Opposition grows to closing El Rio - Tucson News Now

Opposition grows to closing El Rio

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Emotion and opposition to Grand Canyon University moving to El Rio Golf Course and the Barrio Hollywood neighborhood is beginning to take shape.

Tucson city leaders readily admit there have been talks with Grand Canyon about the 110 acre parcel but nothing is formal yet.

"There have been conversations about the possibility of Grand Canyon leasing or buying this piece of property," Ward 1 Tucson City council member Regina Romero said just before the city entered into a closed door session about the issue.

Romero was obviously bothered and somewhat angered by the way the closed door meeting was added to the council study session agenda.

The addendum item said it was about the "sale and lease" of the property.

"It's posted as a sale or lease," she said. "It is in fact not a conversation about a sale or lease."

The session was called by the Mayor for background purposes and nothing more she insisted.

She was concerned because it inflamed the passions in the neighborhood and was quick to note the meeting was only informational and no decisions would be made.

"There will not be a decision today made about the selling or leasing of any piece of property," she said as she admonished those responsible for adding the item to the agenda.

While her concern centered on the emotions of the neighborhood activists and quelling what seems to be in her opinion rampant rumors, for others the issue takes a different tact.

"This is nothing short of a betrayal of the public trust," Barrio Hollywood resident Scott Egan told a small group of activists gathered at the El Rio Neighborhood Center Monday night to talk strategy.

Egan, who retired from public service a year ago, says "previously we were told the decision was whether to keep it a golf course or to make it a park."

He says the decision to sell or lease has "come out of the blue."

"This is a new development for us," he says.

Egan may have an ally in Ward VI city council member Steve Kozachik who is concerned about a city agreement with the Tucson Conquistadors and First Tee.

They have a multi-year agreement with the city to host First Tee at El Rio.

First Tee is a national program to help get young people interested in the game of golf.

"The most important point is our contract with the Conquistadors is alive," he says. It's bad faith for us to negotiate with a third party behind their backs."

That could spell trouble he says but adds the Conquistadors don't want to go public.

"What I'm hearing from the Conquistadors is they don't want to get involved, they don't want to tick anyone off."

It's an issue which has likely just started to take on a life of its own.

"We just don't think golf and a green space, one hundred acres of green space, in our neighborhood which is so valuable to us, should be turned into cement and steel," Egan says.

Copyright 2013 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

 

  • Local newsMore>>

  • BREAKING: Reports say Charles Manson dead at 83

    BREAKING: Reports say Charles Manson dead at 83

    Monday, November 20 2017 12:50 AM EST2017-11-20 05:50:30 GMT
    Charles Manson (Source: Calif. Dept. of Corrections/AP).Charles Manson (Source: Calif. Dept. of Corrections/AP).

    The orchestrator of one of the most notorious murder sprees in American history is dead, TMZ reports. Citing the sister of his famous victim, the media outlet said Charles Manson died Sunday night, Nov. 19, at the age of 83.

    The orchestrator of one of the most notorious murder sprees in American history is dead, TMZ reports. Citing the sister of his famous victim, the media outlet said Charles Manson died Sunday night, Nov. 19, at the age of 83.

  • Vigil honors 57 killed in Tucson crashes as families mourn

    Vigil honors 57 killed in Tucson crashes as families mourn

    Monday, November 20 2017 12:47 AM EST2017-11-20 05:47:31 GMT

    They called out one name at a time to make sure they were more than just a number among the 57 lives lost. On Sunday night, Nov. 19, the Tucson community rallied to remember those killed in an alarming rate of crashes on the city's streets. Sunday also marked World Remembrance Day for Road Traffic Victims.

    They called out one name at a time to make sure they were more than just a number among the 57 lives lost. On Sunday night, Nov. 19, the Tucson community rallied to remember those killed in an alarming rate of crashes on the city's streets. Sunday also marked World Remembrance Day for Road Traffic Victims.

  • Deputies catch man running from vacant school

    Deputies catch man running from vacant school

    Sunday, November 19 2017 9:00 PM EST2017-11-20 02:00:59 GMT

    Deputies with the Pima County Sheriff's Department arrested a man after a brief chase on the southwest side Sunday afternoon. They responded to an alarm call around 3:00 p.m. at Hohokam Middle School, which is near Camino de Oesta and Los Reales Road.

    Deputies with the Pima County Sheriff's Department arrested a man after a brief chase on the southwest side Sunday afternoon. They responded to an alarm call around 3:00 p.m. at Hohokam Middle School, which is near Camino de Oesta and Los Reales Road.

Powered by Frankly