Ed Buster, president of the Santa Rita Foothills Community Association (SRFCA), opened the March 9th membership meeting with a disclaimer. The disclaimer was clarifying the neutral position of the SRFCA regarding the potential incorporation of Corona de Tucson. The subject was addressed by the evening’s guest speaker, Mike Holmes, a local resident and Pima County Program Manager for Tourism Operations and a member of the county’s economic development team.
President Buster reminded those present that it is the intent of the presentation to provide information regarding the subject of incorporation. He reminded the 85-members that comprise SRFCA, that the SRFCA will remain neutral on the topic at this time.
Mike Holmes began his presentation with the statement that there are major challenges to be overcome should an area wishes to incorporate. In order to incorporate, you must obtain the permission of small towns within three miles or large cities within six miles, said Holmes. Holmes counseled on the importance of retaining an attorney that specializes in incorporation in Arizona. It will not be cheap, he warned.
The majority of the population has to want to incorporate and until you go door to door you won’t know how your neighbors feel. He continued by noting that only the City of Tucson has a property tax. All the other incorporated areas in Pima county do not have a property tax and are dependent on sales tax revenues, stated Holmes.
District 4 Pima County Supervisor Christy has repeatedly stated that the decision to incorporate, not incorporate, or be annexed is up to the residents of a community. He has also encouraged areas not interested in incorporating, yet desiring to have a collective voice to follow the Green Valley Council model.
Corona de Tucson resident Richard Krom spoke to the projected income and expenses from his in-depth explorations. He used a population of 7,000 people for his study. He contacted the League of Cities and Towns and will continue to gather and share information.
We have to get people more interested and they need to get involved, stated SRFCCA board member Ellie Abraham, as she noted there are currently four positions open on the board. We have momentum going with approximately 160 people attending the meeting on South Houghton Road and need to keep the attention on us and Coronas community’s needs.
The two major reasons Vail attempted to incorporate was a lack of attention from Pima County to our needs and concerns of annexation by the City of Tucson. We were afraid we would lose our identity if we became part of such a larger entity as the City of Tucson, said Dick Katz, a member of the leadership to incorporate Vail.
Lucretia Free, District 4 Greater Vail Representative, started a small group to begin the process of forming a community council. According to Ms. Free, the power is in Corona de Tucson, Vail, and southeast Tucson working together. Additionally, Supervisor Christy is planning a listening tour to each community.