Karin's Note: Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Last week the Mayor and Council dedicated over six hours together with the Manager and Executive Leadership team to review options for reorganization and balancing the budget. Proposals from many Department leaders were accepted to move into the next stage of the process (finalized Manager recommendations and Public Hearings), and three Departments will further refine plans to meet their reorganization and budget targets (Fire, Parks and Rec, and transit).
It’s important to recognize that this year the work goes beyond budgeting and delves into restructuring many of the functions and services of City government. That’s necessary because simply cutting costs or raising fees/revenues could put the level and quality of critical services at risk.
I’ll admit to experiencing some fatigue after the six-hour budget deliberations leading up to the Public Hearing Tuesday night on the Broadway Corridor 30% design proposal. Here’s my main concern after listening to considerable feedback…
Last year the Mayor and Council adopted (unanimously on the motion of CM Kozachik) a compromise that reduced the project from eight lanes (a plan that could evolve into a 4-car 2-transit lane configuration as travel modes shift from auto to alternative modes).
Despite that compromise and direction, CM Kozachik opened the hearing by refuting the staff’s presentation (and contention that the 30% design complies with M&C direction) and indicating we should scrap the entire project. That seems to gloss over some serious implications: the City would be on the hook for the costs to date; the RTA has the power to step in and complete the project as the lead (vs. the City) moving forward; the status quo corridor has been eroding over decades as businesses and investors watch these endless starts and stops.
What would be helpful to hear at this stage, from my perspective, is precisely how the 30% design could be improved. Should we narrow lanes or sidewalks or remove bus pullouts/bike lanes/landscaping to spare more historic buildings? Hold to the Country Club boundary and drop the last bus pullout? What else?
I do not agree that we can or should revisit whether to move the project forward or not. I am doing my best to listen through that drumbeat for actionable adjustments. I consider the 4 plus 2 (six lane) compromise critical for eventual bus rapid transit on Broadway and hope we can continue as a community in the spirit of compromise to create the best project possible for area stakeholders and the City at large.
Our capable and dedicated Charter Review Committee has recommended two options for revising the City’s Charter provisions on elections to either a Ward-only (primary and general) elections process or Ward-only plus adding two new, at-large Council seats. I voiced my leaning toward Ward-only as the question to put before the voters, although I will listen with interest to public comment on the latter scenario.
Community Housing and Human Services Funding
Considerable changes were included in the recommended Human Services funding allocations through a revamped process. You may have read about $190,000 cuts to the Community Food Bank’s emergency food programs, and similar cuts to long-standing programs at Primavera, Our Family Services and so on. I made a motion at our meeting (passed 7-0) to hold the current funding levels for one year to transition toward the new allocations that have been recommended. Abrupt cuts to needed services and rapid ramping up of brand new initiatives seems unnecessary and unwise. Change can be good; let’s just more deliberate in agreeing upon and planning for it.
Similarly 50% cuts are being contemplated for emergency home repair programs, primarily so we can use some of that funding to purchase new ambulances. I appreciate the efforts of the City Manager and Mayor to identify all options for the new ambulances so we can sustain home repairs to the greatest extent possible. That discussion will occur at our meeting next Tuesday.
Out and About
I was pleased to attend the Amphi School District Foundation’s Annual Gala on Saturday. My gratitude to the volunteers and District staff who work tirelessly to offer a quality education to students in (and beyond) Ward 3. They have much to be proud of and their dedication truly shines.
I also joined extraordinary people recently at the Annual Walk for the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Southern Arizona (NAMISA), the Annual César Chávez March & Rally, and the Alzheimer’s Association, Desert Southwest Chapter Wine to Remember Event. Every event I participate in reinforces the pride I feel in our community. I hope to see you out and about in Tucson soon!
In the meantime, thanks for your part in making the City great; enjoy all it has to offer once again this coming week!
Ward 3 Events:
Park Avenue Improvements: Speedway – Fort Lowell
Wednesday, April 13th 6:00 – 7:30 pm
Donna Liggins Center 2160 N. 6th Ave
Join TDOT staff to meet the contractor and learn about improvements to Park Avenue, from Speedway Boulevard north to Fort Lowell Road. The improvement projects, initiated by surrounding neighborhoods via a Transportation Enhancement Grant, will include a pedestrian walkway, stamped asphalt crosswalks, new roadway and bike path striping, landscaping and water harvesting features.
