It’s  1 PM on Saturday. There was an election last Tuesday. Turnout for the County was low, but in OV of the 28,000 registered voters 14,000 voted…not bad at 50 per cent.  Don’t you think that in 2015 with all of the electronic advances we have,  Pima County could have the votes counted. This is just one more example of the ineptitude of Pima County government  under the leadership of Chuck Huckleberry.

Anyway, all of our candidates are ‘comfortably ahead’ in their races so I doubt there could be any changes to the outcome. BUT again with Pima County one never knows.

I want to take this opportunity to thank each of you for voting and supporting our candidates. There was a lot of nasty rhetoric from the opposition. The fabrications, ½ truths and silly signs were unable to sway the folks.

To quote from our purpose,  “Our goal is a fair, accurate and truthful account of the facts that affect our lives in this community of excellence.”  We hope that in small way we did have a positive impact on the outcome!!

I also want to thank all of you who made phone calls, donated money, talked to your neighbors, friends and relatives about this election. You did make a difference.

We are probably going to take a little break from the action. But keep in mind we are only a few months from the beginning of the 2016 Oro Valley election cycle in which the Council seats of Mike Zinkin, Brendan Burns and Bill Garner will be contested.

That should be a ‘barn-burner’!!!


I read the following comment submitted by one of our loyal readers and felt it was important enough to be a post.


“I want to share a comment that appears in last week’s Explorer. It is in response to a poster that goes by the name of OVrepub. Look for a letter titled, “False Accusations.” OVrepub veers from the topic of the letter to defend Didio’s account of Coyote Run. (Wondering if OVrepub is Didio’s pseudonym?) There was a great deal of research that went into preparing the Coyote Run timeline. It is worth reading.

“OVrepub has turned this into a defend Didio on Coyote Run. Let’s shed some light on who said what and when they said it.
Council meeting June 16, 2010 – Didio does not want Coyote Run diminished and urges council to find the money to augment the service. Council directs staff by a vote of 7-0 to negotiate with RTA to coordinate Coyote Run and Sun Shuttle Transit services while adopting a resolution to enhance services and fund at 2009-2010 levels.

A year passes, it is now June 2011 and the town continues to work with RTA to coordinate Coyote Run and Sun Shuttle Transit. Funding had been swept by the State that is why the Town needed to find money. The transit service needs another funding source until RTA and the Town can work out an arrangement. A motion was made by Councilmember Garner and seconded by Councilmember Gillaspie to maintain Coyote Run service as is and to direct the funding to come from the Bed Tax fund. The motion passes 6-1; Hiremath was opposed to funding Coyote Run from the bed tax fund. He did not vote to eliminate Coyote Run as has been erroneously reported by the challengers. Didio spoke again at this meeting (a year since he previously addressed council) this time he remarks that changes came all of a sudden and he did not want Coyote Run terminated.

A special meeting convened on June 29, 2011 to discuss the formation of a council work group for the examination of the Coyote Run transit system. Solomon and Waters were appointed to the sub-committee to work on the examination of Coyote Run. Motion passed 4-1 (Garner opposed, Gillaspie was not present for the vote).

Over the course of the summer of 2011, the council sub-committee worked with stakeholders. At a September 2011 council meeting Councilmember Solomon announced that the Transit subcommittee had met with the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) and users regarding Coyote Run. He stated that the most promising option was to subcontract with the RTA and to have the town provide the transportation, drivers, etc.
In February 2012 a Resolution approving the Intergovernmental Agreement between the RTA and the Town of Oro Valley for circulator bus service was unanimously approved by Council. There were no dissenting votes.

Please note that nowhere in any of this timeline does it state that Steve Didio saved Coyote Run.”

And so once again, the TRUTH comes forward.

OV Community Center Spooktacular 10-30-15



Just some picture of kids and adults (Total of almost 700 they tell me) gathering at the Community Center.  Pictures copied from Lou Waters Facebook and he has a bunch more if you would care to look.  You might even be in them or your grandchildren….



Oro Valley at a crossroads with Recall Election

Quest Opinion By Kim Folsom Oro Valley Resident,

Former Managing Editor for McGraw Hill, and reporter for three Salt Lake City newspapers

What kind of community do we want for the future of our children and grandchildren in Oro Valley? I moved to Oro Valley in 2001 from Salt Lake City where I had been a reporter and editor for 25 years with McGraw Hill magazines and three local newspapers. When I moved to Oro Valley the only business near me was Fry’s Food Store and Walgreens. Since that time, a full complement of businesses and restaurants has been developed. In 2001 Oracle Road had very little development in this area but now we have a business corridor from Rancho Vistoso to Magee Road that more than handles the needs of the community.

The growth in Oro Valley of new homes and subdivisions has also been dramatic. The Town of Oro Valley has been forward thinking to keep up with this growth and development by creating proper infrastructure to handle the needs of the residents. I believe we need facilities like the Aquatic Center and the many options Naranja Park gives our youth and those that came with the El Conquistador purchase. I may be a senior citizen and may not use these facilities myself but I do have grandchildren that do use them on a regular bases.

Recently I have been disturbed with the controversy over the purchase of the Clubhouse and recreational facilities previously run privately as El Conquistador Country Club. It was only natural for me with my previous experience as a journalist, to look into the situation and make some sense of the multitude of facts and figures being sent out to the public in campaign literature.

Issue 1: Was the purchase of El Conquistador Club House facilities and golf courses a good deal? I would have to say yes, looking at figures that were published previously in local newspapers; HSL Properties sold the Town of Oro Valley the property for the figure of $1 million dollars to be paid within a three-year period. The Country Club facilities and golf courses appraise at $3.25 million with a replacement value of $42 million if the Town of Oro Valley was trying to do this from scratch.

Issue 2: What is the true story on the taxes for upkeep and improvements of these new facilities? The only tax that was added to pay for the upkeep and development of these new facilities was a 1/2 percent sales tax increase. This tax does not apply to food, prescription purchases or gasoline. According to Mayor Hiremath, it is estimated that non-residents will pay 30 percent of these taxes. It has also been stated that the 4 percent Utility Tax was related in some way to the purchase according to campaign literature but this tax was instituted prior to the currently elected council at 2 percent and then in 2010 raised to 4 percent because of the needs of the town at that time. The net loss on golf operation for May and June was $247,275 more than what was budgeted in the 2014/2015 budget. This figure was not surprising since those months are the slowest for golf in the Tucson area and revenues should increase as the peak golf season approaches. All costs to maintain and develop these facilities will decrease over the next four years according to Mayor Hiremath as the town works to maximize the full potential of these facilities for the community. Mayor Hiremath added that the town is on a fiscal June 30 year and the opposition is bringing over expenses incurred in May and June carrying it over to this fiscal year in July. He also stated that the town actually ended up FY 14/15 with a surplus of $30,000 over projections. He also noted that the revenue sources were not applied to offset the expenses. We have a shortfall of roughly $60,000/month.

Issue 3: Are the facilities affordable for the community? Daily use fees are a real bargain considering what it cost to go to a movie now days. Oro Valley residents’ daily admission is only $14 for a family of six or less, $6 for adults, $5 seniors, $4 for youth 4-17 and children under 4 are free. This is less than a bag of popcorn at the movie and Oro Valley residents can save more by having a monthly membership. I inquired about golf rates at the pro shop and those prices are also competitive. Rates at this time of year run between $39-$49 during the day, and after 2:00 pm they go down to $29 for 9 holes. Oro Valley residents have all the advantages of country club without the high cost of a country club membership.

Issue 4: There has been much talk about transparency and the speed of the El Conquistador purchase but the facts are the Oro Valley Town Council discussed it, public comments were heard. In real estate deals of this type, time is a factor in getting the best deal.

I think it is important for voters to look the track records of all the candidates prior to voting. The current incumbents Satish Hiremath, Lou Waters, Mary Snider and Joe Hornat have maintained a balanced budget for the last four years with a surplus. This was done while insuring the success of our excellent police department, maintaining roads and developing and improving our parks and recreational facilities. The incumbents could have done a better job in showing the public the value and advantages of the purchase but do seem to have been acting in the interest of Oro Valley otherwise.

