TUCSON ADOPTS CIVIL UNION ORDINANCE – At their regular meeting last night, M&C amended the 2003 Tucson Domestic Partnership Ordinance, renaming it the Tucson Civil Union Ordinance. The amended ordinance, modeled on changes adopted by the City of Bisbee in a similar ordinance earlier this month, aims to provide further support to domestic partnerships and civil unions, while avoiding conflicts with Arizona statutory or Constitutional provisions. Enhancements to the 2003 ordinance include the issuance of Civil Union certificates, recording of documents pertaining to agreements between individuals in Civil Unions, and the rights of such individuals to be designated as beneficiaries under City benefit programs. Read the M&C memo here, story in the Sentinel here.
TPD OFFICER HOSPITALIZED AFTER COLLISION WHILE CHASING SUSPECT – A TPD officer was injured Tuesday night while in foot-pursuit of a suspect when he was hit by an SUV driven by another officer chasing down the same man. The chase was precipitated by a 911 call at about 9 p.m. for an incident of domestic-violence at a home in the 7000 block of East Rosewood Street near Speedway and Kolb. When officers arrived at the home, they learned the suspect had left on foot. The chase ensued after officers converged on a gas station at Broadway and Wilmot, after receiving a tip that the suspect had appeared there. The suspect, identified as 25-year-old Ronald Smebert, was arrested and booked into the Pima County Jail. The injured officer suffered a broken pelvis, broken ribs and an injured knee, but is expected to make a full recovery. Story from KOLD/KMSB here, from the Star here.
FIRST STREETCAR EXPECTED IN AUGUST, ALL EIGHT TO BE DELIVERED BY NEXT MARCH – In yesterday’s Study Session, M&C were briefed by City staff and a representative of United Streetcar on the status of the Sun Link Streetcar Project. Tucson's first car, numbered 101, was tested on a test track in Oregon for the first time last week and should arrive in August for more testing here. Kevin Clarke, president of United Streetcar, said after the first car is delivered, subsequent cars should be shipped every four weeks. From the Star. Download the M&C presentation (with photos) here.
PIMA COUNTY SUPERVISORS APPROVE BUDGET, PROPERTY TAX HIKE – Yesterday the Pima County Board of Supervisors approved a $1.26B budget for Fiscal 2014, and an increase to the County’s primary property tax rate of about 25 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The increase will add about $744,000 in revenue, which will be used to fund an increase in the uniform allowance for sheriff's deputies, plus provide program funding for Green Valley’s Community Performance and Arts Center, the Southeast Shooting Range, The Ajo Chamber of Commerce, and the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation. About 41 percent of Pima County’s primary property tax is collected from City of Tucson taxpayers. From the Star.
TUSD NAMES NEW SUPERINTENDENT – The governing board of the Tucson Unified School District voted 4-1 to offer Dr. H.T. Sanchez the position of Superintendent. The district’s current superintendent, Dr. John Pedicone, announced his resignation in March after serving since the beginning of 2011. Sanchez was formerly an interim superintendent, deputy superintendent and assistant superintendent since 2010 for the Ector County Independent School District in Odessa, Texas. He was the only finalist selected by the board for the position. From KOLD/KMSB.