The APNA Board of Directors will hold its September meeting by Zoom on Tuesday the 8th at 6:30. For those who would like to attend you will receive an invitation from Liz Burden who is going to be the Zoom host for the meeting. Drop in and hear what’s going on in and around the neighborhood!
A message from APNA President David Bachman-Williams:
Dear Armory Park residents,
We have received a letter announcing the closing of the Neighbors Feeding Neighbors program by the Episcopal Church. We have happily and generously been a conduit of donations to this program by both donations accompanying membership forms and through our Home Tours.
Please do not include donations to Neighbors Feeding Neighbors with memberships from now on. Our APNA Board will have this issue on the agenda for next Tuesday’s meeting. We will begin to look for replacement charities to support.
We are thankful for the years that Jeff Bailey and his crew put into Neighbors Feeding Neighbors, bringing tasty, hot nutritious meals to people along with some welcome and needed human contact.
For those of you who have donated money to NFN in the last month you will be contacted about what to do with your donation after the board meeting Tuesday.
Not a member of the Armory Park Neighborhood Association? Please consider joining at https://armoryparktucson.org/membership/.
Our community made a great response to the threat of the proposed Central Business District expansion within Armory Park. A team of individuals and a strong response from many residents provided our council member, Steve Kozachik, with the information he needed to take action. His results were quick and effective, so this threat has passed for now.
Neighbors have expressed appreciation for the efforts of all involved, but one player has not yet been recognized. Without the contribution of our neighborhood association (APNA) none of this would have been achieved. It was at a Board meeting that the threat first became apparent and the Board expressed its concern. Very soon after, email polling of the Board authorized an aggressive response against the expansion within Armory Park. The second Zoom meeting, attended by many residents and Board members, gave City staff notice that the fight was on. President David Bachman-Williams spoke for the neighborhood in expressing our disapproval of the expansion. Only by having an active association did we learn of the threat and have a powerful voice opposing it.
APNA is built on the membership of neighbors. Our listserv has 350 email addresses enrolled. A number of those are for couples so the number of individuals subscribed is greater. 405 people follow our Facebook page. APNA has 136 members today, a third of the listserv users and Facebook followers. More people willing to pay the $10 per person annual dues strengthens the voice of our Board and President. As small as the dues are, they pay for meeting space and other expenses. Without an APNA financial contribution, the recent sidewalk improvements could not have been completed. The bottom line:
— Please pay your dues now (If you have already, thanks). Contact Phyllis Factor (Pefnaz@gmail.com), our membership chair.
— Serve as an officer, as a Board Director, on a committee or as a project team worker. 2021 elections are this November.
Armory Park is a great neighborhood, but only active engagement by our residents can keep it that way. Thanks for your active contribution.
This morning the following was posted on the Armory Park listserv:
You have seen some discussion here about the City’s intent to expand the Central Business District (CBD) in Armory Park, prompted by Martha’s email. Yesterday your APNA Board of Directors approved a response to the related Findings of Conditions Report and expansion of the CBD within Armory Park. Both are attached as PDF documents.
The report’s statements of conditions within Armory Park are grossly inaccurate. The adjectives slum and blighted were applied to the entire proposed expansion area, including the Stone/6th Avenue corridor within Armory Park. These labels were legally essential to expand the CBD and permit the generous tax relief which can help large property development. Since there are no large vacant properties in the AP CBD area, demolition will be required to construct large developments. The CBD is the foundation for large subsidized property developments. They may take many years to appear. In Armory Park, first settled in the 1870s, we must take the long view.
At the public Zoom meeting last Wednesday, I was told that the report was not subject to rebuttal because it was merely a “finding of facts”. Our only option, the staff attorney said, would be to ask the Mayor and Council to reject the report. That effort begins today.
In the current post factual world, it is not surprising to learn of a factual report which is not factual. Nevertheless, we cannot allow these characterizations of our neighborhood to go unchallenged. The organization responsible for the report, the Office of Economic Initiatives, prepared the report and it is not hard to imagine in what direction their bias might lie. Had they consulted others, the bias might have been less prominent. APNA was not consulted or informed before the report was published. This is poor staff work at best or manipulation at worst. Mayor and Council should be embarrassed by the poor staff work. We can hope that the City Manager will be called to account.
There is another public meeting by Zoom at 11 this morning. I expect it will be another PR event but I will still participate. John Burr and I will represent the APNA position but don’t expect any change to result. If things go as expected, our first approach to Mayor and Council will happen this afternoon.
Public pressure is the only means likely to change the situation at this late date. Other residential neighborhoods are also being wrapped into the expanded CBD. If you have contacts in any of them, please alert them to the danger for their communities.
Here is the financial report for July and August 2020. There was no July Board meeting. Treasurer Reports 202008
Did you catch this article in this month’s Tucson Lifestyle magazine?
These reports have already been published in Board meeting minutes and on the the listserv. They are included here for those who want a single place to see the association’s financial picture over time.
Here’s the agenda for this evening’s APNA Board meeting, being held on ZOOM:
A message from APNA President David Bachman-Williams:
An update from Ken Taylor: