Supervisor Mike Pastor will head the county board for the next 16 months as chairman, supervisors decided last Tuesday.
He takes the title from Supervisor Shirley Dawson.
Dawson started the discussion by noting that one chairman, former Supervisor Jose Sanchez, had reigned as chair for all of her first four-year term.
“He was a nice guy,” she said.
However, other counties rotate every 16 months so each supervisor spends time as chair, and supervisors here thought that was a good idea.
Supervisor Tommie Martin nominated Pastor because two big pending issues — building a bridge over Tonto Creek and the ongoing Resolution Copper land exchange — are both in his district.
“I think Mike is going to have to do some heavy-duty lobbying,” said Martin, “and I think he needs to do it with the weight of the chair.”
Residents in Tonto Creek have lobbied for a bridge for half a century over the sometimes-raging flood waters that trap residents inside their community.
The federal government has awarded the county $3 million for the project’s design, but the county still needs to slip the project in the upcoming federal highway reauthorization bill.
The bill arises just once every five years.
The controversial Resolution Copper land exchange would provide a huge economic boost to Superior, advocates say. Critics, however, worry about the environmental cost, and county officials have said the White House opposes the plan.
Pastor said he was grateful for the opportunity. “I appreciate the support and I’m really humbled by that nomination.”
He added, “This is for the county. It’s not for any particular district.”
Martin retained her spot as vice chair.