editor: fred miller October 9, 2020 #9 October 2020
These are my biased suggestions of who/what to vote for. Think of it as a voter tout sheet, similar to the horse race sheets you get at the track, but about humans and not nags.
These are in order that they appear on the ballot. Some with an explanation for my endorsement.
I suggest a YES vote for all city charter changes. I was on the committee and thought we did a good job of updating the charter. There was vigorous discussion on several sections. We took our charge seriously and when we finished we thought the product was a better Charter. By law however, each change has to be voted on, hence the glut of charter changes.
WHERE TO DO IT
Your ballot can be dropped off at 1415 Melody Land Bldg B at a secure drop box; it can be mailed; you can vote in person on November 3 at the above address. If you for some reason want to drop your ballot in another county drop box here are the locations. https://www.cochise.az.gov/recorder/ballot-box-locations
You can vote in person here:
Recorders office in Bisbee 1415 Melody Lane Bldg B Mon thru Friday 8-5 till Oct 25 also Saturdays 10/17 & 10/24 9-3
Friday October 23..... last day to request a mail ballot
Nov. 3 Vote in Person at any vote center Bisbee....1415 Melody Lane Bldg G Go here for a list of 16 other vote centers in the county: https://www.cochise.az.gov/elections/2020-election-day
On the front of the ballot are these races. Vote for them.
Kelley, Mark…. US Senator
Kirkpatrick Ann…. US Representative District 2
Karp, Bob…. State Senator district 14
Beach-Moschetti Kimberly…. State Representative district 14
Maestas-Condors, Ronnie….State Representative district 14
(vote for 2 for SR district 14)
Tovar, Anna…. Corporation Commission
Mundell, Bill…. Corporation Commission
Stanfield, Shea…. Corporation Commission
English, Ann…. Board of Supervisors District 2
The following are all republicans/all running unopposed/vote if you want...or thumb your nose at Repugnicans by not voting to lower their total.
Stevens, country recorder
Clay, Jacqui County School Superintendent
I wrestled with this and in the end I checked with a few teachers and they thought Clay was doing ok.
These republicans/all running unopposed/vote if you want or thumb your nose at Repugnicans by not voting to lower their total..
So judges really don’t campaign much and that is true in this election… except for Superior Court #5. I rely on the commission on Judicial performance Review for judges I have no idea about including the three Supreme Court judges They survey people who interact with judges as well as look at written comments and hold public hearings. This year there is no grassroots opposition to any on the ballot. Vote yes if you want them or no if you want to just be cantankerous.
Epich, Vasquez-Court of Appeals Div 2;
Dickerson-Superior Court Division 4.
Carl, Ann….Judge of the Superior Court Division 5
That brings us to Ann Carl, Sandy Russell, and Jason Lindstrom who are all running. Judge Conlogue is retiring. (Oddly enough I couldn't find the contemporary salary of a superior court judge, it seems it is at least $145,000.) There has been extensive publicity about all three. There have been charges, counter charges, and more from all three. It is the most public judge race in many years and the most contentious.
Ann Carl is the choice. She trained Lindstrom many years ago in the County attorney’s office so that says something about his competency if she is running against him. But more important she has experience both in the public and private sector. I think she has the demeanor of someone thoughtful and reasoned. She has helped many people in Bisbee including being a co-starter of Bisbee Firewise. I’ve always found Ann helpful on the occasions I have asked for information, and she has been an active part of our community.
Sandy Russell is unfit for a judgeship. She has voted in Georgia while claiming to live in Cochise County. And although a local judge cleared her, she is under investigation in Georgia for vote fraud-a felony. That alone would do it, however she has also been found to have problem with her clients when an attorney in Georgia, including charges for criminal prosecution and has some disciplinary letters in her file when a Cochise County Attorney.
Jason Lindstrom has made some past extensive social media comments that have come back to bite him in the butt and been controversial enough that he has taken to social media and the press to explain in great detail the context of why he said what he said and what he was trying to achieve and what he now believes. (He basically was arguing that anyone accepting any welfare or social security should not be able to vote.) In his defense, he says he does not believe anyone should be stripped of their vote. He has the endorsement of the Fraternal Order of Police. He has been the subject of a complaint by Ms. Carl for not filing his campaign donation reports timely and sign placement. All of this does not reflect well on a reasoned and impartial tone for a judge. Perhaps in ten years.
On the back of the ballot are these propositions.
BISBEE SCHOOL BOARD (vote for 3)
I think some change is necessary for the school board. I don't think Ann Littrell is a good choice. I'm only endorsing two, the third is up to you.
Proposition 207, Vote YES
Legalization of marijuana-kif, ganja, pot, grass, tea, weed, reefer, boo, gage, bud, dank, herb, maryjane, cotton mouth, vape, and wacky tobacky.
