Rep. Walter Blackman Working With Jesse Valencia on Sitgreaves Legislation; White Mountain Democrats Vote Unanimously Against County Split

Hello friends and supporters,

As Representative Walt Blackman of LD-6 announced on his social media townhall this past weekend, I have been working with him on developing the aims of the Sitgreaves County Project into legislation that will formally decentralize Navajo and Apache Counties to facilitate the creation of Sitgreaves, to the benefit of all of Northeastern Arizona’s citizens.

Because of this, I have chosen not to speak publicly on the SCP or proposed legislation until now. Because of work and other obligations, I unfortunately missed recent SCP events with the White Mountain Democrats, the Y Store, and the Trumped Store.

The White Mountain Democrats, also unfortunately, decided to vote unanimously against the SCP without hearing the new research and presentation, which was published in the White Mountain Independent today. In spite of this, we are still interested in sharing our research and presentation with them if they will be open to it. We will be contacting them shortly regarding this.

In the meantime, I am going to be presenting the SCP tomorrow at the Arizona State Capital. The SCP has, in recent months, evolved into what I am calling the Northeastern Arizona Development Act, also known as NADA (pronounced “NAY-duh”). The recent map we released, showing how the transitional supervisory districts will be split, is a part of NADA’s presentation and implementation.

I will be uploading a video, hopefully this week, that will detail NADA and the presentation in full. In the meantime, here are some of the basics as far as I have developed it:

  1. NADA seeks to amend Title 11 of the Arizona Revised Statutes to clarify rules for counties formed by legislative enactment and provide additional protections for the counties and the state of Arizona, to stop poorly designed or unlawful counties from being formed.
  2. NADA then calls for a County Formation Commission to be appointed by the Governor, as Title 11 already describes, with the aims of decentralizing Northeastern Arizona from two counties into three. These counties will be Navajo, Apache, and Sitgreaves counties.
  3. Once NADA is passed, the County Formation Commission will determine if all three counties will meet the mandates for new counties required by Title 11, and what the fiscal impacts on each county will be.
  4. If the County Formation Commission determines that all three counties will meet the Title 11 mandates, the county split moves forward. If the County Formation Commission finds that it is impossible for any of the counties to split and still meet the Title 11 mandates, the county split does not move forward, but the Title 11 amendments remain.
  5.  If the county split moves forward, NADA includes language to help ease the transition to the new counties. The County Formation Commission and the state will work with each new county’s respective Boards of Supervisors during and leading up to the first election for the new county, which will be on November 8, 2022, to decide how the various county departments and jurisdictions will be divided.
  6. A new county seat for Sitgreaves County will likewise be selected by popular vote, as well as the new county’s public officials, on November 8, 2022.

Thank you, everyone, for your continued support. I will be publishing a report shortly after my appearance at the AZ State capital, and uploading the detailed NADA video presentation this weekend to my YouTube channel.

Jesse Valencia

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