Regarding Incorporate Vail’s article in the April issue of the Vail Voice:
Vail Arizona is much more than “just” a census designated place (CDP). From its inception to today, Vail has maintained its identity as a diverse community, welcoming young families, retirees, longtime residents and visitors. Equestrians, families, adventurers all add to the flavor of the “Town Between the Tracks”. Volunteers have worked to make and keep Vail a special place in the schools and in the community. Vail also benefits from a vast array of services provided by Pima County.
When we complain that the county doesn’t give Vail its fair share of State Shared Revenues Pima County receives or we’re unhappy with roads or zoning changes, sometimes we can only blame ourselves. Granted, it can be challenging to learn about what is taking place — meetings, planning, zoning. Government is complicated and the information you need isn’t always there, is buried or at least not where you expect to find it. And we all have busy lives.
But will changing Vail’s designation from a CDP to a Town with offices, a well paid staff (even if the council is voluntary) and new taxes fix this? Will duplicating services we already receive from Pima County by delegating them to a new layer of government and contracting them back to Pima County really make a difference?
If we don’t incorporate, will the Vail Resources, Vail Preservation Society, Arizona Trail and other volunteers all throw up their hands, quit and go home? I don’t think so. Will Tucson gobble us up? Not without our permission. Could the folks pushing incorporation instead have spent their energies by looking at Green Valley as a possible model instead of touting about all the dollars new development would bring us.
I believe we all understand that progress and change in our area is inevitable. But not incorporating does not mean “doing nothing”, it means looking at all the ways to preserve what we have and value — for now and in the future.
Forty Year CDT-Vail Resident
I am writing this letter to express my concern for the movement to incorporate Vail. We moved to this area in 1982, and a few years later a developer came into our neighborhood and began the development called Antler Crest. The developer held meetings with us and promised the rural community that they would create easements and trails throughout the area for the local residents to ride horses, bike, and hike.
When the project was completed, the promises that had been made
did not happen. It seems that we had promised these things in order to gain our favor. The promises were never converted to legal documents as easements. The promises were good intentions, but they had no legal standing. It is my understanding that the de-
veloper of Antler Crest is involved in “Incorporate Vail” and is also on the board of “Greater Vail Area Chamber of Commerce.” I am concerned that they will use the same strategy to make promises to the community without legal documents backing it up.
In addition, I understand that current developers of the new developments being built are executing the option to “opt out.” I believe that will leave the existing small property owners to foot the bills of a proposed budget on their
website that, to me, does not
accurately reflect the real cost of
incorporation to the community.
The developers are selling the new homes for up to $600,000. Many long-time residents have properties worth much less but will have the burden of paying for incorporation costs. For these reasons, I will not be supporting the incorporation of Vail.
I just wanted to drop a note to express my gratitude for the way you serve our community, and to thank you for providing a platform to allow us to stay informed on the matters related to the incorporation of our town. My family moved back here in 2021, after a time away during service in the Air Force, to be part of a community we know and love. We couldn’t be more excited about the prospect of incorporation and what that means for our future. Vail has grown and evolved, but there is so much about what makes Vail great that we want to see it preserved while also allowing its citizens to thrive.
Its evident incorporation gives us the best shot to do just that. It won’t be easy, and there will be a lot of work to do, but I’m confident incorporation gives us the best shot at keeping Vail great and allowing us to make the right investments to ensure a bright future. Thanks again for what you do and being part of the community we love!
In May, 2023, the City of Tucson put forth pre-annexation agreements with the State Land department for land here in Vail. In fact, about 35% of our land in the proposed Vail incorporation area is State Land and the area south of I-10. “New Tucson” is completely surrounded by vulnerable State Land. These most recent annexations follow a long pattern of annexations in the Vail area including annexations in 1985, 1988, 1991, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2005, 2013, and now 2023.
The Vail area is an attractive target for annexation, despite the 22-mile distance from Tucson City Hall, because of the community we’ve all created. People want to live in Vail! And in truth, the City of Tucson is not to blame. We have allowed this to happen because of our lack of sovereignty. This is one of the reasons Vail Incorporation is so important. Go to www.IncorporateVailAZ.org for more information.