This prop will legalize the retail sale of marijuana, allows the use and possession of marijuana, allow t growing six plants for personal use, impose a 16% tax on sales of marijuana, details what that sales tax will fund. It also will expunge some marijuana arrests, sentences, and convictions.
This is a no brainer. It will cut trafficking from Mexico, curtail the use of illegal immigrants from harvests, and put a chunk of money in the State coffers, reduce the prison population, and ease the stress of smoking a joint without fear of arrest.
Proposition 208 Vote YES
This will create a direct fund for teachers, non-admin help, programs for students, career training, and increase certain scholarship amounts.
Although labeled as a tax on the rich-by some who are rich-this proposition is relatively mild. It will impose a 3.5% income tax on taxable income over $250,000 for singles, and $500,000 for marrieds, any income before these figures will be taxed at the regular rate.
Say you and your spouse make $700,000 (yeah, sure!) you would be taxed at 3.5% on $200,000, the mind blowing sum of….$7000! That is what the rich guys and chamber of commerce, and some business people are whining about. Gimme a break.
THE REMAINDER OF THIS BALLOT AND THE SECOND SHEET PERTAIN TO BISBEE PROPOSITIONS
Proposition 402 Vote YES
This raises the bed tax (transient lodging tax) to 5% from 2.5%.It will take effect in March 2021. This tax is paid by overnight visitors to Bisbee whether in hotels, inns, motels, b&b’s, air b&bs, or any other short term lodging business. It does not tax Bisbee residents. It does not add to residents’ tax bill. It does not go into the general fund. The bed tax funds the visitor center, the tourism budget, and promotes Bisbee as an overnight destination. Because the Bisbee economy is dependent on Tourism, it is imperative that our city has promotional money to compete with the other cities of Arizona. Overnight visitors spend significant money that fund city operations through sales taxes, sustain many jobs, and help businesses thrive. The few residents that say we don’t need more visitors have never, ever said how to pay for city services if there are less visitors. We need this revenue to survive!
Proposition 403 Vote NO
This proposition proposes to raise the sales tax (Transaction Privilege Tax/TPT) by 1%, bringing the total sales tax paid on all transactions in the city limits to 10.6%. (5.6% state, .5% cochise county, 4.5% Bisbee) Bisbee would have the highest sales tax of any city in Arizona with more than 1500 people, and the second highest taxof all 200 some cities.
Yeah I know the city needs revenue. But so does the state and county. There has been serious talk about raising the state and county rate. If that happens the total sales tax that residents would pay would realistically be more than 11%. That is simply much to tax to pay for products and services.
The decrease in revenue due to the trump virus is real. The gradual decrease in population is real; fewer people more tax burden. The overall need for additional revenue for city services is real. There has to be growth, both in tourism and other kinds of economic development. And economic development has been a prolonged problem that has proven difficult. But the hard truth is we gotta try harder and that we cannot tax our way out of this.
THE REMAINDER OF THE BALLOT ARE CHANGES TO THE CITY CHARTER.
The City Charter states that it should be reviewed every five years by an appointed committee with four people from each ward nominated by their representatives, an original freeholder-if possible, and a person from the last review committee.
As one of the 12 person + freeholder Tom Wheeler and former commitee member Sylvia Anable that was appointed charter review committee, I participated in the examination of each word of the charter. We did not change the majority of the charter language or intent. We did remove some language that was outdated or mentioned practices that are no longer followed. We added language that included present day usage such as the city website.
We did make eleven changes that by law has to be approved by voters. Hence this ballot. Unfortunately in an effort to save money for printing, the specific sections of change were not referenced. I have done so below.
I believe you should follow our committee recommendations and vote YES on all propositions 404 through 415. These are the explanations for some changes.
Prop 404 YES…We added a preamble to the charter. It states that all references in the document that used masculine or feminine are gender neutral. This was voted to be included to correct the 15 references to ‘he or she’ in the 43 page charter, and seven references to ‘he’. Instead of making each reference a change-that would have to be voted on-our intention was to use a preamble to clearly proclaim that this most important governing document, the City Charter of Bisbee, does not discriminate or presume a particular gender.
Prop 405 YES… section 1.02 Powers of the city. ‘Stairs’ was added to this section. It simply says that the city shall also control stairs in addition to other public domains. Here is the section:
****(i) The City shall have exclusive jurisdiction to control and regulate the use and enjoyment of its streets and alleys, public grounds, or ways including stairs.***
Prop 406 YES… section 2.08 Duties of the Mayor. (d) Appointments. We added the words ‘or remove’ to the section. This was felt to codify an existing practice. It remains as it has that the Council has the final authority about whether someone can be appointed or removed from any committee. I think this is benign because the Council remains the final authority, but some people felt it gave the mayor more power.
