OV Answers FAQ’s Media Release

Oro Valley answers frequently-asked questions about the El Conquistador Country Club acquisition.

Oro Valley, Arizona (January 22, 2015) -Although last week’s petitions for referendum were invalidated because they did not comply with state law (ARS) 19-111 (B), they were a clear indication that some residents in Oro Valley still have questions about the acquisition of the El Conquistador Country Club and its planned conversion into a community and recreation center.Town leadership is working to raise awareness of the information that has already been made available to the public, as well as provide opportunities to answer questions and meet with members of the community in a series of open house events that will soon be announced.Below is the first round of frequently-asked questions (FAQs). Additional FAQs will be shared in the coming days, based on constituent inquiries and public discussions.

Why is the Town purchasing the El Conquistador Country Club?

Oro Valley residents have been requesting a community center for many years. In the latter part of 2014, the Hilton El Conquistador Resort and Country Club was sold, and the new owner did not want to own and operate the Country Club; therefore, discussions took place about the Town purchasing the property for the purpose of turning it into a community and recreation center. The property includes 324 acres of land, a 31,475-square-foot building, restaurant, 31 tennis courts, 45 holes of golf and two swimming pools.

What is the purchase price of the property, and what is the value?

An appraisal was completed and the property is valued at $3.25 million. The purchase price is $1 million, to be paid in cash over three years. The appraisal also estimates a replacement value of $42 million, which includes the cost to rebuild the golf courses, tennis courts, buildings, etc.

Has an analysis of the property been completed?

Yes. The Town’s building official has inspected all of the structures. The report was then provided to architects and construction experts in order to prepare cost estimates of needed upgrades. Additionally, Troon management inspected all the golf course facilities. It is estimated that $5.5 million is needed to improve the property over the next five years; therefore, the acquisition cost ($1 million), plus the needed capital investment ($5.5 million), result in a total “all-in” capital cost of $6.5 million. These improvements, along with strong management, will drive revenues up.

 Why doesn’t the Town build a new community center?

The cost of building a new facility will cost much more than acquiring the existing facility. Based on an analysis of the Northwest YMCA’s unit construction costs, a new facility, comparable to the country club, could cost approximately $20 million. The Town does not have $20 million in reserves, and therefore, would have to bond (or finance) the cost of the project. Interest on a $20 million facility would cost an additional $7 million dollars over the 20-year life of the bonds. The total cost of the facility would therefore be approximately $27 million. Additionally, a new facility would likely incur an annual operational “loss.” Community center operational costs often exceed revenues by $500,000 to $1.5 million annually.

If the Hilton couldn’t make money on the Country Club, how can the Town make money?

Hilton’s primary focus was always the resort property (hotel). When capital resources were available, the funding was usually dedicated to the resort instead of the country club. The Troon golf management company has been contracted to manage the golf, restaurant and much of the facility. In 65% of the public facilities that Troon manages, the properties break even or are profitable.

 The golf industry seems to be struggling. Why acquire a golf course?

The Town is not able to acquire the community and recreation center facility without also taking ownership of the golf courses. The number of golfers nationwide has followed the downturn in the economy. Many industry experts believe golf courses were “over built” during the real estate expansion in the last 20 years. Many golf courses went out of business due to the large amount of debt they carried. The Town is purchasing the property with cash and will carry zero debt. Similar to any operation, it will take good management and capital investment in order to be successful. There are numerous golf courses across the country that are profitable.

 Haven’t the El Conquistador golf courses operated at a financial loss?

Yes. In recent years, the expenditures have exceeded the revenues by approximately $1.2 to $1.5 million per year. Under private ownership by the Hilton, the country club and golf course expenses included the annual payment of property taxes. Because the Town does not pay property tax, this is an immediate savings that will be realized when the Town takes ownership; therefore, the Town’s annual loss in the beginning years is expected to be approximately $1.2 to$1.3 million. This anticipated shortfall is the reason for the $2 million additional revenue generated by the increase in sales tax. It is not uncommon for a community center to have expenditures exceed revenues by $1 million annually. The revenue shortfall occurs because municipalities strive to keep rates affordable, which therefore creates a situation where the broader revenue sources help fund the operations costs (this occurs in numerous government functions).

The financial projections on the golf operations seem overly optimistic. How does the Town think these numbers will be achieved?

