Sunday, October 12, 2008

Citizen Cuts Cloth

Tucson, Arizona. The Saturday Tucson Citizen features an outstanding Teya Vitu article on the Downtown Development Corporation and some of its cloth shenanigans. I won't repeat the content of the article, which I highly recommend to all readers. The date by date chronology featured at the piece looks familiar. I think it's an excellent way to put lines between dots.

The parking lot scam is just the surface and a tiny component of the Tucson Clothiverse of sweet deals and terrific payouts to the well connected players. First, note how the annual parking lot revenues received by Industrial Development Authority (IDA) jump around. Does the usage of a crowded downtown parking lot sound like something that would have a lot of variation? Uh-huh. Remember that the IDA loaned the DDC over $900 thousand to buy the lot. That loan was never repaid, and only now are questions about this getting into the press. The loan occurred over 20 years ago. That Kennedy has been drawing a salary from the DDC for years is now acknowledged, but take a look at the DDC financial statements and you can clearly see where it states that no officers or employees have been paid. Ask how they do that and you will learn about subsidiaries. Now why are they doing that?

Dig enough around these rocks and you will find lots of roaches that don't like the light of day. Look into the TCC "rent" and explain those transactions. The stuff goes back decades and make no mistake, the Cloth are alive and doing very well. Sadly, in Tucson the bad guys tend to win. Cloth meister Glen Lyons, head of the Downtown Tucson Partnership, the clothified version of now assassinated Tucson Downtown Alliance, probably terminated an Executive Director to replace him with best friend's wife Cara Rene. Simple cronyism? Well, yes, but also because Rene is fully clothified, while Durband had the irritating ability to think for himself.

The article is so close to the incestuous board games that you can smell it, including board master Larry Hecker, who never met a board he didn't join. Questions about the DDC board membership produced an interesting little query for Herr Hecker, "Are you on the DDC board or not?"

Of course he is. He's on every Tucson board. Hecker is on boards he's not even on. Tucson has its various tribes and Hecker makes a fortune in the middle as they vie against each other for the "ka-ching!" at the trough.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even more significant than the nepotism of the hiring of Cara Rene by Glenn Lyons is the fact that her husband is the chief of staff for Nina Trasoff.

It's very clear now. This organization is all about doing the bidding of Nina Trasoff and Mike Hein. It's not about representing its members, representing the interests of the downtrodden businesses of downtown.

Put the Downtown Tucson Partnership firmly in the category of Total Cloth, along with TREO and the Southern Arizona Leadership Council.

10/13/2008 11:20 AM  
Blogger Liza said...

Good article for the Citizen. Looks like there are some real opportunities for investigative journalism in Tucson if the Star and the Citizen choose to pursue them. These are bipartisan issues that citizens should know about if this city ever hopes to be anything other than a giant Hooterville.

Seems like every entity that is supposed to be in charge of something in Tucson is nothing but a go along/get along, nepotistic, good ol boy/girl clusterf@ck.

Why do the people put up with it?

10/13/2008 11:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like what x4mr wrote:

Sadly, in Tucson the bad guys tend to win.

How pathetic.

That article is probably the best I have ever read by Teya Vitu.

10/13/2008 2:03 PM  
Anonymous Scarlett Letter said...

And Cara Rene not long ago got laid off by the Citizen.....

10/13/2008 4:54 PM  
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10/13/2008 10:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heckers dismissal and excuse for lack of development in the mid 80's being the singularly caused by the tax law changes is ludicrous. It severely altered the ownership of existing projects and existing limted partnerships,but that is hardly the rationale for such gross underperformance. Many cities moved forward with development plans and actually came on line with finished projects by the early 90's. San Diego, San Antonio, Cleveland, Chicago. Which Board was he speaking for that day? I am shocked that his own colleagues, in the legal beagle profession have not filed an ethics inquiry, with the Arizona Bar Association about his multiple representation on overlapping interests. Like Hotel Arizona.

10/14/2008 12:42 AM  
Blogger Liza said...

Underperformance is an understatement.

This city looks like no one gave a nanosecond of thought as to what would go where or why. Tucson is a million people and their buildings clustered into an expanse of land. It is not a real city.

10/18/2008 6:55 AM  

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