The overwhelming majority of elected prosecutors, including DAs and County Attorneys, have never managed a multi-million dollar budget, until they suddenly do, upon election to the Office. To deal appropriately with that, one surrounds themselves with high integrity brilliance to make sure each taxpayer dollar is handled with great care: The first budget presentation in the first year is a big deal.
Zachary Mack has been with the Office nearly 18 years, and he has proven himself a sharp steward of the budget. Martha Durkin, with 30 years of experience in City and County management, has been working with Zach since Day One to wrestle the budget into good working order. Along with my right hand, Chief Deputy Tamara Mulembo, the three worked tirelessly to prep me for Tuesday’s budget presentation to the Board of Supervisors. Our theme was modernization, and I am determined to take our operations paperless in order to better serve Pima County and do so more efficiently in the long term.
Also this week in justice:
- We onboarded a new intake specialist for the Fraud Unit. Vicki Gotkin is a retired attorney who has been with us pro bono since the beginning of the administration helping to launch this new unit. We are bringing her on part-time as a law clerk (!) to receive fraud reports and help guide where the report should go next.
- We met The Earnest House owner Danny Howe to tour one of his halfway houses – a safe place where people can stay as they try to readjust to life after prison. We toured the house and met with seven of their current residents to listen to how critical stable, safe, sober housing is when you’re trying to get back on your feet. I commented to Danny and his business partner and wife Jessica that breaking bread with them was just the uplift we needed during another long week. They are proof that second chances will make this community stronger and healthier.
- Finally, after the CDC announced its new guidance yesterday on indoor mask-wearing, our excellent attorneys in the Civil Division pulled an all-nighter and provided the Board of Supervisors with a number of options. As of this afternoon, the Board has voted 4-1 to lift the mask mandate in most public places for Pima County residents who have been fully vaccinated. Thanks to our Civil Division, and thanks to all of you for your patience throughout the past 14 months.
To be continued,