bTucson : a Tucson, Arizona Community Driven Directory
Housing »
Schools »
News »
More »
mouse over the » to see subcategories


Some Recent Features

add item

Save This Page on del.icio.us
 
What's new with Rio Nuevo add item

2012-08-29 \Tucson\Politics & Government\Elections\
Primary Results 2012
The winners: Jeff Flake will face Richard Carmona for US Senate ; Ann Kirkpatrick will face Jonathan Paton for Congress in CD1 ; Ron Barber will be up against Martha McSally in CD2.  Raul Grijalva trounced both opponents and will face Gabriela Mercer ... read more

2011-11-04 \Tucson\Politics & Government\Elections\
Rick Grinnell in the running for Mayor : I know how to create Jobs for Tucson http://www.visitforestcity.com/EconomicD
Hey Rick ... here's an idea. Look up on line the little Iowa town called Forrest City. They invented the Winnebego / modern RV industry. They were a small 5,000 people farming town in the 60's who were about to loose their town because of Corporate farming ... read more

2011-10-24 \Tucson\Politics & Government\Elections\
Rick Grinnell in the running for Mayor : Bus and Trash reductions
At Sabino Canyon and Tanque Verde it is an hour and forty minutes by bus to Park Place, a distance of 2.8 miles.
Trash service has already been cut in half and the price raised. Now someone is indicating it should be cut to a fourth of what it was. Better ... read more

2011-10-22 \Tucson\Politics & Government\Rio Nuevo\
$300K a year in legal fees and board expenses
The Rio Nuevo board costs us more than a city manager.  However, they apparently spend $300K+ of our tax money every year deciding on how to sue the city.  In the last financial report, total positive project spending has shrunk to  $49,171.14.  

How ... read more

2011-10-18 \Tucson\Politics & Government\Rio Nuevo\
Speak out at Rio Nuevo Board Meeting
If you want your voice heard, one way is to attend a Rio Nuevo board meeting in person.

The next meetings are tentatively scheduled for Nov 2 and Nov 10:

http://cms3.tucsonaz.gov/content/r%C3%ADo-nuevo-meeting-schedules-and-minutes

Tell the ... read more

2011-10-03 \Tucson\Politics & Government\Rio Nuevo\
Jonathan Rothschild's statement on the Rio Nuevo board lawsuit http://azstarnet.com/news/local/govt-and
"I’m not going to raise taxes on Tucsonans just to pay the Rio Nuevo Board.  That might be my opponent’s idea of “getting to the bottom of things,” but to me is seems more like hitting bottom.  The State Legislatures Board might not like how the money ... read more

2011-09-07 \Tucson\Politics & Government\Elections\
Rick Grinnell in the running for Mayor : What Letcher has to say about the Rio Nuevo board:
Grinnell is on the new Rio Nuevo board that took control out of the hands of the city council. In Letcher's resignation letter, he stated

"The only negative with the downtown’s comeback is the Governor appointed Rio Nuevo District Board. This board ... read more

2011-09-01 \Tucson\Politics & Government\Elections\
Rick Grinnell in the running for Mayor http://www.grinnell4mayor.com
Rick Grinell made it on the ballot with a strong write-in campaign, giving us a choice for mayor.  See http://www.grinnell4mayor.com to check out our options.

Interestingly, Grinell is on the current Rio Nuevo board.  Maybe as part of the campaign ... read more

2010-12-20 \Tucson\Politics & Government\Rio Nuevo\
Not to Hotel.
Remember the expensive hotel that was going to soak up not only what was left of the Rio Nuevo money, but millions of tax dollars for years?  Our City Council nixed it last month, for which this voter is thankful!  Now on Dec 9 the Hotel Arizona downtown ... read more

2010-12-10 \Tucson\Politics & Government\Rio Nuevo\
Contact for Rio Nuevo board is their lawyer?
Looking to do a follow-up interview on Rio Nuevo, I was surprised to see on the new Rio Nuevo Board website
http://cms3.tucsonaz.gov/rionuevo
that although the board members are listed, the only contact information provided is for their lawyer!  They ... read more

2010-11-29 \Tucson\Politics & Government\Rio Nuevo\
Anyone going to the meeting tonight?
Hoping that some people go and pin the Rio Nuevo board down on their spending (on legal fees, etc)as well as the previous spending by the city council.  Also there are serious questions about the possible Hotel plan.  To me it sounds like a big boondoggle ... read more

