Alcohol farm

Pima Supes Embrace Alcohol Policy, Revisit COVID Boost for Employees

Blake Morlock

So it’s spring break next week, which means school boards are off for the week and local governments have a very light meeting schedule. Plus, there’s March Madness and St. Patrick’s Day.

So now is the best time, I guess, for Pima County to change its alcohol policy, which basically prohibits workers from being drunk on the job. The big change the council will consider at its meeting on Tuesday defines “obvious deficiency” as deserving of a dose of discipline. The Department of Human Resources wants the board to remove from county policy a provision that defines drunkenness as a blood alcohol level of 0.04%.

Fine. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I understand. If the impairment is defined as 0.04%, then someone at 0.03% can say they are not technically impaired (no, that’s not how alcohol works). The days of Don Draper and multiple martini lunches are over.

But there is this little line prohibiting substance use at work:

“Possessing, distributing or being under the influence of alcohol or any illicit controlled substance such as a narcotic, barbiturate, marijuana, methamphetamine or a tranquilizing or hallucinogenic drug, while on duty, except medical authorization, or in the lawful performance of regular duties assigned to the employee.”

You better be an undercover sheriff’s detective to report that it was your duty to be s*** in the face of the job. What do you think you are? Print journalists?

OK, I have to dig a few to find the new ones worth discussing.

The county will also, once again, resume COVID compensation package worth $4.4 million to provide an additional 80 hours of coronavirus leave to county workers, 40 hours to workers on leave during the pandemic, and pay county employees for unused leave.

It’s a generous package, and acting county administrator Jan Lesher is defending it.

In Green Valley, there is an all-dog alert on four fireworks displays scheduled for April and May at the Caterpillar Inc. compound in Green Valley.

The aerial pyrotechnics are scheduled for March 31, April 19, April 21 and May 13.

Each display will launch 190 aerial shells. Shooters are required to have $5 million insurance policies for each exposure and inspection by the Pima County Sheriff’s Department bomb squad.

Either way, the bond requirement is only $1,000.

Fireworks also require a county permit, and the council will vote on each one.

Green shoots of a real estate property boom?

There is an interesting little development in Marana that is worth watching to see if a trend develops.

Gladden Farms developers are “proposing” final platform approval on three subdivisions totaling 341 lots in West T. They will also vote on another part of the project where the developer must modify part of their development plan to add 96 other units. That’s over 400 homes approved in one meeting.

Normally I wouldn’t pay much attention to this, but developers can react to rising rents and house prices like bionic yeast. My economics professors told me that prices are signals to produce more inventory. Honestly, this is what the Tucson area needs to chill the market.

A “flat” is just a plan for a land development project that includes streets, water, sewer/septic, and other amenities required for a subdivision. As long as a developer complies with applicable laws and ordinances governing subdivisions, council cannot really say no.

The Pima County supes also have a series of small rezonings planned for their reunion. These are mixed-use projects (commercial and residential).

Moreover, it is not because the land is rezoned or platinized that projects are imminent. It is normal for projects to be approved and remain unbuilt for years or decades.

Is this a trend? It is too early to tell. But it’s worth watching.

stone gardens

The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors will vote on whether to accept $1.1 million in funding for Operation Stonegarden from the federal government.

U.S. Border Patrol agents do not have the authority to initiate traffic stops involving state or local laws and ordinances. County sheriff’s deputies do.

Border Patrol agents can team up with a local agent to find and detain suspected undocumented migrants.

How they do this without profiling is, frankly, beyond me.

The federal program pays local governments for overtime and locations for vehicles and communications equipment.

Peace (and quiet) in the valley

I can just tell you what’s on the Oro Valley Town Council agenda – all of it – in 55 words.

The council: will review the professional performance of the city magistrate during the executive session; get their monthly financial update; proclaim the Week of the Young Child; consider a liquor license for the Pusch Ridge Pro Shop and golf course; approve the minutes of their last meeting and vote to expand Dial-A-Ride service through the Regional Transportation Authority.

That’s it.

In my day, City Council meetings in Oro Valley required police escorts and K-9 units (Honeybee Canyon, anyone?). Where did you go, Cheryl Skalsky?

Blake Morlock is an award-winning columnist, who has worked in daily journalism for nearly 20 years and is the former director of communications for the Pima County Democratic Party.

– 30 –