Paul's Note: December 20th, 2019

Paul’s Note
Friday, December 20th, 2019
 
Paul’s Note
Pet of the Week                   
Ward 3 Neighborhood Association/Coalition Meetings
Ward 3 Events
City Wide Events
Did You Know?
 
Paul’s Note
 
End of Year Review
 
2019 was my second full year serving you as the Ward 3 Council Member. This will be our last newsletter for 2019 and I’d like to take the opportunity to look back at what we have accomplished. It is an honor to serve as your Council Member. I wish you all a safe and happy holiday season.
 
Neighborhood Outreach
 
Spending time in Ward 3’s neighborhoods is one of the highlights of my job. There are 26 neighborhood associations in Ward 3 and I enjoy visiting each. I joined many of them for meetings, picnics, block parties and other great events this year.
 

 
Mayor Rothschild, Mrs. Mary Jane Woodard, Council Member Durham, Paul Ross and Kevin Woodard pose for a picture at the 2nd Annual Sugar Hill Block party in November.
 
Every year, there are annual events I look forward to. Ward 3 hosted our New Year’s Open house in January which was deliciously catered by Taquería Juanitos. Although not in Ward 3, I rode in the 94th Annual Rodeo Parade alongside Council Member Fimbres in February. Throughout tax season, we hosted the United Way’s VITA program every Saturday. And in April, I joined our Parks and Rec Department at the annual EGGstravaganza at Mansfield Park. I look forward to each of these events in 2020.
 

 
One of the youngest of the more than 200 dogs and cats who received a free vaccine and microchip at Donna Liggins this October waits his turn to see the vet.
 
This year brought some very exciting new opportunities to engage our community. We worked with the Pima Animal Care Center and the staff at the Donna Liggins Center to host a free vaccine clinic for cats and dogs in October. It was a huge success. Such a big success that we’re planning to bring it back next year.
 
I’d like to take a moment to thank all the neighborhood leaders who work with me and my office. The work they put in to build community is invaluble to me as I try to work to meet the needs of the roughly 80,000 constituents of Ward 3. I look foward to working with you all next year.
 
Tucson Delivers: Better Streets + Safer City
 
In January, I was able to kick the year off with a ribbon cutting for the Starr Pass and La Cholla road resurfacing projects under the Prop 101 program. In 2017, voters approved Prop 101, which was a 5-year half-cent sales tax increase to be used for public safety needs and road repair. The program is projected to raise $150 million for public safety needs and $100 million for road repair and maintenance through 2022.
 

 
City officials cut the ribbon on the first Tucson Delivers road project.
 
In February, I had the pleasure of attending another event for Prop 101 at Fire Station 9, “The House of Pain,” to celebrate the application of new public safety equipment. The Tucson Police Department and the Tucson Fire Department have deployed hundreds of pieces of equipment like body worn cameras, cardiac monitors, ballistic vests, vehicles and turnout gear.
 

 
Tucson Fire displays new gear purchased thanks to Tucson voters’ approval of Prop 101.
 
In August, we had an event in Ward 3 at Fire Station 8, “The House of Love,” to welcome a brand new fire engine and ambulance. I am also happy to point out that Station 8 is planned to be completely rebuilt which will allow our first responders to operate out of a safer and more efficient environment. Also this summer, I hope you noticed portions of Roger Road, River Road and Runway Drive in Ward 3 have been completely resurfaced as a part of the 101 program.
 
Tucson Delivers has a website, launched this year, that is designed to give everyone comprehensive information for all sections of the program. You will be able to learn about any project that interests you, track schedules and review financial information. The website includes interactive maps that allow anyone to see any project and view its status. Please visit tucsondelivers.tucsonaz.gov.
 

 
Complete Streets
 
In February, Mayor and Council moved forward with a Complete Streets policy. Too many people are injured or killed on Tucson’s roadways, especially while walking or riding a bike. The idea behind Complete Streets is that roadways, bike lanes, sidewalks and paths should be equally safe for all users.
 

