The most remarkable statement in this week's issue lies way down at the end of Jim Nintzel's "Washed Up." This story in the Currents section details a neighborhood effort to keep a developer from filling in a wash, building the usual tacky houses on the faux flatland and, along the way, violating the spirit if not the letter of the hillside protection ordinance.

Nothing remarkable about that; it's standard operating procedure in Tucson. What does demand your attention is a comment by stuccodollar darling Kathleen Dunbar, the greenest member of the Tucson City Council. And I obviously don't mean "green" in the environmentalist sense.

Speaking of the neighborhood effort, "They're trying to turn it, with your [the Tucson Weekly's] help, into a test for the city," Dunbar complains to Nintzel. "If they weren't getting the media attention, if you weren't highlighting that, it wouldn't be a test because nobody would even know this was happening."

In other words, if it weren't for us damned journalists doing our job, Kathleen's pals could quietly get away with another ecorape. They may well prevail as it is, but at least now they can't do it in secret.

When an elected official complains about legitimate public scrutiny, you can't help wondering what else she's up to. It's like all those people who ran out and took off their front license plates the very day the plates were no longer required by law. Those drivers may well be law-abiding citizens, but their zeal in making it more difficult to identify their cars makes you wonder what they're trying to get away with.

We're keeping an eye on you, Kathleen.

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