Richard Fimbres is a lifelong resident of Ward 5 and Tucson, graduate of St. Ambrose and Tucson High Schools and a 32-year veteran of the Pima County sheriff’s Department. He is a Vietnam-era veteran of the United States Army having served as a military policeman, patrol and narcotics dog handler.
In 2002, Fimbres was appointed as Director of the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) which is the focal point for highway safety issues in Arizona. GOHS provides leadership by developing, promoting, and coordinating programs; influencing public and private policy; and increasing public awareness of highway safety.
When then Governor-elect Janet Napolitano made the announcement of Fimbres (Dec. 12, 2002), she stated, “With his solid law enforcement background, Richard is uniquely positioned to bring a renewed focus to highway safety issues as our state’s population continues to increase and the challenges of keeping Arizona safe as the highways grow”. As the Director of GOHS, Arizona has led the nation in seat belt usage in 2004, and in 2007 Arizona saw an 18% reduction in highway fatalities. Fimbres served in the post for six-and-a-half years.
Richard Fimbres also served as a Governing Board Member for Pima County Community College, having been appointed in 1997, and being reelected to two, six-year terms in 1998 and 2004. In 2009, Richard was one of the first charter inductees into the Pima Community College Hall of Fame.
Fimbres in 1985 received the Pima County Sheriff’s Department’s Officer of the Year Award.
Richard was a Jefferson Award recipient, in 1998, for his community service efforts.
In 2000 Richard was chosen as one of Pima County’s most influential individuals by the Tucson Citizen Newspaper.
In 2001 Richard received Valle del Sol’s Exemplary Leadership Award and was the National Man of the Year for the League of United Latin American Citizens.
In 2002, the Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce named Fimbres as its Man of the Year. Also that year Fimbres was entered into the Congressional Record on two different occasions by Arizona Congressman Ed Pastor.
In July, 2004 Mr. Fimbres received the Ohtli Recognition from the Mexican Government. This recognition is given to those who, like Mr. Fimbres, have dedicated most of their personal and professional life to obtain the well being and prosperity of the Mexican communities abroad.
Richard Fimbres received the NOBLE Law Enforcement Award in 2007 and the following year, 2008, Fimbres had the honor of being inducted into the Tucson High Badgers Hall of Fame.
Richard’s other assignments, as the GOHS Director, was as a board member of the Governor’s Traffic Safety Advisory Council, State Motorcycle Safety Advisory Council, School Safety Program Oversight Committee, the Over-Dimensional Permit Advisory Council, and the Oversight Council on Driving or Operating Under the Influence Abatement.
Fimbres had the honor of driving in the Presidential motorcade for President Bill Clinton and Vice-President Al Gore.
Richard Fimbres has served as a national officer for the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC).
In September 2009, thanks to the efforts of Richard Fimbres, as the LULAC National Vice President for the West and LULAC, the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona received more than 15 tons of chicken products, donated by Tyson Foods. The Pima County Board of Supervisors recognized Fimbres for his 18-month effort to secure this donation from Tyson. This was only a part of Richard's work with the Community Food Bank, throughout 2009, he has made it an integral part of his efforts as a then candidate and will continue to do so as the Ward 5 Councilmember, raising awareness of the Community Food Bank and the importance of everyone helping them to feed those in need.
Fimbres is a graduate of Pima Community College, The University of Arizona, and Northern Arizona University. He is the proud father of Richard Michael and Joseph Terrance and has been married for 40 years to his dear wife Mary.
From the announcement of the expansion of Raytheon, the construction of the HomeGoods Distribution Center, GEICO’s new regional headquartersm Raytheon, the expansion of VXI Tucson, Modular Mining CAID Industries, Alorica, the construction of the CenturyMark 14 Theater, Chamberlain, the opening of Shared Services, Body Central, Purcell Tire, Guardvant, Centene and the Culver’s, McDonald’s and Lin’s Buffet, to name several of dozens that have occurred with more than 9,000 new jobs have been created in Ward 5 thanks to Richard Fimbres. These businesses were opened without the use of a GPLET, Government Property Lease Excise Tax incentive. The only incentive used was for Creative Machines who applied for the Global Economic Development District incentive which dealt with permitting fees.
Fimbres’ efforts also included how the City of Tucson government works and to improve how your taxpayer dollars are spent. While on the Council, Fimbres brought changes to the Certificate of Occupancy Process and the Land Use Code which has resulted in hundreds of new businesses opening their doors, employing many Tucsonans and generating hundreds of millions in revenue.
For Tucson to succeed, the City government must spend its limited dollars wisely, and with that, Fimbres brought forward changes to how the City spends its money for goods and services. For example, Richard Fimbres led the effort to change how the City purchases materials by utilizing the P-Card, instead of writing checks. Through his efforts, the City has saved more than $4.6 million last year alone, in costs, while getting a rebate check last year of $850,000, and $1 million this year, thanks to using the P-Card.
Working with the private sector, Richard Fimbres helped to form “Bring Back the Splash,” which raised $100,000 in sponsorships and opened eight city swimming pools that were to be closed due to budget cuts. I brought forward a proposal to end the restrictions on advertising on Sun Tran buses. My proposal generated more than $500,000 in advertising revenue for Sun Tran and more than $125,000 for Sun Link.
Richard Fimbres brought forward the proposal to change the City of Tucson’s impoundment vehicle process which now brings in more than $3.0 million to go for cost recovery for TPD. Prior to this proposal, the City was getting nothing in return for the impounded vehicles that had been abandoned by their owners.
Richard Fimbres led the fight to keep the Cherrybell Post Office and Processing Center open and my efforts have taken Cherrybell from being closed in 2011 to still operating six years later. Cherrybell serves 1.5 million people in Southern Arizona and 26,000 businesses. Seniors get their pension checks in the mail and Veterans, Seniors and others get their prescriptions through the mail from Cherrybell. It is important that Tucson and Southern Arizona’s post office and processing center remains open. It is important for further growth in Southern Arizona.
Richard Fimbres formed the Tucson Homeless Work Program (HWP), an effort that helps to clean roadways, streets, traffic circles, alleys, and parcels while getting the homeless who are doing this work into services and housing. This is not a government program, but a partnership between the private sector, service providers and city and county government which is showing results.