Sunday, June 29, 2008

Star Story Comment Thread Breaks Skin

Tucson, Arizona. I usually stay away from these things, but this one caught my attention. The following thread follows yesterday's Rob O'Dell AZ Daily Star story about Leal's letter calling for City Manager Hein's resignation and Council Member Unlich's call for outside auditing and investigation. The growing frustrations are not fiction and continue to escalate. Skip to the red if you're in a hurry. Obviously the views expressed below belong to those expressing them.

I don't know if all of the assertions are accurate, but they smell of truth.

1. Bobby J. (Heckyeah) 5:38AM
Leal is right, we don't trust Hein, no matter what, he has lost the public trust and he lost trust by his employees long time ago.
The Auditor portion of the idea I do like. But the question is: Uhlich's proposal left many unanswered questions about the auditor position: salary, the powers the position would have and exactly how the position would interact with the council and the city manager/ A lot will depend if this person will be truly given independent powers or be a YES person with just a sign on the door.

2. Merle S. (#5415) 6:01AM
We are governed by buffoons.

3. Nicolas R. (Nick R) 6:03AM
Speak for yourself, bro. Not all city staff think that Mike Hein is a bad manager. He has the respect of key city staff, as well as leaders outside the city. Let's work out the problems and move forward.

4. David B. (DavidB) 6:07AM
When the city is facing serious budget problems, the only way council members can see out of their petty bickering is another bureaucratic layer? This show lack of willingness to work together, short-sightedness, a lack of concern for taxpayers, and a refusal to take responsibility for their actions.

5. C B. (Pwho) 6:22AM
The City Administrator is supposed to be the "go between" between City Council members and city staff. Now they are suggesting they need a "go between" to deal with their "go between?"

6. Wayne M. (redrag) 6:25AM
Yep, it's now have your people call my people's people and lets see if we can all get along. Leal leads the buffoons, glad I don't live in the city. The county buffoons are just as useful.

7. gilbert s. (#2495)6:40AM
Who is watching the watcher? More crap layers of watching the watcher. People get a life, you can't do squat.

8. Comment by Jake S. (JakeStargazer) 6:43AM
Nicolas R. (Nick R) "Not all city staff think that Mike Hein is a bad manager. He has the respect of key city staff". That is probably a true statement. Not “all” city staff think he is a bad manager. The "key" (aka those making major $$$) may think he is a great manager. But the vast majority of city grunts I’ve spoken to, those on the front lines (not the "key"s) do not respect him. Morale is low and getting lower.

9. David H. (DABears) 6:55AM
Who ever they hire to do this he or she should wear a referees jacket, it sounds like that will be what takes up most of their time.
Rio nowhere is such a joke. It just gets more stupid as the years go by.
What an appropriate bridge they built downtown "the snake", it's a snake pit down town.

10. Ricardo F. (ricky9) 6:58AM
The City Auditor idea is practical if it is professionally performed. This city needs an Internal Audit Department headed by a "Certified" Internal Auditor and is a member of the Institute of Internal Auditors. They should report to the Council and internal audit reports should be provided to the Council, City Manager and the public, via the internet. This is a standard practice among professionally run cities and is has been for years. Use Albuquerque as a guideline. This is NOT another layer of bureaucracy - it is a professional service -- long needed in this unprofessionally managed city. The longtime council members should be removed for not having this in-place decades ago.

11. Roger D. (truthsayer) 6:59AM
"Much of the friction between Hein and four council members who have been critical of him — Uhlich, Trasoff, Leal and fellow Democrat Shirley Scott — has been over his management of that $500 million project, and the slow pace at which development is happening"
This statement is incorrect in that it is not Trasoff but Romero who has been critical. See the ADS article on bus fare from 6/22.

12. Gayle C. (GayleC) 7:01AM
Yeah just what we need....another bureaucrat. The council needs to get real or be disbanded period.

13. Ricardo F. (ricky9) 7:12AM
The City really needs a professional Internal Audit Department. The Internal Audit Director is not a referee but signs off on independent audit reports. If he or she is Certified and a member of the Institute of Internal Auditors, anyone can get a copy of their internal audit written report and file a complaint with the IIA if they think the report is flawed or not objective. Then the IIA investigates, not some clown in the city of tucson. Excellent management tool and if done right, the audit reports can be avialable on the internet. Its about a 1000% improvement from the lemon-aide stand management we have now.

14. Larry R. (LarryRichardIVI) 8:00AM
$250,000!!! WOW! Great, more government waste. Are you aware that we are running at a deficit??
Are you sure this wasn’t Leal’s idea? He is good at wasting tax payer money. He will just give this job to some of his cronies.
A special auditor should be assigned to investigate Leal for his “email lies,” tax payer money waste, under the table dealings with developers, lavish parties, and other corruption.

