After the defeat last year of House Bill 2486, Representative Gail Griffin and Sonoita resident Darcy Mentone carried the torch to establish a new committee under the powers of the legislature to form study groups. Senate President Karen Fann and Speaker of the House Russell Bowers have established a Joint Ad Hoc Committee on County Boundaries to research and report on the fiscal and related impacts of a change in the county boundary line between Cochise County and Santa Cruz County and other areas.
The committee will submit a report of its findings and recommendations to the Governor, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives on or before December 31, 2020 and provide a copy of the report to the Secretary of State.
Representative Griffin originally introduced HB2486 in response to Sonoita-Elgin community concerns following several town hall discussions that pinpointed issues impacting the community, including higher taxes and lack of county services.
Appointees to the 13-member committee are Senator Sylvia Allen, Committee Co-Chair (R); Senator Andrea Dalessandro (D); Senator David Gowan (R); Representative Gail Griffin, Committee Co-Chair (R); Representative Rosanna Gabaldon (D); Representative Becky Nutt (Majority Whip) (R); Todd Bostock, Co-Owner of Dos Cabezas WineWorks, Cochise and Santa Cruz County; Kent Callaghan, Co-Owner of Callaghan Vineyards, Santa Cruz County; Richard Searle, former Cochise County Supervisor; Jennifer Stielow, Vice President of Arizona Tax Research Association; David Green, Chair, Sonoita-Elgin Community Group; Matt Parrilli, Member, Sonoita-Elgin Community Group; and Craig Sullivan, Executive Director, County Supervisors Association of Arizona.
David Green founded the Sonoita-Elgin Community Group following the closure of the Sonoita courthouse, and will be serving on the committee along with group member Matt Parilli. “Problems with our County government persist to include the Board of Supervisors’ recent vote to raise property taxes for the sixth year in a row along with the proposed new health code changes which include significant fees and fines which has the potential to negatively impact our local businesses including wineries and future development,” Green said. “The Sonoita-Elgin Community group will host another town hall in the near future to hear about community concerns and what they may want the study group on county boundaries to consider,” he added.
If you would like to express your opinion on the issues, you may contact the Sonoita-Elgin Community Group by email at email@example.com. Stay in touch with the PRT’s “Late Breaking News” at https://patagoniaregionaltimes.org/ for more information on the next local town hall.