Jan. 1 marked the one-year anniversary of the closure of our courthouse by the county, and the beginning of the grassroots Sonoita Elgin Community Group. Over this past year we worked with officials and members of the community and:

• Conducted two initial community town halls to capture and prioritize community concerns.

• Coordinated two county training seminars at the fairgrounds on understanding and appealing your property taxes.

• Coordinated community presentations by the school and fire boards with focus on budgets.

• Assisted State Rep. Gail Griffin in developing HB2486 on county boundaries and, after failing in the Arizona Legislature, assisting with the establishment of the current study group exploring a boundary change with results due by the end of 2020.

• Coordinated at the state level to bring awareness of high taxes and residential assessments impacting Eastern Santa Cruz County.

• Met with Cochise and Santa Cruz County officials on community issues and connected with the Tubac Santa Cruz Valley Citizens Council.

• Conducted two community surveys and published nine articles/guest opinions in the Patagonia Regional Times and Nogales International. Expanded outreach via email and Facebook.

• Expanded watchdog efforts by attending numerous board of supervisors, school and fire board meetings.

Our focus for the year ahead includes:

• Discussing how to repurpose the courthouse.

• Explore establishing a 501.c.(3) or (4) foundation to facilitate grants and county contributions to benefit the community.

• Explore facilitating election debates/discussions.

• Inform the community of vacancies on various boards and encourage citizens to run.

• Provide information to and monitor the State Study Group.

• Continue to facilitate community information and monitor the board of supervisors and the school and fire boards.

To learn more, contact us at sonoitaelgincommunitygroup@gmail.com.

Becky Cooper

Sonoita Elgin Community Group

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