15. Jesse C. (SpdwSwanGuy) 8:00AM
The City "grunts" or "front line staff" are pissed off because they aren't getting a raise - irregardless of the fact that the "economy" dictates whether or not we are swimming in tax funds or not.
Cementing the reason they are still stupid grunts, they dont pay attention and dont have any idea how City government works.
The highly paid managers didnt get a "pay cut", so of course theyre happy.
Hein couldnt very well "dock pay" to those that already are high up on the food chain, that wouldve been illegal.
As for Rio Nuevo; its a mess that our Council cant navigate, havent been able to for years, and when they tie Heins' hands by waffling every two months - whats left to do but blame someone else!
Believe it or not City Council, we Tucsonans arent stupid. We can see how indecisive and weak willed you are, lets not try to blame someone else. Grow a pair, make the hard decisions and then stand by them.
And, spending $250 G's for yet another "committee" is wasteful and reinforces your positions as spendthrifts with OUR money. STOP blaming someone else for your own issues - face up to them, conquer them, and lets move on!

16. Larry R. (LarryRichardIVI) 8:02AM
"I do" still want to fire Hein, Leal said. Leal is acting like a stupid, stubborn child. If he is fired, then will you be happy? What goes around, comes around... Right?

17. Larry R. (LarryRichardIVI) 8:05AM
First, it was James Keene. Now Leal’s problem is with Mike Hein.
Leal, who cares about your “comfort level,” and your other personal emotional issues. For pete's sake, you don’t have to sleep with the man. Did he reject your advances?
What is this “Comfort Level” that Leal keeps on nagging about? Could Leal be more specific as to what he means by “comfort?” Did Hein forget to fluff Leal’s pillow? Did he not want to snuggle with him? Or he didn’t want to spoon with him the other night?
Is Leal the one with a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the University of Arizona and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and a successful record as Marana’s former Cit Manager?
Do you think its time for Leal to stop playing the blame game?
Leal should step back, and finally realize that maybe it is he who needs to leave office.

18. Sean C. (Vailien) 8:08AM
All we've heard from Hein and council members is that he City of Tucson is broke. Where will the money to pay a new auditor's salary come from? What about the hiring freeze?

19. C B. (Pwho) 8:09AM
Hein will likely leave anyway. In situations like this, the city staff usually already have several resumes out to look for work elsewhere rather than be thrown under the bus repeatedly by your elected officials.
The sad part though is that two years from now the same city council members will be griping about how ineffective Hein's successor is. Someone needs to hand them all a mirror.

20. fernando s. (mando1) 8:09AM
Can’t people see what a bunch of idiots we have as elected officials? the city is above budget and they want to waste 250? what a bunch of LOSERS!!! THEY VE GOTTA GO!!!!!!

21. Larry R. (LarryRichardIVI) 8:10AM
Yup, LEAL is in bed with developers:
Six months after the dinner and one day after the Star contacted him about it, Leal delivered a $550 check from developer Richard Price to City Hall. Even though Price wasn't at the dinner, Leal said he always intended for Price to pick up half the tab, including all the alcohol.
STEVE LEAL should be in the federal pen for his actions and accepting bribe money from greedy developers that rape our beautiful Sonoran environment and use up our precious water supply!
Hein is a visionary and took preemptive measures to protect our water supply for our future and our environment. Sleazy Leal is probably stabbing Hein in the back for this, at the instruction of greedy developers.
READ about the bribe money here:

22. Sarah C. (Arlington) 8:27AM
There is a bigger problem of lack of trust which goes beyond the budget. An auditor can't fix that. It's not going to work. Time to do a nationwhide search for a new City Manager that is reviewed by a citizen committee. Do things the right way this time.

23. cher d. (cher d) 8:46AM
"Morale is low."
Morale is always low when the economy is bad and no raises. Every one is concerned with "Me, Myself, & I". The "Grunts" should take a look around, at least they have a job to put food on the table, and should forget about the boat in the driveway!
Hein inherited "Rio", which the Community did not want and was on the table nearly 10 yrs ago. The Council was sold a bill of goods by "Developers" seeing a profit. This has been a lost cause since the beginning.

24. Sean C. (Vailien) 8:54AM
How many times have we heard Hein say there is no money? Why isn't he saying it now, when a council member suggests creating a new position that will cost $250,000 that has not been budgeted? Could it be that he was lying all along?

25. Ricardo F. (ricky9) 9:10AM
Well folks, let's learn the facts. The Internal Audit group has been buried in the Finance Department for decades. So you have had an "uncertified" baffoon reporting to an "uncertified" incompetent Finance Director. You already have a skeleton of the Internal Audit Department - but it is buried under the Finance Department. Unprofessional!! Just extact the internal auditors out of the Finance Department and find a "Certified" Internal Audit Director that will work for $80,000 to $90,000 a year, not $250,000 -- that should pay for two or three "professional" internal auditors - all must be certified and accountable to the Institute of Internal Auditors. The council needs to contact the Institute of Internal Auditors quick with the Mayor apologizing to the city for not doing this the second day he came into office.

26. Bill B. (#4485) 9:52AM
Get rid of the entire pack of them.. remember it was Leal that played a huge role in getting TEP built where it is.. the 2 elephant within one mile.. maybe they should change the name of street along that stretch to "White Elephant Row" KINO/TEP/UHP/Juvie Jail/Impound Lot/Flood control basin.. the only thing there worth anything.. oh that and the burrito stand they made move used to be really good.

27. Robert S. (handslikeclouds) 9:55AM
MR. Hein's Nonfeasance merits removal...

28. adman s. (adman) 9:57AM
This is one of the most ridiculous proposals to come out since the last ridiculous proposal. This is like saying a company Chief Operating Officer or CEO needs to have a person between he/she and the Board of Directors. And they wonder why outlying entities fight annexation when Tucson comes calling.

