September 14 - September 20, 1995

The Skinny

TOMMY DOESN'T LIVE THERE ANY MORE? Our spies tell us Tucson City Councilman Tom Saggau has left his Ward 3 residence and may now be found at 4641 E. 12th St., which wouldn't be of interest other than the latter abode is in Ward 6. Meaning that Saggau, who has a miserable attendance record as a councilman, doesn't just poorly represent his constituents, he doesn't even reside among them anymore. This could cause him some legal problems when it comes to holding his seat--assuming he even gives a damn.

Saggau has already missed the last four council meetings, although his office says he'll be back next week. Reliable sources tell us the real reason Saggau is playing rather hard to find is that he's ducking a restraining order filed against him by his estranged wife, who also filed a missing person's report on the councilman last weekend.

MUNGER'S LONG DAY: Those who have sat through half a day at a public hearing of the supes or city council waiting for a specific agenda item to come up would have enjoyed watching big-shot Arizona regent and Pima County lobbyist John Munger suffering the same fate. Supervisor Raul Grijalva had placed Munger's lobbying contract on the board agenda for cancellation in retaliation for Munger's recent anti-affirmative action stance, and Munger had to wait with the rest of the peasants for his item to appear.

He clearly wasn't happy. Hey, important guys like him should move to the front of the line, right? Unfortunately, Democrat Grijalva couldn't even get a second, as the three GOP members circled the wagons and Dan Eckstrom, also a Demo, figured it was a lost cause.

In the meantime, we wonder if Munger will bill Pima County for the several hours he spent waiting.

COUNTY PAY RAISES: We erred last week in not noting that county employee pay raises were included on the September 5 agenda as a late item. We did not err in noting county employees will be getting jacked around some more.

First, the 2.5 percent cost-of-living raise budgeted for September 1 was supposed to kick in September 10, nickel-and-diming county employees out of enough money for Ed Moore to buy some more stupid ads. And employees who make more than $55,000 a year were in limbo because the supes exempted them from the raise.

The whole deal still was not concrete because Moore reconsidered the item for the September 12 meeting. Interesting that after 11 years on the job, Moore knows how to make only one motion--reconsideration. Guess it was the only page in Robert's Rules of Order he could understand.

The final, final version was passed 3 to 2 with Republican Moore joining Demo colleagues Grijalva and Eckstrom. It gives employees who make $35,000 per year or less a $1,500 raise, those between $35,000 and $55,000 a $1,000 raise and everybody over $55,000 another $500.

We think that will hold unless Moore decides to reconsider it again.

DOGPATCH UBER ALLES AGAIN: The geniuses at the Marana Town Council have announced an aggressive annexation program. They claim they intend to be pro-active instead of just waiting around for developers to come in with lots of empty land, which sounds a lot like City of Tucson officials these days. But this time, instead of concentrating solely on commercial areas, the Marana clowns are actually attempting to sign up a trailer subdivision on Oracle Road that has real people in it.

The town's leaders say they can sell these unsuspecting folks on the idea of increased police protection and add they'd pick up about $80,000 a year in state money if they succeed. What they don't tell you is the underpaid Marana Police Department is little more than an armed security patrol slightly above the rent-a-cops whose main job is cruising shopping centers--and that 80 grand wouldn't buy two real cops with the necessary logistical back-up.

VALLEY WOE: Oro Valley Town Councilman Rudy Roszak knocked off former Mayor Richard Parker in last April's recall election. In the few short months since then, Roszak's become a controversial figure. The latest flap began with a rambling letter to the Tucson Citizen in which Roszak vaguely attacked the rest of the council and defended the town staff, saying staffers never do anything on their own, but only follow orders.

Roszak, whose heart appears to be in the right place, clearly is naive. All staffs of governmental bodies have their own agendas, and many manipulate elected officials--as some in Oro Valley have clearly shown they can do with Roszak.

But the big blow-up came at the last council meeting, when Mayor Cheryl Skalsky removed from the agenda an item by Roszak to discuss the impending Community Facility District proposal with developer Vistoso Partners. Roszak's move was ruled premature, as that item is on the next meeting's agenda. Roszak went ballistic, boycotting the meeting and complaining the fix was in for the Vistoso CFD before the agreement was even ready for discussion.

This is absurd, as are Roszak's actions. We agree that Oro Valley should proceed cautiously, but we have no evidence that they aren't. And even Ed Moore hangs around the meeting and then storms out when he doesn't get his way. Roszak doesn't seem to grasp just how offensive his behavior is, both to his enemies and his friends.

ART ADDITIVE: In last week's Skinny we said The Arizona Daily Star's Raina Wagner missed the grist about artist Barbara Grygutis because she didn't mention the nationally recognized artist has never received a publicly funded project in the 10 years that one percent of public building funds has been tagged for public art. Looks like we were a step behind ourselves. Grygutis, we understand, just signed an $87,000 contract for a project at the city's police and fire training academy on South Wilmot Road. The commission is the second largest Tucson Pima Arts Council award to date. And may we artistically add, after 10 years, it's about time.

BUT CAN WE NURSE THE BABY IN CLASS? Getting financial aid for college these days sure can be a bitch.

Take the example of a sparkling young lady we know. She's been living out here in Arizona for nearly three years, supporting herself with a full-time job, attending Pima College (with a 3.7 gpa) and saving money for tuition at the University of Arizona.

Imagine her surprise when she tried to make her way through the hellish inferno known as the Financial Aid Office at the university. She began to fill out the form, listed her earnings from last year and then discovered that, since she was born after January 1, 1972, she had to include her parents' income, despite the fact that they live 3,000 miles away and haven't supported her in three years. Seems you're just not considered a self-supporting adult until you're 24 years old. Never mind that you can vote, buy booze and automatic weapons.

Of course, with her folks income figured in, she lands in a completely different financial bracket, affecting her eligibility for a low-interest, long-term loan.

There are, of course, exceptions; if she just were feuding with her parents, she could slip by. But no such luck--she and her folks get along, sad to say.

Or she could just get knocked up.

"You might just be better off if you did have a child or got married," suggested one helpful financial aid assistant.

Gee, and here we thought we wanted fewer welfare moms, not more.

So, we imagine this fine young lady will simply flip out, climb atop the administration building and shoot as many asinine, over-paid, dick-headed UA administrators and bureaucrats as she can kill before the police snipers get her. Tsk-tsk.

Hey, at least it beats getting married.

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September 14 - September 20, 1995

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