NewsNet 12-17-14

MAYOR AND COUNCIL MOVES TO NEXT PHASE OF PROPOSED RONSTADT CENTER REDEVELOPMENT - The Mayor and Council yesterday approved a 13-member selection committee’s recommendation that two firms be invited to continue to the Phase II portion of the Ronstadt Transit Center Joint Development Project. Beginning in February, Peach Watermark and The Alexander Company each must prepare a detailed design concept for a mixed-use development with transit to be located on the 4.7-acre site. Many other requirements also must be met. A final development agreement is expected to go to Mayor and Council in early 2016. Read more from the City's Office of Integrated Planning.

SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICERS HEADING TO TUSD - The Mayor and Tucson City Council last night voted unanimously to amend its contract with the Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) to prohibit School Resource Officers (SROs) from questioning minors about their immigration status under any circumstance. That means eight officers from the Tucson Police Department (TPD) will be stationed at selected TUSD schools. The program will be funded through a state grant. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.
Mayor and Council agenda item from last night's meeting.

DEADLINE EXTENDED TO APPLY AS A COMMISSION MEMBER TO REVIEW AND RECOMMEND SALARIES FOR MAYOR AND COUNCIL - The City of Tucson is accepting applications for the Citizens' Commission on Public Service and Compensation, a panel that reviews and recommends appropriate salaries for the Mayor and Tucson City Council. The new deadline to apply is Dec. 31. Commission members serve a two-month appointment and must be registered voters living within Tucson city limits. They cannot be employees of the City of Tucson, nor a parent, sibling, spouse, child, or dependent relative of an officer or employee of the City. The Commission’s salary adjustment recommendations may be placed on the Nov. 3, 2015 election ballot. To nominate a person, or for more information, please contact Monica Perez in the City Manager's Office, 791-4204. Read the news release.

PUBLIC COMMENTS SOUGHT ON PROPOSED ELIMINATION OF DOWNTOWN LOOP - The City of Tucson and Sun Tran are seeking the public’s feedback on a proposal to eliminate the Downtown Loop, a free transit service in the downtown area that provides access to community services, government offices, courts, educational facilities and area businesses. With the opening of the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar, the Downtown Loop has become a duplicate service. Many of the Downtown Loop’s major stops are within walking distance of Sun Link or existing Sun Tran service. Representatives from Sun Tran will be available at two final public open houses to answer questions and concerns regarding the proposed service change. The open houses will be held tomorrow, noon-1:30 p.m., at the Joel D. Valdez Main Library, 101 N. Stone Ave., and 5:30-7 p.m. at the Ward 2 Council Office, 7575 E. Speedway Blvd. A public hearing will be held on Jan. 6 and Mayor and Council Chambers, 255 W. Alameda St. Read the news release.

'ZOO LIGHTS' CONTINUES AT REID PARK ZOO - While we may see some more rain tonight and tomorrow, the weather forecast for the weekend looks mostly clear and wintry for Zoo Lights at Reid Park Zoo. The annual holiday event features jingle bells, twinkling lights, falling snow, and Santa. Light displays, animal-themed light sculptures, and thousands of sparkling bulbs are part of the annual holiday tradition. Free cookies are provided each night, and hot cocoa is available for $1. Zoo officials say animals will have access to heated night houses for this event, and will likely choose to be off exhibit. Zoo Lights is open from 6-8 p.m. every night, through Dec. 23, with an encore Dec. 26-28. Admission is $6 for adults and $4 for children under the age of 14. Zoo members receive a $1 discount on each admission. Not sure about the weather? Check the Zoo's home page. A yellow banner will be displayed prominently if Zoo Lights needs to be canceled.