Send Message Loud And Clear To County Officials In Upcoming Election

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Editor:

My sincerest thanks to the Roundup for the editorial Aug. 1 giving an overview of the corruption in Gila County government that we know about thus far. You called for the county supervisors to do a house cleaning. To accomplish that, Supervisor Christensen will need the help of Supervisors "Bunch" Guerrero and Salas Cruz, who represent Districts 2 and 3 in south county. I question that will be forthcoming. While we are waiting for that to happen, we have an election coming up.

The Gila County Republican Party tried very hard to recruit candidates for all the positions open for filing held by Democrats. This is a difficult task mainly because of the voter makeup of south county and the politically incestuous nature of the existing government. For the outstanding candidates we do have filed, to get them elected, we will need the votes of good Democrats who are as disgusted as the Republicans are with the lying, stealing and arrogance of the guilty public employees who fit this description.

Electing Art Stone sheriff would bring back honesty, integrity and accountability to that department. His presence will be visible in all areas of Gila County except the old boys' club. We have a highly qualified, experienced candidate in Jim Hazel for county attorney and he will bring those same positive qualities to that office. We have a no-nonsense candidate running in District 3 against Salas Cruz. Supervisor Cruz, a Democrat, also has an opponent from his party who has massive conflicts of interest and should not be running. Will we get business as usual after this election? I'm convinced we will if we don't get a grass roots start at cleaning up Gila County by helping Art Stone, Jim Hazel and Leonard Miglorisi in District 3 in whatever way we can.

Since Gila County is not a wealthy county in the first place, you were right in saying we can- not afford another year of being lied to and stolen from. Another facet of not being able to afford this corruption is the chilling effect it will have on businesses that do a background check on an area before they decide to come in and offer good-paying jobs which are certainly needed. They want their tax money spent wisely and we are not looking too good right now.

We deserve better. I hate waiting for that next "hundreds of thousands of dollars" in theft to be exposed. This is not the way it should be. It is our government and our tax money and we need to get started on sending that message loud and clear to the county officials with our vote in this election. It will make a difference.

Faye James, Gila County Republican Party Chair, Payson

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