Who elected me to another term as your Ward 5 Councilmember, giving me the most votes in the November 7, election. This validated the work I have done to build the Renaissance of Ward 5 and the South side.
It is been a pleasure working with my colleagues on the Council as well as with the constituents, neighborhoods and businesses in Ward 5, the City of Tucson, Pima County, the State of Arizona and our national elected officials.
Our work continues to bring Tucson through the dark economic tunnel that we’ve been in since the Great Recession. When I was sworn into office, I got the message voters sent in terms of what was needed: reforming city government, economic development and creating jobs.
During my time on the Council, we have accomplished much of this, drawing new businesses to Ward 5, helping other businesses expand their operations, annexing property and fighting to
ensure that barriers to economic development are addressed, averted and that doors for new businesses are open. What we did, thanks to these efforts, has created much needed economic development and this has lead to the Renaissance of Ward 5 and the South side.
From the announcement of the expansion of Raytheon, the construction of the HomeGoods Distribution Center, the expansion of VXI Tucson, Modular Mining CAID Industries, Alorica, the construction of the CenturyMark 14 Theater, Chamberlain, the opening of Shared Services, Body Central, Purcell Tire, Guardvant, Centene and the Culver’s, McDonald’s and Lin’s Buffet, to name several of dozens that have occurred with more than 7,000 new jobs have been created in Ward 5 since I took office. These businesses were opened without the use of a GPLET, Government Property Lease Excise Tax incentive. The only incentive used was for Creative Machines who applied for the Global Economic Development District incentive which dealt with permitting fees.
My efforts also included how the City of Tucson government works and to improve how your taxpayer dollars are spent. While on the Council, I have brought changes to the Certificate of Occupancy Process and the Land Use Code which has resulted in hundreds of new businesses opening their doors, employing many Tucsonans and generating hundreds of millions in revenue.
For Tucson to succeed, the City government must spend its limited dollars wisely, and with that, I brought forward changes to how the City spends its money for goods and services. For example, I have led the effort to change how the City purchases materials by utilizing the P-Card, instead of writing checks. Through my efforts, the City has saved more than $4.6 million last year alone, in costs, while getting a rebate check last year of $850,000, thanks to using the P-Card.
Working with the private sector, I helped to form “Bring Back the Splash,” which raised $100,000 in sponsorships and opened eight city swimming pools that were to be closed due to budget cuts. I brought forward a proposal to end the restrictions on advertising on Sun Tran buses. My proposal generated more than $500,000 in advertising revenue for Sun Tran and more than $125,000 for Sun Link.
I brought forward the proposal to change the City of Tucson’s impoundment vehicle process which now brings in more than $3.0 million to go for cost recovery for TPD. Prior to this proposal, the City was getting nothing in return for the impounded vehicles that had been abandoned by their owners.
I have led the fight to keep the Cherrybell Post Office and Processing Center open and my efforts have taken Cherrybell from being closed in 2011 to still operating six years later. Cherrybell serves 1.5 million people in Southern Arizona and 26,000 businesses. Seniors get their pension checks in the mail and Veterans, Seniors and others get their prescriptions through the mail from Cherrybell. It is important that Tucson and Southern Arizona’s post office and processing center remains open. It is important for further growth in Southern Arizona.
I formed the Tucson Homeless Work Program (HWP), an effort that helps to clean roadways, streets, traffic circles, alleys, and parcels while getting the homeless who are doing this work into services and housing. This is not a government program, but a partnership between the private sector, service providers and city and county government which is showing results.
I have been blessed with a great staff through my time on the City Council, starting with my Chief of Staff, Mark Kerr, Matt Pate, Lupita Robles and Mary Kuchar. We have worked hard to improve the quality of life for all in our great city.
During the campaign, I was blessed with a great campaign team and volunteers, who walked neighborhoods with me and gathered
the signatures to be on the ballot this day. I want to thank everyone who helped in my effort this year.
Lastly, without the love and support of my wife Mary, and my children, Richard Michael, his wife Vanessa, my grandson Roman and my son Joseph, his fiancé Ariel Maynes, Celti and Lighting, I would not have been able to do this job. My family is my rock and I thank them for giving me the opportunity to serve Ward 5 and Tucson.
By Councilmember Richard Fimbres