Cause of Death: The road bonds were really unpopular outside the heart of Tucson and the Catalina Foothills
The Skinny got a glimpse of a draft map showing how the vote went on Prop. 463, the county road bond rejected by 56 percent of voters in this month's election.
It's a quick and dirty map, but it shows that the people who supported the bonds live in central Tucson and the Catalina Foothills. The rejection came from the rest of the county—most precincts east of Craycroft Road, south of 22nd Street and west of downtown. Prop 463 went down in all the suburbs—Marana, Oro Valley, Sahuarita.
The election made it clear voters don't want to use bonds to pay for road repairs, even if it won't raise their tax rates. And there's certainly an irony that the areas that are seeing road repairs in the city were willing to support it, but voters in outlying areas where roads are in rough shape were not.
Still, you're not going to fix the roads without money—and the notion that the county can just transfer some money from soccer fields to deal with road repairs is nonsense. So if you voted against the bonds and you live in unincorporated Pima County, you won—and for that victory you'll be hitting a lot of potholes for the foreseeable future.
What's next for the county? It's back up to the Arizona Legislature to see if there's any chance of legislation that would allow Pima County voters to approve a sales tax for road repairs. Earlier this week, the Board of Supervisors approved a legislative agenda that includes giving the Regional Transportation Authority the ability to hike sales taxes by another half-cent for regional road repair. That proposal nearly made it out of the Legislature last year but ended up dying in the final days of the session.
Getting lawmakers on board will be a heavy lift and at this point, we don't have much faith that voters would be any more amenable to a sales tax than they are to a property tax.
But it's not as if the problem is going to go away. Quite the opposite: The longer we wait to fix the roads, the bigger the bill is going to get.
A Sweet Gig
Lori Hunnicutt goes from temporary worker to permanent staff in Miller's office
Looks like Arizona Daily Independent founder Lori Hunnicutt is settling right into her Pima County job as a special staff assistant to Pima County Supervisor Ally Miller.
Hunnicutt, whose online blog regularly skewered members of the media who took government jobs, is herself moving from a temporary to a permanent gig in Miller's office.
She'll be paid $25 an hour and work 30 hours a week, which comes out to $39,000 a year, according to county documents. She'll also be eligible for county healthcare benefits, which she'll be taking advantage of, according to a Human Resources email.
Hunnicutt didn't list any skills in her job application with the county, but she did describe herself as a "highly energetic result oriented individual with outstanding interpersonal relationship building skills."
As most anyone who has been featured in a "staff report" on the ADI site can attest, that's quite a description of Hunnicutt.
Busting Ballot-Box Records
Congrats, Pima County voters: Turnout was a record high for a midterm
Pima County hit a new record for voter turnout in the 2018 midterms: More than 70 percent of registered voters cast a ballot earlier this month, which exceeds the 66 percent who turned out in 2010.
It was a record midterm across the state as well. Garrett Archer, a data analyst with the Arizona Secretary of State's Office, reported via Twitter that more people had voted in this election than any other previous to 2016.
It also appears that roughly 80 percent of voters used a vote-by-mail ballot, even if they turned them in kind of late at their polling location—the kind of wrinkle that results in the long vote count that has had so many people tearing their hair out.
You can bet the slow vote count will be a topic of much discussion at the Arizona Legislature, especially since the four Democrats who won statewide office were losing at the end of Election Night, and only came back to win after those late-arriving ballots were counted. Look for the GOP to try to find a way to disqualify ballots that come in on Election Day in future cycles—especially since it looks like Arizona will be in play in the 2020 presidential election.