SEVERAL WEDDINGS, NO FUNERAL--YET: Comes the revolution, things will be different. Not better--just different. Check the new Board of Supervisors for several unexpected alliances. And some weird votes.
Weirdest vote of all was Supervisor Raul Grijalva's failure to support a motion made by Supervisor Dan Eckstrom and seconded by Supervisor Sharon Bronson to replace County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry with former County Manager Enrique Serna. Weird because Grijalva had been Serna's staunchest supporter.
Grijalva had several explanations for this odd move:
The motion wasn't really "sincere." Oh, yeah? Well, it would've been "sincere" enough to give Serna the job.
Grijalva has said he wanted to give Huckelberry "a chance" to prove himself to the new board.
More than once, Grijalva has expressed concern about the "perception" that canning Huckelberry would make him look like Ed Moore and the gang, who canned most of the top administration four years ago.
Or, how about this angle: Grijalva has already been working with Huckelberry to land Serna a high-ranking post in county government. If could all be part of an accommodation Grijalva may have cut with Supervisor Mikey Boyd to keep Huckelberry in the top post.
That may have a lot to do with why Bronson and Eckstrom have forged their own alliance, because their perception is that they're dealing with a Boyd-Grijalva alliance that has existed since Boyd was the pariah of the last board.
Add Republican Supervisor John Even to the equation, and you have Democrat Grijalva looking like the floor leader for the GOP majority.
That is, when Eckstrom isn't playing the role. Danny joined the two GOP supes in awarding a two-year lobbying contract to Fife's favorite fixers, the law firm of Munger and Munger, home of elite Republican and Board of Regents member John Munger. Eckstrom has been telling folks he voted for the Munger and Munger contract just to tweak Raul, who vociferously opposed the deal.
We aren't buying that cover story--Danny also tweaked his new ally, Bronson, who not only questions the Munger contract but all the lobbying money spent on big law firms to produce few tangible results. We suspect Eckstrom accrued something somewhere for the Munger vote.
MIKEY'S POSING: Supervisor Mike Boyd has been working to rehabilitate his image these days--and he seems especially to enjoy running off at the mouth to the press. He spilled his guts about a private lunch he had with Supervisor Sharon Bronson last December, leaving the impression the agenda they discussed was improper.
What Boyd hasn't mentioned was that the lunch was set up at the request of Mikey's good friend, Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, who was attempting to supply some of the leadership missing from this board by putting two of his friends together.
To Bronson's credit, she never mentioned the Dupnik connection when Boyd attacked her and others about the subjects they discussed. But Boyd proved one more time that he's a lying, untrustworthy, self-promoting weasel.
FOLDING THE TENTS: Now that Maricopa County Sheriff Joke Arpaio has sold a lot of books and gotten re-elected by posing as Mr. Tough Guy, he's just pissed backwards on most of what he stood for.
Sheriff Joe has been boasting about his tent city jails for quite some time, claiming to be a role model for other jurisdictions. But now Sheriff Joe is 'fessing up. Seems that he concedes his tent jails were actually ineffective and couldn't be used for "dangerous" prisoners.
Yeah, no shit, Joe: We tried to tell everybody, including a couple of dummies on the Pima County Board of Supes, that the only people being held in those miserable tents were petty criminals and DUIs. The real scumbags were cooling their heels in the air-conditioned cells while the well-behaved screw-ups sweated it out in the tents.
Now Joe has decided to support construction of new jails in Maricopa, reneging on his earlier opposition to new taxes to pay for those jails. He's joining with the new Maricopa County Board of Supes to add another penny to the sales tax for new jails.
What a fraud.
WHAT PART OF "NO" DIDN'T THE MAYOR UNDERSTAND? And while the Maricopa County pols are pushing to increase the sales tax for jails, Tucson Mayor George Miller wants to increase ours for roads. Hey, George, in case you didn't notice, the voters have rejected sales tax increases three times since 1986--twice for roads, once for jails.
Miller says that without a big boost in transportation money from some source, the traffic conditions we have right now are "as good as it will ever be."
Well, guess what? As long as this city continues to pander to any and all types of growth that brings more people to our existing traffic infrastructure, that's pretty obvious.
What Miller and other tax-hiking, road-building, growth-wallowing, annexation-pimping advocates need to ask both us and themselves is: Why is it beneficial for those who live here now to continue to promote unrestrained population growth?
THE MONTHLY CURSE: Although The Skinny told you about it several weeks ago, it's now official--the well-coifed folks at Madden Publishing have announced their slick new product, Tucson Monthly.
In a prospectus aimed at potential advertisers, the Madden minions announce: "This is the magazine Tucson's waiting for, every 30 days."
Beyond the vaguely menstrual hype lies even more promotional pap:
"Tucson Monthly targets members of Tucson's most prestigious country clubs, parents of students in the Catalina Foothills School District, and homeowners in select neighborhoods, including El Encanto, San Celmente, Blenman, Sam Hughes, Tucson Country Club, and others."
In other words, they're aiming for readers with big bucks, which eliminates about 85 percent of the rest of us. But whaddya expect from a publication printing a mere 24,000 copies?
According to the prospectus, the Monthly will "stimulate affluent, involved readers...by showing them how to use their surroundings." At last! The blade-'n'-grade philosophy of local developers/land rapists has come to the slickly printed page! Oh, happy day!
The Monthly will have "pleasures to share, challenges to meet, and a future to design as Tucson stretches to accommodate its reach while preserving its soul." We'd just like to know who wrote this crap--some happy face, Chamber of Commerce pro-growth propagandist?
And we can't wait to see those glossy, full-color Jim Click ads in between stories on the "hot issues others only dare ponder."
Ponder this, Maddenites: Looks like you're planning yet another sanitary napkin for upper-class readers who really don't give a shit about anything in this so-called community, other than where they can get a decent bikini wax or a decorator commode for their next foothills "executive" home.
SQUIRT ME, BABY: Don't expect the City Council to privatize Tucson Water anytime this year. If the evaluation timelines set by the Citizen's Water Advisory Committee (CWAC) hold true, that will have to wait until next year.
CWAC met Tuesday to set the wheels in motion to examine various "management options"--their euphemistic term for privatization--for the City Council's review. And CWAC's full board is not expected to consider the matter until December.
Any Tucson Water customer can apply (as in fill out an application) to be on CWAC's Management Options Subcommittee (CMOS), subject to special selection criteria which will be published next week. The proposed make-up of the CMOS will include three members from CWAC, two appointed by the Board of Supervisors, two from the business community, two from educational institutions, two from neighborhoods, and two from environmental groups. Ha-ha, wink-wink.
Applications for membership on the sub-committee need to be in no later than 4 p.m. on March 20. The selection committee will make its recommendations to CWAC on April 8. By the time the subcommittee is constituted, it'll be mid April. Somehow we get the feeling this is not quite what Tucson Mayor George Miller had in mind.
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