By Bud Foster - email
The long faces were many as Proposition 200 went down to a resounding defeat.
The speeches were given before the first numbers came in at 8:15. Bill Arnold, Brian Delphs, Ben Beuler-Garcia, Steve Kozachik, Lisa Suarez, all marched to the podium pronouncing their support for the Public Safety First Initiative.
Just moments after the speeches were finished the first numbers showed Prop 200 down 2 to 1.
"It's over," were the first words from Carol Zimmerman, who had been handling PR and media for the police and fire initiative.
About 100 supporters who showed up at the Tucson Association of Realtors ballroom on Tucson Blvd. near Grant Road were quickly aware of the fate.
There was no suspense. The ballroom was empty, the food trays taken away and the balloons deflated long before 10:00 p.m.
Most of the food was not touched, a few drinks were sold and hopes were as deflated at the balloons.
"I'm surprised more people didn't support public safety," said Delphs, head of the firefighters union and a supporter.
The city of Tucson did not respond to requests for interviews or comments but city leaders have been actively campaigning against it.
Council members Karin Uhlich and Nina Trasoff both were on record against it.
City manager Mike Letcher, who did not take an official stand against it, let it be known publicly how financially devastating it could be to the city budget.
The proposition would have amended the city charter forcing the city to have 2.4 police officers for every 1,000 residents, one of the highest in the west.
The city warned of tax increases if it was passed.
Voters voted their pocketbooks.
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