TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The race for Tucson City Council Ward 6 pits newcomer Val Romero against three-term incumbent Steve Kozachik.
Ward 6 takes in midtown and most of downtown. That puts the Ward Six council member in the middle of high profile issues like downtown redevelopment. But council members are elected city-wide and are expected to care for important concerns outside their ward boundaries too.
In 12 years on the Council, Steve Kozachik has specialized in challenging the city administration to face difficult, complex issues.
He says his top priority now has been stopping the threat of groundwater contamination from PFAS---toxic chemicals in firefighting foam that was used at Davis-Monthan and the Air National Guard Unit at Tucson International.
“So making sure that the ratepayers are treated fairly, which is to say they should pay nothing for the remediation. PFAS is numbers one, two and three on my hit list. The second thing that's very important right now and very current is our current discussion with the RTA on whether or not we roll that forward and what, what role, if any, the City of Tucson is going to play in the RTA next package.”
RTA or the Regional Transportation Authority is up for renewal. The city is questioning whether it should stay a member of RTA. City officials complain Tucson is the biggest part of RTA but smaller cities have more ability to influence transportation projects than Tucson does.
Val Romero is running as an independent. He owns a business that sells and installs grills and fireplaces.
His top issue is addressing the shortage of police and firefighters by improving pay and working conditions.
“Well I think right now there's a lot of first responders that are leaving city Tucson for better paying jobs, they're getting transfers to different places that have a better morale for their, their first responders, I don't believe they're given the kudos that they deserve, within our community.”
After first responders, Romero mentions street repair as another priority, spreading more money into smoothing Tucson streets.
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