Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Tucson Bifurcation

Tucson, Arizona. Anyone following the local scene knows about Council Member Steve Leal’s letter to City Manager Mike Hein calling for his resignation. Some have complained about the letter’s timing at or near the beginning of Hein’s vacation. So what? I recall a terrifying phone call at 9 PM the night before a supposed five day paradise trip with my daughter. Business doesn’t care about your personal life and never has. The phone call significantly damaged my ability to enjoy the trip. The reader can imagine the chorus of sympathy singing on my behalf.

My criticism of Leal’s letter is its lack of specificity regarding concerns, but this could be a protocol matter, where such material is delivered separately. At any rate, what’s really going on? The general theme involves the poor release of requested information and taking action without council input.

One view is that the council would like to hang the whole Rio Nuevo meltdown on Hein, an assertion with enough citable events (arena, hotel, failure to bond, expansion of DTA into DTP) to gain traction. Speaking of Rio Never, for completion I have to note that deeper discussion has clarified that AZ Senate President Tim Bee, currently running against incumbent Gabrielle Giffords (D) for AZ CD 8, and Toni Hellon, both state senators at the time, are better classified as cheerleaders after the fact regarding the TIF extension, not factors at all (save that Bee, under pressure, did call a meeting).

An amateur blogger, I cannot discern the true fire under this smoke, but it is not bus fares. The unilateral announcement about the Hotel Arizona had a foul stench, perhaps a fat stick on the camel’s TIF back. Can Leal count to four? I would not have written that letter without four solid, locked, loaded, and verified votes. I speculate he has Romero, Glassman, and Scott. He does not require Rio Never Chair Trasoff.

UPDATE: Leal does NOT have Glassman, which means that if this is going to fly, he requires Romero, Uhlich, and Scott.

4 Comments:

Blogger Liza said...

Yeah, this an interesting turn of events.

In my experience (20+ years working for a large municipal government) city council members are not exactly the creme de la creme of politicians. However, I have heard Steve Leal speak on numerous occasions, and he certainly seems to know his way around. Either he has the votes or he thinks he knows how to get them.

Trasoff was such a flake when she was running for Council. People should have listened to her. I remember her word hemorrhages about how Tucson should decide if it wants to be like Portland, Oregon. I sent her campaign website an e-mail asking if they thought they could bulldoze two thirds of Tucson.

As for the rest of them, I can't imagine it being to their advantage to side with Hein.

6/25/2008 11:52 AM  
Anonymous Scarlett Letter said...

From today's Tucson Citizen:

County drops $100K pledge to downtown organization
TEYA VITU
Tucson Citizen
Pima County will not pay $100,000 this year to the Downtown Tucson Partnership, its agreed-upon share when the county, city and private sector established the group a year ago.
The decision forces partnership Chief Executive Glenn Lyons to scramble and likely restructure the way the partnership and its predecessor, the Tucson Downtown Alliance, functioned for 10 years.
"I'm not very happy because I came here with a growth mode," said Lyons, who moved to Tucson from Calgary, Alberta, in February. "I have to cut $100,000."
The partnership was created to promote downtown. Projects include maintenance, security, marketing and economic development.

6/25/2008 9:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This should be noted: A very hard working young woman was fired yesterday from the Partnership because of this. But it's important to note that the Cloth behind the reorganization of the Tucson Downtown Alliance promised to provide the funds for Glenn Lyons' salary. They lied. No money has been forthcoming. The young woman fired worked tirelessly for the Alliance and did not deserve this.

6/25/2008 10:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes, lots do not know the fire behind the smoke. consider this a. the process by which mike hein gained office, completely sidestepping the due process - brought in by big business and the rules for this hire thrown out with the bath water. b. mike hein isn't even a tucson resident. c. steve leal may be a bumbling idiot but that does not mean that there is not have good reason for his actions.

6/27/2008 8:13 AM  

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