Saturday, April 11, 2015

Interpreting the veto letter

The text of the letter announcing the veto of SB1200 is as follows:

Today, I vetoed Senate Bill 1200. Although I commend the work of he bill’s sponsor, we must evaluate the use of  state buildings holistically, rather than individually. At this point, there is not a plan or organized structure in place to ensure the successful transition of the mining and mineral museum. While I appreciate the desire to preserve and celebrate the unique characteristics of Arizona’s past, it would be premature to sign the legislation at this time.

How is this brief message to be interpreted ?

“holistically rather than individually”: exactly what does that mean?

“there is not a plan”: actually, there was (or is). The plan is to recover the mineral museum assets that the AHS unlawfully scattered across the state, reassemble the mineral museum, and restore the K-12 education programs. The mineral museum will then quickly become one of Arizona’s top rated museums again. A tremendous amount of volunteer labor will be required, but a elaborate plan is not needed.

“there is not ------organized structure”: Does this perhaps indicate that the new Governor is not familiar with the mission and outstanding  performance of the Arizona Geological Survey? What further organization is required?  Furthermore, as indicated by past performance,  AZGS staff and volunteers have museum management expertise that is obviously superior to that of the AHS.

“preserve ---characteristics of Arizona’s past”: is our new Governor perhaps not aware of the multiple functions that the mineral museum provided?  Yes, it preserved a unique part of our states heritage.  However, it also preserved irreplaceable mineral specimens and supporting scientific data for researchers, and provided badly needed educational programs for both teachers and students.

It will take some time for the new Governor to complete the transition to his new administration. However, when major affairs of state government have been addressed, perhaps there is a serious need for the AZGS to brief the new Governor on the roles of the AZGS, the former Arizona Department of Mines and Mineral Resources, and the mineral museum. Perhaps future communication between the AZGS and Arizona’s new Governor will eventually answer the questions posed above.

Hopefully, that will happen well before the end of 2015. Students and teachers need the restoration of the mineral museum’s K-12 earth science education programs to be restored an soon as possible.


  1. Good analysis Dick. I'll add some more to it. Holistically,as it refers to state buildings, plays into our former governor's desire to have the walk up Washington to be beautiful--and she wanted to replace the "out of sync" MMM with her 15 million Gahalager wonder that never happened. When I walk up Washingtron and look at all of the Gov't buildings I see a mortgage here, there and everywhere, EXCEPT on the MMM building which stands sadly empty--no kids!
    I was particularly disturbed about Gov. Ducey's insistance that there be a "plan" for a smooth transition. If he wanted planning his office could have indicated and facilitated it' instead they put an uncomfortable gag order on AGS which kept planning from happening. Detailed plans are not part of bills. He did leave kids (which is what this bill was about and he never even mentioned them) some hope in that he said he wouldn't sign it at this time. We will be back, and hopefully he will be able to vote for the kids.

    1. You got it right."Holistically" refers to state buildings being alike--ala Brewer, and our Governor just told us and the kids that he still isn't sure they belong on the mighty Washington
      walk to the Capitol. Never mind that kids had been there for years and years and that they helped pass the law that is being violated every day by the AHS. That law says the MMM stays and will be shared with a 5C''s Museum. We need to help the Governor's staff to do a better job of advising him when laws are being violated, and there is a powerful lobbist at work in their midst. Like you, I love the uniqueness and diversity the MMM presents right in the middle of the nice but stuffy gov't buildings. It shouts that AZ loves kids and values them as citizens. The big problem with the current picture is that the kids and the buses are missing, and have been for four years. Because of the veto that didn't address the restoration of the MMM, but rather the political pressures Governor Ducey is feeling (from the AHS lobby}' the kids stay booted out of a valuable earth science resource for another year and a half.

    2. AHS may have won Ducey's veto, but they will lose the war and bring more shame on their heads. The incredible almost unanimous vote of the legislature is heartening and says kids do belong on the walk to the capitol building--it's a perfect place for them. The supporters of the kids need to understand that the AHS really wants two things: to keep control of the valuable state mineral collection, and a presence at the Capitol.
      They have a state liquor license and are known for their parties and THEY DO NOT CARE ABOUT KIDS!!! They have never ever explained why they and Brewer booted the kids out in the middle of planned field trips.

  2. There's another possibility as to the "holistic" reason for the veto. The legislature asked AHS and the Dept. of Adm. to give proposals of what they would do with the MMM building. The JBLC got those and the high price tags on each along with the idea proposed by AHS that it would have to be a public (state) private deal. The state gets to pay up first to greatly alter the inside of the building. But even the Dept. of Adm and AHS said that they chose letting the building stand empty! This irritated the legislators who wanted the kids and buses back. Gov.Ducey probably got flack from AHS and the DOA that they were dismissed. The "holistic" revisiting of the use of the use of state buildings is a cover to appease the Brewer/AHS strategy to justify getting rid of those pesky kids and buses. They did it by violating a law that still exists in AHS statutes and that Brewer signed. Governor Ducey should not open himself to unwitting or tacit agreement to this on-going violation of law. It cannot help him any more than questioning whether a kids' earth science museum is an appropriate building use on the capitol mall. Given the state of science education in AZ, this is a double blow to students and teachers. Personally, I really want to know why the AHS has any say at all about the use of a building they let stand empty for four years. They should be out of the picture, and held accountable for violating their statutes.