Says city needs better public safety, planning
Ben Buehler-Garcia wants to represent the North Side on the Tucson City Council because he’s heartbroken at Tucson’s recent path.
“It wasn’t just one thing. It accumulated,” the 47-year-old Republican said. Rio Nuevo, crime, keeping up the city’s appearance – “We’ve lost our way.”
But don’t take Buehler-Garcia for a cynic or a pessimist.
That’s what he says he’s campaigning against, other than Councilwoman Karin Uhlich, the Democrat who holds the seat representing Ward 3, an area roughly north of Grant Road from Interstate 10 to North Alvernon Way.
“So much of it comes down to the will for positive change,” he said. “I’m doing this because I love this community.”
Buehler-Garcia moved to Tucson in 1979 to get a University of Arizona bachelor’s degree in public administration.
He worked for the Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and for the past 12 years has been a self-employed consultant.
The focus of Buehler’s consulting is economic and community development, small-business advocacy and nonprofit management, he said.
That’s meant he’s spent most of his career working with government and with businesses, something Buehler-Garcia thinks puts him in a good position to advocate for change.
At the top of Buehler-Garcia’s list are improvements to public safety, aggressive recruitment of new industry and a new land use code, which he hopes will make doing business in Tucson easier.
The council, led by Uhlich, has been working on revising the land use code, but Buehler-Garcia thinks it might be easier to start over.
Buehler-Garcia is executive director of the Tucson chapter of Stand Up for Kids, a nonprofit working with homeless teens.
He’s also been on the city’s Industrial Development Authority board and the National Bank of Arizona nonprofit advisory board.