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Councilor Romero's Newsletter, October 11, 2013

/files/ward1/10.10.13.pdf  (PDF Version)

October 11, 2013

Dear Tucsonans:
Next week on October 17 ballots vote-by-mail ballots will be sent to registered voters for the City’s second all mail-in ballot election.  I encourage you to take your time and do your research.  We have two propositions on the ballot to consider: Proposition 401 will allow the City to permanently adjust the City’s base expenditure limit by $50 million, and Proposition 402 is to approve Plan Tucson, which is our state mandated General Plan that was formed through a two year public participation process.  Council Members in Wards 3, 5 and 6 are up for election, voters city-wide will vote for their representation. 

Look to Page 2 for information on the November 5 Election, and Page 3 for articles on Proposition 401 and Proposition 402. 

Despite the federal government shutdown, our Tucson economy continues to rebound, with businesses making major investments in Ward 1.

· El Rio Health Center is investing $14 million at its location on W. Congress, including $5.5 million in grants from the Affordable Health Care Act. They are replacing the 35-year-old  Robert Gomez building - expanding from a two-building facility to nearly an entire block of space to reach their goal of “comprehensible, accessible, affordable, quality, and compassionate care. They will expand the diabetes clinic, the midwifery and new additions include: a cafeteria that will provide healthy eats, a community garden for people to grow herbs and vegetables, and valet parking so that patients don’t have to worry about walking long distances when arriving to doctor appointments.

· Over the past three years, St. Mary’s Hospital, the Westside’s largest employer, has invested $31.5 million in the building and equipment, including art and an oasis garden for patients.

· Carrington College is moving its educational facility to Ward 1’s Commerce Park Loop – investing $3 million in its programs for Dental and Medical Assistants, Pharmacy Technology and more.

· The City of Tucson’s Luis G. Gutierrez bridge is now officially open to cars, bikes and pedestrians, and next year it will also carry the Sun Link Streetcar to the Mercado and Mission Districts – the newest neighborhood and business districts on the Westside. Congrats to artisan homebuilders Tom Wuelpern of PureBuild Homes and Paolo Giusepp De Lorenzo of Innovative Living Design & Development for being No. 1 and No. 2 Top Tucson Custom Homebuilders!

In Community,
Regina Romero

PS– This weekend’s events showcase the rich culture and diversity that define Tucson- 2nd Saturdays, Tucson Meet Yourself,  Tucson AIDS Walk, Tucson Film & Music Festival, Pride at Kino Sports Complex and the Tucson Gay Freedom Day Parade.   Don’t spend your weekend cooped up inside. Go and explore your Tucson!  If you stop by Tucson Meet Yourself, don’t forget to stop by the City of Tucson booth.

2013 Election Information
General and Special Election November 5

The 2013 General and Special Election will take place on Tuesday, November 5.  Voters will select Council Members for Wards 3, 5 and 6 and will vote on Propositions 401 and Proposition 402.  This year’s election will be conducted with a vote-by-mail ballot.  Voters can mail their completed ballot with the postage-paid return envelope that is included with the ballot or drop it off at one of the polling locations listed below.  Voters may also bring to a polling location their vote-by-mail ballot and cast a ballot in person or receive a vote-by-mail replacement ballot.  Deadline to register to vote was October 7, 2013. 
For more information contact the City Clerk’s Office at (520)791-4213 or visit

2013 City of Tucson Election:
· Thursday, October 17: Ballots mailed to registered voters.
· Friday, October 18–Tuesday, November 5: Voting Location Open at Tucson City Clerk Elections Center, 800 E. 12th St.  October 18-November 4, open Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. November 5, open 6:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
· Thursday, October 31: Last day to mail your ballot to ensure it is received by the City Clerk’s Office by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, November 5.
· Thursday, November 5: Election Day.  Polls are open from 6:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.

Election Day Polling Locations, All Locations Open 6:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.:
· City of Tucson Department of Housing and Community Development
      310 N. Commerce Park Loop
· Udall Recreation Center
      7200 E. Tanque Verde Rd.
· Donna R. Liggins Recreation Center
      2160 N. 6th Ave.
· Clements Recreation Center
      8155 E. Poinciana Dr.
· El Pueblo Senior Center
     101 W. Irvington Rd.
· Parks and Recreation Administration
     Randolph Park, 900 S. Randolph Way
· Tucson City Clerk Elections Center
     800 E. 12th. St. 

Proposition Information
Prop 401- Permanent Base Adjustment

Proposition 401 will give voters an opportunity to permanently adjust the City’s base expenditure limit by $50 million.  If passed, the increase would not impose new or additional taxes, and would not increase property or sales tax rates. In addition, an increase to the permanent base would not allow the City to spend more than it receives in revenue.

The City of Tucson and other cities and towns in Arizona are subject to a state expenditure limitation that limits the amount of money that a municipality can spend in a fiscal budget year. 