29. Bruce B. (#4262) 10:04AM
City Council, show the voters you can work together and save money. Vote to get rid of Hein and save the 250,000. Then find a good manager without outside interference.

30. Ralph A. (#6505) 10:22AM
As for Rio Nuevo, this should be dissolve/stopped. It has created way too many problems and thus far no one can run it. Way too much time and money has been wasted on this. As for Hein, most good managers usually have a job in their pocket just in case.

31. cher d. (cher d) 10:41AM
Hire Another person for the CM office? Can anyone please explain what The so-called Assistant City Managers are doing besides sitting on their duffs and collecting high salaries?

32. I V. (TypicalBitterWhitePerson) 10:50AM
City weighs referee to head off disputes. So.... how much does the referee weigh?

33. jon c. (zonafan1111) 10:55AM
Just fire Hein so we can move on!!!!

34. Penelope J. (Penny J.) 10:56AM
This story ran yesterday, in the hourly update. Below is a link to the comments.
Tucson might hire auditor to referee council, manager disputes
Would you want your bank or accountant giving you wrong figures -- figures you must take into consideration to make big financial decisions?

35. Penelope J. (Penny J.) 10:58AM
Some commenting are criticizing people trying to make Mike Hein accountable with YOUR money. Do you even have a clue what has been going on?

36. Dirigo M. (Dirigo) 11:02AM
Hey Karin, You're going to be hearing from me, a constituent, and my message is can this guy! Get rid of him. Hasta la vista. Adios.

37. Dirigo M. (Dirigo) 11:03AM
PS -- China has prepared for the Olympics faster than Tucson has flubbed up Rio Nuevo.

38. Comment by Penelope J. (Penny J.) 11:16AM
Yep, more people need to call Karen and let her know, you can't make an honest man out of one person, even if you hire an independent auditor. This type of person will find a way to beat the system, they like their control, especially over the money.

39. Jefferson S. (jefferson smith) 11:19AM
I heard a very disturbing rumor yesterday. The rumor was that Larry Hecker, the "civic activist" that the Star keeps quoting in support of Hein, is actually Hein's personal attorney.
Perhaps O'Dell could check into this rumor and either confirm or deny it, since he's the one who keeps going to this source.
We know that Hecker was the front man for the developers in fighting Kromko's water initiative last year. These are the same guys who leveraged the Council into hiring Hein as manager, even though he hadn't even applied for the job. Makes you wonder, doesn't it, just why he supports Hein so adamantly. Oh, I forgot, just connect the dots.

40. Penelope J. (Penny J.) 11:20AM
City Councilwoman Karin Uhlich has the right idea to hire an INDEPENDENT auditor, a "Certified" Auditor. TIME FOR PIMA COUNTY TO DO THE SAME.
Huckelberry has been allowed to do 'a Hein' for years, and gets ticked off if anyone wants to look over his 'kingly' shoulders. Wonder who Hein learned those figure tricks from? Mmmmm......... guess I should call it 'a Huck' move. Since Hein was Huck's right hand man for a number of years before he became the City Manager.

41. Gayle C. (GayleC) 11:46AM
We (those that are inclined to agree) are calling for Leals resignation. It is long long past due. Our comfort level is nonexistent.

42. Gayle C. (GayleC) 11:59AM
I don't care who the city manager is....the misfits on the city council are not going to let him/her manage especially if he/she puts a stop to anything that involves nepotism or crony-ism with the council. Get rid of the council.

43. t r. ( 12:42PM

This comment has been reported as possibly being in violation of the StarNet User Guidelines and is under review.

44. George C. (georgec2) @ 1:01PM

OMG, this sounds like divorce court - a mediator?! How much more will THAT cost the taxpayers, you know - The People!

45. j s. (#4857) 1:07PM
The suggestion that a referee should be hired is so ridiculous, its beyond comprehension how these folks can call themselves "leaders"! The Council needs to figure out real fast that hiring and firing of the City Manager is their job! Stop passing the buck and take responsibility. OMG! Take a stand. Make a decision. If they are concerned about violating some legal precedent, consult the City Attorney. The Council is elected to weigh their decisions based on what is best for Tucson and their constituents, not their personal preferences. If they can't make this decision themselves with the existing resources at hand, then they should resign! What we have here is a failure of leadership!

46. Gabriel H. (izzyeddy) 1:09PM
I got a better idea: instead of firing Hein, why not the whole bloody council? Especially Leal, who should have been fired yesterday.

47. George C. (georgec2) 1:11PM
David H has it right! What an appropriate bridge they built downtown "the snake", it's a snake pit down town.

48. Comment by George C. (georgec2) 1:25PM
It gets worse, Read this article. Wasting our money on things some taxpayers can't afford. Un *ing believable! We need to start over in this City and State. Top to bottom, preferably starting middle on up. Your taxes paid for it
Local politicians rack up some eye-opening bills for the public to pay
By Rob O'Dell and Erica Meltzer
Pub: 09.03.2006
Out out all of you! Out!

