Want proof voting matters?
Take a look at the Gila County budget.
North County pays about two-thirds of the property and sales tax and has about 55 percent of the population.
The county’s just-adopted $94 million budget includes $6.8 million in capital spending — read that as job-producing infrastructure projects to improve county services.
Guess how much of that will come to Northern Gila County?
Go on. Just guess. Two-thirds? Well, that would reflect where the county gets its money.
Half? Well, that seems fair — we have just over half the population and south county already has most of the infrastructure and county facilities.
That would be fair — but it’s not even close.
Would you believe 10 percent?
You snort. You think we’re kidding.
But that’s it — north county will get about $652,000 of the $6.8 million capital budget. And we had to make a fuss to even get that. Witness the struggle just to get the county to buy a vital piece of property to help eventually expand the county’s dangerously undersized court facilities.
So what’s this got to do with voting?
North county advocates fought hard to make sure the county drew fair supervisorial district lines during the politically charged redistricting process. Then north county put up a first-rate candidate for supervisor — Ronnie McDaniel, who is now serving as Star Valley mayor.
Simple: Rim Country voters didn’t show up in the primary, but Globe voters did. As a result, McDaniel lost out to yet another supervisor from Globe — although the district’s population was just about evenly split between north and south.
They voted. We didn’t.
So now the two representatives from Globe seem content to continue the longstanding political spoils system.
Now, we could go off on a riff about the budget for a county of 54,000 coming to $94 million — which works out to about $1,741 per person.
That’s bad enough. But when half of those citizens pay most of the bill and get only a fraction of the benefit — then it’s downright outrageous.
We’d get all indignant and righteous — except for one little problem.
It’s our own fault.
We didn’t vote.