By Steve Christy

As we go to press, our community is in the throes of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic while struggling to understand why it is so difficult for Pima County to receive adequate vaccines for our population and an efficient system to dispense them into the arms of all of us. Particularly frustrating is the vaccine availability-or lack of it-promised to our educators.

Our own Vail School District was initially promised 210 vaccines, but then, inexplicably, that number was suddenly reduced to just 60. Then, after a successful partnering with United Community Health and the Rincon Valley Fire to create a vaccine clinic at Old Vail Middle School that flawlessly vaccinated some 70 health-workers, the Pima County Health Department announced that all K-12 staffers would instead have to receive their vaccinations, not at our proven local site, but all the way in town at a facility on the UA campus.

The Pima County Health Department operates on its own and independently from the Pima County Board of Supervisors, so communication between the two entities is inconsistent at best and non-existent at worst. And it has been and is now very frustrating for all of us. At this time, the best sources that we know of for vaccine registration and general information can be found at or call the Health Department’s Help-Line, 520-222-0119. Our Southeast Regional Council has formed a special Covid-19 Working Group to address vaccine issues in the Greater Vail/Corona de Tucson area and to facilitate preparations for vaccine distributions to our residents.

I have also just learned that local US Border Patrol Agents, expecting to receive their vaccines as part of the law enforcement community’s inoculation phase were turned away because the Pima County Health Department assumed inexplicably and without confirmation that the Veterans Administration, of all agencies, would be providing the USBP agents with their vaccine! So over 1000 USBP agents and fellow Pima County residents who are exposed daily to COVID-19 and potentially bringing that exposure back to their homes and neighborhoods have been denied their vaccines because they don’t qualify as members of the law enforcement community? I certainly hope that by the time you read this all these unbelievable glitches have been fixed.

Another issue that created a lot of buzz, as well as volumes of emails and phone calls to our office, was the renewal of 27-year-County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry’s employment contract. Whether or not you supported or opposed his contract renewal, the most important element in this matter, in my opinion, was that it be discussed and negotiated in full public view, and not behind closed doors under the cover of “Executive Session”. Mr. Huckelberry, who wrote his own contract that included a raise, submitted his proposal as a public agenda item, which would require discussion during the open Board of Supervisors meeting. It was and still is my belief that accordingly, all matters and details related to his contract should have been discussed during the public Board Meeting. I notified my Board colleagues that if they were to take this matter into Executive Session, I would not be attending nor participating. They chose to deal with the contract in Executive Session and I removed myself and was not present. In the end, Mr. Huckelberry received a new four-year contract by a Board vote of 4-1 and how the Board’s majority ultimately derived his contract, we will never know. This is an inexcusable slap in the face of transparency in government.

On a brighter note, please join me in welcoming our new Pima County Sheriff’s Department Rincon District Commander, Lt. Derek Ogden. We’ve worked with Lt. Ogden during his tour of duty in Green Valley and know that he will be a great addition to our community and region.

And yes, I love being your Supervisor!

About author View all posts

Guest Author