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Bronson stepping down as Pima County board chair, will remain as supervisor

Saying she's "tired of herding cats," Sharon Bronson, chair of the Board of Supervisors, is putting Pima County's top leadership post on the agenda for the next meeting. "It's time for someone else to take the reins," she said.

With the Board's Democratic majority, the chairmanship will almost certainly fall to one of the other of Bronson's fellow Dems: Supervisors Richard Elias and Ramon Valadez.

Each has previously held the post; they and Bronson have rotated the top seat on the Board over the years. In her latest stint, Bronson has chaired the body since January 2014, when Valadez handed over the gavel.

Bronson said Thursday that she's putting the selection of the chair on the agenda for January 16.

"I'm hopefully stepping down as chair," she said. "It's up to my colleagues on who they decide."

Asked who will become chair, Elias responded "Probably me," but didn't elaborate on the topic Thursday afternoon.

Bronson said she'd prefer to focus her efforts on criminal justice reform and economic development — what she called "useful things," rather than "ribbon cuttings and ceremonial events."

She said she's particularly interested in pursuing more border-related economic development opportunities for the county.

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"It's not that I detest anything (about the post); it's that I've done this for a while. It's time for someone else to take the reins," she said.

Valadez noted Thursday that the past practice has been to rotate the vice-chair of the Board to the top spot, with the acting chair, the third and bottom-most slot, moving up to the vice-chairmanship. The chair then drops to the acting chair office, he said.

Elias is the vice-chair, with Valadez the acting chair.

Valadez said he wasn't interested in shaking up that process, but said a suggestion by Bronson that the positions be held for just a year was "worth discussing."

The Board of Supervisors chair presides over meetings, but the job comes with limited extra powers. "The additional power is mostly just ceremonial," Valadez said. "We're both a legislative body but also executives who are co-equal. We're each the 'strong mayors' in our districts."

"At this point, I'm definitely finishing out my term," said Bronson, who was re-elected in 2016. She was first elected to the Board in 1996.

Bronson represents District 3, which includes much of central and western Tucson and stretches south to Sahuarita and west across the Tohono O'odham Nation to Ajo.

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1 comment on this story

Jan 5, 2018, 2:57 am
-1 +1

It’s interesting that Bronson’s decision comes just two days after I filed a formal complaint pursuant to the Pima County Regulatory Bill of Rights.  The Complaint charges the county administrator and his staff with adversely affecting me through five years of ignoring, violating, mis- and re-interpreting BOS Resolution 2007-343—official county policy opposing any new highway like Interstate 11 in Pima County.  The misuse of taxpayer dollars in pursuit of I-11 and the Sonoran Corridor—rejected by voters in the bond election—violate county policies and can be considered gross insubordination.

To view the 10-page formal complaint with citations and evidence, please visit

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Paul Ingram/

Sharon Bronson at a December 2017 meeting of the Board of Supervisors.