THIS WEEK WE digress from our usual practice of revealing how Pima County Supervisor Mikey Boyd made an ass out of himself in official court depositions, preferring instead to illuminate how Mikey makes an ass out of himself in the monthly column he publishes in a foothills-only newspaper called The Desert Leaf. This month Mikey writes about charter government, a subject which he embraced, ducked, re-embraced, ignored and now once again advocates.
Only problem is, Mikey demonstrates and abysmal ignorance of the charter government process as well as county government in general--the same county government that's paid his salary with your money since 1989.
First, here's Mikey on the supposed faults charter government would remedy, including an excess of elected county officials:
Many of you think the board has a say over all of the county's budget. While we set it, elected officers in charge of seven different departments say they should be able to spend it any way they want. If they don't have enough of a budget, they simply go over it. There are no sanctions we can throw at these 'shadow taxers.' These departments (the sheriff, county attorney, recorder, assessor, court clerk, treasurer, and school superintendent) oversee more than half the money you pay in property taxes.
In addition, there is unlimited room for abuse and corruption on the current board. We, by law, can meddle in and oversee various departments. We are not hired as managers but as policy makers. We should set a course and let a professional manager steer.
Points to ponder:
1. Mikey is meddling in the charter government process when he makes proposals about
what that charter should be. That's the role of those we elect
to write it. They could decide to increase the number of elected officers. It's their call--and, ultimately, ours as voters--not his.
2. The law creating the charter process specifically exempts abolishing the sheriff and county attorney as independent elected officials. Also, the clerk of the court is under the state court system and therefore basically untouchable by the supervisors, just like the rest of the superior court system.
3. This leaves the assessor, recorder, treasurer and school superintendent, who represent a minuscule portion of the county budget and who have, as elected officials, shown considerably more fiscal responsibility than Mikey has as a county supervisor.
4. The title of the job is "supervisor," not "onlooker." Mikey is supposed to manage the place--that's what the constitution says and that's why he gets a big salary. For a guy who only wants to work a few hours a week, we understand why he proposes limiting the responsibility.
Since Mikey uses the word "corruption" and claims elected line officers go over their budgets, perhaps he'll tell us precisely what corruption he's discussing and who went over budget. Otherwise, what we have, once again, is Mikey's shallow and ignorant rhetoric.
| © 1995-97 Tucson Weekly . Info Booth