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Know the West

A reluctant advocate

  Thank you for the marvelous huge feature on Tucson development (HCN, 1/18/99). However, I was chagrined to see the quote from Supervisor Mike Boyd, who has been opposed for years to anti-growth measures, and only under great pressure did indeed advocate the Sonoran Desert Protection Plan.

During his last election cycle, Boyd came to our executive committee meeting at the local Sierra Club Group to ask for our endorsement. I asked him how he stood on the issue of impact fees for developers and he responded with five minutes' worth of evasion. When he wound down, I asked the same question again. His response was that he had answered the question. I said, "No, you didn't." He then gave us another five minutes of political rhetoric, still failing to answer the question. Boyd did not get our endorsement.

At the January Canoa Ranch hearing just after your article, Boyd was the only member of the Board of Supervisors to vote in favor of Canoa, and the project was shot down. The developers will doubtless return with a modified proposal, but this was the first major victory in our anti-sprawl efforts since I have been here, and for many years prior to that time.

Jack Foster

Tucson, Arizona