2010-08-11 \Tucson\Politics & Government\Rio Nuevo\
To hotel, or not to hotel?
This summer, while most city pools closed and the council prepares to lay off 275 police officers, the state legislature has apparently required the Rio Nuevo district board to pursue construction of a luxury hotel - which would be paid for by general ... read more

2010-08-11 \Tucson\Politics & Government\Rio Nuevo\
The Hotel Feasibility Study
Here is the feasibility study which is being used to justify the construction of the convention center hotel: HVS Report 2-10-10

Note that ZERO private sector dollars are invested in this hotel under the current plan, and the developer has expressed ... read more

2010-08-07 \Tucson\Politics & Government\Rio Nuevo\
What about Local, Open Micro-bids?
Opinion: we have many excellent local nonprofits and small businesses in Tucson that could make better use of millions of dollars for downtown revitalization than paying for unimplemented designs by expensive outside consultants, and have something concrete ... read more

2010-08-07 \Tucson\Politics & Government\Rio Nuevo\
Moving forward without giving away the store http://www.pimagop.org/index.cfm/article
"The city and the district have spent over $15 million on planning, designing and studying this hotel project. It is time to put together the data we have been presented, make a decision and stop spending the taxpayers money massaging the issue over and ... read more

2010-07-05 \Tucson\Politics & Government\Rio Nuevo\
: Rio Nuevo now - http://cms3.tucsonaz.gov/downtownproject
  Jessie Sanders, project director for Rio Nuevo, answered some questions for bTucson on the project's progress:  "I have been a part of the Rio Nuevo Project for 14 months. During that time I have gotten somewhat smart on events of the past...." ... read more

2010-07-05 \Tucson\Politics & Government\Rio Nuevo\
: Successes and Stumbles : Rio Nuevo overview at the Star http://www.allbusiness.com/government/go
Rob O'Dell at the Star wrote an excellent overview of the history of the Rio Nuevo project in January of 2010, including interviews with many of the key players.  ""

2011-10-22 $300K a year in legal fees and board expenses
The Rio Nuevo board costs us more than a city manager.  However, they apparently spend $300K+ of our tax money every year deciding on how to sue the city.  In the last financial report, total positive project spending has shrunk to  $49,171.14.  

How does it make sense to have $300K of managerial expenses to supervise $49K of spending on projects?

In fiscal year 2009, $29,605,274.14 was spent on projects from the Cushing St Bridge to the Greenway Multiuse Path to Barrio Viejo (a nicely done conversion of an old school to a retirement home).  How well it was managed is an open question, but at least some things were getting done.  The main task of the Board, if you believe their financial reports, is to put a stop to projects.

Oh - and the legal and other office expenses for 2009, ...read more...
add comment
2010-11-29 Anyone going to the meeting tonight?
Hoping that some people go and pin the Rio Nuevo board down on their spending (on legal fees, etc)as well as the previous spending by the city council.  Also there are serious questions about the possible Hotel plan.  To me it sounds like a big boondoggle by out of state contractors and not something we should be committing to.

"
add comment
2010-12-10 Contact for Rio Nuevo board is their lawyer?
Looking to do a follow-up interview on Rio Nuevo, I was surprised to see on the new Rio Nuevo Board website
http://cms3.tucsonaz.gov/rionuevo
that although the board members are listed, the only contact information provided is for their lawyer!  They are deciding how to spend our tax dollars, so it seems to me some public access should be available.  

CONTACT:
Keri Silvyn, Esq.
General Counsel to the Rio Nuevo District
Lewis and Roca LLP
One South Church Avenue, Suite 700
Tucson, Arizona 85701
Phone: (520) 622-2090

Called the lawyer's office, and a friendly receptionist took my information to forward to the attorney that represents the board to forward on to them...

Hm - not a blank wall, but doesn't quite feel like calling your city
councilperson!"

