Is Pima County Park Plan Legal?by Jonathan DuHamel on Oct. 18, 2011, under Politics
Pima County wants to change the use of voter approved bond money. According to the Arizona Daily Star (see story), “Bond money approved by voters for the expansion of Catalina State Park likely will be used instead to buy land to add to a different park.”
Can the County legally take this bond money and put it to another use? If a similar precedent rules, then the answer is no.
The Cave Creek School District wanted to redirect $13 million in bond money approved for new school construction to other projects not voter approved. The Goldwater Institute sued on behalf of District taxpayers. A Superior Court Judge ruled that school districts may not use bond money for projects that voters have not approved. (See more here.)
From my reading of the Star’s story on Catalina State Park bonds, Pima County is contemplating what amounts to the same thing as the Cave Creek case, which means Pima County may be embarking on an illegal activity. Such action could cost taxpayers money to defend any lawsuits that may arise.
That’s my take on this proposal, but I’m not a lawyer. What do you think?