Why Virginia Ross best recorder candidate

by Gerald Stevenson (reprinted with permission)

 

I know Virginia and her business acumen — she has the technology background and organizational experience to lead the recorder’s office out of the operational and financial missteps of the past.

She has clearly outlined her objectives to revitalize this key county department to be more customer oriented; technology current; and fiscally sound.

After years of ingrown management, the Pinal County recorder’s position needs Virginia’s drive and leadership to ensure the critical data of our county is protected and accurate.

She has quickly grasped the pivotal needs to lead for the future and make it more accessible to you and me.

Virginia is a seasoned and disciplined manger whom we can trust with our county’s critical records. She will make the right business decisions to upgrade, strengthen and refresh the office as appropriate.

Once elected, Virginia will conduct an operational audit and a budget review to determine the weaknesses and refine the development needs for the recorder’s office. She will then publish the short-term and long-term objectives of the department and provide a realistic roadmap to accomplish these goals.

I think you’ll agree with me. This office has an embarrassing record and is a laggard. Let’s straighten this out and get it right this election. Virginia Ross is the best candidate for the Pinal County Recorder’s position.

– Gerald Stevenson is retired IBM executive who lives in Mountainbrook.

Patriots of SaddleBrooke Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PRESS RELEASE
Contact: Richard Brinkley
210-627-3627
tbg@wbhsi.net

PATRIOTS HOST “SUPER MEET & GREET”

Bruce Ash, National Republican Committeeman to MC

SADDLEBROOKE, AZ – JULY 21, 2012 – The Patriots of SaddleBrooke is hosting a “Super Meet Greet” candidates at the federal, state and county levels. Bruce Ash has agreed to MC the event on August 7, 2012, at the Mountain View Country Club from4:00 PM to 7:00 PM.

The following candidates will appear at the “Super Meet and Greet:”

Federal level

Wil Cardon, United States Senate; Jonathan Payton, CD 1; Gaither Martin, CD 1.

State level

Al Melvin, AZ Senate; Steve Smith AZ House; Adam Kwasman, AZ House.

Bob Stump, ACC; Susan Bitter Smith, ACC; Bob Burns, ACC.

County level

Douglas Wolf, Assessor; Lando Voyles, County Attorney;

Anthony Gonzalez, School Superintendent;

Derek Arnson, Sheriff; Paul Babeu, Sheriff;

Tom Bearup, Sheriff; Jack McClaren, Sheriff;

Nancy Discher, Supervisor; Anthony Smith, Supervisor.

Oracle School District

Board Members: Jeri Taylor; Jeff McClure

The Patriots of SaddleBrooke is a non-partisan assembly of conservative Americans dedicated to embracing their civic duty and being actively involved in the political process. The foundation of the Patriots of SaddleBrooke is involvement at all levels of government.

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For more information or media inquiries contact

Richard Brinkley at tbg@wbhsi.net or 210-627-3627

Gaither Martin’s Muddled Immigration Message

Gaither Martin of Round Valley is running for Congress in CD1. His message on immigration as portrayed on his web site is clear enough: “I will not support amnesty of any kind while in Congress. . .”

However, Martin, in meeting with local citizens, spoke of a process within which illegal aliens can reach citizenship status. His audience interpreted this position as tantamount to amnesty. Back pedaling, Martin stated his position was not amnesty but he apparently did not convince his audience.

According to the White Mountain Independent, this is how the exchange with the local tea party group went:

“He then proceeded to try to describe a process through which current illegal residents can go to eventually reach citizenship. The audience construed this as amnesty, which they were vocally against.

Martin insisted it is not the blanket, ‘no-work’ amnesty that occurred during the Reagan and Clinton administrations.”

Martin’s muddled message is strong on paper, weak in person.

Questions will likely continue regarding whether Martin is for amnesty or against amnesty. The question is integral to Martin’s stance on border security and national security, which are synonymous in the minds of many.

AZ Senate President Steve Pierce Endorses Jonathan Paton

April 4, 2012

As Senate President, I’ve worked hard to fight for the needs of rural and Northern Arizona in our Legislature, especially as the federal government continues to pass down policies that hurt our businesses and trample on our 10th Amendment rights.

But there’s only so much we can do here as long as Washington remains out-of-touch.

That’s why today I’m endorsing Jonathan Paton in Arizona’s new Congressional District 1. I hope you will join me in working hard to make sure he’s our next Congressman.

Jonathan is a good friend and a solid conservative, who will be a check-and-balance on Washington’s ways. 

A lot of politicians get elected and forget where they come from. Jonathan won’t.

Please join me in not just supporting Jonathan, but working together to get him elected.

Many thanks,

Steve Pierce
President
Arizona State Senate
(R – Yavapai, Coconino)

AZ House Speaker Andy Tobin Endorses Jonathan Paton

March 27, 2012 

I don’t know about you, but I’m extremely concerned about the direction in which Barack Obama is taking this country.

