Pima County limits call to the audience, considers banning Tik Tok

Published: Jun. 6, 2023 at 6:58 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) -The Pima County Supervisors have imposed new rules for its call to the audience segment of its public meetings.

In the past, the board gave three minutes to those people who filled out the green cards requesting to speak during the call to the audience.

The new rules are stated here:

“Call to the Public shall be scheduled for one hour each meeting unless extended by majority vote of the Board of Supervisors. Speakers shall have three minutes to speak. However, for any meeting where 20 or more individuals have submitted speaker cards, each speaker’s time shall be limited to two minutes. During the Call to the Public segment of the agenda, a person desiring to speak shall address the Board. Upon being recognized, the person shall advance to the podium, state his/her full name, whom he/she represents, and state the subject matter.”

The board passed the new rules 3 in favor and two against.

The move was made because the call to the audience has gotten out of control, according to Board Chair Adelita Grijalva.

“We spend anywhere from two to three hours on call to the audience and then we have to race through the rest of the agenda,” Grijalva said.

On this day, the board had nearly 85 items to discuss and vote on. With the call to the audience eating up so much time, many issues get shorted.

District 1 Supervisor Rex Scott, who proposed the changes, said there was a concerted, planned effort by a group of people, including the Republican Party, to monopolize the call to the audience time.

One audience member told the board, “if you have to sit there for hours and listen to us during call to the audience, tough. That’s what you get paid for. We are not your servants. You are out servants.”

It’s the same variation that is heard over and over again during the call to the audience.

“For the past several months, officers of the county Republican Party and their precinct representatives have acted in a coordinated fashion to make use of this time,” Scott said. “Will this item prevent them from speaking in future meetings? It. Will. Not.”

But it will limit their time.

On another topic, District 3 Democrat Sharon Bronson has proposed the county pass this resolution banning the use of Tik Tok on all county devices.


WHEREAS, Pima County is committed to the security and privacy of its data; and

WHEREAS, Pima County is committed to employing information security best practices which safeguard County data and information resources; and

WHEREAS, Pima County has a particular interest in guarding sensitive information from being accessed by foreign governments or actors; and WHEREAS, the social networking app, TikTok, is a wholly owned subsidiary of a Beijing, China based technology firm, ByteDance;

and WHEREAS, TikTok has been found to have security vulnerabilities that could expose County-owned or County-leased devices to malicious actors, creating potential security and privacy risks to County agencies and the systems and data the County is charged with protecting;

and WHEREAS, TikTok has been banned on government devices by the federal government and the State of Arizona due to concerns that the Chinese government’s influence may result in Byte Dance’s sharing and/or compromising data and information security of American users of TikTok;

and WHEREAS, TikTok is likely not the only current or future application to pose significant cybersecurity risks to the County;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that TikTok shall be banned on all County issued devices as follows:

• Within 30 days of this Order’s issuance, the county administrator shall develop a policy detailing how the ban will be implemented across appointed county departments with reasonable law enforcement investigatory considerations;

and, e Other County policies shall be updated where applicable to reflect this directive;

and, o Within 90 days, the Pima County Information Technology Department shall prevent the installation of TikTok on County-owned or County-leased devices in accordance with the aforementioned policy revisions; and,

• Annually, the Pima County Information Technology Department shall produce a report identifying other applications that pose potential cybersecurity threats and that may need to be similarly restricted. ADOPTED by the Pima County Board of Supervisors, Pima County, Arizona, this __ day of _____ 2023.”

But before the county board could discuss the resolution, Bronson pulled it from the agenda but said she wants to take it up later, hopefully passing a ban much the same as the Republican majority board did in Maricopa County.

“I would like to place this back on the agenda at some point,” Bronson said. “Tik Tok is becoming a problem for all jurisdictions, and I think it presents a security challenge.”

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