Ward 2 Council Member Paul Cunningham
Tucson lost one of its finest citizens this week. Roger Tamietti, former Tucson Fire Department captain, union leader and friend to many of us passed away on Wednesday morning after cancer surgery.
I came into this job with a lot of swagger, but I was quickly overwhelmed. I met Roger on my third day. He was the friendliest guy of any of the people I had met in that first week, and the only one that made me feel like I was up to the job. He had a way of making everyone around him comfortable. It was his gift, and not one that you will find many people have.
You and your neighbors passed a half-cent sales tax in 2017 that was earmarked for roads and public safety. It’s more than fair for you to ask, where has that money gone?
Earlier this month, my office received a copy of the report of the Public Safety Tax Oversight Commission, which is the citizens’ committee responsible for overseeing how that money is spent.
Tucson Electric Power is developing plans for a new transmission line to help serve growing energy needs. The project would help Davis-Monthan Air Force Base satisfy its energy resiliency requirements and improve electric reliability for customers in Tucson.
TEP must determine a route for the Irvington-East Loop 138 Kilovolt Transmission Line, which will connect the Irvington Substation to the East Loop Substation. The line also must interconnect with the planned Port and Patriot substations. TEP has identified potential routes within a revised, expanded study area.
In 2015, with the help of $180,000 in support from Friends of Saguaro National Park, Saguaro National Park replaced the 55-year old interpretive exhibits in the Rincon Mountain Visitor Center with new, bilingual exhibits to help visitors understand the story of Saguaro National Park and appreciate the connection between people and place. Unlike the (newer) Red Hills Visitor Center in the Tucson Mountain District, the Rincon Mountain Visitor Center has no outdoor interpretive space- where rangers can provide interpretive talks to visitors and school groups.
Progress has continued on the solar panels in the parking lot at the Ward 2 office. The crew was doing some work inside the building this week. The work on the panels and connecting it to the building’s electrical system will be done this weekend. Those of you that come to the office will see that the fence will be down sometime next week.
To assist residents with property protection from potential heavy rain due to Tropical Storm Lorena, the City of Tucson Transportation Department will reopen its sandbag distribution site on Friday, September 20, 2019, at 2 p.m. in the east parking lot of Hi Corbett Field, 700 S. Randolph Way, at Reid Park. At this location, sand and sandbags will be provided. Residents should bring their own shovel and be prepared to fill their own sandbags.
The City of Tucson’s Environmental & General Services Department (EGSD) will change residential recycling collection from every week to every other week beginning the week of Sept. 30. The day of the week for a customer's recycling collection will not change. A bill insert with a map and schedule is included with September utility services statements. Each resident will also receive a direct mail piece listing their collection schedule and map. Seven open public meetings will take place this month.
The Arizona Daily Star ran a feature this weekend on families that are in Section 8 housing that are facing losing their homes as landlords turn away from wanting tenants that use the program.
There are a number of reasons why this is happening, and they run the gamut from the way the program has been administered at the federal level to the lack of affordable housing stock despite the amount of new development we’ve had in recent years.
Governor Ducey is calling for the flags at all state buildings to be flown at half-staff from sunrise until sunset on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 in observance of Patriot Day.
Our Summer months are not our strongest time for tourism in the Old Pueblo, but it does give us a chance to assess where we are as a destination.
Visit Tucson made a presentation last week on lodging performance, basically, how many nights are people staying in Tucson hotels and how much are they spending on those rooms. The numbers look good for us.
Interestingly, the three measures that the industry uses, occupancy, average daily rate and revenue per available room, has remained stagnant nationwide. Tucson’s numbers in those categories are projected to grow.
As I’ve written before, the officers of Tucson Police’s Operations Division East (also known as Team 4), which covers all but a handful of neighborhoods in Ward 2, have adopted new tactics to fight crime on our side of town.
They have been very effective. If you look at what are called Part 1 crimes (homicide, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny from motor vehicles and auto theft), they are down significantly. This past July, there were 202 Part 1 crimes reported. In July of 2018, there were 389. That’s nearly a 50% decrease.
Transit service will be as follows on Monday, September 2nd, for Labor Day: