Steve K's Newsletter 1/29/18

Topics in this issue...

Tucson Be Kind

Last week I gave a mention to the 15-year-old girl who saved a dog that some jerk hung from a tree limb. We now know that PACC gave her the pup (she named him Hercules based on his incident) to foster until they find a forever home. My guess is that she and Hercules have found that home. Good for PACC to reconnect the two buddies.

Last week a 59-year-old marketing guy in New Jersey took to advertising his own need for a kidney donation. He walked around wearing a t-shirt with “I need a Kidney – O Positive” stenciled on the back, along with contact information. It’s the age of social media, so the image went viral. In a couple of days, a 39-year-old living in Indiana saw it and was a perfect match. The two toured New York together as they made plans for the transfer.

For the second time this calendar year I injured my Achilles tendon last week to the point I had a noticeable limp. Self-inflicted wound. Two people saw me while I was hobbling into work. One stopped to offer me a ride, the other circled around and when she couldn’t find me she drove to the ward office to let them know I was “out there, injured” and may need help. I’m grateful to both of you for your very kind and thoughtful reaction.

Kudos (Be Kind?) to the Guggenheim Museum in New York for not totally blowing off the White House when they asked to borrow a Van Gough painting to hang. Instead, they offered this 18k gold toilet, sculpted by Maurizio Cattelan. No word on whether Trump will accept the counteroffer.

But it was “kind” of them to offer.

Half-Staff

Thus far, there have been 11 shootings on school grounds across the country in 2018. There have been nearly 50 during the entire academic year. Last week the first fatalities were recorded in one of those. Two 15-year-old kids were killed and 14 others were wounded when a fellow student went on a shooting rampage in the school.

Mom’s Demand Action for Gun Sense reports that since 2013, we’re averaging school shootings at the rate of approximately 1 per week in the U.S. No, not all include fatalities, but I guarantee you that every one of them generates fear and some serious dinnertime conversations in the homes of the kids and administrators. So add to the list that includes Columbine High School, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook Elementary School, the UA College of Nursing, and Umpqua Community College in Oregon. Add the Marshall County High School in Benton, Kentucky and two more deaths due to gun violence on school campuses. We live in a 24-hour news cycle world though. It’ll soon be forgotten, except in the lives of those suffering the losses.

Bump Stocks in Arizona

On a related note, Representative Randy Friese (Tucson) has submitted HB2023 for consideration this term up in Phoenix. Its purpose is to outlaw the sale or possession of bump stocks in Arizona. Those were the gizmos used to kill and injure over 500 people in the Las Vegas murders last summer. After that shooting I tried to get them banned in Tucson, but was told we are pre-empted by the state from addressing the issue. So Randy’s trying up there.

The chair of the Judiciary and Public Safety Committee is Eddie Farnsworth. It’s up to him whether or not the bill even gets a hearing. At this point he has told Randy that it will not even be given time on an agenda for discussion because he “doesn’t want to waste the committee’s time” on a bill that would likely fail a vote in the full house. If you disagree, let Farnsworth know. It’s his position that the voice of the people is trumped by his personal bias in favor of allowing the sale of bump stocks. Thus, no time for 2023.

Kirsten Engel, Sally Ann Gonzales and Daniel Hernandez are also on that committee so you might want to share your thoughts with them as well.

efarnsworth@azleg.gov
kengel@azleg.gov
sgonzales@azleg.gov
dhernandez@azleg.gov

Even if the bill fails, there’s value in the discussion. There’s value in knowing where our representatives fall in on the issue.

Safety on our Roadways

We finalized the ordinance making driving with your phone in your hand a primary offense in Tucson. Some of the reporting didn’t get the story quite right. First, we unanimously passed what’s called an “Emergency Clause” which means the ordinance goes into effect immediately. Yet, as I pointed out ahead of that vote, we’ll be issuing warnings for this offense for the first 30 days. So the actual effective date of the change with fines included will be on February 24.

The fines were also reported incorrectly. Our ordinance will follow the Oro Valley levels of fines. Those are $50 for the first offense, $100 for the second, and $200 for the third and subsequent offenses. If there’s an accident involved, the fine goes straight to $250. The intent is not to be confiscatory, but to get people to change driving habits and put the phone or other electronic device down while in traffic.

During the first nine months of the ordinance, TPD will collect data on who they’re pulling over for these violations and where. They’ll gather the information on a monthly basis and will report it back to M&C later this year. Specifically, TPD will collect:

  • Traffic stop location
  • Ethnicity of the driver
  • Total number of reportable traffic collisions
  • Total number of personal injury collisions
  • Total number of fatalities

They’ll then collect that same information from that same time period in 2017 so we’ll have something to compare the effects of the new ordinance against. The TPD work will be coordinated with data from the court so we have a double check on its accuracy.

I felt this should have been a primary offense nine months ago when this conversation began. It is now and I’m grateful for the M&C support.

Campbell & Grant

Last week I shared this photo of the fence line that had been erected at the southeast corner of Campbell and Grant. The city owns the parking lot behind the fence. A private developer is leasing that space back from us in the hopes of finding a tenant for the two buildings they own (old Bookman’s and Walgreen’s).

Without question, this fence line was placed in a manner that put pedestrians in jeopardy. At some point in their effort to get to or from the Campbell and Grant intersection, they would have to step out into traffic. People in wheelchairs would be in the roadway the entire distance. I filed a code violation against the city and the fence line was moved.

This is the condition you’ll now find at that location. It’s much safer than before and yet it still raises issues.

One of the issues is that we as M&C are embracing the notion of a Complete Streets Policy. One of the hallmarks of such a policy is that we make getting around town an attractive exercise for all mode: autos, buses, motorcycles, bikes, and peds. When that policy document is finished you’ll see in it amenities such as shade, level walking surfaces, separated bike lanes and commercial opportunities that are neighborhood and regional destinations and not simply strip-mall drive-by locations. What we have at Campbell and Grant is nowhere near what those guidelines will suggest. Some reasons for that are unique to this location, though.

In last week’s newsletter I shared some information on the lease we have for the space. It’s a seven-year lease, running from 2014 until 2021. That period was chosen to match up with the projected start date for the Grant Road widening at that location. The folks who own the buildings and who are leasing the parking from us do not believe there’s a reason to invest in improvements to the buildings now that there are only three years left to occupy the space. The roll-off you see in the picture is being used to collect debris from an asbestos remediation effort. The plan is to demolish the building in February. A contractor is already signed up to do that.

Grant Road will not be widened at that intersection in 2021. The earliest it will begin construction is 2024. It may be longer. I asked city leadership to work with the building owners to try to extend the lease and save the buildings by finding tenants who will sign up for the longer term that we know is available before Grant is widened. Short answer: the owners are not interested. If nothing changes, we’ll have a vacant lot at that major intersection that will sit there for up to eight years, unless something changes with the buildings to the south.

The spaces to the south (movie theater, former bike shop, barber shop, former laundromat and parking garage) are owned by several others. Banner UMC owns the majority of the buildings. It’s my understanding the Bookman’s/Walgreen’s owners are working with them to assemble the whole block and propose a major development at the site. That’s very mildly informed speculation, but if it’s accurate I’d simply suggest a couple of things:

  1. The area is surrounded by well-established historic neighborhoods. The owners would be well-advised to begin contact and discussions sooner rather than later if the process is going to advance well. I’ll address “neighborhood scale” development below, but that’s certainly going to be a large piece of whatever discussions are to come for this site.
  2. The Grant Road alignment is set. There’s no reason this site needs to sit vacant for up to a decade. It could become a positive template for what good commercial development looks like in this community, or it could be otherwise. We’ll see.

Broadway

We see this condition right now along many stretches of the Sunshine Mile (Broadway from Euclid to Country Club):

If the conversation doesn’t change rapidly, Campbell and Grant will soon feature a similar aesthetic. Segments of both could look differently with good development, perhaps along these lines:

In his book Walkable City – How Downtown Can Save America, One Step At A Time, author Jeff Speck wrote this:

Wider, faster, treeless roads not only ruin our public places, they kill people. Taking highway standards and applying them to urban and suburban streets, and even county roads, costs us thousands of lives every year. There is no earthly reason why an engineer would ever design a 14’ lane for a city block, yet we do it continually. Why? The answer is utterly shameful. Because that is the standard.

We’re not doing 14’, but we are doing 11’ lanes on Broadway, posing a hazard for people trying to cross. The principle is the same – and we can do better. Last week we suffered our third  and fourth pedestrian fatalities already this year.

On Tuesday, February 6, I’ve invited both Rio Nuevo and the Project for Public Spaces to participate in our study session with the goal of seeing some of their design concepts for Broadway. I want to discuss how we can engage them in the Broadway roadway design process immediately.

It didn’t appear in the media, but at our last study session I had a rather pointed exchange with staffers about timing for Grant Road, timing for Broadway, funding for the RTA and transparency on our public websites related to all of this. The implications for the community long-term are immense. This isn’t an issue we can allow to evolve in the normal course of how we do things if we’re expecting changes in our development patterns. I’m hoping to see the beginning of that change on the February 6. Before that, it’d be great if we can get some reconsideration from the Bookman’s owners and a decision over there to find a good tenant and begin serious discussions about how best to develop Campbell and Grant.

The city is investing in bike/ped improvements on Broadway from Aviation to 4th Avenue, and later on Broadway from Euclid to Toole. Crews will be installing a two-way protected bike lane on westbound Broadway. It’ll include curb access ramps, sidewalks, street and pavement markings and signage. I’ve also advocated for a protected left-hand turn signal at Campbell and Speedway. That change will be implemented the day of our next M&C study session on February 6, extending into the 7th (the work, not our study session). We are doing smart road design at select areas around town. It should not be a struggle, it should be standard operating procedure.

During our ped/bike safety discussion at last week’s M&C meeting, I raised the issue of Campbell and Grant, all of the Broadway items, and dropping speed limits in residential areas. I questioned how far above the posted speed TPD allows drivers before citing since one-third of our traffic fatalities last year were speed related. I asked PAG/RTA to consider redirecting some bus-pullout money to fund HAWK’s. I asked about adopting protected lefts at major intersections as a design standard, marked crosswalks with added safety amenities, and road diets where appropriate based on traffic counts. I suggested doing these things even while the Complete Streets Policy is being developed. We’re a progressive city in so many ways and road design shouldn’t be an exception to that.

Cyclovia

This is a good time to insert a plug for the upcoming Cyclovia event that’ll once again travel through parts of midtown. On Sunday, April 8 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., the 2.5 mile event will roll from the Lost Barrio, through several midtown neighborhoods and end over at Himmel Park. Here’s the likely route:

As has been true in the past, there will be activity hubs along the course route. You’re invited to bike, walk, jog –anything but drive the route on the 8th.

Living Streets Alliance is the lead agency on planning. They need volunteers for a wide variety of functions. If you’d like to help with that, please connect with them as soon as possible so you can get plugged in. The site is https://www.cycloviatucson.org/volunteer/.

Transit Management

Following our successful labor negotiations last year in which we avoided a bus system shut down, we gave direction to the city manager to put the management contract out on the street for renewal. Our agreement with TransDev had expired and instead of rolling it over, we felt a new competitive process would be worth looking at.

While the new procurement effort is under way, our transit system is being managed by RATP Dev Mcdonald Transit (RDMT), formerly our streetcar management team. Now they’re running the full system and the contract runs through the end of this calendar year.

During that period we’ll be advertising a new contract and putting it into place.

We’re finalizing a Request for Proposals (RFP) right now. Our goal is to put it out in March and award the new deal mid-year. That’ll give the selected vendor time to gear up to take over the contract by the first of 2019.

The new RFP should indicate a preference for a single management team and not break it up as we had previously. The term may be five years to build some continuity into the agreement. We’ll have some performance incentives built in as well.

While this is going on, we’ll continue looking at alternative delivery methods. Some that have been discussed would require statutory changes at the state level. Others would change our funding obligations and/or require a change in thinking about who has the greatest regional voice in making management decisions. Those are long-term conversations and will not be resolved prior to awarding a new management contract this year.

Everyone is welcome to apply when the RFP goes out. Running a large transit system isn’t something people just fall out of bed and start doing though, so I’m expecting some of the same faces we’ve seen before to be crafting responses to the request. We’ll know soon.

Craycroft Road Work

Here’s one final road-related item. You all passed Prop 101 last year, investing $100M over the next five years into continued repairs to our roadways. Our work from the Prop 409 bond from 2012 continues on Craycroft, from Grant to 29th Street starting next week.

