FLORENCE — The Pinal County Board of Supervisors went on record opposing the move of the Social Security office in Apache Junction to Gilbert.
Supervisor Jeff Serdy, R-Apache Junction, said at Wednesday’s board meeting that he favors keeping the office where it is. He said the population in Gilbert is much younger “and I don’t think they use the Social Security office as much.”
Penny Pew from the office of U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Prescott, said the office doesn't know the reason for moving the office 20.9 miles, but Gosar has written letters to Social Security and the U.S. General Services Administration opposing it.
She said ages 62 and over represent 8.38% of Gilbert's population compared to 32.89% in Apache Junction. The population of veterans is also much higher, she said. Pew continued that 57.7% of Gilbert residents have income under $80,000, while the figure is nearly 90% in Apache Junction.
“So those who use Social Security, Social Security benefits — be it disability, or other of their outreach programs — that defies their entire mission that they themselves are supposed to follow,” Pew said.
The supervisors approved sending a letter to Gosar that notes “the current location (at 253 W. Superstition Blvd.) serves one of the most at-need retiree populations in Arizona.” Further, “There are three times as many 62+ individuals living in Apache Junction as are living in the relevant areas of Gilbert.”
In other action Wednesday, the board recognized the following sheriff and adult detention employees for their years of service: Antonio Bingochea, victim support specialist, Justin L. Akin, deputy sheriff, and Daniel Pacheco, deputy sheriff, all with 25 years, and Donna M. Cashman, deputy sheriff, James R. Petros Jr., deputy sheriff, and Hunter L. Rankin, captain, all with 20 years.