Karin's Note: Friday, April 14th, 2017
Next week the Mayor and Council will continue our work on the FY18 City budget. The Manager and staff will provide details for our enterprises (non-General Fund departments such as Water, Environmental Services, Park Tucson, and Golf). We participated in a retreat with the Executive Management Team in March and have also received preliminary information on the General Fund. Materials can be viewed on the Mayor and Council agendas link at:
The budget will remain central to our proceedings over the coming months. There are a few other matters I also wanted to bring to your attention.
University of Arizona (UA) Honors College
I have requested an agenda item to review and discuss the process through which the UA seeks to acquire property and execute a partnership for the development of a new Honors College complex in the North University neighborhood. Because the site is not all located on the formal campus and encroaches to the north into the neighborhood, the vision triggers concern about building heights, massing, design and impacts. No one argues against the benefits of a vibrant University. However, this deal—by seeking to shift land ownership to the University and thereby circumvent City zoning and other public processes—could open up potentials for any land to be similarly subsumed and developed. Some closed-room discussions since last December did not include appropriate public involvement or transparency. I and others are just now learning about the plans and steps already in motion.
University-owned properties are exempt from local land use governance. Partnership developments otherwise involving the University aren’t. We’ve had great success supporting the expansion of the Banner UMC Hospital and other complex, extensive developments. For the University to maneuver a land swap with a developer and the UA Foundation seems both unnecessary and adversarial. I believe we need to bring it to the Mayor and Council table immediately, before our options to challenge the approach lapse.
Director of Planning and Development Services
Just when Manjeet Ranu seemed ready to settle into his new position with the City, he accepted a far more generous offer in Los Angeles County, not taking into account, of course, the many perks he’ll be losing out on here such as the beautiful people of Tucson and our breathtaking Sonoran Desert/Mountains environment. We’ll be getting our money back from the recruitment agency that failed to close the hire successfully, and we’ll find the right person for the job as soon as we can. In the meantime the City Manager and our staff will be carrying an extra load as the Executive Team slot is open. Let them know you appreciate them for it if you have the opportunity.
Speaking of Employees
I realized recently that as I go about and write about my work for the City, I don’t send thanks and acknowledgements often enough to City employees. Having served for close to twelve years now, I can tell you that we have far fewer staff across the organization providing ongoing, outstanding service for our community. Though it may go unmentioned, it does not escape the notice of the Mayor and Council, Manager, or Tucson. Thank you City workers! And thanks to my staff for pulling together event highlights for your information below.
In particular there are three events happening in April that I hope you’ll attend.
The first is the Annual Eggstravaganza event at Mansfield Park, 2000 N. 4th Ave. on Saturday April 15th from 10:00am – 1:00pm. Each year my staff works closely with the Parks department, area neighbors and other event sponsors to bring carnival games, egg hunts and other free family fun to the park. More information is available below or by calling 791-3247.
On April 22nd at 10:30am at the Balboa Park at 2536 N. Castro Ave., we will be recognizing the longtime community advocate Naida Jane Baker, with a ceremony naming the park splash pad in her honor. Come by the park to congratulate Jane and to hear about some of her efforts over the numerous decades she has served as the Balboa Heights Neighborhood Association President.
Lastly, the Friends of the Marty Birdman Center are holding their bi-annual yard sale fundraiser on Saturday April 29th from 7:00am-3:00pm at 2719 N. Cortez St. The Friends of the Marty Birdman Center are a dedicated group of volunteers who raise funds to support youth and family activities at the Marty Birdman Center for children/residents in Balboa Heights and the surrounding neighborhoods. For this event, donations of gently used household items are needed and can be picked up by calling 520-909-0120. If you are interested in learning more about the group, and/or have time to volunteer to help (for the yard sale or on an ongoing basis), please get in touch with them, or call the Ward 3 office at 520-791-4711.