Rumpelstiltskin at Valley of the Moon!
Fridays – Sundays through April 24th
Valley of the Moon 2544 E. Allen Rd
Tucson's oldest fairy tale garden brings you their newest show: Rumpelstiltskin! Rumpelstiltskin is a theatrical adventure through Valley of the Moon where the entire park is your theater and the stars your ceiling! Bring your whole family to experience this thousand year old fairy tale brought to life as only Valley of the Moon can. Adventures start every 20 minutes from 6 to 8:30 pm. Kids 7 and under are FREE! Tickets are available online or at the gate. For complete details visit: http://www.tucsonvalleyofthemoon.com/rumpelstiltskin.html
And come hungry! Delicious New York hot dogs, brownies, sausages, and more are available every night from Dawg Daze hot dog cart!
Cabrini Neighborhood Food Drive & Ice Cream Social
Saturday, April 16th 3:00 – 5:00 pm
3430 E. Presidio Road (look for the Isabella’s Ice Cream Truck!)
Stop by and meet your neighbors – everyone is welcome! Bring a non-perishable food item and get a FREE ice cream! All food donations will go towards feeding Cabrini residents in need. For more info, contact Good Neighbor Ventures at 520-512-5740 or Brittany@mygoodneighbor.org
Amphi Annual Movie Night!
Friday, April 22nd Starts at sunset
Navajo Park 510 E. Navajo Road
Bring your friends and family for this annual free event put on by the Amphi Community Action Group and TPD! The movie will start at sundown – just remember to bring a blaket or chair for yourself! For more info, please call 595-5445.
National Park Rx Day
Sunday, April 24th 9:00 am
1802 N. Lester
Give yourself the gift of good health by getting outdoors in the Jefferson Park Historic Neighborhood on National Park Rx Day! Sunday, April 24th will be the first ever National Park Rx Day, celebrated across the U.S. to promote the growing movement of prescribing parks and nature to patients to improve human health. Join Council Member Uhlich, Dr. Randy Friese, Banner-University Medical Center and Jefferson Park neighbors to spend a morning outside walking, biking or running the Tucson History and Health Loop.
Neighborhood Association/Coalition Meetings:
Samos Tuesday, April 19th 6:30 – 8:00 pm Salpointe – Trophy Room
Mountain View Thursday, April 21st 6:00 – 7:30 pm Habitat for Humanity
Flowing Wells Thursday, April 21st 6:00 – 8:00 pm Ellie Towne Community Center
Tucson Parks & Recreation Master Plan Public Stakeholder Meetings
Wednesday, April 13th 5:30 – 7:30 pm
Morris K. Udall Center 7200 E. Tanque Verde Rd.
Thursday, April 14th 5:30 – 7:30 pm
Randolph Dell Urich Golf Course - Copper Room 600 S. Alvernon Way
Wednesday, April 20th 5:30 – 7:30 pm
Desert Sky Middle School 9850 E. Rankin Loop
The Tucson Parks and Recreation department wants to know how it can improve recreation and leisure opportunities for all of its users. This month, the department kicks off a second round of open houses to gather input on the process to create a vibrant, new five-year master plan that anticipates future needs and outlines the actions necessary to deliver high-quality recreation facilities, programs, and services to the Tucson area. The public process provides opportunities for input through these stakeholder meetings as well as the project website at https://www.tucsonaz.gov/parks/masterplan
or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
VITA Madness Last-Minute Free Tax Filing Event
Friday, April 15th – Saturday, April 16th 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
United Way 330 N. Commerce Park Loop, Suite 200
Monday, April 18th 10:00 am – 12:00 am
United Way 330 N. Commerce Park Loop, Suite 200
Still haven’t filed your taxes? Tax Day is fast approaching on April 18th, so get them prepared for FREE by IRS-certified volunteers at this final VITA event!
Saturday, April 16th 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Sentinel Building Conference Rooms, 320 N Commerce Park Loop
The City of Tucson and the Neighborhood Support Network (NSN) are partnering to host an afternoon of networking, sharing, and problem-solving for neighborhood leaders.
