Globe endorses rural redistricting proposal

Courtesy image Five plus eastern Arizona counties and reservations

In their Nov. 9 meeting, the Globe City Council adopted a resolution urging the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission to keep rural communities together when issuing its final voting district maps.

The resolution supports efforts encouraging the commission to adopt the proposed Five+ Eastern Counties base concept district map, which would include Gila, Graham, Greenlee, southern Apache and Navajo counties, northern Cochise County, the Copper Corridor and Verde Valley in a solely rural District 7 – a move the proposed map’s designers say will preserve rural eastern Arizona’s voice in the state legislature.

The Redistricting Commission’s proposed final draft maps include most of Florence and about half of Apache Junction, and supporters of the Five+ Eastern Counties map are concerned that those urban areas will become the political center of the district.

By adopting the resolution, Globe joined the communities of Miami, Pima, Show Low and Thatcher in backing the proposed map.

The public can submit comments on the commission’s final draft maps, either online at https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/db98e04fec874735a385d3a019b829aefield:plan_ or by attending public hearings; the deadline for public comment is Dec. 4, 2021. The Redistricting Commission has scheduled public hearings in San Carlos, on Nov. 17 at 6 p.m. in the San Carlos Tribal Council Chambers, and in Payson, on Dec. 1 at 6 p.m. at the Mazatzal Hotel & Casino.

The City Council also accepted the donation of a 2002 Ford F150 by the Tri-City Fire District, for use by the city’s Community and Economic Development Department, and heard a staff presentation on new playground equipment for the Community Center. The equipment was funded in the amount of $250,000 by BHP; however, through a grant match program from GameTime, the city will be able to buy it for some $136,000. The city obtained BHP’s permission to use the remaining funds to look into other amenities such as shade structures and benches. Delivery of the playground equipment was anticipated in 12-14 weeks.

In other business, the council passed a resolution supporting a broadband grant request by Lumen Technologies and approved a grant agreement with the Tohono O’Odham Nation providing wildland fire equipment. Lumen Technologies, the parent company of Century Link, is seeking grant-based funding to boost broadband capacity in southern Gila County, which a company representative said would help bring fiber from Superior into Globe.

The $14,925 Tohono O’Odham Nation grant, representing a portion of the tribe’s gaming revenue, will fund new wildfire personal protection equipment including helmets, fi re shelters and backpacks to carry them, and ratchet replacements. The Globe Fire Department, cooperating with Tri-City Fire District, applied for the grant earlier this year; it was awarded to them in October. The equipment will be issued across both agencies.

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