The recall opponents’ resumes do leave some questions for voters to think about. Pat Straney as part of his credentials notes his primary community involvement includes serving seven years (ongoing) as board President of Rancho Vistoso Community. Rancho Vistoso also includes the Vistoso and Stone Canyon Golf Courses, which could be a conflict of interest for him and fellow candidate Shirl Lamonna who also was involved with Rancho Vistoso’s board. Pat Straney also was concerned with the loss of taxes to Pima County because of the El Conquistador purchase but the county does not tax the other parks and facilities owned by the town so I don’t see this as an issue.

Shirl Lamonna who is working for the county supervisor should have known how to properly file a petition for the special vote on the purchase of El Conquistador but because she did not do it correctly the town clerk rejected the petition. Lamonna with others filed a lawsuit on the rejection that denied in lower court but was pushed on appeal to higher court, which rejected the petition. In the end the Town of Oro Valley had to pay out more than $50,000 in legal fees do to the lawsuit.

Steve Didio in his literature also states he wants to return the town to fiscal responsibility but he opposed the Mayor and council when they proposed to save the town $200,000 a year by discontinuing Coyote Run and partnering with the Regional Transportation Authority and its Sun Shuttle which serves five times the ridership and a much larger area.

Ryan Hartung in his video on Facebook faults the current four current town council members for voting as a block on the El Conquistador purchase but in heading the recall he has created a cohesive block of candidates that would most likely vote as a block as well because of their similar views. Mr. Hartung has led the effort to have a recall election which will cost the Town of Oro Valley more than $30,000 according to the town community relations office.

The choice for voters is not whether or not to buy El Conquistador but rather who has the best credentials for progressive and thoughtful development of our community’s infrastructure.


By Kim Folsom

Oro Valley Resident,

Former Managing Editor for McGraw Hill, and reporter for three Salt Lake City newspapers


“Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing” Explorer Letter

The following are three emails that represent the “back and forth” of the title of this post.

  • The first is from Dan Klement and appeared in the Explorer on 10-21-15 about the challenger Hartung.
  • The second is a response from Ryan Hartung to the letter.
  • The third is Dan Klement’s response to Hartung.

Take a minute and read through them.  Mr. Klement calls out Hartung in no uncertain terms.


Dan Klement from the Explorer

Ryan Hartung…..A wolf in sheeps clothing

Don’t be fooled by the comments that come out of Ryan Hartung’s mouth. He wants you to believe that he is this young professional with young kids and that he is representative of what is now over 50% of the make up of Oro Valley’s population. I have heard him speak on numerous occasions and have observed his comments about why he is running. I was floored by his willingness to lie to us the voters. He is the ringleader for the group opposing Satish Hiremath, Joe Hornat, Mary Snider, and Lou Waters. I have heard him say that he wants to be your voice and he says he wants civility and transparency. Really? Then why is he calling everyone “Special Interests” when they don’t support him? That’s civility? Why also is he going around in the cover of darkness and putting up these black and white signs that have an arrow pointing to the signs of Hiremath, Hornat, Snider and Waters which states “Paid for by $pecial interests”? What is he trying to hide? Why not do it in the daylight? Why did he distance himself from Tom Kamoske who was one of his strongest supporters when Mr. Kamoske shoved Vice Mayor Lou Waters cutting him over the right eye, and then state that he had no knowledge of who Mr. Kamoske was? This is the kind of accountablility that we want as a leader?

We need people who will continue to move this community forward for OUR benefit. Ryan Hartung has no vision. Like his science fiction writings, he thinks he can fabricate stories and manipulate us by passing himself off as “one of us” just to get our vote. The election will be a head to head race and he will be running against Joe Hornat. Joe Hornat has done remarkable things for our community. The Oro Valley that we have today is because of the vision that he shares along with Hiremath, Snider and Waters. Cast your vote for Joe Hornat. Don’t be fooled by what comes out of Ryan Hartung’s mouth. He is manipulative, cunning and he is willing to lie to us the voters. He doesn’t have your best interest at heart. He is not good for Oro Valley. In short…..Ryan Hartung is a wolf in sheeps clothing.