This neighborhood huddle will kick off a series of casual get-togethers for neighborhood leaders - past, current, and prospective. The goal is to provide a regular outlet for sharing successes, problems, and ideas with others who are active in improving their neighborhoods.
We hope you can join! RSVP appreciated so we can provide enough of everything. Contact Becky Flores at 837-5013 or email@example.com
Second Chance Coalition Community Forum: Successful Strategies for Community Reintegration
Wednesday, April 20th 2:00 – 4:30 pm
Fox Tucson Theatre 17 W. Congress
Second Chance Community Coalition presents a free forum featuring presentations from reentry experts and authors Shon Hopwood and Michael Santos, as well as a Success Stories panel with formerly incarcerated Tucsonans and their employers. An award will be presented to a Tucson-area employer for hiring formerly incarcerated people and giving them a second chance. Employers, social service providers, educators, law enforcement personnel and the general public are welcome to attend. RSVP at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/second-chance-tucson-community-forum-registration-23875817212
. Second Chance Tucson provides employment opportunities for people overcoming a prior conviction to establish a prosperous future. Visit https://www.secondchancetucson.org/
for more info.
Tucson Water/Environmental Services Proposed Rate Increase Town Halls
Wednesday, April 20th 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm.
Tucson Parks & Recreation Building, Mesquite Room 900 S. Randolph Way
Monday, April 25th 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm.
El Pueblo Activity Center 101 W. Irvington Rd.
Tuesday, April 26th 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm.
Quincie Douglas Public Library, Meeting Room 1585 E. 36th St.
Thursday, April 28th 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm.
Tucson Water Eastside Service Center 10445 E. Golf Links Rd.
Tucson Water and Environmental Services customers are invited to attend town hall meetings to learn about and discuss proposed rate increases for Fiscal Years 2017 and 2018.
Tucson Water is proposing water rate changes for FY2017 and FY2018, which would take effect respectively on July 5, 2016, and July 3, 2017, if approved by the Mayor and City Council. Two proposed water rate options will be presented along with Tucson Water’s cost-of-service analysis and 5-year financial plan. These and other documents are available online at https://www.tucsonaz.gov/water/FY2017proposedrates
The Environmental Services Department is proposing a recycling surcharge for residential and commercial recycling and increases to the commercial collection rates, which would take effect in July 2016, if approved by the Mayor and City Council.
All four town halls will feature the same content. Introductions of Tucson Water and Environmental Services staff and a PowerPoint presentation will begin at 5:45 p.m. Light refreshments will be available. Residents and customers are encouraged to attend to learn more about how Tucson Water covers costs associated with delivering high-quality water and its plans for managing this resource in the future. Environmental Services staff will discuss their operations and the need for increased fees. For more information, call (520) 791-4331
or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
License and Transaction Privilege Tax Reporting Workshops
Thursday, April 21st 10:30 am to noon
Westside Police Service Center, 1310 W. Miracle Mile
Thursday, April 28th 10:30 am to noon
Westside Police Service Center, 1310 W. Miracle Mile
Learn your rights and responsibilities for Transaction Privilege (Sales) Taxation by attending a Tax and License Workshop sponsored by the City of Tucson Finance Department.
Questions will be answered and written materials will be available. Samples of sales tax records, worksheets, and monthly returns will be explained. Sample returns can be completed. It is recommended that you bring a calculator and a pencil.
The workshops are free and open to the public. Email Taxpayer-Education@tucsonaz.gov
or call (520) 791-4681
for reservations or more information about either of the City of Tucson workshops. When you make your reservation, please specify the activities and subjects that you are interested in reviewing.
Downtown Mural Arts Program Design Open House and Artists Forum
Mural Design Open House
Tuesday April 26th 6:00 – 7:00 pm
Main Library – lower level mtg room 101 N Stone Ave.
The public is invited to see, and comment on, the mural designs by artists selected for the first round of murals downtown through the City Of Tucson Mural Program, managed by the Tucson Arts Brigadehttps://www.facebook.com/events/510294975822578/
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.
