Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild says his first year in office has been focused on the economy, rebuilding the city government and the community.
He will give his formal State of the City address to a sold-out crowd tomorrow, Feb. 19, at the Marriott Starr Pass at 3800 W. Starr Pass Boulevard in Tucson. But he joined AZ Illustrated Metro to reflect on the changes he has seen during his first year as mayor.
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In that time, nearly two dozen new companies have moved to Tucson and more have expanded, which the mayor said is a sign the city is effectively adding to the job market.
"It's our belief that those things don't happen by accident, they happen by hard work and by some of the good work the city has been able to do to help those companies come to the community," Rothschild said.
The city and Rio Nuevo also recently settled a long-running legal battle about who is responsible for some property and maintenance obligations.
One of the components of the settlement is that the Rio Nuevo district will pay $6 million to improve the Tucson Convention Center arena, which the mayor said is aimed at fixing bathrooms and "making the arena more presentable, so that when you go into the arena it will be a place where you want to be," he said.
The mayor is also working with Mexico to improve business relations by enhancing road and rail infrastructure and making the ports of entry more efficient, he said.
As a testament to his goal to rebuild the city after years of budget cuts, Rothschild said, the city has hired 11 new department heads, including a new city manager, in the 14 months he's been in office.