Tucson City Council Election – return your ballot!

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

VoteThe City of Tucson votes by all-mail balloting (there is an early voting location for those of you who want to vote in-person). The ballots have been mailed to all registered voters in the City of Tucson. It should take you less than five minutes to mark your ballot, sign and date the affidavit envelope, and return your ballot by return mail. So quick and easy . . . you have no excuses!

2013 City of Tucson Election:

· Thursday, October 17: Ballots mailed to registered voters.

· Friday, October 18–Tuesday, November 5: Voting Location Open at Tucson City Clerk Elections Center, 800 E. 12th St. October 18-November 4, open Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. November 5, open 6:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.

· Thursday, October 31: Last day to mail your ballot to ensure it is received by the City Clerk’s Office by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, November 5.

· Tuesday, November 5: Election Day. Polls are open from 6:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.

Your choices for Tucson City Council are pretty clear — reelect the incumbent council members:

Ward 3 – Karin Uhlich (D) incumbent

Ward 5 – Richard Fimbres (D) Incumbent

Ward 6 – Steve Kozachik (D) Incumbent

There are two noncontroversial propositions on the ballot. Council member Regina Romero's office provided this explanation of the ballot measures:

Proposition Information
Prop 401- Permanent Base Adjustment

Proposition 401 will give voters an opportunity to permanently adjust the City’s base expenditure limit by $50 million. If passed, the increase would not impose new or additional taxes, and would not increase property or sales tax rates. In addition, an increase to the permanent base would not allow the City to spend more than it receives in revenue.

The City of Tucson and other cities and towns in Arizona are subject to a state expenditure limitation that limits the amount of money that a municipality can spend in a fiscal budget year.

Article 9, Section 20 of the Arizona State Constitution outlines the spending limited is calculated by:

1. Taking as the initial base the amount the City spent in the Fiscal Year 1980 budget year;

2. Adding the amounts of the permanent adjustments to that initial base that were previously approved by the City’s voters in 1981 and 1987;

3. Multiplying the result total by specified population and inflation factors.

The City of Tucson anticipates that in fiscal budget year 2015, actual revenues will exceed its current spending limit as it is calculated by the existing formula. The City will be unable to spend revenues that have been collected. Revenues help to fund services such as public safety, public transportation, capital improvements and water infrastructure.

For more information on the Permanent Base Adjustment, please visit this link on the City of Tucson website http://cms3.tucsonaz.gov/permanentbase

Prop 402- Plan Tucson

Plan Tucson: City of Tucson General & Sustainability Plan is a long-term policy document that was formed through the input of residents during a two year process. Arizona state law requires municipalities to have a voter approved general plan. Plan Tucson’s purpose is to provide vision and future direction for the City. It does not provide for any tax increases, and does not affect current zoning. If approved, Plan Tucson will replace the City’s current General Plan that was approved by Mayor and Council and voters in 2001.

Plan Tucson looks at the City from four different perspectives: the Social Environment, the Economic Environment, the Natural Environment, and the Build Environment. The topics will help guide the City when considering future economic development, housing, historic preservation, water, land use and transportation. It offers the City a framework in creating neighborhood plans and promotes a sustainable approach to growth, encouraging use of existing infrastructure, mixed-use development and diverse transportation alternatives. An illustrative map depicting a Future Growth Scenario is included in the plan.

Housing and Community Development staff coordinated the Plan Tucson process. Over 800 comments, garnered from the public through 64 public meetings and outreach to the community, were submitted for consideration in the final document. Participants included residents, neighborhood leaders, businesses, non-government organizations and government agencies. Mayor and Council unanimously adopted Plan Tucson on July 9, 2013.

For more information on Plan Tucson, or to view the document visit http://cms3.tucsonaz.gov/plantucson.

The Tucson Weekly endorsed both ballot propositions in The Skinny:

• Prop 401 is asking voters to approve a permanent increase in the
city's spending limit. This is necessary because once upon a time, the
state decided that cities should only be allowed to increase their
spending by some magical formula some politicians dreamt up.

But the city of Tucson now forecasts that it will have revenues that,
for a variety of reasons, will outstrip that spending limit. So in
order to spend that extra money that the city brings in—on, for example,
fixing streets or hiring more cops or whatever—the city needs approval
from the voters to increase the spending limit by $50 million. A similar
prop lost by a narrow margin four years ago, so the city is once again
asking voters to approve it.

• With Prop 402, the city is asking voters to approve a new, 245-page
general plan, aka Plan Tucson, for the city for the next decade. While
the usual cranks are finding all sorts of secret plots in the fine print
of the planning document—such as worries that it will lead to the
closure of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base or implement U.N. Agenda 21 by
supporting bike paths or otherwise sap and impurify all of our precious
bodily fluids—the truth is a lot more mundane.

As part of the state's Growing Smarter program established more than a
decade ago, cities and towns are required to have general plans that
have to be updated every 10 years. While volunteers have diligently
spent an astounding amount of time in public meetings developing the
updates to the general plan over the last two years, it's really not
that big a deal; we can't remember the last time we heard anyone cite
the current plan when trying to score a rezoning or whatever.

And guess what happens if Prop 402 fails? It just means the old plan stays in place. Six of one, a half dozen of another.

* * *

Go ahead and vote yes on these props: There's little chance they will
make your life any worse and a relatively good chance they will make
your life marginally better. (How's that for a ringing endorsement?)

UPDATE: The Arizona Daily Star has also endorsed both ballot propositions in an editorial opinion. City propositions 401 and 402 both deserve to pass.

For the rare few of you who insist on voting on Election Day, here is the poll location information from the Tucson City Clerk's office:

Screenshot from 2013-10-17 14:09:16Screenshot from 2013-10-17 14:09:59

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