• Arizona
  • Thursday , Feb 1 , 2018

Area Info

San Tan Valley Area Information

6 minutes reading time (1129 words)

What is in Queen Creek's Lawsuit?

What is in Queen Creek's Lawsuit?

Listen here to Queen Creek Councilmember Jake Hoffman give his reasoning for voting to support filing the lawsuit. (Fast forward to about 35 min into the recording.)

SanTanValley.com was able to get a copy of the lawsuit filed and is now able to share with you what is included in the suit.

The defendents in the case are all five Pinal County Board of Supervisors Pete Rios, Mike Goodman, Steve Miller, Anthony Smith and Todd House, in their official capacity as members of the Board of Supervisors, the Elections Director for Pinal County, Michelle Forney, in her official capacity, and Julie Phillips, as a representative of Vote San Tan Valley.

(A response to the lawsuit by Vote San Tan Valley is included at the end of this article).

The Town of Queen Creek has made the following allegations in their lawsuit:

  • Upon information and belief, on April 4, 2018, defendant Julie Phillips submitted to Pinal County Elections Director Michelle Forney, a letter by attorney Kay Bigelow enclosing “originally signed copies of the above-referenced Petition” (the “Signed Petition”), which purportedly asks the Pinal County Board of Supervisors to call an election, wherein citizens would vote on whether to incorporate the Town of San Tan Valley (“Proposed Town”).
  • The Signed Petition includes a map and legal description establishing the boundaries of the Proposed Town (“Proposed Map”).
  • The Signed Petition (and the Proposed Map incorporated therein) that was submitted suffers from a number of fatal defects, including, without limitation, that it was submitted without a resolution adopted by the Town of Queen Creek, the Town of Gilbert, the Town of Florence, or the City of Mesa approving the proposed incorporation. The defects render the Signed Petition invalid and leave the Board of Supervisors without jurisdiction to call an election.
  • A.R.S. § 9-101.01(C) provides in pertinent part:
    • C. Except as provided in subsection E or F of this section, territory within an urbanized area shall not hereafter be incorporated as a city or town, and the board of supervisors does not have jurisdiction to take any action on a petition pursuant to § 9-101 to incorporate a city or town within such area, unless either:
      • There is submitted with the petition for incorporation a resolution adopted by the city or town causing the urbanized area to exist approving the proposed incorporation.
      • There is filed with the board of supervisors an affidavit stating that a proper and legal petition has been presented to the city or town causing the urbanized area to exist requesting annexation of the area proposed for incorporation and the petition has not been approved by a valid ordinance of annexation within one hundred twenty days after its presentation.
  • A.R.S. § 9-101.01(A) provides:
    1. Notwithstanding any other law, all territory within six miles of an incorporated city or town, as the same now exists or may hereafter be established, having a population of five thousand or more persons, and all territory within three miles of any incorporated city or town, as the same now exists or may hereafter be established, having a population of less than five thousand persons is declared to be an urbanized area.

The suit continues to list the following details as reason to not allow an election to be called:

  • Lack of Resolutions Approving the Incorporation Adopted by the Town of Gilbert and the Town of Mesa
  • Lack of Declarant Approval for the Encanterra Master Planned Community
  • Lack of Resolution Approving the Incorporation Adopted by the Town of Queen Creek and the Town of Florence
  • Other Fatal Defects in the Signed Petitions and the Proposed Map

The Town of Queen Creek alleges that they "would be injured by the proposed incorporation because A.R.S. § 9-101.01 requires Plaintiff’s consent as a prerequisite to the incorporation. Moreover, Plaintiff has an interest in the orderly growth of the region, and the minimization of “problems that may flow from the existence of many separate governmental entities in a limited geographical area.”

The Board of Supervisors' agenda on April 18, 2018 includes an executive session to discuss this litigation.

Executive Session pursuant to A.R.S. 38-431.03(A)(3)(4) for legal advice and contemplated litigation concerning the petition for incorporation of the Town of San Tan Valley. (Chris Keller/Kent Volkmer)

The lawsuit was file to prevent the Pinal County Board of Supervisors from calling or conducting an incorporation election.

Read the full lawsuit filing here.

After the suit was filed, a response to the suit was posted by Vote San Tan Valley on their facebook page.

QUEEN CREEK TOWN COUNCIL TELLS PINAL COUNTY AND INCORPORATOR VOLUNTEER – AGREE TO QUEEN CREEK GROWTH AREAS OR WE’LL SUE YOU

On April 13th, the Queen Creek Town Council instructed their attorney to file a lawsuit to stop the San Tan Valley incorporation vote. Their attorney filed a lawsuit the next day. 

Here is VOTE SAN TAN VALLEY'S response to the Queen Creek council.

With the utmost respect, we have not agreed with many of the decisions you have made in the growth of Queen Creek. We especially are concerned that you really want San Tan Valley citizens to just take whatever territory you do not want for Queen Creek – all the while you take the San Tan Valley residents’ sales tax money to help run Queen Creek.

You are not the decision maker for 100,000+ citizens who have been battered around the goals and decisions of others. San Tan Valley residents have goals that are different than Queen Creek but willing to put it into the hands of a democratic process and hold an election. You run to the courthouse to raise issues, not belonging to Queen Creek, but those of other entities to stop the democratic process.

You have named a volunteer grandmother as a defendant in your lawsuit in your attempt to subvert the democratic process because you can use unlimited taxpayers’ dollars to prosecute the case against her. Meanwhile she must dip into her family budget to pay for an attorney. Oh yes, you’ll have the Pinal County taxpayers pay to defend against your lawsuit on others’ issues also.

Your stubborn stance that you have first dibs on controlling territory in Pinal County to the exclusion of all others is mistaken. Democracy means that we all compromise. Apparently, all the fine words about respecting others' rights to self-determination spoken at the council meeting mean nothing to the individual members of Queen Creek Council when we disagree with you.

How do you feel about Queen Creek's decision to file a lawsuit in order to block the vote for incorporation? Send us a letter to the editor with your thoughts, or comment below. 

 

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