Ward 3 Events:
Native Seeds/SEARCH Annual Spring Plant Sale
Friday, April 14 - Sunday, April 16 2017
Friday 9 am to 10 am for Native Seeds/SEARCH Members Only
10 am to 5 pm all three days for general public
Native Seeds/SEARCH Retail Store
3061 N Campbell Ave, Tucson AZ 85719
There will be special offerings from Native Seeds collection including warm season vegetable varieties such as peppers, tomatoes, squash, melons, and Sonoran chiltepin plants. Also available will be warm season wildflowers. In addition, Native Seeds/SEARCH are excited to be working with Mission Garden to make available heritage fig trees and grape vines. Several varieties are limited and will be first come first serve.
Word has it the Easter bunny may leave some Easter eggs around the store with special offers for giveaways and discounts. BYOB - bringing your own boxes - is recommended.
18th Annual EGGstravaganza
Saturday April 15th, 10am-1pm
Mansfield Park, 2000 N 4th Ave
This event is presented by Ward 3 City Council Member Karin Uhlich and the City of Tucson Parks and Recreation Department. Enjoy free family fun with carnival games, egg hunts, prizes, and the Easter Bunny! Food will be available for purchase. There will be an adaptive egg hunt area for children with disabilities.
Egg Hunt times:
Age 2 and under: 10:30am
Ages 3-4: 11:00am
Ages 5-7: 11:30am
Ages 8-12: 12 noon
Samos Book Signing Reception
Friday April 21st, 5-7pm
1701 E Mitchell St
A book signing reception for “Samos: Stories That Built a Neighborhood” by Tucsonans and Samos residents Katherine Lancaster and Bam Miller. This book tells the story of one of Tucson’s many fascinating and historic neighborhoods.
Naida Jane Baker Splash Pad Dedication
Saturday, April 22nd at 10:30am
Marty Birdman Center/Balboa Heights Park, 2536 N. Castro Ave.
City of Tucson Ward 3 Council Member Karin Uhlich, the Balboa Heights Neighborhood Association, Friends of Marty Birdman Center, friends and family of Jane Baker, and Tucson Parks and Recreation invite you to recognize and celebrate the significant community contributions of Naida Jane Baker with the naming of the splash pad in Balboa Heights Park.
Jane Baker was a passionate resident of Balboa Heights for more than 40 years and an advocate for children and families in this area. For more than three decades, she mobilized City and community partnerships to improve the health and safety of the neighborhood. She also served as the Balboa Heights Neighborhood Association President for more than 20 years. Please join us as we celebrate Naida Jane Baker and her many accomplishments and contributions to the community.
Friends of Marty Birdman Yard Sale Fundraiser
Saturday, April 29th 7am - 3 pm
2719 N Cortez St.
Donations of gently used household items can be made and collected by calling 520-909-0120 Volunteers are also needed to help on Friday, April 28th, at 4 pm and anytime during the day on Saturday. Please call 520-909-0120 for information on volunteering. This is a great way to learn about the activities at the Marty Birdman Center, 2536 North Castro. Friends of Marty Birdman members attend one meeting a month, and help with family activities at the Center during holiday celebrations.
Ward 3 Neighborhood Association/Coalition Meetings:
Flowing Wells Thursday, April 20th 6pm, Ellie Towne Center 1660 W Ruthrauff Rd
Dodge-Flower Saturday, April 22nd 2pm, Catalina Heights Christian Union Church 2741 N. Dodge Blvd
Jefferson Park Wednesday, April 26th 6pm, Ward 3 Council Office 1510 E Grant Rd
Connecting Fair Housing to People with Criminal Histories
Friday April 21st, 8am-1pm
Pima County Housing Center, 801 W Congress St
Community Discussion with panelists representing both privately owned and subsidized rental housing, adult probation, social work and re-entering citizen to understand and overcome the challenges confronted by persons with criminal histories in search of fair and equal housing opportunities. Event opens at 8 am with networking, registration and continental breakfast. Lunch provided. Seats limited - Please RSVP.
