The first time I was asked my opinion on Prop. 454’s chances of passing last Tuesday’s ballot, it was early July. The unanimous showing of support from council, and the many talks with young athletes, their parents and coaches still hung heavily in my mind—and I told that person that I wouldn’t count the bond out.
I was asked that same question for the final time on Friday, Nov. 3, and my opinion had vastly changed on the issue.
Though I did not expect such an overwhelming show of opposition to the $17 million question, spending time with my readers changed my perspective completely.
So once again, thank you to everyone who called my phone, emailed me, approached me at a town event or found another way to keep in touch. You all keep this little town a very interesting place to work as a journalist.
While many are calling the Prop. 454 decision a victory against the town council, I would disagree on that point. While there was an associated cost with putting the bond on the ballot (check out all the information I could compile on the election in this week’s cover story), to call that election a win against council is stretching agency a bit too far for my taste.
It was a victory against a property tax, an ideal central to the town’s founding. It was a victory against accelerated development. It was a victory against sports tourism.
But what spoils go to the victors?
Everyone can pat themselves on the back for the “big win,” but do not shirk back into the shadows of political subterfuge now that the election is over. Want a victory “against” the council? Run in next year’s election, when the terms of Mayor Satish Hiremath, Vice Mayor Lou Waters and Councilmembers Mary Snider and Joe Hornat are up.
If the voters approve continuity on the council next year, then the failure of Prop. 454 can be seen as nothing more than a victory against the principles of the bond.
Outside of the news beat, we unfortunately said goodbye to feature writer Emily Dieckman, who has found a new home working for the University of Arizona. Though we didn’t have her on the staff for long, “Em” definitely left an indelible impression on everyone here at the Tucson Local Media office. Best of luck on your journey!
Replacing Emily is Jeff Gardner, another young writer with a lot of promise! Jeff is a graduate from Humboldt State University, where he earned a journalism degree with a minor in environmental science. A recent transplant from San Diego, Jeff is a self-proclaimed art/movie/music/literature snob who enjoys hiking and a good burrito.