Saturday, January 09, 2010

Tucson City Council

Recall of City Council 2010

What do I think of the recall?

What caused the recall?

A lack of focus in Rio Nuevo contributed to public distrust. One project should be the focus until that project is completed and paid for. Squandering money on consultants resulted in a few benefiting hugely from Rio Nuevo while few jobs were created. Most of the money was skimmed off by those in the know before the job benefits actually reached the people. As for the public structures to be created with this money in Rio Nuevo, they do not exist, the money is gone and the fund encumbered for $80,000,000. We see a very few benefitting at the expense of the rest of us as the city staggers under a mountain of debt service. And there are no new museums or parade grounds for the people to enjoy.

I think an investigation and the ongoing audit will determine where the money went, what it was spent on and who got it. How about a list of people/enterprises that received Rio Nuevo money, in order of amount? This is public information. Let the audit begin when the first Rio Nuevo crew was ousted and the new regime took over.

Insular attitudes, insider mentalities, a lack of long term planning, lack of focus in Rio Nuevo, too much debt, and high unemployment have resulted in a negative public attitude. Recalls are a sign of public unrest and competition for scarce resources. The Rio Nuevo money was a rare opportunity for this community that has come to just another credit line to be obligated with nothing to show for the money. Too many people were cut out of the deal. Too much in the hands of too few. A few jobs for some very expensive people. Free land for select individuals. Rent subsidy for some and not others.

The ‘discovery’ of the $32,000,000 budget deficit just after the election left some people wondering if this information were withheld in an attempt to influence the election.

And now after all this public debt and the recession, we cannot afford more taxes and fees. With the city scrounging in our pockets for money and high unemployment rates, citizens need relief. The recall interests people because the city is insolvent and the Council raised fees and might be considering raising taxes.