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Archive for September, 2010

30th September
written by Cactus Bill

Will we ever find accountability in any contract the City of Tucson negotiates? A recent post on examiner.com asks that very question. Please read and answer for yourselves.


29th September
written by Arizona Kid

28th September
written by Mike

27th September
written by JHiggins

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YouTube Direkt

When you get into the cross hairs of Oprah, Bill Gates and the Guggenheim’s  watch out.  Check out the full interview and make sure you watch the documentary Waiting For Superman which opened in NY and LA this week. Check out the details at Oprah.com. The after show analysis – HERE, Chris Christie and many more weigh in.

The interview has Michelle Rheethe superintendent in Washington DC which had the highest per pupil spending and the worst results in the country. 

The bad guy in this story is the teachers unions who continue to fight merit based pay, refuse to get rid of tenure which causes schools to pass around their problem teachers. The winner in the story are the charter schools and competition for students and funding. When the parents are allowed to be involved in the process the results improve.

See this movie – the country is paying attention!

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26th September
written by JHiggins

By Joe Higgins and Chris DeSimone, Inside Tucson Business
Published on Friday, September 24th, 2010

That’s right, you heard it here first, the best thing that has happened for small business in Tucson, Pima County and the country is the sea change election of 2008 that ushered in the “Hope and Change” of the Obama administration.  Prior to President Obama the country, the business community and the voters got lazy. Six years of Bush fatigue left the country in a real mess and the time was ripe for a new direction, a new vision, a complete overhaul of the American system, and brother, what an over haul we got.

Flash back to the late 1970s with hostages in Iran, lines at gas stations and home loans at 17 percent interest and you’ll see a country on the wrong path. You’ll see a government that created the Department of Energy and the Department of Education. An administration that bailed out Chrysler and boycotted the Olympics in 1980. We learned through first-hand experience a new term: stagflation. What four years of Jimmy Carter did was set the table for Ronald Reagan’s administration and 20 years of prosperity in America.

What the Obama administration is doing today is waking up the electorate, waking up the sleeping middle class, waking up small business owners and teaching us all that elections have consequences. Print this story

In the last two years we have learned that governing the United States from a university classroom doesn’t work. Obama has no personal experience in the private sector and three-quarters of his cabinet is made up of non-business sector members. That’s fewer than Carter, John Kennedy, Bill Clinton, Franklin Roosevelt or any other modern day president.

Add up the facts and it’s easy to see why the private sector is so paralyzed to hire and expand. It is sufficient to say the Obama administration doesn’t fully comprehend the role of small business in America. This administration doesn’t get us, it doesn’t understand us and they haven’t figured out why we feel so unsure about jumping back into this economy.

Get ready America for the next Ronald Reagan.

America was settled by rugged individualists who left their homes in Britain, Ireland, Italy, Mexico and the far reaches of the world because they had a sense of adventure and a need for a better life. The United States has survived for more than 235 years because people take risks, invent new industries and have chances to succeed on main street and around the world. For the last decade, we seem to have forgotten how important these freedoms actually are. Like a frog put in a pot of cool water that’s then heated to a boil, we didn’t notice the change.

Now to the election at hand, there is an uprising happening in America the likes of which we haven’t seen in a generation. Americans are focusing their attention to the politicians that run the country and make the decisions.

The Tea Party movement, which liberals like to brand as extremists, are average citizens fed up with both parties and with the direction the country is going.

America is going into a new era where large corporations no longer wag the tail of the politicians. It’s an era that teaches candidates the power of the electorate and what happens when they’re out of touch with their constituents. People nowadays want to slow down, pay off debts, save a few shekels and stop mortgaging their kids’ futures on  wasteful government spending.

The Tucson region, Arizona and this nation are at a tipping point. Liberal-leaning single-issue special interest groups make sure they have their $5 yoga classes while public safety gets cut. We yank the welcome mat out from under efforts from IBM, Rosemont Copper, Raytheon Missile Systems, Motorola and the Air Force F-35 to fight for the pygmy owl, snails and orchids.

Now, though, people are realizing that the same attitude that built this country’s greatness in the first place will bring it back.

This year’s elections in Southern Arizona’s Congressional Districts 7 and 8 are bigger than the candidates running in them. It’s bigger than boycotts, borders, Social Security fear-mongering or bail outs. The election is about the direction of the country and the future of small business.

