THE PURCHASE

Blog master comments follow the information below copied from the Oro Valley web site.

COMMUNITY INVITED TO GIVE INPUT ON PROPOSED

COUNTRY CLUB ACQUISITION

Photo of tennis courts with Pusch Ridge in background

On Wednesday, December 17, Oro Valley Town Council will discuss a proposal to acquire the Hilton El Conquistador Country Club. The proposal would be to purchase the facilities while assuming no debt and paying the $1 million purchase price over three years. The facilities would then be converted to a municipal community and recreation center with tennis, golf and pool amenities.

Community members are encouraged to attend this meeting to provide their input on this potential project. Citizens may also share their feedback prior to the meeting by contacting the Town’s Constituent Services staff at 520-229-4711 or by submitting comments online through the Citizens Portal by clicking here.

Project background
It is anticipated that the Hilton El Conquistador Golf and Tennis Resort, which also includes the El Conquistador Country Club, will change ownership in mid-December, 2014, as current owners MetLife, Inc. are in final discussions with HSL Properties. As part of that transition in ownership, HSL Properties is interested in selling the Country Club and its related amenities (including tennis and golf) to the Town of Oro Valley for $1 million.

Why is the Town interested in this opportunity?
The need for a community center has been part of our residents’ dialogue for several years, and it became even clearer through the Your Voice, Our Future public participation phase of the General Plan update which launched in the fall of 2013.

According to a statistically-valid community survey conducted in September 2013 as part of the General Plan update, the top concern among participants who were asked what they enjoyed LEAST about living in Oro Valley was “distance” and “lack of services,” including “no central place to meet people.”

Subsequent community outreach efforts in the following months supported this concern, with many residents and event participants expressing a desire for a community center or central gathering place as well as increased recreational offerings for all ages.

In a more recent statistically-valid survey, conducted by the Oro Valley Parks & Recreation Department in June 2014, participants were asked about the “importance of constructing multi-use community centers with facilities for indoor recreation/fitness programs,” with 51% responding that this was “very important” and 34% responding that it was “somewhat important.”

FMR Associates, Inc. conducted both surveys, which are available in their entirety upon request.

What’s included in the purchase?
The amenities of this purchase, on 324 acres of land, include:

  • A 31,475 square-foot community and recreation center at 10555 N. La Cañada Drive (currently the Hilton El Conquistador Country Club).
    • Rooms for meetings and social gatherings
    • Racquetball/multiuse rooms
    • Dance and fitness rooms
    • Cardio and strength equipment
    • Children’s activity room
  • A 5,600 square-foot club house/pro shop at the Hilton Resort property
  • Golf courses—45 holes
    • Conquistador Course at country club property (18 holes)
    • Cañada Course at country club property (18 holes)
    • Pusch Ridge Course at resort property (9 holes)
  • A full-service restaurant and bar
  • A café
  • 31 lighted tennis courts (15 at the country club property and 16 at the resort property)
  • 2 swimming pools

How will it be paid for?
The $1 million purchase price will be paid for out of the Town’s General Fund Contingency over the next three years, resulting in no debt. However, the ongoing maintenance and operations of the facilities, including initial capital improvements (such as life-safety and ADA compliance), will require an additional revenue stream. To meet that need, the Town is proposing a half-cent sales tax, which is expected to generate approximately $2 million annually. That sales tax would be designated solely for the proposed Community & Recreation Center and related amenities.

Why such a short timeframe?
The Town of Oro Valley began exploring this opportunity during the early part of the summer months (2014) after the idea came out of a meeting between Town officials and a broker for a potential Hilton Resort purchaser. That deal to purchase the resort from current owner MetLife, Inc., ultimately fell through, so the Town’s opportunity to consider the Country Club was never brought forward for public discussion. Months later, when HSL Properties expressed interest in purchasing the Hilton Resort from MetLife, the Town was re-engaged in similar discussions about the potential of purchasing the Country Club property and related amenities; however, the opportunity couldn’t be brought forth to the public until negotiations between MetLife and HSL Properties had been completed. The aggressive timeline set forth by these two parties has also placed the Town on an accelerated timeline. That is why public input is so critical.

