Video editing by Anne Simmons.
Tucson City Councilman Steve Kozachik, representing Ward 6, said he favors saving the duck pond and Barnum Hill in Reid Park, in a new proposal to build a natural resource center with more trees, new water features, and ADA accessibility.
“I support either B or C. Both got the highest number of votes. Both preserve our 4-year-old contract commitments, and both do not increase the cost beyond our ability to pull it off. Option G has up to a $25M added cost. Think of the parks improvements we could do with that money,” he said.
- Concept B: Continuing with the originally planned westward expansion into Reid Park.
- Concept C: Sticking with the original plan and creating a natural resources area next to the zoo’s expansion to mitigate the loss of open green space.
A majority of people living next to Reid Park favor Option G, an expansion to the north that includes building the parking garage, taking over the city’s Therapeutic Recreation Center and two large communication towers. The Tucson City Council will make a final decision on Tuesday, May 4.
Kozachik emphasized that the expansion of the Zoo must go forward because the city has already spent $2 million on it, and signed contracts three years ago with construction companies and the Zoological Society. “This is a credibility issue,” he said. “Can the City of Tucson be counted on to stand by contracts they signed? That answer has to be ‘yes.'”
Ugly 5G Poles
Kozachik is working to prevent ugly 5G wireless towers from being built in homeowners’ front yards. The poles are 35 feet tall and the city has no control over where they are located.
He is in talks with Verizon, AT&T, and Tucson Electric Power to locate the poles atop traffic lights, utility poles, and in alleys behind houses.
Kozachik supports scholarships for pre-school education. He is working with fellow supporter, Penelope Jacks, chair of Strong Start, and with opponents in the Southern Arizona Leadership Council, to re-present the idea. In 2017, voters rejected a measure to increase the city sales tax by a half-penny to pay for preschool vouchers.
Kozachik, who spends 10 hours a day, 7 days a week, on his city council duties, is not taking any donations for his run for city council, in a personal move to get money out of politics. His many accomplishments include:
- Putting the city on a firm financial foundation. When Kozachik was elected in 2009, the city had a $40 million deficit, but now the city has a financial reserve.
- Several hotels are open or being built downtown.
- Broadway will be widened into a 6-lane arterial road from Euclid to Country Club — called the Sunshine Mile — with bike lanes, sidewalks, and landscaping. The project is currently in the design phase.
- The city has saved 100 historic properties on Broadway.
- On gun safety, the city started a gun buyback program that took $11,000 firearms off the streets. A pro-gun state law killed the program.
- The city pressured the owner of the former Benedictine Monastery on Country Club Road not to destroy the historic building. Instead, market-rate apartments and stores will be built on the property.
- Kozachik was “the tip of the spear” to ban cruel greyhound racing in Tucson.
- The city joined litigation against firefighting foam (AFFF), which causes kidney, testicular, pancreatic, and other cancers. Tucson has a significant plume of PFAS in the water supply near the Davis-Monthan airbase.
For additional information, visit Kozachik’s official web page at www.tucsonaz.gov/ward-6.