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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

All proposed bonds fail in last week’s election

Poor++road+surface+conditions+near+one+of+two+drainage+gutters+on+Highland++Avenue+between+Sixth+Street+and+Broadway+Boulevard%2C+an+area+that++frequently+floods%2C+on+Wednesday%2C+Nov.+11.+Proposition+425+and+431++would+have+allocated+money+to+improving+Tucson+roads+and+flood+control%2C++but+failed+to+pass+in+the+recent+election.
Rebecca Noble

Poor road surface conditions near one of two drainage gutters on Highland Avenue between Sixth Street and Broadway Boulevard, an area that frequently floods, on Wednesday, Nov. 11. Proposition 425 and 431 would have allocated money to improving Tucson roads and flood control, but failed to pass in the recent election.

All seven Pima County bonds were rejected by Tucson voters in the last election cycle.

The seven bonds included changes like road and highway improvements as well as public health and welfare.

According to the Pima County official website, the estimated total cost and debt repayment, including principle and interest, would have cost about $1 billion for 99 projects across Pima County.

The seven bonds were proposed by a 25-member citizen committee and were voted against on Nov. 3.

Larry Hecker, the chairman of the citizens advisory committee, explained his thoughts and feelings of disappointment regarding the bonds’ failures.

“I’m naturally very disappointed,” Hecker said. “I had a duty to those thousands of people that came to our meetings and expressed their views.”

During the campaign, Hecker said he and his team used many different means to reach the community when it came time to vote. He urged voters to choose ‘Yes’ on the seven bonds.

Hecker’s ‘Yes’ campaign stationed signs around Tucson, created mailers and radio ads, and incorporated a speaker’s bureau that informed different groups and organizations of the importance of supporting the bonds.

However, even without a bond package, Hecker says that “regardless, something needs to be done” about the proposed city improvements.

Allison Childress, a political science junior, voted for most of the Pima bonds in the hopes of making a change for her city and county.

“I’ve lived in Pima County for most of my life, and I have seen the problems the bonds were meant to address, like the crumbling roads and how we don’t have a lot of tourism,” Childress said. “I thought, we need to invest in those problems to help solve them,”

Gini Crawford, a Tucson community member and a driving force behind the ‘No’ campaign, said the team’s focus was the higher taxes. Crawford said the ‘No’ campaign signs made people stop and think of where the money to support the bonds would be coming from.

Crawford said that her main reason behind voting against the bonds stemmed from the anticipation of higher taxes, the rising debt and her mistrust of Pima County.

Not unlike the ‘Yes’ campaign, Crawford and her team spread signs around Tucson, ran radio ads against the bonds, sent out mailers and also established a website. “I really didn’t push for donations as much as I could have, because I felt like people would give when they could,” Crawford said.

After the failure of the seven bonds, Crawford said the impact between the website and the signs seemed to have about the same impact. Looking back, Crawford realized that general discourse about the ‘no’ campaign was a driving force behind the cause.

“Word of mouth was huge,” Crawford said. “You have a message that people agree with, and even get excited about, and they pass it around. It goes to their neighbors and their family.”

At first, Crawford said she expected the ‘Yes’ campaign to succeed in passing three or four of the bonds and the ‘No’ campaign to stop about the same. But after talking with the community at a variety of events, she found most people said they would either vote for a few bonds or none at all.

In the end, she said she realized one of the main reasons that the bonds had failed: budget spending.

“It was just common-sense thinking,” Crawford said. “It was crazy spending. These bonds were crazy spending.”


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