When Republican Tyler Vogt filed his nominating petitions to run for the Ward 4 Tucson City Council seat last week, he sent an open letter to Ward 4 Councilwoman Shirley Scott urging her to quit the race.
“I offer you the opportunity to resign from this race with your dignity and your reputation intact,” Vogt wrote. “If you choose to remain in the race, you will be opting for a complete exhibition of your performance as a city council member. This information will be presented to the public without personal attacks. It is, after all, your record.”
Scott, a Democrat seeking her fifth term representing the southeast-side ward, says she’s staying in the race.
“It don’t believe that’s a good way to start a campaign,” Scott says. “It’s an unusual way, for sure.”
First elected in 1995, Scott has been on the Tucson City Council longer than anyone else now serving.
Scott wants another representing the southeast-side ward because “there are some more projects in the pipeline that I’d like to see completed that will benefit the community at large and certainly the people who have been waiting for some of these kinds of things.”
As examples, she points to the completion of a river walk along the Pantano Wash between Golf Links Road and 22nd Street that’s nearing completion and softball fields at Lincoln Park.
She says that over the last 16 years, she’s helped shepherd a lot of projects in Ward 4.
“When I first took office, there was one fire station, there was a golf course and four softball fields,” Scott remembers. “Now, we have a library, a recreation center, we have a children’s outdoor performance center, we have two more fire stations, we have improvements in lots of parks that didn’t exist before and there are numerous transportation projects that have enhanced the ability of people to get from Point A to Point B in a safer way.”
Over the next four years, Scott says she’d like to work on finding more funding for public safety and make the city more friendly to business.
“I’d like to bring people together,” Scott says. “I am not an ideologue…. My belief is, ideology doesn’t fix potholes.”
Vogt says that Scott “has made a lot of mistakes.”
Vogt says her list of accomplishments is pretty thin for a 16-year record and it’s time for new leadership “to bring us out of this economic recession that we’re in. … Someone’s got to step up and that ended up being me.”
Vogt is particularly outraged by the money the council has spent on various Rio Nuevo projects that have been put on hold or cancelled altogether.
“We really need to hold people responsible for doing what they committed to and owning up to the mistakes that have been made,” Vogt says.
Vogt, who served 15 years in the naval reserve, has lived in Tucson for since 2000 and works at Raytheon.
His brother, Rep. Ted Vogt, is a Republican who represents Tucson’s east side, Green Valley and parts of Sierra Vista in the Arizona Legislature.