Saturday, July 23, 2011


TUCSON CITY NEWS: Rio Nuevo Rundown

The Rio Nuevo Board takes action to uncover the daisy chain of events leading up to the evaporation of the Rio Nuevo dream. It appears that high rollers took most of the money and very little hit the ground for the little guy. Rio Nuevo is a tax rebate program created by the state aimed at encouraging development that would result in increased tax revenue. The construction was to create jobs and the result was to attract consumers.
Since a few well connected individuals made off with most of the money, there were very few jobs and now there are no consumers because the money was blown on multiple designs, trips to Italy for U of A faculty, a useless $700,000 video, and endless cost overruns that were always granted. The rich became richer and the poor had no jobs, yet our tax money paid for all of it.

The problem with Rio Nuevo is that the projections lacked practical vision, leaving the field wide open for charlatans, which I will label any designer who designs something that is so expensive, it can never be built by the employer. Yes, employer. Rio Nuevo hired these people to produce a workable design and they did not do that. Clawback time for sure. Oh, but somebody's feelings might be hurt if they had to refund money for a job not done well. How about limiting design costs for that actually constructed?

This Garfield Traub mess was to be predicted, since they have serial lawsuits recorded all over the country where they sued other cities. I don't know who brought these people in, but they should be thrown out. And as for Sundt not paying his contractors, I say that they be excluded from bidding on government work until they pay up.

So I heard on the John Justice program that this new forensic audit will not only look at the existing paper trail of who was paid what, it will also examine bank records and possible conspiracies centered around the disbursements. Let's remember that all of this took place with the Democrats firmly in control, their lawyer issuing opinions that allowed for payments over the amount of contract to flow unimpeded into the hands of the unscrupulous. The Democrats and their buddies milked Rio Nuevo dry. Just hours from the institution of a new Rio Nuevo Board, the old board borrowed $80,000,000 and disbursed most of it. This money trail has to be followed.

The upcoming city council elections are extremely important. We have a little Napoleon around here by the name of Jeff Rogers, head of the Pima County Democrats. Rogers runs the town and the politicians like a fiefdom, dictating positions and lack of compromise and apparently he supported the Rio Nuevo Ripoff. His people are still in office, still burdening the city with debt and still allowing rampant cost overruns on the streetcar and the bridge. The Democrats are running a lawyer for Mayor, who has deep financial ties to the current city council, which means more of the same for the taxpayers. The Democrats are supporting the unions yet allowing workers to be furloughed in order for workers on overtime to have the empty slots. Are the union honchos grabbing that work for themselves, while the rank and file take furloughs? The Democrats deserve to be voted out of office for corruption and waste.

The primary election for the Mayor and city council is coming up in August. Republicans have two candidates for city council, Jennifer Rawson in Ward 2 and Tyler Vogt in Ward 4. The Republican write in candidate for Mayor is Rick Grinnell. I hope you all write in Rick Grinnell on your mail in ballots for the primary. If enough people write him in, then Republicans will have a candidate on the ballot.

If you are wondering why we don't have a Republican on the ballot when you signed a petition for Shaun McClusky, I'll tell you now. Enough petitions were turned in, but some petitions were signed by two people, which is taboo, according to the elections people. The Democrats challenged Shaun's petitions and they were thrown out because two people signed a few of them. The signatures were valid, but the glitch allowed the Democrats to challenge successfully. It seems to me that the intent of the people who signed the petitions was to have Shaun on the ballot and that the government thwarted the will of the people. The people signed the petitions! I think that a huge write in campaign for Rick Grinnell would reward the Democrats for ignoring the will of the people.