Supervisors Want Participation

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District 1 Supervisor Tommie Martin wants to see Gila County become a more unified entity, with stronger ties between its northern and southern communities.

Martin said she'd like the board of supervisors' meetings telecast by Internet, using the same technology that permits Gila Community College board meetings to be conducted at dual locations in Globe and in Payson.

And, as technology allows, Martin would eventually like to see the sessions broadcast online so that residents could view them at home, real-time.

The state legislature already uses the technology to broadcast its activities live online, in the same way that CSPAN television made congressional sessions accessible to the public at large.

Martin said she was told, "Nobody would watch," but explained that in her view, it was still important to make the option available.

It could provide another layer of interactivity, as well. District 3 Supervisor Shirley Dawson indicated Tuesday that she'd like to see a call to the public added to each of the supervisors' public meetings.

On another issue, Martin said she disagreed with Dawson about the county's operation of its own materials pit.

Dawson expressed concerns that the county operates a materials pit, an endeavor that Dawson said was in competition with private industry in the region.

Martin explained that when counties provide optional services, that's when the competition factor comes into play. However, counties are mandated to handle road maintenance, and that puts a different slant on the procurement of rock, sand, and other specialized construction materials. Martin pointed out that the commodities needed to maintain roads differs from sand and gravel used in landscaping projects.

Martin said it's essential for the county to own and operate its own materials pits.

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