Where can I get more information on this proposal?
More detail on the Town’s financial forecast can be found in the presentation that was given to Town Council on December 3. That presentation is available on the Town’s website as a downloadable PDF. Click here or visit www.orovalleyaz.gov and click on Featured News to be taken to the information page on this project. That page also contains links to the two public presentations given by Troon, the vendor currently being considered to manage the golf, restaurant and 16 tennis courts at the Resort property.

Residents have many questions, including cost of membership and priority for current Country Club members and residents. These details are still being worked out and will not be finalized until early 2015, pending project approval.

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Blog Master comments:

I believe that the prospect to purchase this PRIME piece of real estate for this amount is one of those events that comes along once in a lifetime. By the same token, “All that glitters, is not gold”. So I am pleased that the Town Council has NOT rushed into this as ‘Cheech and Chong’ would have you believe from their Guest Opinion in the last edition of the Explorer. The Town financial staff, who have a reputation of being very fiscally conservative, has studied the numbers and believe this is a long term positive revenue generator. It’s hard to argue against them. They have been spot on during the recent fiscal downturn and recovery from the same.

My only angst, and it is not enough to nix the deal is the management contract that we will have with Troon. While they have a great reputation for success, I would feel better with a Guaranteed Net or Profit and Loss type contract in the near future. A strictly management fee arrangement provides for no downside protection for the Town.

The four Councilpersons who appear to favor this move all have a business background or some business  experience. The remaining three have none that is measurable.

I’ll go with the majority on this one.

 

 

 

A MAJOR WIN FOR ORO VALLEY

There can be little doubt as to what the citizens of Oro Valley want from their elected officials. They want fiscal responsibility. They want a strong committment to public safety. They want forward thinking.  They want responsible growth using the General Plan as a guideline. They want leadership.

Yesterdays election results made it clear they received everything they wanted and then some from Mayor Hiremath, and Council Members Hornat, Snider and Waters. And they expressed that confidence and their thanks for a job well done by rewarding them with re-election by overwhelminging numbers.

And this blog feels that voters also sent a strong message about having a moral compass that is oriented toward being a good human being. This was also a vote against treating staff (especially women) as second class citizens. It was a vote against personal conduct that discredits our community. And it was a vote against making public remarks disparaging our great police department. We sincerely hope it does not fall on deaf ears. Two years from now those issues will be a central part of another election.

Congratulations to Satish, Joe, Mary and Lou!!!!!

Rumblings From The “CAVE”

Recently we posted an e-mail exchange between Richard Furash  publisher of the L**E  blog here in Oro Valley, and Jerene Watson, former Oro Valley Town Manager. We did so to further expose the depth to which Mr. Furash and his blog will go to  mislead the voting public. It was a blatant attempt by Mr. Furash to create an issue through dishonesty where there was no issue.  It served as a window into the pathetic nature of the L**E Blog.

Well as you might expect when someone is caught red-handed and nowhere to hide they have a tendency to lash out and further embarrass themselves. So we have copied an e-mail that was received by the TRUTH Blog from Mr. Furash.

**********

“NOTICE OF VIOLATION:

You are in legal violation by reprinting the email that I sent to Watson. My email states the following on the bottom:“This is a confidential communication, including any attachments, is to be shared among the intended addressees only. It is a protected work product of letorovalleyexcel.com If you are not the intended recipient, please delete this message immediately.”

You are violating the terms of this communication. Therefore,you are requested to remove it immediately.

I will also note that LOVE never posted on this as the intended addressee, Watson, did not corroborate the information. Therefore,the matter was dropped in its entirely.

This matter is closed, assuming that you follow my request as you are legally required to do.”

***********

Our legal advice says they are not aware of any statute or case law that says if someone puts “confidential” on an email that it actually has any standing to be confidential unless there is attorney client, doctor patient and a few others, privilege involved.

If and that is a big IF there were any thing to cover this confidentiality, the confidentiality was severed, when Ms. Watson forwarded this message to all the Oro Valley Council members.  Her email (Flagstaff) and the ones in the Town system are considered public record covered by State Statute.

Further, if Furash believes he has a “confidentiality” issue he should take it up with Ms. Watson but we are sure their attorney would give the same counsel, i.e. public record.

