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Buehler-Garcia: Where's leadership on El Rio/GCU?

Recent news about Grand Canyon University's desire to locate a campus on Tucson's West Side and how it was handled speaks volumes about how Tucson has "achieved" sixth poorest city status.
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8 comments on this story

May 31, 2013, 11:06 am
-2 +2

“Business goes where it is welcome.”  Business also goes where it is encouraged! 

Good job Ben.  Can’t you be cloned to run against Richard Fimbres and Regina Romero in the future also? 

What has Richard Fimbres brought to the table since he was elected?  By the way, is he still on Clarence Dupnik’s payroll?  He was the whole time he served as the head of Highway Safety under Janet Napolitano.  If he’s no longer on the payroll, it was held just as long to give him the “right” benefit from AZ State Retirement.  Clarence, you treat your friends so well…

May 31, 2013, 11:12 am
-0 +2

Also,  the college idea was a positive until it was noticed by Sal Baldonegro and his fellow Hispanic Old Guys gold club that have used the El Rio course for years, but obviously not enough to keep it profitable, and they don’t want to travel further to another golf course to hold their occasional get togethers because this one is in their hood. 

You should have made the golf course profitable to keep it as a golf course.

May 31, 2013, 2:24 pm
-1 +3

Gee, thinker, you don’t.  Fimbres took a leave of absence and was not paid and he didn’t get a benefit in terms of the retirement. 

What has Fimbres done?


Now a health/safety inspection by Development Services is the only requirement.
Seventy new businesses opened in the City of Tucson, since August 2010, when new Certificate
of Occupancy rules changes implemented and 71 new businesses opened.

Ward 5 has held several business forums and will be hosting the Tucson Means Business
forum, Nov, 30, at the Fred G. Acosta Job Corp Center. My office co hosted an MPA
Brown Bag Lunch in July.

Through meeting with neighbors, developers and city staff renegotiated the predevelopment
agreement so that the project could go forward. With this change, the first anchor store,
Costco, was built and completed in 110 days, as well as Walmart and now 23,000 feet more of retail.

Through intergovernmental agreements between the U of A and the City of Tucson, the U of A broke ground on the Biopark in 2012. The Biopark will have retail outlets, housing (condominium) for graduate students, a biotech high school for City students, and a 300 room hotel. This is located at Kino/36th, north of the Bridges Project.

JWR/LANDMARK A 188 unit, single story, non mini dorm, student housing development (gated community)
to be constructed at 22nd/Highland/Park area by JWR/Landmark Holdings. A $20 million
dollar construction project to be built with local construction companies. More than a
dozen jobs to be created when housing development is completed (management/staff). Shuttle service to U of A, Biopark and to businesses in Ward 5 and South Tucson is being provided by Landmark as well.  This will open in August 2013

Ward 5 worked for the two rezonings and expansion, approved by Mayor and Council, resulting
in 70 more jobs.

APAC Pharmaceutical – 160 jobs.
Bruker Nano Industries – Move and expansion – (from 70 to now 90 jobs).
Four Goodwill Stores - More than 70 jobs.
WalMart - 300 Jobs
Rarick - An increase of more than 50 jobs when completed to bring firm to 74 employees.
Two Quick Trips - More than 30 jobs.
Perfection Industries - More than 20 jobs.
Costco - More than 100 jobs.
In and Out Burger - More than two dozen jobs.
Two Dollar Stores (General Dollar and Family Dollar) - More than 40 jobs.
Don Pedro’s Peruvian Bistro - More than a dozen jobs.
Caremore Healthcare - More than two dozen jobs.
Circle K (Ajo/Park) - More than dozen jobs.
Baja Market opened - Eight jobs. Cora’s Café – Eight jobs.
Axis Market – Eight jobs.
CAID Industries – 70 jobs.

Ward 5 brought forward changes to repeal the 1986 city code restricting Parks and Recreation from soliciting advertising and sponsorships.

Ward 5 brought forward changes to repealing the 2003 policy, restricting advertising on Sun Tran buses (inside/
outside), to 15 out of a fleet of 244.

Ward 5 also brought forward changes to how Sun Tran purchases materials by utilizing the P-Card (Procurement) system, a potential savings of $330,000.
Ward 5 brought forward a proposal to repeal the $5,000 non-refundable application fees, the real estate office charged for processing transactions for easements and temporary revocable easements.


In addition to turnout, the question of reducing costs, through less poll workers, renting of voting equipment and locations, were other factors on why this proposal was brought forward for consideration by my office. Prior to the change in the process, the budget for election was $1.6 million.

The vote by mail process reduced the number of election workers by close to 300 (primarily poll workers at $114 for election), the cost of renting equipment and getting locations which were ADA compliant.
The primary election, held August 31, showed that 44,507 ballots were cast for candidates listed on the ballot for Mayor and for the Council seats for Wards 1, 2 and 4 respectively.

The numbers from the 2009 and 2011 election process show an increase in participation.

In a report to the Mayor and Council from the City Clerk’s Office, this election saved $600,000.

That has what Fimbres has done.  So think about that.

May 31, 2013, 7:03 pm
-0 +0

I gotta be honest here…I’m not at all opposed to GCU opening up shop here in town, but I’m not seeing why it absolutely had to be on the golf course. Is there no other available spot in this town?

Jun 1, 2013, 8:05 am
-0 +2

Ben Buehler-Garcia gives no indication of how he would have handled this issue other than to say we need economic development.  The question is:  would he have voted with Ulich to sell 114 acres of urban green space to a private company?  And would he only sell El Rio?  What about Udall Park?  Reid Park?  The other four municipal golf courses?  Does he believe that the sale of public resources is the way to solve our economic problems?  Does he subscribe to the believe, as Regina Romero does, that the subsidies for recreation like golf is the cause of the city’s serious financial problems?  Does he believe the city financial numbers about revenue losses at our golf courses?  If so, why?

It’s easy to throw rocks—I’m a bit of a “tosser” myself—but be clear what your criticism is other than that you think you opponent is wrong.  We know that already.  Are you really any better?  Based on this, as a Barrio Hollywood westsider, I would say no.

Jun 3, 2013, 11:28 am
-3 +0

Betsy, you probably lifted your long list from Fimbres web site, I hope you didn’t work that hard to personally gather all that.  Your list of “accomplishments” has me saying bullpucky.  He’s not personally responsible of any of the economic development and he voted with his friends Karen and Regina on everything else. 

We here from Steve K. all the time with actions and ideas.  We never hear from Richard Fimbres and he doesn’t have the initiative to be out front like Steve is and how I believe Ben will be.

Jun 3, 2013, 11:48 am
-2 +0

We “hear” from Steve K… 

Just so you know I noticed my typo so you don’t attack me on that too.  I’ve noticed that liberal posters always attack on spelling because they’ve got nothing else…

Jun 3, 2013, 1:02 pm
-0 +3

Obviously Thinker you don’t use your head or read the Mayor and Council material and follow the meetings

So being a media groupie, for which Steve K., is on every lazy ass reporter has him on speed dial counts to comment on how the crow flies to the Sun shining from the South and other pertinent crap.

What economic development has the Koz done?  Zip, zilch and nada.  What has Fimbres done?  A Costco, Curacao, Quik Trips, and other businesses totaling more than a 1,000 fricking jobs.

Fimbres puts out a newsletter, a blog, and has a Facebook page.  What if he doesn’t go before the camera.  He is there at the Mayor and Council meetings and asks questions.

I don’t give a damn about a typo.  I give a damn when you put down the work of an individual who is personally responsible and who gets beaten up from the right, such as yourself and the left, for his business stances.

So think about that!

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