 
Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT) decided to come up with a policy. TDOT partnered with Living Streets Alliance (LSA) to work with the community to devise a clear set of guiding principles:
  1. Safety – Complete Streets provide a safe travel experience to all and designing Complete Streets is a safety strategy to eliminate preventable traffic fatalities.  
  2. Accessibility – Complete Streets serve people of all ages and abilities.
  3. Equity, Diversity, And Inclusivity – Complete Streets elements are implemented equitably and inclusively throughout the city.
  4. Land Use – Complete Streets incorporate context sensitive, flexible design approaches and consider the surrounding community’s current and expected land use and transportation needs in an interconnected manner.
  5. Environment – Complete Streets preserve and protect Tucson’s environment and increase health by providing opportunities for active transportation (walking, biking, etc.) reducing vehicle miles traveled and decreasing pollution caused by motor vehicles.
  6. Economic Vitality – Complete Streets help spur economic development by supporting business and job creation and by promoting resiliency in the workforce through access to multiple mobility options.
This summer the Mayor and Council approved and seated a Complete Streets Coordinating Council (CSCC).  The CSCC is responsible for actively overseeing and bringing accountability to the Complete Streets Policy implementation process and is made up of active and engaged citizens.
 
Drought Contingency Plan
 
In May, the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation and representatives from all seven Colorado River Basin states signed drought contingency plans for both the Upper and Lower basins. The Drought Contingency Plan (DCP) is providing an agreed upon pathway to reduce the amount of water that the Upper Basin states (Wyoming, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico), the Lower Basin States (Arizona, Nevada and California), and the Ten Tribes Partnership pull from the Colorado River. In short, the DCP is one important tool to guide us toward a drier future.
 
Tucson Water leadership and Director Thomure played a critical role in developing and ultimately guiding adoption of the Arizona Drought Contingency Plan. Through their negotiation, critical City priorities were met, including a change to the way we receive credit for recharging water into the aquifer. That negotiation helped make the Santa Cruz River Heritage Project not only a beautiful way to bring new life to the Santa Cruz, but a great way for the city to store water for the future generations.
 
Fiscal Year 2019/2020 Budget
 
One of the most important votes I take every year is the annual budget vote. This year, we voted to adopt a $1.556 billion budget on June 4th, $582.2 million of which is the General Fund. As with last year’s budget, the budget we approved is structurally balanced, meaning one-time events are controlled for. Unlike the federal government, we’re not allowed to run a deficit.
 
The General Fund pays for parks, police, fire and other core city services. 39% of the budget for parks, police and fire comes from sales tax. Sales tax revenue, which is technically called “City Business Privilege Tax,” is directly tied to the performance of the local economy. When people have jobs and confidence in their economic situation, they’re more apt to spend money on retail, food, entertainment and other goods. You can see this year’s revenue compared with the last five years below. The continued increase is a testament to the strong local economy and the growth we’re seeing downtown and throughout the city.
 

 
Unfortunately, costs for the city are also rising. Like every other employer, health care costs are rising every year. With a low unemployment rate, it was also important this year that we invest in our employees. Keeping turnover low isn’t just the right thing to do, its good business. It’s very expensive to train a firefighter or a police officer and investing in support and competitive compensation is prudent use of your tax dollars.
 
One other quick highlight is that the voter-approved Proposition 407 Tucson Delivers: Great Parks was accelerated under this budget. Although we originally hadn’t expected to be able to begin the parks improvements until 2020, we made improvements in two pools this summer and several neighborhood parks in Ward 3 are scheduled to get shade structures on their playground equipment in the coming weeks. You’ll be hearing much more about Prop 407 as more projects come online in the coming years.
 
We still have huge challenges as a city, but your city is on firm financial footing. In fact, just this month, we received word that two bond rating agencies upgraded their ratings of our financial credit. One company said of Tucson that we had “very strong management [and] strong budgetary performance.” Congratulations to Mayor Rothschild, Manager Michael Ortega, CFO Joyce Garland and their teams for the acknowledgement.
 
Electric Bus
 
In July, the City of Tucson was awarded a $2.6 million grant for Low or No Emission Transit from the Federal Transit Administration. We will purchase at least three buses and we are hoping for four, along with charging infrastructure. We expect theses buses to arrive from the manufacture GILLIG in January 2021. I found this FTA grant and caused the City to apply for it.
 

