This month, I have updates on two issues of significant interest to Southeast Region residents.

First, we received the preliminary “After-Action Report” from Pima County’s Office of Emergency Management, charged with investigating the hazmat crisis on Interstate 10 in February that was caused by a tractor-trailer overturning in the median, dumping out a container full of noxious chemicals. I found the OEM report to be very thorough and comprehensive, as it analyzed and described in impressive detail numerous problems, challenges, causes and possible improvements surrounding the incident.

However, the report, as detailed as it was, did not reveal anything that we did not already know. The OEM director highlights several key elements including the lack of a clear commanding point of information, no plan in place to address such emergencies, inadequate communication procedures and inept coordination between a multitude of City, County, State, and Federal agencies.

The last element is the most obvious and troubling: Even though First Responders acted quickly and professionally, more than a day passed before the Arizona Department of Public Safety emerged as the lead agency, responsible for all facets related to the incident. This led to a delay and breakdown of disseminating important emergency information and vital instructions to community residents and our area’s school system. Further, area hospitals were not notified of the emergency until a significant amount of time had passed. To its credit, the County’s OEM director addresses and identifies all of these missteps and numerous others. The report also forwards some salient proposals to correct them in the future. We are still awaiting the final report from Arizona DPS on the incident. We hope it’s as thorough and complete as the County’s OEM After-Action Report. I urge you to go to the County Administrator’s page on and review the May 3 OEM After-Action Report for yourself.

The second issue we continue to monitor is our Pima County road repair program. When it recently became apparent that there were troubling funding gaps in the 2019 PAYGO ten-year plan, we diligently questioned County Administration about keeping the promise we made in 2019 that every road in unincorporated Pima County will be repaired within ten years. Now, the messaging we’re reading is that the promise is in jeopardy due to inflationary costs, the pre-loading of funds into earlier years thereby taking funds from later years, a re-prioritizing of pavement condition ratings, re-emphasizing which roads will qualify for repair, and a rather cloudy timeline for what roads will get repaired.

We asked the County Administrator to bring scenarios to the Board of Supervisors that would insure that the road repair plan would have adequate funding to keep the promise of all roads in Pima County repaired in ten years without raising taxes. To County Administrator Lesher’s credit, she brought five different road repair funding scenarios, but only the first two were acceptable because the remaining three involved raising taxes.

The first two, we felt were very reasonable as they dealt with delaying numerous planned County capital projects, reductions in certain departmental staffing and annual budgets and temporary hiring freezes. We even suggested that we delay $14 Million in Pima County employee pay raises for one year, with those funds redirected to fixing our roads. Unfortunately, a majority of my colleagues didn’t agree with our concerns about keeping our promise to fix the roads, and my motion to accept the first two road repair funding scenarios provided by the County Administrator, failed 3 to 2, with Supervisor Bronson voting with me. To review the latest road repair updates, please visit my page on the website. Know that we are laser focused on our County road repair program, working to find ways to keep Pima County’s pledge to Just Fix the Roads!

Pima County Supervisor Steve Christy, District 4
33 N. Stone Avenue, Floor 11
Tucson, AZ 85701

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