****The mayor shall appoint or remove members to the various committees boards, and commissions, after due official notice to the public, and with the consent of the Council.****
Prop 407 YES… section 2.14 Meetings of Council, Boards, Commissions and Committees. (b) Open Meeting Law. We removed redundant language about executive sessions.
****All meeting of the city council, the city’s boards, commissions, and committees shall be open to the public, in accordance with the Arizona Revised Statutes pertaining to the open meeting law. No executive session may be held for the purpose of taking any legal action involving a final vote or decision. In the event that State Law shall become more restrictive then the provisions of Subsection © hereof, State law shall control.
Prop 408 YES….section 3.04 Bonds. We removed this section in its entirety because it no longer applied and was out dated according to current use. The requirements of a bond are covered in contracts that the City negotiates with the City Manager.
Prop 409 YES….section 3.09 Removal of City Manager
Something that unfortunately we have had to do several times in the last six years! So we extensively revised this section, removing cumbersome language, adding concise language, getting rid of confusing time lines, and how the city should operate if this happens.
(a) Preliminary Resolution The Council shall appoint the City Manager for an indefinite term and may remove the Manager by a four-sevenths vote of its embers as a preliminary resolution. At least 40 days before such removal shall become effective, the Council shall, by a four-sevenths vote of its members adopt a preliminary resolution stating intent to remove the Manager.
(b) Public Hearing Within ten days the City Manager may reply in writing and may request a public hearing, which shall be held no earlier than 20 days nor later than 30 days after filing of such request. The Mayor shall call a public hearing and shall be held at the next regularly scheduled Council Meeting.
(c) Final Resolution of Removal After such public hearing, if one is requested, and after full consideration, the Council, by a four-sevenths vote of its members, may adopt a final resolution of removal. After such public hearing and after full consideration, the Council, by a four-sevenths vote of its members, may adopt a final resolution of removal.
(e) Salary upon Removal. Section Removed…This is covered in the contract between the City Manager and the City when hired. The whole section was removed because it did not need to be spelled out in the Charter.
(h) Removal Following Election/Appointment…
Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, the City Manager shall not be removed from office, other than for misconduct in office, during or within a period of 90 days next succeeding any general municipal election held in the City at which election a member of the Council is elected or when a new Council Member is appointed. After the expiration of the 90-day period, the provisions of this section as to the removal of said City manager shall apply and be effective.
Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, the City Manager shall not be removed from the office other than for misconduct in office, during or within a period of 90 days following the seating of newly appointed council members, After the expiration of the 90-day period, the provisions of this section as to the removal of the said City manager shall apply and be effective.
Prop 410 YES….section 7.05 (a)… This was removed entirely because it conflicts with State law. The council cannot levy taxes, only the voters. This section was illegal and likely would be challenged in court if it stands.
Levy any tax or assessment, other than the annual levy and assessment of the amount to be raised by primary and secondary property taxation, which may be done by resolution.
Prop 411 YES….section 7.07 Posting at City Hall
This cleaned up redundant language regarding posting of notices because all notices are at city hall for inspection.
‘Copies of titles of proposed ordinances and resolutions heretofore mentioned shall be posted at the City Hall 96 hours before the hour the City Council convenes to act upon the ordinance or resolution.’
Prop 412 YES….section 7.10 We added language regarding posting of notices, mandating that notices should be posted on the City’s website in addition to other places already mentioned.
Prop 413 YES….section 8.03 Bids. We added language that notice of bids should also be on the City’s official web site. (in addition to the official newspaper)
Prop 414 YES….Article XV We added language to reflect that the city can not discriminate.
Whenever the context of this instrument so requires, words used in the masculine gender include the feminine and neuter; the singular number includes the plural and the plural the singular. The word "person" includes a corporation, company, partnership, association, or society as well as a natural person.
No person shall be appointed to, removed from, favored in any way, or discriminated against with respect to any City position because of race, color, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, familial status, age, political affiliation, disability, or United States military veteran status, except as such favor may be authorized by law. Any person who themself or with others 4 willfully violates Article XV shall upon conviction thereof be guilty of a misdemeanor.
Prop 415 YES….We deleted the following sections because they were redundant, outdated, confused language, folded into other sections, or covered elsewhere in the charter.
ARTICLE XVI. SUCCESSION IN GOVERNMENT
Section 16.01 Rights of Officers and Employees Preserved
Section 16.02 Continuance of Present Officers
Section 16.03 Continuance of Present Offices, Departments or Agencies
Section 16.04 Continuance of Appointive Boards and Commissions
Section 16.05 Transfer of Records and Property
Section 16.06 Continuance of Contracts
Section 16.07 Pending Actions and Proceedings
Section 16.08 Ordinances to Remain in Force
Section 16.09 Inauguration of Government under This Charter