As a believer in personal responsibility, I think it’s important to own up to our errors in the same way as we point out our successes. I want to bring you into the loop on a situation that happened recently – one which we rectified immediately and which should not have caused the residents of District 3 any confusion or concern. Even so, I ran on being transparent and I intend to keep that promise.
On March 8th, I received a request from the Mayor of Jerome, long-time public health professional Dr. Jack Dillenberg: He wanted our assistance in getting his town’s residents COVID-19 vaccinations as quickly as possible. As the doctor understood state law, he thought it would be possible for me to create a special hardship exemption for Jerome, thus allowing health care professionals to move swiftly to vaccinate the town’s residents.
While I initially believed this exemption was within the authority of our office, I soon learned such an action would require the approval of the full Board of Supervisors. Immediately, I withdrew my letter of authorization and sent a clarifying communication to all relevant parties.
It’s my understanding that no one from the District 3 office, Mayor Dillenberg’s office or the Town of Jerome released any information about this exemption to Jerome residents. Thus, this should not have created any confusion. Even so, I have gotten a media inquiry about this situation. To make sure there continues to be no confusion, I want to make sure you have all the facts directly from me – along with an apology. While my office acted from a good place – we want to get as many Yavapai County residents as possible vaccinated and protected from COVID-19 – we should not have moved forward without additional due diligence.
In an effort to make sure we get vaccines to Jerome residents in need, I intend to work with the Mayor and Spectrum Healthcare to implement a mobile vaccination rollout for qualifying place-bound citizens as age-restrictions are lifted. My office will do whatever it can to speed up the vaccination process for all residents of District 3 and Yavapai County.
I will keep you in the loop on those efforts moving forward.
Supervisor, District 3