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Rothschild touts plan for transparency, outreach

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Rothschild touts plan for transparency, outreach

  • Rothschild.
    Dylan Smith/TucsonSentinel.comRothschild.

Democratic mayoral candidate Jonathan Rothschild talked about his "180 Day Work Plan" at a press conference Monday.

Rothschild, an attorney, said he wants to find budget-neutral ways to improve government efficiency, and to increase government outreach and transparency.

He said the "Work Plan" will give citizens and the media the opportunity to hold him accountable if he is elected.

Rothschild faces two write-in candidates on this month's primary ballot: David Karr and Joseph Maher.

Rothschild's plan

180 Day Work Plan

Building a community we all want to live in and can live in

I developed this 180 day work plan by listening to hundreds of Tucsonans from all across the city and from all walks of life. My hope is that by laying out specific steps I would take in my first 180 days in office, Tucsonans will get to know the kind of Mayor I intend to be.

My vision is to build a community Tucsonans want to live in, and can live in – a vibrant and safe community that preserves our desert environment, where everyone has access to a decent job and a good education. I will lead with hard work, innovative ideas and constant communication.

This plan includes four broad areas.

1. Jobs and Economic Development

As Mayor, it will be my responsibility to wake up each morning and figure out where Tucson’s next job is coming from. What I want for Tucson are quality jobs that are compatible with our community, our values and our desert environment.

One of the best incentives we can offer to bring jobs here and keep them here is a city government that’s easy to navigate, consistent, responsive and problem-solving. We need regulations that protect neighborhoods and the environment, but we can’t afford red tape that doesn’t make sense for anyone. Here are some ideas I intend to lead with.

  • Small Business Advocate I will have a small business advocate in the Mayor’s Office to help cut through red tape and get entrepreneurs the answers they deserve.
  • Excellence in Education Part of what attracts and keeps quality jobs is a first-rate education system. I intend to meet regularly with Superintendents of all Tucson school districts as well as representatives from local colleges and universities, including the Chancellor of Pima Community College and the President of the University of Arizona, to see how the city can help foster excellence in education – both K-12 and beyond.
  •  Land Use Code At well over 1,000 pages, Tucson’s Land Use Code is a hodge-podge of inconsistency and repetition. Everyone agrees it has to be fixed. In fact, efforts to do this have been underway since at least 2008. Getting this project done will be a priority for me and I will monitor its progress closely. We will have the next round of revisions to the Code in my first 180 days.
  •  Permit Review Checklists and Timelines Permit reviews need to be completed quickly and standards applied consistently. A priority for me is the creation of user-friendly checklists for staff to use in permit reviews as well as timelines for completion. Reviews not completed in time will automatically alert management.
  • Cross Train Inspectors Rather than schedule multiple permit inspections and wait for each one, I support cross training inspectors to handle a variety of permits – so that inspections happen quickly, with fewer visits. Cutting wait time will save money for builders and homeowners and increased efficiency will decrease costs to taxpayers. I will work with staff to see that this project is well underway in my first 180 days.
  • Mayor-Business Roundtables I will hold periodic Mayor-Business Roundtables to personally get feedback from the local business community.
  •  Local Business Preference I will work with the Council and staff to put in place procurement policies that give preference to local businesses in obtaining city contracts.
  • Tucson Trade Initiative I will meet with state, foreign and local groups to help Tucson businesses increase sales both inside and outside the greater Tucson area.
  • Recruit New Employers I will work with economic development groups and I will personally recruit new employers to come to Tucson.
  • Retain Existing Employers I will work with business groups to help existing employers stay here and grow.
  • Encourage Entrepreneurship I will work with the University of Arizona Office of Technology Transfer and economic development groups to support entrepreneurship.

2. Safe, Vital Neighborhoods

My priorities are neighborhoods that are safe, attractive and walkable, with an appropriate mix of business and recreational activities nearby. Here’s how I intend to work toward these goals in my first 180 days.

  • Public Safety Communications System I will review the city’s public safety communications system – 911, computer-aided dispatch and radio – to ensure that first responders have the tools and information they need to respond quickly.
  • Potholes I will meet with city staff regarding street maintenance and pothole repair, available funding and new technologies. Tucson has to improve the condition of its streets.
  • Parks and Recreation I will work to find budget-neutral ways to keep facilities and programs open and available to Tucson’s children, seniors and families.
  • Neighborhood Business Districts I will work with the Council and staff to develop a pilot program for small, multi-block areas, where businesses and residents come together with a plan to pay for agreed-upon improvement projects.

3. Open Government Initiative

Open, two-way communication increases understanding of the choices we face as a community. And increased understanding improves the quality of the decisions we make.

Mayors need to hear from and speak with constituents and staff. I’m going to make sure I hear from Tucsonans and Tucsonans hear from me.

  • Press Conferences Every week, I will meet with news media to answer questions.
  • Neighborhood Town Halls I will hold a Town Hall in each Ward.
  • City Council I will meet with each Council Member individually and regularly.
  • Department Heads I will meet with Department Heads to set goals and priorities.
  • City Employees I will meet with all four city employee unions.
  • Area Mayors, Board of Supervisors, Governor’s Office I will meet with each individually.
  • Traditional and Social Media I will work to improve the city’s use of media to keep Tucsonans informed with accurate, timely and useful news and information.
  • Open Government Initiative I will work with Department Heads and staff to improve transparency and accountability in city government; for example, by posting budget and contract information online in usable, searchable, standard formats.
  • Standard Development Agreement I will work with the Council, the City Attorney and staff to develop a Standard Development Agreement that spells out basic rights and responsibilities of the city and developers. Modifications to these basic provisions would require approval by Mayor and Council after advice from legal counsel.
  • Technology Upgrades I will work with Department Heads and staff to create a technology advisory team to review city operations and recommend appropriate technology upgrades.

4. Environmental Leadership

Our sunny climate and desert environment make Tucson the perfect city to lead in three green industries: solar energy, water conservation and outdoor recreation.

As Mayor, I will work to help these and other clean and green industries develop here.

  • Solar Energy and Water Conservation I will meet with staff, TEP, Tucson Water and other private and public partners to make sure we’re offering the right incentives to encourage commercial and residential use of solar power and rainwater harvesting. Growing these industries locally will create jobs and help establish Tucson as a leader in solar energy and water conservation.
  • Walkways, Bikeways, Greenways These provide benefits for transportation, the environment, health, and recreation. I will meet with city staff as well as RTA Board, Committee and Working Group members regarding the status of walkway, bikeway and greenway development.
  • Energy Efficiency/Renewable Energy I will work with staff, TEP and other private and public partners to see how the City of Tucson, local businesses and individuals can better afford to invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. My goal is to create win-win situations where energy savings pay for themselves. One way to do this is through energy savings performance contracts – financing agreements where a lender guarantees that the investment will generate enough cost savings to pay for itself over the term of the loan. Once the contract expires, ongoing savings are pocketed by the borrower. These can be budget-
    neutral ways for Tucson and Tucsonans to help the environment, grow our solar industry and create jobs.
  • Road Design Roads can be designed to minimize storm runoff and maximize groundwater
    recharge. I will work with staff as well as private and public partners to see what design elements can be incorporated in road construction and maintenance to control flooding, conserve water and save taxpayer money.
  • Shade Streets I will work with staff and private and public partners to increase and maintain low water use and native shade trees on city streets. In addition to keeping Tucson cooler, shade trees extend the life of asphalt roadways, reducing costs for repaving.

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