Ward 2 Council Member Paul Cunningham
Probably the most fraught issues I have to deal with in my office are anything having to do with development and zoning. Neighbors get very concerned, and rightly so, when they hear about a new subdivision or commercial center in their area. I try to work with developers and neighbors, but as you’ll see, I can’t always be an advocate.
A couple of weeks ago, I told you about city’s Finance Department. It wasn’t a department that many of you were familiar with and I was glad to be able to get information to my constituents about it.
This week, I want to tell you a bit about the Parks and Recreation Department. It’s definitely higher profile than finance, and the work they do gets a great deal of support from all of you. The fact that we passed Proposition 407 last year is a great demonstration of that.
I am a strong believer in citizen participation. I wanted to let you know that there are some opportunities coming up to learn and participate.
Pima Association of Governments (PAG), in partnership with the City of Tucson, invites you to attend one of two open houses to review a draft Long-Range Regional Transit Plan. In the fall of 2018, the City and PAG held public meetings and conducted online and in-person surveys about transit. After technical review of all public comments, this draft plan was developed.
The City of Tucson is looking for volunteers to participate in the Complete Streets Coordinating Council, a new public committee that will help guide transportation investments over the next 25 years. The role of this committee will be to review transportation projects, ensure our streets are meeting the needs of everyone and help the City engage other members of the public about transportation matters.
Last week, I gave a rundown on city departments and I said that I would profile different departments over the next few weeks.
I made a bit of an error when I gave the list. I mentioned the Finance Department. It’s not called that anymore. It is now known as the Business Services Department.
The name change isn’t cosmetic. The department is a newly organized entity that took over the functions of the old Finance and Procurement departments. Human Resources has to remain separate by provisions of the charter, but they are considered under the Business Services “umbrella.”
In 2015, we went through a discussion of changing the city’s charter, and voters approved new language in the following election. Back when that document was written in 1926, there weren’t a lot of departments. There was a provision for a streets commissioner and a water commissioner, and of course police and fire. Not too much more than that though.
Growing up, I knew Todd Harris as a standout athlete for Sahuaro High School. He was a big guy, but he had a teddy bear charisma. He was probably the friendliest guy you will ever meet. I got to cross paths with him because of our mutual involvement in youth sports, particularly football and soccer.
Like me, he joined the Army after High School, but unlike me, he became career Army. He was a part of the storied 10th Mountain Division. His service brought him to Afghanistan. On November 3rd, 2010, he was killed in an insurgent attack on his unit.
Two TV stations ran a story about a crosswalk on our side of town. I got some calls about it because it affected many of my constituents. There had been a marked crosswalk at Stella and Wilmot.
It’s not the Mississippi, or even the Colorado, but it’s been amazing to see water flowing in the Santa Cruz again. This is especially true if you are a native Tucsonan like me that grew up hearing stories about when our river flowed.
Valencia Road to Mary Ann Cleveland Way: Utility relocation work is being conducted along South Houghton Road between Valencia Road and Mary Ann Cleveland Way in advance of the City of Tucson roadway improvement project in that segment. Crews for both Century Link and Southwest Gas have been relocating or replacing underground lines since early June. The telecommunications work is scheduled for completion inearly September, while the gas line replacement is expected to continue into winter of 2019.
Many of you know about our household hazardous waste drop off we have at the east side complex on the first Saturday. That normally means we’d be due for one next Saturday (July 6th). Unfortunately, because of the July 4th holiday, the Environmental Services Department was not able to get the volunteers that normally staff the drop off.
The first public item in our council agenda on Tuesday was trees.
Well, it was called “Presentation on the Environmental, Economic and Health Benefits from a Healthy Urban Tree Canopy System,” but that was really a long way of saying that we talked about trees.
Councilmember Kozachik and I requested that we have a presentation on the subject of what Dr. Tanya Quist, the University of Arizona professor who spoke to us, calls urban forestry.
Tucson Water invites you to the official Santa Cruz River Heritage Project Release Party, to be held in conjunction with the 22nd Annual El Día de San Juan Fiesta. Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, Council Member Regina Romero, and Pima County Supervisor Richard Elías will speak at the event. Join us on Monday, June 24 at 4:30 p.m. to celebrate!
Location: 1580 S Santa Cruz Lane
Bypasses are devices that allow some people to dash from point A to point B very fast while other people dash from point B to point A very fast.
People living at point C, being a point directly in between, are often given to wonder what's so great about point A that so many people from point B are so keen to get there, and what's so great about point B that so many people from point A are so keen to get there. They often wish that people would just once and for all work out where the hell they wanted to be. – Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy