You may have heard that the State Legislature is trying to force Tucson to provide water to Painted Hills. You remember that Painted Hills is a pristine 287 acre property just west of the city limits along the scenic highway to Gates Pass and the AZ Sonora Desert Museum.
This proposed development would result in blading of the desert, taking out 900 saguaro, and destroying wildlife linkages.
Pima County voters have twice voted to preserve this property for open space. The city has twice taken the developers to court and won both times!
Now the Legislature is trying to do an end run around the people!
The good news is that the bill — HB 2416 — was defeated in the AZ House this past Thursday.
The bad news is that it will be re-considered this coming Wednesday, March 7.
It is URGENT that we keep the pressure on!
** Please contact AZ House of Representatives members who voted NO and thank them, and urge them to vote NO again!
** Please contact those who voted YES and urge them to vote NO on Wednesday.
The roster with email addresses for the State legislature is attached.
Please note: Here is a sample letter below that was sent to all of the House members who voted YES. Interestingly, Heather Carter responded and said she is thinking of changing her vote given implications of the bill that were not apparent. It would be helpful if others could write her and the remaining House members who voted YES. Please also send a note to Vic Williams (Republican in the Tucson area), Sally Ann Gonzalez, and Macario Saldate (our District 27) expressing appreciation for voting NO.
SUBJECT: HB 2416–PLEASE CHANGE YOUR VOTE TO NO
Dear Rep.______ :
I am writing to ask for your vote against House Bill 2416. We understand the bill will be reconsidered on March 7th. The bill is proposed by David Stevens. Unfortunately, this bill will impact Tucson’s carefully crafted efforts to develop a cohesive water service area policy. After extensive work by the Joint Water and Wastewater Committee (2 1/2 years) appointed by the City of Tucson and Pima County, the policy balances the interest of current and future residents and the obligations already made to serve those outside the City boundaries. House Bill 2416 has implications related to the Groundwater Management Act, which needs to be fully explored before passing this legislation.
The proposed bill tries to rectify a risky investment by the Dallas Police and Fire Pension Systems. Their purchase of the property was at the peak of the real estate market. The Pension Fund failed to renew their water assurance letter in time. The resolution is best left to negotiations or the courts, not the legislature.
This bill defines where Tucson must serve, without regards to the infrastructure necessary to serve the property or the water resources available.
Other developers in the City may not have water resources available, because those resources will have all been obligated to developers outside of the City as a result of this bill.
If a City can not determine where it serves water, it will eventually find itself in violation of the Assured Water Supply rules and could lose its designation. This would jeopardize all local development.
Thank you for your consideration, and we would greatly appreciate your change in vote on this initiative.
Below is a list of who voted for and against the bill on March 1:
Y = Yes
N = No
NV = Not Voting
EXC = Excused
V = Vacant
|Member Name||Vote||Member Name||Vote||Member Name||Vote|
|Eddie Ableser||N||Lela Alston||N||Ben Arredondo||N|
|Cecil P. Ash||Y||Brenda Barton||Y||Kate Brophy McGee||Y|
|Chad Campbell||NV||Heather Carter||Y||Tom Chabin||N|
|Steve Court||Y||Chester Crandell||Y||Jeff Dial||Y|
|Karen Fann||N||Steve Farley||N||Eddie Farnsworth||Y|
|John Fillmore||Y||Tom Forese||Y||Ruben Gallego||N|
|Sally Ann Gonzales||N||Doris Goodale||Y||David Gowan||Y|
|Rick Gray||Y||Albert Hale||N||Jack W. Harper||Y|
|Matt Heinz||N||Katie Hobbs||N||Russ Jones||N|
|Peggy Judd||Y||John Kavanagh||Y||Debbie Lesko||Y|
|Phil Lovas||Y||Debbie McCune Davis||N||Nancy McLain||N|
|Javan “J.D.” Mesnard||Y||Eric Meyer||N||Catherine H. Miranda||N|
|Richard Miranda||V||Steve B. Montenegro||Y||Justin Olson||Y|
|Lynne Pancrazi||N||Daniel Patterson||N||Justin Pierce||N|
|Frank Pratt||N||Terri Proud||Y||Amanda A. Reeve||N|
|Bob Robson||Y||Macario Saldate IV||N||Carl Seel||Y|
|David Burnell Smith||Y||David W. Stevens||N||Anna Tovar||N|
|Michelle Ugenti||Y||Steve Urie||N||Ted Vogt||N|
|Jim Weiers||Y||Jerry Weiers||Y||Bruce Wheeler||N|
|Vic Williams||N||Kimberly Yee||N||Andy Tobin||N|
AYES: 28 NAYS: 30 NOT VOTING: 1 EXCUSED: 0 VACANT: 1