Paul's Note - January 8th, 2021

Wednesday, a mob that was incited by President Trump stormed the United States Capitol in an effort to block the ratification of a legally constituted election. We’ve had a Presidential election during the Civil War, one during the Spanish Flu epidemic and one during World War II, but this was the first time anyone has threatened our free and fair elections, the foundation of American democracy. 

Five people died including a Capitol Police officer. 

I am grateful that democracy seems to have prevailed, and am grateful to Representatives Kirkpatrick, Grijalva, O’Halleran, Gallego and Stanton and Senators Kelly and Sinema for remaining strong in the face of the lawlessness and for doing their duty in honoring the will of  the people. 

In November, Tucson hired a new director of Parks and Recreation. Laura Hamwey, who comes to us after working at the City of Miami Parks and Recreation Department, starts her job on Monday. 

Laura will be inheriting a department that accomplished a great deal last year despite the challenges that all of us have faced. We have completed a new splash pad at Lincoln Park, adding 14 shade structures over existing playgrounds, and achieved Commission for Accreditation of Parks and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) accreditation for parks and recreation agencies for the third time. There were also over 51,000 free COVID-19 tests given at City parks and recreation sites (including at Udall Park), in partnership with Pima County. 

Many of the improvements are paid for with the Prop. 407 bonds that you and your neighbors voted for in 2018. Completed and in construction projects in Ward 2 include resurfacing tennis courts at Fort Lowell and Udall Parks, shade structures at Udall and Case Parks and pool renovations at Palo Verde and Jesse Owens Parks. 

The current phase of projects also includes improvements to baseball field lighting at Stefan Gollub Park, walking path renovation at Case Park, splash pads at Jesse Owens, Fort Lowell and Udall Parks. A project that I personally pushed for, improvements to the pool and bath house at Fort Lowell Park, is currently in the design phase.  

For a complete list of both Prop. 407 projects as well as Prop. 101 Safer City, Better Streets sales tax can be found at https://tucsondelivers.tucsonaz.gov/

The City of Tucson’s Environmental and General Services Department used to collect household hazardous waste through an outreach event near the Ward 2 office once a month, but had to suspend them when COVID-19 hit Southern Arizona. 

We are bringing these collection events back, but with more options for residents. Starting in January, EGSD will be hosting a collection event on the second Saturday of every month and it will now be moving around the city instead of only happening at the Eastside Service Center. EGSD is also adding document shredding at the monthly event (limit three boxes per vehicle). 

The first event will be Jan. 9, 2021, at the Eastside Service Center at 7575 E. Speedway Blvd. (turn north on Prudence to enter the drop-off line) from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. 

Residents can drop off HHW, electronic waste (E-waste), and paper documents for shredding at no charge. 

The schedule for future HHW drop-offs and locations is available on my website