The Town of Florence is facing a budget shortage of up to $1.7 million dollars.
To make up this shortfall, they are considering potential options including raising taxes, increasing fees, cutting services, and eliminating cost-of-living raises for Town of Florence employees.
While Town Council members ponder possible ways to increase your taxes and cut your services, they continue spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on law firms and lawyers fighting the EPA and the ADEQ over the Florence Copper project. They have alreadyspent over $1.2 million of your tax dollars with more anticipated for the coming fiscal year.
Folks are really upset about this. Here’s what some Florence and Pinal County residents are saying:
“When people don’t see things clearly, it’s usually because they aren’t considering all the facts. I urge the Florence mayor and council to focus on facts as they seek to fix their $1.7 million budget deficit. One of the ways they can fix the deficit is to stop pouring taxpayer money into legal battles against the U.S. EPA and Arizona DEQ over Florence Copper. There’s nothing to fight because this mining project will operate safely.” ~ Cheryl Chase, former Pinal County Supervisor
“Hard to believe some folks are encouraging the Mayor and Council to continue wasting $300,000 a year on lawyer fees when town finances are in such desperate shape … Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for efficient use of scarce taxpayers’ money. That’s why I’m so perplexed by the outrageous idea of continuing to waste $300,000 on legal fees fighting the State of Arizona and the Environmental Protection Agency over permits issued by them for a copper recovery pilot test facility.” ~ Paul Corso, Anthem/Florence resident
“This Town is staring at a whopping one million dollar deficit. And yet, when I look up at you at council meetings, all I see are deer, staring in the head-lights. Where’s the urgency??? It certainly wasn’t here a few weeks back when some members of this Council suggested they were elected with the sole purpose of defeating one of the most promising job and revenue-creating businesses we’ve ever seen, Florence Copper.” ~ Keith Kinney, Florence resident
This Monday, June 5th, the first of two scheduled Budget Hearings will begin at 6 p.m. in the Florence Town Hall, 775 N. Main St. This is your chance to have a say on how the Florence Town Council spends your money.
Many residents have told us they will be there to make suggestions and to hold Town Council members accountable for their budget decisions. We”ll be going, and we hope you can come too.
Your presence can make a difference, and your remarks during the “Call to Public” can help encourage the Council to create a responsible budget.