Karin's Note: Friday, May 20, 2016

Karin's Note: Friday, May 20, 2016
  • Ward 3 Neighborhood Association/Coalition Meetings
  • Community Events
  • Did You Know?
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Dear Tucsonans,
 
Thank You
Thanks for the calls and notes in response to my announcement last week that I won’t run for re-election in 2017. I’m grateful for all the support!
 
I also want to offer a shout out to Girl Scout Troop 108 and sincere thanks for their recent installation of a mobile library in Miracle Manor’s neighborhood park, Jacinto Park. Here’s a piece from the Tucson Weekly about that project: Girl Scouts Dedicate Mobile Library at Jacinto Park. The Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona offer an incredible range of programs that cultivate leadership and community engagement. You can learn more and offer your support by visiting http://www.girlscoutssoaz.org/.
 
Mayor and Council Work
This week Mayor and Council reviewed the City’s Red Tag (unruly gathering) ordinance and enforcement track record. We’ll receive further recommendations in response to Councilmember Fimbres’ motion, which directed TPD and other City staff to work with the community and the University on strategies that can improve impacts. The ordinance is aimed at maintaining peace and public safety, and success there no doubt provides a better environment for students as well as all neighborhood residents.
 
Budget
We once again reviewed the latest figures on revenues/expenditures and the City Manager’s recommended budget for FY16/17. You can see the presentation at this link: https://www.tucsonaz.gov/sirepub/cache/2/uy4ynmdcohkmrc1sbq0xycou/768877105202016120648316.PDF. We voted in the evening to adopt the tentative budget. The final budget will be voted on June 7th. Tax levies incorporated in the budget will be voted on June 21st. After many years of steeply declining revenues and assertive cost-cutting, the Manager’s work with the Executive Leadership Team and staff has produced a structurally balanced budget. That’s a significant accomplishment and will set us on the path to higher bond ratings (with lower borrowing/bond costs) and to strategic reinvestment in capital improvements that are long overdue. Kudos to Michael Ortega and department leaders for engaging in a bold reorganization that improves Tucson fiscal health and community service.
 
Transit
The Title VI (public input) process on transit fares has begun, and Councilmember Cunningham made a motion to be sure the fare change options will include his proposal (which adjusts the volume passes rather than an across-the-board increase tied to the base fare increase).The current timeline on transit includes a Public Hearing on July 8th, a Study Session on August 9th and an additional Public Hearing on the evening of August 9th. During the evening meeting we also voted unanimously to include in the information for the public two key pieces of information: 1) the City/PAG Report by Jarrett Walker with recommendations for services improvements/changes and 2) The City Transit Task Force’s adopted recommendations for guiding fare changes.
 
Water
Tucson Water and the Manager presented us with two options for adjusting rates to cover the utility’s costs. Mayor and Council unanimously went with the rate structure recommended by the Citizens Water Advisory Committee (CWAC-Option 2) which raised revenues through the tiered price levels (based on usage) more than by increasing the fixed/flat charges paid by all customers.
 
Importantly, Tucson Water plans to work with CWAC over the coming two years on long-range planning. My hope is that their deliberations can begin to factor in the cost savings tied to water conservation, breaking us out of the wrong-headed notion that conservation is a negative because it reduces water sales proceeds. Every drop of water we save means more water conserved and stored for our future…and that ultimately saves us huge sums given the actual, high cost of any new water sources we’d otherwise have to pursue. I am grateful that my former staff member and water lead Holly Lachowicz has agreed to serve on CWAC. She’s been integral in the progress our region has accomplished on water stewardship over the past decade. She and CWAC and Tucson Water, I have no doubt, will come up with cutting-edge strategies to move us even further ahead.
 
Environmental Services
The Mayor and Council also adopted rates for ES that included the necessary fees to cover groundwater protection, commercial collection, and recycling (this fee will decrease as the market for recycled materials improves). We did not include the extension of the volume discount contract yet (that agreement already runs through 2020) or the Community Services (“Clean Cities”) fee to cover code enforcement and graffiti abatement. Those programs are fully funded in the proposed City budget and we will need to adopt a distinct revenue stream if we hope to not only sustain but improve those programs that keep Tucson clean.
 
