Thursday, July 14, 2011

Brodesky Highlights Cloth Machine

(Tucson, Arizona) Star reporter Josh Brodesky has an excellent piece in today's paper that hits the nail as squarely on the head as any piece you'll find on the Clothmeisters. I really don't have anything to add and encourage folks to take a look.

In this case, the aficionado is former Oro Valley Mayor Paul Loomis, who lost his re-election effort last year. Since then, he's raked in $150,000+ in no-bid RTA consulting fees for "engineering oversight" on the trolley car. Over two years ago, I said the RTA would become a Clothfest. Think orgy. This trough will feature the likes of Larry/Dan and the whole fam damily in spades including aunts, nephews, cousins, in-laws, the neighbor's dog and Uncle Bob's ocotillo.

Quoting directly from Brodesky:

Since the RTA's inception, Hayes has doled out more than $3.6 million in small, no-bid contracts. The thinking is these contracts save money because the RTA doesn't have to hire any salaried staffers. But it's also led to some strange contracts.

(Paul Loomis) The RTA can tap Sheila Storm, the communications director for Pima Association of Governments, for some public relations help. Still Hayes has doubled up on help for her, inking David Joseph (whose wife Michele is the spokeswoman for Sun Tran) and former Tucson Citizen transportation reporter Garry Duffy, for additional PR.

Hayes also gave nearly $89,000 in contracts to a firm led by his daughter-in-law's brother.

Yes, you did just read that. I am not making this stuff up.

And now we have Loomis and his engineering skills. He studied ocean engineering in college.

Brodesky wrote in the piece, "This is so Tucson," which is exactly what Cigar Man wrote in a comment at the previous post about the Rio Nuevo fiasco.

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I said before, and I'll reiterate: What drivel. There is no conflict of interest. The innuendo that there may be a conflict is only brought up by the reporter. This is like asking, "Do you still beat your spouse?" It's nonsensical.

How is it that we expect our leaders to do the extremely difficult and complicated jobs that they do but get upset when we find out that we have to pay for that expertise?

Paul Loomis is/was a bargain compared to what is being paid for the other consultants working on the streetcar. I, for one, am glad to see that we are finally paying some local folks rather than someone from far away who doesn't care about our community.

I know you want to draw traffic to your blog, just as reporters have to create controversy to sell papers, but really--at least attempt to find a little tiny bit of fact before you create a story of nothing but blather.

7/14/2011 9:30 AM  
Blogger Cigar Man said...

Yeah, this is so Tucson.

I'm no blog expert, but given that x4mr has posted five times in the last two months, I seriously doubt he's all that interested in drawing traffic. Also, people who actually know his stuff know that it contains more facts than most.

Life is sweet for the "cloth aficionados." Do you know what the not so dynamic duo at the MTCVB get paid and what they do? Maybe Hayes could hire that pair for a "tourism enhancement profile" on the elevated bike path over Broadway.

7/14/2011 11:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If one of them took an engineering course in college, Hayes could hire the MTCVB duo for engineering oversight for the trolley.

7/14/2011 11:28 AM  
Blogger The Navigator said...

Where has the first Anon (9:30) been? Clearly not here. Just like Rio Nuevo, one confronts the sorry truth of this when asking for the results to show for the money that was spent. Try to find that "engineering oversight" in terms of specific, measurable results.

If O'Dell or Brodesky or anyone for that matter tries to get an itemization of the money spent and to whom for what, just watch the vague glob of goo words like "oversight" and "coordinate" and "study."

How can the deliberate dismantling of $150,000 into no bid size chunks (one right after the other over less than a year) NOT be circumventing the intent of the limit? That aside, isn't Loomis directly violating the part about not being involved for 12 months?

I wonder if RTA can make $2.2 billion vanish the way Rio Nuevo vaporized $200 million. Of course it wasn't really vaporized. A small collection of "aficionados" walked away with bulging briefcases.

I like the 250 foot high bike path over Broadway with the breathtaking exits every mile (although I imagine the on ramps are a beast of a climb).

By the way, has anyone figured out who is going to ride this trolley? Is it the same people that crowd the Diamondback bridge?

7/14/2011 12:08 PM  
Anonymous Thomas said...

Just an observation, and this goes way back – remember when Cigar told x4mr that SAIAT was dead whether it trained ten workers or ten thousand or ten million? In the cloth circle jerk of Rio Nuevo, TRA, MTCVB, TREO, DTP, ad nauseam, he thought he was supposed to provide real skills to Tucson workers? Imagine. TREO did him a favor by stealing his funding and ejecting him from the circus.

I doubt that Loomis, as the former Mayor of Oro Valley, is about engineering. Maybe he'll look over some drawings and nod. I think Brodesky captures it with the title of his article, and I see a double meaning. Loomis got the job because of who he knows, and he got the job because of who he knows. He's part of the team that jumps all over an accountant that starts seeing inconvenient numbers about the trolley, which will lose money.

I'd prefer the bike path over Broadway.

Is it true the trolley has no air-conditioning? I can just see the hordes charging the thing for a ride from the pizza joint on 4th to get a bagel at Stone/Congress or enter the UniSource Tower to buy a house or consult an attorney.

In July.

7/14/2011 7:02 PM  
Anonymous Anon said...

The modern streetcar will have air-conditioning.

7/14/2011 9:40 PM  
Blogger Cigar Man said...

Thomas is right about x4mr and SAIAT. TREO did him a favor by stealing the funding. I heard Raytheon was going to build its own training center anyway. X4mr has no place in the cloth crowd. He actually IS an engineer/ math/ computer guy for real (which Walkup pretends to be but is not at all).

I won't believe anything about the streetcar until it is finished, but Thomas might be confusing it with other projects (hotel, etc.) about making money. Public transportation is not about making money. It just needs to approximately break even as it benefits the community. Like lots of people, I don't get who is going to ride it.

7/15/2011 8:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of Rio Nuevo Gonna Happen, I saw in today's Star that Plaza Palamino was in foreclosure. The article mentions (circumspectly) that it's one of Don Bourn's properties.

Is this the same guy that never built lofts on a property RN basically gave him for free specifically for that purpose?

7/17/2011 11:08 AM  

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