Ten years ago there was a meeting at the Vail school where a proposal to form a City of Vail was discussed. When the packed room was told they would continue to pay all the County taxes they were currently paying plus whatever taxes were levied by the City of Vail for another level of government the proposal was overwhelmingly rejected.
When this latest City of Vail proposal came up I contacted the County and received the same documentation the people pushing incorporation received. I spent hours reviewing the paperwork to make an informed decision. I was willing to hear what others thought of the proposal. When the latest City of Vail meeting was held I had to be out of state, but I heard the results of the meeting from my neighbors. They felt the idea of a City of Vail was not supported by the great majority in attendance.
When I saw Ann Gibson’s piece in the Vail Voice about the attendance and support from the attendees they didn’t match with any of my neighbors. Then when I learned the article in the Vail Voice indicating support for the proposal was written before the meeting was held, I lost all confidence in the people pushing the proposal.
With the recent information that Corona De Tucson Corona De Tucson and Diamond Ventures opting out it was obvious that the proposal for a City of Vail at least in my Rocking K neighborhood is DOA. I have no connection to either the Incorporate Vail AZ or Inform Vail AZ people but let’s be honest The Incorporate Vail AZ group is dead, at least in Old Rocking K.
Another nail in the coffin is the comments about buying up the water companies so they can control water usage.
Let’s put this ” Incorporate Vail AZ ” plan to bed once and forever.
Thoughts and prayers for Mary Ann Cleveland Road. Back in January, the digital speed limit signs went up. According to Ward 4 and the City of Tucson officials, this was the fix to our problem on Mary Ann Cleveland. More patrols, that’s the answer! Like the speed signs, they came and went!
Here we are it’s the end of May and all the “fixes” have not fixed the issue with Mary Ann Cleveland Road. We now have had our 2nd fatality on this road which was a medical emergency, with another separate accident at MAC and Houghton Road on May 26th, 2023. This is on top of the weekly accidents that happen on this road that the city continues to avoid. What’s the fix? According to our elected officials from the City of Tucson, Nothing! That’s what they keep doing and clearly nothing and ignoring it has fixed the issue, Right?! Wrong!
While the wheels of government slowly often churn, the lack of efficient planning around the growth of this road between Vail and Rita Ranch is to blame here. For over ten years our city officials and county representative have done nothing to put in place the proper infrastructure to support the Vail and Southeast Tucson community we all call home. Instead of doing a U-turn to fix the issue in an expedited manner, we have clearly hit the stop light full of red tape to provide a real solution to Mary Ann Cleveland Way.
The solution is simple, make Mary Ann Cleveland Way a multilane divided highway that allows for safe passing and creates a safe environment for cars and bad drivers to have room to avoid accidents. It’s time for our city to start holding emergency meetings and put real action in place. Get the shovels in the ground. Hold our representatives’ feet to the fire!
For me, the choice is easy when I hit the ballot box to select a representative for Ward 4. The ones who have been in power and who claim to fight for us and give us lip service on this issue won’t be getting my vote. As a Democrat, I will have no problem voting for the Republican if it means getting shovels in the ground where our current representatives can’t even get past the pay dirt to fix this road!
For the homeowners who see the carnage of these accidents on Mary Ann Cleveland Way every day, it is clear to us that the city and our representatives are clearly overlooking the needs of the Vail and Rita Ranch and do not want to fix this issue in an expedited manner and only offer their thoughts and prayers.
Where can you –
1. see stars and planets in an indigo night sky
2. eat breakfast with quail families
3. shop where you can actually find a nearby parking space
4. hike, bike and jog along picturesque trail after trail after trail
In Vail, of course. But why is this important?
I was born in the Midwest but because of job opportunities and short-term employment contracts I lived in Colorado, Washington state, Idaho, Texas, Louisiana, Nevada, California and ultimately Arizona. All of these states had or has their own particular set of political or social divisions – some conservative and some liberal. The one thing that I’ve learned from all my moving around is that extremism – either conservative or liberal – does not work. Extremism simply rips the soul out of a community. Let’s not let that happen in Vail.
