Challenger Targeting High County Taxes

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Ernest Valdez has several qualities that make him a good elected official, but one that stands out is his life experience.

Valdez, 72, was born in Miami, Ariz. He has served in public office for 11 years on the school board, as the Arizona Supreme Court Chairman for Child Delinquents and the County Judicial Committee for appointments for judge pro temp.

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Ernest Valdez

He also served in the U.S. Navy during World Ward II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Cold War.

Valdez and his wife Sally have four children.

Now he wants a seat on the Gila County Board of Supervisors, representing District 2.

Valdez is extremely concerned about lowering property taxes in Gila County, claiming the county has the highest real property tax rate in the state and in the nation.

"This kind of thing has to come to a stop," he said. "[Or else] we're going to have another Boston Tea Party."

Valdez said that if he is not successful in the election he would still coordinate a watchdog tax association.

Some of his other ideas regard the board itself, include such things as eliminating the vehicles used by the board, rescinding a pay raise the board members voted for themselves and exchanging the board answering machine for a human voice.

Valdez said he would also like to implement transportation for veterans to travel to health care appointments.

Valdez said, if elected, he would curb the misuse of funds, which he claims is an ongoing problem with the present county administration.

He claims county officials often give gifts or use county money to hold banquets, buy flags or pay for leadership training.

While those activities are not bad in themselves, Valdez said county money should not pay for them.

"My chances are probably nil, and a lot of these things will probably be misconstrued as me being against some of those things," he said.

Valdez said he would enlist the help of volunteers to avoid the misuse of county funds.

"I have taken the sacred oath of office and service and duty to my country so many times, and one of the last sentences there is to protect, defend and uphold the Constitution of the United States of America," he said. "That's my feeling."

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