City Elections

Here is what our Ward 6 councilmember, Steve Kozachik, had to say about the city election:

“I thanked people in the “Be Kind” section for calling out congratulatory comments as we pass on the street or out on the Loop. As I hope you know, last Tuesday we held citywide elections. Three council seats were up for grabs, plus a few ballot measures. I’ll share the final tallies here.

“We have over 400,000 registered voters in the city. Just under 35 percent took part in the election. While people who follow this stuff consider that a “good” turnout, I’m disappointed that only one third of registered voters participated. We address some important quality of life issues, manage a billion dollar budget, and there were important propositions on the ballot. There are still people who are mentally working through the November 2016 election, which many considered a surprise result at the presidential level. Please don’t sit out the 2018 elections coming next fall.

“Thank you to the 48,892 who voted in support of rehiring my staff and me for another four years. I think UA football coach Rich Rod would take a 60-32 final score every week if he could manage it. We at the Ward 6 office are grateful for your very solid vote of confidence. We look forward to continuing the partnerships we’ve established over the past eight years.

“I’ll add that Green Party candidate Mike Cease is a quality guy. He stopped by to congratulate me. He ran a principled and focused campaign and he’ll be around advocating for important environmental issues. I appreciate his involvement in the democratic process.

“We have a new member of the council. Paul Durham will join us after defeating firefighter Gary Watson. Both of those guys ran good campaigns and each is an asset to the community. I look forward to serving with Paul in the coming four years.

“Up above in the “Be Kind” section [of Steve’s weekly email] I wrote about the zoo propositions passing. We needed to adopt both in order for the one-tenth cent sales tax increase to become law. It will sunset in 10 years. During that time, we will see important investments in the zoo facility, including some not so sexy stuff like water lines and other infrastructure, and in other cases new and expanded exhibits for the animals. The zoo tax will help the Tucson Zoo at Reid Park to maintain their accreditation. One reason that’s important is the international wildlife conservation work they do. Without the accreditation by the Zoo and Aquarium Association, that work wouldn’t be possible. Thanks to all of you who saw the importance in passing these two measures. Soon we’ll be talking about management structure out at the zoo. These new dollars will be an important piece of that conversation.

“I don’t know of many (any?) people who don’t recognize the value of preschool education. Proposition 204 brought that discussion out into the light of day. I was on record not supporting 204, not because I disagree with the notion of quality preschool training, but because I felt the proposition as it was written was flawed in some important ways. Probably most importantly was that it was $50M per year forever, with few specifics drafted into how it would be allocated. The voters evidently saw that and other issues as it went down by nearly a two-to-one margin.

“Council members are paid $24K annually, plus a car allowance. That’s how it’s going to stay, 70 to 30.

“Political signs are coming down. Enjoy the clean medians and street corners. The 2018 election cycle will be here before you know it.’

Thanks to all of you who voted and especially those who supported Steve. –Ken

Thanks Volunteers

Another excellent home tour is just behind us and it would not have been possible without the contribution of many neighbors. Those who opened their homes allowed their neighbors and others to see more of the historic structures that help make Armory Park so special. Volunteer docents made it possible for many of us to open our homes to visitors. Even more, the tour showcased the sense of community that makes this a wonderful place to live.

Donna and I were pleased to open our home but it would have been much more difficult without our volunteer helpers. They managed the flow and answered many questions about the house. The two of us could not have managed without their help.

All of us who conducted the tour were given free tour tickets; that is entirely appropriate in return for the effort contributed. Nevertheless, many of us would still like to contribute financially to the worthy causes APNA supports. Fortunately, that is easy. If you click on https://armoryparktucson.org/donate/, you will be taken to a page on the APNA website where you can contribute to one of our worthy causes. Our personal favorite is Neighbors Feeding Neighbors. If you are feeling charitable, you can contribute there even if you were not able to participate in the tour.

Regardless of whether you choose to contribute money, we are grateful for the contribution of your time and effort.

The Horse Race

 

The media loves the financial horse race. Who has raised the most money is an easy story to write, but it doesn’t have a nickels worth to do with Tucson Values and what the candidates stand for.

