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Karin's Note: Thursday, December 13, 2012

 -Third Saturday Art Fair

-Winterhaven Opens 63rd Annual Festival of Lights

-Ward 3 Neighbors Alliance Meeting on Wednesday

-Upcoming Neighborhood Meetings

-Open House Events to Discuss Draft of General Plan

 -8th Annual Holiday Express

-18th Annual Parade of Lights & Tree Lighting Ceremony

- Did you know....?


Dear Tucsonans,

I applaud Mayor Rothschild for organizing a retreat for us this week to hear from several guest speakers on the topics of good governance and local planning. Mesa Mayor Scott Smith, former Phoenix Mayor and Former Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard, U of A Professor of Management and Organizations and Executive Director of the Center for Leadership Ethics Dr. Stephen Gilliland, and City Attorney Mike Rankin each addressed best practices and specific parameters that apply to the “strong City Manager” form of governance prescribed in Tucson’s City Charter. As Mayor Smith summarized the boundaries, “The Mayor and Council set the vision and adopt the broad policies for the City and the City Manager oversees staff implementation of that direction from Mayor/Council”.

As I mentioned in my note last week, I believe we have entered an era of strong trust and cooperation between Mayor/Council and the City Manager. That dynamic will be critical as we set a course together for the future and establish measurable benchmarks for implementation and success.

You deserve clear accounting of every priority we set and every dollar we spend. Mayor Rothschild has indicated his intention to build upon the retreat discussion by facilitating a process that will formalize our central goals, set specific expectations for service and progress, and better equip all of us (elected officials, staff, residents, and partners) to fulfill our roles in strengthening Tucson. It’s difficult in tough times to attend to immediate crises while also planning for the long term. This deliberation, as well as the Plan Tucson public engagement underway (see below), will help us do that.

Public Safety

My staff and I met this week with Command staff of the Midtown and West Divisions of the Tucson Police Department (TPD). We will meet soon as well with leaders in the Fire Department. We work closely with the Departments’ leadership to understand their challenges and their decisions as they deploy the resources budgeted by Mayor and Council. The ratio of commissioned public safety (police and fire) officers per 1,000 City residents has increased from 2.9 in 2004 to 3.1 this year; it has decreased in our Enterprises from 1.9 to 1.7 and across all other departments from 6.2 to 4.8. Many factors affect police and fire response times to calls for service. As we prepare the 2014 budget we will need to look at many things such as staffing levels, recruitment and retention data, equipment and capital needs, and also enforcement policies based upon our community’s expectations for service. Public Safety will remain our highest priority, as in years past. And residents will always play a key part in keeping our community safe (efforts like the Alvernon-Grant Initiative, to name just one, engage people directly in crime prevention and response strategies).

Street Bonds

Prior to the recession the City had an adopted neighborhood streets repair plan based upon objective analysis by the Transportation Department (they utilize a specially equipped van to assess the extent of pavement damage and potholes/deterioration). The program had to be suspended several years ago due to the sharp downtown in state/local revenues.

Soon the Citizens Oversight Committee for the new bonds will be appointed to oversee our paving of major routes and to make recommendations on the sequencing of work on neighborhood streets. I have made sure our new Transportation Director has the previous program outline in hand so the Committee can take that information into consideration as the neighborhoods portion of the Bond is allocated. Makes sense to me to pick up where we left off and cover as much ground as possible as soon as possible.

Happy Holidays

We are collecting canned goods and other non-perishable items for the Community Food Bank here at the Ward 3 office (1510 E Grant Road). You can drop off your donations Monday-Friday between 9am and 5pm. In addition, Monterey Court is collecting new, unwrapped toys for "Toys for Tots" through December 15 at 505 W. Miracle Mile Road.

Thanks for participating in these or any of the many other holiday drives to help your neighbors in need this season.

Have a good weekend,



Ward 3 Events:

-Third Saturday Art Sale – Saturday, December 15 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Many Hands Courtyard, 3054 N. First Avenue. Craft classes, Mata Ortiz pottery sale, holiday gifts and live music. Shop Local! More info: 628-1490.

-Winterhaven’s 63rd Annual Festival of Lights – Opens Saturday, December 15 at 5:30 p.m. and runs nightly until 10:00 p.m. through Saturday, December 29. This year’s sponsors are the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and Jim Click Automotive Team. Each year more than 60,000 people walk through this neighborhood’s spectacular holiday lights display. No entrance fee, but visitors are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item for the Community Food Bank or leave a monetary donation. More info:

-Ward 3 Neighbors Alliance – Wednesday, December 19 at 6:00 p.m. Woods Memorial Library, 3455 North First Avenue. More info: Marc at 881-4582.


-Upcoming Neighborhood Meetings:

Samos NA – Tuesday, December 18 at 6:30 p.m. Salpointe High School, Trophy Room

Flowing Wells NA – Thursday, December 20 at 6:00 p.m. Ellie Towne Center, 1660 W. Ruthrauff Road.


City Wide Events:

-Open House Events to Discuss Draft of General Plan – The draft of Plan Tucson, the City’s proposed new General Plan, is now ready for public comment. The Plan will be on the November 5, 2013 ballot for voters to consider ratifying. Plan Tucson will be the guiding document for the growth and development of Tucson over the next decade. Issues covered include economic development, parks and recreation, arts and culture, public infrastructure, natural environment, revitalization and redevelopment, land use and transportation. The City is holding a number of Open Houses this month:

            Friday, December 14 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the City of Tucson Housing and       Community Development, Sentinel Building, 310 N. Commerce Park Loop.

            Monday, December 17 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. also at the City of Tucson Housing    and Community Development, Sentinel Building, 310 N. Commerce Park Loop.

-8th Annual Holiday Express—Santa at the Depot! – Saturday, December 15 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Historic Train Depot, 400 North Toole Avenue. Free event boasts pictures with Santa, letters to the North Pole, holiday songs. More info: 623-2223 or

-18th Annual Downtown Parade of Lights and Tree Lighting Ceremony – Saturday, December 15. Mayor Rothschild will light the tree in front of the Joel Valdez Main Library at 5:45 p.m. Parade will begin at 6:30 Franklin Street and Grenada Avenue, proceed to Alameda Street, Stone Avenue and back to Franklin (at 9th Avenue) to finish. Free, family oriented event.  


Did You Know…?

...that Toys for Tots has a new drop off site in Ward 3? The Monterey Court Café at 505 W. Miracle Mile (corner of 14th Avenue) is collecting toys or gifts for children 0-18 years of age. Toys should be new and unwrapped. Final day for donations is Friday, December 15!

…that the City of Tucson Parks and Recreation Department West District is having a “Winter Break Schoolzout Program” for children ages 5-11 and middle school students ages 11-14? December 21 – January 4, 7:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. In Ward 3, both the Marty Birdman Center (2536 N. Castro, phone: 791-5950) and the Donna Liggins Recreation Center (2160 N. 6th Avenue, phone: 791-3247) will be hosting fun activities for your children while you work (or shop). The Program is closed on Christmas and New Year’s Day. Registration starts Monday, December 10 on a first come, first served basis. Fee is $2/day/child. For more info please call the Center of your choice.

 ..ZOOlights at the Reid Park Zoo will put you in the holiday spirit with jingle bells, twinkling lights, falling snow and animal-themed sculptures? Make this one of your Tucson holiday traditions and come to the zoo Thursdays through Sundays from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. December 1 to 9, every night from December 13-23. Admission is $6/adults, $4 for children. More info:   or 881-4753.