Even in retirement, former Pima County Supervisor Edwin Moore remains a singular vortex of influence and power brokering.
In the minds of many the question lingers about his archetypal influenceability.
Is Ed a mandarin for the common man.? A Zorro for a cause? Or a Trojan Horse with an unknown sponsor?
One thing that is for sure, while Ed’s fans and foes are straining to figure out the enigma of the man, he is moving forward with a plan, a tactic, and strategy that only a select few are anointed with knowing.
I first met Ed Moore at the Rillito Race track in 1984 with his attorney pals. I was one of the few Vietnam Veterans who had forgiven the Veterans of Foreign Wars for some public relations errors that were made in not allowing us to join, as we were not true “Veterans of a Foreign War.” You will recall the Vietnam War was not a declared war. They wisely reversed this tomfoolery for their own survival.
The Horseman’s Association was gracious enough to provide a building for a new VFW Post at the Rillito Race Track. That post, Casas Adobes Post 10188, is now on Roger Road. We have been forever grateful for the magnanimity of Moore and his colleagues in seeding this post.
In our initial social conversations, I learned of Ed’s fondness for military history and strategy. As a former Squad Leader in Vietnam, we had some common ground for lively discussions. Our other commonality was soccer, as Ed was one of the early aficionados of the sport. I played as child in Redondo Beach, California and had been coaching youth soccer for two years when we met.
Now, 27 years later, having spent most of my adult life as a soccer coach and an official for both club and high school, with a brief stint as the General Manager of the Amigos Semi-Pro Soccer Franchise, I too am retired, and our chats about soccer and military history continue. Never could I have imagined that these talks would converge around a showdown in the proverbial “streets of Laredo,” between soccer and horse racing!
I am not here to advocate or provide the litany of pro and cons of soccer or horse racing at the Rillito Park. My intention is to place the following formal complaint in front of the readers of the TucsonCitizen.com, and let it flow. Were I asked to vote or side with one entity, my heart would go with soccer, as would Ed’s to the surprise of many.
In fact, if I were allowed to engage in some fantasy, I would like to see this location tap on some of those stimulus funds, and turn a portion of the park into a venue for professional soccer. It would be utilized year-round and unlike TEP it would cash flow without a need for ongoing subsidies. Tourism would have an immediate boon, as the facility could be multi-use, hosting once again international rugby and lacrosse matches.
In addition, Tucson would not have to pass on the endless number of international friendly games that we have been offered over the past years, like the ones that are currently being played at ASU and Grand Canyon College in Phoenix. There are six MLS teams spring training in Phoenix. Last week they hosted the Chicago Fire and Kansas City Wizards. This Tuesday, I will be traveling to ASU to attend a match between the Arizona Sahuaros and the Columbus Crew.
My point, you know the one I was not asked to give, is that we were offered some of these games in Tucson, and we have NO venue to host them. We cannot even host our own Sister City team from Guadalajara, the Chivas! They play in Phoenix. And it is OUR Sister City! This is pure insanity. Do we not recall what Yogi Berra said? “Cash is kinda like money.”
So my military mind says, lets all get along. Keep the race track crankin’ for posterity and cultural history. Get some of the Feds money along with USSF Grants, match it with private investors, and convert the midfield into a professional soccer pitch. Then make a deal to have a gargantuan youth soccer facility built with the monies that were to be allocated to move the race track. Disabled veterans can staff the place as volunteers, and some of the proceeds can be directed to end homelessness.
Pima County would be in the vanguard and make national news.
Retirement does indeed feed ones fantasy life, especially when it comes to getting along in Tucson. May the best team win.
Here is the copy of the Complaint that was hand delivered to Pima County Officials and 200 others yesterday afternoon.
Pima County Board of Supervisors
Ann Day, Supervisor
Ramon Valadez, Supervisor
Sharon Bronson, Supervisor
Ray Carroll, Supervisor
Richard Elias, Supervisor .
c/o Lori Godoshian,
Pima County Clerk of the Board
130 W. Congress, 5th Floor
Tucson, AZ 85701
EDWIN R. MOORE
P.O. Box 36077
Tucson, Arizona 85740
Fax. (520) 888-5289
February 24, 2010
Barbara LaWall, Esq.