Ryan Hartung Response to the Dan Klement

Mr. Klement,

I read your editorial about me the other day and am left wondering, why? Why would you write such a horrible article with so many lies about someone you have never met and apparently have no intention of meeting? It is fine if you disagree with my positions, I obviously disagree with yours, but under no circumstance would I go into print media and fabricate a story about someone I’d never met. I have the utmost regard for Oro Valley’s police and the Golder Ranch firefighters and hold you guys above many other professions because of the risks you take. If I’m elected I don’t want to do anything but strengthen both of your services and you would have known that if you had reached out to me before writing what you did. I have never lied during this campaign or the recall and the signs you mention are not mine, you’d know that if you had bothered to read the bottom of them. I don’t understand why you would want to politicize the fire department when there is a very good chance that one or two of the incumbents are going to be voted out. Why possibly poison future Council members against you? But you said what you said and I’m sure you are proud of it. I would never stoop to your low. You are the reason many qualified people never want to enter politics.


Ryan Hartung


Dan Klement Response to Hartung

Really Ryan??????

It always makes me laugh when wanna be politicians go off half crocked calling voters liars because they’re too naive to look at their own lies!!

First off, I am not affiliated with Golder Ranch Fire anymore. I am retired and I served as a union leader and Captain under Chief John Fink. I also served as rep for the Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona. In addition I am still involved with the International Fire Fighters out of D.C. with the Foundation under General President Harold Schaitberger. I have nothing to do with local Fire Fighters or Police and their political decisions although, I was pleased to see who they are supporting in this unnecessary recall.

Where in my letter does it say that the signs were yours??? It doesn’t because I didn’t. If you had bothered to read my letter correctly you would of understood that. I did say that you were going around putting up signs at night that had an arrow pointing towards the sign of those who I support!! Are you gonna try and tell me you didn’t tap in one of those signs in the cover of darkness??? Be careful, because I know the TRUTH!!

You also continue to state how much the incumbents raised our taxes. Doubled your taxes? Really?? Why don’t you state the truth and let people know how much it is really gonna cost the taxpayers? My math says that it will be about sixty bucks a year. Pretty good price for more services to the elderly, middle aged, and children of Oro Valley. Tell me I’m wrong.

Are you also going to deny that you don’t repeatedly call any group that doesn’t support you a “special interest group”? How do you expect to overcome that if you become elected?? And you run on the platform of civility?? How civil is that calling people names??? That is misleading as is your whole campaign in my opinion!

Apparently you think I had no intention of meeting you. Wrong again Ryan. My wife and I showed up at the El Conquistador resort to hear and meet the opposition because we really wanted to hear your vision as well as that of the others. But apparently you and your cronies cowardly backed out at the last minute. Why??? Because your side demanded the questions beforehand and didn’t get them? The candidates I support had the courage to show up in Sun City where they don’t have much support, because in my opinion, they are leaders and believe in what they are doing. They have a vision for this town and I believe in their vision also.

How about you affiliation with Mr. Kamoske? I was standing 5 feet away from my friend Lou Waters when Mr. Kamoske, without a doubt, deliberately shoved him. Then Kamoske had the nerve to fall backwards to the ground. What did I do? I tried to help your friend Mr. Kamoske as he laid there unable to get up foolishly claiming that Lou shoved HIM??? What was your first reaction? It was to denounce that you ever knew him. It’s all on the video. Why not just admit that you friend made a mistake rather than you denying publicly that you didn’t even know him? After all, he was helping you turn in recall signatures for your behalf. Is this another shining example of the other virtue that you are running on which is transparency? You are lying to the people and telling them that you don’t even know Mr. Kamoske!!

Then you have the nerve to tell me that I must be “proud” of the letter that I wrote? Far from proud Ryan. Disgusted is the first word that comes to my mind. Disgusted of you and the opposition misleading this great town where I choose to raise my family. Because of Satish Hiremath, Joe Hornat, Mary Snider, and Lou Waters, this town is running on a surplus, while adding many great amenities, including the community and recreation center. It’s pretty easy to mislead a town on the golf business. But there is so much more to it than just the golf. I sincerely hope that you are intelligent enough to know that. If not, GOD help us if you get elected.

I have a grandmother, retired parents, an aunt and uncle, cousins and hundreds of friends in Oro Valley who all can benefit from the town center. I also have two young daughters, one in grammar school and one in high school, who will benefit from it as well. There is not much for teenagers to do in this town and a teen center along with a senior center is very much needed in my opinion.

It also is a farce that you continue to mislead the voters about your issues with the purchase before the council members have had a chance to succeed or fail. Perfect platform for you though so you can get in there let it crash and continue to blame the council members who voted for it. Don’t tell me that you have not publicly stated that the first thing that you would do is to immediately stop funding including funding to the golf course. That came out of your own mouth. That is your plan? To let it turn brown and take it to the voters because you don’t have the courage to make a decision for yourself? You are talking about 300+ acres in the middle of our town. Property values will be destroyed and I don’t want to see that. I believe the current council will make it work and add more greatness to this town on top of what they have already added.

Once again the only thing in your reply that has any grain of truth to it is that we disagree. The bottom line Mr. Hartung is that you are running for Council… I am not. Therefore Ryan, like it or not, I have every right to state my opinion as a resident of Oro Valley in an editorial page. But once again you try and spin it as yet another person on a “Special Interest” label. In my career, I have seen your type time and time again. Bullies who like to intimidate good people. You don’t like it that I have an opinion that counters yours? Let me clue you in on something my friend, which I think you better get used to…..this is a country that is built on a democratic process and it is a free country that has First Amendment Rights. It is not only my obligation to question you, it is my duty by constitutional right.

Instead of trying to bully and intimidate me, why don’t you quit hiding behind your computer on the last leg of your campaign and start telling the people what your vision for the town is instead of just throwing rocks at good people? Is it because the truth is that you really don’t have a vision?

What did you have to gain from sending me a reply? Were you hoping that I would just go away because of your bully tactics and that I would just keep silent? You are sadly mistaken. It’s my gain now and rest assured that I will be sending your letter along with my reply to hundreds of Oro Valley voters so they can get a better look at Ryan Hartung who cowardly backed out of the El Conquistador candidate forum and then ridicules a voter for not trying to meet him. I was right then and I am right now…you are a wolf in sheep’s clothing!!!!!

Dan Klement


More half truths and mischaracterization

If you’ve looked at the Explorer dated 10-21-15 you might have seen the black and white ad by the “challengers” friend Don Bristow suggesting that the M-4 voted to ruin views on the Olson property.

First, no views were ruined.

Second, he Truth is the approval of that site was a 7-0 vote, but I guess they couldn’t find pictures of the other three Council members, Burns, Garner and Zinkin.

Here are some additional facts.

  1. This was private property.
  2. Neighborhood meetings resulted in the developer reducing the number of houses. Agreeing to single story locations as requested and reducing the total height of the land by about 8 feet.
  3. Mr. Straney’s HOA received a $75,000 “donation” to allow this into the Rancho Vistoso PAD so the developer would not have to provide any parks or recreational facilities on this 39 acre parcel.
  4. Moore Road is being widened to four lanes and a median at the expense of the developer.

It takes a lot of time to disseminate the Truth. Be wary of the challengers’ messaging. By the way, I thought this recall was about a Community Center and golf course.


Well, the word on the street is that the fur flew Friday and Saturday when a certain mailer went out to the residents of Oro Valley.

While some loved the content, others thought it was outrageous that anyone would have the gall to point out some of the misleading and/or blatantly false information that is being represented by the recall challengers as truth. That other blog in Oro Valley attempted to do some damage control. Some of it is pretty funny when you look at reality.

Here is our take on the challenger’s responses…..