Southern Arizona Paving is our contractor. The work will include some intensive restoration, such as lowering manhole and water valve covers. Once they start, the work will take place from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily during the week. Then you’ll see the asphalt work starting in early March. That work will take place during the night. There will be lane restrictions, so if you have alternate routes you can take, that’d be something to consider.

If you have questions about the work as it progresses, contact either our Project Manager Greg Orsini (837.6617) or Mike Graham (837.6686).

Budget Preview

With that investment in mind, we held our first budget meeting last week. The purpose was to get an overview of early revenue and expense projections, talk a bit about some of the fiscal challenges we have, and to give some direction on where we as a governing body would like to see the budget conversation head in the next several months. As a general comment, I’d say that while we’re not flush with cash, we also aren’t facing the $40M deficits we were a few years ago. Quoting the current country hit song, “the wounds have healed, but the scars still remain.” We can’t just start spending like there are no issues left for us to address.

One clear message we shared with the city leadership is that recruitment and retention for all city workers is a key topic for this budget cycle. Addressing wage compression if we have the capacity to do so this time around is something I’d like to add as well. However, even a two percent pay increase across the board will carry an ongoing additional $6M price tag. If that was our only financial challenge, no worries. It’s not, so we have to make thoughtful decisions on that piece while keeping in mind that other claims are still looming for our finances.

The biggest price tag comes with our ongoing public safety pension obligation. If we change our amortization horizon out to 30 years, we’ll still have a $70M cost to the general fund this year. That will increase annually. For some perspective, in the year 2000 we paid just over $2M annually into that same public safety pension obligation. Now, even if we choose the longer-term amortization, that number will exceed $100M annually in about 10 years. That’s a cost we cannot ignore while talking about pay increases.

We also still have the capital needs related to the golf enterprise. A recent report we received put those at $25M over the next five years. There are increasing health care costs we’re responsible to address, parks system maintenance, courts, and all the rest of the expenses that come with running the 32nd largest city in the country. It doesn’t come on the cheap.

Some of the ideas we kicked around – all in the very early stages – are forming either a parks or fire district. Those are taxing districts that would be tied to your property taxes. We would need voter approval to form one. If we formed either one of those districts, we would need to make clear to you that it would come with a lowering of sales taxes and removal of parks or fire operations from the general fund. There are a lot of moving parts and nothing like this would be on any ballot this year for sure. However, we at least have to consider different ways of running our organization because the financial burdens we see coming aren’t speculative, they’re real.

The projections we saw also assume keeping the city staffing levels at about what they are today. I asked how realistic that is when we may not have the TDOT staffing to pull off the road projects we have on the books, Code Enforcement staff is stretched, parks workers are pulled all over the city, and we already know we have to beef up both police and fire staffing. We can build efficiencies into some of our operations, but not nearly to the extent that’ll cover our upcoming costs. Holding staffing levels status quo doesn’t anticipate improved service delivery much beyond current levels.

Addressing revenues, built-in expenditures, capital needs, districts to help fund them, retention, compression, recruitment, and service delivery are all once again front and center to our discussions. Much more on all of this to come. The initial discussion we had last week was a helpful start to what will be a complex series of exchanges in the weeks to come. At least we’re not starting from a $40M hole this time. That’s some good news.

Downtown Development

One area I’ve worked hard on over the past eight years is the continued redevelopment of the downtown core. Every successful major city has a successful core. We’re making very good strides. Before going further, it’s important to recognize both our improved partnership with the county as well as the very good work by the current Rio Nuevo board. We didn’t make this progress on our own efforts alone.

This is a rendering of what may become 75 Broadway.

It’s a planned 250,000 square foot, 20 story mixed use space. The current proposal from JE Dunn (contractor) and Dabdoub/Schwabe (developers) is about 10 floors of parking, a couple floors of retail and some combination of office and residential for the rest. It’ll be located just north of the TEP building on Broadway. All of that’s conceptual, but the plan was given a general nod of approval by the Rio board last week. Now the hard work of securing tenant commitments and funding as well as putting finishing touches on the design begins.