Hockey
If I were a hockey fan, I’d cheer for the Detroit Red Wings. I’m hoping that between the Michigan/midwest and Canadian transplants and snowbirds here in Tucson, hockey will indeed be a big draw. I think the deal negotiated to bring minor league hockey to the TCC downtown (involving the Phoenix Coyotes, the Rio Nuevo Board and the Mayor and Council) has strong financial safeguards for the City and will bring needed improvements to the TCC, regardless of whether or not hockey fans steadily attend. The team is a minor league team directly tied to the major league (vs amateur sports, which typically offer less of a draw). Mayor and Council unanimously voted to proceed with the negotiated agreement.
 
The City now truly does work effectively in concert with the Rio Nuevo Board to evaluate these types of partnerships and investments. All of that brings greater confidence in Tucson’s ability to leverage new opportunities like this to the benefit of our residents and taxpayers. This contract in particular will increase usage of the TCC without interrupting any existing bookings, such as the Gem Show, and enhance the facility for a more competitive profile in the future.
 
Mission Gardens and Tucson’s Birthplace
Councilmember Romero has offered tireless leadership for eight years to insure that downtown revitalization honors and includes the historic treasures west of I-10. She made sure the streetcar loop did not stop at the highway, and she’s made sure development to the west never forgets the significance of Tucson’s birth at the base of A Mountain. Thanks to her and Friends of Tucson’s Birthplace leadership including Bill DuPont, Katya Peterson, Roger Pfeuffer, Diana Hadley, Phil Hill, and Donna Tang the Mayor and Council voted together to commit $1.2M from west-end developments to the historic elements of the area. Those features were cornerstone elements in the first voter-approved plan for Rio Nuevo, and they will provide substantial economic and cultural value to downtown. You can read the associated Mayor and Council resolution at this link: https://www.tucsonaz.gov/sirepub/cache/2/uy4ynmdcohkmrc1sbq0xycou/76928610520201612570088.PDF.
 
Congratulations to Chief Magnus and TPD
Tucson was chosen as one of 15 cities to get federal funds for our local policing efforts, a great honor for the Old Pueblo. Congratulations and thanks to Chief Magnus and TPD for their rededication to community policing and for earning us this national support and recognition!
 
Have a great weekend,
 
Karin
 
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Ward 3 Neighborhood Association/Coalition Meetings:
 
Keeling Monday, May 23rd 7:00 pm Cornerstone Fellowship 2902 N Geronimo
 
Jefferson Park Wednesday, May 25th 6:00 pm Ward 3 Community Room 1510 E. Grant Rd
 
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Community Events: 
 
Tucson Artists’ Spring Open Studios
Saturday, May 21st and Sunday, May 22nd 11:00 am to 5:00 pm
Various locations
Artists will open their studios to the public so you can see the creative process at work. Artists will talk with you about their work, present demonstrations, and offer work for sale. You can visit your favorites, or meet new artists and see studios you haven't visited before. Complete artist listings with detailed locator maps will appear on this site and will be updated continually as registrations are processed. The May issue of Zócalo magazine will feature listings and a guide map. http://www.tucsonopenstudios.com/index.html
 
Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Full Moon Festival
Saturday, May 21st 5:00 - 10:00 pm
Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, 2021 North Kinney Rd
 
Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum stays open after sundown as the nocturnal creatures of The Living Desert come to life!  The moon has long been an inspiration for artists from all different cultures and tonight the Arts - visual art, music, and poetry - take center stage. As the sun sets and the moon rises, take a leisurely stroll around the grounds and exhibits. Enjoy live musical performances in three unique venues, including one especially for children!  Admission $19.50, Seniors $17.50, Youth $15.50, Children $6. Kids 3 and under are free. http://www.desertmuseum.org/calendar/view_event.php?type=p&event_id=5676
 
Downtown Mural Arts Program Artists Forum
Tuesday May 24th 6:00 – 7:00 pm
Main Library – lower level mtg room 101 N Stone Ave.
Lead Muralists and assistants share their experiences of being muralists, painting downtown, building a mural movement life as an artist.
https://www.facebook.com/events/1537122379925076/
Presented by the City Of Tucson Mural Program, and management partner Tucson Arts Brigade!
 
Indivisible Film Screening and Discussion
Wednesday, May 25th 5:30 – 7:30 pm
101 Space, 101 N. Stone Ave.
 