The flyer stated Didio, “Fought against the reorganization of then ‘Coyote Run’. Didio response was, “The current Mayor wanted to shut down Coyote Run….”    a  reader of the TRUTH did a little digging here is what he found:



“Oro Valley resident Steve Didio felt that the decision to eliminate Coyote Run seemed sudden.  He felt that the necessary $200,000 needed to fund Coyote Run could be found within the budget.  He felt that the Coyote Run service was above and beyond other available services.  He had tried Handi-Car and didn’t think that it was a comparable service.  He felt that the transition wouldn’t be seamless and that people would fall through the cracks.  Mr. Didio urged Council to keep Coyote Run.”

When you read the minutes as recorded from the Council meeting, it is pretty clear, at least to this writer, that Didio knew full well that the service was not going to be “shut down”.  His use of the term “transition” is clear understanding that something is to follow.

The flyer states that Ryan Hartung had plenty of time to chat with Thomas Kamoske, the individual charged with assaulting Vice Mayor Waters, but didn’t have time to vote in the last Oro Valley election.

Hartung’s response was, “”It’s true, I did not vote in the previous election.” He goes on to say, “I did not feel a connection to Pat Straney and Don Bristow or know if they would be any better.”

It seems to me that doing your homework is part of the voting process. I suppose he didn’t care who was running for all of the State of Arizona offices either. They were on the same ballot that he chose to sit out.

The flyer says of Pat Straney, “Lost the last Town election for Mayor and now wants Town taxpayers to give him a second chance on our dime.”  That’s pretty plain and simple. Straney responded, “That was then. This is now.”

I’ll have to think about that one for a while. Maybe he too is into those subliminal messages.

Shirl Lamonna was described as having “Botched a referendum…” She replied, “”It is truly unfortunate that the people of Oro Valley did not get to vote on the purchase of the El Conquistador Country Club, Golf and Tennis Facilities.”  That seems like something of an understatement. Lamonna’s folly cost the Oro Valley taxpayers $53000.

The bottom line is that everything that was stated in the flyer about the challenging candidates was 100% true.  What a concept!!!!



Sorry this took so long to get out, but you need to know.

What follows is the text of an e-mail sent out early the morning of the El Conquistador forum by recall challenger Steve Didio.  I did delete the link as it really didn’t add anything to the real subject.

My comments follow the original email.


Good morning everyone! After very careful consideration, and multiple attempts to negotiate debate conditions and parameters that would yield a level playing field at tonight’s scheduled Chamber of Commerce debate, Ryan Hartung, Shirl Lamonna, Pat Straney and I were left with no choice but to withdraw from participation this evening.

Some Background

Prior to the Sun City Oro Valley (SCOV) debate this past Saturday, the recalled incumbents made a number of demands on the organizers, and the vast majority of their demands were granted. We as challengers did not object because we have always been eager to debate them. I think you will see, on a level playing field, we more than held our own against the incumbents who have been in office for the last 5 years. If you were unable to attend the SCOV debate, you can watch a very professional set of short videos of Saturday’s debate at the following link:

The recalled incumbents were concerned that SCOV would conduct a biased event, which the organizers had no intention to do. But in the interest of being hospitable, they acquiesced to their demands. Because of the well-documented close relationship between the recalled incumbents and the Chamber of Commerce, and because the four of us felt that last year’s Chamber debate was unfair to candidates Pat Straney and Don Bristow, we requested many of the same conditions that the incumbents received, and that the SCOV leadership granted. However, after multiple rounds of requests and denials, we felt the best course of action was to withdraw and attend a very important Planning and Zoning Commission meeting tonight instead.

At tonight’s P&Z meeting, they will be unveiling the “Your Voice, Our Future”, and this will be the last time it is presented before going to the Council for a vote. The meeting is tonight at The Church of the Nazarene on Calle Concordia at 6 pm. This larger venue was selected due to the significant interest and importance of this presentation. This document is the most important input to what will become the next General Plan you will vote on in 2016. All four of us, in anticipation of being elected this November, feel it is very important for us to be at this meeting.

