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Rio Nuevo board deserves praise for turnaround
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Rio Nuevo board deserves praise for turnaround

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Guest opinion (new)

Fletcher McCusker

All of Tucson and Southern Arizona should applaud the Oct. 15 report on the state of Arizona audit of the Rio Nuevo District.

No entity has done more to revitalize and energize Tucson’s urban core and reinstate trust in government than this body.

It was but a few years ago that the name Rio Nuevo was symbolic of waste and dysfunction.

A change in leadership — the appointment of Fletcher McCusker to serve as chair and the appointment of new board members — has resulted in many improvements to downtown public facilities as the District’s charter demands but has also resulted in the attraction of millions of dollars of private investment.

Calming the acrimony of Rio Nuevo’s early days and transforming the district into a cooperative, results-producing body serving the Southern Arizona taxpayer was not an easy task.

The progress made by the “new” Rio Nuevo District is a wonderful example of what can happen when personal and political differences are set aside in favor of promoting the greatest good for the greatest number of citizens.

As noted in the state audit, the management of Rio Nuevo funds and the transparency of financial and development responsibilities have resulted in a “glowing review”.

The Tucson Metro Chamber Board of Directors congratulates McCusker, all of the Rio Nuevo Board of Directors who have served under his leadership and the city of Tucson for its collaboration and vision.

You have transformed Tucson’s downtown and we believe our best days are still in front of us.

Robert D. Ramirez, of Vantage West Credit Union, is the chairman of the board of the Tucson Metro Chamber.

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