Posts Tagged ‘Inside Tucson Business’

25th September
2009
written by JHiggins

By Joe Higgins, and Chris DeSimone – Inside Tucson Business
Published on Friday, September 25, 2009

You’ve quietly mumbled under your breath while watching the evening news. You’ve commiserated with colleagues at lunch. You may have even taken the time to write an e-mail or call the office of one of our elected officials. A handful of you may have even showed up at a city council meeting, taken your three minutes of fame at the podium delivering a speech that would make Jimmy Stewart proud. Or maybe you rationalized that you’re too busy. That someone else will carry the load. You wrote a check to a business association or chamber of commerce so your work is done. 

What have your efforts accomplished?

Try higher property taxes, increased bed taxes, taxes on tanning salons, ballooning utility costs, more regulations and red tape, a rotting city core, larger pot holes, scarier streets, more graffiti, less baseball and a whole lot more vacancies. As business people, we want to believe Tucson welcomes our entrepreneurial spirit. We tuck in each night dreaming of a community that wants us to succeed. They appreciate the hard work and risks we take. After all small business is the economic engine the politicians all love to brag about. Dream’s over – time to wake up!

Our current flock of elected officials seem to have little interest in supporting you or making your road to riches any easier. You’re in this community to be taxed, regulated and demonized. If you’ve made a business career here you’ve really done something special. 

Want to know how we got here? Take a look around. How many of our local politicos have ever owned their own business? How many have built a successful career in the private sector? How many have spent their careers in nonprofit or government jobs? Most have risen from the ranks of the progressive party machines. Are there exceptions?  We guess so.

Let us share the real problem the business community has in our region. Our politicians don’t get us. They don’t respect us. And they certainly don’t fear us.

Since the dawn of the democracy, when elections come around politicians count votes. Environmental lobbies, neighborhood associations, unions and university and government employees vote. When a politician’s primary goal is to get re-elected or move to a higher office, catering to the groups that walk the streets, pick up the phones and show up at rallies is perceived as essential to future success.

What are we as a business community to do? For starters, we need to identify strong pro-business candidates then truly support them. The heat will get turned up on you or your business but you must take a stand. A trite chamber of commerce endorsement isn’t going to cut it.

We must ensure that our elected officials are true friends of business. If they aren’t we must take them out of office in a strong and swift show of force. When we do win a seat, the business community needs to remind the other sitting officials that we have the power to influence an election. Once they fear us, they will respect us. Once they fear us, they will listen to us. Once they fear us, things will change.

Don’t fall back on your indifference. Don’t go back to watching “Dancing With The Stars” or “The Biggest Loser.” Sure, we can continue to wait and hope someone else will carry the load but how’s that worked out for us so far?

Wake up business community. Wake up Tucson.

Early ballots will be arriving in mailboxes Oct. 8. If you haven’t requested an early ballot, call (520) 740-4330. Any registered voter in the city of Tucson can vote for any of the six council candidates running. This is a partisan race — for now — and it’s not limited to individual ward-only voting. Inform your employees, family and friends of what is at stake in this election. Research the candidates and measure results.

Vote.

Contact Joe Higgins at joe@joehigginsinc.com or Chris DiSimone at provenpartners@comcast.net. They’re the hosts of “Wake Up Tucson,” which airs 6 a.m. – 7 a.m. weekdays on The Voice KVOI 1030-AM. Information about the show is online at WakeUpTucson.net

19th April
2009
written by JHiggins

I look forward to Inside Tucson Business each Sunday. If you do business in this community you should be reading it.

I especially miss Steve Emerine’s column.  Steve wasn’t afraid to shake up the local powers. He had a straight forward yet polite way to praise and poke our elected officals. With Emerine’s passing Tucson and Inside Tucson Business lost a strong voice.  Dave, who I know personally, tends to take a safer road in his editorials. I suppose he has to given his position and balancing advertisers.  Well looks like Hatfield is getting fed up too.

ITB would be remiss if they didn’t take a few jabs at the Tucson City Council and the insanity that’s going on over there.  As the voice of business ITB should be out front, offering solutions and educating their readers.

As the Tucson  business community circles the drain, don’t expect the Star to give any constructive solutions. The Star’s ad revenue dives and yet their editorial board continues to ignore the sad climate created by our local government.  Great job on this one Dave, keep em coming. 

Reaction to
Tucson being pathetic

By Dave Hatfield – Click HERE for full story.
Published on Friday, April 17, 2009

OK, OK, OK. Talk about getting reaction. Last week’s column headlined “What a pathetic city Tucson is becoming” got plenty of it. 

I heard from natives and other long-time residents, high-ranking executives including CEOs of businesses employing hundreds of people as well as people who run small businesses, representatives of biotech and other industries targeted in Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities’ economic development blueprint, representatives of the financial sector, real estate, tourism and the arts. I even heard from a couple of politicians. Some were frustrated and others ashamed but all agreed with the sentiment.

Tucson is losing population in relation to what’s happening elsewhere in Arizona and that means it’s losing political clout. The lack of direction being shown by the current Tucson City Council members will come back to haunt their successors. This will start to manifest itself after the next census numbers come out when the region loses one, possibly two, legislative districts. And when those district boundaries are drawn, no amount of gerrymandering will keep much of a voice in the Legislature Within the region, Oro Valley, Sahuarita, Marana and unincorporated metro areas are literally running circles around Tucson…….MORE

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