Harry Alexander: Halloween, Tucson elections and Amazon

By Harry Alexander

Thank goodness Halloween is over and done! I don’t know about you readers, but I certainly got tired of reading about all of these “practice” Halloween parties where your costume was either approved or not for being “culturally sensitive.” Give me a break! Halloween is for the kids. Adults do dress up and head out to the parties, which tend to become risque. Who cares what costume someone is wearing? Talk about being a Captain BringDown.

The City of Tucson is holding elections this month. It’s one of those famous mail-in deals where you can decide on the candidates and issues while sitting at the kitchen table wearing your underwear and downing a beer. Sorry, that’s not voting. I like going to the polls to cast a ballot. It serves my sense of obligation to the process. Anyway, there are two incumbents running for another term on the council. They are up against some newcomers. If you haven’t voted yet, vote for the newcomers. Turn out the council people who have been “serving” for the past four or eight years. They haven’t done anything to improve my quality of life in Tucson. There’s still a buttload of crime, the roads resemble a war zone, and, they haven’t budgeted for more police officers or firefighters.

Also on the ballot are a couple of questions to enact more taxes to fund the zoo and something rather confusing about funding local education. Vote NO on both, please. And, the other question on the ballot is asking voters to approve a pay hike for the council and mayor. Really? What have you collectively done to deserve a pay raise? Squat in my book. Vote NO.

Apparently Pima County is offering up Amazon some 120 acres to build a second headquarters. A bunch of cities are vying for Amazon to build and have thrown out a number of promotions to entice Bezos and company to head to their berg. Tucson’s promotion consisted of sending out a 21-foot tall saguaro cactus to Seattle. What a bright move–not. That plant will not survive a Washington State climate. Some of the comments on Facebook about Tucson and Pima County trying to get Amazon to build down here are just as inane as sending out a saguaro cactus to Seattle.

Think of the jobs such a move will bring jobs, jobs, jobs!!! Right. Once Bezos and his team start looking at Tucson under a microscope they’ll quickly look someplace else. Tucson has the dubious distinction of being the worst place to live in Southern Arizona. Crime is one the reasons, the infrastructure is another. And, there’s the poverty issue. One comment suggested by getting Amazon to come here, we can then begin to make things right as far as crime and roads go. Seems to me that’s putting the cart before the horse.

Yes, it would be great to have a major company move into the area. Kinda like when IBM used to be here before being chased out by–wait for it–incompetent city and county politicians. Hmmm. See a pattern here? That’s why I voted NO on retaining the incumbent city council members.

If this area wants to attract big-time companies and corporations to our fair town, the voters must first clean up the mess created by the city council and county supervisors. Elect people who have a vision for Tucson and Pima County and know how to budget for doing what they’re supposed to do: Fix the roads, pick up the garbage and provide emergency services. That is all a city or town is supposed to provide to its citizens. Anything else is cream, which has gotten rather spoiled of late.

Once those basics are taken care of, residents will probably be more willing to approve this tax hike or that tax hike.


Harry Alexander is the Managing Editor of the Southern Arizona News-Examiner.



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