Miller Seeks Answers To Racy Associates $300,000 Lobbying Services Contract: No Deliverables. WHY?
February 6, 2018 -- Pima County federal and state lobbyist Racy Associates' contract was under board review and approval at the recent Supervisors' meeting. Background material provided to Supervisors did not include any performance reports, as required in the contract. Supervisor Miller questioned Administrator Huckelberry why no reports had been generated. Huckelberry's response was: " ... the contract is archaic." Miller pressed on for an explanation, but none was forthcoming.
In preparation for this contract review, Miller's staff requested copies of Racy's required written reports for FY-2014-2015, 2015-2016, and 2016-2017. The answer received from Huckelberry's staff stated: Mr. Huckelberry works with Mr. Racy and determines what reports are required "as appropriate."
Miller stated that reports should be provided in the "name of transparency." Huckelberry responded that he could provide a summary, but it would be a "waste of time for [Racy] to do a report." Watch the video for full disclosure of statements made in the boardroom.
Why is disclosure of lobbying activities important? In 1989, Congress enacted legislation to limit the use of appropriated funds to influence certain Federal contracting and financial transactions and to require the recipients of Federal funds to report all lobbying activities (Federal Transit Administration; 31 U.S.C. 1352, as implemented at 49 C.F.R., Part 20, et seq.) ... read more.
Every time Pima County submits an application for federal funding (and we receive over $50 million annually in federal funds), a Certification of Disclosure of Lobbying Activities must be completed.
Here's what happened after Tittle filed her complaint: A document surfaced yesterday (02/26/2018) from Huckelberry attempting to propose an experimental "Green Asphalt Overlay" pilot road project for Moondance Patio Homes and Sabino Town and Country Estates. Moondance Patio Homes is where Tittle resides.
Included in the document package is a letter to Tucson Asphalt dated January 4, 2018, a memo from Huckelberry to Deputy County Administrator DeBonis and Director of Transportation Olivares dated January 4, 2018, and a memo from DeBonis to Huckelberry dated February 15, 2018 ... all discussing an alleged proposal to fix the roads in Moondance Patio Homes (Tittle's neighborhood) and Sabino Town and County Estates.
What's interesting is that neither Tittle, District 1 Transportation Advisory Committee Representatives, District 1 Supervisor Ally Miller, or the Transportation Advisory Committee appear to have been provided copies of the January 4 or February 15, 2018 correspondence from Huckelberry or DeBonis about the experimental pilot projects for Moondance or Sabino until after Tittle filed her Complaint.
Read Huckelberry's February 26, 2018 document. What say District 1 Residents?
COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST BOS: UNFAIR VOTING
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District 1 Constituent Mia Tittle delivered a formal complaint to the Pima County Board of Supervisors citing Supervisors Bronson and Valadez for voting with bias against District , based solely on disapproval of our District 1 Representative's politics. Tittle states, "I [have been] adversely affected by the unfair policy chosen by the Board of Supervisors for their flagrantly biased, secretive procedures in making reactionary political decisions about Transportation resource distribution."
STONEGARDEN GRANT UPDATE (2/20/2018):
SUPERVISORS ELIAS AND BRONSON DENY GRANT ACCEPTANCE. SUPERVISORS MILLER, VALADEZ and CHRISTY ACCEPT $1.429M GRANT AWARD.
Supervisors Elias, Bronson & Valadez Deny Sheriffs $1.429M Stonegarden Grant
February 6, 2018 -- Supervisors Elias, Bronson & Valadez denied the Sheriffs' acceptance of a $1.429 million dollar Stonegarden Grant from the Arizona Department of Homeland Security. These grants provide support for efforts to "prevent terrorism and other catastropic events and to prepare the Nation for the threats and hazards that pose the greatest risk to the security of the U.S" ... Read more about the grant opportunities.
Stonegarden Grants have been accepted by the Pima County Board of Supervisors since at least July 1, 2009 (according to available county accounting records). County records show that former Sheriff Chris Nanos received a Stonegarden Grant award on October 31, 2016 in the amount of $1,176,208. Click here to see Sheriff Nanos' Award Letter.
Since 2013, a total of 15 Stonegarden Grants have been approved by the Supervisors, plus 3 Arizona Department of Homeland Security grants providing for Regional Border Terrorist/Criminal Interdiction Program. Total Stonegarden Grants and Homeland Security Terrorist/Interdiction Grants accepted by the Supervisors from 2013-2017 total: $6,855,001.59.
Important: Clerk of the Board records show that Stonegarden Grants awarded to Pima County Sheriffs' Department under former Sheriffs Clarence Dupnik and Chris Nanos were all approved by Supervisors Elias, Bronson, and Valadez. Supervisor Bronson's questions about paying benefits, and Superivsor Elias' concerns did not seem to pose a problem in prior years.