Contact Joe Higgins and Chris DeSimone at wakeuptucson@gmail.com. They host “Wake Up Tucson,” 6-8 a.m. weekdays on The Voice KVOI 1030-AM. Their blog is at www.TucsonChoices.com.

Copyright © 2010 Inside Tucson Business

21st September
written by JHiggins

Regina Romero (D)
940 W. Alameda Street
Tucson, AZ 85745
Phone: (520) 791-4040
Fax: (520) 791-5393

Karin Uhlich (D)
1510 E. Grant Road
Tucson, AZ 85719
Phone: (520) 791-4711
Fax: (520) 791-5391

Shirley C. Scott (D)
8123 E. Poinciana Drive
Tucson, AZ 85730
Phone: (520) 791-3199
Fax: (520) 791-4717

20th September
written by JHiggins


For Immediate Release
Long-time Tucson Chamber President to step down March 31
Jack Camper to pursue consulting enterprise 
TUCSON, Ariz. (Sept. 20, 2010) – Jack Camper, president and chief executive officer of the Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce since Feb. 15, 1978, announced this morning to the Chamber’s Board of Directors his decision to leave the Chamber on March 31. Camper plans to expand his new enterprise, the Chamber Consulting Group, working with other chambers and organizations across the country.
 “Jack has been an asset to and advocate for the Tucson business community. He will leave a leadership void that will be hard to fill,” said Gary Clark, chairman of the Chamber’s Board of Directors and vice president of Southwest Gas Corp.
 “I have been extremely fortunate over these last 32 years to work with some of the brightest, most engaged and dedicated business leaders in Southern Arizona,” Camper said.  “I could not have worked with a better group of Tucson business people and will always be grateful for my association with these terrific men and women.” 
Clark said he appreciated Camper’s willingness to give the Chamber a six-month window to find a new president and CEO. A nationally recognized executive recruiting firm has been retained and a search committee to work with the recruiting firm will be named shortly.
Note to editors:
For more information or to schedule media interviews, contact Shirley Wilka, 520-792-2250,
 ext 132, or e-mail swilka@tucsonchamber.org

20th September
written by admin

If the Rio Nuevo audit shows wrongdoing, who do you think is most at fault? Mike Hein (32%) Jim Keene (2%) Steve Leal (4%) Richard Miranda (4%) Mike Rankin (2%) Jesse Sanders   (0%) Greg Shelko (13%) Karen Thoreson (2%) Nina Trasoff (11%) Bob Walkup (28%) Rio Nuevo’s in trouble? (2%)

18th September
written by Land Lawyer

A look back: August 26, 1996 to January 6, 1997

By Inside Tucson Business staff
Published on Friday, September 17, 2010

Editorial:  Convention Center faces huge dilemma The Tucson Convention Center has not been a cash cow for the city of Tucson through the years.  Indeed, it has been operating in the red since its inception in 1971.  This year, the expected deficit is $2.5 million.

Sept. 2, 1996

The center is considered too small with too few neighboring hotel rooms to be very competitive.  While conventions have great economic impact, they only make up about 3 percent of the use of the TCC. 

In February 1995, a consultant released an operational assessment of the TCC.  The Stein Report had a number of recommendations to increase the bottom line.  The city however, rejected the recommendation to privatize the community center. (from yesterday’s Star - TCC merging departments and may be removing director and losing millions per year.)


The city adopted some of the Stein Report’s recommendations, such as adding a ticket surcharge and eliminating free parking.  Currently, the “facility fee” surcharge is $1 per ticket and parking, typically, is $8 per vehicle. 

The TCC still runs at a deficit of about $3 million a year.  The city’s goals to expand the TCC and build a convention center hotel are still unmet. (With the City of Tucson managing the TCC I’m bullish on the next 10 years)


GTEC assails personal-property taxes on businesses

Oct. 21, 1996

Blaming hefty personal-property taxes for dissuading companies from choosing Tucson as a prime location, the Greater Tucson Economic Council has placed the issue high on its hit list for the coming year.

A special committee dealing with the dilemma will be set up by GTEC as the organization pursues its goals of recruiting high-wage employers to the Tucson area. 

“The property tax is singly the most important issue in the upcoming year,” said Bob Walkup, chairman of GTEC.  “If we don’t want to fix that issue, we have to be content with low capital density.”GTEC President Robert Gonzales said two big firms—a printing company and a semiconductor company—bringing hundreds of jobs and $600 million in investment were lost this year due to property taxes.

Tucson will be forever relegated to a service economy as long as the city taxes away capital intensive industries and their well-paying jobs.


