Mayor's Update
Tucson, Arizona February 2, 2012
Gem Show 2.0

Gem Show press conference: click for higher resolution.I was pleased to join City Manager Richard Miranda, City Council Member Regina Romero and others for a press conference welcoming the 2012 Gem Show to Tucson last week.

The Gem Show pumps an estimated $76.5 million into our local economy, generating almost $6 million in state and local sales tax revenue.

It's also when Tucson plays host to the world. Thousands of people from dozens of countries visit Tucson for the Gem Show. While here, they experience our beautiful weather, desert and city - and our warm hospitality.

This year, City staff have worked to make the Gem Show experience more user-friendly than ever. There's a 24-hour phone line to call with questions (622-GEMS), a City website (http://cms3.tucsonaz.gov/gemshow) and a Twitter feed (@GemShow2012). City staff also worked with venues to coordinate private shuttle routes, and posted a free shuttle map on the City's website.

As always, a warm welcome to our visitors - shop, sightsee and enjoy our city. And to Tucsonans, don't forget to head out and enjoy the Gem Show, which runs from January 28 to February 12.

Business Roundtables

Small Business Roundtable: click for higher resolution.I addressed three business roundtables last week: the Building Owners and Managers Association/Institute of Real Estate Management's annual Economic Forecast Breakfast, Tucson Association of Realtors' Community Leadership '12 event and a Small Business Roundtable hosted by Century Link.

It's important to have good, two-way communication between the business community and City government. Coming out of this tough economy, we want to make sure the City provides responsive, appropriate service to our customers - including, of course, the business community. And we want to offer economic development incentives that are open, competitive, and make economic sense for City taxpayers.

Thanks to the people and organizations who hosted these events, and the attendees. I appreciate the opportunity to hear your concerns and ideas.

TPD's new Crime Lab
TPD Crime Lab grand opening: click for higher resolution.Forensic evidence, especially DNA evidence, has had a huge impact on our criminal justice system. It helps solve crimes and obtain convictions. Just as important, it helps exonerate the innocent.

TPD's new Crime Lab is an important investment in public safety. The City-managed project came in on time and under budget. A beautiful facility that meets high environmental and energy efficiency standards (LEED certification pending), the new Crime Lab will save the City hundreds of thousands of dollars on energy and water bills for years to come. At the Grand Opening, TEP presented the City with a $47,765.15 rebate - part of TEP's Commercial Energy Solutions program.

The building stands on Miracle Mile just west of I-10. Having a beautiful building on one of Tucson's entry corridors establishes a foothold for other development - another plus for the community.

Congratulations to TPD and City staff for a job well done!
Sun Tran's new NW Bus Facility

Sun Tran NW bus facility grand opening: click for higher resolution.I attended another Grand Opening last week of another City-managed project that came in on time and under budget.

Sun Tran's new Northwest Bus Facility also meets high environmental and energy efficiency standards, with LEED certification pending.

The beautiful new Sun Tran facility was financed by a mix of RTA and ARRA stimulus funds.

Many thanks again to City staff for a job well done. And many thanks as well to Congressman Grijalva and Congresswoman Giffords for their help in obtaining stimulus funds, and to the RTA.

Meet the Mayor
City Council Member Regina Romero is hosting a Meet the Mayor event this Monday, February 6 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at 801 W. Congress, the George Pettit and Jon Miles Housing Center. Bring your questions, your concerns and your ideas. I look forward to hearing them.

There will be Meet the Mayor events in every Ward, so if this is not convenient for you, another will be coming soon.
"My Arizona" lecture
The last thing I did Friday before heading home was attend an evening lecture by architect Corky Poster, part of the University's "My Arizona" lecture series. I'm always interested in what Corky has to say, but skipping a lecture titled, "A few modest urban design recommendations for Tucson's new mayor," would have felt too much like ditching class.

I'm glad I went. The lecture touched upon density, housing and transportation, parking, sidewalks and shade. You can view a .pdf version here.

It's great to have informed discussions of how we want our city's future to unfold. Imagine Greater Tucson has worked for over a year bringing Tucsonans together to do just that. Their deadline for feedback is the end of this month, so there is still time to take the IGT survey.

We're often clear on what we don't want for Tucson. It's time we come together and decide on what we do want - because one way or another, the future is coming. Let's do the work today to make sure it's a good one, for Tucson and Tucsonans.
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