May 30, 2013

Rio Nuevo Hires Procurement Specialist, Continues Audit

In their continuing effort to maintain the highest level of accountability, the Rio Nuevo Board has hired Christopher A. Schmaltz, an attorney with significant government procurement experience. Mr. Schmaltz was hired by the Board at the May meeting to will provide direction to the Board in the development of procurement policies and procedures.

Mr. Schmaltz concentrates his practice on public law including: leasing, in land use planning and zoning, real estate development, procurement and construction contracting, elections, open meeting and public records law, economic development, finance and aviation issues. The Board voted unanimously in favor of retaining Mr. Schmaltz, and they believe he will serve the District well.

Mr. Schmaltz told the Rio Nuevo District Board at their regularly scheduled meeting on May 20, 2013, that he will work with the Board to develop a matrix which will define for the District the procedures they will employ in the renovation of the Tucson Community Center (TCC) and future projects.

After the District separated from the city of Tucson in 2011 we have had no consistent policies when it comes to procurement, member and staff spending authorities or procedures for bidding large construction projects,” said Chairman McCusker. Chris will help draft a Rio Nuevo specific procurement code that will favor local contractors yet meet all the state standards required of any jurisdiction. We are also pleased to announce that Beach Fleischman PC will continue as the District’s auditor.

The District has selected Beach Fleischman PC as the independent auditor for Fiscal Year 2013. The Board reviewed the executive officers’ recommendation and directed the negotiation of an agreement for the statutorily required audit of the District’s financial records for the 2013 fiscal year.

The District is currently reviewing the priorities for funding projects once the TCC renovation and a hotel project are launched. The Rio Nuevo Board granted the Rialto Theater a revocable easement to allow the theater to accommodate outside dining. The theater has gained tremendous popularity among Tucsonans and has been a draw for many other merchants to the District.

The Rio Nuevo Board also voted to use the services of the WLB Group, which had submitted a proposal to update the engineering on Westside properties the District received in the settlement with the City of Tucson. At the meeting Chairman Fletcher McCusker discussed the possibility of working with all land owners and the community in developing a unified PAD (Planned Area Development), which would bring much needed jobs to the community while recognizing the cultural sensitivities of the surrounding neighborhoods.