Dancing in the Streets AZ 2nd Annual Fundraiser
Sunday, May 1st 1:00 – 5:00 pm
Scottish Rite Cathedral 160 S. Scott Ave.
Join Dancing in the Streets AZ for their 2nd
annual fundraiser and celebration of life. Featuring a barbeque buffet and sweets, performance by Dancing in the Streets AZ, silent auction and more. Dancing in the Streets Arizona is a non-profit organization that uses the excitement and discipline of ballet to guide primarily at-risk children and youth in achieving life skills. More info at https://www.ditsaz.org/
13th Annual Pie Party!
Sunday, May 1st 3:00 – 6:00 pm
YWCA 525 N. Bonita
The 13th Annual Pie Party is set for Sunday, May 1st
! Pie Party is a Tucson event originally started among friends who loved pie, baking and eating it and getting together people to raise awareness and funds for groups. Pie entries for the contest can be dropped off at the YWCA between 11:00 - 12:00 p.m. Pies can be entered in the following categories: fruit, cream, other and vegan. Get two free tickets with pie entry. Tickets are $3 each or 2 for $5. More info at https://www.facebook.com/PiePartyTucson/
International AIDS Candlelight Memorial
Sunday, May 15th 6:30 pm
Historic Y building 300 East University Blvd
The International AIDS Candlelight Memorial is one of the world's oldest and largest grassroots mobilization campaigns for HIV awareness. Started in 1983, the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial takes place every third Sunday in May. With 33 million people living with HIV today, the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial serves as an important intervention for global solidarity, breaking down barriers of stigma and discrimination, and giving hope to new generations. The local Memorial event, organized by TIHAN and SAAF, will include music, reading of the names of people who we have lost to HIV & AIDS, and a "candle lighting." This event is free and open to everyone.
Did You Know...?
Pima Council On Aging at Woods Library
A PCOA ambassador will be available once a month at Woods Memorial Library to provide information and referral service on issues concerning seniors such as housing options, transportation, food, mental health, caregiving, social services and legal aid. One-on-one discussion with an ambassador is available on a first-come first-served basis.Join PCOA the second Monday of each month, 10:00 - 11:30 am, in the Woods Library lobby.
Call for Artists for 8th Annual Curious Camera!
ArtsEye and Photographic Works is proud to present the 8th Annual Curious Camera
Event. Curious Camera
is a friendly competition calling on artists to embrace the unpredictibility and fascination of photography using their favorite cameras and processing techniques. 1st, 2nd & 3rd place winners will receive a camera, film and a trophy they can proudly display. Winners will be featured in the gallery exhibition this summer at ArtsEye Gallery 3550 E. Grant Road. Judges will select the top 20 images which will be printed and framed by Photographic Works. Submission deadline is Sunday, April 17th
at midnight. Visit www.curiouscamera.com
to enter. Upload your images or mail prints (up to 8x10). $10 submission fee per image.
Voter Registration for Special Election Approaching
The voter registration deadline for Arizona's Special Election is next Monday, April 18th
. Those wishing to register to vote may contact the Pima County Recorder's Office at (520) 724-4330. Registered voters in Pima County may also request to be placed on the Permanent Early Voter List (PEVL) and automatically be mailed an Early Voting Ballot. Information regarding the Special Election, including arguments for and against Propositions 123 and 124 can be found in the What's On My Ballot? - Arizona's Special Election Guide from the Office of the Secretary of State at http://www.signatureflip.com/az/capital/2016-04-01rEdition.pub/index.html#2
Parks & Recreation Offers Discounts to Low-Income Residents
The City of Tucson Parks and Recreation department offers discounts that allow low-income residents to pay a 50 percent discounted fee for KIDCO, Jr. Leadership, In-Betweener's Club, Learn-to-Swim, and therapeutic programs. There also is a 25 percent discount for annual/quarterly passes at recreation centers and for a Senior Activity Card. To qualify for the discounts, you must be a City of Tucson resident, provide identification, household size, address verification, and be able to prove your income falls within the discount guidelines. You can apply at any Parks and Recreation office. For more details on the requirements for the discounts, call Registration Services at (520) 791-4877. Parks and Recreation Discount Program: https://www.tucsonaz.gov/parks/discount-program