After years of working to change Arizona State law so residents of San Tan Valley could decide for themselves if they wanted to become their own city, legislation was passed and signed by Governor Ducey on February 21, 2017. That legislation became law August 9th and today, a new group of San Tan Valley residents filed the necessary paperwork to start collecting signatures, in an attempt to put the incorporation initiative on the ballot.
On October 6th, a boundary map and petition were filed with the Pinal County Elections Department, beginning the process of collecting signatures. A minimum of 10% of the registered voters within the proposed boundary, must now sign the petition in order for the initiative to qualify to be placed on a ballot. The community has 180 days to collect the required signatures, which must then be filed with the Pinal County Elections Department by April 4th, 2018.
The last attempt to collect signatures was in 2010, and while the required number of signatures were collected to qualify for a vote, the "six mile rule" allowed neighboring municipalities the right to veto the initiative, blocking the vote from taking place.
"Today is an exciting day for San Tan Valley," said Tisha Castillo, long time advocate for San Tan Valley's Right to Vote effort. "After personally spending years at the legislature working to change Arizona state law so that the residents of San Tan Valley could decide for themselves what they want their future to look like, it is great to see the next phase of this effort taking place."
In order to complete a map of proposed municipal boundaries, steering committee members negotiated with Pinal County and the Arizona State Land Department. Bob Phillips and his wife Julie, a steering committee member, volunteered the services of their company Survey Solutions to help draw the map.
“It’s been challenging,” said Mrs. Phillips. “Despite the lines neighboring cities have drawn on their own maps, San Tan Valley has always been defined as unincorporated northern Pinal County. So that is the criteria we followed.”
The Vote San Tan Valley Steering Committee stated they are grateful for the help of various Pinal County agencies as well as Arizona attorneys Bill Sims of the Sims-Murray law group and Kay Bigelow of Bigelow Law Offices, whose guidance contributed to defining boundary lines and creating a petition.
The proposed San Tan Valley municipal boundaries are Germann on the north, Meridian on the west, Phillips and various smaller streets on the south, and CAP canal and Attaway on the east.
"Filing the paperwork will now give San Tan Valley residents the opportunity and right to choose whether to be recognized as one community or be absorbed into various others, which would mean the loss of our identity and autonomy," said Steering Committee member Rey Torres.
In addition to Torres and Phillips, other members of the Steering Committee are Daren Schnepf, Jean Stockton, Bryan McCoy, and Vickigene Howard. More information can be found on the Vote San Tan Valley website at votesantanvalley.com.
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