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Karin's Note: Friday, April 27, 2012

Karin's Note:  April 27, 2012

-Marty Birdman Center Spring Fling

-Neon Mile:  Sign Lighting and More

-Neon Mile:  5th Annual Historic Open House and Tour

 -Valley of the Moon “Peter Pan Days”

-Limberlost Neighborhood holds Clean-up

-Pro Neighborhoods Hosting Free Code Enforcement Workshop

-Teacher Day at UA

-Did you know....


Dear Tucsonans,

We held an exciting “Tucson Means Business” forum yesterday to provide critical information and resources for local businesses. Businesses need to know how the Mayor and Council have responded to their concerns over the past six years:

  • greatly lifting the burdens for getting certificates of occupancy, resulting in thousands of dollars in savings for small businesses in fees and time saved;
  • allowing impact fees to be paid at point of occupancy rather than up front when pulling construction permits, allowing entrepreneurs to invest more in construction and maintain healthy cash flows;
  • creating an online system for paying sales taxes, saving time and money;
  • shifting much of the City’s own spending on goods and services to local firms through improved Small Business Enterprise and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise programs;
  • And much more.

The forum also provided access to the organizations that provide low-cost financing through the U.S. Small Business Administration and free services like energy audits to reduce operating costs.

More on the forum was reported today in the Arizona Daily Star on the front page of the Business Section, “Forum attendees find support at ‘Tucson Means Business’” (

You can get find presenters’ contact info and a wealth of information about resources available to businesses in Tucson here:

Thanks to my appointees to the Small Business Commission, Katharine Kent of The Solar Store and Karen Clifton of AC Productions Photography, for co-hosting the forum, and to all the City staff and partner agency presenters for making it such a worthwhile and successful event.

As you know, I have been a strong advocate for small and locally owned businesses through my service on the City Council. Remember that a dollar spent with local businesses offers our community three to four times the economic benefit of a dollar spent with national corporations based elsewhere. Local companies also create 80 to 85% of all new jobs here in Tucson.

So buy local, and help spread the word that Tucson Means Business!


Many neighborhoods have been in touch due to a sweep of enforcement by ParkWise in central neighborhoods. I am in touch with the ParkWise Director, Donovan Durband, to reinforce established agreements for providing a full and fair warning period before tickets ($85-$200!) are issued.  I have also raised concerns that the Code seems to specify that parking cannot block sidewalks, but is unclear regarding unimproved easements and rights of way where no sidewalk exists. We have to clear up any confusion and also address special situations (for example for people with disabled parking permits or those on streets too narrow to accommodate curbside parking) so enforcement can be administered as intended, to provide pedestrian and traffic safety without this kind of shock and pocketbook hit to area residents and businesses.

I will be meeting with Donovan and ParkWise staff soon, and will provide an update on our agreements moving forward. In the meantime thank you for alerting my staff to your concerns.

City Budget

The City Manager has presented a proposed Fiscal Year 2013 budget (covering July 1, 2012 – June 30, 2013). It includes small steps toward building our core services back up, including street/median maintenance, public safety training academies to prepare for new hiring, and restoring key parks and rec services (like reopening swimming pools for the summer!). Staffing levels overall would not increase under the proposed budget, and a 1% COLA is provided for employees through continued job vacancies.

The main revenue item considered is for Tucson Water rates. Under the preferred alternative put forward by the Citizens Water Advisory Committee, rates for residents who use below average amounts of water would go down by 34 cents per CCF, while rates for residents who use average to above average amounts of water would rise by 30 cents for most, and by $1.73 per CCF for those few residents who use three times the average amount of water or more. You can learn more about the Tucson Water Rate proposals at or at the public meetings scheduled over the coming weeks (SEE LISTING BELOW).

The full Manager’s budget proposal can be accessed here:  

I welcome your thoughts as we work toward Mayor and Council amendments and adoption of the final FY13 budget in early June.

I hope to see you at the 5th Annual Historic Miracle Mile Open House and Tour tomorrow (, or at some of the other community events coming up.




Ward 3 Events:

-Marty Birdman Center Spring Fling – Friday, April 27 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Tucson Parks and Recreation invite you to enjoy a free evening of food, games and excitement. All ages welcome. More info: 791-5950.

-Neon Mile:  Sign Lighting and More - Friday, April 27 from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm at Pima Community College, Downtown campus on Drachman. This celebration of the restoration and installation of four iconic neon signs salvaged from Tucson sites is a collaborative project of Pima Community College (PCC) and the Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation with assistance from Ward III and City of Tucson staff.  Private donations paid for the restoration work. Event activities will include “flipping the switch” to light up the signs, classic cars, a sock hop, a mid-1900’s fashion show, kids’ activities, music, food, and more. The location of these signs on PCC property along Drachman will highlight the southern terminus of Historic Miracle Mile. 

-Neon Mile:  5th Annual Historic Open House and Tour - Saturday, April 28 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 pm.  Extending Friday night’s celebration of the Neon Mile (see above) this year’s event will be headquartered at the PCC Downtown Campus, and will include three lectures and 5 - 6 shuttle bus tour venues, including the early Evergreen Cemetery tour by Ken Scoville. More info:

-Valley of the Moon “Peter Pan Days” – Friday, Saturday and Sunday, April 27, 28 and 29. 2544 E. Allen Road.The park will be set up with a “Peter Pan” theme with volunteers playing characters and performing for the audience. Tours run from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. with tours starting every 30 minutes. Free for children 7 and under, $5 for those 8-13 and $8 for adults. More info: 323-1331 or

-Limberlost Neighborhood Holds Cleanup – Saturday, April 28 from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. Meet at the wall on Stone between Roger and Limberlost. This cleanup will focus on the Stone curves and wall mural.


City Wide Events:

-PRO Neighborhoods Hosting Free Code Enforcement Workshop – Saturday, May 5 from 9:00 a.m. to noon. 320 N. Commerce Park Loop, Sentinel Building. Join Code Enforcement Administrator Teresa Williams for an overview of the neighborhood preservation ordinance and landlord accountability responsibilities. Free, reservations required. Please call 882-5885 or email Scott Lunn at

-Teacher Day at UA – Saturday, April 28 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Second Annual National Teacher Appreciation Week is hosted by the University of Arizona and Tucson Values Teachers. Free event features an Educational Expo on the UA Mall, lectures and exhibits. For more info: contact Jacqueline Jackson:


Did You Know…

…that Catalina Rotary Tucson is the first sponsor to step forward in support of opening City pools for the summer with their pledge of $25,000 to open Jacobs Pool?  If you’d like to support Catalina Rotary’s effort to make that happen, you can purchase $5 raffle tickets--winner will receive a $500 gas card. More information is available at the Ward 3 Council at 791-4711.

…..Campbell Plaza is kicking off Summer on Saturday, May 12? Beginning at 9:00am you can enjoy sidewalk sales, radio remotes, music by Sam Hughes Elementary Choir. Sweet treats from several Campbell Plaza restaurants from 11:30am to Noon. 88-CRIME will provide summer safety tips. 2800 N. Campbell Avenue. More info: 326-3292.