El Cortez Heights Neighborhood Meeting 1/12/23
Meeting Minutes
Ward 3 Rep: Marlene (Council Aide)
Eric (Mayor’s community engagement advisor)
Takeaway points:
-Neighborhood officers are President Will, VP Michael, and Secretary Julia
-You can get in touch with them via the email on the website
-We will try to set up a Google Group or similar to make it easy to communicate
-There is interest in doing a Trees for Tucson event for the neighborhood, look out for
information on this
-Instead of weekly walks, we will do monthly clean-up walks (and one potluck party) on the
Third Thursday of each month. Reminder emails will be sent two days before each event.
-Marlene, our Ward 3 rep, is checking in on the following items: getting the process rolling
to decorate the Calle Chico and 2
Ave roundabout; connecting us with Tucson Mesh
about providing affordable internet in the neighborhood; A couple Grant Road questions:
trimming the vegetation to provide better sightlines, asking the city for their plans on the
vacant lots next to Grant
18:03 Officer announcements
-Will offers to step down as president, but no one else wants it
-VP: Martha’s stepping down, now it’s Michael
-Julia is secretary; renewing effort to get minutes out after the meeting
-link for contact info for new officers on the website, Will shall set it up
-Julia needs to submit a form to Ward 3 office
-El Cortez email as contact information, or Ward 3 phone number
-Spam has been sent to personal emails in the past
18:06 Does anyone have any issues to discuss?
-Support for not posting private contact info
18:07 Road work signs on Saguaro
-Will called about the six signs (the phone # on the signs) to a company in Phoenix
-They didn’t even know what the signs were
18:08 Introductions
18:13 Interest in doing a Trees for Tucson eventget trees for your yard!
-Sugar Hill is having on event on 28 January
-Seneca got fliers
-Marlene will connect Will with Angel, their lead coordinator
-Might be too late to join this event
-We can send emails + send out flyers if it works though
-Total: 100 houses and 100 apartments
-Julie has been a tree planting volunteer before
-Flyer lets you know its happening, that you have to be present to pick it up, and that you
have to water it for two years afterwards
-Downside of flyers can be that it advertises when people are not at home
-If the 28
doesn’t work:
-Could we team up with another neighborhood? Feldmans, etc.
-Will already emailed someone about this 1/10 due to previous discussion
-Date: later this spring (March or April) or next fall
-They help ya dig a hole, preferentially planting to shade the house, avoid powerlines
-Small neighborhoods can also have their own events
-Do you get discounted trees? It’s based on your tree score, and we have trees already
-Cost without discount is $30, but assistance may be available
18:21 Other issues: Weekly walk attendance is poor and we should have a new plan
-Weekly is too often
-How about monthly?
-Third Thursday of the month, target a certain area
-But one is a party instead of a clean-up!
18:23 The roundabout that we keep talking about (Calle Chico and 2
-It’s flat, not that big
-The stakes are low and bent
-Take away the bricks (actually concrete disguised as bricks)
-Living Streets Alliance: will do some road painting
-Cost: recent neighborhoods (Thrive in the ’05) got a grant
-Meant to be low-cost
-DOT Mobility has re-classified the painting as a special event
-So now you have to private hire street markings for 2-3k
-Workaround: someone can take a class to get a certificate to run it
-But that has not happened yet
-Can we just steal the construction signs that were left behind???
-Cost shouldn’t be a deterrent; there is a pot of community money
-If you want it and plan it, the Ward office can cover a portion
-Could we put in planters or sculptures and make it prettier?
-Someone else has to commit to watering it
-We can’t do boulders because people hit them and they explode and there’s shrapnel
-Get donation for soil, plants, planters
-Put concrete at the bottom so they can’t be stolen, like in Miracle Manor
-Will local artists donate sculptures? (Julia note: we could coordinate with Bicas)
-Low investment cholla, aloe, etc.
-Keeling has an epic battle for traffic calming
-The process could include floodplane, etc. things
-When the original grant was achieved, it was not big enough to do decoration
-Speedbumps came from the same project
-Why do we only have one roundabout?