Article 9, Section 20 of the Arizona State Constitution outlines the spending limited is calculated by:
1. Taking as the initial base the amount the City spent in the Fiscal Year 1980 budget year;
2. Adding the amounts of the permanent adjustments to that initial base that were previously approved by the City’s voters in 1981 and 1987;
3. Multiplying the result total by specified population and inflation factors.

The City of Tucson anticipates that in fiscal budget year 2015, actual revenues will exceed its current spending limit as it is calculated by the existing formula.  The City will be unable to spend revenues that have been collected.  Revenues help to fund services such as public safety, public transportation, capital improvements and water infrastructure.  

For more information on the Permanent Base Adjustment, please visit this link on the City of Tucson website ( ).   

Prop 402- Plan Tucson
Plan Tucson: City of Tucson General & Sustainability Plan is a long-term policy document that was formed through the input of residents during a two year process.  Arizona state law requires municipalities to have a voter approved general plan.  Plan Tucson’s purpose is to provide vision and future direction for the City.  It does not provide for any tax increases, and does not affect current zoning.  If approved, Plan Tucson will replace the City’s current General Plan that was approved by Mayor and Council and voters in 2001.

Plan Tucson looks at the City from four different perspectives: the Social Environment, the Economic Environment, the Natural Environment, and the Build Environment.  The topics will help guide the City when considering future economic development, housing, historic preservation, water, land use and transportation.   It offers the City a framework in creating neighborhood plans and promotes a sustainable approach to growth, encouraging use of existing infrastructure, mixed-use development and diverse transportation alternatives.  An illustrative map depicting a Future Growth Scenario is included in the plan.

Housing and Community Development staff coordinated the Plan Tucson process.  Over 800 comments, garnered from the public through 64 public meetings and outreach to the community, were submitted for consideration in the final document.  Participants included residents, neighborhood leaders, businesses, non-government organizations and government agencies.  Mayor and Council unanimously adopted Plan Tucson on July 9, 2013. 
For more information on Plan Tucson, or to view the document visit

Community Briefs
Buffelgrass Removal in Airport Wash

Southern Arizona Buffelgrass Coordination Center and Tucson Clean & Beautiful invite you to help beautify Airport Wash for United Way Days of Caring and Make a Difference Day, Wednesday, October 23 and Saturday, October 26 from 8 a.m.-noon.

Neighbors are coming together to clean up buffelgrass from Airport Wash. Airport Wash feeds into the Santa Cruz River connecting people and wildlife for many neighborhoods on the southside.

By participating in clearing buffelgrass from Airport Wash, participants can learn how to get rid of buffelgrass in their own neighborhoods. No children under 12 years allowed to work in the wash, project will involve  digging buffelgrass and carrying out bags of buffelgrass.   Some lighter work will be available.  Please wear closed-toed shoes, long pants, long sleeved shirts, sunscreen and hats.  Snacks and water will be provided.  Park along the side streets surrounding the park (Calle Alvord, Liberty Ave, Calle Francita, S Fiesta Ave and W Finedale St).

The Southern Arizona Buffelgrass Coordination Center has events throughout the year to educate the public and eradicate buffelgrass from public lands.  The annual Beat Back Buffelgrass Event is planned for Saturday, January 25, 2014.
For information on the above events or to volunteer contact ( ).

Midvale Park Neighborhood Fall Festival
Neighbors will gather at Grijalva Park for the 18thAnnual Midvale Park Neighborhood Association’s Fall Festival on Saturday, October 26 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.  Grijalva Park is located at 5775 S. Oaktree Dr., near the corner of Drexel Rd. and Oaktree Dr. 

This is the first year the Fall Festival will be held at Grijalva Park.  Halloween Fun is the theme for this year, children are encouraged to wear costumes and participate in a costume contest.  Festival activities include music, dancing, food and beverage booths, a jumping castle and other activities for kids.  Local merchants and area non-profit resources will have tables and information. 

For more information please contact Joe Miller at (520)419-8814 or visit the Midvale Park Neighborhood Association page on Facebook.

Santa Cruz River Farmers' Market
The Santa Cruz River Farmers’ Market at the Mercado San Agustin (100 S. Avenida del Convento) is bustling with activity Thursdays from 3-6 p.m.  Vendors offer a diverse variety of fruits and vegetables, plants, seeds and other local, handmade or specialty items. Recent Market days included stands offering prickly pear jellies and popsicles, local grass-fed beef, handmade soaps, and vegan whole wheat tortillas.  Food demonstrations, samples, music and people watching are always part of the experience.

On October 24, celebrate Food Day 2013 at the Market with cooking demonstrations, a master gardener onsite to answer gardening questions and information on how to make your families diet more healthy with sustainable and affordable food.  For more info on the Santa Cruz River Farmers’ Market, call (520)882-3313 or