By Supervisor Steve Christy

My recent Vail Voice columns have focused on events highlighting what we have accomplished together in our southeast region. This is a normal exercise as we approach year’s end. Now, as we enter a New Year, I am taking some time to share my thoughts about what I think our new Board of Supervisors and its individual members may be like and the actions they may take. I understand that for some this may be a bit “inside baseball” or others, like “watching paint dry”. To them, I apologize.

In full disclosure, I must reveal the obvious. I did not support the newly elected Supervisors. In fact, I supported their opponents. Be that as it may, I do believe there are some interesting opportunities and personalities involved and I am merely conveying my own assessments, opinions, and observations. After all, I am most frequently asked, “What do you think of the new Supervisors?” and, “How do you think you’re going to get along with them?” as well as, “Are you going to be able to get anything done?” The last question is an obvious reference to the fact that I am the only Republican on the five-member board.

Let’s start with District 1 where the winner, Rex Scott, had a very narrow victory margin of just 730 votes. Historically represented by Republicans, the last Democrat won election in District 1 in 1972. Rex has a background in education administration and I believe he will focus much of his efforts in that area, even though the County has a very limited role. He and I had a lengthy discussion after the election and I found him to be thoughtful, discerning, and very interested in collaborating. He will be facing pressures from his side of the aisle, I’m sure, so it will be of great interest to see how he deals with them and where he will land on issues. Not having a significant mandate in votes, Rex seems to be concerned about being able to prove to his District that he can represent all of his constituents – a good concern for both his District and the Board.

In District 2, Dr. Matt Heinz swept to easy victories in both the Primary and General Elections, most noteworthy ousting fellow-Democrat, Board Chairman Ramón Valadez, the incumbent of 17 years. He is an emergency room physician, a former member of the Arizona State Legislature, and a former candidate for Congress. He has also been a focal point in health matters in general, and COVID 19 in particular. Public health, I believe, will be his top priority, yet he is experienced enough with legislative procedures and issues to be a player in non-health topics. I have it on good authority that he is a willing participant to try to find common ground and goals. He, too will have political pressures to deal with, but he should be used to that. Dr. Heinz graciously reached out to me as well, which I appreciated.

Finally, in District 5, Adelita Grijalva, who easily won her electoral contests, comes to the Board with perhaps the most name-recognition (family and otherwise) and public service. Certainly, as a result, perhaps she arrives with the most controversy, as well. I am of the understanding that she may continue to hold down her position on the TUSD Governing Board as well as that of Pima County Supervisor. That will certainly be a daunting challenge. Her political points of view are well known, perceived or otherwise. I’m sure that they will be influencing her approaches to County matters, as personal points of view do with all individual Board members. Supervisor-Elect Grijalva also thoughtfully contacted me and I look forward to meeting more with her in the near future.
I do not personally know any of the newly elected Supervisors, but as I mentioned earlier, all three generously contacted me and expressed a desire to work together. All bring different life-experiences and priorities to the Board and I believe it will be a completely different Board in how it operates and what it accomplishes.

Supervisor Sharon Bronson, the longest-serving Supervisor in Pima County history, won reelection to represent District 3. I am sure the new Supervisors will draw heavily from her Board experience and knowledge.

As for me, I plan to continue doing what I have done for the last four years. Nothing really has changed for me, other than there is now one less Republican on the Board. As we’ve discussed and noted in past columns, we still get things done even when in the minority. You, our Greater Vail and Corona de Tucson residents, will remain my top priority, and my staff and I will continue to provide you with superlative constituent services. I will look at all measures placed before the Board for some sort of connection and commonality with the other four Supervisors, believing I can draw involvement, say, and input in the process. There will be those opportunities, and readily and eagerly, I will engage them.

And yes, I love being your Supervisor!

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