Pima County Attorney
1400 Legal Services Building
32 N. Stone Ave.
Tucson, AZ 85701-1412
Re: DEMAND for Compliance with Ordinance with respect to Rillito Race Track and Notice of Claim pursuant to AR.S. §§ 11- 641 and 11-642
Dear Sirs, Honorable Members of the Pima County Board of Supervisors, and Pima County Attorney, DEMAND is made that you comply with and enforce that certain Pima County Ordinance adopted by the Pima County voters, and Pima County, pursuant to Initiative No. 400 entitled, “AN ORDINANCE ADOPTING AN OFFICAL PLAN PROVIDING FOR THE USE, ACTIVITIES AND STATUS OF THAT CERTAIN LAND AND IMPROVEMENTS OWNED BY PIMA COUNTY, CONSISTING OF APROXIMATELY EIGHTY-EIGHT (88) ACRES, GENERALLY KNOWN AS “RILLITO RACE TRACK.” (hereinafter referred to as “Rillito Race Track Initiative
Ordinance” or sometimes “Ordinance”). The Rillito Race Track Initiative Ordinance passed by a vote of in excess of sixty two (62%) per cent of the voters in the General Election of November 6, 1984. In pertinent part, the Rillito Race Track Ordinance mandates and provides:
SECTION 1: PIMA COUNTY HEREBY DECLARES THAT SAID LANDS SHALL BE UTILIZED FOR RECREATIONAL AND HISTORIC USES, INCLUDING HORSE RACING APPROVED BY THE ARIZONA STATE RACING COMMISSION, FOR THE BENEFIT OF T~ CITIZENS OF PIMA
COUNTY. RILLITO RACE TRACK SHALL BE ADMINISTERED UNDER THE PIMA COUNTY PARKS AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT.
* * *
SECTION 4. PIMA COUNTY HEREBY DECLARES ITS FULL SUPPORT OF THE PETITION FILED WITH THE ARIZONA STATE HISTORIC PRESERVATIONS OFFICE SEEKING TO HAVE RILLITO RACE TRACK DESIGNATED A STATE HISTORIC SITE. IN THE EVENT A PETITION IS FILED SEEKING TO HAVE RILLITO RACE TRACK DESIGNATED A NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE, PIMA COUNTY HERBY DECLARES ITS FULL SUPPORT OF THAT PETITION. IN FURTHERANCE THEREOF, THE IMPROVEMENTS ON THE LAND SHALL BE MAINTAINED. SECTION 5. THE PIMA COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS DOES NOT HAVE THE RIGHT, POWER OR AUTHORITY TO CHANGE OR AMEND THIS ORDINANCE.
In various, diverse and chronic ways the Pima County Board of Supervisors has violated the Rillito Race Track Ordinance and will of the voters of Pima County, by and through its authorized agents, servants, employees and others with whom Pima County has contracted in order to avoid, evade, and violate the Ordinance and frustrate the will of the’ people expressed therein. The County Administrator, c.H. Huckelberry, has expressly and explicitly sought to have endorsements of the historic designation by the State of Arizona changed and modified in violation of the mandate and intent of the Ordinance.
In direct, express and categorical violation of the Rillito Race Track Ordinance, Linda Mayro, in her capacity as Pima County Cultural Resources Manager specifically and expressly stated to the Arizona State Parks Review Committee on October 9, 2009, among other things:
“Pima County owns the Rillito Racetrack and does not support the district nomination. . .. ” (emphasis added) Ms Mayro is wrongfully being paid by Pima County to advocate opposition to the historic designation of the Rillito Race Track contrary to and in violation of the Ordinance. DEMAND is made that you immediately and forthwith advise the Arizona State Parks Review Committee that Ms Mayro’s statement is incorrect and that Pima County, as the owner of the subject property, supports the historic designation of the Rillito Race Track.
