Paul's Note: Friday, February 8th, 2019

Paul’s Note
Friday, February 8th, 2019
Paul’s Note
Pet of the Week
Ward 3 Events
City-Wide Events
Did You Know?
Paul’s Note
Mayor and Council Budget Retreat
Last week, I joined my colleagues and City staff for a budget retreat to discuss the upcoming fiscal year 2020 budget. “Retreat” makes it sound more fun than it is; it’s really just another council meeting, but at Fire Central and with power point slides. As with all Mayor and Council meetings, it was open to the public and the press.
At the retreat, we heard mostly good news from City staff. Due to the strong local economy and effective control of costs by city staff and Mayor and Council, tax revenues are increasing faster than expected, particularly sales tax revenues, which account for about 38% of the general fund budget at $218 million. The “30,000 foot view” that we heard from staff provided an update on some of our priorities as a city: we will continue to invest in new technologies, we will work to train and retain the staff we have and we will continue to make improvements in public safety. What this means for the average citizen, among other things, is that we’re working toward making it easier to get a permit to build or open a business and that when you call 911, we’re working to reduce response times. None of this happens over night, but this Council is moving in the right direction.
The challenges we face as a city are still great. Our police and fire unfunded pension liability is currently $955 million. That’s even bigger than the approximately $850 million it would cost to fix every road in Tucson. And as we touched on in the long-range budget forecast, it’s difficult to predict when the next economic downturn will come and how much it will hurt. I will not vote to put us in a position as a city where we cannot respond to a recession in the local economy.
As we move through the budget process, you’ll hear more updates from me and more of my thoughts leading up to final adoption of the budget later this spring. Feel free to contact my office and me if you have questions or comments. I know we won’t be able to fund every worthy cause to its fullest, but I appreciate comments from my constituents about their priorities.
- Paul D.
VITA Update
Since VITA sites began opening last week, volunteers with United Way's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program have helped more than 200 local households file their tax returns, bringing back more than $350,000 in refunds. Of the total refunds, nearly $160,000 of the money coming back to the Tucson community through this program are a direct result of the Earned Income Tax Credit, the nation's most potent public assistance program that provides a much needed financial cushion for families struggling to make ends meet. Keep an eye out for this update throughout the course of the tax season, as these numbers are expected to climb rapidly!
The Ward 3 Council Office is proud to host United Way’s tax prep service VITA again this year. Every Saturday through April 13th volunteers will be available from 9 am-1 pm. The address is 1510 E Grant Rd. Assistance is on a first come first served basis. Click here for additional locations.
Call 520-333-5810 for more information or view the VITA FAQ for details, including a list of required documents.


