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Cities need a strong business sector in order to thrive. While people are the heart of our community, business is its backbone. Here are some ways I would help Tucson businesses succeed.
Help small business
Have a small business ombudsman report to the Mayor’s office, so that small businesses have a place to go if they have problems with city government.
Streamline city processes
Tucsonans deserve city codes and procedures that are rational, efficient and fair.
Tucson is home to a world-class university. The city needs to be an active partner in helping faculty and students start businesses here in Tucson. Big ideas that start here should stay here and grow here.
Work with government and private partners to develop Tucson’s natural advantages as a solar city.
We need to hit the reset button on Rio Nuevo, not pull the plug. Pulling the plug just sends our tax dollars to Phoenix. For any project the city does, financial and operational controls must be in place – and followed. I see the Mayor’s job as making sure that oversight takes place.
Local priorities, local control
I would help form business/neighborhood improvement districts throughout Tucson. These are small, multi-block areas, where businesses and residents come together with a plan to pay for agreed-upon improvement projects. People who live and work in the district set the priorities and control the funding.
Hold regular Mayor/Business Roundtables
Work directly with businesses and business organizations to identify needs and opportunities the city can help with.
Bring housing downtown
Work with the university and private partners to develop housing downtown for students, faculty and young professionals. Shops, restaurants, entertainment and the arts thrive when people live nearby. This will also reduce incompatible developments in established neighborhoods around the university.
Reform the Land Use Code
Tucson’s Land Use Code is over 500 pages long. Everyone agrees it needs reform. I intend, with citizen input, to make that happen.
Bring our tax dollars back from Phoenix
The state shares revenue based on incorporated area. This means that we’re paying for projects up in Phoenix. If we approach annexation in a way that is smart, strategic, and takes into account peoples’ preferences, we can use that shared revenue to pay for projects here at home.
Focus on retail
City services are funded, in large part, by city sales tax. So it will be a priority for me to find ways to increase retail sales throughout the city.