This morning, the Pinal County Board of Supervisors will hold a Public Hearing and discussion/approval/disapproval of the submitted impact statement for the proposed formation of the San Tan North Medical & Fire District. You can learn more about the fire district here.
Below you will find the email I sent to all of the Supervisors, urging them to vote NO on this special taxing district.
Good morning Supervisors,
I am writing this morning regarding agenda item 13, the proposed San Tan Fire & Medical District. I am opposed to this request and am asking that you vote NO.
According to Arizona Revised Statutes 48-261: the Board of Supervisors will determine if:
"the public health, comfort, convenience, necessity or welfare will be promoted, it shall approve the district impact statement and authorize the persons proposing the district to circulate petitions as provided in this subsection."
According to statute, a YES vote would imply that this taxing district promotes public health, comfort, convenience, necessity or welfare. None of these are true.
I will state first of all that I am not a supporter of special taxing districts at all. While I understand that other rural areas have created taxing districts, to provide various services, San Tan Valley does not need this district.
Issues with the current proposal:
- Proposal splits San Tan Valley up. With an incorporated area, of over 95,000 people, who already battle with multiple school districts, multiple utility companies, multiple supervisor districts and legislative districts, the last thing this area needs is to be split up again into multiple fire districts. This not only does not support "public health, comfort, convenience, necessity or welfare", it actually encourages just the opposite.
- San Tan Valley, unlike other areas who have had to contract with municipal fire agencies outside of their community, already has fire services provided for its residents. Rural/Metro provides coverage and services for ALL of San Tan Valley and does so with a voluntary subscription program. Regardless of whether or not the subscription is paid, services are provided. We have three fire stations currently operating in our community. The taxing district simply takes a voluntary fee for service and turns it into a mandated fee. Affordable Health Care Act anyone?
- A special taxing district is created with the power to impose and collect taxes. Why in the world would anyone want to create a taxing entity to provide a service, that is already provided? Special elections, voter turn out, the ability to raise and collect additional taxes? This does not promote "public health, comfort, convenience, necessity or welfare".
- According to the 5 year plan submitted, this district will be contracting with Rural/Metro to provide services for one year, up to 5 years. Why is this necessary when Rural/Metro ALREADY provides the services today?
- The 5 year plan also states that the surrounding unincorporated areas will be served by the Fire District, and yet those living outside of the district have no say in the creation of this district?
- People do not understand that to create this district, signatures on a petition simply need to be collected. There is no VOTE. Most people understand that collecting signatures allows something to be added to a ballot for a vote - similar to a candidate running for office or a proposition. To make matters worse, signatures are collected by property owners, not registered voters or residents in the area. This process in and of itself does not promote "public health, comfort, convenience, necessity or welfare".
- Explain to me how splitting up a community, that is desperately trying to unify itself, promotes "public health, comfort, convenience, necessity or welfare".
The focus of the Board of Supervisors should be to assist San Tan Valley in having the right to vote on becoming its own municipality, where the municipality will determine fire services, law enforcement, etc. The goal of the community is to do just that. Do NOT allow this proposal to move forward. Your duty is to determine whether or not this proposal promotes "public health, comfort, convenience, necessity or welfare" - it does not. It is NOT what is best for San Tan Valley and I urge you to vote NO on the proposal.