We have other large commercial, mixed-use projects under discussion. I was quoted in the Sunday Star opinion column in relation to the 75 Broadway design. It was an accurate quote as far as it went. When asked if the city should set standards to prevent “a monstrosity” from being developed, I said that description is in the eye of the beholder. But there was more. I mentioned that I’m involved in capital project design professionally and have worked with multiple architectural firms who are active in Tucson. If you line 15 of them up in a room, you’ll get 20 different opinions on the design of a given project. The author (Tim Stellar) quoted the architect involved with the Palm Shadows project at Speedway and Campbell who suggested the need for some high-level design standards. In fact, I’ve been in public meetings related to Palm Shadows in which that guy’s design has been referred to as a “behemoth.” I’ve also heard it praised as good architecture. So yes, we’ve got a planning department that’ll weigh in on massing, setbacks, and other zoning related items, but no, we’re not going to start pretending the eyes of a city planner are any more informed as to “good architecture” than any of the 15 architects who divine 20 different opinions on a given project. Reporters and opinion writers can cherry pick a comment, but context matters.

I listed some of our financial challenges in the budget section. Expanding our tax base and income is one way we’re going to be able to meet those fiscal realities. I look forward to working with the people who are directly involved with the 75 Broadway project and seeing it come together. The public process is just beginning.

Volvo Property

A quick update on the public process for the proposed rezoning of the Volvo property at Park and Broadway. City staff is getting a lot of input on the process, if not the specific design standards. To respond to the requests for opportunities for public input, staff added two more public workshops to the calendar. Each of the sessions will be in the evening.

  • Monday, Feb. 5, 5:30-7:30pm, Park Tucson Conference Room, 110 E. Pennington
  • Monday, Feb. 12, 5:30-7:30pm, Park Tucson Conference Room, 110 E Pennington

The formal neighborhood presentation will still be held on Thursday, February 15 from 5:30 p.m. until 7 p.m. at the Miles School on 1400 E. Broadway. There will be a 20-30 minute staff presentation and then about an hour for public comment and questions. If you have input, you can always email either Tom Fisher (tom.fisher@tucsonaz.gov) or Jennifer Toothaker (Jennifer.toothaker@tucsonaz.gov.)

Gem Show

Another revenue bump for us is our annual Gem and Mineral Show. I should say “shows” since there are multiple shows scattered throughout the downtown and surrounding area. It/they begin this week, so it’s my Local Tucson item this week.

The shows will run through Sunday, February 11. If you go, you’ll find everything from extremely valuable treasures to jewelry-making supplies and bargain-priced gems and minerals. Some of it is for the pros and some shows are more consumer level.

The Tucson Gem and Mineral Show is the real local event. It runs from February 8 through the 11th in the TCC. School groups and us regular folks attend that one. It’s largely educational in nature.

If you are planning on attending, you can do so without driving all over the place.

Park Tucson and Visit Tucson have once again put together Gem Ride. It runs from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. daily from 34 stops that are located on four major bus lines. If you’d like more information on how you connect with that service, go to either www.GemRide.com, or www.ParkTucson.com. You can also call 791.5071 for more information.

This series of events is a big deal for our local economy. We at the Ward 6 office welcome all of the vendors and invite you to visit some of their tents or other displays during the show.

Lecture Series Downtown

While you’re downtown for the Gem Show, there will be a series of free lectures related to transit and Tucson through the month of February (and into March). They are held on consecutive Sundays at the Historic Train Museum at the Depot at 414 N. Toole. They’ll each begin at 3 p.m. Here’s a schedule so you can plan ahead:

Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl

Another economic boost to us comes through hosting the Nova Home Loans Bowl in Arizona Stadium. I was happy to play even a small role in helping the event for its third successful year.

Thanks to Brent DeRaad from Visit Tucson for reporting out on the game’s impact this year. It was the best one yet.

Visitors came from both Utah and New Mexico for the multi-day series of events surrounding the game. The combined impact for our local hotels and resorts was over $8M for the week of the game. Hotel occupancy during the week was over 87 percent. We average about 67 percent, so the game had a significant impact for the hospitality industry locally. I know from interacting with multiple fans who came to enjoy the game that we as a community embraced them with a welcoming spirit that will make them want to return again and again.

There are lots of economic inputs we need to nurture: the development I mentioned, the Gem Show, Bowl Game, and other civic events you’ll continue to see coming. All of it combined helps make Tucson the great community that we are.

