board of Supervisors retaliated against her when they voted to shift road improvement money from her district.

The supervisors voted two weeks ago to move $872,000 in road work from Miller’s district to Colossal Cave Road in Vail after Miller suggested shifting $100 million away from other county projects to fix the roads.

Four out of five projects were cut from Miller’s district in favor of improving Colossal Cave.

On Tuesday, Miller said she filed a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office, although she declined to discuss details of the complaint. The Attorney General’s Office did not respond to requests for comments or confirmation of the filing.

At least one of her supporters also sent a letter to Attorney General Tom Horne, complaining about the board’s actions.

Supervisor Ramón Valadez defended the board’s actions two weeks ago.

“I will tell you that appropriations within our county budget or changes to them has always been, and continues to be, the purview of the Board of Supervisors under the constitution and the Arizona Revised Statutes,” Valadez said.

He said he plans on asking the board, at its meeting next week, for permission to formally release a legal memo written by the Pima County Attorney’s Office.

The confidential memo was requested by Miller shortly after the board action two weeks ago.

Supervisor Sharon Bronson said she welcomes the investigation, confident the board did not violate any law.

“Ultimately, I am convinced the office will conclude that the board both acted lawfully and appropriated to protect the lives of our children in our community,” she said.

Miller and her supporters have criticized the rest of the supervisors for what they view as retribution for her continued criticism of county spending.

The other supervisors have said Miller was injecting politics into the decision of what roads get fixed and when.

“They believe they completely followed the rules. I happen to disagree with that,” Miller said.

Miller said her district deserves more road money because residents pay the highest percentage of property taxes — more than 30 percent — in the entire county.

Thornydale Road near Mountain View High School is just as much a hazard as Colossal Cave Road, where two Vail School District schools sit just a few miles apart from each other, Miller argues.

“People are absolutely furious in District 1 and Pima County, and believe it was wrong,” she said.

One of those people, Linda Grissom, sent a letter to the attorney general asking for an investigation.

Grissom doesn’t know Miller personally but is an ardent supporter who agrees with Miller’s values.

“I just think she’s trying to do the best she can. She gets nothing but slammed by the board,” Grissom said. “I’m very irritated with the Board of Supervisors.”

In her letter, Grissom said, “For years, there has been ongoing mismanagement of road money in the county and now that we finally have a supervisor willing to address the issue, she has been thwarted at every turn.”

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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