49. R L. (#2467) 2:20PM
Hey, don't feel bad for Mike. If he gets fired he'll just go back to the County where he came from and everything will be alright. I'm sure that Huckelberry will make another deputy administrator position to fit him in. Maybe he'll go back to the county and "detail" into Huckelberry's position. You know that Mike will be very well taken care of.

50. Kyle P. (kp116) 2:26PM
Hiring an independent auditor does makes sense after reading the comments above (and thanks for additional information). However, if the city does plan to hire an 'independent' auditor, this auditor needs to be really independent, which is difficult if not impossible. Let me explain by example.
Way back around 1999, a guy named John Moffatt Phd. was hired by the county to 'independently' fix Pima County's Information Technology departments. To make the story short, he kiss a%% his was to a $168,818.30 to oversee the management of Pima County's I.T. departments (a failure after all these years). At the same time, the county hired a Chief Information Officer ($153,624.58). Now ya think, that the Chief Information Officer could do the job of overseeing the County's I.T. departments. Nope, John Moffatt Phd is still working for the county wasting tax payers money.
Forget the auditor, fire any administrator or recall any politician who's doing a horrible job. It's not a question of reducing or increasing the power of government...but it's a question of hiring the right one. First, let's start recalling Leal.

51. Ken O. (#3143) 2:29PM
If Hein isn't doing his job, then the council should fire him and find a new city manager. Don't hire an "auditor" (just another name for a babysitter). If they don't fire him and nothing continues to get done in Tucson, then the council has no one to blame but themselves. Then it is the voters' responsibility to vote out the entire council and start over. Tucson local government is a total joke!

52. Grant19 K. (Grant19) 3:30PM
The independent auditor idea is a professional method employed by many cities and counties. It is presented wrongly as a "referee" and that isn't the job. See the IIA (Institute of Internal Auditors) website and give your councilperson a copy of the Standards on the website. For example, Attributes Standard 1110 - "The Chief Audit Executive should report to a level within the organization that allows internal audit activity to fulfill its responsibilities." There is also a Code of Ethics, that is enforced on "Certified" Internal Auditors. Pinal County finally established this office when their County Manager went to prison. The City of Albuquerque's website contains numerous audit reports performed by their Internal Audit Department. This is a method for citizens to obtain (easily) copies of audit reports. Tucson and Pima County need "professionally" managed Internal Audit Departments that have a "Charter" and report to the highest level of government - the council, board of supervisors and the people. It is an excellent tool to assist the City Manager in keeping an eye on the other departments.

53. Bobh H. (azdocholliday) 4:35PM
I have a hard time seeing how the deterioration of the city police department School Resource Officer Program program that have received national recognition as model programs and have been shown to be "Best Practices" and "Evidenced Based" programs by the National School Safety Center, the Department of Justice and the Department of Education can just be eliminated without somebody recognizing there is either total ignorance to what has been shown to work best OR total mismanagement. And the direction comes from the city manager's office. Hmmmm... Somebody independent has got to see there is a problem because Mr. Hein does not and his misguided direction rolls downhill

54. Dirigo M. (Dirigo) 4:43PM
#39 Jeff, you are on to something.

55. Cris F. (getacluetucson) 5:32PM
(sarcasm)The is a very serious matter and should be studied further. Another .05 cent sales tax out to cover it.
56. Repeats #55

57. Penelope J. (Penny J.) 5:46PM
The term "referee" is ill chosen. All an independent auditor will due is give the Council, Mayor, City Manager..... and most importantly THE PUBLIC....... accountable, accurate figures, something Mike Hein is currently and purposefully making impossible.

58. Penelope J. (Penny J.) 5:50PM
Anyone remember Miranda is, or soon will be, the assistant City Manager.
WE DON'T WANT TO MOVE HIM INTO HEIN'S PLACE. HE SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN HIRED TO BEGIN WITH. They should have let him retire and get a job outside of government.

59. Troy D H. (horatiotdh) 6:28PM
We Can NOT afford to fix the streets but we can aford $250K to hire someome to act as a "go between" the city manager and the city council. What is wrong with the folks we elected and someone "they" hired being able to communicate. This is just wrong... Grow up folks and do your jobs. Get on with it. Make a Decision for once without acting like a children!!!!!

60. Ken O. (#3143) 6:32PM
Hein is a good ol' boy who hob knobs with the developers on the golf course. That's why he was installed in the city manager position by the developers and power brokers that run the city and the citizens committee that was supposed to vet city manager candidates was disbanded before they even had a chance to do their job.
It should therefore come as no surprise that the city council is NOT getting the information they need and that when Hein provides information it is not accurate.
Make no mistake, Hein works for Don Diamond, Jim Click, and Bob McMahon. He is the stooge of the Southern Arizona Leadership Council.
The council is just stupid if they waste their time (and our money) with hiring an auditor (or whatever you want to call it). Just fire Hein and hire someone responsive who is not beholden to the special interests - just then something positive might actually be accomplished in Tucson!

61. Grant19 K. (Grant19) 6:35PM
The City has more then lost $250k a year by not having an internal audit department professionally managed. Last I heard, Hein isn't a member of ICMA - a professional management group for city and county managers. Wonder why he isn't a member? You do have to be accountable for ethics in that organization. Walkup seems pretty dense too when he can figure out that internal auditors (already on the city's payroll) shouldnt be buried in the Finance Department.

