January 10, 2012

Mayor’s Update – January 10, 2012


Mayor’s Update
Tucson, Arizona January 10, 2012

Let the Postal Service know by January 12th: Don’t close our mail processing center!
The U.S. Postal Service has announced plans to close Tucson’s Cherrybell mail processing center. Currently, Cherrybell processes an estimated 3.2 million pieces of mail a day, 6 days a week. Under the new plan, all Tucson mail would be trucked to Phoenix for processing, Tucson would lose its historic postmark, and First-Class Mail that now takes one day to get across town would take two to three days. At least 300 local jobs would be lost.

Mayor and Council voted 6-0, with one Council Member absent, to oppose closure. Closing Cherrybell would be devastating for local businesses and non-profits. Along with closure would come a 4.3 cent increase in postal rates for standard mail to 856/857 zip codes – almost a 20% increase for businesses and almost a 50% increase for non-profits!

Closing Cherrybell would have a ripple effect as mail houses, printers, advertising agencies and other businesses that rely on cost-effective, timely mail delivery must absorb rate increases, put up with service delays, or consider moving to Phoenix.

Please write the Postal Service by January 12th and let them know to keep Cherrybell open to keep Tucson competitive. You can read my letter here. Thank you to Congressman Grijalva, Congresswoman Giffords, Pima County Recorder F. Ann Rodriguez, the entire Tucson City Council, particularly Council Member Fimbres for bringing the motion to oppose closure, and Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce CEO Mike Varney for their strong opposition to this proposal.

Please write, on or before January 12, 2012, to:

Manager, Consumer & Industry Contact

Arizona District

P.O. Box 21628

Phoenix, AZ 85036-1628

Remembering January 8th
This weekend was an emotional one for Tucsonans as we remembered and honored the victims and survivors of the January 8th shooting.

We can do no better than to take inspiration from the lives of those we lost and those who are still with us, from the courage of our ordinary citizens and our first responders, from the skill and dedication of our medical personnel and from the compassion and will to help of our community as a whole.

Arizona Public Media has posted video of the Candlelight Vigil, as well as video of the Reflections program at Centennial Hall. I encourage everyone to share these videos with family and friends. They show who we really are, as Tucsonans. Let’s share that positive message with our neighbors and the world.

City increases support for Food Bank
 The City of Tucson has increased its award to the Community Food Bank for emergency food assistance from approximately $80,000 in fiscal year 2011 to $189,667 in fiscal year 2012. The funds were awarded through a competitive process from Tucson’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) federal funding.

Last year the Food Bank distributed over 29 million pounds of food, enough for 61,000 meals a day. For every dollar donated, the Food Bank can distribute $9.50 worth of food.

While we work hard to reduce the need for emergency food assistance by creating jobs and improving our economy, it is also important that we continue to support organizations like the Food Bank. Congratulations and thank you for your work in our community.

Potential new mission for Davis-Monthan
Davis-Monthan is one of three bases that are finalists for hosting a new drone squadron. Just the ground station and pilots would be located at Davis-Monthan. The drones, flown remotely by pilots at D-M, would be located overseas. About 280 airmen and their families would be relocated to Davis-Monthan to staff the program.

Not only would the mission bring increased personnel; it would require construction of a new headquarters building and other support facilities, creating jobs on and off base.

Davis-Monthan is a finalist in part due to the efforts of Congresswoman Giffords to keep the 612th’s Air Operations Center at Davis-Monthan.

Congresswoman Giffords’ District Director Ron Barber and Legislative Director Peter Ambler, as well as representatives from the DM50, joined me for a press conference to discuss this opportunity for Davis-Monthan and Tucson.

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