The Huckster’s Boxing Day Gifts

chuck

A really smart friend of Casa Maria shared this commentary with us. It refers to the banner head line story in the Star ‘Red Tape Holding Up Important Roadwork’ on December 26, 2013

The English had a custom of giving the hired help the day off and a “box” of goodies the day after Christmas.  Even the working poor got to retire to the basement on Dec. 26th and have a little party after they’d cleaned up the royals’ mess.

On yesterday’s front page County Manager Chuck Huckleberry proposed Boxing Day gifts for those ‘least in need’ in an article by the Arizona Daily Star’s Joe Ferguson.  Apparently, “red tape is holding up important road work,” and the Huckster says the County needs to do some “land swaps” in order to start constructing Raytheon’s new 4 mile driveway.  Land swaps?  You know legendary developer Don Diamond and his buddies are rubbing their hands together.

Watch out open space, parks and public land!  Don and the little d’s will be making their list and checking it twice.  How about a trade for some choice land along Huckleberry’s proposed Interstate 11 route? Or maybe they’d like to swap for some land downtown (RonstadtTransitCenter) that the City is about to take bids on?

What? Spend money for something beside road repairs and potholes?  But doesn’t Huck say we need a new tax for that?  It’s curious that the County has already “set aside” $8 million in HURF (Highway User Revenue Fund) monies to realign Raytheon’s new driveway (ie. Hughes Access Road).  Guess those potholes will have to wait a few more years or until the Huckster can con the Pima County Bond Committee into giving him all its bond money to play with.

Remember, this is all about economic development and “attracting and retaining businesses.” So the lightly used TucsonInternationalAirport will get another 11,000 ft. runway, and Raytheon won’t feel cramped.  Raytheon spokesman John Patterson sounds unimpressed by the County’s Boxing Day largesse. He said the new road “will help us maintain our footprint and grow if business conditions warrant expansion.”  That’s a very big “if” these days. No quid pro quo deal here.

Maybe if Huckleberry gave his gift to the little people like the Tucson Bus Riders’ Union he might actually get a thank you.

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