On Thursday, May 10, 2018, a constituent provided me a copy of a memorandum from Administrator Huckelberry to County Attorney Andrew Flagg. The memo contained very important information regarding tax implications for the recently donated Canoa Hills Golf Course. This information appears to have been withheld from four Supervisors prior to the Board's decision on April 17, 2018 to accept the golf course as a donation.
I have communicated my grave concerns to County Attorney Flagg regarding the withheld information and the $100,000 tax liability associated with the golf course. For more details read the following:
Supervisor Steve Christy, who represents District 4 where the abandoned golf course is located, made disparaging remarks about certain individuals spreading what he termed as "malicious and false information" about acceptance of the donation. Here's what county Parks staff distributed in their memo to Administrator Huckelberry:
"MAINTENANCE OF THIS PROPERTY WILL BE EXTREMELY COSTLY (FOR WHICH PARKS DEPARTMENT DOES NOT HAVE FUNDS), COMPLAINTS ARE EXPECTED TO BE SIGNIFICANT (WHICH WILL LIKELY LEAD TO ILL WILL WITH THE SURROUNDING COMMUNITY), AND IT DOES NOT FIT INTO ANY RECREATION OR CONSERVATION PLANS THAT [PARKS] HAS IN THE GREEN VALLEY AREA. THEREFORE, WE HAVE NO DESIRE TO ACCEPT THIS DONATION."
Wonder if Supervisor Christy considers County Staff assessments "malicious" and aimed at spreading "false information?" Based on figures provided by Parks' staff, open space projects cost $10,000 per mile to maintain per year with two cuttings per year. The Canoa Hills Golf Course consists of approximately 130 acres.
Question of the Day: How many golf courses in Pima County are now supported with taxpayer funds?
MISSING GOLF COURSE DOCUMENTS LOCATED
Part 1: Constituent delivers to Supervisor Miller a copy of Administrator Huckelberry's May 7, 2018 memo addressed to County Attorney Flagg regarding Assessor's belief that tax liability for Canoa Hills Golf Course is approximately $100,000. Read Huckelberry's memo not disclosed to the Supervisors, and Miller's email request to attorney seeking legal opinion. Huckelberry further states, he would "appreciate if you would convey this message to the Assessor and to request that no tax be levied on the property for the next tax roll ...." Huckelberry's memo requesting the golf course not be subject to paying taxes was withheld from the Supervisors.
Part 2: Read County Attorney Flagg's response to Supervisor Miller stating the county plans to convert the property to a different use after it acquires it, but ....
Part 3: Read Administrator Huckelberry's memo to Supervisors trying to justify why the golf course is exempt from property tax.
Part 4: Read County Attorney Flagg's response to Supervisor Miller explaining the legality of Administrator Huckelberry to withhold information from Supervisors. The information withheld includes Huckelberry's memo to Attorney Flagg directing him to inform the Assessor that no tax be levied on the Canoa Hills Golf Course.
April 17, 2018 -- Pima County Board of Supervisors' Meeting
UPDATE - CANOA HILLS PRIVILEGED DOCUMENTS RELEASED
The acceptance of the Canoa Hills Golf Course donation from Morgan North of Borderland Investments, L.L.C. was one of the hot topics at the April 17, 2018 Supervisors' meeting. District 1 Supervisor Ally Miller was the lone voice of reason and opposition to accepting this so-called "gift" stating, "we can't afford to fix our roads, but we can find another shiny new deal to fund with hard earned taxpayer money. We must put an end to wasteful spending and prioritize core services needed for our community."
Miller's investigation into the matter revealed a series of documents originating in August 2017 between Borderlands owner Morgan North, Administrator Huckelberry, County Parks & Recreation, and Supervisor Christy's office -- none of which had been forwarded by Huckelberry's office prior to yesterday's board meeting. These missing documents reveal the true nature of the "$10 deal" presented to Supervisor Christy on August 23, 2017, nearly 8 (eight) months ago.
The question begs: Why were these documents not shared with the Board of Supervisors prior to the Board meeting? After reading the missing documents, it's possible Supervisors Bronson, Valadez and Elias might not have been so readily agreeable to casting their "YES" votes to accept the golf course donation. So, why did Supervisor Christy and Administrator Huckelberry hide these documents from public viewing? There's only one answer, folks!
Click to read the hidden documents: Canoa Hills August 2017 Missing Documents
Supervisors Bronson, Elias, Valadez and Christy voted today to accept the donation of the abandoned and dilapidated Canoa Hills Golf Course into county property inventory. Requiring what will surely be more than $100,000 to bring the once operational golf course to minimal "open space" standards, the Supervisors ignored the plea of the Parks & Rec Department who stated, "[there] is no desire to accept the donation."
FLASH: CANOA HILLS GOLF COURSE INFORMATION WITHHELD
June 12, 2018 -- Pima County Board of Supervisors voted today to release two Attorney-Client Privilege documents regarding tax implications for the Canoa Hills Golf Course, and Administrator Huckelberry's withholding of information from other Board members.
Supervisor Miller requested the release of these documents for public inspection. The question remains: At what point does a golf course stop being a golf course when it is donated to a government entity?
Read the full history here:
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GOLF COURSE vs. ROAD REPAIRS? You Guessed It!