Karin's Note:  Friday, September 7, 2012

 

-  Stuff the Bus Clothing Drive

- Task Force to Reduce Underage Drinking Hosts Training

- Arts for All National Day of Service

- Opa! Greek Festival Coming Soon

- Car Free Tucson 2012

- Guided Bike Ride in Keeling Neighborhood

- 2nd Saturdays Downtown this Weekend

- Future Neighborhood Meetings

- Did you know....

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 Dear Tucsonans,

Here are some highlights on several items we addressed at our Mayor and Council meeting on Tuesday:

Public Safety and 911

The Mayor and Council’s commitment to public safety remains achieving and sustaining the best possible service and coverage for our community. To deliver on that promise, the Police and Fire Chiefs must take a host of factors into account: 1) pending retirements, 2) the flow of new recruits and trainees,  3) turnover during training as well as turnover within the ranks, and  4) the strategic dedication of the staff available to cover all services and functions. We (with the City Manager) choose those department Chiefs carefully so we can trust that they will handle that responsibility well.

Concern was raised during our meeting about a proposal under consideration in the 911 division that would include 12 hour shifts for dispatchers. The key term here is “under consideration”, in a process involving dispatchers, their union, supervisors, and Command staff. I will remain receptive to the ultimate recommendation that emerges from that dialogue, particularly because our Fire Chief and department have done an outstanding job of assuming management of our 911 system since last summer. Does any member of the Mayor and Council know better than our Fire Chief and dispatchers what an ideal schedule would be?  Is five days at 8 hours/day better than 4 days at 10 hours/day? Or it is it better than 2 days at 12 hours/days with two 8 hour/days in a week? When our discussion turned toward micromanagement I noted that the worst thing we could do is grandstand on details we’re in no position to fully and effectively evaluate.

Know this: public safety remains my priority and the priority of my colleagues on the Mayor and Council. We will continue to reflect that in the budgets we adopt, in the leaders we hire, and in the ordinances, policies and performance benchmarks we adopt.  I believe our commitment must also be demonstrated by what we do NOT do, namely to attempt to micromanage and undermine sound departmental leadership. We have and will continue to hold City management accountable to the public, and we will not tolerate any lapses in sound management now or in the future.

Transportation Investigation

In keeping with the Mayor and Council’s direction, our City manager has in fact been aggressive in demanding that accountability across all City departments. That includes identifying and dealing with any employees who violate the public’s trust, regardless of what “bad news” that generates. There’s no meaningful way of cleaning up corruption or mismanagement without dragging it into the light and directly correcting it.

Such has been the case in our Transportation department with the culmination of an eleven month investigation and the recent firing and disciplinary actions taken against a number of employees. I am outraged at the wrongdoing revealed and that it went on for so long without intervention.  I applaud the City manager for not flinching in fulfilling the public’s and Mayor and Council’s expectation of accountability. He has done so as well within ParkWise, the Golf Enterprise, and the Tucson Convention Center. He should not stop until any and all management problems have been identified and corrected within the City organization. The thousands of City employees who work honestly and hard for Tucson don’t deserve to have their contributions tarnished by those few who abuse their positions. They and all of us welcome this time of cleanup.

TREO

Joe Snell, CEO of the regional economic development entity TREO, offered a yearend report on their efforts. He estimates that their activities have catalyzed 2,200 new jobs in the Tucson metropolitan area. The City manager plans to bring TREO’s new contract to us by October for review and adoption.

My colleagues and I made it clear that we expect TREO to report on concrete outcomes  (vs. projections) and that the contract budget must restrict any City dime to spending that can be directly tied to the leveraging of jobs. Privately funded field trips may remain part of TREO’s strategy (more than half of their funds come from the private sector now), but the City-funded activities ought to be laser focused on the actual steps that grow local companies or bring new ones here.

Ward 3 Staff

Those of you in touch with the Ward 3 office already know that Lisa Taub has left our staff. We wish her well in future endeavors and thank her for her work in service to Ward 3. I am pleased that Judith Anderson has agreed to join our team to serve you moving forward. Many of you know Judith through her work with Pro Neighborhoods and her personal involvement in her own area of Dodge/Flower. She has served on the Grant Road Corridor Citizens Task Force and been active in countless other ways in service to our community.