It seems like everywhere we turn there’s an assault on freedom and American exceptionalism; whether it’s the ObamaCare mandates or the massive debt Washington is laying on our shoulders. 

Arizona needs to send a voice to Washington that will be a check-and-balance. We need someone who is going to take Arizona’s fight to Congress.

I believe my friend Jonathan Paton is that person, and that’s why I’m supporting him for Congress in Arizona’s new First Congressional District.

This new district includes much of the area I have represented here in the state Legislature, and critical parts of my home county, Yavapai County.

Jonathan Paton is the only candidate for those of us who believe that America’s best days are still ahead. I hope you will join me and stand with Jonathan today.

Many thanks,

Andy Tobin
Arizona Speaker of the House

AZ State Representative Brenda Barton Endorses Jonathan Paton

March 30, 2012

Friends,

Eastern Arizona appreciates and deserves a representative in Congress who understands our needs and values. We need a representative in Washington who will fight regulations that keep our economy from growing, and will not run away from his constituents like Ann Kirkpatrick did.

That’s why I’m pleased to support Jonathan Paton as our new representative in Arizona’s First Congressional District.

The people of rural Arizona will be well-served to have Jonathan fighting for us in Washington. Jonathan gets it. He understands, as President Ronald Reagan did, that more government isn’t the solution — it’s the problem.

Please join me in standing with Jonathan.

Sincerely, 

Brenda Barton
State Representative

(R – Graham, Greenlee, Gila, Navajo, Apache)

Senator Sylvia Allen Endorses Jonathan Paton

April 2, 2012

The First Session I served as Senator, Jonathan Paton was one of my fellow Senators and we became good friends. He was conservative and stood firm on strong votes for businesses, and individual rights and protections. He worked hard for his district and was a good example to me a freshman Senator.

There’s an open seat race for Congress in Eastern Arizona – Congressional District 1 – and Jonathan is the candidate that I am supporting because I know that he will serve us well and work to bring back true Federalism and protect State Rights in Washington D.C.

This election is so important. Congress and this President are taking America down a dangerous Socialist/Progressive path, and I feel there is not much time left to repair our failing economy and to address the national debt.

For those of us who believe in the Constitution, secure borders and a free and strong economy, Jonathan is our candidate. Please join me in helping to elect him as our next congressman. 

Sincerely,

Sylvia Allen
 President Pro Tempore

Arizona Senate
(R – Graham, Greenlee, Gila, Navajo, Apache)

Arizona IRC ED Denies Budget Recommendation

It was at the Independent Redistricting Commission hearing that SaddleBrooke resident Vince Leach rose to speak before the Commission. Leach spoke to the cover-ups and legal battles in which the Commission is currently engaged (as reported by numerous news media). Leach urged the Commission to be transparent and focus on the real issue: redistricting.

Leach mentioned to the Commissioners that the Commission’s budget, for the ten year cycle, is $10 million as recommended by the Department of Administration and reported by the Joint Legislative Budget Committee (JLBC). Leach was concerned that the last Commission cycle budget was $6 million but had to be increased to $9.5 million due to lawsuits filed against the Commission’s redistricting. Would this year’s budget also see a 58% increase, to $15.8 million, due to lawsuits filed against Commission decisions and backroom machinations?

After concluding his remarks, Leach returned to his seat in the “overflow” room. Before he could sit down, Ray Bladine, Executive Director of the Commission, confronted Leach, accusing him of providing false numbers. Leach provided a copy of the JLBC report, verifying the Department of Administration ten year $10.2 million budget recommendation.

Bladine, in spite of having seen the JLBC report, countered that the numbers were false. He accused Leach of presenting misleading material, which Leach denied. Bladine then stated, “Now I know what I am dealing with,” or words to that effect. When Leach asked Bladine to explain his comment, Bladine refused, repeating, “Now I know what I am dealing with.”

Bladine then placed his hand against Leach’s shoulder not once but twice. Leach told Bladine to take his hand off Leach’s shoulder, his voice loud enough to draw attention and witnesses to the confrontation.

Bladine was interviewed regarding the incident. He denied any confrontation with Mr. Leach but admitted putting his hand against Leach’s shoulder. Bladine further stated that this year’s budget appropriation was $3.5 million. He neither acknowledged that Leach was discussing the 10 year cycle not just a single fiscal year nor admitted that the Department of Administration had made a budget recommendation for $10 million.

It seems unusual that an Executive Director of the IRC would not know that the Department of Administration had recommended a budget of $10.2 million budget for the ten year redistricting cycle. This is public information.

Protecting Pinal County’s Property Tax Payers

Over the years, covering multiple Boards of Supervisors andCountyManagers,PinalCountyentered into numerous agreements waiving impact fees. These are fees used to cover the cost of expanding the water supply and other necessary services as required byArizonalaw. The waiving of impact fees literally means property taxpayers must make up the loss of revenue to the County.