Malala Yousafzai is the youngest Nobel Prize winner in history. She stood for a woman’s right to get an education and was shot doing so. She once said, “When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.”

I am not taking campaign donations. No horse race story there. The story is asking you to donate the funds you would otherwise have given to my campaign to a nonprofit, a local group that is a “powerful voice” in this community.

My staff and I have worked on behalf of trafficking victims, refugees, and the homeless. I’ve been steadfast on issues like gun control and animal welfare. Each of those categories has a series of nonprofits that need your financial support.

Don’t just “take the money out of politics.” Shift it to a group that’s working on behalf of the underserved. You won’t get any glossy flyers sent to your home that are “Paid for by Vote Steve K.” You won’t see any factory finished signs cluttering our intersections “Paid for by Vote Steve K.”

But I hope you’ll react to the needs around us. Take the political money and turn it into productive money. Then let the media know. It’d be a more interesting story than looking into campaign check books.

Tucson values nonprofits in need. I’m asking you to help them during this campaign season. Your donations become that powerful voice speaking a message that matters.

Sincerely,
Steve Kozachik
Tucson City Council, Ward 6

Ballots are in the mail now for this all-mail election.

Historic Board Offers Help, Gets Updates

The text in italics is extracted verbatim from the Legal Action Report of the board posted on the city website.

Formal Review, HPZ 17-59, 822 S 3rd Ave. Mellow Dawn and Thoger Lund, property owners, proposed accessory structure: studio/sleeping quarters. The owners plan to build a 1,005 sq. ft. accessory structure on a lot with a 1,336 sq. ft. principal structure and an existing 290 sq. ft. accessory structure. Board members pointed out the issues the plan as presented raises, offered suggestions on how the owners could accomplish their construction objectives within Code requirements, and referred them back to the City.822 S 3rd Action Taken: The Board rejected the plans as presented because the combined size of the proposed accessory structure and the existing accessory building exceeds more than 50% of the gross floor area of the principal structure, contrary to Tucson UDC 6.6.3.d: “The total gross floor area (gfa) of all accessory structures shall not exceed 50% of the gfa of the principal structure. Accessory structures less than 200 square feet gfa are exempt from this requirement.” Ms. McClements moved, Mr. Burr seconded. Eight votes in favor, none opposed, no abstentions.  This is another example of the city staff not fulfilling their responsibilities by sending, for formal review by the APHZAB, a project that does not meet an explicit requirement of the city code. Our board’s mission is to consider historic preservation issues. It should not be forced to police non-historic code compliance issues. The board went to some effort to offer some alternatives which might meet the applicant’s objectives without violating city code. Continue reading “Historic Board Offers Help, Gets Updates”

Armory Park Election Details

I was curious about the election results in Armory Park (precinct 45) so I went to the city website and extracted the following information:

Precinct 045
REGISTERED VOTERS – TOTAL             1,197
BALLOTS CAST – TOTAL                            247
BALLOTS CAST – NONPARTISAN                 0
BALLOTS CAST – Democrat                      228     92.31%
BALLOTS CAST – Republican                     15       6.07%
BALLOTS CAST – Libertarian                       0       0%
BALLOTS CAST – Green                                 4       1.62%
BALLOTS CAST – BLANK                               2       0.81%
VOTER TURNOUT – TOTAL                                   20.63%
VOTER TURNOUT – BLANK                                    0.17%
********** (Democrat) **********
Council Member Ward 6
(VOTE FOR) 1
KOZACHIK, STEVE                                      221      97.36%
WRITE-IN                                                         6         2.64%
********** (Republican) **********
Council Member Ward 6
(VOTE FOR) 1
RODRIGUEZ, MARIANO                              13        92.86%
WRITE-IN                                                         1          7.14%
********** (Libertarian) **********
Council Member Ward 6
(VOTE FOR) 1
WRITE-IN                                                         0          0%
********** (Green) **********
Council Member Ward 6
(VOTE FOR) 1
CEASE, MIKE                                                   4      100%
OATMAN, MICHAEL                                      0           0%
WRITE-IN                                                         0           0% Continue reading “Armory Park Election Details”

Large Vote for Steve K.

