Christy: Anti-Trump Pima County board is at it again

Pima County approved an updated seven-year plan to promote environmentally friendly practices last week, but two supervisors who voted against it insist it’s driven by politics and full of hidden costs for taxpayers.

The county says the plan, first instituted a decade ago, has saved more than $14 million and has reduced its carbon footprint, but District 4 Supervisor Steve Christy is skeptical.

“I have grave doubts about the return on the investments,” Christy said in phone interview Tuesday.

The Sustainable Action Plan for County Operations 2018-2025, which passed 3-2, builds off a history of countywide conservation projects focused on striking a balance among economic growth, social well-being and environmental protection. The three Democrats on the board approved the new plan, the Republicans said no.

This year’s updated SAPCO plan includes five focus areas: carbon emissions, water conservation, land reclamation and riparian restoration, purchasing green office products and reduce landfill waste, and workforce preparedness training for short-term and long-term climate change risks.

The plan also affirms the county’s commitment to the Paris Agreement, an international pact to combat climate change, which the Trump administration withdrew from in June 2017. As of July, there were 197 signatories to the international agreement.

Read the entire Green Valley News and Sun article here. Originally published Oct. 24, 2018.

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Sheriff removes ICE from jail in bid to retain Stonegarden money

Pima County Sheriff Mark Napier has removed federal officers from the county jail in an attempt to build trust and secure a federal Operation Stonegarden grant next year.

Allowing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to operate inside Pima County Adult Detention Complex has no connection to the federal grant, which was denied for the first time in September by the Pima County Board of Supervisors. But the issues were mentioned by community members when the board mulled accepting the grant.

Napier removed ICE from the county jail Oct. 12.

“And I hope it will show my willingness to engage in compromise,” he told the Green Valley News on Friday.

“I understand this was a major issue for many in our community and for several members of the board,” Napier said in a memo dated Oct. 16. “I am compromising my position on providing office space (to ICE) in the sincere hope that it builds a bridge of trust and reciprocal compromise.”

Read the entire Green Valley News and Sun article here. Originally published Oct. 20, 2018.

Pima County rejects Stonegarden grant money

For the first time in more than a decade, the Pima County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday rejected a federal Operation Stonegarden grant, with one supervisor saying it was in response to President Trump’s immigration policies.

District 4 Supervisor Steve Christy, who represents Green Valley and part of Sahuarita, was the lone no in the 3-1 vote to reject the $1.4 million grant. District 1 Supervisor Ally Miller did not attend the meeting.

The federal grant program promotes cooperation among Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Border Patrol and local law enforcement agencies. The money also finances overtime and mileage costs and equipment for joint operations among agencies tasked with securing the country’s international borders.

Over the last 12 years, the Pima County Sheriff’s Department has accepted 44 Stonegarden grants totaling $16.4 million.

The call to the public at Tuesday’s meeting was dramatic, lasting almost four hours, with more than 50 people signing up to speak, most about the grant.

Christy, a Republican, said the grant provides vital funding to the county sheriff. He said those who spoke against the grant don’t represent all of Pima County. He added that insults lobbed at the Sheriff’s Department were regrettable.

“It’s deplorable, and political grandstanding at the worst, and sheer melodrama at best,” Christy said.

Read the entire Green Valley News and Sun article here. Originally published Sept. 4, 2018.