 In October 2006, the Pinal County Board of Supervisors passed and adopted Ordinance No. 101806-DF, which established a development fee schedule forPinalCounty. The purpose of the ordinance is to require new developments to pay for their proportionate share of capital costs associated with providing public safety, streets, and parks facilities.

 In November 2000, Pinal County and Johnson Ranch/Centex Homes amended a November 1997 agreement waiving development impact fees for ten years with an option to renew for an additional ten years. The 1997 agreement expired in November 2007. When Johnson Ranch/Centex Homes requested another ten year waiver of development impact fees, the Board of Supervisors denied the request.

 One of the primary reasons the Board of Supervisors denied the extension was based on a vastly different set of facts facing the Board of Supervisors in 2007 versus the Board of Supervisors in 1997. In 1997, the population of San Tan Valley was estimated at 2000 residents. In 2007, the population was estimated at 40,000 residents. Today, the population is over 80,000 residents, a forty fold increase.

 Growth of this magnitude places a draconian strain on County resources, e.g., the Sheriff’s Department, Public Works, and Public Health, to mention a few. IfPinalCountyviewed County government capitulated to developer demands to waive impact development fees, the lost revenue would be made up in property taxes during a recessionary period.

 Johnson Ranch/Centex Homes developed 4,880 lots with 808 lots remaining to be developed at the time. The build out of 4,880 lots outstripped the infrastructure agreed to in the original development agreement. The exponential population growth inPinalCountywas not foreseen in 1997, lending credibility to the idea that theArizonalegislature should redefine a phased development from ten to five years,

 As a result of the County’s denial of extension of waiver of impact development fees, Johnson Ranch/Centex homes decided to litigate the matter. At approximately the same time, an Arizona State Representative, on behalf of an anonymous developer, attempted to sponsor a bill (HB 2578) freezing all development impact fees. Members of the Pinal County Citizens for Excellence in Government, a non-partisan organization, managed to convince the Representative that his bill was not friendly to property tax payers. The bill was withdrawn.

 The importance of this litigation is evidenced in the 21 development impact fee agreements inPinalCounty. The potential for property tax payers to incur $500 million in new taxes is real. Two developers opted for litigation: Johnson Ranch/Centex Homes and Grosvenor Holdings (Entrada del Oro). Centex Homes prevailed in Superior Court.

 The County appealed on the basis of the Arizona Gift Clause, where the State Constitution prohibits the County from giving or loaning its credit in the aid of any individual or corporation by donation, grant, subsidy or others (Article 9, Section7), public policy consideration, changed circumstances unforeseen at the time of the original agreement, and the best interests of the public.

 In December 2010, the Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the ruling of the Superior Court finding improper the grant of summary judgment in favor of Centex Homes. The Court of Appeals found ambiguity in the Development Agreement and directed that the matter could not be settled by summary judgment; it had to be heard by the “trier-of-fact.”

 Centex Homes filed a Petition for Review with the Arizona Supreme Court. The Petition for Review was denied in May 2011. In June 2011, the Court of Appeals issued a Mandate commanding the Superior Court to conduct such proceedings as are required to comply with the Appellate Court decision. Centex Homes has yet to initiate any proceeding in Superior Court.

 Pinal County Management and the Board of Supervisors were right in refusing to extend the development impact fee agreement and it is right in defending its decision in court. The case is not yet closed but every Pinal County property tax payer should stand up and cheer the position Pinal County Government has taken in this matter.

 Development impact fees are assessed subject to the doctrine that new growth should pay for its own costs; property tax payers should not subsidize homebuilders and new residents.

 

 

We the People Can Do Better

A United States Representative sends lewd pictures of himself to six females, and then brazenly lies to the press and his peers about his actions. An Arizona State senator has a public brawl with his girl friend in the middle of a public road and tells police he cannot be arrested because he is a sitting senator. A Pinal County supervisor disrespects his constituents by describing his constituents’ questions and statements as “moronic.” 

What is the common thread in the behavior of these politicians? Hubris: an unbridled arrogance, an excess of ambition and pride. Another common thread is a total detachment from the reality of the electorate who elected these people into office, only to discover these politicians are not representative of the electorate but are self-representative.

 Are politicians arrogant before they are elected to office or do they become arrogant as a result of being elected into office?  How does political arrogance begin? Is political arrogance a façade covering up a lack of self confidence? Why are politicians more prone to lack of humility and lack of civility? These are the people who should be looking out for us. Instead, they seem to be looking out for themselves.

 We see the same arrogance at the federal and state levels, only to a much worse degree. It is not ordinary political arrogance, it is more, as described in the opening paragraph. It is a general break-down of our ethics, where immoral acts are condoned as long as the act does not violate some statute, where politicians use their positions of power to indulge and cheat. It is a corrupt philosophy of “the ends justifies the means.”

 Surely, we “the People” can do a better job of selecting our representatives.