 
Even prior to the approval to the FTA grant the City had already decided, at my urging, to implement an electric bus pilot program. The City will be leasing its first electric bus from GILLIG. The leasing deal will be for one year. Once the new electric bus arrives next month, it is expected to have a range of about 30 hours. The first step in the program will be test on the bus on express routes which allow for the bus to be recharged during the middle of the day. After that, the bus will be deployed on regular routes. The goal will be to rotate the bus on as many routes as possible to allow for as many bus riders and drivers to experience it. The electric bus will enter on the streets of Tucson in late January of 2020. I can hardly wait!
 
In September, GILLIG brought a prototype electric bus to Tucson. GILLIG’s 40-foot e-bus has a battery capacity of 444 kWh and features a low-floor design. The battery electric technology produces zero emissions, promoting a cleaner and healthier environment. The e-bus also has regenerative braking. Regenerative braking is an energy recovery mechanism which slows the e-bus by converting its kinetic energy into a form which can be to used recharge the battery.
 

 
At the event I spoke about the important of electrifying our transportation system. Carbon emissions from transportation account for the largest share of greenhouse gas emissions, 29%, so tackling the issue of clean and renewable transportation options is critically important.
 
Tobacco 21
 
In October, Tucson joined a growing group of cities and states and adopted a policy to raise the tobacco minimum legal sales ages to 21, or T21. It’s a bipartisan health policy proven to reduce youth addiction to tobacco and nicotine products, including e-cigarettes. Ever since the Council heard from high school students who testified before the Council about the proliferation of e-cigarettes, especially JUULs, in their schools, getting T21 done has been a priority of mine.
 

 
A handout from the Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation shows the importance of not only adopting T21- but enforcing it.
 
As I told anyone who would listen, T21 is a growing movement and Tucson needed to lead on it. Just this week, I learned that a national T21 law was included in an end-of-year spending bill before Congress. As of the time I write this, T21 has passed the House of Representatives and the Senate and is awaiting the President’s signature. The biggest complaint I heard from the business community was that Tucson adopting this may mean a competitive disadvantage for businesses inside the city. If a federal T21 passes, that argument is moot.
 
It’s unclear right now how much the federal bill will actually enforce the new law. If bad actor retailers—  like the Family Dollar near Flowing Wells High School that’s been caught selling to kids under 18 six times in the last four years— continue to operate, the law we passed in October will enable us to pull their license to sell tobacco products. In the end, even if a national law passes, I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished by pulling together a diverse group of students, educators, doctors, hospitals to advocate for a law that will have a hugely positive effect in the lives of Tucson’s youth.
 
Solar
 

 
The solar panel above, one of the 30 solar arrays installed by the city in 2019, shades cars outside McCormick Park and the Lighthouse YMCA.
 
This last year, the City of Tucson installed 30 new solar arrays on City facilities adding 9.2 MegaWatts of solar energy. Another 16 are in the process of being installed. In total these 46 new sites will increase the total installed solar capacity on City facilities by 254%!
 
Additionally, I worked with staff to create a City of Tucson Energy Fund. This revolving fund captures our cost savings from energy efficiencies and solar power and sets it aside for future energy savings and green energy projects. I am very proud to have moved these initiatives forward and see these as some of the building blocks for the City to reach net zero.
 
Thrive in the 05
 
This year we made a lot of progress in the three efforts that we collectively refer to as the Thrive in the 05 project. We brought neighbors together to celebrate and share resources at two festivals in Old Pascua and Miracle Manor with over 400 attendees as well as a very high-energy National Night Out event in Balboa Heights.
 
We’ve added two new murals in Old Pascua and Miracle Manor and two new stormwater projects in Barrio Blue Moon and Miracle Manor. We hosted two neighborhood clean-ups in Ocotillo Oracle and Balboa & Coronado Heights Neighborhoods and have hosted four Tucson House Fun Nights.
And we’ve heard from hundreds of neighbors at ten Transformation Team meetings, six community conversations and four public meetings for Thrive in the 05.
 

 
Council Member Durham, volunteers and staff outside the Marty Birdman Center after the Balboa Heights and Coronado Heights neighborhood clean-up this September.
 
Our Community Based Crime Reduction arm of the project hosted ten strategy workshops and developed eight implementation strategies to address the underlying factors that drive crime along the Oracle corridor. These implementation strategies are currently under review at the Department of Justice and we hope to begin implementation in early 2020.
 
Our Workforce Development and Economic Initiative arm of this project hosted three well-attended business forums with 68 different businesses and community stakeholders. Our area businesses are taking a more active role in guiding the Thrive in the 05 project and coordinating branding and training efforts in the area.
 
