Dear Editor,

Hello Vail community! I am Leroy Smith, Candidate for Vail Governing Board. I am a former Marine, disabled Veteran, Associate Warden with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Security Monitor at Cienega High School, Federal Whistleblower (sustained), and Correctional Officer for the Arizona Department of Corrections. In my personal and professional capacity, I understand the unwavering sacrifice, commitment, fortitude, and faith one person must possess when facing the opposition and hardship when ensuring the safety, security, health and welfare of our nation and community.

I will support and defend parent rights! I believe God has given parents the fundamental right and freewill to make decisions for their child, be it medical decisions, or decisions on when to teach sensitive subjects. A governing board or school committee should invite parents to be part of the curriculum and book review process prior to final approval. I will hold myself and school board members accountable when we fail to honor our positions.

I will utilize my crisis management experience to ensure operational emergency protocols are in place and functional. I will work with the other board members to build a team formulating rapid response plans to assess future potential safety and security risks and provide the community confidence that our district staff and governing board members will be prepared to comprehensively tackle school safety and security emergencies when they arise. My OSHA and EPA background will enable me to provide guidance on future contagions and outbreaks.

I will work to increase teachers’ salaries and boost benefits for the retention of our district’s teaching professionals, provide additional funding for low income and other underserved students and students with disabilities in our community.

Students must focus on fundamentals, elementary reading, writing, arithmetic, science, and history, ensure that “ALL CHILDREN” are reading by the end of the third grade, promote independent critical thinking, teach our children how to think, not what to think, ability to weigh competing ideas. We must actively resist any form of indoctrination with progressive ideologies.

In closing, I would like to encourage parents and community members to regularly attend school board meetings. I want to thank the Parents and Vail Community Members for giving me the opportunity to have my voice heard and their support. I appreciate Steve Christi, Mary Ann Cleveland, and Shiry Sapir among others for their support. I look forward to earning your vote on November 8, 2022.

By Leroy Smith

Dear Editor,

For a multitude of reasons, my husband and I moved to the Vail area about six months ago from the hustle and bustle of Phoenix. We were hoping to get settled and create a home for our future children in a quieter area. We had no ties here and were hopeful we would even make a few friends along the way. We have been overwhelmed by the immediate sense of welcome we have already received. In particular, we have found a sense of family in our neighbors, Phil and Stephanie, a local electrician and school teacher. They embody true altruism. The pair, and their daughter, have gone above and beyond in aiding us in our journey of homeownership, which has included many ups and downs. Despite being the new couple to an area with deep roots, they have encouraged us to join some local volunteer and community groups which have been very rewarding. After a few hard years with lock-downs and distance, it is refreshing to feel that we are part of a wholesome community again, where people truly just want to help one another. We cannot thank you all enough for that. We are looking forward to our future here in Vail.

By The Lounds

Dear Editor,

Who is responsible for maintaining the weed control on Mary Ann Cleveland? There are places along that stretch where it has gone into the bike path lane, to the point where cyclists have to travel in the traffic lane to avoid the weeds. There are signs getting hidden because of the overgrowth. It’s daily hazard. The sign at East Vista Del Lago, for the right turn, is so overgrown when pulling out from that street that you have to almost enter traffic lane to see if any oncoming traffic is coming. It’s the same for oncoming traffic: they can’t see a vehicle at the corner. I emailed street maintenance a week ago and heard nothing. Something needs to be done. I don’t think I have seen anyone clearing weeds in over a year and it really shows. Please help!

By Monica Selby

Dear Editor,

I am writing to express my opinion that it will be very good for Sweden and Finland to join NATO. This is because they are very close geographically to Russia and they would see an increase in protection from Russia and its allies. Russia is becoming more dangerous and poses a threat to the peace and safety of Europe and the world. With Sweden and Finland joining NATO, Russia would become less confident in attacking and annexing parts of Europe. Russia made a connection with China and North Korea which are all totalitarian states that repress human rights and democratic ideas. The trio of countries is militarily powerful, armed with nuclear weapons, and dangerous to the stability of the world.

By Murphy Shire (Age 15)

Dear Editor,

Hello fellow Vail School District Constituents!

I wanted to personally thank each and every one of you for your vote consideration on November 8.

I wish to thank our volunteers who are getting out the vote for Leroy Smith and I. You have knocked doors, passed out cards, attended events, phone called, spoke to your neighbors, and put up our signs. We are in the final stretch for this election and you are still hard at work.

A special thank you to our endorsers and donors!

A note before you vote, if you haven’t already. Please be sure to vote in person on the day of the election. You can even do so in exchange for your ballot you received in the mail. Please get out and vote! It’s your constitutional right, honor and privilege to do so. Without your votes, we cannot make the proper changes necessary in our community and for our leadership in higher office. YOUR VOTE MATTERS!