62. Grant19 (Grant19) 6:37PM
#61 Sorry, I meant Walkup can't figure it out (or maybe he can and doesn't want departmental accountability).

63. Steve P. (sjponzolycoscom) 6:38PM
That this city/county needs are outsiders. so what happens after the city gets audited? the busy public are too busy with their lives, last thing they want to do is look at the audited numbers. the public voted and hired people to do that kind of auditing. doesn't the city have a finance dept?. the solution to me is VOTE OUT and FIRE the goons that started this in the first place! Corporations hire independent accountants, they're not as honest as some people think! Remember Arthur Andersen?
Here's a simple auditing solution for the public...if they don't see Rio Nuevo improvements, FIRE or VOTE the people responsible OUT!!!! it's simple and cheap.

64. cher d. (cher d) 7:10PM
#53, the decision to eliminate the SRO Program came from MIranda at TPD. This happed also about 8 - 10 yrs ago, when Miranda was in command.
Miranda presented the package to the Mayor & Council Meeting and it was voted on as a way to reduce the budget. And Miranda was promoted! ! !

65. R C. (rclarkaz) 7:38PM
If you're going to get an auditor (mediator is more of what it sounds like), the only man for the job is Rick Myers.

66. Penelope J. (Penny J.) 7:56PM
COT auditing and accountability intentionally became secretive, buried and clouded years back, when the old AZ D. Star would do an intensive audit of City (and County) books each year.
The City became angry with having their dirty laundry exposed annually, so they 'redid' how they kept the records, and where the bean counters could be found. Wa-la -- the really big spending gaffs are now hidden, and we really don't know how our money is being spent for the most part. An independent auditor would hopefully open the local government books again. That is an important part of needed change. The County needs to do the same.

67. mike l. (mike lane) 8:11PM
Yes they need an independent audit. No, they do not need a mediator.
If the city manager can not communicate with his employers (the council) he needs to go. Mike Hein was city manager for Marana when mayor Bobby Sutton was pulling his illegal scams around Waste Management. (What did Hein know? who knows. He was only MARANA CITY MANAGER after all).
Mike Hein was working for Chuck Huckelberry when it was exposed that the county was fixing road contracts as political favors. (Was Hein implicated? Who knows. The only result of that investigation was Dan Eckstrom -- Hein's protector -- stepping down in mid-term).
Mike Hein worked for South Tucson, which has been a pit of crooked vipers for as long as anyone can remember.
Mike Hein worked for Nogales -- need I say more?
Everyplace Hein has worked has ended up in scandal.
Hein was put in at the City of Tucson at the behest of Don Diamond, Larry Hecker, Bob McMahon, Larry Hecker, and other big-time elites that run this town like their own personal feifdom. Included then were Fred Ronstadt, Jose Ibarra, and Kathleen Dunbar supported his coronation without a process. Their replacements (Ulich, Romero and Trasoff) should know better than to continue with this sleeze-bag.
The only way the council can regain any credibility with the public is to fire Hein and start a real public process to replace him -- UNLIKE THE CLOSED DOOR, BACK-ROOM DEALING THAT HIRED HIM TO BEGIN WITH.
After the Council shows us they are serious about cleaning up the mess at city hall by firing this bum, then have an audit. Maybe then, and only then, we will believe what you say.

68. Christie D. (just thefacts) 8:21PM
Oh that's BS!! I wrote to Uhlich to push for Hein's termination (I guess she already forgot about the people who wrote to say fire Hein) and furthermore, why waste City money to pay another salary when they could just get rid of the actual problem - FIRE MIKE HEIN. And for Ulich to say she's not decided on how she'll vote regarding Hein - is BS. she's already sent out replies saying that she doesn't suport Leal's demands for Hein to resign. "that she feels they could work to overcome these problems with Hein and his staff". She's not going to solve this problem. typical crappy politician - can't get a straight answer from her. Hein and his staff are incompetent, lying, mis-managers scoundrels.

69. Steve P. (sjponzolycoscom) 8:23PM
It's interesting that the city/county was audited by Star way back and still the city/county HASN'T seen much improvement. so, I doubt that an audit would help.
Just fire or vote out the corrupt snakes out of local politics!! this certainly would make a good segment from 60 Minutes.

70. Christie D. (just thefacts) 9:38PM
#24 - that's exactly it - he's been lying about the how short of funds they are. on more than one occasion The Police assoc. has found funds that supposedly were not there according to Hein. And the sheepish Council people used to just go with along with it.
#23 - I don't typically support the Council members but on this one Leal is right. no matter what bones you want to pick with leal or other council members - for right now Hein needs to go. you say the council bought into "developers" plans but that's also in large part who got Hein his job. SOme of the biggest developers (a.k.a Southern Arizona leadership Council) did LOTS of work and persuading the City Council and Mayor to skip the search for a City manager and just hire Hein. there was never a fair or ethical process for picking this guy. The big influential money makers of Tucson (SALC) pushed and pushed and had private meetings - the only question is why they wanted Hein? so while you may not support the Council members, you can vote them out next election, Mike hein is a lying, manipulative scoundrel who refuses to acknowledge the need for more cops. He'd rather put the public at more risk than admit the police assoc. is right and needs more funding.

