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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Three reelected council members have high hopes in a new future for Tucson in their next term

On election night, three council members won re-election into office and now plan for their current term and Tucson’s future.

Last Tuesday, Regina Romero, Paul Cunningham and Shirley Scott, three Tucson City Council members, were re-elected into office. With another four-year term ahead of the incumbents, it’s time to get down to business.

“There’s been a really aggressive agenda to make improvements for the city, and I think that [the mayor and council] feel that the voters really validated that work with their vote on Tuesday,” said Laura Dent, the chief of staff for Romero.

Looking ahead at the next four years, Dent explained plans for the city, especially the growing downtown area.

“We’re going to continue working on economic development … and continuing on expanding our incentives downtown,” she said. “As anyone can see, our downtown has been booming over the past five years.”

Dent said Romero’s team is looking forward to providing the right incentives for growth, not only downtown, but across the city as well. Focusing on the areas that need development and support is important to create incentives for growth in those areas, Dent said.

Scott, who was first elected to the Tucson City Council in 1995 and was also re-elected this term, said she feels relieved that the votes went through smoothly and that there were no issues with the count.

“We’re very pleased with the way things ran and now we need to get back to business,” Scott said.

With Scott’s next term ahead of her, she said she wants to look at issues that have not been primarily focused on, such as the Houghton Road Corridor: Tanque Verde Road to Interstate 10 project.

“Having made sure we had an award-winning start on Houghton Road, we have to make sure that continues,” Scott said.

During the campaign, the Republican City Council slate asked how the incumbents would improve Tucson’s poverty rate and crumbling roads. Both Dent and Scott said they will focus on economic development and the voter-approved Tucson City Roads Bond from 2012.

Romero, Cunningham and Scott all began campaigning earlier this year.

“It’s never too early to start talking about the work you’ve been doing,” Dent said. “I think [Romero] does a pretty good job of getting out there in front of the media and talking about her work. She really likes to focus on her constituent outreach, so she has a good relationship with her neighborhoods and with the folks here in Ward 1.”

Cunningham said that, while campaigns are over, the mayor and the city council have a long way to climb. He also said that, with the seven Pima County bonds being rejected by voters, “Tucson will face serious challenges in the next four years.”

Cunningham said he hopes to continue Tucson’s leadership in water conservation not only as a local leader, but a global leader as well. He also said he plans to keep the city’s downtown an area that “respects its history and heritage.”

In regards to his next term, Cunningham has plans for Tucson’s future, especially in expansion to aerospace.

“We need to expand the number of direct flights coming out of our airport, we need to improve our warehouse district and we need to develop an aerospace and tech sector in Tucson for high-paying, 21st century jobs,” Cunningham said.

Follow Amanda Oien on Twitter.

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