So Mr. Furash you have our response. Your request for confidentiality carries as much weight as your ability to be truthful, accurate and be a good citizen of Oro Valley. This might be an appropriate time to rethink the banner on your home page, “Oro Valley’s  Most Trusted News Source”. How is this for a better banner.  “Believe it or not…and you really shouldn’t!”. It’s catchy and as a change of pace,  accurate.

In closing we want to make sure that all of our TRUTH readers understand fully that the L**E  blog supports the election of Don Bristow and Pat Straney while they continue to support their dubious  gaggle of elected officials. Always remember, “Birds of a feather flock together.”

Brendan Dick F ZinkinCopied from L**E Blog

 

As you ponder your vote. Think of the picture above and add Straney and Bristow and Garner to it and you could have a picture of the future of Oro Valley. That’s nightmarish.

The ‘CAVE’ Blog Stoops To a New Low

I am confident that our readers are aware of the other blog (L**E) in Oro Valley. I refer to it as the CAVE (Citizens against Virtually Everything) blog.  R*****d F****h openly refers to himself as the “publisher of the Oro Valley’ newspaper.”

R*****d holds himself in very high esteem. He also will never let fact stand in the way of stirring the pot.

The CAVE blog is well known for they failure to present accurate information as it relates to Oro Valley. They are very anti-business and anti-growth. They have strongly supported council candidates who have questionable backgrounds and supported elected officials who have discredited the position of Oro Valley Town Council member. Salette Latas, Mike Zinkin, Brendan Burns, Conny Culver and Bill Garner are some that, in the opinion of this blog, fall into that category.

But to the point of the title of this post, we received a copy of an e-mail exchange between Furash and Jerene Watson, former Oro Valley Town Manager.

****************************************************************************************************

From: ********,

Thursday, July 31, 2014 10:04 AM
To: Jerene Watson
Subject: Council Member Snider Claims Replacing You Help Fixed Oro Valley’s
Budget Shortfall— Your comment please

Hello Jerene,

My name is Richard F****h and I am the publisher of Oro Valley’s LOVE
Newspaper<letorovalleyexcel.com> (online blog).

It is election time in Oro Valley and Mayor Hiremath and Council Member’s
Snider, Hornat and Waters are making outrageous claims in order to show
people how wonderful they are.  They are up for reelection.

One of the cornerstones of their platform is that they single-handedly fixed
the 2010 budget problem. As you recall, the town was faced with a deficit
because of the recession.
One of the steps that Snider says they took to fix the situation was to fire
you and install Greg Caton as town manager.

Wow. That was an uncalled for remark.

Anyway..

Do you have a comment regarding this?  I am not looking to start a fight,
here. I simply want your reflection on what the situation was and whether
you feel that it was an extraordinary financial problem or simple a
financial problem.

I do plan to quote you in my posting.  I am hopeful that that you can set
the record straight.

Thanks so much.

R*****
Publisher

*********

From: Jerene Watson
Sent: Thursday, July 31, 2014 11:26 AM
To: ‘rfurash’
Cc: Hiremath, Satish; Waters, Lou; ‘bburns@orvalleyaz.gov'; Garner, William;
Hornat, Joe; Snider, Mary; Zinkin, Mike; Caton, Greg
Subject: RE: Council Member Snider Claims Replacing You Help Fixed Oro
Valley’s Budget Shortfall— Your comment please

Richard,
Thank you.  I am openly copying Town leadership who should be aware directly
of my response and not learn it second hand which typically is nuanced if
not directly communicated.  If I do not respond I am sure something will be
written regardless, so I chose to provide this reply.

Despite what may appear to some groups, I believe each Councilmember
continues to work for the good of the town, and I will not disparage or say
anything negative about elected or appointed leadership there.  It is a
great place to live and work, and I only send good wishes for stability,
united vision and strong movement forward.  Like all other communities I
have worked within, the elected officials bring their diverse views and
approaches to campaigning tempered by life experiences which shape their
approach to governance.  That is a dynamic process so it is expected to be
revised over time, for right or wrong.

