Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Cloth Consolidation

Tucson, Arizona. Tucson business and community leaders announced today the creation of a new "supergroup" to foster greater collaboration of economic development, downtown redevelopment, tourism, and transportation, tentatively named "Greater Tucson Economic Partnership" (GTEP).

GTEP will encompass the existing Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities (TREO), Downtown Tucson Partnership (DTP), the Metropolitan Tucson Convention & Visitors Bureau (MTCVB), and the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA).

Interim Board President Larry Hecker said Tuesday that the resulting organization will be "world-class" as it coordinates the efforts of economic development, tourism, downtown development, and regional transportation planning into one partnership.

GTEP will consolidate the offices of the four organizations into one group that will lease space at the new Tucson Electric Power (TEP) headquarters to be built on the site of the Santa Rita Hotel on Broadway Blvd. in Downtown. Hecker said that while the lease has yet to be negotiated, it will likely be in the range of $28 per square foot. "To have a credible effort, you need top-quality space to really sell the community to angels, investors, and developers," said Hecker. The new TEP building will be "world-class", Hecker said.

TEP Vice-President Steve Lynn will be the interim president of GTEP, until the group can bring on a "world-class CEO hired after a national and even international search,” said Lynn. Current CEO’s Joe Snell, Glenn Lyons, Jonathan Walker, and Gary Hayes, respectively, will continue in their roles, heading divisions of the new GTEP as vice-presidents, and will see their salaries increase about 20% as a "signal that we value their continuing contributions in creating a world-class organization," said Lynn.

GTEP board members would be drawn from the respective organizations, although hoteliers from the MTCVB board, downtown businesses from the DTP board, and anyone running a legitimate business on the TREO board would likely not be retained.

"Larry has asked me to serve, and I’ve asked Larry to serve" on the new board, said Lynn.

Asked about the timing of creating the new group during a sustained downturn that has seen funding to three of the four groups threatened, Hecker indicated that the synergies of all four groups working together to attract the Creative Class would help the group save money. Pressed for details, Hecker said that all four groups could save on stationery expenses, for example, and all could reduce labor costs on the lower end of their workforce, from sales managers at MTCVB and maintenance staff at DTP, to engineers and planners at RTA. TREO will likely not see any staff reductions, "as they’ve already sacrificed enough," he said.

The first order of business will be to develop a community blueprint, which will cost approximately $600,000, said Hecker. "It will be a world-class blueprint," he said. "It will be even more significant than the $250,000 economic blueprint that TREO commissioned two years ago. We are ready to make things happen."

"This is public investment in the organizational infrastructure that is needed to build on the great successes we’ve seen since 2005. The community has come together like I’ve never seen before, passing the RTA, electing visionary leaders like Council Member Trasoff and Supervisor Elias, and building a griffin on Scott Avenue," said Hecker. "Now we can leverage the bonding capacity of RTA and the collective resources of all of these successful organizations into one world-class partnership."

Asked for comment on the formation of GTEP, Snell of TREO said, "at the end of the day, we’re seeing that Tucson is truly emerging as a strong competitor among third-tier markets." Lyons of DTP said, "it’s my sense that Tucson is ready for an organization like this." Walker of MTCVB was at Sullivan’s Steakhouse with staff and clients and could not be reached for comment. Gary Hayes at RTA did not return phone calls.

Mayor Bob Walkup, who sits on the RTA board, said, "this is going to be the key to getting us where we need to be. This is the first project of Rio Nuevo, and the first step towards regional cooperation". Paul Loomis, mayor of Oro Valley and a TREO board member, gushed, "this will create world-class synergies for our community".

17 Comments:

Blogger Liza said...

World class?

Putting these fools into new offices does not turn the sow's ears into a silk purse.

This is revolting.

Oh, yeah, I like the part about the $600,000 blue print.

Where is the outrage?

5/26/2009 3:36 PM  
Blogger Liza said...

I read it again.

A world class blueprint? Even better than TREO's $250,000 blue print?

The Creative Class? Trasoff a visionary leader?

X4mr, did you make all of this up?

5/26/2009 3:41 PM  
Blogger The Navigator said...

HAAAGH!! HAGGGH!!

(gasping for air)

HAAAGH!! HAGGGH!!

God, x4mr, that is wicked serious funny, and it totally nails the distinction "Cloth." I mean, it's perfect. The part about the overpaid egos running their own divisions of GTEP at 20% higher salaries is hilarious. Hah!!!

Liza, I think this is a spoof meant to be comical. It's too good to be true. Did you write this, x4mr?

If this does turn out to be true, OMFG.

5/26/2009 4:05 PM  
Blogger Liza said...

Navigator,
After I read it the second time I realized there were no links so it must be fictitious.

"Creative Class" and "blueprints" kind of give it away.

However, it is almost exactly what we expect them to do. Or should I say it is exactly what the Cloth wants to do.

5/26/2009 5:11 PM  
Blogger Liza said...

I am so gullible.

5/26/2009 5:16 PM  
Anonymous Robish said...

This is obviously a spoof.

I like how the author (x4mr?) nailed some of the favored phrases of Snell ("at the end of the day"), Hecker (how many mentions of "world-class from the Heckster? Five?), and Walkup, who thinks that every project is the first Rio Nuevo project, and everything that happens is a harbinger of regional cooperation.

Was there a not-so-subtle implication that "GTEP" is really "TEP" at its core? And what is the most expensive office space in Tucson now, $24 a square foot? Whatever it's at now, $28 is obviously a Tucson premium. Nothing but the best for the Crown Princes of Cloth.

