County road tax

Slowed at just about every turn to find money for road repairs, the Pima County Board of Supervisors will consider a property tax increase.

by Kelly Presnell / Arizona Daily Star/

The Pima County Board of Supervisors signed off Tuesday on a $19.5 million plan to fix specific neighborhood streets over the next two years.

The board split along party lines. Republican Supervisors Steve Christy and Ally Miller pushed for a number of changes to the plan presented to the board by the Transportation Advisory Committee, but failed to win support.

Christy specifically pushed to divert funds from other projects to increase the number of funded projects in Green Valley, which is part of his district. About 40 residents, mostly from the Green Valley area, packed the first few rows of the meeting chamber’s seats and criticized a lack of funded projects in their community over the last few years.

Miller also requested several changes.

The pair failed to convince the three Democrats on the board — Richard Elias, Ramón Valadez and Sharon Bronson — who defeated the push by Miller and Christy to adjust the master list of projects.

After the meeting, Christy said he was upset that the committee-backed proposal did not do enough to repair failing streets in his district.

“I am very disappointed in the outcome,” Christy said, noting his proposal used the same metrics that the county used to assess neighborhood streets.

Karen Thornton, a resident of Green Valley for the last 17 years, said she could not believe other supervisors ignored Christy’s request. “I am speechless. I am appalled. I can’t believe that happened,” Thornton said. “I came with 600 signatures that said, ‘fix our roads’ and they ignored him.”

While Green Valley residents at Tuesday’s meeting left upset, an analysis by county staff showed that Christy’s district would receive about 20 percent of the money spent in the two-year road plan.

Supervisor Richard Elias said he understood Christy’s advocacy for Green Valley road repairs. At the same time, Elias said the board has to consider what is the best way to spend across the county.

“We have to think what is better for a vast majority of people rather than catering to a specific supervisor,” Elias said.

Contact reporter Joe Ferguson at jferguson@tucson.com or 573-4197. On Twitter: @JoeFerguson

Reporter

Reporter with the Arizona Daily Star. I cover politics as well as the city of Tucson and other municipalities in Southern Arizona.