"Give weight to will of the people": South Tucson speaks out about Greyhound Park

"Give weight to will of the people": South Tucson speaks out about Greyhound Park

By Liz Kotalik. CREATED Oct 9, 2013

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - The community speaks up after Tucson Greyhound Park makes its way into the spotlight again. 

A recent letter the state sent to the city about steroid regulations is sparking a lot of controversy, and tonight, Nine On Your Side heard all sides of the debate.

Back in 2008 voters in South Tucson decided that greyhounds racing at the park were not allowed to be injected with steroids. Well, five years later, the Arizona Department of Racing told the city they want that reconsidered. 

In the letter, the state said South Tucson's law interferes with the departments power and authority to regulate the industry. 

In South Tucson, injecting greyhounds with steroids may be illegal, but the state says, in small amounts, it's okay. 

A crowd of greyhound advocates made their cases in front of the South Tucson city council tonight, urging them to keep the ordinance in place.

"The people have already spoken on this issue," one man said ."It's been made very clear at the ballot box."

But when Tucson Greyhound Park's interim general manager took the stand, he defended the state's stance: "[The state] has his investigators following two sets of rules, and that just can't be."

He also added that he has been, and will continue to, follow South Tucson's ordinances.

There was no vote on the issue tonight, but city's attorney says it may become a tough fight if the city decides to stand by the voter's decision: "We will be challenged from a legal stand point, and it will go up to a higher court." 

The mayor said he and the council will wait to make a decision about what to do until the city's attorney and manager come up with a list of options. 

Tucson Councilman Steve Kozachik has also been very involved in what happens at Tucson Greyhound Park.

In a statement to Nine On Your Side, he said: "The only legitimate option the council has if they are going to overturn the will of the voters is to take it back to the voters."


Liz Kotalik

Liz Kotalik

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Liz Kotalik is so proud to work in her home state of Arizona with her KGUN9 family. She anchors the 7 a.m. morning show "GMT Extra" on the CW Tucson every weekday, and also reports for later newscasts.