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City Council to vote on deal to bring jobs to Tucson; TUSD takes on sexual harassment

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The Tucson agenda

City Council to vote on deal to bring jobs to Tucson; TUSD takes on sexual harassment

A quick look at what's planned for local government meetings

  • Tucson International Airport would be the site of a new maintenance hangar bringing 50 jobs to Tucson, with a possible assist from the Tucson City Council.
    Eric Salard/Flickr Tucson International Airport would be the site of a new maintenance hangar bringing 50 jobs to Tucson, with a possible assist from the Tucson City Council.

The Tucson City Council is slated to vote on incentives for a development of a 199,000-square-foot hangar at Tucson International Airport that will provide 50 jobs. Some 30 of those jobs will pay more than $54,000 a year.

Skywest Airlines will build and operate the site and qualifies for the incentives because it will provide primary jobs. These jobs come with "multipliers" because each job creates a sufficient number of secondary jobs. They provide new money in the economy and enough of it to force other companies to hire staff to meet the demand.

The city is providing just shy of $500,000 in sales tax rebates on the project Skywest can apply to permit fees, off-site improvements and job training.

A study projects the city's bank account will be $5 million richer after five years. 

Tucson is back in the economic development business because the city's economic development wing went regional with the Greater Tucson Economic Council in the 1990s and then the Tucson Regional Economic Office in the 2000s. Now, Sun Corridor Inc., takes a super regional approach — basically from Nogales to Casa Grande.Whatever the wisdom may be in that approach. it leaves a hole for a Pueblo-centric economic development initiative.

Good to see them in the game but, there may be some drama.

It will be interesting to see if the city gets sued over this deal. The Goldwater Institute, a conservative think tank in Phoenix, has a history of nosing in whenever a city or county does anything like paying companies to locate. The Arizona Constitution forbids it and Goldwater likes to play enforcer. 

Goldwater tried suing Pima County over more direct support to World View, the high-altitude balloon company (that's still trying to get off the ground) but lost in court because the company had no standing to sue (it, specifically, was not affected). 

A city taxpayer would have standing, if Goldwater were to ... uuuhh ... help. Point is: There are people who think giving businesses cash or discount incentives distorts the free market and socializes what should be private costs. Those opponents can make noise.

Councilmembers will also vote on whether to establish an oversight board to steer work to be done if voters approve a 10-year extension of a half cent sales tax to pay for road repair.

In 2017, voters approved a five-year, half-cent sales tax to pay for roads and big-ticket, one-time public safety purchases. The extended tax would only pay for road work. 

Voters will decide the fate of Prop. 411 on May 17.

The Council — meeting on Wednesday instead of the usual Tuesday because of the Presidents Day holiday at the start of the week — will also discuss the budget outlook during an afternoon work session, and boy does it look good.

Just a few years ago, the city's general fund was struggling to return to pre-recession funding levels of about $120 million. For FY 2023, the city is projects a whopping $250 million in revenue for the general fund, the pool of money the Council has to spend on discretionary initiatives.

This is what happens when the city's unemployment rate is 3 percent and inflation kicks in on underlying prices. Yes, the city's 2.6 percent sales tax revenues can draft upwards on the lift of higher prices.

City staff is still developing a budget but these kinds of information sessions give the city manager a sense of priorities.

Mayor Regina Romero wants an update on the city's climate action plan — namely when with the city have one.

The City Council voted in 2020 to come up with a climate plan to become carbon neutral by 2030. The city hired a consultant and reached out to community groups to come up with the plan. Now they want to see where it is in the process and how long it will take to be finished.

Having burned up 20 percent of the time to their goal, it would be nice to have the plan prior to ... y'know ... 2030.

Yeah, we're all gonna die.

No, don't panic. The Arizona Legislature would never let anything bad happen, right?

Well, maybe and maybe not.

Lawmakers passed a budget this year that gives schools more money than the state Constitution allows. It requires a two-thirds supermajority vote to be override that limit. 

But the lawmakers don't wanna — or they appear one vote short.

So TUSD is starting to panic and will discuss the matter during a special meeting Tuesday.

If the Legislature fails to override the limit, the district is looking at $58 million in cuts, even though they have the money. Voters, in their infinite wisdom during the 1980s, limited what schools can spend.

I can't imagine the Legislature not approving this but I also could never imagine any legislature considering a bill that says white people weren't guilty of enslaving black people.  

The TUSD board will also vote on adopting a more expansive sexual harassment policy than the district now employs.

By expansive, I mean leering could be considered sexual harassment. While I'm not sure how that gets proven to be a leer and not a look, most of the behavior outlined is throat-punch worthy (not advising violence, just saying the urge toward it is understandable).

The full definition can be found here.

The Amphitheater Unified School District Governing Board will discuss fixing their godless, communist holiday schedule that is on the side of the terrorists. 

Currently, they have the week before Christmas off plus the preceding Friday. Then they are forced back to class immediately after the New Year's holiday.

Why not just throw Old Glory on the ground and stomp on it? 

Thankfully, they've come up with the correct option: The week of Christmas off and the week of New Year's. Humans have been walking upright for 4 million years. It's time Amphi acts like it.

There's not a ton on the agenda but I remember during my Flagstaff days that readers would basically force me to write a regular piece I called "What the Hell Are They Building There?"

So if people are wondering why there's a bunch of work being done at Canyon Del Oro High School, it's work on the east parking lot and central plant the board is ready to approve Tuesday. The total is $1.4 million for both.

The Tanque Verde Unified School Governing Board will get an update on how the district is progressing toward goals outlined for 2021-22. 

It's good to have a plan but the report provided in the agenda packet is short on specifics. It's a bunch of stuff like this:

Objective 3.3 Implement a System of Teacher Feedback and Evaluation
Action Steps: During the 21-22 school year we will:
3.3.1 Define Highly Effective Teachers and Teams.
3.3.2 Coaching and support of Teachers.

Not sure about using the nouns "coaching and support of teachers." I would have gone with the verb phrases "coach and support teachers" or less active "coaching and supporting teachers."

But as I wrote, at least they have a plan. Nice. Just flesh it out more. See? That's coaching and support.

The board will also vote on adopting new English course material for grades K-6. The cost of outfitting 49 classrooms with this course work alone runs $370,000. It's still a little more than half the price of paving the east parking lot at CDO.

Two grade 2 phonics book sets will run $499.95. 

Man, I should be writing text books. 

The Vail Unified School District will vote on new rates for its preschool program.

The new five-day, full-time rate will top out at $206 per week, which is $13 more than what is listed on district web site as the current price. The bargain basement price will run $127 a week for 4 days, part time, which is a $25 increase.

The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors has this novel idea their cohorts in Pima County should try.

They will vote to approve three pro-tem judges a full three and a half months before the terms begin.

Vanessa Cartwright, as full-time judge pro tempore, Sheila Dagucon as a temporary part-time judge pro tempore and Dee-Dee Samet as volunteer judge pro tempore.

Pima County tried it the other way, approving a judge last week but back-dating his appointment by a whopping eight months. 

The Flowing Wells School District didn't have an agenda up at 8 p.m. Friday. Know what helps with the kind of transparency and community outreach school districts seem eager to pursue?  

Give voters more than a 24-hour heads-up about what school boards are about to discuss. Otherwise, it can look like Flowing Wells doesn't really want parents involved.

And as a former Flowing Wells parent, I know this is not the case. But still, I'm marking the district down one letter-grade.

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