SAFFORD — Community meetings to discuss the impact to Graham County of Proposition 401 will take place next week.
NatureSweet Tomatoes and Bayacan are hosting two Yes on 401 meetings at The Venue on Main Street in Safford. The first will take place Tuesday, Oct. 4, at 6 p.m., followed by the second meeting at 7 p.m.
Officials with both companies will discuss what comes with a yes vote, including job creation, increased tax base and economic impact to the Gila Valley. Bayacan is estimating creation of about 450 new jobs, with a $100 million estimated economic impact.
A Maricopa County group calling itself Respect The Will Of The People: Graham County Voters & The Arizona Public Integrity Alliance Encourages A No Vote On Massive Marijuana Expansion In Our Area submitted enough qualifying signatures to put before the voters final approval of the supervisors’ decision to re-zone two greenhouse complexes in Bonita. The re-zoning — from agriculture to industrial — would allow NatureSweet to sell the complexes to Bayacan for the growing of medical-grade cannabis.
The chairman of the referendum campaign is George Khalaf, who is a managing partner of The Resolute Group, a Maricopa County “public relations, campaigns, strategic consulting, direct mail” company that is “advancing conservative values,” according to its website.
The result of the referendum is Prop 401 on the November ballot. A yes vote will affirm the supervisors’ decision and the re-zoning will stand. A no vote will overturn the supervisors’ decision and the properties will not be re-zoned.
The election will take place Tuesday, Nov. 4, and the last day to register is Tuesday, Oct. 11. Early voting begins Tuesday, Oct. 4, and the last day to request an early ballot by mail is Friday, Oct. 28.