We have a lot more to do, but the momentum developed in 2019 is setting us up for success.
 
Property Crime Down in 2019
 
As your Council Member, some of the most frequent complaints I receive are that Tucson has a crime problem and the apparent lack of TPD response to that problem. I hear you and the police department hears you. The budget we approved in June included funding for 20 additional officers and 20 additional community service officers. As of this November, we have 839 sworn officers and another 59 in the training pipeline.
 
We got even more good news this week, the year over year crime stats show a significant drop in property crime in Ward 3 and throughout the city.
 

 
Above are the preliminary numbers of burglaries and larcenies in Ward 3 for 2019 compared to 2018. Citywide the stats are similar, with a 22% drop in burglaries and a 23% drop in larcenies.
 
The stats above are a testament to the TPD and the community working together to prevent and solve crime. TPD can’t do their work without the support of the community, so thank you. Thanks also to TPD, which is at the forefront of fighting the opioid crisis by connecting people to services instead of taking them to jail, using technology for smart deployments and the use of body-worn cameras to keep our police and community relationship as strong and transparent as possible.
 
We have to be realistic here: more than 600 burglaries in Ward 3 this year is still too many. Additionally, there was very little change in violent crimes, with sexual assaults and homicides in Ward 3 on par with 2018. More work needs to be done to solve and prevent future crime and as your Council Member, I will continue to work with our police department, partners like Emerge!, CODAC and residents like you to ensure the safety of every resident.
 
Happy Holidays!
 
As I wrap up the last newsletter of 2019, I hope everyone is getting into the holiday spirit. Santa will be in Tucson this weekend. You will find him in Ward 3 at Amphi Park on Saturday, December 21st. You can have your photo taken with him for free, eat lunch provided by St. Francis, participate in arts & crafts, play games and meet your neighbors.
 

 
The Ward 3 Council office will be closed at 12:00 pm on Tuesday, December 24th and reopen at 9:00 am on Friday, December 27th.
 
Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday,
 
- Paul D.
 
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Pet of the Week
 
Pebbles
 

 
This sweet girl would make a great addition to your family. She is spayed, house trained and great with kids. Bring her home just in time for Christmas and make her holidays happy. If you have any questions or would like to go down to see Pebbles you can call the helpful volunteers at Humane Society of Southern Arizona. If you haven’t ever adopted a pet before, the HSSA has helpful information to assist you through the process.
 
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Ward 3 Neighborhood Association/Coalition Meetings
 
Flowing Wells Estates Neighborhood Watch
Saturday
December 21st
4-5 pm
Old Times Kafe
1485 W Prince Rd
 
Ft. Lowell/Country Club Safety Meeting
Monday
December 23rd
6-7 pm
St. Francis Cabrini Church
3201 E Presidio Rd
 
Cabrini
Thursday
January 2nd
6-7 pm
Vineyard Church
3150 E Ft. Lowell
 
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Ward 3 Events
 
Santa Is Coming to Amphi Park
Saturday
December 21st
11 am-1 pm
Amphi Park
501 E Navajo Rd
 

 
Get your picture taken with Santa, add to the Amphi wish tree and get creative. There will be music, books and food.
 
Trees for Tucson Shades Miracle Manor in January 2020
 
Trees for Tucson wants to help keep Miracle Manor Neighborhood cool by shading streets, walkways and yards with low-water-use shade trees. Residents of Miracle Manor are eligible for up to two free low-water-use shade trees per home. Trees will be planted with the help of volunteers on Planting Day - January 11th, 2020 starting at 9 am. Trees must be planted on the front side of the home, either in the yard or the public right of way. Trees for Tucson will obtain necessary permitting and utility locating.
 
To participate, simply choose your 5 gallon-size shade trees from the link below, and agree to water as instructed for the first 18 months. You must be home on Planting Day. Orders must be received by - January 5th, 2020.
 
ORDER ONLINE HERE. Enter the coupon code (miracletrees2020) at check out to get them free! (Two tree limit). Call us at 791-1309 if you need assistance, or email Randall@treesfortucson.org  
 
Choose from these trees:
 
We are looking for volunteers to spread the word about the tree planting efforts and distribute fliers to homes in your neighborhood (attached document). Please forward this email to Miracle Manor neighbors who would be interested in planting FREE trees with us, and respond to this email or Randall@treesfortucson.org and help make Miracle Manor fresh and shady!
 