My favorite part is where it talks about who gets to stay on the board and on staff. Everybody that does real work in these organizations has to lose their job so they can hire more overpaid suits at the top, and board members with a real stake get thrown off the new board.

It's very realistic in some ways, so it's a great balance of insight and absurdity.

Oh, and where Hecker and Lynn basically invite each other to run this new show, that is hysterical, and probably not far from the truth.

The Cloth loves to spout nonsense about "world-class" this and that, and they've been talking that way for years. How about merely "excellent"? Tucson is not so good at simply "very good". Most of us would accept "adequate" for now, as a steppingstone to better results.

Great work, x4mr!

5/26/2009 5:36 PM  
Anonymous Observer said...

Don't feel bad, Liza. I think I had the same reaction you did when I first read it. I could feel my blood pressure rising, and I yelled aloud about the 20% increase in salaries for those worthless flab bags. I was completely outraged, but I had the advantage of being able to read your comments.

Yeah, I think it's fictitious, but who knows? If this shows up in tomorrow's paper as an actuality, I may end up heaving in the restroom. What's sick is that it rings so true - stuffing the pockets of worthless slime (Snell, Lyons, etc.) while cutting those who do real work for the community.

5/26/2009 5:39 PM  
Anonymous Robish said...

I like this nugget from "Snell": Tucson is emerging as a strong competitor among third-tier markets. Ha ha. We're doing well relative to Peoria and Paducah, in other words.

5/26/2009 5:40 PM  
Blogger Liza said...

This is hysterical on the third reading.

Putting all of the Cloth together in one organization with new world class offices and a new mission to create a new blueprint is genius. The 20% pay increase is a nice touch.

Very good, X4mr.

Well, I'm sure Tucson is doing really well compared to Flint, Michigan. There is always someone somewhere who is worse off.

5/26/2009 8:49 PM  
Blogger Cigar Man said...

Haah! Hahhh! That is so great!! I'll be laughing about this for days. We are ready to make things happen Ohh Gawd!! My stomach hurts.

I agree with Observer, Liza. The post is incredibly good and so consistent with the Cloth shenanigans that anyone could initially bite the hook.

Robish is right, of course, that it is a spoof, but no way x4mr wrote it.

I don't know how Matt got this, but it is way too good (no offense) and too deeply familiar to have been written by him. Only someone like Policon, Robish, or Travis (or of course someone who does not comment here) could have written it.

This had to be written by a true insider who has interacted with the Clothmeisters over time. Larry has asked me to serve, and I’ve asked Larry to serve.

Ha Ha Ha!!!!

gasping, gasping

I haven't laughed this hard in years. Thank you, whoever you are, for giving x4mr this post. It is a perfect going away present for his blog as he gets ready to leave (which is any day now, right?).

5/26/2009 8:53 PM  
Blogger Travis said...

I've been lurking mostly, but X4MR, you hammered my "funny 'cause it's true" button hard here.

I picked up the phone to shout WTF?! at one or two of the parties mentioned, then realized...

No mention of Rick Myers or Jim Click. Myers would definitely be involved and anything at this level would have Click's blessing somewhere on it.

Oh, and the MTCVB is funded primarily from bed taxes, which would be a contentious issue for doing something like this. (Has anyone taken a look at their books? Wasn't that being discussed a while ago? What happened?)

The acronym GTEP was genius. Plus, you really captured the language well. Have you thought of writing for Cloth?

Santa Rita Hotel was a nice touch. Placing it on Bourn's Post lot would have been a nice twist, as well.

[chuckle]

I, for one, am going to miss you.

5/26/2009 10:30 PM  
Anonymous Scarlett Letter said...

At first I thought this was a joke. It sounded just like the announcement of the formation of TREO however long ago that was. And GETP sure sounds like... GETC.
Deja vu all over again. More of the same.

5/27/2009 9:23 AM  
Anonymous Scarlett Letter said...

Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.
I DO get it :)

5/27/2009 9:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very good, and you have sharp readers that quickly figured it out.

So who wrote it, x4mr?

5/27/2009 11:06 AM  
Anonymous Mariana said...

Surrealism.

5/27/2009 12:42 PM  
Blogger x4mr said...

You guys are sharp. I knew that it would eventually be seen as a spoof, but I thought there might be a little confusion or uncertainty for a little while.

Alas, I cannot claim authorship of this post. I did not write a word of it. Who did?

Well, let's just say the "Cloth Fairy" left a present in my email. I completely fell for it at first, "Holy $%#$, Hecker took over everything!!" The new blueprint and the 20% salary increase is what triggered the realization. Then I couldn't stop laughing.

5/27/2009 12:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In 1979 when the Downtown Development Corporation was in its seminal stage, Hecker the Hacker would scatter the same platitudinous phrase; "world class," with the assumption that this would cause the true world class Developers to flock to Tucson. Some did,like Reliance Corp. from New York, JMB from Chicago, Cleveland Investment&Developement. And they left when they discovered that the Tucson players were not just lacking in worldliness but were vacant of class also. Robert Messing of Cleveland once stated that Tucson was destined to be a tertiary City ad infinitum. He was a prophet....at least for the past 30 years.
The spoof essay also captures Mr. Messing's observation about the leadership in Tucson. "Nice people, but one of the most nasty, controlled Cities of all the ones where we own property." Thanks TREO and DDC and TDP for putting us on the 3rd Class Map. Can we have our money back now?

5/27/2009 10:01 PM  

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