My history as far as Town Manager goes back to October 2009.  Despite being
told by most Councilmembers in September 2009 they wanted to directly
appoint me into the Town Manager position, I purposefully asked for an
Interim appointment as Town Manager for 9 months and only took the customary
salary bump for any employee working above their classification, rather than
a Town Manager level of compensation.  This was for two reasons in
particular:  (1) to allow any on Council who weren’t sure about my
appointment to determine if they wanted to go out for a full recruitment
after weighing my style and approach in the CAO position.  I would have
preferred this option as it would have given an opportunity to compare what
I brought to the table to others in the profession; (2) it also afforded the
new Council elected in the spring of 2010 (which included Satish, Lou, Joe &
Mary) the opportunity to choose whether to appointment me permanently or
not.  After my permanent appointment as Town Manager, part of the transition
included my discussions with each Councilmember, newly elected and mid-term,
to discern their desires in filling that key leadership position and put it
as part of my process.  I involved them in the appropriate junctures of the
hiring process and also got their feedback on the finalists.  I was directly
told by Mary and others they wanted someone who would be qualified to step
in to replace me for whatever circumstances that might be necessary.  That
was sound direction based on the political turmoil ahead of their election.
I also knew the dynamics of the community would impact my tenure there
regardless of my credentials, or experience in public service, or devotion
to the Town.  I stayed long enough to try to provide sure footing and
forward movement for the organization, but it was my decision to job search
and leave three months before I advised Council.  Admittedly, it was a
surprise to them all and therefore did not sit well with most them,
regardless of their ultimate intentions.
Yes, communities experience public debate that include unfair or unkind
actions and comments about others and each other, a sad reality, but you
will have to ask those who choose to make such statements about those
choices as I would not presume to speak for them.

Jerene Watson, ICMA-CM
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We can find no record of Councilwoman Mary Snider ever making any such remark. It was not made at any of the recent forums and a review of Town Council meeting recordings reveals no such comment.

So , completely made up that story (lied to Ms. Watson) in an attempt to lure Ms. Watson into making some sort of derogatory remark about Ms. Snider or the other incumbents (Hiremath, Hornat and Waters). Ms. Watson, in one of the most eloquent put downs the blog has ever seen, totally discounted F***** and made it clear that SHE sought other employment on her own and copied the entire Town Council and the current Town Manager to insure that Furash would not put his own spin on the issue..

We believe that this kind of ‘skid row politics’ has no place in Oro Valley. It also is a clear indication of the kind of ‘bedfellows’ that surround Bristow, Straney (both endorsed by the CAVE blog) Garner, Zinkin and Burns.

Let’s deliver the knockout punch and re-elect Hiremath, Hornat, Snider and Waters. Let’s do what is right for Oro Valley and send a strong message to the Furash’s of this community.

FROM A READER

We received a request from a reader to post the following. It reflects our sentiments also!!!!

To my Oro Valley friends,

This primary election for local leadership in the Town of Oro Valley is critical.  Ballots have already been mailed to voters on the Permanent Early Voting List.  Please get involved!  It is crunch time!!!

Please take a few minutes and contact 10 people you know in Oro Valley through phone, email, Facebook or Twitter and ask them to please vote for the current leadership in Town…Hiremath for Mayor, Lou Waters for Council, Joe Hornat for Council and Mary Snider for Council.

They have been strongly endorsed by police and fire organizations (local and statewide), Tucson Association of Realtors, and SAHBA.  They have expressed their confidence in the current leadership to be fair, ethical, honest and with a vision for the future of the Town that is in sync with the majority of our residents, as evidenced by the 2013 Community Survey.

Specifics about each of the campaigns can be found at the websites listed below.

www.HiremathForMayor.com

www.VoteJoeHornat.com

www.MarySnider.org

www.VoteLouWaters.com 

Thank you for your consideration, and hopefully your support.

Take the time and send this message to your Oro Valley friends. It will be a giant step forward and prevent our fine Town from taking a step backward.

VOTE NOW!!!

THE ‘WHAT IF’ SYNDROME …or… WHY IT REALLY MATTERS!!!

 

Early ballots are out for the Oro Valley Town Council election. Four seats, including the Mayor are at stake.

Incumbents (Mayor Hiremath, Council members Hornat, Snider and Waters) are running for re-election. Their record has been superb. When they took office 4 years ago they faced a $3+ million deficit. Through a series of fiscally sound policy decisions plus their ability to negotiate with other governmental entities they have been able to achieve a $1million + surplus within a four year period. Think about that for a moment. That is a million dollers in savings each year and increased the services to the citizens.

