The 2020 election will mark the end of an era in local politics. Pima County Recorder F. Ann Rodriguez says she will retire after 28 years in office.
In a lengthy public letter, Rodriguez said her office is defined by a simple motto — “recording history one document at a time.”
“As your Pima County Recorder, I will have overseen 7 Presidential elections, and my staff has recorded almost 7 Million public record documents consisting of approximately 28 Million pages,” she wrote.
Rodriguez, a Democrat, said it was time to move on.
“All events in life have a beginning and an end, and this is also true with my journey as your Pima County Recorder.
After careful and extensive personal thoughts I needed to decide whether to seek another 4 year term or was it time for me pass the mantel to someone new,” Rodriguez said.
“This chapter of my life will close, and I will begin a new journey looking forward to retirement and spending time with my husband traveling and enjoying the things we want to do.”
Carmen Prezelski, a respected elder in the local Democratic party, said she doesn’t want to see Rodriguez retire.
“This is a great loss to Pima County. She runs a tight ship at the Recorder’s Office, and she was a strong voice in the Recorder’s statewide organization,” said Prezelski. “I’m just selfish enough to hate to see her leave, but after nearly three decades at the helm, she deserves a peaceful retirement, if that what she wants.”
Rodriguez will serve out the remainder of her term, which will culminate in her involvement of the 2020 general election.
It will include voters electing her replacement.
Group forms against Tucson’s ‘sanctuary city’
A local group filed paperwork this week to formally oppose Proposition 205, the “sanctuary city” ballot initiative Tucson voters will decide on in November.
Citizens for a Safe & Prosperous Tucson filed political action committee paperwork with the city on Monday. It lists Arizona Congressional District 2 Republican candidate Joseph “J.D.” Morgan as its chairman.
The initiative, Tucson Families Free & Together, seeks to make Tucson the state’s first sanctuary city.
Morgan says opposition to the proposition should be nonpartisan.
“Many people supporting this extremely awful proposal are unwittingly supporting increased security problems for our community and decreased economic benefit,” Morgan said. “We simply can’t afford either!”
Citizens for a Safe & Prosperous Tucson say the measure would benefit criminals.
“Sanctuary policies invite and protect criminals, often largely to the detriment of our legal immigrant population. Anyone who says otherwise is playing fast-and-loose with data, to promote their agenda,” the group stated in a news release.
A spokesperson for the Tucson Families Free & Together initiative didn’t respond to a request for comment about the new group. Backers have repeatedly rejected accusations that the citizen-led effort will make Tucson less safe or negatively affect the local economy.
Initiative supporters say it puts the force of law behind many guidelines already in place in Tucson that guide circumstances under which police officers can ask about immigration status.
The initiative would also add protections for some victims of crime and prohibit certain collaborations between the city and federal agencies, among other provisions.
The committee will rely on volunteers for canvassing neighborhoods as well as for phone banks, said Karen Schutte, the PAC’s treasurer.
The political action committee is not required to file campaign finance reports until mid-October.
As of mid-August, supporters of the sanctuary city initiative reported $3,156 in spending on the measure, though the figure will likely be much higher in the scheduled October filing.
Ex-Tucson councilwoman pushes to end gun shows at Pima County fairgrounds
Molly McKasson, who served on the Tucson City Council, is trying again to put a stop to gun shows at the Pima County Fairgrounds
McKasson and a nurse who treated people wounded in the Jan. 8 shooting asked the Southwestern Fair Commission on Thursday to voluntarily stop scheduling gun shows.
The commission is a privately-run nonprofit that has handled the day-to-day operations at the Pima County Fairgrounds since the 1970s. McKasson, who left the Tucson City Council in 1997, and Nancy Bowman said the commission would be exempt from a state law that ties the hands of political entities — like Pima County — from putting additional restrictions on gun shows.
“They could get out of (holding) gun shows because they are a nonprofit,” McKasson contends.
Six months ago, McKasson failed to convince the Pima County Board of Supervisors to require background checks on all gun sales held at the county-owned fairgrounds. The state law was the primary concern voiced by county supervisors.
A gun show, organized by the Crossroads of the West Gun Shows, will be held at the fairgrounds this weekend.
McKasson and Bowman made their comments during a call to the audience during the commission’s meeting.
There was opposition from gun owners who were alerted to their appearance by one of the gun show organizers.
Bob Templeton, of Crossroads of the West Gun Show, sent an email with the subject line “Local liberals attack Pima County Gun Show.” It asked people to attend the commission meeting.
“The Pima County Fair Board is going to hear from a well-organized group of local liberals who object to our First and Second Amendment Rights to hold gun shows at the Fairgrounds,” Templeton wrote in his email. “We need you to be there. Please come and speak in support of our right to lawfully assemble and to defend our right to continue to have the gun shows.”
Templeton estimated 100 supporters went to the Thursday’s meeting to support the gun shows.
The commission took no action on the pair’s comments, because they spoke during call to the audience and it was not part of the public meeting agenda.