Mackey Camp fires legal salvo at Gila County

Dear Attorney General Brnovich,

I wish to file a complaint against Gila County for violating the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution.

About twenty years ago the Gila County Highway Department stopped grading the road in Mackey Camp, a governmental action that ended public safety in Mackey Camp. Yet homeowners keep paying property taxes. For some time, Mackey Camp residents have been petitioning Gila County government for a bridge and a safe road. 

I am alleging that Gila County treats Mackey Camp residents differently than other people who reside in the area. People in Gila County have access to safe roads and bridges in their neighborhoods. Gila County has not been responsible in dealing with Mackey Camp residents; county action has been arbitrary, malicious and vindictive. It has no basis in rational decision making.

Four months ago, I wrote to Supervisor Humphrey on April 7 about public safety in Mackey Camp. Gila County has known since 2010 about the need for a bridge. I warned that an unsuspecting motorist, taking a wrong turn, could plunge to their death. I noted that the specter of an unnecessary tragedy is always present in Mackey Camp.

Mackey Camp residents, who live up on the hill, must drive on an unsafe road. Presently the Mackey Camp road is in bad shape and fire trucks, police and other emergency vehicles would find it hard to respond to a call. Now the road at Mackey Camp is impassable. This has created a public safety issue for the people who live there. Residents complain that their cars were ruined by driving up and down the hill. They told me that they tried talking to elected officials in the area but were ignored. Cynicism runs deep in this rural community.

Not all roads are created equal in Gila County. Just up the hill, Cherry Flats Avenue, a dirt road, is kept in pristine condition. It is about fifteen miles in length; there are no homes located on it. It appears that Gila County government has diverted funds to Ice House Canyon and Six Shooter Canyon, affluent areas outside of Globe. These roads are kept in excellent condition.

Except for one uncooperative resident, we have signed property easement documents for road construction. This problem has a simple solution. The director of the Gila County Public Works should not postpone road construction. I have encouraged Gila County government to construct a road around the property of the uncooperative landowner. The uncooperative resident doesn’t own the entire hill.

Mackey Camp needs your assistance restoring public safety to our community. We have reached an impasse with Gila County government and the situation is dire. Thank you for your consideration of the public safety issues presented to you.


Ernest Escobedo