Steve Kozachik is campaigning for the midtown City Council seat on what he describes as “a dysfunctional council with a dysfunctional mayor.”
The Republican’s run to represent Ward 6 – which stretches from downtown to Wilmot Road between Grant Road and 22nd Street – will have no flashy start, Kozachik said.
The closest to a formal announcement will be a picnic May 3 at Himmel Park, he said.
“I’m not your cookie cutter, party regular type of politician,” he said in explanation. “I’m not a politician.”
He views that as an asset.
Kozachik, 55, has worked for the University of Arizona for more than 20 years, now as associate athletic director for facilities and capital projects.
He recently oversaw the design and construction of the new practice facility near McKale Center, an experience he thinks bodes well for the city’s planned construction of an arena downtown.
Kozachik said that within hours of filing his papers to run for the seat held by Democrat Nina Trasoff, he called southern Arizona’s state legislators about Rio Nuevo and to introduce himself.
While downplaying political associations, Kozachik plays up ties to business owners.
To create jobs, he advocates cutting red tape and speeding up bureaucratic practices, and espouses a policy of clear delegation of responsibilities.
On City Manager Mike Hein’s recent firing, Kozachik said: “It never should have come to a situation where we’re playing brinkmanship. Nobody can claim the moral high ground for letting it get to that point.”
He cites his job experience “forming teams of professionals with varying skill sets, setting egos at the door” as a model of potential change.
“The philosophical orientation needs to change,” he said. “They’re in this circular firing squad where they’re all just shooting each other.”
Kozachik also puts public safety high on his list of priorities.
“I will not vote for a city budget that cuts the operating budget for police and fire,” he said.