Thirteen candidates and two surrogates for candidates who could not be there in person attended an all-candidate forum, sponsored by KDAP and the Greater Douglas Chamber of Commerce, last Tuesday at the Douglas Unified School District Administrative building. Candidates had two minutes to outline their platform and priorities, and then another two minutes to answer two questions from the audience. Howard Henderson was the moderator.
Questions that were asked ranged from border security, jobs, health care, education, and Highway User Revenue Funding (HURF).
When asked if she supported Deferred Action McSally said, “I understand the humanitarian side some have been brought here at no fault of their own. The federal government has failed in so many fronts it has failed in securing our borders. The federal government has failed to reform our immigration system. We are a nation of immigrants and we need to have a good immigrations system that is responsive to our needs.”
“You start by saving the jobs we have,” Fleming said she would do if elected to Arizona State Senate, LD14.
During the past legislative session, the creation of jobs in Arizona has been a primary focus. While creation of jobs in Arizona is admirable, what will you do as an elected senator to create jobs for your constituents in LD14, especially in Douglas and Cochise County, was asked to those running for AZ House of Representatives LD14.
Leach responded by saying, “In Cochise County alone, we received $9,509,668.69 from the HURF in 2007. In stark contrast, in 2012 we only received $6,881,452.74. Graham County received $2,820,491.61 in 2007 and $2,099,887.78 in 2012. Greenlee County received $984,771.30 in 2007 and $730,323.56 in 2012. This larceny of $1.5 billion from our HURF also resulted in the loss of 42,000 road construction jobs statewide. Where did the HURF money go? It went to fund pet projects of these legislators like private prisons. Private prisons cost you the tax payer about an extra $7.76 an inmate per day compared to state owned prisons, or about $21 million a year.”
“It is hard to believe how far we have come in the last four years, but since you first elected me in 2008 we have turned a $3 million deficit into a $600 million surplus, passed a Jobs Bill to attract new employers to the state, and we have begun to refill the Rainy Day Fund that Janet Napolitano drained,” Representative Gowan said to the same question. “We even added $120 million to education spending this year. We passed SB1070 to crack down on illegal immigration and passed Constitutional Carry, making Arizona one of the best states in the country in 2nd Amendment freedoms.”
The County Cochise Recorder candidates, Rhodes and Miller were asked to explain the functions of the Cochise County Recorder and what they would do to improve the services in the department.
“We are constantly praised for our service to the county. We are doing our best to have out reach for voter registration. We have seen a lot of changes over the years and we try to keep up with these changes,” Rhodes said. “We provide historical information for people who actually come into the office and have digitalized historical information in the state library… so people can access them. We do our best to represent to the public good technology and prompt and accurate service.”
“I have been in customer service for the last 30 years I know how to treat people I know how to provide good customer service both in house and out, voter registration is a very important part of the recorders department and it is one of my main goals to keep eyes on the voter enrolls and make sure that the area is kept clean,” responded Miller.
“We are trying to hold the line to provide the services that are necessary in order to not extend our budget. This past year we did not have to tap into our surplus money which is over 2.5 million, we are hoping we do not need to. We have tried to work with the budget we have been given. We have created a strategic plan for the county so we can become more efficient employees and become more effective in the services we provide to you,” Supervisor Ann English responded when asked what saw as biggest challenge for the Cochise County Board of Supervisors in the next two years.
There were approxametly 45 people in attendance for the forum.
“I was extremely pleased at how last Tuesday night's forum went. Douglas residents can take pride in knowing that their city was well represented and that through their Chamber, Douglas served the entire electorate throughout Cochise County,” Chamber Secretary Danny Morales said. “Its smoothness, reach, and accommodation of candidates would not have been possible without our partners at DUSD. For that I would like to thank my colleagues Superintendent Rogers and DUSD staff members Carol Perez, Marco Durazo, Martha Gallegos, Victor Barrera, Ricardo Miranda, Alma Valenzuela, Jesus Figueroa, and Frank Ybarra. All the hard work and teamwork paid off in a big high visibility win for Douglas.”
The Douglas Education Association and KDAP F.M. radio will host a public forum for the school board candidates on Oct. 15, 6-7:30 p.m. in the James A. Brenden auditorium. Howard Henderson will moderate.