On Tuesday, July 7, the Tucson Mayor and Council considered two proposals to place on the general election ballot, Proposition 400, the proposed core tax and another measure dealing with the City’s charter, which has been in existence since 1929.
Proponents of the changes, known as the Tucson Charter Change Coalition, an offshoot of a group called the Southern Arizona Leadership Council, met with my office as well as the Mayor and Council, over a period of time regarding the charter.
I along with my staff, gave this group of individuals, time and a sincere effort to work on a document that had not been substantially changed or updated since 1929.
Suggestions were made, ideas considered and proposals were discussed to make this city’s governing document, a work for the 21st Century but in the end, the members of the group, brought their ideas to the Mayor and Council on July 7 and by a vote of four to three, their proposal was placed on the November 2 ballot as Proposition 401.
I was one of the Councilmembers who voted against putting this measure on the ballot, One of the significant reasons for me was the lack of input from my constituents and neighborhood associations during this process but there were more problems with this proposal, including:
A proposed pay raise with no funding source. Language in the Mayoral parity section basically eliminating the position of Vice Mayor for constituting a quorum and, the omission of several Department Director positions.
When asked about the omissions, my staff was told that it would be an interpretation of titles. One wonders about the real intent of the measure, especially after the claims of time, research and input involved, according to the ballot measure’s proponents, and with so many mistakes and omissions. Implied action and interpretation does not a governing document make.
The public’s safety and welfare is more important than the proposed pay raise with no funding source and questionable language for a document that needs to be updated for the 21st century.
Tucson is a bigger city and this measure needs to be defeated and work on updating the city’s governing document to really begin by those who actually work and live in Tucson.
I urge you all in joining me in Voting NO on Prop 401.