Filler The Skinny

MOLLY SHOULD FILE WITH A SMILE: We've all noticed the gross, front-page embarrassment caused our community by the petty actions of that pettiest of men, Tucson Mayor George Miller. He's objected to Councilwoman Molly McKasson being on the same floor with him at City Hall and has convinced the balance of the council to support his move to evict her.

Of course, no one thought Miller was nasty and small enough to wait until McKasson was in the hospital for minor surgery to urge the demolition of her office. This is a new vindictive low on the part of Miller and his craven colleagues on the council. They're all going "tsk-tsk" like a pack of cowardly cartoon rats; and their attitude was expressed by Councilwoman Janet Marcus, who thinks it's tacky but doesn't want to get involved.

We'd remind Marcus and the other four council dolts that you already did get involved when you chose to support Miller's move evicting McKasson. That Miller is even cruder and ruder than you thought does not negate your guilt.

A hint for McKasson: It's clear you're deemed subservient to Miller, and, by council fiat, are his de facto subordinate. We recommend you file a formal complaint with the City's Equal Employment Office, pointing out both "hostile work environment" and "retaliation" as violations of the city code. Molly, we believe you should have the same rights as any other city employee.

BIRD-CAGE LINER: Last Thursday we were exposed to a lede editorial in the Tucson Citizen on why we need that supposedly all-important CAP storage lake in Tucson.

Something about Tucson needing to keep its full allocation of CAP water, blah, blah, blah, Nevada and California still greedily trying to slurp up Arizona's water, blah, blah, blah. Golly, what if something happens to the canal and we need water reserves, blah, blah, blah.

We'll deal with those points in a jiffy, but first, what really caught our eye was this sentence:

"Like it or not, CAP water is needed to supply future generations with adequate drinking water."

Who says print is dead? We found the sheer mass of dishonesty and arrogance packed into that one little sentence to be breath-taking in scope--well worth the risk of histoplasmosis we endure hanging around the bird cage reading this stuff day after day.

Let's take a closer look:

a) "Like it or not..."

Wow! We never imagined it would be stated so blatantly in the corporate press. It's exactly what we've been telling you about the powerful companies and people behind the CAP: They want us to drink that crap, whether we like it or not.

And why? Because:

b) ''...CAP water is needed to supply future generations..."

Here's where the dishonesty comes in. CAP water is needed to fuel growth, pure and simple. The "future generations" to which the Citizen so piously refers is nothing but a propagandistic palliative to disguise the real term: "rapid, uncontrolled growth."

They almost make it sound like we'd be paying off the stinking national debt and thus saving our children's children by drinking CAP water. But nothing could be further from the truth: What they're really encouraging us to do is engage in another greedy form of living beyond our means.

But make no mistake: If we surrender to their propaganda barrage, the environment will cease to be beautiful, and those all-important future generations will be left only with the harsh consequences of a vast, unsustainable city in the middle of the desert.

On the other hand, with a well-run recharge program and eventual desalinization of a limited amount of CAP water, we could responsibly sustain a decent-sized community. A community, we might add, with far fewer urban problems than, say, the Phoenix or Los Angeles the Citizen and its money-hungry overlords would have us become.

But responsible, limited growth is never mentioned in the corporate press' discussion of the CAP. Like junkies facing a smack shortage, it's their worst nightmare. They wouldn't be able to sell ever-increasing numbers of developments, houses, cars, or more electricity and city services.

Sure, with limited growth many of our children would have to seek lives elsewhere, just as many of us adults have had to do in our time. But, hey, it's the American Way.

Which brings us back to the Citizen's blah-blah arguments: Why not encourage California and Nevada to take big slurps of CAP? After all, they're great places to go to visit the grandkids.

THE TAX THAT WOULDN'T DIE! With the Pima County Board of Supervisors again thinking about placing the half-cent sales tax for transportation on the ballot in November, The Skinny has a suggestion.

Voters overwhelmingly rejected this proposal in both 1986 and 1990. So if "Three Strikes and You're Out" is good enough for felons, why not for this turkey?

If the Supes do place this on the ballot, we believe it should contain a termination clause: If it fails, this issue can't be on the ballot again for 25 years or the life expectancy of the youngest voter. That way people can really pass sentence on this stupid idea.

OTHER STADIUM DEAL REJECTED: In case nobody noticed, the City of Gary, Indiana, just told the Chicago Bears thanks but no thanks on building a new stadium at taxpayer expense for the Bear's permanent home.

Now listen up, Tucson. That's the Chicago Bears real home they just blew off, not some hokey spring training deal good for only 30 days a year. And in case nobody knows it, Gary, Indiana, is not exactly Scottsdale or an economic development hub.

So if they can "just say no" to sports subsidies, why can't we? Remember Gary next time a sports welfare proponent tells you how many other cities are doing it.

MIKEY WAFFLES ON APARTMENTS: Pima County Supervisor Mikey "The Flaky Waffleman" Boyd is at it again. He's suddenly noticed the Supes' half-assed attempt to apply minimal impact fees to new construction excluded apartments and, well, gee, that doesn't seem reasonable. And, hey, it could be ruled legally discriminatory if charged only to single-family dwellings. So Mikey's thinking about reconsidering the whole deal to include apartments.

Unfortunately, a child of four could have figured that one out.

So what Mikey's latest waffle reveals is the GOP majority on the Board of Supes was so intent on giving the homebuilders and their land-speculator running dogs a blowjob when they passed the impact fee structure, they didn't even notice the whole thing might be illegal as well as ineffective.

Mikey, you guys look almost as stupid and cowardly as the Tucson City Council did this week.

CITY MANAGER REVIEW: The Tucson City Council is going to evaluate City Manager Mike "The Spike" Brown. Well, sort of. Councilman José Ibarra wants a citizen's committee to be part of the process, while Councilman Steve Leal thinks it's the council's responsibility. So Brown starts off with a dis-united front among council members who've been critical of his behavior.

What tells us the whole process will be rather a large joke and end up with Brown being retained, probably with a pay raise, is the nine-point criteria the council is using for this evaluation. It contains mostly meaningless bureaucratic jargon and was probably drafted by Brown himself.

It contains such inane crap as, "Is there a comprehensive management system?" Of course there is--hire lots of your old cronies from California at high-end salaries so they'll be loyal to you. Run your own agenda around the council at every opportunity, etc.

This group of weenies couldn't jack Brown up and get him in line because they obviously haven't got a clue as to how. And they don't have the cumulative guts to can him or even begin to pick a successor. Relax, Mike, you're not going anywhere.

And all the big developers and land speculators can expect business as usual, too.

SPECIAL ED GETS SPECIAL HANDLING? We're not quite sure what this all means, but several people who supplied services to Supervisor Ed Moore's 1992 campaign have been served subpoenas from a Pima County Grand Jury investigating his campaign contributions in that race.

Pima County Attorney sources say they're simply responding to a complaint leveled about Moore's campaign finances, and since he's refused to co-operate, they've turned the matter over to one of their Grand Juries to extract from Moore sufficient information to satisfy the complaint. They stress they still regard this as a civil matter.

That's a little strange--we've never heard of using a grand jury to investigate a civil matter. And you don't need a grand jury to subpoena records--wouldn't the reasonable alternative be to file a civil suit compelling Moore to take part in the discovery process? And why are formal subpoenas necessary for those to whom Ed still owes money? Strange case--stay tuned. TW

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