I read with some amusement the “Inform Vail, AZ” column. Whoever was the author used the “I” pronoun rather than identifying themselves and cloaking their comments under the guise of being the official position of the group. He or she may very well have experienced the incorporation of Cave Creek but failed to note that some of the issues involved in that endeavor have been since remedied and are no longer relevant.
Specifically, when a town or city is incorporated the boundaries may not leave “islands” of unincorporated areas of the County. We have one of, if not the best, school districts in the State of Arizona. There are several school districts within Arizona and the other 49 states that have access to the curriculum developed and refined by the staff and administration of the Vail Unified School District. Schools will not be effected by incorporation nor will the excellent fire services provided by the Rincon Valley Fire District. It would appear the author never attended any of the meetings held by the board of Incorporate Vail, AZ? Otherwise he or she would have known this.
I suspect that the author hasn’t seen or understand the proposed boundaries of the incorporated town. He claims “what regulations and restrictions a potential town or city of Vail might impose on it’s residents.” Does he or she think that the setting of rules will be down in a smoke-filled backroom and out of view of the public, without any input from the citizens? The Incorporate Vail, AZ? Board has gone out of its way to be open and above board. The County Board of Supervisors will appoint the first City Council, if indeed, the incorporation proposal is approved by the voters. Supervisor Christy will be seeking the names of voters who are interested in serving on the first City Council. After the initial appointment, future council members will be elected by the public.
There will be further open discussions prior to the election. I suggest if you are really interested, on either side of the issue, show up and speak your piece but come prepared with facts, not just innuendo.
I have lived in the Tucson area for most of my life, and have lived in
Vail for the last 8 years. While I enjoy the greater Tucson area in
general, Vail has taken a special place in my family’s life. We love
the schools, the wildlife, and the open spaces.
It is hard to find communities that are strongly knit together anymore
without politics pulling them apart. We love the strong sense of community and involvement that we have seen in Vail.
I am in favor of the proposed effort to incorporate Vail. There has
been some spirited discussion on both sides of the issue, but I find the argument compelling that a local government can represent our local values better. Furthermore,
I admire many of the individuals who have championed the effort to bring the issue of incorporation to the community’s attention. They have been approachable and open in their analysis.
I hope that our community can carefully consider and respectfully debate the issue. And then I hope to have the chance to vote YES on incorporation!
Incorporate Vail Arizona (IVA) was founded by and has been funded by the Greater Vail Area Chamber of Commerce (GVACC). This has been in plain sight and has become more apparent since the IVA President’s pro-incorporation speech to the Coyote Creek HOA. Right off the bat, his opening topic revolved around the GVACC and went on shortly after to speak about increasing commercial development.
This is not a movement “by the people, for the people”, it is an effort “by the businesses, for the businesses”. GVACC’s mission statement is “Influencing Vail’s Future”.
Stated on the IVA website, GVACC “brought together a group of local Vail residents” to “explore” incorporation. It has been known by those following the incorporation movement that an anonymous donor provided an undisclosed amount of money to the GVACC. The GVACC then forwarded that money from the anonymous donor to IVA and the individuals who were hand selected to push and sell this incorporation idea to us residents.
The purpose behind Chamber of Commerce’s is to support the interests of businesses. They do not advocate for the benefit of the common area resident/property owner nor preserving Vail. Whose voice will be heard, yours or the many businesses and business owners that show up to city hall?
Only about 30% of those leading the GVACC (Staff and Board of Directors) actually live within Vail’s proposed incorporation boundaries. People from outside our community are pushing for Vail to become incorporated in the interest of business owners, not the local residents.
Remember, the GVACC founded and is funding this incorporation push. If Vail incorporates, whose voice will be heard when the potential positions of a local Vail government were essentially created by the GVACC?
To become a member of the GVACC, a business owner/business must purchase a membership. More memberships mean more money for the organization and more money to lobby government. Eight out of eleven IVA board members either own or are executives of businesses and organizations that are members of the GVACC.
It is becoming more and more evident that incorporating Vail is about increasing commercial development and not about the community that we all cherish. This is not about preserving Vail; it is about changing Vail forever into a commercial based community.
If you support the preservation of Vail, say NO when asked to sign a petition to get incorporation on the ballot.