The Coming Spin

I’m sure the recalled incumbents will attempt to make a big deal out of us not participating tonight. But I’m sure they planned to pack the room with Red T-Shirts and make a sideshow of tonight’s debate. They will likely say we were “afraid” to debate them, but watch the videos above and you’ll see that is laughable. Their performances at SCOV were not impressive. I encourage you to watch and form your own conclusions.

In summary, I want to thank you for your invaluable support over the last 4 months. I wouldn’t be on the cusp of being elected to Council without every one of you!

Thanks for everything!



Didio refers to “demands” made by the incumbents for the Sun City forum. Here they are. The initial format had all participants sequestered in a location outside the meeting room. The first group to answer questions would be brought to the stage and questions asked, answered and then back to being sequestered. Then the following group would be brought out and so on. This appeared to be a complete waste of valuable time and the incumbents suggested that all candidates be on stage for the entire forum.  The second request was that the original announced moderator, Debra Arrett, be replaced with someone less biased. You may recall Ms Arrett as being a strong recall advocate and an intregal part of the team that BOTCHED the referendum effort that led to the recall. Lastly the incumbents asked that the moderator not enhance any answeres, respond to any answers and simple facilitate the forum. These requests were agreed to by the Sun City Government Affairs Committee.

In the El Conquistador forum, the challengers wanted a copy of the questions to be asked. By the way the Sun City Forum gave all the candidates the questions in advance at no ones request!  They also wanted Dave Perry, President and CEO of the chamber to recuse himself as the moderator. If you recall Mr. Perry is the former Editor of the Explorer and has a solid reputation of being fair and honest. In addition the Chamber has an agreement with the Town of Oro Valley not to endorse any candidate in any local election and to do so would place at jeopardy $30000 in Town funding to the Chamber.


Why don’t that want to appear is the obvious question. It believe it is a combination of:

  1. They really don’t have any solid platform on which to run. When faced with the possibility of having to respond directly to unknown questions or challenges by the incumbents, they cannot perform.
  2. Without questions in advance they cannot research and coordinate answers.
  3. They have no confidence in themselves or their collective message.
  4. They have no courage.

So what is going to happen if they are elected and are faced with tough questions?

Unless we get all of our friends out to vote the possibility is real that the challengers could win a seat. It’s up to you and me to do everything within our power. The opposition made it clear at the Saturday forum they want to shut down the golf by not funding it and then convene a committee (which they will name and control) that will decide what to do with the Community Center.

The future of Oro Valley hangs in the balance.





The following letter was submitted by a reader. We thank her for the input.

“The Truth about Apartment Votes

There are many signs around town telling us that Hiremath, Hornat, Snider and Waters voted for the apartments. Today there is a sticker on the AZ Daily Star that tells us the same four voted for 764 apartments. With a little digging, here are the facts as to who voted and when the votes were taken to approve construction of apartments.

Encantada at Steam Pump (Oracle Rd) – Town Council approved 4/20/2011 the vote was 7-0 the individuals who approved were – Garner, Gillaspie, Hirmath, Hornat, Snider, Solomon, Waters

The Villas at San Dorado (First & Oracle) – Town Council approved 4/18/12 the vote was 6-0 the individuals who approved were – Gillaspie, Hiremath, Hornat, Snider, Solomon, Waters. Garner was absent from this meeting.

El Corredor (Oracle & Linda Vista) – Town Council approved 5/16/12 – the vote was 7-0 the individuals who approved were – Garner, Gillaspie, Hiremath, Hornat, Snider, Solomon, Waters.

The approval for these multi-family housing units as prescribed in the voter approved General Plan occurred two election cycles ago. The recall is supposed to be about the purchase of the El Conquistador County Club and the ½ cent sales tax increase to fund the operations of that acquisition.

The time to show displeasure about the decisions to allow luxury resort-style dwellings was during the 2014 election. Should Bill Garner opt to run for re-election in 2016 he too should be held accountable for his vote to approve the apartments.

Jan Busch

The Scandal of the Century in OV

If you haven’t read this…you should. Amusing on lots of levels.  Follow or paste the link below.  Fitz again!!!

