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Springer, Thurman punched residents in face with vote
Written by Trista Steers MacVittie   
Friday, 26 August 2011 00:00

Yavapai County District 1 Supervisor Carol Springer and District 2 Supervisor Tom Thurman slapped County Administrator Julie Ayers and residents in the face Monday, Aug. 22, or maybe punched would be a more appropriate term.

After Ayers and her staff traveled Yavapai County for approximately eight months educating the public and gathering input on the county redistricting process, Springer and Thurman devised their own plan at the last minute and, of course, voted for it.

Yavapai County District 3 Supervisor Chip Davis stood alone Monday voting for Map C, the preferred map of the majority of his constituents in the Verde Valley and some of those represented by Springer and Thurman.

The 2010 Census population numbers forced the county to convert from a three-district system to a five-district system.

The county released Springer and Thurman’s map just weeks ago only after members of the public became privy to the fact it existed. Whether alternative Map A would have seen the light of day prior to Aug. 22 had community members not found out is questionable.

Originally, it was released as Thurman’s map, but Springer admitted Aug. 22 she helped him draw the lines for the five new supervisor districts when Davis asked her directly about her involvement.

She went on to say the board didn’t have to listen to the recommendations of the public — wow, that’s not how I understood democracy to work.

The person who should really be upset is Ayers, who spent countless hours hosting 71 public meetings before and after her staff released the four original maps. The map approved by Thurman and Springer never made it to a public meeting prior to Aug. 22.

The Cottonwood Journal Extra did not endorse a map during the process, so we’re not upset the board didn’t pick our preference. However, Thurman and Springer’s blatant disregard for the entire county’s efforts and participation is an outrage. I’m just happy I don’t reside in a district where my supervisor chooses to represent him or herself and not residents.

The process isn’t quite over. It still lacks the U.S. Department of Justice’s stamp of approval, and I’m sure a few letters will be sent in protest.

If approved, it could mean four supervisors on the other side of the mountain and only one left in the Verde Valley to fight for us. Verde Valley residents have grown accustomed to being the county’s stepchild, but 4 to 1 sounds much worse than 2 to 1. Anyone who wonders where the board’s loyalties lie needs only to look at a supervisor’s voting record.

Verde Valley residents should be outraged by yet another example of elected officials who vote based on their own agenda and don’t listen to the people.

Springer and Thurman will probably never read this editorial, because neither of them seem to pay attention to what happens in the Verde Valley.

 

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