Giving thanks for our many blessings

Thanksgiving is my favorite time of year to spend with family and  friends, enjoying a feast of turkey along with all of  the fixings.  It is a time to reflect on what we have accomplished and a time to express our gratitude. We all have so much to be grateful for this year.

I am especially grateful for all of  you.   The residents of Pima County are among the most resilient, creative and positive people I know.  Your commitment to the health and welfare of our community is remarkable and I thank you all for your support and for your confidence in me.  

So far this year,  a number of things have occurred at  the County and I have received calls from many of you thanking the County staff for the  commitment to finally fixing our much neglected roads.   
Due to our efforts, including revealing  important facts about the budget along with the identification of excessive year end fund balances, the Pima County Board of Supervisors has now budgeted $36 million dollars for pavement preservation this fiscal year!  
 
The Board has also adopted a pay-go (pay as you go) philosophy versus spending millions of dollars in interest fees on bond debt.   As most of you are aware, more than $89 million in interest fees were paid on the $350 million road bonds that voters approved in 1997.   Paying that level of interest was not a wise fiscal move and I knew we could get roads repaired  without bond debt or more  tax increases. 
 
Due to the booming economy,  we are now enjoying record breaking HURF (gas tax) and VLT (vehicle license tax) revenues in all jurisdictions in Pima County.  As you can see from this data downloaded from the state treasurers’ website,  unincorporated Pima County received more than $95 million in FY 2019 which ended June 30th of this year.  All jurisdictions within Pima County received more than $187 million in distributions for HURF and VLT this past year!

As you can see, there is more than enough money to fix our roads from these existing revenue streams. 

More progress is coming, and I believe that our hard work has paid off in terms of  shifting the conversation and promoting a new way of thinking about managing the finances of Pima County.   It is this  progress that gives me confidence we are  approaching a new year full of possibilities.

I want to share with you some of the people in our community, and highlights from this year for which I am grateful:

Pima County residents share their precious time and energy advocating for their fellow community members. We are fortunate to have so many, willing to share their thoughts, concerns, and ideas with  the Pima County Board of Supervisors.

Amazing people doing amazing work: Kevin and Marie Daily

Kevin and Marie Daily, of the Flowing Wells Neighborhood Association & Community Coalition, are just two of the many creative Pima County residents we are grateful to have in our community. Together, they have authored a remarkable book of photos depicting the rich history of the Flowing Wells area.

The  Flowing Wells Neighborhood Association & Community Coalition (FWNACC ) will donate all royalties earned from sales of this book to fund scholarships for Flowing Wells students. The book is “dedicated to all Flowing Wells family and friends, past, present, and future, who share a vision of a tight-knit community bigger than any one individual and built on hard work, with the school district at its core.”

Go here, to learn more about the project.

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