by Jim Nintzel
The Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce has come out against the Public Safety First Initiative that will appear as Prop 200 on the city of Tucson's Nov. 3 ballot.
Two other local business heavyweights, the Tucson Association of Realtors and the Southern Arizona Home Builders Association, are funding the initiative.
In a press release, chamber officials say that its board "concluded that mandating staffing levels and response times the Charter of Tucson undermines the purpose of the Charter and the role of elected officials in governing. Without a funding source, Proposition 200 will place the city of Tucson under dire financial constraints at a time when it is least needed."
The release quotes Jack Camper, the chamber's president and CEO, as saying: "As a former volunteer firefighter and military policeman, public safety, particularly police and fire protection, is important to me. The chamber's position in no way speaks to the job our police and fire are doing. It simply goes to the root of unfunded mandates and poor public policy."