/ Modified jun 25, 2015 5:17 a.m.

Yea or Nay on Bonds? Efforts Arise to Convince Voters

Political committees form to educate Pima County residents on whether to borrow money for construction projects


The campaigns are up and running to persuade Pima County residents how to vote in this fall’s $816 million bond election.

Yes on Pima County Bonds and Taxpayers Against Pima Bonds each plan to educate voters between now and the Nov. 3 election. Each committee also features members of the Pima County Bond Advisory Committee, which sorted through hundreds of project requests to make the final list of 99 projects facing an up or down vote in November.

If voters approve all of the projects, which are separated into seven ballot questions based on type of work (roads, parks, public safety, historic preservation), it will cost $816 million and increase property taxes on the average Pima County home by $55 a year.

The spokesman for the campaign opposing the bond questions is Joe Boogaart, who is on the advisory committee.

“We feel that there is too much debt at the current time” Boogaart said.

But it's not just that the county shouldn't take on more debt, he said, the county can't afford the projects in the long term.

“I feel that the public is not aware of the added costs that are going to be involved” with interest, operations and maintenance costs, Boogaart said. “The $816 million is only the starting point.”

The political campaign supporting the bonds also has leaders who were on the bond advisory committee with Boogaard, including Larry Hecker, chairman of the advisory committee and chairman of the Yes on Pima County Bonds committee.

"As was the case with our committee meetings, we didn’t always agree on things," Hecker said of the committee's divided support and opposition for bonds.

He said the election comes down to information

“The challenge is going to be in what would otherwise be a low-voter turnout election to make the votes aware that there is an election, No. 1, and No. 2 make the voters understand the many benefits that are in this package. I think once they understand, they’ll vote yes," Hecker said.

 YourVote 2015
For complete local election news covering Tucson, Oro Valley, and Pima County, click here.
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