Linda Mehall, Cheryl Rodgers, David Higuera and Tamara Prime remain at work here. I don’t take enough opportunities to thank them for their tireless efforts and for their dedication to the betterment of Tucson. I’m fortunate to work with them, and fortunate to work for you.

 Karin

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Ward 3 Events:

- Stuff the Bus Clothing Drive – Saturday, September 8 from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Amphi High School Parking Lot (1st light south of Stone and Prince). The Christina-Taylor Green Memorial Foundation in partnership with the Amphi Foundation presents the “Amphi Clothing Bank Drive.” Please bring your tax deductible donations and enjoy a day of fun and refreshments.

- Task Force to Reduce Underage Drinking Hosts Free Liquor License Training – Saturday, September 15, 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. TPD Operations Division West, 1310 W. Miracle Mile. Staff from the AZ Department of Liquor License and Control, Tucson Police Department, City of Tucson’s City Clerk and City Attorney’s offices and Pima County-Tucson Task Force to Reduce Underage Drinking will be on hand to answer questions. Learn the liquor license application process, Red Tag Ordinance and more. To RSVP, send name, phone and email address to Yolanda Herrera, acuinteriors@aol.com or call 991-3307.

- Arts for All National Day of Service – Tuesday, September 11 from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. 2520 N. Oracle Road. Donate food, books, toys, office supplies, blankets and clothes to the Gospel Rescue Mission’s Women and Children’ Shelter. More info: 622-4100.

- St. Demetrios Greek Festival – Thursday – Sunday, September 20-23. 1145 E. Fort Lowell Road. Greek food, drink, music, dance lessons, Greek Market, children’s activities and tours of the church. $3 admission fee. More info: 888-0505 or www.stdemtucson.org

- Car Free Tucson 2012 – Friday, September 21, 6:30 – 8:30 a.m. Take a bus, ride a bike, walk or share a ride! Sun Rideshare will host a food station at the bus stop at 4th Avenue at Sahuaro (Mansfield Park). Stop by for a muffin and juice and meet some new friends. More info: Ruth Reiman at 792-1093 or sunrideshare@pagnet.org

- Guided Bike Ride in Keeling – Saturday, September 29 beginning at 8:15 a.m. Meet at the Keeling Desert Park on Glenn, west of Fontana. Participate in a safety class and bike ride on the boulevard.  Snacks, water, helmets (if needed) and bike locks will be provided for participants. Sponsored by “Keeling on the Move” in conjunction with the Keeling Neighborhood Association.

 - Upcoming Ward 3 Neighborhood Meetings:

Alvernon Grant Initiative/Community Law Enforcement Task Force – Tuesday, September 11, 6:30 p.m., Emerge Meeting Room, 2425 N. Haskell.

The Oracle Project Steering committee – Tuesday, September 11, 5:30 p.m., TPD Westside Substation, 1310 W. Miracle Mile.

Mansfield Park Coalition – Wednesday, September 12, 6:30 p.m., Parkside Terrace Apartment Community Room, 2150 N. 4th.    

           

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City Wide Events:

-2nd Saturdays Downtown – Saturday, September 8 from 6:00 – 10:30 p.m. Free, family-friendly urban block party! Congress Street and Sixth Avenue.  Food, music, entertainment. More info: www.2ndsaturdaysdowntown.org

 

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Did You Know…

 …that the City of Tucson Parks and Recreation Department is hosting an “October Camp” when TUSD takes their fall break, October 1-5. City Parks will run activities (sports, games and art)  from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Cost is $2/day per child. Registration begins September 17. Ward 3 Parks participating (with phone numbers) are:  Marty Birdman Center-791-5950; Donna Liggins Recreation Center-791-3247.

 …that the Friends of Jefferson Park, Inc. and the Jefferson Park Neighborhood have received a $3070 grant from PRO-Neighborhood to organize a symposium for neighborhoods?  Registration will be open to all inner-city neighborhoods and information will be posted to the Jefferson Park website: www.jeffersonpark.info or you can call Joan Daniels at 323-2165, 300-1980 (cell) or email: jdchama@msn.com. The planning committee is actively seeking participation by as many urban neighborhoods as possible.

…that Plants for the Southwest at 50 E. Blacklidge (at Stone) is holding a special sale on Saturday, September 29th that will benefit Literacy Connects. From 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Plants for the Southwest will donate 50% of all plant sales to this non-profit that assists people of all ages develop a sustainable culture of literacy and creative expression. More info: 628-8773.