71. fernando s. (mando1) 9:38PM
penny for mayor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

72. Christie D. (just thefacts) 9:50PM
#45 and #53 - right on! I couldn't say it any better :) for those calling for Leal to get out - hey, let's wait until he helps get Mike Hein out before you get Leal out. First things first.

73. Christie D. (just thefacts) 10:15PM
1. #53 - Miranda already turned his back toward the best interest of public safety and our officers, he's already a puppet to Mike Hein.
#65 - Are you kidding me? Rick Myers was President of Southern Arizona Leadership Council when he and all the profit-minded members of SALC (Don diamond, Larry Hecker is just a close ally to them, Jim Click, Don Bourn, Ken Abrahams) led the effort (very persistently might I add) to skip any fair and public hiring process and put in Mike Hein. I can say this as a witness - I was working at SALC at that time and watched it happen. I know and actually respect Rick Myers but I disagree with what took place and having him as the auditor would be a colossal conflict of interest. and...
2. #67 - you are exactly right.


Blogger Liza said...

This is interesting, especially #67.

Tucson is having some major and severe growing pains. The good old boy network needs to go. This city needs to fast forward into the 21st century and build the organizational structures
needed to run a city of one million people. They've got a long, long way to go.

6/29/2008 12:34 PM  
Blogger Robish said...

It would be ludicrous to appoint Miranda the new city manager. He's been on the job, what, 2 days as an assistant city manager? What does he know about water policy or downtown development?

Doing that would be to replace the corrupt with the ill-equipped.

I think they should look outside of Pima County for a competent manager with a demonstrated track record of service with integrity.

The oft-heard Tucson argument against that is that outsiders "don't know how things work here", which is just a formula for keeping the good old boy system here operational. Hein knows all about how things work here, and the consequences of that knowledge, and his actions based on that knowledge, are what may get him fired.

Let's face it, the city manager leads the council most of the time, in our system. The way to give a competent city manager the support system he needs (a competent city council) to do his job effectively over time is to elect some independent thinkers to the council who haven't been anointed by the political machinery.

The community needs to start now to identify credible candidates who are willing to run against the incumbents as they come up for re-election.

By the way, I saw in the Citizen this week that Jim Keene is going to be the new city manager of Palo Alto, California, home of x4mr's daughter's school, Stanford University.

What does that say about Tucson, that he's not good enough for the Old Pueblo, but good enough for Silicon Valley? Maybe he wasn't such a bad guy after all.

6/29/2008 1:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is this town, Heckerville?

I think every single elected official in both the city and the county, as well as those occupying top management positions in each government, should issue a written press release disclosing the exact nature of their relationships with Larry Hecker, Rick Myers, Steve Lynn, and the rest of the cloth.

6/29/2008 3:00 PM  
Blogger Cigar Man said...

Well, this will be an interesting week.

6/29/2008 7:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This week could be the tipping point. Living in Tucson as long as I have, I wouldn't give any odds
that it tips the righteous way.

6/29/2008 11:51 PM  
Anonymous Observer said...

Larry Hecker runs the board of cloth champion TREO. Larry Hecker was Nina Trasoff's campaign finance director. TREO PAYS Hecker for legal counsel. Almost every developer in town PAYS Larry Hecker for favorable cloth relationships. Heckers has chaired GTEC. He is tight with Myers and Lynn and SALC.

As they awake each morning, half of the elected officials in this town check their Hecker list before as much as taking a whiz or scratching their ass, "How do I best serve Larry today?"

OF course he is TREO's attorney. I can't prove he is Hein's personal attorney, but that makes perfect sense. Why would Hein hire anyone else?

Our dearly Hecker,
who art in cloth,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done,
in Tucson as it is in Cloth.
Give this day our daily deal,
and forgive us our crimes,
as we forgive those who steal from others.

Lead us not into truthfulness,
but deliver us from scrutiny.

For thine is the cloth, and the power, and the money, for ever and ever, Amen.

Praise be to the almighty Hecker, and the mayor, council, and board of supervisors that kiss his feet and bid his commands.

6/30/2008 10:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This may be the week where being in bed with everyone finally blows up in Hecker's face.

It's like he's been juggling several mistresses, and the mistresses are starting to connect the dots and compare notes.

He will have some 'splainin' to do.

6/30/2008 12:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just want to say there that there are some really great people working for the City right now...and there have been over time. Many are hardworking, have the highest of ethics, and make waht is a poorly funded operation keep from sinking.

One of those persons is the very fantastic Mike Letcher...assistant city manager...and former city manager of Sedona.

If Mike Hein and others on the 10th floor step down, I am hopeful for a wide open, inclusive, national process. I am also hoping that some of the great people who work for our city will be spared any sort of house cleaning that might occur.

6/30/2008 3:01 PM  
Anonymous Observer Two said...

Underestimators of the All Powerful Cloth and "Meister" Hecker.

Expect much ado about nada tomorrow. They will have their special session only after meeting with Hecker, Myers, the designated spokespersons of Diamond and Click, and then proceed in accordance with instructions as provided, which does NOT include the dismissal of their implementer and well behaving Hein & Co.

