Maricopa County Supervisors choose Wilson as their chairman

by Michelle Ye Hee Lee – Jan. 3, 2012 10:51 PM
The Republic |

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors has unanimously elected West Valley Supervisor Max Wilson as its 2012 chairman.

The county’s five-member governing board on Tuesday bypassed Supervisor Fulton Brock as its leader for the second year in a row.

The board informally rotates the one-year chairmanship among Republican members, who hold a majority.

Brock, a Chandler Republican, on Tuesday said he withdrew his bid for the chairmanship because he needed to spend more time with his family. He did the same last year amid a sex scandal involving his wife and daughter.

Brock seconded a motion Tuesday by Supervisor Don Stapley to elect Wilson as chairman.

“My goals are simple this year: ensure lower property taxes, keep the government — or get the government — out of the way so we can create more jobs throughout Maricopa County,” Wilson said.

“This year, with Governor (Jan) Brewer’s leadership, I believe our impacts will be reduced,” he said, referring to potential cost shifts from the state to counties, including a shift of prison inmates to county jails and a mandatory “contribution” from counties to help balance the state budget.

Brewer last month told county supervisors statewide that she did not intend to charge counties the mandatory fee and would press the Legislature to repeal the inmate-shift law.

Maricopa County supervisors said they still intend to keep an eye on the issue this year.

“You still got 90 people you gotta deal with. We don’t know if it’s going to come up to (Brewer),” said Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox, the board’s lone Democrat.

The board chairman traditionally sets county priorities and the political tone for the year and decides which items the board will formally consider at its public meetings.

This is Wilson’s third stint as chairman. He was last chairman in 2009.

Wilson, a Litchfield Park Republican, was first appointed to the Board of Supervisors in 2002, filling a seat left vacant by Brewer when she left the board.

Wilson also is the president this year of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the County Supervisors Association of Arizona.

“Everyone has a great deal of confidence in Max, and I think he’s got proper focus,” said Supervisor Andy Kunasek, the outgoing chairman.

All five supervisors’ terms expire in the fall. All are expected to run for re-election.

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