Tue, July 23

County Supervisors ponder changes in seller disclosures

Brenda Barton

Brenda Barton

JEROME -- At a meeting held July 29 at Jerome Town Hall, Yavapai County Supervisors Craig Brown, Rowle Simmons, Thomas Thurman, Chip Davis and Jack Smith discussed proposed changes in seller disclosures that would affect home owners and renters.

One legislative proposal would require seller disclosures and rental agreements to state whether the property resides within an area of fire protection.

Currently, reporting parties in some areas may be unaware that fire protection may not be available to them unless contracted prior.

Another proposed change in seller disclosures was the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality's intent to no longer require a Transfer of Ownership Inspection for wastewater facilities such as cesspools and septic systems.

Also discussed by the supervisors were budget issues involving lottery funds, shared sales tax and public pensions.

Public Safety Personnel Retirement System in peril

During the same county supervisor meeting, Fire Chief Scott Freitag of central Yavapai and Chino Valley Fire Districts offered his insight on the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System troubles.

He stated that "for every one firefighter working, two are retired," making it "unsustainable."

According to Freitag, suggestions about moving away from defined benefit plans and towards self-contributing plans do not deal with the legacy costs of previous retirement commitments.

Cities forced into bankruptcy may no longer be held to these defined pension agreements, though he understands that would be a last resort.

Freitag noted that newly-hired firefighters will be working longer and contributing more money towards their retirement than their predecessors.

Legislative proposals affecting Yavapai County

Briefing the county supervisors at the July 29 meeting were Senators Sylvia Allen and Steve Pierce as well as State Representatives Brenda Barton, Noel Campbell, Karen Fann and Bob Thorpe.

The legislators and county supervisors explored legislation effecting land subdivision, mail-in ballots and attorney fees.

Proposed is the elimination of the exception of 36-acre parcels from the definition of subdivided land. This legislation is said to promote sound use of the land and limit lot-splitting. Also discussed was vote-by-mail approval for all elections on a permissive basis by county supervisors.

The goal is to select the voting method best-suited for their electors and budgetary needs. Another legislative proposal dealt with attorney fee legislation.

This proposal deals with the problem of governmental entities bearing the cost of attorney fees defending frivolous lawsuits

Drones in the sky and cash inside the car

Among legislation to be introduced by lawmakers are the permitted use of agricultural drones and the protection of assets during police stops.

While attending the Yavapai County Supervisor's Meeting, State Representative Brenda Barton announced that she is seeking legislation permitting the use of drones for agricultural purposes, such as surveying irrigation and fence lines.

Representative Barton said drone use is currently prohibited for commercial use. Also look for legislation from State Representative Bob Thorpe better dealing with the RICO statute allowing police officers to confiscate cash over $10,000 if there is suspicion of drug activity.

Representative Thorpe gave the example of a motorist carrying $15,000 cash to purchase a vehicle from EBay when he was stopped by police.

He was required to forfeit the money until the completion of the adjudication process.