I have been informed, and claim upon said information and belief, that the Pima County Board of Supervisors has in violation of the Rillito Race Track Ordinance, and without authority of law, paid monies to:
Pima County Administrator
Pima County Cultural
Resources and Historic Office
DEMAND is made upon you, and each of you, as well as others who have received.said payments, jointly and severally, that said payments be repaid to Pima County, together with interest at the legal rate often per cent per annum from the date of said payment(s) and; further that you cease and desist from accepting any additional payments for work or ,services, of whatsoever kind or nature, in violation of the Ordinance. In addition to seeking repayment of said funds, an injunction may be sought seeking to prevent and preclude the further payment of funds in violation of said Ordinance.
DEMAND is made upon the County Attorney pursuant to AR. S. § 11-641B to bring an action in the name of Pima County against the board of supervisors and others who are liable to enjoin the payment of money in violation of the Rillito Race Track Initiative Ordinance, and to the extent monies have been paid, to recover said monies with interest at the legal rate, and twenty per cent additional on the principal.
I am a taxpayer in Pima County. Notice is given that if the County Attorney fails for twenty days after this request to institute said action, then any taxpayer in the county, including me, may bring an action pursuant to AR.S. § 11-642 with the same effect as if brought by the County Attorney. In such event, I will seek judgment against you, and each of you, for all sums allowable under the statute, taxable costs of suit, and reasonable attorney fees.
In addition, the wrongful actions referred to above may have violated one or more of the Arizona Revised Statutes 13-2301 through 13-2318, in particular, 13-2311.
On information and belief, the forgoing and following acts were taken to monetarily benefit the Tucson Soccer Academy, (TSA). TSA is a nonprofit corporation which has paid staff. (Dick Grasso, a top staff member of the New York Stock Exchange, which was a nonprofit corporation, retired with millions.)
Pima County charges TSA $0.00 an hour for unlighted fields, and $5.00 to $7.50 an hour to rent lighted fields. Gilbert, Az. charges $12.00 to $18.00 an hour to rent unlighted fields and $36.00 to $54.00 an hour for lighted fields. Three separate soccer tournament sites around Tucson have been proposed that meet the guidelines that other communities have used. Pima County has tried to eliminate these logical locations to focus the local soccer community on tearing down Rillito Race Track to build a soccer tournament site .
It is cheaper to build soccer fields on vacant land, such as the Arthur Pack Park site, or other vacant lands. Pima County estimated in writing that the cost to build a racetrack similar to Rillito would be $38,000,000 …forgetting that an historic site is priceless and irreplaceable. Thousands. of people from all over the country come to see the horses run and to see the historic track. MORE THAN 68,000 PEOPLE ATTENDED RILLITO RACE TRACK LAST YEAR! The County now intends to tear down this historic gem and lose another major tourist attraction, employment center and historic site. (They have already lost Spring Training Baseball.) The substance of those actions taken in violation of the Ordinance, passed by 62.8% of the voters in 1984, have had the support of TSA. Those actions are contrary to the expressed will of the people of Pima County.
Pima County subsidizes TSA with taxpayer money by providing soccer fields, electricity for lights, water and maintenance, at far below the real costs, and as a result, TSA staff makes money. Pima County should not be allowed to tear down more of our history and terminate horse racing to provide further tax payer subsidies to a money making organization. It is improper to gift tax payer money. Other groups such as AYSO are volunteers and have no paid staff. They even provided money to the Parks Department to put up lights at Dan Felix Park.
In the event I bring an action, in addition to such other remedies as may be available to me, I would intend to seek by Special Action, or otherwise, specific performance of the Rillito Race Track Ordinance by the Pima County Board of Supervisors and all those acting under their control. I wish to draw to your attention that the Ordinance mandates in Section 4, cited above that, ” … THE IMPROVEMENTS ON THE LAND BE MAINTAINED.” Please comply with the will of the people expressed and binding upon you in the Rillito Racetrack Initiative Ordinance.
Ed Moore, former Pima County Supervisor