Dump the downtown hotel? Dump Walkup? Or dump both?by Pamela Powers Hannley on Oct. 15, 2010, under Bob Walkup, City Council, downtown, John C. Scott, Rio Nuevo, Steve Kozachik, taxes, Tucson
My vote is to dump both– the ultra-expensive downtown hotel project and Mayor Bob Walkup.
The Arizona Daily Star constantly whines about the Democrat-controlled Tucson City Council and Rio Nuevo. Let’s not forget that Republican Mayor Walkup is in his third term. He’s just as culpable for the wasted funds as the the City Council.
Yesterday on the John C. Scott Show (1330 AM), Councilman Steve Kozachik reported that he finally has the votes on the City Council to kill the downtown hotel project, but Walkup has used a procedural maneuver to stop the vote.
Walkup has been the primary cheerleader for the downtown hotel project which has dragged on for years and cost the city millions of dollars. (Hopefully, the expenditures for the new entrance to the Tucson Convention Center were included in those funds. I hate to think we got nothing– but plans– for that money. Unfortunately, as Scott pointed out putting the new entrance on the out-dated TCC– without refurbishing the interior– was like putting “Grecian columns on a travel trailer.” Ouch.)
Kozachik has been a thorn in the project’s side since he took office. (That’s what he gets for reading the plans and the budgets!) I agree with Kozachik:
- The downtown hotel project as it is currently envisioned by the developer and Walkup is too expensive.
- It is no longer the city’s baby (since the state appointed the Rio Nuevo Board– although they don’t seem to want to take responsibility for tough decisions either.)
- The city should not take on hundreds of millions of dollars worth of debt.
- If it were a good time to build this project, there would be investors lining up.
- Downtown needs better hotel facilities, but when the country is in the midst of the Great Recsssion, it is not the time to build.
- The data show that convention hotels have been oversold by developers to several cities who are desperate for revitalization and tourist income.
Dump the convention hotel (until the economy improves) and DUMP Walkup. (Food for thought: the business-dominated Republican Party often promotes business people for government offices. The implication is that CEO types know how to run businesses and organizations and, therefore, will intuitively know how to run government better than career politicians. Walkup was an executive at Hughes Aircraft — now Raytheon.)