On June 20, 2015, Michael Ortega, in-coming City Manager, met with City of Tucson residents at a special TRRG event. Twenty five participants engaged in four activities designed for them to share their opinions about the present state of City of Tucson administration.
Activity A – Perceptions of City of Tucson administrative units
Participants gave their impressions of each of the departments/offices on the Fiscal Year 2015 City of Tucson Organizational Chart, choosing from: good, so-so, needs improvement, and no opinion. Four administrative units were perceived as “good;” five units as “needs improvement.” Click here to see Section A results.
Activity B – Opportunities for public engagement
Participants gave written responses to “What City program or process can you think of where better opportunity for public engagement needs to be developed and communicated?” Their responses have been compiled into five categories: Planning and Development Services; Boards, Commissions and Committees; Department of Transportation; Means to Better Communication/Problem Solving; and Office of Integrated Planning. Click here to see Section B details for each category.
Activity C – Interest in the City government’s forward movement
Participants gave written responses to “If Michael Ortega were to return to a TRRG meeting in six months, what questions would you most want him to be able to answer?” These responses have been compiled into four categories: General Questions, Personal Questions, TRRG-based Questions, and Specific Managerial Questions. Click here to see Section C’s wide-range of thought.
Activity D – Building on Strength
Participants brainstormed what the City is doing now that they would like to see continued/expanded during Michael’s administration. Click
here to read what came to mind for Section D.
When considering participants’ input as a whole, I found four recurrent themes:
1. TRRG members want the opportunity to be part of the solution to their perceived City problems.
2. The Office of Integrated Planning is seen as the most positive and promising City administrative unit to promote public engagement.
3. Code Enforcement is a top priority for TRRG members who wish to see Tucson’s appearance improved.
4. Decisions made by the Planning and Development Services Department and the Department of Transportation have the potential to make major impacts on surrounding residential areas. Both departments mandate public processes. The result? Too often the projects proceed on what is seen as a predetermined course and the public is left disillusioned and distrustful.
I prepared a “Mr. Ortega, Meet TRRG” presentation book for Michael Ortega. It has three segments:
- OUR OPINIONS – Sections A-D;
- OUR GOALS – materials from the April 25, 2015 Annual Meeting
- OUR HISTORY – past documents.
The presentation book was dropped off on the tenth floor of City Hall on July 2, 2015, Michael’s second day as official City Manager. Michael acknowledged receipt. TRRG will be inviting Michael to return early in 2016 to address some of the questions from Section C.
Ruth Beeker, TRRG Chair of the Board of Directors