Included in that turnaround was construction of a world class aquatic center.  They transferred the library to Pima County for an ONGOING savings of $600,000 annually.  They negotiated with RTA to absorb the Coyote Run transport service costs while allowing Oro Valley to continue to run it. This resulted in a quadrupling of ridership and another ONGOING annual savings of $220,000.

But the paramount achievement was realized when Oro Valley was named as one of the top ten safest communities in the United States.  The latter accomplishment was in response to the citizens and business community identifying public safety as their #1 priority. The old expression, “You can’t argue with success!” is certainly true for these four elected officials.

Not up for election at this time are Council members Bill Garner, Mike Zinkin and Brendan Burns.  Let’s examine their record since taking office. Garner, by the way, is the titular leader of this group.

The same police force that made Oro Valley one of the safest communities in the United States and recently had over 30 shots fired at them during a home invasion was recently referred to as “prima donnas” and thugs by Councilman Garner.  He also voted against small pay increases for all Town staff.

Councilman Zinkin is best known for his alleged harassment of female Town employees.  An independent outside attorney concluded in her report, “there is ample corroboration that the Councilman has made at least several inappropriate comments of a sexual nature or regarding persons of Mexican national origin that have troubled Town employees and possibly third parties as well.” Councilman Zinkin is also an advocate for reduction of or elimination of the award winning School Resource Officer program here in Oro Valley.  Evidently the safety of our children is a low priority for him. He would rather over seed the parks. He has advocated for a renters tax, but as he admits in a recent article “I don’t have the votes to bring it to Council”.  He also voted against the balanced town budget.

Councilman Burns is currently under indictment for  alleged 1st degree burglary and disorderly conduct with a weapon. Enough said.

Armed with that information you now need to know the WHAT IF and WHY IT MATTERS.

The challengers in this election, Pat Straney for Mayor and Don Bristow for Town Council are candidates ENDORSED BY AND SUPPORTED BY Bill Garner. I quote from his endorsement from the CAVE blog:

“ This is an important election. We need to change the complexion of the Council. It is time I stepped out and publicly stated my support…and do so for Pat Starney and Don Bristow.”

He can’t even spell “Straney”

IF one or both get elected, Garner,Zinkin, Burns and the newly elected will have the majority on the Oro Valley Town Council. The police department budget will be reduced and the number of officers reduced. The expansion of our park system will come to a halt. Being business friendly will be a thing of the past. Oro Valley will go into reverse. It’s that simple.

SPREAD THE WORD.  VOTE FOR HIREMATH, HORNAT, SNIDER AND WATERS.

The TRUTH, the whole TRUTH and nothing but the TRUTH

The Truth is going to clear up some blatant lies, misrepresentations, spin and just plan B.S.  We have received several emails asking us to post inaccuracies to clear up many of these untruths. Feel free to forward your concerns.

Untruth – Too many 4-3 votes.
Truth- Of the 39 Regular and 1 Special Council meetings with the current Council (6/6/12 thru 7/2/14), other than adjournment and consent agenda items, the voting summary is as follows:

Total votes taken 158, break down as follows:

99 Times 7-0

9 Times 6-1

21 Times 6-0

3 Times 5-0

7 Times 5-2

1 Time 4-2

1 Time 3-4

15 Times 4-3

The implication has been that Hiremath, Hornat, Snider and Waters are the majority (4) and the combo of Burns, Garner and Zinkin account for the “3’s” however only 13 of the 15 times have the 4-3 votes been this combination.  If you need the detail, send us an email and we will send you the spreadsheet.

As you can see, of  the 158 votes 123 have been a unanimous vote; hard to justify the “too many 4-3 vote” statement.

Distraction – Too much squabbling on Council
Fact — Nothing wrong with discord, which is disagreement; “democracy is a clash of ideas.”

B.S. – 50% of OV’s budget is the Police Department budget.
Fact – The 50 per cent number is correct only considering the General Fund.  Of the entire Town Budget OVPD is about 15 per cent.

Misinformed – My property taxes are too high.
Fact – Oro Valley does not have a property tax.

B.S. – Someone by the name of Zeeman posted YouTube videos of the Sun City Mayor and Town Council candidate forum as well as a June 9th candidate forum. The videos are posted on a Sun City blog site. In three instances three of the candidates are labeled “Republican Hornat, Republican Waters and Republican Snider.” The person sending us this information wanted to point out that the Oro Valley election is non-partisan and as such for what reason would the candidates be singled out with a party affiliation (which is incorrect on two accounts).  Neither Straney nor Bristow were given a label. Besides inaccurate, the favoritism is obvious.

