by Jim Nintzel
When four members of the Pima County Board of Supervisors voted this week to move an estimated $800,000 in road-repair funding from District 1 to District 4 earlier this week, District 1 Supervisor Ally Miller was outraged.
Miller said the other supervisors were targeting her because she has relentlessly been dogging them as corrupt big spenders who are mismanaging the county.
But Supervisor Ramon Valadez says political differences on the relative value of budget items—such as support for the county’s southside University of Arizona Medical Center South Campus (formerly Kino Hospital), programs to help Mission Manor Elementary School students attend a special science and math program at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, and spending on the Hughes Access Road to support Raytheon, Tucson International Airport and other potential high-tech companies—do not equal mismanagement.
“When you disagree on public policy, that doesn’t mean it’s mismanagement,” Valadez told The Range yesterday. “That means there’s a disagreement.”
Valadez says the Miller opened the door to losing the District 1 road dollars by ignoring staff recommendations regarding how the money could be spent. When the Democrats on the board voted to include $5 million in road-repair dollars, they did it with a caveat that “it has to go to regionally significant and major arteries,” Valadez said. “Why? Because then I can go to my voters and say, ‘This road might be located outside your district, but you take Oracle Road, don’t you? You take River Road, don’t you?’ And you can make the argument that we all benefit.”
Instead, Miller moved the money away from major arterial roads and to her own priorities.
One of those priorities—and the one project that got done before the remainder of the District 1 funding was moved to Colossal Cave Road this week—was Oasis Road between Camino de Oeste and the Marana town limits.
As it turns out, that road happens to be just a block from Miller’s own home.
“Miss Miller lives on Camino del Oeste,” Valadez says. “She had Oasis Road paved from Camino del Oeste to Twin Peaks (Road).”
Miller did not return a call for comment regarding why her office had shifted funds from the staff’s recommendations to a road in her own neighborhood.
But Valadez says he did get a chance to see the work when he recently visited the Dove Mountain Ritz Carlton.
“We did a really good job, I have to tell you,” Valadez said.