This is just noise until critical mass can be achieved, which is not likely to be tomorrow. This week is the practice run where Steve Leal gets to feel important and say "I told you so" when actual critical mass is achieved and cloth tyranny finally slips.

As much as the meisters pretend they have never heard of x4mr or his blog that "no one reads", its language seeps into the press. Words like "cloth" have already come up in meetings to refer to bureaucratic talk of no substance.

Already questions of the system of governance hit some meetings (and press) and the blog post was just days ago.

Keep it up, x4mr. You are the cigar smoke in the room no one will acknowledge, the far more influential than even they know as you tweak the rudder ever so slightly with a trimmer they feel but do not see.

Keep up the great work, x4mr. You will NEVER have their respect (in fact, contempt is the entree served in your direction) let alone gratitude. They should have let you teach your math class and run that little institute for a pittance. Now they have a soon to be Dr. X4mr who will publish their antics, and I suspect, what happens tomorrow.

As someone noted, you don't fit their molds or operational practices and don't care what they think.

The lesser minded of them did consider trying to sue x4mr. Remember the movie (Fifth Element?) where to attack only strengthened the adversary? Imagine if they did sue, and the bright lights REALLY came raining down on the circus, handing microphones to ALL THE PLAYERS.

The thought of a 60 Minutes team going after DDC and lot 175 is enough to make any lover of truth giggle.

Hee hee.

To the prior anonymous who acknowledges the fine work of the ethical, hardworking, and well deserving, I will risk speaking for x4mr and declare that he on their side.

The fine people of which the prior anon speaks have nothing to fear from the TRUTH.

I think this week is the "Trial Run" of the real tipping point that is coming, and IT IS COMING.

6/30/2008 3:22 PM  
Blogger The Navigator said...

Unfortunately, I don't share the optimism of Observer Two. I do doubt anything big will happen this week. I could be wrong.

As for the good and hard working having nothing to fear, I strongly disagree. Just last week, because of cloth BS, an innocent, ethical, and hard working woman was handed her pink slip. Quoting x4mr on several occasions: Performance had nothing to do with anything. Hein is a snake.

Remember, cloth (filth Snell, probably with Hein's approval) shut down an entire training institute of several hard working people, for the SOLE PURPOSE of stuffing TREO's bank account with the funding allotted to that institute.

Snell then boasted of the extra money in the account as the "improved performance" of HIS organization. That's the kind of people we are dealing with.

Anonymous's fears are justified. In fact, Hein might find a way to scapegoat lots of "good people" to save his own position. It could very well be Letcher that gets "slaughtered" (to use x4mr language).

Count me in as pessimistic until proven wrong, and I hope I am.

6/30/2008 4:09 PM  
Blogger Liza said...

“I just want to say there that there are some really great people working for the City right now...”

Anon, of course there are. Let us now present LIZA’S FIRST LAW OF GOVERNMENT AGENCIES. I came up with this law many years ago, perhaps ten years into my 21 year stint working for a local government. Please note that Liza’s Law applies to all levels of government (local, state, federal.)

“Within any government agency (department, division, etc…) there will be at least one individual who completely understands the work of the agency, no matter how inefficient and ineffective that agency might be. This individual(s) will howl like a wolf in the night and will never be acknowledged by those in power. However, in the long term, this individual is ALWAYS vindicated and it is ALWAYS too late.”

Anon, without these people, government would come to a grinding halt. They are the unsung heroes of the bureaucracy, cranking out the work despite every obstacle imaginable.

Observer, your comments are so funny. You are enjoying this, no?

You are so spot on about how absolutely and completely stupid it was for the cloth fools to not let X4mr have his pittance and teach his classes. Geez, it was only about 140K wasn’t it?

I wonder if they regret it yet, or if talking about what to do about the X4mr problem actually gives them something to do.

6/30/2008 4:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Letcher is slaughtered then it is a VERY sad day for Tucson. He should be running the should see his temperament and ethics in action.

There are a host of excellent staff at the city. I hope we won't let this happen to them as the dominos start falling. Many I know in the organization spoke very very softly about what might happen if they commented on what was going on in city hall. They wanted to do great things and instead found that they had to silently watch as backroom deals became the stripclubs...where many eyes (let alone female) would never see.

6/30/2008 5:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Wonderfully said. Thanks for posting in response to my anonymous plea...which is anonymous for many a good reason.

I feel rather sad that I lack the courage to put my name on what I am saying...but if I do...a lot of kind and wonderful people might be hurt in the longrun for the fact that I dared to speak.

6/30/2008 5:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While we're recognizing Letcher and others who do the public's work with professionalism and integrity, I'd like to mention another such bright light.

Jim Glock is another hard-working, smart, ethical city official, who is regularly thrown under the bus (so to speak, as Jim is the Transportation Director) by the clowns on 10th floor West. We would be a poorer city if Jim were to give up and find a comparable job in another city where his skills and integrity would be more valued than they are here by his boss.

6/30/2008 5:49 PM  
Blogger enough is enough said...

While I do not believe that all City employees are bad, Mike Lechter is either as big a liar as Hein is or he's bullied into being a liar by Hein. (ie. He is in as much denial about the shortage of law officers as Hein is when he is seen on the news.) The Council's decision today just makes me sick but I guess I shouldn't have expected anything different from what I understand about Tucson politics.

