Jan 8, 2013 12:38 AM by Rbeecca Taylor
TUCSON - A town hall style 'roast' Monday night at the Loft Cinema for people living in Tucson's Ward six.
The brainchild of Council Member Steve Kozachik. The forum came under fire from some, prompting format changes.
No open mic, attendees had to submit written questions in advance.
The goal was good humor and open dialogue. Among the topics for discussion, guns.
A packed theater, popcorn, 15 elected officials on the panel, and a comedic host.
Sure there were laughs, but real issues effecting Tucson took center stage.
Everything from roads, noise pollution and Kozachik's voluntary gun buyback program.
Tom Woodrow with Arizona Citizens Defense League describes his feelings about Kozachik's stance, "he's concerned about getting rid of state preemption of fire arms laws, and I'm very concerned about that. I'm all for preemption."
Kozachik says, "we'll certainly hear about firearms, all the issues surrounding that. We'll hear about things related to defense, and the fiscal cliff possibly. Whatever they want to ask, it's all fair game."
Kozachik invited elected officials from federal, state, county and city levels in Ward six to participate.
In the days leading up to the roast, critics began rumbling that the supposed non-partisan panel contained only two Republicans.
Even so, the mood remained good natured and light hearted.
Those expecting fireworks left early.
Some just came to hear what Kozachik has to say.
Ward six constituent Gail Fonzworth says, "I like him a lot, I'm a huge fan. Everything that he says that gets quoted I agree with, even though I'm not a Republican."
"This is a roast, are you worried about anyone picking on you," asks News 4's Rebecca Taylor.
Kozachik says, "Nah, I don't care, that's why I invited Fitz (Daily Star cartoonist and host David Fitzsimmons), let him have a good time with it. That way we can talk about serious issues without taking ourselves too seriously."
Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild tells Taylor, "when we go into this, we go in knowing this is part of the deal. And I'm sure I can laugh at myself. I hope everyone else can."
Mayor Rothschild says the original message of Monday's roast was a tribute to January 8th.