To Whom It May Concern:
I understand it has been ordained by the City of Tucson that all questions by the public (and the appointed citizens committee) to the potential candidates for city manager can only be submitted to the City first for their review and, I assume, editing or trashing. There will be no type of off-the-cuff, spontaneous, interactions in this show. Roles have been rehearsed, the scripts have been memorized, and the lessons already learned. So in keeping with the city requirement for submission, I have here a few suggested questions that I thought might be in order to present to the finalists.
- The Mayor and Council are the only ones who have the legal responsibility to hire the new city manager, and as one council member recently pointed out, are not legally required to have any public process at all that involves public input. Do you support having public involvement in the selection even if it is not legally required, or do you think the council should make its decision without a public process?If you believe it’s NOT a good idea to have a such a process, would you as city manager advise the Mayor and Council to:
- tell the voters that since public input is not legally required their participation will not be asked for, and proceed to make decisions in a closed back room as is customary (which has probably already happened in this case anyway).
- acknowledge that it’s politically detrimental not to at least look like you care what the public thinks, so advise the council to put on a phony show, and encourage them to act like they are listening and care about the public, while restraining yourself enough not to laugh out loud at the entire farce.
- have a phony process, but don’t even pretend it is on the level: create a “citizens’ committee that is left out of everything for months, and then announce public meetings at the last possible moment in hopes that nobody shows.
- Are you aware of the issues involved in the legal battle that has gone on for two years between the City of Tucson and citizens who have filed suit to gain access to public documents regarding the attempted sale of El Rio park to Grand Canyon University? If you were city manager, would you think that your best course of action should be to:
- Give big raises and promotions to everyone involved in the scam, and try again later.
- Blame everything on NIMBY’s, Chicano radicals, disgruntled employees, people who hate jobs, drunks, Republicans, anti-Christians, tree-huggers, and CAVEmen (Citizens Against Virtual Exploitation) any anyone else it is possible to reflect responsibility towards, hoping that the press will be there to help you out as usual.
- Offer to become an F.B.I. informant and get immunity from prosecution.
- Do you know the rules regarding the “Gift Clause” in Arizona state law? Could you give an example of how a municipality could violate the Arizona Gift Clause? If the Mayor or the City Attorney became involved in dubious schemes involving public resources that they — and you — knew to be violations of the Gift Clause, would you:
- as a loyal servant, keep your stupid objections to yourself and shut the hell up.
- as a loyal servant, enthusiastically embrace the plan as your own and promote it as a positive project for everyone, then when it blows up in your face say you were just following council direction.
- Make sure your own “gift” is substantial.
- Do you think that when a municipality decides to sell off public property that it should be sold at market prices, or way below the market?Do you think there could be instances where it is appropriate to direct an appraiser to value land based on false hypothesis: for example, claiming that a parcel of land is “vacant” when in fact, it is the opposite? What is your official position on trees?
- trees are an impediment to progress and they never generate any revenue.
- opposed to trees on environmental grounds: trees are also used to create paper, and people use paper to take notes, which is against city practice.
- think trees are cool, except never in publicly owned golf courses.
- What do you know about Arizona’s public records law? Do you think this law requires that when a request for public records is made by someone in the public, this should set in motion the immediate destruction of these records, or should you wait a while to see if people forget about their request, and only destroy the records if they take you to court? If you wanted to destroy public files that might cause embarrassment to you or some of your rich friends, how would you get rid of them?
- I would give them all to the city attorney and let him destroy them.
- I would claim that all the files were in my computer and someone mysteriously got into my locked city office and stole my laptop — and only MY laptop, without tripping an alarm or leaving a trace of how such a miracle happened.
- Claim that you don’t have any records, and never could have any records regarding anything, because you never write anything down. And neither do any other city employees. As we say in the city: “No notes, no records, no problem!”
- Finally, do you believe it is conceivable for a city manager, under the most extreme conditions and unusual circumstances — without causing shortness of breath or palpitations of the heart — to ever imagine ever using the word “NO” in a conversation with any of the following:
- T.R.E.O. (or whatever D.D.C., T.L.D.C., G.T.E.C. etc., is called lately)
- Jerry Colangelo. (Phoenix Suns, Az Diamondbacks, G.C.U.)
- Chuck Huckelberry. (Emperor of Pima County)
I look forward to the candidates responses.
Most Sincerely, Scott D. Egan – Barrio Hollywood email: email@example.com
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