Paul's Note - May 17, 2019

I attended a ceremony to honor Jeffrey Ross, a Tucson Police officer who was gunned down in 1982. We unveiled a plaque in his honor on Thursday. Here is a bit from the plaque:

Jeffrey H. Ross was a beloved friend, son, brother and husband who made the ultimate sacrifice while protecting his community.

Jeff was born in Harvey, Illinois and moved to Longfellow Avenue in Tucson with his family at the age of four. He spent countless hours in this park with his family at the age of four. He spent countless hours in this playing hide and seek, baseball, football and basketball, meeting new friends and experiencing childhood. On occasion, police officers would stop at the park while doing their rounds. Jeff was always the first one to greet the officers, at times causing the neighborhood games to be postponed while they talked.

In many ways, he grew up in this park. The skills he acquired here - teamwork, conflict resolution, leadership, communication - would later propel him into law enforcement and the pursuit of excellence in his profession. Jeff loved being a Tucson Police Officer. On duty, he would drive by this park to visit the children and make his presence known in the same way officers had years before.

Officials from the Police Department and Parks and Recreation attended Thursday’s ceremony, held the day after Peace Officer Memorial Day, to honor Ross and to unveil the plaque. I invited members of the Rincon High School Student Council so they could both learn about and help honor a fellow Ranger. The TPD honor guard was on hand to present the family with flags and also a bit of a surprise. Assistant Chief Kevin Hall presented the family with Police Medals of Honor, given for conspicuous gallantry. The medal, given at the discretion of the Chief of Police, did not exist when Ross died.

It was a wonderful ceremony and it is a great memorial to one of Tucson’s finest.

-

I’d like to put in another plug for the Arizona Symphonic Winds free concerts at Udall Park’s amphitheater. Mestro László Veres has been leading the Winds for decades and showcasing the finest young talent in Tucson. Saturday’s show will feature Dr. Jackie Glazer, a professor at the U of A’s School of Music, performing on the clarinet.

All concerts are free and begin at 7 pm. I’ve posted a schedule on my home page.

-

Scott Clark has been confirmed as the City’s Development Services Director. He’s been the interim for some time, but his time there has included both trying to make procedures easier for the development community and also for citizens. He and his staff have a system called “Notice Tucson” to make it easier for people to get public notices about land use changes through e-mail. You can sign on here: https://www.tucsonaz.gov/pdsd/noticetucson

In addition to his work at Development Services and at Tucson Water, he also did planning work in Thurston County, Washington. He is a native of Patagonia, Arizona and received the Bronze Star for his service with the US Army in Iraq.

-

I’d like to note three things coming up on the Ward 2 calendar:

  • This Saturday, Tucson Parks and Recreation is hosting a Bark in the Park event at Morris K. Udall Dog Park, 7290 E. Tanque Verde Road, on Sunday, May 19, from 9-11 a.m. Free activities will include kids face painting, canvas art with dog prints, a photo booth for dogs and their humans, music, hot dogs (for humans), and refreshments. There will be a Tucson Police Department K-9 demo at 10 a.m.
  • Also furry friend related, the Palo Verde Park Neighborhood Association and Pima Animal Care Center is hosting a microchipping event for pets. That’s on June 1 at Arizona Beer House, 150 S Kolb Road, 8 - 10 am.
  • We will be hosting a Ward 2 town hall on June 5 at 5:30 pm here at the Ward office. Speakers will include officials from the Police Department, Transportation and Parks and Recreation. If you want to RSVP now, send an email to Odessa.Draheim@Tucsonaz.gov