Stormwater Solutions

Last week we had an update on options for addressing our stormwater issues. They ranged from status quo to forming a stormwater district (similar to the parks and fire districts I mentioned above). Status quo is a non-starter for me. We can do better than what’s being invested in protecting property right now. The district idea would add anywhere from $20 to $30 monthly to your water bill. I won’t support sending staff off on a goose chase putting the details of that idea into place. We have options that are far less costly and that can make a positive change.

We discussed the idea of a stormwater fee the form of a Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) fee. It would be added to monthly water bills in much the same way the current Conservation Fee is. We saw options ranging from $1 to $3 monthly. Those would raise an estimated $1.75M to just over $5M annually, respectively. The proposal we saw tied the fee to only Tucson Water customers who live inside the city limits.

We were pretty unified on sending staff back to tweak the proposal in a few ways, but to bring us back a more well-oiled product in about six months. The changes included a tiered fee based on income level (not a regressive across-the-board flat fee), expanding the fee to include Tucson Water customers whether or not they live inside the city, and including a very specific indication as to what sorts of infrastructure improvements we anticipate funding with the money. If we’re adding a cost, we have to identify what it’s buying.

A part of the status quo conversation includes our ongoing exchanges with the Pima County Flood Control District. I’ve written on this before. As a county resident, you already pay into that fund. To date the focus of the FCD has been on flood prevention as it relates to major watercourses (Arroyo Chico, the Rillito, the Santa Cruz, etc.). I’ve argued that stormwater diversion should be included in some of the projects they’re funding. We need to continue making progress – as I believe we are – in that effort, but not to the exclusion of taking some positive steps on our own.

As I stated during the study session, water is an asset, not a nuisance and infiltration is a benefit. I’m looking forward to more on this as staff puts together a policy approach later this calendar year.

Solar Tariffs

I know many of us are concerned with changes coming related to costs for solar upgrades to our homes and places of business. The 2030 District is relying heavily on private property owners to buy into the notion of “going green” in order to achieve some of the environmental goals we share. Increased costs will have an impact on those goals.

Last week the administration in D.C. approved implementing tariffs on imported solar cells for the next four years. Initially the tariff will be 30 percent and reduced eventually to 15 percent. There’s a carve-out for the first 2.5gw of cells a buyer brings to market.

From my reading, it’s clear that China is the target market the president is going after. They’re the world’s largest manufacturer of solar products. Yet, over 95 percent of our solar panels are imported, half of which come from Malaysia and South Korea. While China may be the “bad guy” Trump is going after, others will be impacted.

Domestically there are concerns from suppliers. The Advanced Energy Buyers Group is a consortium of solar suppliers in this country. They penned this letter to the administration in reaction to the tariff announcement:

As consumers of solar energy, we are also concerned by potential adverse impacts on the U.S. solar industry as a result of undue import relief. Reduced demand from customers, including our companies, due to increased prices risks disrupting the current trajectory of the solar industry at a time when solar energy is at or approaching grid parity in many parts of the country and when the solar industry is a significant source of growth in our economy. While solar energy is not the only resource option to meet our renewable energy needs, in some regions and in certain circumstances, it is the best available resource, and alternatives may not be practical or viable. As such, higher solar prices will increase our cost of doing business in the United States. The solar industry was valued at $23 billion last year and employs over 260,000 Americans. According to The Solar Foundation, one out of every 50 new jobs added in 2016 was created by the solar industry, with 10% job growth expected again this year. This economic activity has been accompanied by cost decreases and performance improvements, and we hope to see this growth continue.

It appears the tariff is a done-deal. If you are thinking of solar for your place, maybe sooner is better than later. Check with local suppliers to see what your options are in terms of locking in rates and costs for materials.

Naming Parks and Amenities

Finally, in the past couple of months I’ve been asked about our process for naming things such as benches or changing the name of an entire park. The Parks Commission recently finalized some rules changes that I can now share with you. The rules differ depending on the size of the park and what you want to name.

At the outset, I’ll say that ultimately the approval comes to M&C. But there are steps ahead of that you’ll need to follow. First, just to make sure you’re headed down the right track, make an initial inquiry to see if what you’re hoping to achieve falls within what’s allowable. Check first with our Parks Community PR manager Sierra Boyer at 837.8032 or Sierra.Boyer@tucsonaz.gov. She’ll let you know if your idea is possible and direct you to next steps.

