/ Modified jun 10, 2017 10:12 a.m.

Episode 141: Local Governments Say No to Trump's Wall

Metro Week: 2 fire districts propose consolidation; new Catholic bishop coming to Tucson.

The governments of Pima County and Tucson formally voiced opposition this week to the Trump administration's plans to build a wall on the Mexican border.

The two governments joined the Tohono O'odham Nation and Pascua Yaqui Tribe in opposing another barrier between the countries. They say it will cause ecological and economic problems.

“The border wall is an odious symbol of division," Tucson City Councilman Steve Kozachik said.

Pima County Supervisor Richard Elías said he hopes it starts a groundswell of similar opposition that will sway federal officials.

“We’re really working with cities and counties across the nation that are passing similar kinds of resolutions during the month of June in hopes of having their congressmen and congresswomen understand that they should not fund this wall, because they don’t have the money to do it," Elías said.

Tucson City Councilwoman Regina Romero said she thinks that effort will work.

“Cities throughout the United States, mayors and councils throughout the United States represent millions of residents in the country, and in native nations, so we are elected to represent the voice of the people and that’s what we’re trying to do," Romero said.

Edward D. Manuel, Tohono O’odham chairman, said the nation's legislative council voted to oppose the wall because it doesn't work to control immigration.

“Not only that, but with major waterways that run into our lands from Mexico during the monsoons, all that’s going to be gone - the flora, the fauna," Manuel said. "It will be devastating for our natural resources, so it doesn’t pay to build a wall on our lands."

The Pascua Yaqui Tribe has always been close to its neighbors, said Peter Yucupicio, vice chairman of the tribe.

"For us, being part of this is what we have to do. We have to make sure we band together and make sure our people, our elders, our history does not fade away because of a wall somebody’s trying to build,” he said.

Also in this episode

  • Opioid emergency: The governor declared a statewide health emergency Monday because of an opioid epidemic. We ask Pima County’s Chief Medical Officer Francisco García what it means for the Pima County Health Department, what changes in its response or in its information sharing with other agencies.

  • Bishop replacement: The Catholic bishop of Tucson, Gerald Kicanas, must retire this year at age 75. What is the process to replace him? The bishop describes how a replacement is selected, and what his role is during the transition.

  • Fire districts: Two fire districts on the northwest side are proposing to consolidate into one district. We ask Randy Karrer, Golder Ranch Fire District's chief, and Cheryl Horvath, Mountain Vista Fire District's chief, to explain the proposal. We also ask them questions viewers submitted about what it means for people who live there, both in terms of safety and cost.

Several public meetings are scheduled to get feedback on the proposed consolidation:

  • June 15, 6 p.m., Golder Ranch Fire District administrative office, 3885 E. Golder Ranch Drive. Public meeting for comment.

  • July 17, 9 a.m., Golder Ranch Fire District administrative office, 3885 E. Golder Ranch Drive. Public hearing before district vote.

  • July 17 6 p.m., Mountain Vista Fire District administrative office, 1175 W. Magee Road. Public hearing before district vote.

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