Special Districts throughout Cochise County are now being managed by the Clerk to the Board of Supervisors. The responsibility was previously handled by the Elections & Special Districts Department, which will now become the Elections Department.
In a move that falls in line with other county governments, Board Clerk Arlethe Rios and her team will act as the resource for these organizations.
“My office has always handled the formation of Special Districts, and now we will handle the management aspect as well.” explained Rios. “We are here to provide guidance regarding relevant statutes, open meeting laws, and public records, as well as help in other areas. However, we are not here to enforce compliance or offer legal advice.”
Special Districts are locally organized entities created by communities to meet a specific need. They exist independently of Cochise County, operate under their own administrative and financial powers, and their members are elected or appointed.
Local districts include water, fire, road improvements, sanitation, lighting, flooding, libraries, and irrigation.
The move from the Elections Department, which has been in the works for about a year, will improve efficiency, said Elections Director Lisa Marra.
“The formation of Special Districts was with the Clerk to the Board already, so it makes logistical sense for the management and resource responsibility to be moved there also to streamline the process, rather than have two departments involved,” she said.
The election of Special District members will continue to be handled by the Elections Department.