by Jim Nintzel
In a long-rumored power play, Tucson Electric Power has formally announced that it is opposing the Public Safety First Initiative that city voters will decide on Nov. 3.
"We have all the support in the world for local first responders," says TEP spokesman Joe Salkowski. "But this proposition amounts to an unfunded mandate that would draw resources from other areas where the city desperately needs to invest."
Salkowski says Prop 200 doesn't include any way of paying for the estimated $63 million a year that the initiative will cost once it's fully implemented in five years.
"That doesn't seem like a smart way to manage a city budget, particularly at a time when economic stresses are so high," Salkowski says.