by Jim Nintzel
Jeff Rogers, chairman of the Pima County Democratic Party, tells us he's preparing to roll out several proposed changes to the City of Tucson charter at the Monday meeting of Democrats of Greater Tucson.
Rogers, who calls the program "Strong Voter," will advocate for a public election to create a "strong mayor" form of government, which would mean the mayor would essentially take over the job of the Tucson city manager.
"I think it addresses the need for accountability," Rogers says. "You have a strong mayor, you pay him a real wage—maybe not as much as a city manager, but there's probably somebody who would be willing to do it for $90,000 or something."
Rogers would also like to see ward-only elections; the city now is now in court fighting a new state law that mandates both ward-only and non-partisan elections. (Rogers wants the city to keep partisan elections.)
Finally, Rogers would like to scrap the current staggered elections every two years and elect the entire council for four-year terms in the same year.
Rogers says he hopes the City Council agrees to put the charter changes on the November ballot this year, but he says an initiative campaign is not out of the question.