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FLORENCE — The Pinal County Board of Supervisors was asked to take a public stand against voter suppression, “The Big Lie” that Donald Trump won the 2020 presidential election and other issues.

“It’s embarrassingly time for this board to demand accountability by our Republican office-holders,” Roberto Reveles of Gold Canyon told the board Wednesday.

Noel Reck of Casa Grande asked the board to publicly censure or rebuke recent bills that would allow the Legislature to nullify election results and decertify Arizona’s 2020 electoral votes, “to let the public know you don’t countenance this type of vile legislation.”

This should include the false slate of presidential electors out of Arizona, which Reck said “should be fully exposed, condemned and prosecuted,” and a recent “despicable” campaign ad that depicted a Wild West gunfight.

“Silence regarding these actions is complicity. With all due respect, do you have the will?” Reck asked the board. He said the board’s appointments of Teresa Martinez and Neal Carter to the Legislature were bad decisions.

Reck said he understands a new $100,000 fund for the Sheriff’s Office isn’t to be used for deployment to the border. “I hope that will remain to be true,” Reck said, as the state attorney general has opined that the state can wage war at the border. Reck called this “more red meat for the base as he runs for higher office.”

Although the Sheriff’s deputies recently stopped a large illegal shipment of fentanyl, the problem won’t end until the demand for the drug is much reduced or eliminated, Reck said. He said $100,000 could go a long way to help desperate people before they hurt or kill themselves or others.

Reveles similarly asked, “What’s going on with Arizona’s formerly ‘Grand Old Party’?” and suggested a crisis intervention.

Among other issues, Reveles said the county seeks taxpayer funds to reduce impaired driving and drug trafficking, while the sheriff’s son was an impaired driver. “I regret having to say this,” Reveles said. He further said Pinal seeks emergency COVID relief for a sheriff who “publicly and cynically claims he will not enforce public health protective policies for his own personnel” who interact with the public.

Reveles renewed his call for “public accountability sessions” with county departments to learn what the county is spending on unaudited projects, and the county’s unreported expenses in connection with the former president’s Jan. 15 rally outside Florence.

Also addressing the board Wednesday:

  • Brett Smith of San Tan Valley spoke of the need for a school resource officer at San Tan Foothills High School. He said the school is “the second-highest concentration of people in San Tan Valley” and experiences a high number of fights. There are also drugs on campus, he said.

Smith said school and county officials all blame someone else for the delay in hiring for the position. “There needs to be urgency on both sides to place on officer at San Tan Foothills immediately,” Smith told the board. Supervisor Mike Goodman, R-San Tan Valley, asked county staff to check into the delay.

  • An Oracle man told the board the Federal Communications Commission has placed Oracle in a “designated market area,” or DMA, in which it receives broadcast news from the Phoenix metro area, rather than from the Tucson stations that are more likely to provide the news they need. He said using the internet is not the solution.

He asked county staff to petition the FCC for Oracle to be placed in the correct DMA. Board Chairman Jeff McClure, R-Eagle Crest Ranch, asked County Manager Leo Lew to look into the matter.

  • Richard Myers of Coolidge spoke in favor of continuing to have a Christian invocation at the beginning of regular board meetings, as the board did Wednesday.
  • Lew congratulated the board and the city of Casa Grande on Kohler’s future 1 million-square-foot production and distribution facility and 400 full-time jobs. He also thanked several county officials and representatives for working with the city to ensure that infrastructure needs will be in place and the workforce will be ready.
  • The board congratulated several county employees on their work anniversaries. Celebrating 25 years are Steven E. Frazier, chief information officer, and Mary F. Dreyer, attorney in public defense. Celebrating 20 years are Carolina E. Estrada, Copper Corridor Justice Court clerk; Linda A. Martinez, Sheriff’s Office contracts coordinator; David R. Hailey III, deputy sheriff; Michael D. Hughey, sheriff’s investigator; and Joseph M. Roethle, sheriff’s investigator.
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Mark Cowling is the county reporter for PinalCentral and covers the town of Florence, San Tan Valley and the surrounding area. He can be reached at mcowling@pinalcentral.com.

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