In an effort to increase operational efficiency, Cochise County officials have transferred special district management to the clerk of the board of supervisors.
The change, which according to the county has been in planning stages for about a year, will include switching the responsibility of managing special districts from the Elections & Special Districts department to Board Clerk Arlethe Rios. The Elections & Special Department will become the Elections Department.
“My office has always handled the formation of Special Districts, and now we will handle the management aspect as well.” Rios said in a press release. “We are here to provide guidance regarding relevant statutes, open meeting laws, and public records, as well as help in other areas. However, we are not here to enforce compliance or offer legal advice.”
Special districts, which are created by communities to meet a specific need, are independent of Cochise County and operate under separate administrative and financial powers with elected or appointed members. The local districts include water, fire, road improvements, sanitation, lighting, flooding, libraries and irrigation.
“The formation of special districts was with the clerk to the board already, so it makes logistical sense for the management and resource responsibility to be moved there also to streamline the process, rather than have two departments involved,” Cochise County Elections Director Lisa Marra said in a statement.