ScrambleWatch Q&A: Republican Joe Higgins on Growth and Conservation (And More On Property Taxes)

Republican Joe Higgins is challenging Republican District 1 Supervisor Ann Day in the Sept. 2 Republican primary.

Critics have said that you may say you favor the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan, but that doesn’t mean you really believe in it. What are your thoughts on development issues facing Pima County?

Let me break a story for you today. SAHBA (Southern Arizona Home Builders Association) is endorsing Ann and they are not going to endorse me. The development community—although I respect them and understand them, I think it’s important to point out that Ann is certainly a part of that.

The conservation plan—the business community was in support of it. An editorial had said the reason people come to our community is because of the beauty behind it. So, that’s a very big factor.

Is there a need for it? I think it would be a great idea to create an overlay that can go with property tax bills to show property owners how they are paying for it. I think it’s good to Continue reading


ScrambleWatch Q&A: Republican Ann Day on Growth and Conservation

Republican Ann Day, who is seeking a third term on the Pima County Board of Supervisors, is facing a challenge in the Sept. 2 GOP primary from businessman Joe Higgins.

If you opponent wins, what advice would you give him?

I hope he knows how to count to three. Because there are three votes on the board he will have to face. Because of those three votes I’ve had to take a stand. I’m in the minority. You have to keep in mind much of what we work on is not partisan and you have to be willing to work with everyone in the board.

What about working with County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry? This past budget process you didn’t always agree with him.

He can be arrogant. He can make decisions that I don’t agree with. I certainly point that out to him.

He often gets blamed for many of the problems the county faces. Do you think that’s justified?

Look, he’s Continue reading

ScrambleWatch Q&A: Democrat Donna Branch-Gilby on Growth, Conservation and the County Budget

Democrat Donna Branch-Gilby is challenging District 3 Pima County Supervisor Sharon Bronson in the Sept. 2 primary. Tucson Weekly staff writer Mari Herreras talked to Branch-Gilby about the environment and the county’s budget priorities.

Is there more to your campaign than election transparency?

Yes. We need to be much more careful with how we use our land and our water so we can stay here. If the board doesn’t start acting very soon to change how they do their rezoning and how they work with the city and other municipalities, we will find ourselves in a box.

What’s your take on the creation of the water authority between Tucson and Pima County?

They’re getting themselves all on the same page and they are opening it to the public. Five meetings were in the morning. I went to first two. I’m glad they are in the evenings now, but it’s not clear yet how it will develop. But there are people on that committee and people in the audience that keep bringing up questions on our water supply—how reliable is this assured 100-year supply? It’s on paper only Continue reading

ScrambleWatch Q&A: Democrat Sharon Bronson on Growth and Conservation

Pima County Supervisor Sharon Bronson is facing a challenge from fellow Democrat Donna Branch-Gilby in the Sept. 2 primary. In this interview with Tucson Weekly staff writer Mari Herreras, Bronson talks about growth and the environment. Learn more about the race here.

When you first ran 12 years ago your platform focused on growth issues and the environment. How do you see growth and environment issues today?

Lots to be done. The conservation plan was a great first step in managing growth. We’ve covered about 26,000 acres of critical habitat and another 130,000 acres of habitat through acquired ranch lands. So we’ve made some critical important steps. But there’s always much more to be done in terms of habitat protection.

What do you see doing the next four years?

In the next four years, I’ll be putting an emphasis on regional planning and water. When I came on board I was the critical vote on impact fees. Growth has to be sustainable. Our economy has to be sustainable and equitable for all our citizens. Our natural resources and water have to be sustainable. And certainly our Sonoran Desert eco-system.

Taking the first step, we’ve formed the Continue reading