San Tan Valley petitions may not have enough valid signatures

The Pinal County Board of Supervisors on Monday is to discuss two items concerning San Tan Valley – invalidating the petitions for incorporation and a request by Florence and Queen Creek to advocate for the Arizona Corporation Commission for them to become third-party managers to manage Johnson Utilities.

The special public meeting and closed-door executive session starts at 9:30 a.m. Monday, April 23, in the Pinal County Board of Supervisors Hearing Room, 135 N. Pinal St. in Florence.

Johnson Utilities

The supervisors are slated to discuss and vote on direction to staff regarding a request from the towns of Florence and Queen Creek for Pinal County to advocate for the Arizona Corporation Commission to assign a third party manager to manage Johnson Utilities in ACC docket proceeding WS-02987A-18-0050, and to advocate that the third party they choose be the towns of Florence and Queen Creek. There are no attachments or background attached to the agenda on the item.

STV petitions

The supervisors are slated to discuss and vote on Resolution No. 042318-STV concerning the petition for incorporation of the town of San Tan Valley, Election Department Petition PC I20171006.

Pinal County officials state that there are a lack of valid signatures for placement on a ballot and other various defects depriving the board of supervisors of jurisdiction to take any action on the petition, according to a resolution with the agenda.

From left are Daren Schnepf, Julie Phillips and Jeanne Stockton, all of the Vote San Tan Valley Steering Committee. (Submitted photo)

On April 4 the Vote San Tan Valley Steering Committee submitted more than 5,000 signatures from San Tan Valley citizens asking the Pinal County Board of Supervisors to call an election on whether more than 100,000 people may form their own local government that reflects its citizens and objective, committee members said.

The resolution attached to the April 23 BOS agenda states, in part, that there were 5,146 eligible signatures on the petitions, and of those, the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office conducted a 5 percent random sample of eligible signatures and selected 258 for verification by the Pinal County recorder.

On April 19 the Pinal County recorder certified 210 of the eligible 258 random signatures as valid and disqualified 48 signatures, according to the resolution.

“Pursuant to A.R.S §. 19-121.04 the estimated total number of valid signatures is 4,150 which does not exceed the 4,485 minimum signatures to qualify for the ballot under A.R.S §. 9-101,” according to the resolution.

“The board of supervisors further finds that even if a challenge and judicial review of the disqualification of certain signatures was to be successful by the petitioners, pursuant to A.R.S §. 9-101.01 (C ) the board of supervisors does not have jurisdiction to take any action on Petition PC I20171006 because no resolution was submitted on April 4, 2018, with the petition for incorporation adopted by the city or town causing the urbanized area to exist approving the proposed incorporation,” it states.

Also, questions remain as to whether the inclusion of what could be deemed large areas of uninhabited, rural and farm lands included in the proposed map boundaries runs afoul of A.R.S §. 9-101(F) as not to be urban in nature, according to the resolution.

Page 1 of the Pinal County Board of Supervisors resolution.

Page 2 of the Pinal County Board of Supervisors resolution.

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