Indivisible follows three youth as they battle for immigration legislation to be reunited with their families. Join for a screening followed by discussion of the effects of the boarder in our own Tucson community.
https://www.facebook.com/indivisiblefilm/timeline
https://www.indivisiblefilm.com/
 
Main Gate District Urban Overlay Public Meeting
Wednesday, May 25th 5:30 pm
Ward 6 Office 3202 E. 1st St
 
Opportunity for public review and comment regarding a proposal to amend the Main Gate Urban Overlay District (UOD) to limit or not allow balconies on buildings classified as group dwellings. The proposal to amend the UOD is a response to incidents of objects being thrown from balconies on student housing towers in the Main Gate District. For background and info, please visit: https://www.tucsonaz.gov/pdsd/projects/MGD_Amendment
 
What is your view of the Tumamoc Hill?
Wednesday, May 25th 6:00pm
Pima County Housing Center 801 W Congress St Pettit/Miles Community Room
 
The University of Arizona surveyed recreational walkers to learn more about their view of the historic Tumamoc Hill and would like to share the details of what was learned with you! You are invited to join the conversation at a town hall meeting. Your feedback is greatly appreciated!  RSVP Requested to CynthiaAnson@email.arizona.edu
 
Reinvestment Tools Public Hearing
Wednesday, June 1st 6:00 pm
Mayor & Council Chambers 255 W. Alameda
 
Planning and Development Services is currently considering three reinvestment tools: (1) Expand the use of the Planned Area Development (PAD) rezoning tool, (2) allow for optional concurrent Plan Amendment and Rezoning applications, and (3) establish an administrative process for Major Streets and Routes (MS&R) setback relief. The proposed text amendments would revise the Unified Development Code (UDC) to provide for regulatory incentives that could be implemented throughout the City, building on the success that similar tools have yielded in the downtown area. Join this meeting of the Planning Commission for a Public Hearing on the proposed text amendments. More info on the project at https://www.tucsonaz.gov/pdsd/projects/reinvestment_tools_No_1
 
Campbell Avenue Ribbon Cutting!
Friday, June 3rd at 8:30 am
2800 N. Campbell Ave (NE corner of Campbell/Glenn)
 
Join the Campbell Avenue Business Partnership, community leaders, and neighborhood representatives to celebrate the completion of the Campbell Avenue Corridor Project! Festivities to continue throughout the weekend when you visit this award-winning community of hundreds of businesses in the heart of Tucson. Refreshments generously provided for the ribbon cutting by Prep & Pastry and Savaya Coffee!
 
Dancing in the Streets AZ Presents: Peter and the Wolf and Other Works
Sunday, June 5th 3:00 pm
ATC Temple of Music and Art 330 S. Scott
 
Dancing in the Streets Arizona is a non-profit dance organization geared to the diversity of anyone who wants to dance. There will be a uniquely choreographed piece in the June 5th production of Peter and the Wolf and Other Works featuring their newest student Madera, a wheelchair-bound young lady with cerebral palsy. Tickets are $10, call for purchase info. 520-298-7738.
 
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Did You Know...?
 
Pull to the Right for Sirens and Lights
This week was National EMS Week, and the Tucson Fire Department is reminding you how to react when you hear sirens nearby. Whenever you see a fire truck or other emergency vehicle with sirens and flashing lights, pull to the right, stop safely, and allow the vehicle to pass before continuing.
Tucson Fire Department: https://www.tucsonaz.gov/fire
Tucson Police Department: https://www.tucsonaz.gov/police
 
No Need to Wait on Vaccines
The Pima County Health Department is encouraging parents to immunize their children now and beat the rush when the kids are going back to school after summer break. Health Department clinics provide free immunizations for kids every Monday through Friday. Appointments are available, but walk-ins also are accepted. Follow the link below to find clinic locations and contact information.
Immunization clinics: http://webcms.pima.gov/cms/One.aspx?portalId=169&pageId=257162
Pima County Health Department: http://webcms.pima.gov/government/health_department
 
Tucson Once Again Named Playful City
Tucson is again being honored with a 2016 Playful City USA designation. This is the 10th consecutive time Tucson has received the designation. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the national recognition program from KaBoom! honors cities and towns across the country for making their cities more playable. Follow the link below to read the full list of the 257 communities named 2016 Playful City USA honorees.
Playful City USA communities: https://kaboom.org/playability/playful_city_usa/communities
Tucson Parks and Recreation: https://www.tucsonaz.gov/parks
 
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