As our country’s birthday approaches on July 4th, I think of the three unalienable rights cited in the Declaration of Independence: Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.
Obviously, depriving any of us the first of these rights, life, makes the maintenance of the others irrelevant. This is why it is such an accepted precept that the highest priority our government at all levels is responsible for is the safety of each and every citizen.
At times, individuals or institutions in our government may fail in this responsibility. Holding the individuals and institutions accountable for these failings is our job as active participants in our government.
Yet another example of this failing to secure the life and safety of citizens seems to be playing out right here in southeastern Pima County. It revolves around what is seemingly a small rezoning and development project in Corona de Tucson, yet the indifference exhibited by the elected government representative here is alarming.
Residents in Corona de Tucson have been slowly fighting a rezoning of approximately 5 acres of land in a residential area so an RV storage facility can be built. The danger is shown by the entrance to this property being less than 100 feet from a K-5 school zone, the only bus entrance to the school, on a residential street.
Every metric available from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) to the private RV Industry Association (RVIA) show the dramatic increase in danger to pedestrians from RV traffic by more than an order of magnitude over other traffic. Basic physics and even common sense readily show the danger this project poses to the children of the area.
For more than 8 weeks, over 100 residents in the area have made many hundreds of contacts into the office of the local Pima County Supervisor, Steve Christy. Despite all of these efforts to oppose the project and voice the concern of danger for the children, never a single contact to Supervisor Christy by email or phone call has resulted in a response on the issue.
Early in June, it was discovered that Supervisor Christy has provided help on multiple occasions to the outside developer on the project. As of the first week of June, Supervisor Christy had met with the developer multiple times already and his office has been in regular contact with the developer to help further the project.
The lack of responsiveness from Supervisor Christy regarding his most fundamental duty in office, protecting the lives of his constituents, is by itself disturbing. Having Supervisor Christy and his staff actively helping the project that endangers the children in Corona de Tucson is unforgivable.
As the anniversary for our contry approaches, expecting more from all levels of our government is shown again to require constant vigilance from all citizens. For the office Supervisor Christy currently holds, we can expect more!