B.S. – Question asked at the Sun City Forum: How can Sun City and Oro Valley work to enhance both Sun City and Oro Valley?  Pat Straney said as President of the Rancho Vistoso HOA he already does and gave an example of sharing landscape plans for median upgrades, he said, “I personally shared those plans with the (SC) architectural committee…”.  A Little problem here, we are unable to substantiate that any such meeting took place. Plus any plans that would have been shared may have been a copyright violation with the landscape architect hired by Rancho Vistoso. We’ve got our feelers out on this one.

Note Concerning Pat Straney:  Something to know – Ken Kineard (Ken is a Rancho Vistoso resident) had this to say in a letter to the editor to the Explorer posted 7/9/14:  “So, Secret Ballot Pat Straney is running for mayor.  Folks have a choice between a mayor that balanced the town’s budget, or a mayor who has demonstrated his preference for secret ballots on important votes.” The Truth has verified that Pat Straney did call for a secret ballot on a very controversial vote at a public BOD meeting.

Note Concerning Don Bristow: We learned at the Sun City Candidate Forum, that Don Bristow would be embarrassed to partner with the youth of Oro Valley to get assistance in setting up his cell phone and/or computer and thinks senior citizens would share his opinion.

A CLOSER LOOK

We received an e-mail from one of our readers asking us if we would post a guest observation which was titled as you see above. It has been fact checked and so we are happy to print it here.

We also encourage others to do so also. In keeping with the tradition of this blog we will fact check any post we receive for accuracy, unlike the other blog in Oro Valley. We will not publish your name unless you request it.

We thank the submitter for their support and their post.

“The first Oro Valley Candidate forum is behind us and we have had a chance to hear the candidates answer questions ‘from the voters’. It is the belief that some of the questions were written by current council members. The group hosting the July 9 forum was headed by a group known to be strong opponents to the incumbents. That adversarial attitude came through as the moderator was quick to reprimand Council members Snider and Waters on minor issues regarding their responses but was mute when the same infractions were committed by the challengers.

I believe it is important to closely examine the challengers in this election. A change of one individual in the makeup of this counsel would result in a dramatic and I believe negative impact on the future of Oro Valley in the short and long term.

Pat Straney moved to Rancho Vistoso in 2004 and is the current President of the Rancho Vistoso Board of Directors. He has held that position for seven years. Beyond that I do not believe Pat has served on any Town wide board or commission. This is Pats first run at an elected position in Oro Valley.

Pat was the subject of a recent letter to the editor in the Explorer. The following was copied from that publication:

“As president of the developer-controlled Vistoso Community Association, Mr. Straney spoke in favor of retaining a vendor for the community at a cost almost $250,000 more than two other qualified vendors.  When it became apparent his preference may not prevail, he called for a secret ballot.  Apparently he thought he could swing votes if directors weren’t publicly accountable. Mr. Straney also consistently calls for executive sessions, which is politaspeak for secret meetings.”

Don Bristow arrived in Oro Valley in 1999. He too has not served on any Oro Valley board or commission but does list in his bio that he participated in focus groups.  Those close to Oro Valley happenings know Don for his multiple filing of sign code and outdoor display violations and for his VERY close relationship to Council members Zinkin and Garner.

Both challengers are strongly supported by the other blog in Oro Valley. THAT FACT MUST NOT GO UNNOTICED. A quick review of previous candidates also supported by that “citizen centric” blog reveals they supported:

A veterinarian with a history of legal domestic issues and outstanding warrants for Game and Fish violations.

A female council member who was alleged to have had an extramarital affair with the Town Manager. Both resigned and later married.

A council woman who they later referred to as “a loser” on their blog.

A  current councilman who attempted suicide and is currently under indictment for 1st degree burglary and  disorderly conduct.

Another presently sitting councilman accused of harassing Town employees. An outside independent counsel determined there was “ample corroboration that the council member has made at least several inappropriate comments of a sexual nature or regarding persons of Mexican national origin…”

Now I am not implying that Bristow and Straney should be lumped in with their predecessors. But it is fair to note that the other blogs track record of endorsements has not been stellar! It is also fair to draw some conclusions from who supports these challengers.