March for Science
Saturday, April 22nd 10am – 2pm
El Presidio Park (corner of Alameda and Stone)
A rally and Science Outreach Event! The event at El Presidio Park will include speakers as well as local bands and other performers. 20+ local science and educational organizations will have booths on-site for you to explore and learn more about Tucson’s diverse science community!
Did You Know...?
…is seeking applicants for an internship at their Conservation Farm in Patagonia, AZ. The internship will provide a unique and intensive learning opportunity for an individual interested in seed conservation and regionally adapted dry land agricultural systems in the Greater Southwest.
Qualifications include ability and commitment to broadly share knowledge gained in the internship program within Native communities, as well as previous or existing experience and relationships with Native communities. This NS/S internship is a full-time paid position, May - November with a regular Monday-Friday schedule at the Conservation Farm located in Patagonia. Application deadline is 5 p.m. Saturday, April 18. For more information: http://www.nativeseeds.org/get-involved/employment/444-2017-conservation-farm-internship?mc_cid=6b2ed97e48&mc_eid=bf317355b6
Help Tucson Get a Grip on Graffiti
The swift abatement of graffiti discourages future vandalism, so when you see graffiti, please report it immediately. Graffiti Protective Coatings and the City of Tucson have a smartphone application for reporting graffiti. MyTucson is a free download on the iOS App Store and Google Play for Android. You also can report graffiti by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (520) 792-2489 and choosing option 1. City of Tucson apps: http://1.usa.gov/1vknBch
You Can Talk With a Public Health Nurse at Woods Memorial Library
Be good to yourself! A Public Health Nurse from the Pima County Health Department is available to
assist library customers with their health-related questions such as their current blood pressure and where to find low-cost health care resources in Pima County. This is a drop-in service on Tuesdays
1pm-5pm in the Library Lobby.
Drop into the Career Corner for help with computers, job searching, or exploring your employment options. Help is available to answer questions you might have on a wide variety of topics including: resume writing, online job search, email accounts, improving your computer skills, and help with e-readers. Service is available on Fridays 11am-2pm and Saturdays 2-4:30pm in the Small Meeting Room.
Learn How to Use Smart Meters
Motorists parking in Downtown Tucson, 4th Avenue and around the University of Arizona campus can pay for metered parking via the GoTucson smartphone app from Park Tucson. Payment also can be made via a mobile website or local phone number. In the video linked below, Tucson 12 shows you different ways you can use smart meters.
Tucson 12 video: http://bit.ly/1LeHKue
Park Tucson: http://1.usa.gov/15GpFob
City Seeks Public Input On ADA Transition Plan
The Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT) has been working on an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Inventory and Transition Plan since 2014, collecting data on the existing condition of Tucson streets and sidewalks relative to ADA compliance based on proposed ADA standards from 2011. TDOT also is developing a priority ranking system. The public is being asked to rank locations and indicate concerns at existing locations. TDOT held a series of six stakeholder meetings last month, and there are now two additional ways for the public to provide input. The first is a new interactive website (link below), and the other is a survey that can be taken online or filled out on printed copies available at all Tucson City Council ward offices.
Read the news release: http://bit.ly/2p7qHYh
Take the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/W25RJXZ
Voter Registration Deadline Approaching
The deadline to register to vote in the City of Tucson's May 16 special election is next Monday, April 17. Please follow the links below for more information. Earlier this week, the City mailed "The Choice is Yours" voter information pamphlet about the special election to decide a proposed half-cent sales tax for roads and public safety. The election to decide the fate of Proposition 101 will be conducted entirely by mail. If approved, the five-year sales tax increase would use $100 million to restore, repair, and resurface City streets, and $150 million would be spent on vehicles, equipment, and facilities for the Tucson Police and Tucson Fire departments. A half-cent sales tax increase is estimated to cost each household member in the City of Tucson approximately $3 per month over the course of the five-year period.
Register to vote via Pima County Recorder (download paper forms): http://bit.ly/2oEjNsN
Register to vote online via ServiceArizona.com: http://bit.ly/2pyzIGb
Prop. 101 information and maps: http://bit.ly/2nx0vlh