State Senator Al Melvin proposed a “Concurrent Memorial” urging the City Of Tucson, the Pima County Board Of Supervisors and other entities to work in the best interests of Arizona’s taxpayers in resolving the dispute regarding the Rio Nuevo Multipurpose Facilities District Board. The response he received from City Councilman Steve Kozachik was sophomoric and severely challenged the new civility according to those who received copies of it through his City of Tucson list serve.
Kozachik started his rebuke of Melvin’s memorial by appearing to accuse Melvin of drug use. He wrote, “How nice to receive your Concurrent Memorial. Evidently the heavy winter rains have been good for the poppy crop up in Saddlebrook.” He referred to the Board as Melvin’s Board and then concluded his angry letter by telling Melvin to ask “your” Rio Nuevo Board to “refrain from what you call “negative rhetoric.”
Melvin’s memorial called for the City to “act in good faith and work with the new District Board to reach a significant and meaningful accord on the cash and property assets due to the District for more than $250,000,000 of state funds expended since 1999.”
Melvin’s memorial echoed what some on both sides of the aisle have said they wanted for some time; for the City to “work with the new District Board to effectuate actual development and progress pursuant to the District’s purpose and mission during the remaining duration of the district, as directed by the new District Board.”
Melvin also called for the City to “refrain from negative rhetoric and act in good faith for and during dispute resolution proceedings of whatever nature and recognize the independence and autonomy of the District.”
In response to Melvin’s request for civility, Kozachik obviously took offense. He lashed out at Melvin. He implied that Saddlebrook was not considered part of the greater Tucson metropolitan area, and that Melvin’s interest in Rio Nuevo was out of line.
Kozachik complained of the District’s legal expenses, when records show that in one month alone, the District’s attorneys had to bill for services rendered to Kozachik about the Rialto Theater 9 times.
This past week, Kozachik and others were angered when the Rio Nuevo District Board offered to assist the failing Rialto Theater, but required that a business plan be established and implemented so that the theater could become self-sustaining. The Rialto Theatre Foundation withdrew its request for a one-year rent waiver, rejecting the Rio Nuevo Board’s conditions.