Be careful who you listen to and choose wisely.

ORO VALLEY 2014 ELECTIONS…..READY, SET, GO!!!!!

As you can probably tell from the proliferation of political signs the 2014 election cycle is upon us. And it is one of those years when there are a LOT of elections. And sadly (my opinion) the local Oro Valley elections were mandated by the State to be held on the same dates as the state and federal elections.  I always thought, and still do for that matter, that it was kind of nice to have the local elections on their own date.  I feel that you can get a better feel for the local stuff when you are not so distracted by the state and federal hullabaloo.

And that brings me to my first point of this posting. Local elections are different.  A local election  is truly a place where YOU can make a difference. Yes, every vote counts but locally is where that is really true. In the last Oro Valley mayoral election the difference between the winner and the loser was 31 votes. Think about that for a moment. The registered voters in 16 family dwellings made a difference.  A couple of years before that we had a town council seat won by a margin of 4 votes. Locally you can make a difference.

More importantly there are a plethora of votes that take place at the local level that have a direct effect on your life. Allow me to give you one example.

Several years ago the Town of Oro Valley was faced with the same issues that faced every small community in America. How do we continue to protect our residents with a police force that is properly manned, well equipped and trained? How do we maintain our roadways in such a manner that they will not only be safe and enjoyable on which to travel but not cost the resident an arm and a leg?  How do we generate sufficient revenue to pay our Town staff a reasonable wage so they stay here and provide us the expertise necessary to stay ahead of the curve?

The answers are pretty obvious. We must increase our revenue (income) and maintain or reduce our expenses.  How simple is that? On the surface it appears relatively easy but when you get down to the real finite decision making process it becomes dicey. I use the term “dicey” because the only source of revenue for any government entity is the wallet of the people they serve. “Dicey” is also an applicable term when it comes to a reduction in expenses which translates into programs and services being cut. I am reminded of a tightrope walker.  One small misstep and the fall can be pretty painful; dicey if you will.

The true measure of good governance is when faced with tough choices, knowing that whatever decision is reached is going to rub a percentage of the population the wrong way, the governing body consistently  makes correct decisions and the intended results are achieved while ruffling as few feathers as possible.

I’ll close this segment with one example of good governance. When faced with a serious budget shortfall as a result of the recent recession the current Town Council had choices. They could have easily mandated a cut of 15-20 personnel (most likely the majority coming from the police department) and easily eased the problem. This reduction of force could have resulted in a substantial increase in crime in our community.  Or they could have made a minor adjustment in the utility tax, held the line on individual merit increases, made decisions that made it easier to do business in our community thus increasing sales tax revenues and reduced the workforce through attrition.  This latter solution obviously worked.

This is exactly the kind of leadership we want and expect from our Town elected officials. This is what we have experienced from Mayor Hiremath and Council members Hornat, Snider and Waters.  They should be applauded for their steadfast commitment to making our community safer, fiscally strong and the envy of many communities throughout our state and the country.

Vindication!

We can’t think of a better headline than that for the Explorer Op Ed  by Thelma Grimes.  We’ve attached the link to this article showing some “enthusiasm” for the Truth in the journalistic world and some support for the Recall attempt.

Congratulations to Thelma and also to Don Cox the victim of Mr. Zinkin’s unjustified attack.  This Op Ed proves Mr. Cox is not the only one who sees the Zinkin hypocrisy!

Take a minute to read this link.  Forward this on to your friends.

http://explorernews.com/northwest_chatter/article_1e27ce30-f676-11e3-a383-001a4bcf887a.html

As a point of interest, 0ver a month ago the Truth received an email from Mr. Zinkin’s adult son.  The email alleges some past actions by Mr. Zinkin that seem to confirm there is a pattern of inappropriate remarks and attitudes in his history.

We did not publish the email since we had no way of verifying the source.   The Town Council received a similar email.  We have since learned that Mr. Zinkin has responded to Town Council concerning his son’s email verifying it is from his son.  We may at some future date publish both on the Truth.

We doubted the “origin” of the son’s letter, but since Mr. Zinkin saw fit to respond and not deny it was his son, we may publish both here at a future date.