Pet of the Week


At a mere 36 pounds, Aries is a “pocket Pit.” No, he can’t quite fit in your pocket, he is just a diminutive version of the Bulldog breed (that is usually about 60-70 pounds) who has been bred from a smaller breed dog. Pocket Pits are a good pet for dog owners who want a small dog that is tough-looking, yet gentle at the same time. As discussed previously, Bulldogs show a lot of loyalty and affection to their owners along with their families. Aries is thought to be about two years old. Like any the American Bully breed, he is friendly and lively and ready to bring a lot of love into your world!
To find out how to bring Aries home with you go to the website of the Pima Animal Care Center here, or better yet, go down and see him in person! The address for the PACC shelter is 4000 N. Silverbell Rd.
Ward 3 Events
Ward 3 Gem Show Venues
Mineral Gem & Fossil Show        
1801 N Oracle Rd
1820 Oracle Wholesale Show     
Top-Gem Minerals Buildings
1835 and 1893 N 11th Ave
Parking: 1820 N Oracle Rd
Kent’s Jewelry, Lapidary, Tool & Supply Show    
Kent’s Tools
2745 N 1st Ave
(The Gem and Jewelry Show on Grant)
Grand Luxe Hotel
1365 W Grant Rd
Mineral City Show          
516 W Lester St
Feather, Fire and Ice
Monterey Court
505 W Miracle Mile
Tucson’s New Mineral Show (TNMS)     
The Slaughterhouse
1102 W Grant Rd
Mineral & Fossil Co-op  
1635 N Oracle Rd
Just Minerals Event        
Elks Lodge 385
1800 N Oracle Rd
Ward 3 Neighborhood Association/Coalition Meetings:
Alvernon Grant Initiative
February 12th
6-7 pm
Emmanuel Church
1825 N Alvernon
Miracle Manor
February 13th
6-8 pm
Good News Church
701 W Glenn St
Richland Heights East
February 13th
6:30-7:30 pm
3301 N Wilson
City-Wide Events:
Valentine’s Day at the Landfill
February 14th
8:30 am-12 pm
Price Service Center
4004 S Park Ave
Spend Valentine’s Day morning with someone you love. Come tour the Los Reales Landfill and Republic Services Recycling Facility, and you’ll see how we show our love and care for mother earth.  Every week your trash and recycling goes “away” never to be seen again. Or, is it? The tour will show you what happens once the green and blue bins are collected and taken away and how some of those materials are re-imagined through recycling.
On Thursday, February 14th 2019, the City of Tucson Environmental & General Services Department (EGSD) will offer an exclusive ‘behind the scenes’ view of how waste is processed in Tucson. Tour participants will also gain an in-depth understanding of how recyclables collected in the blue barrels are sorted and marketed given challenges due to new restrictions set by China.
The tour will begin at the Price Service Center, 4004 S. Park Avenue. From there, a bus will take participants to the Republic Services Materials Recovery Facility or MRF. The recycling facility sorts and processes 38,000 tons of materials every year through human and machine sorting.  
The second stop is the Los Reales Landfill, 5300 E Los Reales Rd. At the Los Reales Landfill, participants will see how ES handles household hazardous waste and hear how construction of the landfill cells protects groundwater. Those on the tour will also see landfill operations and learn how methane gas generated at the landfill is used as a renewable energy source to power Tucson. 
Tour participants will meet at the Price Service Center, 4004 S Park Ave in the upper parking lot. The bus will begin loading at 8:30 am and leave promptly at 8:45 am. The tour will be complete by 12:00 pm. Those who join the tour should wear long pants, closed-toe shoes, hats and sunscreen. Drinking water will be provided. A minimum of 15 participants is needed. Tour is not appropriate for children under 10 years of age.    The tour is available on a first come basis.
To reserve a seat, call EGSD at 791-3175 by Tuesday, February 12th, 2019.
Sustainable Tucson Advocacy 101
February 12th
5:30 pm
Ward 6 Council Office
3202 E 1st St
Join Sustainable Tucson at their February monthly meeting for Advocacy 101, an evening of training and tips on effective ways to reach out to elected officials, focusing primarily on the State Legislature, with lessons learned that can apply equally well at the local or national level. Presenters from League of Women Voters Greater Tucson will give an overview of the state legislative process and provide details about the Request to Speak (RTS) process, an easy but effective way to communicate your position on proposed bills as they are reviewed in committee. Then Jana Segal, Sustainable Tucson’s Advocacy Chair, will present a description of Sustainable Tucson advocacy and policy efforts and how you can (and should) get involved.
Along with an overview of RTS, the LWVGT presenters will teach you how to sign up for an online account to use the system. If you bring your laptop, phone, or whatever you use to connect to the Internet, you’ll be able to sign up right then and there. Alternatively, you’ll learn how to sign up online at home or where to go in Tucson to sign up.
Did You Know...?
Tucson Police Are Seeking Volunteers for Reality-Based Training
The Tucson Police Department (TPD) is looking for role player volunteers to help provide reality-based training for police officers. Using community members as role players in scenarios that a police officer may experience enhances an officer’s training significantly. Attendance at a role-playing volunteer workshop is mandatory to be considered for the training. The workshop is scheduled for Friday, February 15th, 6-8 pm at the Southern Arizona Law Enforcement Training Center, 10001 S Wilmot Rd.
Please RSVP at the link below.
Tucson Police recruiting:

Parks and Recreation Needs Seasonal KIDCO Workers
The Tucson Parks and Recreation department is recruiting recreation workers to help with summer KIDCO programs for children. A recreation worker provides service to the patrons of the City's Parks and Recreation facilities. The seasonal position assists in planning activities for children ages 5 to 12, prepares facilities for scheduled functions, and supervises youth activity participants. Applicants must be available to be scheduled for the entire summer. The typical number of work hours for this position will not exceed 32 hours per week. The application deadline is March 3rd. For more information, please read the job description linked below.
Read the job description:
Tucson Parks and Recreation:
Watch Tucson 12 video about recreation workers:
Central Segments Safety Coalition
Jefferson Park has arranged a safety forum for the Central Segments Neighborhoods: SAMOS, Catalina Vista, Mountain First, Jefferson Park, Campbell Grant and possibly Sugarhill. It is based on the Alvernon Grant Initiative, except they will be dealing with two Tucson Police Department divisions since the line between Operations Division Midtown and Operation Division West is Campbell Ave.  Both TPD divisions have agreed and will address the crime statistics for the area.  The Central Segments Safety Coalition will meet at the Ward 3 Community Room on the 2nd Tuesday of the month beginning in March.
Adult Basic Education

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