Town staff worked very closely with Troon to analyze and scrutinize all golf operation projections provided by Troon on golf round projections, revenues and expenses. A number of measures will be implemented to achieve increased interest in golf and the other activities and programs that will be offered at the Community and Recreation Center. First, the golf operations will now be professionally managed by Troon, an internationally-recognized, premier leader in the industry. Troon manages more than 230 golf courses around the world and can leverage their purchasing power to significantly lower operations and equipment costs at the facility. Secondly, Troon will implement unique and creative programs to spur increased interest in golf for all ages, including youth and school programs. Finally, the Town and Troon will partner to significantly increase the marketing and advertising efforts to promote the courses and restaurant facilities to a greater degree than under past management.

What is the estimated cost per household, per month of the 0.5% sales tax increase?

Because sales taxes are paid by both Town residents and non-residents, it is estimated that approximately 2/3 of local tax revenues are generated by Town residents. If we apply this 2/3 to the total annual estimated collections of $2 million from the 0.5% sales tax increase, it results in approximately $1.3 million of this total paid by Town residents. If we divide $1.3 million by the approximately 18,500 households in Town and divide by 12, the result is $5.85 per household per month.

How will the additional revenue (from the sales tax) be utilized?

Two million dollars in new revenue will be generated from the half-cent sales tax, which will become effective March 1, 2015. In the first two years of operations, the average revenue shortfall is approximately $1.2 to $1.3 million. The remainder of the $2 million will be used for capital investment. The investments in the property, golf and restaurant facilities will help to increase operational revenue. By year three, the operation shortfall dramatically decreases to approximately $200,000, and in year four, is decreased entirely.

Will other planned Town projects be delayed because of this purchase?

No. The Town has authorized dedicated funding for this facility. The increase in the sales tax from 2% to 2.5% will allow the Town to fund the operations and the capital improvements for the facility. All other Town operations and capital projects are moving forward as planned.

Will the Town pay for the use of water?

Yes. The Town’s Water Utility operates as an “enterprise,” which means that it is fully supported by user fees. The Town pays for its water use as any other customer would. The Town is currently a water customer. The Town currently pays for irrigation in Town parks.

 How will the Town pay for the water costs?

Like any public or private operation, there are revenues and expenses. The cost of water is one of the expected expenditures to operate the facility. The El Conquistador receives revenues from customers of the facility for golf, tennis, fitness, restaurant, etc. The revenues from these sources will be used to pay for the water expenses.

For more details on this project, click here or visit: http://www.orovalleyaz.gov/town/news/community-invited-give-input-proposed-country-club-acquisition.

 

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Referendum Petitions Don’t Comply With State Law

 

 

Petitions for referendum do not comply with state law; number of signatures on second petition effort falls short of requirement

Oro Valley, Arizona (January 20, 2015) – After processing the petition sheets submitted to the Oro Valley Town Clerk on Thursday, January 15, 2015, by the T.O.O.T.H. in OV referendum committee, it has been determined that the petitions do not comply with state law, therefore, any signatures on them are invalidated.

The petition sought to refer to a ballot the December 17, 2014 Town Council decision to acquire the El Conquistador Country Club and its related amenities.

According to Arizona Revised Statute (ARS) 19-111 (B), it is mandatory that the petition serial number appear in the lower right hand corner of both the front and back of the petition. The submitted petitions did not bear the assigned serial number. This provision was included as a requirement in the materials provided to the referendum committee.

 

Since serial number requirement is a matter of state law, the Town of Oro Valley does not have the authority to override that requirement. Numerous case laws make it clear that strict compliance with all statutes is required for a referendum. See Western Devcor, Inc. v. City of Scottsdale, 161 Ariz. 426, 814 P.2d 767 (1991); and numerous other cases.

 

Upon receipt of the January 15 petitions, the Town Clerk recognized and indicated that the documents did not contain the serial number. The following day, January 16, the same group of citizens filed an application for another referendum petition with similar language under the name of T.O.O.T.H. in OV 2, and gathered signatures to submit by the 5 p.m. deadline.

 

The T.O.O.T.H. in OV 2 petitions were submitted by deadline and processed by the Town Clerk’s Office; however, the second set of petitions fell short of the minimum 1,148 signatures required.

 

As of 5 p.m. on Friday, January 16, 2015, the deadline to submit petitions has passed.

 

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TIME FOR ACTION

Here is a link to an article in the latest edition of the Golf Digest.

Please read it and I will have more to add shortly. We have a really good fight on our hands. We can move forward or we can stand on the sidelines and observe.

I choose leadership over watchmanship.