La organización Trees for Tucson quiere ayudar embellecer su vecindario con moda de sombrear calles, pasarelas, y yardas con árboles de bajo uso de agua. Usted y sus vecinos son elegibles para dos árboles de sombra, Gratis! Los árboles serán plantados con la ayuda de voluntarios 11 de Enero a las 9 am.
 
Deben ser plantados enfrente de su casa o propiedad frente a la calle. La organización Trees for Tucson obtendrán los permisos necesario. Para participar, simplemente elige su árbol (maceta de 5 galones) del sitio abajo, y este de acuerdo con regar el árbol por 18 meses. Por favor esté en su casa el dia del evento. Órdenes deben ser completadas antes del 5 de Enero de 2020.
 
ORDENE AQUÍ. Ingresa el cupón (miracletrees2020) al final de su
orden para ser gratis! (Límite dos árboles). Llame al 791-1309 si necesita asistencia para ordenar o mande un email a Randall@treesfortucson.org.
 
Elige de estos árboles:
 
Si gustan asistir en correr la voz de nuestro esfuerzo plantando árboles, tenemos volantes para distribuir a casas en su vecindario acerca de cómo ordenar árboles de por gratis (documento adjunto). Por favor reenvíe este email a sus vecinos de Miracle Manor que estén interesados en plantar árboles GRATIS con nosotros y responde a este email o Randall@treesfortucson.org y ayuda a que Miracle Manor sea más fresco y sombrío.
 
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City Wide Events
 
Zoo Lights
 

 
It’s the most wonderful time of the year at Zoo Lights: Holiday Magic, presented by Tucson Electric Power! Sip hot chocolate as you stroll through the twinkling lights of Tucson’s favorite holiday tradition. Over one million twinkling lights illuminate the beautiful Zoo grounds with sounds of the season flowing throughout the Zoo. Zoo Lights opens to the public from December 5-23 with Encore Nights December 26-30. Every night the event runs from 6 to 8 p.m.
 
Throughout the evening, you’ll enjoy:
  • Falling snow in the winter wonderland
  • Pictures with Santa December 5-23
  • Live music
  • S’mores, sweet treats, and hot chocolate (with or without spirits!)
  • Over one million twinkling lights and lighted animals displays
  • The great feeling of knowing your ticket purchase helps save wild animals and wild places
 
Learn more and plan your trip at: https://reidparkzoo.org/event/zoo-lights-2019/.
 
Treecycle
 

 
Beginning December 26th the City of Tucson will begin the Treecycle program. Bring your tree (without the stand, tinsel or ornaments) to one of the following locations and take home wood chips for your garden in your own container. To increase your opportunity to promote cleaner air in Tucson, you can bring your neighbor’s tree and save them a trip.
 
The following locations will be drop off points for the Treecycle program:
 
 
For questions call the Recycling InfoLine at 791-5000.
 
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Did You Know...?
 
Roger Rd Public Art Project
 
The Arts Foundation of Southern Arizona has 2 positions available on a new public art artist selection panel.  This public art project will be the first public art associated with Prop 407 and will be a part of the Roger Road Pedestrian Safety and Walkability Project.
 
For more information about the Call to Artists you can go to the Arts Foundation website https://artsfoundtucson.org/ and click on the link for artists and organizations or contact the Ward 3 office at ward3@tucsonaz.gov.
 
E-Scooter Survey
 
As the City of Tucson continues the E-Scooter Pilot Program it has launched a survey to help better evaluate the impact of scooters on the community.  Whether you are one of over 30,000 riders who have tried an e-scooter or not, the City is encouraging everyone to take the survey and would like your input to evaluate the pilot program.
 
To take the survey you can go to this link: http://bit.ly/TucsonScooterSurvey through the end of February 2020.
 
For full details about Tucson’s e-scooter share pilot program, information on how to report a scooter issue, and safety tips to know before you ride, visit: http://bit.ly/TucsonScooterProgram.
 
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Council Member Paul Durham is on Social Media!
 
Ward 3 has Facebook and Twitter pages so you can keep up with our Council Member and stay in touch with what's happening in Tucson and around the Ward.
 
Follow us on Twitter: @CMPaul_Durham
 
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