WHAT VOTERS CAN LEARN ABOUT THE MEANING OF "PURPOSES" AND "PROJECTS"
FROM PIMA COUNTY'S 2004 BOND ELECTION
During the past week, many of my constituents have contacted me regarding how bonds funds can be used once they are approved by the voters. Much discussion has centered on the question:
If voters approve a specific "project," shouldn't they expect that project to be enacted upon, funded, and completed as expressed by the voters?
You would think "yes." But that does not appear to be the case. To help you understand this issue, I refer the voters to the case involving Pima County's 2004 Bond election and questions raised by:
What Can Be Done To Rectify The
PURPOSE vs. PROJECT Dilemma?
BOND FACTS YOU NEED TO KNOW
Action Item 1
Initiate Legislation to Close-Up this loophole of PURPOSE vs. PROJECT
Action Item 2
Review the criteria in your Bond Ordinance to close-up this loophole of PURPOSE vs. PROJECT
Here's What Happened with the Rillito / Northside Community Park Improvements
Have questions or County related concerns?
Call (520) 724-2738
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Bond Election Pamphlet: Question 4 dealt with PARKS. Item 4.3.1 was listed as the Northside Community Park requesting $5.5 million to be used for (1) $4.5 million to buy land, and (2) $1 million to turn it into a park to be given to the City of Tucson. The bond passed, but none of the money was used for the Northside Community Park. Instead, the money was "moved over" to Rillito to tear down horse barns and conduct Rillito Park improvements (read Ed Moore letter and County Administrator's 1/28/14 memo).
Moore's Issue Raised to Arizona Auditor General: How can money be moved from one "project" to another "project" if the voters approved the project?
Arizona Auditor General's Response to Moore: "The County proceeded lawfully on its bond plan ... the County determined PURPOSES based on its implementation Ordinance. However, the County has some flexibility to modify an adopted bond implementation plan, which includes a list of board-approved PROJECTS ... therefore, while the Board can spend bond proceeds only for the PURPOSES described in the ballot questions, the Board may adjust approved PROJECTS according to the criteria in its bond ordinance."