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Creating, filling jobs on council agenda

Citizen Staff Writer



Tuesday’s City Council meeting will be dominated by discussion about jobs: green jobs, construction jobs and a finance director job the city just can’t seem to fill.

In a closed session Tuesday, the council is scheduled to talk about the Jan. 30 resignation of Finance Director Frank Abeyta, who had held the post for four months, about half that time as interim director.

Abeyta quit the job, giving no notice, in a letter to Deputy City Manager Mike Letcher.

His responsibilities will be shared by Letcher and Assistant to the City Manager Marie Nemerguth, according to a Feb. 2 memo.

About 45 minutes of the council’s Tuesday study session is scheduled for talks about Councilman Rodney Glassman’s proposal that the city waive impact fees over the next year.

Glassman has said the plan “would promote development within city limits, encouraging urban infill, and leveraging the use of already existing infrastructure,” while in the process creating jobs.

Because impact fees must be spent on growth-related costs and cannot be kept in the same account as unrestricted funds, Glassman said the fee waiver would have little or no effect on the city’s general operating budget, already an estimated $80 million in the red for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Glassman’s proposal was accompanied by nine letters of support from groups ranging from Sustainable Tucson to the Southern Arizona Home Builders Association, but at least one neighborhood activist has spoken out against the plan.

The city took in more than $5.9 million in “developer fees,” according to the audit of last year’s budget. Those funds must be spent on providing the services to be expanded for the new development.

Councilman Steve Leal has also proposed a way to add jobs to Tucson, with a focus on “green jobs.”

The plan, developed with the city’s Office of Conservation and Sustainable Development, suggests creating a task force, keeping tabs on opportunities for grants and job creation and joining an association of local governments promoting sustainability.

A list of potential opportunities includes a public-private partnership to create networks of electric charging stations for cars and bikes, energy efficiency retrofits and expansion of the planned modern streetcar course and bike path network.

Other items on Tuesday’s agenda are Tucson Water’s financial plan and proposed sale of one-third of its Central Arizona Project water, as well as negotiations between the city and Pima County over the purchase of West Side landmark and hiking magnet Tumamoc Hill.

Creating, filling jobs is on City Council agenda Tuesday


• What: Tucson City Council meeting

• When: Study Session starts at 2 p.m. with the regular session to follow at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday

• Where: Council Chambers, 255 W. Alameda St.

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