Thanks for your continued support.

Golf And Busines: Course Correction : Golf Digest

 

Submitted by TRUTH Friend

The following was submitted by a friend of the TRUTH blog. Don has submitted this to the Explorer for publication.

TURNING POINT

I was very disappointed to discover that a small group of citizens is planning a legal move to block the Oro Valley acquisition of the El Conquistador Country Club (ECCC) property which jeopardizes a much wanted community center. Sadly there is also a group of Sun City residents who  have joined in. This group is only concerned with their own interests and not the greater good of Oro Valley.

The core group behind this move is the same group of citizens that has opposed most every development project in our Town to include the building of Ventana Medical, Sanofi, Oro Valley Marketplace and Oracle Crossing. The latter two were responsible for the generation of $1,000,000 and $450,000 respectively in sales tax revenue during Fiscal Year 2013/14 alone. Both have been there for several years so do the math yourself.  Sanofi and Ventana employees, who live in Oro Valley, have been responsible for the generation of hundreds of thousands of  dollars in state shared revenue income for Oro Valley. If this small group had their way, we would not have realized this income and the current financial condition of Oro Valley would be vastly different.

Oro Valley has matured to one of the best places to live in the United States. Our crime rate is one of the lowest. Our property values did not decline nearly as much as other areas in Arizona. Our population continues to grow at a healthy rate and we have attracted new business. All of these facts, make a very clear statement that the decisions made by the governing body of Oro Valley have created an atmosphere that allows for the above to occur. We have achieved this success not by accident but as a result of sound fiscal decisions being made by the Oro Valley Town Council.

In my 9+ year experience on the Oro Valley Planning and Zoning Commission, I can tell you that the group that is planning to derail the purchase of ECCC has opposed most every development project at one point or another.  They are vocal. They are organized. They are a detriment to progress and to the future of Oro Valley.

It’s your choice.  A one half cent sales tax for a community center, 30% of which is paid for by non-Oro Valley residents, is a small price to pay. At some point a community center, if constructed, is going to cost us tax dollars. If we build it on our own the price tag will be much higher.

I urge my fellow citizens of Oro Valley to actively oppose this small group of naysayers. We cannot allow 1200 signatures to dictate what happens in our community.  Say NO! Tell others to say NO! Spread the word to oppose this group through your local social network.

THIS IS IMPORTANT!!!

But most of all have a Merry Christmas and a healthy 2015!!!!

Don Cox

The Verdict is in!

As was predictable, Councilman Burns was successful in pleaing down the felony charges to misdemeanors. One has to wonder if this was a result of good juris-prudence or the fact that he was part of the ‘lawyer brotherhood’. My guess is that it was a little of the former and more of the latter. You also have to wonder if the fact that he is a good Democrat had anything to do with the degree to which the charges were pursued since our less than wonderful County Attorney is a party loyalist???

In any event we wish Councilman Burns good health and a Merry Christmas.

The following was copied from Tucson.com.

“Oro Valley Town Councilman Brendan Burns was sentenced to probation Wednesday after pleading guilty to criminal trespassing.

Pima County Superior Court Judge Javier Chon-Lopez sentenced Burns to two years probation in connection with a May 20 incident where the councilman was unlawfully in the home of his estranged wife.

“Most people don’t get this opportunity,” Chon-Lopez told Burns at the hearing.

Burns’ offense was designated a misdemeanor, at the request of his defense.

At a plea hearing in November, public defender Joel Feinman asked that acceptance of the plea be postponed until the sentencing date and that the judge designate the offense a misdemeanor.

The reason was to help preserve Burns’ professional career as an attorney. If he had pleaded guilty to and subsequently been sentenced for a felony, he faced losing his state license to practice law.

Burns was arrested following the May incident where he showed up at his wife’s house in defiance of a protective order.

Court and police documents say Burns brandished a knife during the incident.

The original indictment included criminal trespassing and disorderly conduct charges.

Chon-Lopez said the incident and court records show Burns suffers with mental health issues, including bipolar disorder.

The judge suggested that Burns read a book on bipolar disorder titled “An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness.”

In addition to probation, Burns is required to pay his wife $4,430 in restitution, to not have unauthorized contact with her and to take all medications prescribed to him.

He’ll also have to submit to any mental health treatments the Adult Probation Department orders.

Burns graduated from the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law and was admitted to practice in 2004.

He was elected to the Oro Valley Town Council in 2012.”

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.

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

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
****************************************************************************************************
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!!!