7/01/2008 9:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd love to have more police and think we should have more. However, it IS the largest part of city budget. Few people know that. When budget cuts come, then the fattest have to give "something" up because it is likely that other departments are already cut to the bone and do not have the massive political constituency and power that law enforcement does (don't try to argue that Parks has more, or that reading programs do, or that waste management does...because they DONT!).

Yes we need more police, but budget cuts are budget cuts. Everyone has to give up...

OR...we should be talking about raising taxes and finally putting the blame where it is...our legislature. They continue to cut city budget revenue sharing and government funds that should be going our cities...and our law enforcement.

Until the GOP gets this then I say keep cutting the cops until it hurts really really bad. They have most of the money and it might finally get peoples attention about what the meaning of government and public service is all about.

And by the way...I am a major major friend to local law enforcement. I am just sick of putting the blame where it isnt and the union-based "dont cut me...we are the police" mentality that is being spread like crap on a piece of toast.

7/02/2008 1:33 PM  
Blogger enough is enough said...

If what the police are requesting for funding and their accusations against the City for being dishonest about the money are such crap then how do you explain that even before our economy got so bad, the police still have not had more than a tiny percent of a raise in a 3 year time period? They went completely without for two of those years. If you are actually friends with any officers maybe you should ask them and get informed before you say that TPOA is spreading crap. It's the city that is completely in denial about the crime around here and how dnagerous it is to civilians and officers as a result of the significant shortage of officers. Public safety MUST be priority #1. If they simply cut the money away from special interest "fat" projects like Rainbow Coalition and others, the people that actually have earned that money by serving everyone - the police, would get more officers and their long overdue raises. They are well worth the biggest part of the budget Sir.

7/03/2008 10:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I get you but ask how many other departments in city govt got raises those past years also? Look at state employees too, which have gotten little to jack over the past 3 - 5 years.

This state is run like crap. Becasue of it, we take cuts, public servants like our great officers get nothing (and cuts after inflation), and the GOPers continue to talk crap out of both sides of their mouths about supporting police while they cut taxes and cut government.

I think we agree on the ills, but not the cure. I will not lash out at the city when it has been placed in the worst of possible positions...and when cuts ARE necessary. Why are they necessary? Think about it and through out the GOP dominated legislature that rules this state.

If our cities got reasonable revenue shares and we taxed at a reasonable level, I would extend massive raises to the police.

But...if the GOP and society want cuts, then they should give their share like everyone else and play politics against the REAL people that put them there.

Last, I am not willing to cut everything else in our budget to keep the police happy. If we have to search for fat...which we do because of Republicans...then we should look at their fat too...because they are fatter. We should spare the officers and cut the damned helicopters and fancy machines that pad the budgets. I'd like to have them, but I would rather have my friends on the force then the latest and greatest in tech.

7/03/2008 3:48 PM  
Blogger enough is enough said...

Roger, It is not that TPD expects the City to give them money that is truly not there, if there was without doubt no money then the TPD officers would accept that. However, there is doubt because of the pathetic games Hein has played with them in prior negotiations and the City Council who keeps looking the other way even though they suspect Hein's budget numbers may not be on the up and up. They want accountability and honesty from their government. I am not saying that there haven't been cutbacks all the way up to the Federal level and I'm not saying that the City is to blame if there is actually no money for police funding but likely there is. I am told that the budget he let the newspaper publish showed that there was money. The reason they fight with COT is because they know that Hein is in the habit of hiding funds from them, making promises or deals and then not honoring his own offer and when proven that he knew the money was there, he's allocated it to something else anyway. He's a manipulative liar that the Council is too spineless to hold accountable. And by the way, the only kind of leadership in this city, state or nation that will ever start making a positive difference is non-partisan leaders. You certainly can't be so brainwashed that you think that the Democratic Party is any better than the Republican Party. In fact at this point I'd prefer to says it's liberals vs. conservatives and the partisan style of leadership is crippling this country. Of course it's very typical of liberals such as yourself to waste time blaming the GOP for everything that's ever happened and trying to invent more layers of useless govt. as opposed to actually sitting down to work out a logical solution. The conservatives generally support police, tougher laws and sentences, and they are more protective of the Second Amendment so that the bad guys on the streets are not the only ones that are armed. So please don't make this about political parties - keep to the issue. The police have every right to not trust Hein, the council votes on the crap that Hein provides them although they know the numbers probably aren't right and in all fairness the TPD has tried negotiating so that they'd at least just get the additional officers Hein had promised. They are not greedy, they are well aware of the economic hardships taking place but they expect to be dealt with honestly and they should expect that non-critical projects be cut rather than they go without the needed number of officers. Anything else is simply bad city management. and by the way, you apparently don't know that use of the helicopter is very limited so that they save money. They rarely fly during the day and they don't keep pilots continually on the clock as to not waste their allowed flight time. A helicopter is quite necessary for the kind of crime they often address in a city this size and its very important backup to officers on the ground. I hope you are not saying that they shouldn't have a helicopter? Frankly, you need to take off those liberal tinted glasses and see what's really going on in Tucson and in the world.

7/03/2008 9:55 PM  

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