This is in response to the letters you see in the newspaper, every once in a while, claiming that Pete Rios, our current supervisor, is ethical. On Tuesday, Oct. 9, at a Special Supervisor Board Meeting to reconsider our earlier vote by the supervisors regarding the Oracle Fire District Board, it was clearly evident that ethical is not a word that should be used to describe our District One Supervisor. The Special Board Meeting was held at the request of the County Attorney’s office, based on several calls made to their office at to the Elections Office.
In a “cloak and dagger” plot the Oracle Fire District almost succumbed to the underhanded tactics used by Pete and his cronies to change the Elections of Oracle’s Fire Board from a five person board as officially submitted to the Elections Office to a three person board. The deception was evident and is reflected in the minutes of this special board meeting called to reconsider the Sept. 5 decision of the BOS. Rios tried every tactic to stop the decision of the board, motioning to table, and even questioning the cost to change the early ballot. Supervisors indicated at the Oct. 9 meeting that they had not seen the official paperwork turned into the Elections Office requesting a five member board. That the paperwork was never turned in to the Elections Office is hogwash.
In late Aug., the official paperwork requesting a five person board as advertised was seen by one candidate and a witness who visited the Elections Office to verify candidate names. The paperwork showed the official request of the Oracle Fire District made on May 7 for a five person board and it was signed by the Fire Chief and next in command. Where do you suppose the paperwork went between late Aug. and September 5? This does not make Supervisor Rios, the Elections Office or the Fire District Administrator look good. Testimony to all of this was provided at the special board meetings in Florence.
Too many questions are left unanswered as to who knew what, who had what. These questions raise the uncertainty of ethical practices. The other two board members, Smithson and Snider, said they were not aware of the request for a five member board or the public advertisements for a five member board. Smithson continued to say that he did not feel comfortable with their original decision in light of the new information presented by fire board candidates and Oracle community members.
This is an A-typical example of underhanded politics! To top it off, the Oracle Fire Department staff and candidates were not notified of the September 5 decision. The change was discovered quite by accident. Is this the way county government is supposed to work?
/s/Joan M. Macias
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