Re: Comment on the Business of the Special Meeting of the Board of Supervisors on February 4, 2021
Dear Supervisors and Clerk Daley:
I am writing on behalf of myself as a citizen of Coconino County and on behalf of the Coconino County Democratic Party, of which I am the Chair. For the record, I attach a copy of a press release from the Arizona Democratic Party congratulating Supervisor Archuleta on her years of outstanding service and her appointment to the Biden Administration and also calling on the remaining Supervisors to conduct an “open and transparent process” for the selection of her replacement.
Also, I want to extend my personal congratulations, and on behalf of the County Democratic Party, to Supervisor Archuleta on her appointment to a position in the Biden/Harris administration. Ms. Archuleta has given outstanding service to the county for 24 years, including through the Schultz Fire/Flood disaster in 2010, which hit her district very hard, and during the recent pandemic when her leadership for the entire county was excellent. I wish her well and sincerely thank her for her service.
It now falls to the remaining four Supervisors and the Clerk to fill the vacancy in their sole discretion. Please exercise that discretion wisely and consistently with the wishes of the voters who have elected a Democrat and a highly-qualified Latina woman to this office repeatedly for over two decades. To respect and honor those votes, someone similar deserves your appointment. Someone whose voter registration was Republican for over 20 years and changed on 1/12/2021 is not that person.
While you are already working hard and we know that conducting a process of soliciting applications, conducting interviews and screening applicants will add to your burden, it is your duty to open the process for applications from the public. This is how good government is conducted; Democrats stand for good government; and you are all Democrats. Legally, of course, you have the sole power to appoint, but to appoint someone less than 48 hours after the vacancy is announced, giving the job to someone who had an inside track and probably several weeks’ notice to prepare without giving other residents of District 2 the chance to consider the opening and apply to fill it is not the honorable route.
I have been asked, “do you have a candidate?” The answer is no. I only learned of this vacancy less than 24 hours ago. I’m not pushing my man or woman, I’m pushing for a fair and open process that results in the appointment of a true Democrat, not someone who switched registration to get the job. That’s what voters expect; that’s what they deserve.
There are many qualified Democrats in District 2, so let’s look for the best!
Chair, Coconino County Democratic Party