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Pima County Administrator loses pay and possibly power

Union disappointed in contract renewal while Board vows to take control
Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry
Posted at 12:39 AM, Jan 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-20 07:06:59-05

TUCSON, Ariz. — It's a major shift that impacts how Pima County is run.

The board has vowed to take more control over the leadership.

In a 4-to-1 vote, the board renewed County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry's 4 year contract, but with changes.

For the first time, Huckelberry's leadership will be evaluated.

This comes a week after two unions wanted Huckelberry gone saying they lost confidence in his ability to get them through the pandemic.

Unions demand Pima County Administrator's contract not be renewed

An AFSCME Local 449 representative says the union is disappointed in the outcome.

During the board meeting, Supervisor Rex Scott said, "(The unions') concerns must and will be addressed. No organization can move forward if their employees are not acknowledged, respected, and supported."

The union had told KGUN9 last week that it's concerned about morale dipping lower if Huckelberry's contract is renewed.

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When asked what happens now, union representative Abigail Okrent replied, "It was heartening to hear the supervisors say they're are concerned about the low morale and they're interested in implementing a review process . We would have like to see that go into the contract, but the supervisors also did say they believe they're ultimately responsible for the running of the county and they want to be held accountable to us. We plan to hold them to that."

The board also voted not to give Huckelberry a $13,000 raise and even reduced Huckleberry's base salary from about $302,000 to $292,000.

Pima County staffers call Administrator’s raise request a slap in the face

Also, if Huckelberry retires during his contract term, he could return to work in a contractor capacity.

The contract still needs to be ratified.