The four Republican candidates for the Pima County Board of Supervisors in District 1 gathered for a debate at the Oro Valley Public Library last week.
Candidates Mike Hellon, Stuart McDaniel, Ally Miller and State Rep. Vic Williams were all in attendance. The four are running in the August Primary Election. The winner will face Democrat Nancy Young Wright in the November General Election.
With the meeting room at the library was filled by almost 100 people who attended to hear the candidates speak.
The Pima County Tea Party Patriots hosted the event and Garret Lewis of KNST radio moderated.
The Aug. 28 primary date approaching, county spending and jobs were the focus for the evening.
All of the candidates agreed that it is important to reduce spending at the county level.
“We need to cut services across the board,” Williams said. “We cut at a state level and I know we can do it at a county level.”
Miller disagreed about the way to reduce spending.
“You don’t do across the board cuts,” she said. “I also believe that we need performance pay.”
McDaniel also had a solution to the county’s budget problems.
“I will reduce the size and scope of Pima County government,” he said. “We are top heavy. We need to grow our economy by bringing businesses that can pay into the tax base.”
The candidates agreed that TREO has been ineffective in bringing jobs to Pima County.
“TREO has not done a good job. The figures speak for themselves,” Hellon said. “I’m not sure we’re getting anything for our money.”
Hellon suggested the need for a regional meeting to evaluate what has been done right and what has been done wrong where TREO is concerned.
“TREO is a failure as far as I’m concerned,” she said. “We need to hire someone competent who answers to the Board of Supervisors.”
Williams agreed that TREO has not met expectations and said that Pima County should look to bioscience for job creation.
“Our bioscience industry is just poised to take off right now,” he said.
Williams and McDaniel agreed that it would be advantageous to bring southern California businesses to Pima County.
“The mayor of Phoenix and the city manager go to Southern California to bring jobs and businesses,” McDaniel said.
Williams said the supervisors need to become the “number one salesman for Pima County.”
All of the candidates agreed that Pima County’s system for bonding needs to change and all support a forensic financial audit in Pima County.
“We need to look at bonding,” Williams said. “We need to ensure it goes to make our quality of life better and create jobs.”
Miller said a forensic audit is needed because, “We need to follow the money and see where it’s gone.”
McDaniel said the county has to be transparent and accountable to taxpayers.