Business taxes are still an issue in manufacturing-starved Tucson and Arizona.  The bottom line is that equipment-related taxes make the state and its cities uncompetitive. 

Existing business taxes include assessments for signs, office supplies, communications equipment, and security systems.  Office equipment (computers, desks, chairs and copiers) also are taxed along with display cases and shelves, and cash registers.

Specific to the manufacturing industry, taxes are piled on machines, tools, fork lifts, cranes,  testing equipment and special tools.      

At the GTEC meeting, Walkup, who became the city’s mayor in 1999, highlighted the need to eliminate the business personal-property tax.  That hasn’t happened.  Neither has the city reined in its appetite for sales taxes.  Currently at 9.1 percent, Tucson has the nation’s 16th highest rate of combined state and municipal taxes, according to the Tax Foundation of Washington, D.C.

It might not be fourth down and long, but organizers of the Copper Bowl need a successful game plan to ensure the success of Tucson’s post seasons collegiate football game.  Once again, the Copper Bowl Foundation has had to ask county and city officials for financial assistance for the Dec. 27 game.

Copper Bowl’s fate hinges on title sponsor

Dec. 23, 1996

“After this, the time has come for them to make it on their own,” said Mayor George Miller, who has voted to support the bowl game with public funds.  The bowl game lost its title sponsor this year—Weiser Lock withdrew after four years and about $4 million. 


Insight Enterprises stepped in and kept the bowl game in Tucson until 1999 under the name of the Insight Bowl.  In 2000, the game was moved to Phoenix and is now played at Arizona State University’s Sun Devil Stadium.  



Marana welcomes chance to become county’s hot spot for development

While most of the local political attention is focused on the new Democratic majority that takes control of the Pima County Board of Supervisors this week, just up the road, Marana is sizing up its place in the area’s development picture.

Dec. 30, 1996

Marana Mayor Ed Honea likes what he sees.

“I think Marana is going to be the golden child of Pima County,” Honea said.  “Oro Valley is impacting developers, the county is about to impact and the city of Tucson is about out of desirable property.  That leaves Marana.”

The impacts that Mayor Honea refers to are impact fees, a hot topic in the recent supervisors elections.  It is an issue that helped Democrat Sharon Bronson unseat Ed Moore and put the Democrats in control of the board. 

“I think the county is going to be in big trouble,” Honea said.  “They’re going to send an anti-business, anti-development message.  Marana is already in the alley where development is headed.”


Marana has an economic development strategic plan in place for its future.  Marana’s location puts businesses close to the highly desirable physical assets of an interstate freeway, airport and a rail yard.  The plan defines the types of commerce sectors and where they will be located within the town.

Marana does not assess a property tax and has no impact fees for commercial or industrial development, other than utilities.



New era begins for supervisors as Democrats assume majority

With a recent history highlighted by infighting and controversy, members of the 1997 edition of the Pima County Board of Supervisors agree there is much work to be done in the coming months.

Jan. 6, 1997

That work will be done with a new Democratic majority leading the way.  Sharon Bronson’s ouster of the controversial Ed Moore has given her and fellow Democrats Raul Grijalva and Dan Eckstrom an edge over Republicans Mike Boyd and newcomer John Even. 

A hot issue for the supervisors is likely to be the future of County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry.  During the last major shift in the board’s balance of power, the Republican majority handed the job to Manoj Vyas. 

Rumors persist that Huckelberry could be ousted for Enrique Serna, who was axed by the Republicans in favor of Vyas.


Since 1997, Democrats have remained in the majority.  Huckelberry not only survived the replacement rumors, but has grown his authority to the point where he is one of the most powerful public servants in Southern Arizona.

Foreseeing the swing to Democratic control, Supervisor Raul Grijalva spearheaded the County’s first development impact fees in Nov. 1996.  Since that time, Supervisors have put additional financial burdens on land developers and builders, demanding that they pay their fair share of growth-related expenses. (Elections have consequences folks! – Not only did impact fees hit but we spent $200m on open space, with another $500m on deck, pygmy owls added $20k to EVERY home in Pima County, mines are bad, voter approved bonds don’t get spent on the things voters agree to and Kino Hospital has become a $100m hole to treat the poor – the SHINY PROGRESSIVE COUNTY ON THE HILL.)

In 2003, Grijalva was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Arizona’s 7th congressional district. (Boycott Arizona – need we say more).

Copyright © 2010 Inside Tucson Business

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