Inform Vail AZ has always emphasized the importance for those affected by incorporation to have a clear picture of what is involved whether they support or oppose the effort.
Following the upcoming July 11 Pima County Board of Supervisors meeting, there will likely be paid canvassers in your community asking you to sign the supporting petition. If they receive the required signatures, we can expect to see a well funded campaign to convince you to vote for incorporation.
At the July 11 meeting, we may also find out if the assurances made for a community to be excluded are honored.
While indicating he is remaining neutral, Pima County District 4 Supervisor Steve Christy said, “There’s a lot of issues that people should be completely familiar with before jumping into incorporation. There’s a whole host of services that then become the responsibility of the incorporated area to provide its inhabitants, and those cost money.”
These issues are the same ones Inform Vail AZ has worked to provide information and to educate the community about. While some things are not directly affected with incorporation there may be future ramifications because of development and realignment of our population and demographics. These include independent districts – Vail Unified Schools and Rincon Fire District – and county wide districts supported by our property taxes, including Flood Control, Pima Community College, Pima Health Department and Pima County Library.
Many required services and administrative positions currently provided by Pima County are transferred to the new government upon incorporation – law enforcement, road maintenance, planning and zoning, insurance, etc. Almost all of these services except administrative positions and department heads will be contracted back to Pima County with some, such as IT, to private contractors. In effect this is providing duplication of services we already receive with an added premium for contracting costs. Contracted planning and zoning would not include current Pima County measures intended to protect County and Federal public lands from the effects of higher intensity land uses, including Cienega Creek which could be compromised if a city or town made land use decisions that result in increased groundwater withdrawals and higher land use intensity levels near the creek.
It’s obvious to anyone driving through “downtown” Vail – between the tracks – or by the del Lago Mercado, i.e. Safeway, that Vail does not have the commercial tax base to support incorporation which includes an estimated 20,000 residents, 50 square miles and 144 miles of roads. We should remember it took Sahuarita 30 years to become what it is today; they incorporated with fewer than 2000 people,15 square miles and straddled a high traffic corridor including both I-19 and Nogales Highway.
If Vail followed the Sahuarita model to start small and develop its commercial base instead of expecting homeowners to shoulder the costs and burdens of incorporating, their effort would not only be a much more reasonable approach but would also reduce any attractive commercial benefit for the city of Tucson and remove the oft mentioned threat of annexation.
Whether you support or oppose incorporation, for more information visit www.informvailaz.com. If you feel that incorporation is not best for you and your family, when asked to sign a petition, just say No!
Patti Woodbury for Inform Vail AZ