This is good news and I expect Armory Park made a significant contribution to the outcome. Remember, Steve was not running against a primary opponent in this election. That means his supporters made the extra effort to cast their ballot for him even though he would be the Democratic candidate even with no votes. I feel most of you see what I do: Steve is the most competent and energetic member of our council. Thoughtful people will not agree on every subject but I hope we agree that Steve is good for our community and city. The next election is for score; rehire Steve as our council member. Continue reading “Large Vote for Steve K.”

How to Support Steve K.

I have said in a previous post here that I support Steve Kozachik for re-election to the Tucson City council. He is the most articulate and thoughtful council member and we are fortunate to have him represent our ward 6.

Steve Kozachik 2017I hope there are many others in Armory Park who appreciate Steve’s work and would like for him to continue serving us. If you want to keep up with his re-election campaign, go to his website at https://www.votestevek.com/. He is not asking for campaign contributions or for you to post signs urging his re-election. You can talk up his value for our community and city. You can even host a coffee meeting of your friends with Steve if you wish. His website will help you show your support.

Change at Five Points

The August APNA board meeting had an interesting discussion about development of the lot at the NE corner at Five Points. The project is titled The Baffert Mixed Use Building at 5 Points. The Baffert family once owned the property. Our late neighbor, Annie Laos, was a Baffert. Larry Kappler, the developer/owner of the property, made a good presentation to the board asking for support of the project.

IMG_2606
View Looking Northeast

The key issue is the allowed building height. The proposed project would be restricted to a height of not over 44 feet. If the property is moved out of the historic zone without an agreement, it could be much taller. Since there is no legal mechanism for waiving height restrictions in an HPZ, another mechanism is needed to make the development economically viable. I won’t go into the technical details but an innovative approach termed doughnut rezoning (part of the property rezoned) will allow a compromise between protecting our HPZ and allowing economically feasible development of an otherwise unproductive vacant lot. Continue reading “Change at Five Points”

What’s Your Plan for Jobs?

Displaying

Dear friends,

Before you support a candidate for public office, it’s important you know they stand for something more than just campaign platitudes. My opponent says he “values good jobs.” So do we all. The question is, what’s your plan for attracting them?

At the recent Metro Chamber forum all he had to offer was to say he supports the Rosemont Mine. Among other things related to Rosemont, he evidently doesn’t understand that the city has no permitting or zoning decision making authority on that project.

Eight years ago when I was first elected, we were in the midst of a recession. People were being laid off in every sector and we faced an operating deficit of over $44 million. Moving our economy was clearly the #1 priority. Yes, I “value good jobs” too.

Since then we have instituted job creating development incentives that have been key to spurring economic growth. Our Primary Jobs Incentive has resulted in multiple projects of over $5 million in investment, jobs paying over $52,000 annually with employers who offer over 75 percent of employee’s benefits. Our Government Property Leased Excise Tax is one of the factors that has resulted in over $500 million in private sector growth in the downtown core. And there’s more.

We have instituted site specific sales tax incentives to help with public infrastructure needs. The downtown core, and greater Infill Incentive Districts have helped businesses move in with new jobs throughout the downtown region. Our HUD 108 bridge loan was directly responsible for making the AC Marriott Hotel project a success. There is now Certificate of Occupancy relief, cross training of project inspectors, impact fee deferrals, dedicated project managers, water infrastructure incentives, and on and on.

Results? Raytheon is adding 1,975 new high-paying jobs. Vector Space. Comcast. Home Goods. Caterpillar. Hexagon Mining. City Park. Marist on Cathedral Square. 1 East and 1 West Broadway. La Placita. A new university area hotel. New retail and mixed use throughout downtown.

My opponent has a cliché to offer. I have a track record. It includes working with many of you throughout the community, both public and private sector, to come up with incentives and processes that have us on an upward trajectory as we climb out from the recession.

I invite my opponent to share his specific plan, beyond simply saying he’d like somebody else to build the Rosemont Mine. Contact the Star at Tucson.com, or the Tucson Sentinel at tucsonsentinel.com. Or try KVOA.com, KOLD.com or KGUN9.com. Let us all hear your plan for bringing the jobs we all value.

This job is more than simply rhetoric. I have a record of success, the results of which you can see.

Sincerely,
Steve Kozachik