And, if they are u ...read more...
add comment
2011-10-03 Jonathan Rothschild's statement on the Rio Nuevo board lawsuit
http://azstarnet.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/article_4e5492f1-809b-500d-8872-7f5a938a2ffa.html
"I’m not going to raise taxes on Tucsonans just to pay the Rio Nuevo Board.  That might be my opponent’s idea of “getting to the bottom of things,” but to me is seems more like hitting bottom.  The State Legislatures Board might not like how the money was spent, and there was a lot that should have been done differently, but it is all on the City’s web site to see where it went.  If this happens you can look to see the City’s police force cut by a 1/3, or the fire department by ½ or be required to shut down all of our parks.  The lawsuit authorized by the Rio Nuevo Board does nothing to bring the historical mistakes of Rio Nuevo to an end.  It just perpetuates them." --Jonathan Rothschild, submitted by email to bTucson.com

http://www.jonathanformayor.com/""
add comment
2010-08-07 Moving forward without giving away the store
http://www.pimagop.org/index.cfm/article_475.htm
"The city and the district have spent over $15 million on planning, designing and studying this hotel project. It is time to put together the data we have been presented, make a decision and stop spending the taxpayers money massaging the issue over and over again."

Steve Kozachik makes some strong points about not spending any more city tax dollars on studies, and asking the developers to meet a reasonable budget.
add comment
2010-12-20 Not to Hotel.
Remember the expensive hotel that was going to soak up not only what was left of the Rio Nuevo money, but millions of tax dollars for years?  Our City Council nixed it last month, for which this voter is thankful!  Now on Dec 9 the Hotel Arizona downtown seems that it has problems staying in business.  In light of that story we interviewed council member Steve Kozachik:

bTucson: So, if the old Hotel Arizona can't even rent more than 7 rooms a night, seems like a good thing we didn't build an expensive 200-300 extra rooms

Kozachik: 6% occupancy rate

That's what they said.

I'll grant him he said that's because he said he's not going to do any advertising or whatever, but seems to m ...read more...
add comment
2011-10-18 Speak out at Rio Nuevo Board Meeting
If you want your voice heard, one way is to attend a Rio Nuevo board meeting in person.

The next meetings are tentatively scheduled for Nov 2 and Nov 10:

http://cms3.tucsonaz.gov/content/r%C3%ADo-nuevo-meeting-schedules-and-minutes

Tell the Rio Nuevo board what you think!   Should they be demanding to own City of Tucson properties?  Should they be suing the city?  How have they benefited Tucson taxpayers?

Ask them to publish their phone numbers and emails so we can have access as affected citizens!

Ask how much has been spent on their own lawyers, vs how much to directly benefit the taxpayers?

You will need to submit a speaker card at the beginning of the meeting to be part of the call to the audience.
"""
add comment
2010-08-11 The Hotel Feasibility Study
Here is the feasibility study which is being used to justify the construction of the convention center hotel: HVS Report 2-10-10

Note that ZERO private sector dollars are invested in this hotel under the current plan, and the developer has expressed an unwillingness to invest any of their own money in the hotel.  This raises some questions as to the true likelihood of profitability.

Here is the letter sent by HVS explaining the 'extraordinary assumptions' made on p 13 of the HVS Report.  These assumptions include completion of the streetcar and 'a significant portion of the downtown investment envisioned by the District' - which I think refers to the original Rio ...read more...
add comment
2010-08-11 To hotel, or not to hotel?
This summer, while most city pools closed and the council prepares to lay off 275 police officers, the state legislature has apparently required the Rio Nuevo district board to pursue construction of a luxury hotel - which would be paid for by general-fund backed city of Tucson bonds.  

Steve Kozachik, ward 6 council member, discussed the situation with bTucson in an interview Aug 10.  Kozachik explained that a key point is whether the legislature expressly requires a hotel, or simply requires that Rio Nuevo focus on revenue-generating projects.  He has a letter out to Steve Pierce, majority whip, requesting clarification on this point, and is awaiting an answer.

Regarding the HVS feasibility study, which has been identified as having some gross calculation errors, Kozachik feels tha ...read more...
add comment
2010-08-07 What about Local, Open Micro-bids?
Opinion: we have many excellent local nonprofits and small businesses in Tucson that could make better use of millions of dollars for downtown revitalization than paying for unimplemented designs by expensive outside consultants, and have something concrete to show for it at the end.  

Perhaps its time to set aside some of our remaining funds for local microinvestment, using an open competitive bid process for local organizations to meet the original Rio Nuevo goals in a creative way.  We could give points for matching funds from other sources.

Maybe we could get our science center, Mission Gardens and aquarium after all.  And a hotel would be fine, if it is largely privately funded as a commercial development should be.
add comment

Information above is from a privately purchased database and/or unverified user submissions. Please verify all information before depending on it for anything critical. We welcome corrections!