To our detractors and those who publicly libeled, slandered, allowed my family to be attacked in multiple public forums and even allowed grown adults to publicly shame and attack my young son….I appreciate you because you have shown the horrible ineptitude and attitude that has been allowed to pervade our district facilities for far too long. This includes the current governing board, who has done nothing to stop these attacks. How can this board and staff, with their surrogates, protect and teach your children when they selectively go after a candidate and her family?

It truly is time for a change in leadership and that will start with electing me (Anastasia Tsatsakis) and Leroy Smith to the Vail Governing Board.

Thank you again for all you do and we truly look forward to being your newly elected Governing Board members.

By Anastasia Tsatsakis

Dear Editor,

My name is Nick Pierson, and I am a candidate for the Pima Community College Governing Board. I am asking for your vote. This is a non-paid voluntary position that will face tough decisions during a 6-year term. As a father of 3 and a grandfather of 7 and an Arizona native I care deeply about our community. I graduated from the U of A, served in the Army as a medical corpsman, served on the Boards of the Changuitos Feos, the Educational Foundation of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber, the Board of Directors of Arizona Town Hall, and served 9 years on the Fox Tucson Theatre Foundation Board. All volunteer positions where I enjoyed working to give back to our community. I am running I care about my community and the future of our children and their children, they are our future. We all can agree that Pima Community College is among the most essential public services for our Pima County residents. .

As a concerned citizen and potential board member, I realize Pima Community College is facing many challenges. These challenges are significant and will require considerable effort on the part of the Governing Board, the administration, faculty, and staff with community input to resolve. My experience and desire to work to improve Pima Community show that I am ready to start from day one to assure that Pima Community College fulfills its mission of “Empowering every learner, every day, for every goal” “Transforming lives through affordable education. I will work on improving all the areas of the College. Board Governance must consider the totality of the Institution to make sure it is serving the best interests of the students and the community. News articles have been pointing out problems and challenges at the College pointing out divisions on the current Board, complaints from the Faculty and Staff towards the Chancellor and some Governing Board candidates have even taken sides. The side I choose is to ensure that the best interest of the Students and the Community are being served. Space here is limited, please go to for more information.

By Nick Pierson

Dear Editor,

Recently there has been much controversy and infighting within the Vail School District between the board and staff versus some parents and a couple of school board candidates fighting the corrupt and failing education establishment in Vail.

Legislative District 19 Republicans have received a barrage of complaints from insiders who are personally aware of the problems being hidden from the public there.

We are aware of a corrupt entrenched education establishment operating statewide to protect it’s own interests above those of parents and children. I find it disturbing that his kind of thing is going on here in Vail at what once was the best district in the state. Our children and parents are suffering. Has the VUSD turned into the mess everyone is running away from at TUSD? It seems so. The community needs to be aware of what is actually happening there and take action to fix this district. Curiously the VUSD governing board seems to routinely vote 5-0, against the interests of parents and children, even though it is a mix of Republicans and Democrats.

One would expect frequent split votes, but that is not the case. What could possibly be going wrong behind the scenes to cause the board to be so secretive and circle the wagons as they do? Nothing good I can assure you. The upcoming VUSD governing board election is critical for the VUSD governing board swamp to be drained and exposed for all to see. That can only happen if members who will not sell out the parents and children are finally elected to the board.

With that in mind, on October 8th, the legislative district 19 Republican Committee issued a resolution condemning the VUSD governing board for its’ corrupt actions. You may find it published at together with a wealth of information on the candidates we have vetted and support. Please consider the information we have gathered and presented from insiders who know the truth.

Ray Ihly

Dear Editor,

In these current “woke” times, race has become one of those hot button issues that, through relentless and sensationalist media publicity, has in some circles, become the single most important issue of our time. This emphasis ironically has only served to widen tensions. One of the most inflammatory aspects of this is the all too real subject of police brutality. Those two words will invoke highly charged feelings on either side. What’s missing however from this conversation is the subject of class. America more than ever before is a class based society. In the upper echelons of power, race is pretty well irrelevant, as the election of Obama, love him or hate him, laid to rest any notion that America is at its core a racist country. There are also black people and other minorities in very high positions of power in every level of government, military and business. This is not to dismiss or downplay discrimination and the many blatant violations of civil rights at the hands of law enforcement, as we’ve all seen the videos. However, a statistic that is never discussed is that almost twice as many Caucasian’s are killed in interactions with police than are African Americans ( From a numerical point of view those numbers don’t reflect the per capita ratio but are nonetheless never mentioned. Which proves that if you live in a poverty ridden neighborhood or county which offers substandard education, high unemployment, and is plagued by rampant alcohol and drug abuse with virtually no hope of salvation, criminals, and yes, many innocents will bear the full brunt of a system that has abandoned its own people regardless of color simply for the “crime” of being born poor.

By Frank Hannibal

About author View all posts

Guest Author