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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Tucson City Council member Steve Kozachik announces resignation

Tucson+City+Hall.+by+Kevin+Dooley%2FCreative+Commons+%28CC+BY+2.0%29
“Tucson City Hall.” by Kevin Dooley

/Creative Commons (CC BY 2.0)

Ward 6 Tucson City Councilman Steve Kozachik resigned from the council after receiving a position on a project called the Mosaic Quarter in Pima County. His resignation became effective on March 31, leaving the council searching for a replacement.  

“Everyone has a shelf life and that was a part of it, but it was also the combination of feeling as though I’d really checked the last boxes that I wanted to check here and the timing with the county approving the ground lease for the Mosaic Quarter,” Kozachik said about his resignation, which came after 14 years of serving on the council.

A member since 2009, Kozachik’s impact on the Tucson community did not go unnoticed.  

“Steve always found a way to stand in the gaps of places where people might be forgotten. We think about public safety really broadly, but he would identify people who were being victimized in our community, or who were vulnerable in our community, and he would always lean into that and help people who really needed the help,” Nikki Lee, the councilwoman for Ward 4, said. 

Throughout his 14 years on the city council, Kozachik and his staff focused on marginalized groups and bringing to light abuse that was being faced in the Tucson community. According to Kozachik, during his time on the council he worked hard for rational gun control legislation as well as shutting down Tucson Greyhound Park and putting a stop to the animal abuse that was happening there. 

However, he considers one of his biggest achievements to be the preservation of the Benedictine Monastery.

That took a lot of work with the developer and with the community to make sure that that piece of architecture will be here forever. That was no small undertaking and the fact that we got it locked in place now is a great thing,” Kozachik said. 

His impact on the community of Ward 6, which includes the University of Arizona in its boundaries, was observed by all he interacted with, a sentiment expressed by Councilman Kevin Dahl.

“Steve was appreciated by most people who interacted with Ward 6 and Tucson government as someone who was responsive. His accessibility. I’m fairly accessible but he was super accessible. Anybody knew that you could just call him up and he would get on [Microsoft] Teams and talk to you,” Dahl, the councilman for Ward 3, said. 

After Kozachik’s official resignation the council now moves into the process of hiring a new member, a process that will ideally be finished by the end of April. Beginning April 1 and ending April 15, a letter of interest and a résumé can be sent to the mayor and council by any member of Ward 6 to then qualify for the hiring process. 

According to Councilwoman Lee and Councilman Dahl, replacing Kozachik may not be easy. His replacement will have big shoes to fill.

“It’s a big job, and I’m looking for someone who has experience, who knows how to work with others, who’s not an ideolog. Strong opinions are great, but we have to work together and we have to figure out what works best for all the people on the council,” Dahl said.

As this process continues, Dahl also urges university students to pay attention to the down ballot races.

“All of the local races are important too and I encourage students to register to vote and when you get your sample ballot, take some time and go onto the internet and see who these people are,” Dahl said.


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