County Supervisors adopt new district maps
Gila County’s redistricting process was finalized last week with the adoption of new district maps for both the county and the Gila County Provisional Community College District (GCPCCD). Meeting on Tuesday, May 3, the County Board of Supervisors voted 2-1 to accept one of three supervisory district maps presented by the County Redistricting Advisory Committee; the Board unanimously approved the proposed college district map, which the GCPCCD board chose on March 9. Both maps will take effect Jan. 2, 2023.
One condition of redistricting, which must be performed every 10 years following the U.S. Census, is that the county’s districts need to be divided equally by population or with no more than a 10% deviation between them. Both maps chosen last week met that condition; the supervisory district map, labeled 2 Mod 1, achieved a 1.29% deviation; the GCPCCD map, 2.59%.
Supervisors Woody Cline (District 3) and Steve Christensen (District 1) voted in favor of 2 Mod 1; Chairman Tim R. Humphrey (District 2), favoring an alternate map labeled 8TLS15, cast the dissenting vote. Under 2 Mod 1, two northern Gila County precincts – Whispering Pines and Zane Grey – will move from District 1 to District 3, and Globe precinct #8 will change from District 3 to District 2. In the map Humphrey preferred, District 2 would have gained Globe precinct #1, which includes the county fairgrounds area, from District 3 in exchange for Globe precincts #7 and 11, south of the city; District 1 would have retained Whispering Pines. Map 8TLS15 also met the deviation standard at 3.94%.
“I think what we do here today is important,” said Christensen. He added that the loss of two precincts was “a little of a tough pill to swallow, but I think 10 years from now these lines won’t have to be redrawn again.”
After the votes the Board voted to formally dissolve the Redistricting Committee, 12 Board-appointed citizens who spent six months gathering public input and studying map proposals, and thanked them for their services.
The Board also presented service awards to county employees who have reached 5-year employment milestones. The honorees included Clerk of the Superior Court Anita Escobedo and Mike Golden, of Public Works, who have been with the county 45 years; Public Fiduciary Tiffany Poarch (35 years); and Rebecca Barajas, of the County Attorney’s Office (30 years). Public Works Director Steve Sanders was recognized for 25 years’ service, along with Rebecca Baeza of Globe Justice Court, Patricia Campos and Dana True of Community Services, Cassie Ornelas of Gila County Superior Court, Debra Williams of the Sheriff’s Office and Edward Wisdom, with Public Works.
In other business, the Board voted 2-0 to reinstate an intergovernmental agreement between Gila, Apache and Navajo Counties that they had rescinded on March 18, 2022. The IGA was for the administration of the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, administered through the Northeastern Arizona Local Workforce Development Area (NALWDA). Cline, who also chairs the NALWDA board, recused himself from the vote.
During an April 8 meeting between officials, county managers and staff from the three counties, the [email protected] Division of DES advised reinstating the agreement to insure that services for current WIOA participants were not interrupted, and that the current IGA needs to be revised to include current program requirements.
“I believe we have come to a resolution, that we can work together going forward to be able to rework how the WIOA program is administered in our three counties,” said Gila County Manager James Menlove.
Tuesday’s meeting was also the occasion to elect a chairman and vice-chairman, effective immediately after the meeting. In another 2-1 vote, with Humphrey opposing, Cline was chosen as chairman, with Christensen keeping his current role as vice-chair.