February 11, 2012

Mayor’s Update – February 11, 2012


Mayor’s Update
Tucson, Arizona February 11, 2012

911 Call Center
Speaking with a 911 operator: click for higher resolution.Council Member Steve Kozachik and I toured the City’s 911 Call Center last week with Fire Chief Jim Critchley. The Call Center came under management of the Fire Department in August of last year.Training is underway for a new module that will put medical information on operators’ computer screens. Currently, operators use flip charts to navigate through emergency medical protocols.Supervisors and operators (when they weren’t on calls) were happy to talk to us about their work. It’s a difficult job, but they find helping people in crisis rewarding.I was pleased to see management’s focus on training and support. Our 911 operators and dispatchers are vital components of our public safety system. I was proud to have the opportunity to meet some of them.
Business Roundtables
Small Business Roundtable: click for higher resolution.I addressed three business roundtables last week: the Building Owners and Managers Association/Institute of Real Estate Management’s annual Economic Forecast Breakfast, Tucson Association of Realtors’ Community Leadership ’12 event and a Small Business Roundtable hosted by Century Link.It’s important to have good, two-way communication between the business community and City government. We want to make sure the City provides responsive service to our customers – including, of course, the business community. And we want to offer economic development incentives that are open, competitive, and make economic sense for City taxpayers.Thanks to the people and organizations who hosted these events, and the attendees. I appreciate the opportunity to hear your concerns and ideas.
White House takes notice of DM’s energy program
Touring DM with Nancy Sutley: click for higher resolution.Last week, Tucson received a visit from Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.Together, we toured Davis-Monthan Air Force Base to see what they’ve been doing in the areas of energy efficiency and renewable energy.I was impressed. There was a parabolic solar array that will power a double-effect absorption chiller – a high-efficiency chiller that uses 85-90% less energy than DM’s current chiller. There was non-toxic ceramic paint that cuts energy use by 22%. There was a microturbine generator that runs on natural gas or propane instead of diesel. There was an indirect evaporative cooler that blows drychilled air (I can attest to this) and uses less energy than a swamp cooler. There was a hydrogen fuel cell assembly that can improve gas mileage 15 to 20% – just by installing a $1,000 kit.This technology is available now. I appreciate DM’s leadership in this area and look forward to developing more ways the City can help promote energy efficiency and renewable energy.
Tri-Sports solar and water harvesting
Tri-Sports solar dedication: click for higher resolution.Tri-Sports, which sells running, cycling and swimming gear, is an example of a local business that has gone all out for energy efficiency and renewable energy. They are now generating up to 100% of their electricity from solar power and, as a result, expect to save over $467,000 on electric bills over the next 20 years. As an added benefit, their solar installation provides them with covered parking.Not only did owners Seton and Debbie Claggett install a 128kW photovoltaic system, they also installed 2 large cisterns that store up to 36,000 gallons of rainwater, which they use to irrigate the landscaping.I was happy to join solar and sustainability officials from the City of Tucson and Pima County for the dedication of this solar installation. I hope to see many more local businesses consider solar for some of their energy needs.
Love of Reading Month
February is Love of Reading Month in Pima County. Pima County School Superintendent Dr. Linda Arzoumanian and I are joining other volunteers, reading children’s books to a local classroom. At the end, participants hand out free public library cards to the children. The cards can be activated at any branch library by a parent or guardian.I’ve signed up to read at three schools and I’m looking forward to it. I had great fun reading “Everything On It,” by Shel Silverstein, to local preschoolers at the downtown library last week. The poem is about ordering a hotdog with everything on it. This is a mistake, as it turns out, because the hotdog comes with lots of extras on top – like a parrot, a rake and a mouse. One child’s response to the parrot: “I wouldn’t want to eat the feathers.” You can’t argue with that.For information on how to volunteer, and to get library cards to hand out, contact Cody Cassidy in Superintendent Arzoumanian’s office at (520) 740-8451.

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