-Some got nixed by neighbors
-Past *~drama~*, read all about it in the archives
-Marlene will send an email to ask about the process
18:36 Stories of meeting new neighbors, getting cards for them
18:38 When you do a clean-up and you order a roll-off, they’ll do a mailer for you
-For the twice-annual big neighborhood cleanup
-We can be more creative with that
-Separate from the 1/year neighborhood mailer
18:39 Other neighborhood issues
-Vacant home is being broken into
-Owner has been contacted
-RV on Avenida el Capitan has vacated
-Mailer from someone in the neighborhood as in invitation to join NextDoor
18:42 How to do better with communication
-The mailing list (mail, email) is one way (us->neighborhood)
-NextDoor (doesn’t seem to serve the purpose of one-neighborhood)
-Lots of neighborhoods use Google Groups (people can request membership)
-There was a gas leak recently on Seneca! Because of the fiber optic line/sewer work
-Now: Seneca from 3
to 4
, will probably finish early next week
-Maybe now we might have a competitor for Cox!
-Tucson Mesh: an organization run by volunteers bringing community low-cost internet
-Marlene can connect us with them
-They are becoming a service provider; but it’s a group of people
-Sliding scale, but top cap is $30/month
-Still figuring out the capacity
-The more people who participate the better it is for everyone
18:50 Speaking of Parkside Terrace (the apartments), should we meet there instead of here?
-We met there in “the distant past”
-Someone has to like, unlock a door
-Could it increase apartment attendance? They’re half of our people
-Is there any reason we shouldn’t keep our current schedule? Nope!
-So, next meeting on the second Thursday of April at 6pm
18:54 Eric (Mayor’s community engagement advisor)
-Romero wants to build a better relationship with neighborhood associations
-Tries to attend many meetings
-But there are 150 neighborhoods
-and they ALL meet on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday
-So Eric will cycle through our meetings
-Reach out to him whenever you want the mayor’s office to hear something
-Whatever you discuss that you find important, Eric will tell the mayor
-He can also act as a liaison toward departments
-email: eryck.garcia@tucsonaz.gov
18:58 DAE still feel like there are some squatting issues in empty houses?
-there’s another house that might be affected
-no one ever moved in (SW corner of 3
Ave. and Grant)
-Why can’t the owners address it? They just like, can’t, we guess
-Is there family drama behind the scenes?! Let’s get that in the newsletter
-There was a lengthy vacancy at the Calle Chico/2
Ave NE corner
-because while it was vacant, someone turned on the water and flooded the house
-A palm tree caught fire somewhere? It is now just a black stump…
-In general, we’ve had a good year (2022, and so far 2023 󰊔󰊕󰊖)
-Homeless encampment at 1
and Grant
-Is there something planned for that remnant lot? Marlene will ask
-Triangle near Euclid+1
, weeds need to be cut down for visibility
-Email Marlene when it is getting out of control (DOT for sightines)
-Similar issues for Grant Road project (crosswalk near Los Altos)
-Sometimes they let the Ironwoods stay fluffy but these are a different species
-We don’t want them cut down, just trimmed!!
-Crossing the street using the signal, it takes ages
-When you push the light to cross back from Fry’s, it turns the OTHER light on first
-It has something to do with the Michigan turn design, but my brain is too tired to explain
it here
-Also someone set the trash can on fire there
-Should we take out the trash cans? They are usually pretty full, in the past there were
overflow issues
-The 4
Ave bike avenue traffic circle features through GSI are really good
-GSI: Green Stormwater Infrastructure, now called something else
-Sugar Hill has a clean-up scheduled on the 28
and Lester/Waverly
-Audobon is doing some work before that cleanup
-Road initiative to repair roads instead of patching?
-The road changes when you get to ~certain~ areas
-There’s supposed to be a pot of money for this!
-That’s one of the biggest boxes of money from Prop 411 passed last year
-Surveys done by engineers and DTM: you pretty much have to replace
-the roads are from the 60’s and 70’s for the most part
-our weather is a recipe for (road) disaster!
-Contact the Ward offices to report things?
-Overall condition Index (OCI) for each road
-Most of our streets are at the lowest score
-You can look up your street
-How does it line up with the tree score, and the income (!!!!)
-it’s “interesting”, a polite word for “likely unfair”
-What’s the algorithm gonna be to figure out priority? (because all the road r bad)
-maybe including density, income?
-the Ward officers are fighting each other for funding
-there are different levels for road repair
-but recent repairs need a fog sealing for protection
-every neighborhood street is supposed to be touched within 10 years
-our roads are starting worse, so we’re stretching an equal amount of $$ over
more repair-needing miles
-we get 350k ARPA chunk money (traffic circle money pot?)
-Keeling is getting completely repaved (because they’re at the end of the last 10
years’ cycle (includes the blacklidge bike boulevard))
19:23 Can we stream the meeting for free?
-Yeah, on Julia’s employers’ dime (Zoom account)
-We can stream and meet in person