A full page ad in the Arizona Daily Star on Monday, Jan. 18, page A 21 mimics a “WANTED” poster. The advertisement, paid for by Take Back Tucson is soliciting “500 unpaid volunteers” to “take back Tucson”. The ad does not mention any recall names of politicians.
The event will be held at 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Reid Park (S. Country Club and E. 22nd St.), ramada #28, with registration & packet pick up starting from 8 to 9 a.m., then neighborhood walks to collect the needed signatures, then a free barbeque from 12 to 2 p.m.
The ad also touts that this effort is truly bi-partisan and inclusive (“Democrats and Republicans, Liberals and Conservatives, Independents and Libertarians, Rich and Poor, Young and Old, Drops outs and Drop ins”).
The website does list the 3 politicians that the group has targeted. Facing recall are Republican Mayor Bob Walkup (in office since 1999), Ward 3 Councilmember Democrat Karin Uhlich (in office since 2005), and Ward 1 Councilmember Democrat Regina Romero (in office since 2007). The Mayor is serving his 3rd term, Uhlich was just re-elected in November, 2009 to a second four-year term, and Romero is half way through her first four year term. For info (and photos) on the current Mayor and Council click here.
The ad expresses dissatisfaction with $70-90 million spent on Rio Nuevo, $14 million over budget for the 4th Avenue Underpass, selective free rent for “chosen” business friends and an anti-business attitude, loss of Spring Training, millions spent on pet projects, and the $32 million deficit facing the City. Whew, no wonder there is such general unhappiness with City politicians.
Website for further info: www.TakeBackTucson.com, no phone # is listed. The website homepage and goals end with this statement “We believe that Tucson deserves better”. If this bi-partisan recall effort is successful, this Take Back Tucson group (led by businessman Humberto Lopez) needs to propose viable candidates to replace the Mayor and these 2 Councilmembers, as no names have surfaced so far.
I happened to heard Mr. Lopez on Friday, January 15 on Raj Koli’s real estate radio talk show on 1330 AM KJLL, speak about his frustrations with the City and passion in instigating this recall. Mr. Lopez (HSL Properties) owns a number of properties in town, most notably the Hotel Arizona downtown at 181 W. Broadway Blvd.
Stay tuned to see if this recall effort can gather enough valid signatures to force a recall and a special election. These Take Back Tucson organizers must get between 14,000 and 18,000 valid signatures, depending on the recall target.