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2nd February
written by Land Lawyer

Although annexing the affluent, unincorporated foothill neighborhoods would certainly improve Tucson’s financial means, it won’t be an easy task:

Bob: Annexation isn’t going to happen
Inside Tucson Business
Aug. 14, 2006

Poor Mayor Bob Walkup. He’s feeling lonely these days as the only elected Republican at City Hall. That must be the reason behind his newly launched attempt to extend Tucson’s city limits out to take in the Catalina Foothills and Casas Adobes. That is after the city gets done annexing as much of the booming southeast side as it can. Talk about a marketing problem. This one will be like pushing a wet noodle uphill–the Catalina Foothills.

Rule No. 1 when it comes to marketing is create a desire for your product. Where’s the desire? Certainly not at Tucson City Hall. This is a place that likes things just the way they are right now. The bloated bureaucracy is happy with its power and seemingly not having to be answerable to anyone. The politicians in office are satisfied with their status quo. On political maps, Tucson is a blue city–a City Council comprised of five Democrats, one independent and Walkup, all by his little lonesome as the only Republican.

Why would all those Democrats want a bunch of new Republicans to be able to vote in city elections? The areas Walkup is targeting are filled with Republicans. In Catalina Foothills School District No. 16, Republicans have a 25 percent voter registration advantage over Democrats. Another way of looking at it is to consider in Pima County’s Justice of the Peace Precinct No. 1, which takes in most of the Foothills, Casas Adobes and goes all the way up to the Pinal County line. Admittedly Walkup’s proposal doesn’t include the entire area, but it does include a lot of it and Republicans outnumber Democrats by a 3-to-2 margin.

Tucson’s suburban municipalities–Oro Valley, Marana and Sahuarita–are all tilted toward Republican voter advantages. There is no way five Democrats on the City Council want those kind of numbers to spoil their next election.

Annexation is a two-way street. For as much as City Council members don’t like the idea, there also is no compelling argument for people in Walkup’s targeted areas to go along with it either. Quite the contrary. Steve Emerine addressed some of why this is the case in his Valley Views column in the July 31 issue of Inside Tucson Business. (In fact, the curious among us wonder if perhaps that column might have prompted Walkup’s renewed efforts.)

There is no upside for a resident to want to become part of the city. Instead, you would:

• Be part of a higher crime rate.

• Higher city sales taxes.

• Higher property taxes.

• Poorer garbage collection with no options.

• A City Council that is often viewed as a sideshow when it comes to trying to make decisions. (Granted, the county Board of Supervisors acts this way at times, but why add another layer?)

We take pity on Walkup and his lonely state at City Hall. It looks as if he’s bound to stay that way.


  1. From Outside the Iron Curtain

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