Voters reject Vail incorporation

2013-11-06T00:00:00Z 2013-11-06T00:08:27Z Voters reject Vail incorporationBy Joe Ferguson Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Vail voters have nixed the proposed town of “no.”

A total of 1,838 voters, roughly 56 percent of the total vote, were not convinced breaking away from Pima County and becoming their own town on the Tucson area’s far southeast side was a good idea.

Citizens for Vail, a pro-incorporation group behind Proposition 403, failed to convince residents that a newly incorporated town could live off just state-shared revenues to provide the bare minimum of services required under state law. Their pitch had been the town would just say “no” to other expenses for taxpayers.

The proposed $3.2 million budget touted by the group would only have paid for in-house law enforcement, road maintenance and a handful of administrators. All other services would have been contracted out to third parties at an undefined cost.

A group opposed to incorporation, calling itself Vail Incorporation Facts, took issue with the proposed budget, suggesting it was not accurate and incorporation would end up costing Vail voters more than they bargained for.

Vail resident Trent Thomas said he was pleased the measure was defeated.

“The residents of Vail had the opportunity to determine their future,” Thomas said. “They did research for themselves and determined that incorporation is not their best interests.”

Robert Samuelson, a member of Citizens for Vail, said the voters have spoken.

“The voters have voted; that is the wish of the voters,” he said.

He said there was much confusion in the community about which polling place to show up at, but he wasn’t sure what affect — if any — it had on the election.

A majority of the ballots were returned by mail, not cast at a polling place, officials said.

One issue brought up during the campaign was the actual cost for law enforcement, with the Prop. 403 backers saying roughly $1.5 million a year would be set aside for police services.

County officials responded the cost to contract for the current level of services was roughly $2.5 million and would not allow for an “a la carte” approach to law enforcement.

Less protection, county officials argued, would put both residents and patrolling officers in danger.

Roughly 44 percent of the community’s 7,320 registered voters decided to vote on the incorporation issue.

Contact reporter Joe Ferguson at jferguson@azstarnet.com or 573-4346. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFerguson

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

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