This was in the Saturday Oct 10th Star.

Offered without comment…but please do!!!

The scandal of the century rocks Oro Valley

October 09, 2015 6:00 pm  • 

When I cast my peepers on the file I knew this case was right up my arroyo.

Some punks had been vandalizing recall campaign signs up in Oro Valley, where a political piffle match had escalated into a Three Stooges slap-fest. I parked my carcass at a java hut on Oracle and quizzed a white-haired retiree who home-brewed Metamucil for fun.

“When did Oro Valley have its last recall?”

“There was a recall in 2013. And before that we had recall elections in 2001 and 2008.”

“Is there something in the stucco that makes people …”

“I’m not done. We had recalls in ’93, ’94 and ’95, too.”

“One every year?” I asked. “That’s three in a row!”

“And one in 2011. That was a doozy. Not much else to do up here. Oh, yeah. I forgot the one in 1999. Up for a game of bridge?”

In this latest case the hotheads started flinging gravel at each other about a year ago.

When the cast of “Fargo” — Mayor Satish Hiremath and council members Lou Waters, Joe Hornat and Mary Snider — were running for office they promised God’s Gotham a community center.

They found Humberto Lopez’s caddyshack for sale and started discussing a deal to nab the Hilton in June 2014. Public debate took place at a council meeting the first week in December. The mayor and council of Lake Wobegon With Saguaros then voted 4-3 to buy El Conquistador Country Club for a sweet million and to increase the sales tax by a half-cent. The following week the elves on the council and Mayor Santa approved the deal.

What did the scamps get for their million? A 65,000-square-foot country club, a cafe and a restaurant sitting on top of a 324-acre spread with swimming pools, 21 tennis courts, 45 holes of golf and other goodies.

The imps finalized the purchase in May and a geriatric jihad followed. You’d think the council had voted to name it The Benghazi Recreation Center. The town went lynch-mob looney.

Here’s the kicker, chump. No laws were broken. But that didn’t amount to a hill of beans to the recall gang. The gray panthers didn’t like the way that no laws were broken.

Who names these groups? Garrison Keillor? “Teed Off Over Tax Hikes” filed petitions asking for a voter referendum on the purchase. The move was disqualified because of a paperwork error.

“We should have studied the past 327 citizen ballot initiatives better,” my retiree source admitted.

Hiremath, feeling the heat, held public study sessions at which he apologized, arguing that two other buyers were breathing down Humberto’s neck, and the choice was take it or leave it. They took it. The Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce board supported the half-cent sales tax to pay for the upkeep and the upgrade.

Under the nom de guerre “Oro Valley Citizens for Open Government,” a cabal of curmudgeons initiated the recall. Pat Straney, a retired GM executive, was gunning to bump off Hiremath. Shirl Lamonna, one of county supervisor Ally Miller’s molls, was sniping after Snider’s council seat. Steve Didio and Ryan Hartung were the third and fourth hoarse men of the Oro Valley Apocalypse.

Joe Winfield and Doug Burke filed candidate petitions to join the fun because it beats watching Lawrence Welk on PBS. Rumors began circulating among the casserole set that sinister forces put Winfield and Burke up to running to split the recall vote. On the grassy knoll. With the help of French assassins from Manchuria. A lawsuit was filed by Don Bristow, a council race loser, to bump the two off the ballot, claiming their petitions stank. A judge dismissed the suit. Then Winfield quit. He didn’t want to be perceived as a spoiler.

(For a more detailed take on this Petticoat Junction kerfuffle see #FirstWorldProblems.)

I never nabbed the hooligans messing with the signs, signs debating whether dentist Hiremath was the Antichrist, or his council the satanic minions named in Revelations.

All I know is Hiltongate is the scandal of the century among some in the Sansabelt set, second only to the 19-cent price hike for Viagra in 2013 that provoked a riot on Aisle 3.

As I left the O.V., Mayor Hiremath proudly announced the University of Arizona would be opening a veterinary school there. Driving down Skyline toward my next case I thought, “How timely. Just what the place needs. A distemper clinic.”


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