On February 18, my first bill, HB2402, passed the Arizona House of Representatives. This update to the statutes was born out of the 2015 bond election where the county had intentionally estimated the interest rate on the bonds to provide the most favorable results in the bond information pamphlets and voter guide.
Voters were asked to approve an 8% interest rate, yet the calculations disclosed to voters in the voter information pamphlet "estimated" interest rates between 2.8% to 3.4%
 
Pima County voters deserve better, which is I why I worked with State Representative Vince Leach to craft a bill that calls for greater transparency to the public regarding the cost of bonds, and will require counties to show calculations with the highest interest rate requested of the voters. The voters and residents of Arizona deserve nothing less than the full disclosure of the costs of any bond measure they are asked to support.
 
This bond disclosure bill is now on its way to the Arizona Senate and will be heard in the Committee on Government on Wednesday, March 2. If you are enrolled in the Legislature's Request to Speak program, I encourage you to show your support for this legislation. I also encourage you to contact your state senators and urge their support.



Sincere Regards,

Ally Miller
Supervisor Miller: Accelerate Diagnostics, When Is a Start-Up No Longer a Start-Up?
On February 16, 2016, the Pima County Board of Supervisors
unanimously approved an additional 3 year lease extension for Accelerate Diagnostics, a "start-up" for-profit corporation and tenant in the county owned Abrams Public Health Building. Accelerate Diagnostics
(NASDAQ-AXDX ) is a research and development corporation that develops and manufactures specialized medical equipment. The Abrams Building was converted in 2012 to accommodate an "incubator facility" for new business startups in the bio-medical industry. Pima County taxpayers invested $1.8 million in capital improvements for this business incubator.

Accelerate entered into its first lease agreement with Pima County on August 20, 2012. Since that time, Accelerate has requested six lease amendments and expanded its operating space from the original 15,096 sq. ft. to over 45,000 sq. ft., while paying the county $1.26 million in rent, utilities, and taxes through January 2016.
We've been informed by the County Administrator that as of October 2016, Accelerate will have fully repaid the nearly $2 million front-end capital cost through their lease payments to Pima County. They continue to pay operating and maintenance costs for use of the building, and claim to have grown from 20 employees to somewhere between 73-150 employees. All indicators suggest this 34-year old Denver, Colorado bio-science start-up has now progressed to a full-fledged Tucson based corporation.
Given this impressive record, I wish to explain the cautionary concern I expressed at the recent Board of Supervisors meeting when the Accelerate lease was approved. We need to ensure we are compliant with the Arizona Constitution, specifically the gift clause. At what point should a "start up" company be required to move from a taxpayer funded incubator?  
On October 17, 2013, Joe Ferguson, reporter for the Arizona Daily Star, penned an article, "Tucson firm gets county incentives to hire well-paid workers." This article caught my attention as it discussed Accelerate Diagnostics' success in recruiting local talent and reported the company now had 50 Tucson employees with an average salary of more than $100,000. Pretty impressive, I thought. In the same article, Accelerate Diagnostics Chief Financial Officer, Steve Reichling , mentioned the company had "raised $20 million earlier this year by offering existing shareholders rights to buy new shares of its publicly traded stock."  That was great news. So, when Accelerate's building lease extension showed up on the Board of Supervisor agenda for our February 16, 2016 meeting, my interest was piqued even further.
What has Accelerate been up to since Ferguson's 2013 article? They did, in fact, increase the number of employees hired. Pima County Administrator Huckleberry stated Accelerate Diagnostics employee profile increased from 20 to 150 full-time employees with an average salary at $79,000 annually. Biospace.com reported on July 10, 2015 that as of December 2014, Accelerate had 66 Tucson-based employees with an average salary in excess of $90,000. Recent online job postings from glassdoor.com report advertisements for five microbiologists ranging from $56,168-$59,800. Any reason for concern with the varying information reported? Perhaps ... perhaps not.
But, what I do find interesting is that Accelerate just completed a very successful public stock offering in November 2015, which raised $109 million for commercialization of their medical devices.Three top executives reportedly earned annual salaries for the period ending December 31, 2014 (compensation values) in excess of $723,000. Clearly, Accelerate Diagnostics has transitioned from a start-up business to a more mature post-incubation entrepreneurial firm.
Reflecting on the success of Accelerate Diagnostics , I have requested County Administrator Huckelberry clarify what benchmarks are in place at the county to measure entrepreneurial life cycle and incubation processes .  We must have a process in place that clearly defines the point at which we halt offering start-up incentives to existing companies that have matured beyond startup status. This allows the county to focus on migrating the previously committed resources such as below market value building space and taxpayer funded capital improvements to new start-ups in the spirit of the incubation process. A constructive approach is needed so that we can successfully market ourselves as a region committed to attracting new business startups in a manner that is beneficial, transparent, and accountable to Pima County taxpayers.
Summer Job Programs for Pima County Youth
Pima County's summer youth employment programs are looking for applicants between the ages of 14-24 who are looking to either work this summer or catch up on school credits. The deadline to apply is March 11, 2016 and applicants can  apply online here. If you have any questions, call 724-9636.
Follow Supervisor Miller on Instagram
You can now follow Supervisor Ally Miller on Instagram at @SupervisorMiller. Don't forget to also check out the official Pima County Instagram account at  @Pima_County .
Meet Timothy DesJarlais - District 1 Press/Communications Assistant



Next Board Meeting
Tuesday, March 1, 2016 @ 9 AM

Tuesday, March 15, 2016 @ 9 AM

Tuesday, April 5, 2016 @ 9 AM

Tuesday, April 19, 2016 @ 9 AM

130 W. Congress,
Tucson, 85701


Things To Do/Events




Ally Around the District
Supervisor Miller attends the La Paloma  30th Anniversary Celebration!
A New Addition to the District 1 Staff:

Timothy DesJarlais is a second generation Southern Arizonan, born and raised in northwest Tucson. He was homeschooled and graduated from Pima Community College with an associate's degree in 2015. He is currently a student at the University of Arizona where he plans to major in Political Science and minor in Communications.

Timothy has been very active in Tucson politics, serving on both local and Congressional campaigns and is currently a precinct committeeman. Prior to his employment with Supervisor Ally Miller, Timothy worked as a Staff Assistant for U.S. Representative Martha McSally in her Tucson District Office. Timothy is the Press/Communications Assistant and manages Supervisor Miller's website, social media accounts, and newsletter.


| 520-724-2738 | pimainfo2013@gmail.com | http://www.allymillerdistrict1.com
130 W Congress, 11th Floor
Tucson, AZ 85701