Maricopa moves to District 1 in Supervisor District realignment –

Nancy Smith at Pinal Redistricting mtg
Maricopa City Council member Nancy Smith discusses proposed redistricting maps for the Pinal County Supervisors with constituents at a public meeting and open house at the Pinal County Complex Monday evening. [File photo]

The Pinal County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 Wednesday to place Maricopa in District 1, moving the city out of District 4, where it had been in since 2010. The move will be effective after the November election. The meeting took place during a special session of the Board of Supervisors in Florence. 

The City’s new district, whose borders are defined by Map D proposed by the supervisors, will be represented by Kevin Cavanaugh, who has stated he will seek re-election in November. The City’s current supervisor, Jeff McClure, will remain in District 4 and also seek re-election. There were five maps proposed by the supervisors and one by the Maricopa City Council.  

The move keeps virtually all of Maricopa in one district, as opposed to the supervisors’ initial proposals, Maps A and B, which split the Tortosa away from the bulk of Maricopa and District 4 and placed it in District 3.  

Those proposals received strident opposition from both the Maricopa City Council and local residents. Maricopa city council members Amber Liermann, Bob Marsh and Nancy Smith, along with Vice Mayor Vincent Manfredi attended the board of supervisors meeting to voice their support for Map D, or failing that, Map E. 

Another objection to the initial proposals was that it included the Saddlebrooke communities in District 4 with Maricopa. Saddlebrooke is a group of retirement communities on the northern edge of Tucson, whose interests align more closely with those of Pima County and Tucson, while Maricopa’s are consistent with those of metro Phoenix. 

“Keeping precinct 67 (south and west of Stanfield) within the district allows us to keep our planning area for the city of Maricopa intact,” Vice Mayor Vincent Manfredi said to the board. “It goes all the way down a little (south) of I-8, so this really keeps our planning area together. Having that under one supervisor is a good thing. 

“Then there’s areas of interest,” he continued. “All of us in that district have that same interest in what’s going to happen on the 347, the East-West corridor, and I-11. It’s everything we’ll be fighting for and fixing and changing in the next 10, 20, 50 years.”  

Councilmember Amber Liermann said her constituents were energetic about the issue. 

“I felt compelled to come here today based on the amount of input and participation from our community members and how passionate they feel about keeping our community intact and continuing the community of interests,” Liermann said. 

Nancy Smith, the Maricopa City councilmember who has spearheaded the city’s efforts to remove parts of southern Arizona from the district and keep all of Maricopa together, said public input also was a factor in her fight. She cited that there had been close to 80 comments from citizens of Maricopa on the redistricting since the new maps were introduced Tuesday and that showed how important the issue is to the local population. 

She told the supervisors she appreciated their allowing Maricopa officials to present their views on the proposed district borders and likened it to the supervisors’ battle with Gov. Doug Ducey for their share of state and federal COVID relief funds. 

“You know what it’s like to support your citizens and work hard for that purpose even if it might ruffle a few feathers,” Smith said during the public comment period. 

After the meeting, and with the preferred district boundaries in hand, Smith was gracious about the open process and the supervisors’ willingness to receive input from both city leaders and the public. 

“I’m delighted to report that Map D, a map that keeps Maricopa together by bringing Tortosa back into one common district (with the rest of Maricopa) and allows for representation and growth in the same district south of our current city limits,” Smith said. “It was my pleasure to work hard for the residents of Maricopa to ensure that our city was kept whole under one supervisor. I appreciate Supervisor Cavanaugh, Supervisor Miller and Chairman McClure and the staff at Pinal County for allowing me the freedom to express Maricopa’s needs during this process.”