Those next steps will include submitting an application that includes biographical information to justify the location and the person to be honored. Your ward office will need to sign off on the idea (that letter does not guarantee final approval, only that what you’re trying to do falls within our policy limits), and you’ll need to gather signatures from people who live around the park. The number of signatures varies depending on the size of the park and what you’re naming. For example, naming a sports field is far different than naming a regional park. You’ll also need approval letters from the family whose loved one is being honored.

That application packet is reviewed by the Parks Commission, Parks & Recreation staff and finally by M&C. Costs for the changes are covered by the applicant.

These changes are sometimes very non-controversial. Other times, people have become wedded to the identification of their local park and don't want to see changes. It’s best when neighborhoods come together on a proposal and don’t present a divided voice to the Parks Commission. They and we at M&C aren’t in the business of sorting out intra-neighborhood disputes. So if you sense division, get together and see if you can land on a compromise before the proposal gets to the signature stage.

Use this link to learn the details of the whole process: https://www.tucsonaz.gov/parks/DonationsMemorials.

Sincerely,

Steve Kozachik
Council Member, Ward 6
ward6@tucsonaz.gov

 

Events & Entertainment

 

 
SAVOR Southern Arizona Food & Wine Festival
Saturday February 3rd | 11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Tucson Botanical Gardens | 2150 North Alvernon Way
The Tucson Botanical Gardens, in partnership with the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance and Local First Arizona, is delighted to host the 4th Annual Southern Arizona Food & Wine Festival.  This exciting event has become the premier showcase for the Tucson area’s inventive and rapidly expanding culinary community.  The Food & Wine Festival is your opportunity to sample the local food, wine and spirits that has made Tucson a UNESCO World City of Gastronomy.
 

Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase

January 27 - February 11, 2018
For two weeks near the start of every year, Tucson becomes playground to the world of international gem and mineral trading, buying, and bargains. This international marketplace of gems, minerals, fossils, beads, and jewelry-making supplies as well as museum exhibits and other treasures includes at least 45 different sites at hotels, special venues, and tents located across town.
 
Native American Village
January 27 - February 4, 2018
Mercado San Agustin | 100 S. Avenida del Convento
A Native American Village provides a showcase for all Native American jewelers and artists during the Tucson Gem Show. Located in the heart of the downtown Gem Show area by Mercado San Agustin.
 
 
Ongoing…
 
Mission Garden, 946 W Mission Ln | www.tucsonbirthplace.org
A living agricultural museum and ethnobotanical garden at the site of Tucson's Birthplace (the foot of "A-Mountain"). For guided tours call 520-955-5200
 
Tucson Botanical Gardens, 2150 N Alvernon Way | www.tucsonbotanical.org
Butterfly Magic|Every day, through May, Tucson Botanical Gardens presents a live tropical butterfly exhibit.
 
Southern Arizona Transportation Museum, 414 N Toole Ave | www.tucsonhistoricdepot.org
 
UA Mineral Museum, 1601 E University Blvd | www.uamineralmuseum.org
 
Jewish History Museum, 564 S Stone Ave | www.jewishhistorymuseum.org
 
Fox Theatre, 17 W Congress St | www.FoxTucsonTheatre.org
 
Hotel Congress, 311 E Congress St | hotelcongress.com
 
Loft Cinema, 3233 E Speedway Blvd | www.loftcinema.com
 
Rialto Theatre, 318 E Congress St | www.rialtotheatre.com
 
Arizona State Museum, 1013 E University Blvd | www.statemuseum.arizona.edu
Woven Through Time: American Treasures of Native Basketry & Fiber Art July 17, 2017 - December 5, 2018
 
Arizona Theater Company, 330 S Scott Ave | www.arizonatheatre.org
 
The Rogue Theatre, The Historic Y, 300 E University Blvd | www.theroguetheatre.org
 
Tucson Museum of Art, 140 N Main Ave | https://tucsonmuseumofart.org/
 
Tucson Convention Center, 260 S Church St | tucsonconventioncenter.com
 
Meet Me at Maynards, 311 E Congress St | www.MeetMeatMaynards.com
A social walk/run through the Downtown area. Every Monday, rain or shine, holidays too! Check-in begins at 5:15pm.
 
Children's Museum Tucson, 200 S 6th Ave | http://www.childrensmuseumtucson.org/
 
Yume Japanese Gardens of Tucson, 2130 North Alvernon Way | http://www.yumegardens.org/