AIRC Needs another $1.1 Million from Taxpayers

A meeting has been scheduled by the AIRC to address their budget shortfall. They are blaming everyone but themselves. (See news article below.) Can someone please attend this meeting and read into the Public Record the real reasons for their budget problems? (See list below.)

Location: Evans House
1100 W. Washington Blvd.
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Date: Friday, March 2, 2012
Time: 2:00 P.M.

The agenda can be viewed at: http://www.azredistricting.org/docs/Meeting-Info/Agenda-030212.pdf

THE REAL REASONS FOR THE SHORTFALL:

• They hired the most expensive mapping consultant with no experience against the hiring practices of the state contracting officer.

• The mapping consultant did NOT include in their bid all of the subcontractor costs, as the other bidders had, so each new subcontractor that had to be hired had to be billed over and above the consultants expenses.

• They hired a lawyer for the Republicans who had not been through the redistricting process last time insuring extra learning curve time would have to be spent to understand and catch up on the process and history.

• They hired a special legal data recording service.

• They hired a DOJ lawyer as an advisor.

• They hired the most expensive retrogression analyst.

• They decided that they did not have to abide by the open meeting laws that every other committee, commission and town council has to in the state of Arizona. Their attorneys said that they could establish their own open meeting laws.

They say they need $4.6M instead of $3.5 for FY 2012. And the taxpayers have to pay.

WHO DOES THE AIRC BLAME FOR THE SHORTFALL?

http://www.azcentral.com/news/politics/articles/2012/02/24/20120224redistricting-commission-money-worries.html

For those of you who cannot go to the article above, here are some portions:

"Arizona redistricting commission faces money worries: Legal fights drained redistricting budget."
by Mary Jo Pitzl – Feb. 25, 2012 10:19 PM
The Republic | azcentral.com.

"Legal battles drove the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission into money woes, and a legal fight might be the only way out. The panel’s executive director is projecting a $36,000 deficit for next month and said the commission needs $1.1 million to make it through the June 30 end of the fiscal year.

"Without more funding, the commission won’t be able to respond to questions the U.S. Department of Justice might have about new congressional and legislative maps," director Ray Bladine said. That could hamstring the preclearance Arizona needs from the federal government on the maps, and could throw this fall’s elections into disarray.

"We’ve been trying for almost two months to get people’s attention that we’re running out of money," Bladine said. Since the Legislature has been silent about the panel’s request for the additional money, Bladine is advising the commissioners their only option — short of going out of business — is to go to court."

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