GUEST POST

The following was received from one of our readers. It has been forwarded to the Explorer for printing and may be in the July 15 edition.

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IS  IT “OUTRIGHT LIES, INTIMIDATION AND BULLYING TACTICS”?

 

I think most of us who are following what goes on in Oro Valley are aware of the incident which occurred when a member of the recall group turning in  petitions against our fine Mayor, Satish Hiremath, was arrested and charged with assaulting Vice-Mayor Waters.

Ryan Hartung, the leader of the recall group, came before the Oro Valley Town Council on Wednesday, July 1, 2015, and complained that inaccurate references were made about the recall group. Specifically Mayor Hiremath, stated the following:  “The whole composition of that group, they have always shown that they resort to either outright lies, intimidation and bully tactics.” There was no specific reference to Mr. Hartung although Mr. Hartung is the leader of that group and therefore must bear some responsibility.  I also find it interesting that two members of Hartung’s group, intimidated another citizen recording the activities. One shoved a cell phone in front of the lens of the video recorder while yet another put her hands in front of the lens and even push it toward the ground. Mr. Thomas Kamoske, the person later charged with the assault, was also recorded earlier walking through the peaceful  demonstrators loudly referring to them as “barking seals”.  So, as an average citizen, I think the phrase “intimidation and bullying tactics” is used appropriately and now well documented.

As for “lies”, I offer the following. Subsequent to the ”kerfuffle”, as a reporter chooses to describe the incident resulting in the arrest of one,  Mr. Hartung stated that Vice-Mayor Water “lashed out”  at Mr. Kamoske. One of Mr. Hartung’s own supporters described the Waters movement as “swats the papers out of his way.”  Mr. Hartung stated that Waters was wearing a red t-shirt like the rest of the demonstrators. Mr. Waters was wearing a blue button-up shirt.  In a separate statement, Mr. Hartung said that Councilman Hornat was wearing  the same red shirt as the demonstrators. He was not.  So  those three statements by Mr. Hartung  about the incident were all incorrect.  One man’s incorrect information is another’s lies. You be the judge.

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Sun City Board Wants to Run Oro Valley!!

That is a strong statement but here are some clues as to why we believe it is the Truth.

The Sun City Board and management discovered that they are “bound by state law” to open their facilities for political issues. Specifically they endorsed signature collection for what is now a failed referendum attempt on the Oro Valley  Community Center. It is worthy of note that the leader of the referendum attempt is now a challenger for a seat on Oro Valley Council.. Yes, the same one that filed incorrect referendum petitions. The same individual who was responsible for costing the Town of Oro Valley $0000’s of dollars in unnecessary legal fees.

The Sun City blog encouraged residents to sign petitions for the failed referendum and provided times and dates when people were available. It even went so far as to offer rides to residents who could not get to their community center.

The Sun City Board and management allowed the use of their facilities for signature gathering for recall challengers on July 4th.

Sun City Board and management is allowing the use of their facilities for  an “ice cream social” for recall challengers on July 12th.

Sun City (SC) has a recreation center, tennis courts, pool and golf course. Oro Valley residents living outside of Sun City are not allowed to use any amenity other than the golf course and then have to pay a higher fee. We understand that.

Now, thanks to the majority on the Oro Valley Town Council, all of Oro Valley now has its own Community and Recreation Center, additional pools, 31 additional tennis courts (we had 2) and yes, a Troon managed golf course.  The SC Board and SC Management are openly supporting the recall challengers and therefore are opposed to the remaining residents of Oro Valley enjoying the same amenities that SC residents enjoy. That, my friends, is shameful.

While we know there are supporters in Sun City for the council members being challenged….and more than a few I might add, the direction of their Board and Management does not seem to agree with them.

When the time comes we believe that  many Sun City residents  will join hands with other families in Oro Valley and cast their vote for their entire Town and it’s Community Center by supporting the incumbents.

OV Community Center & Rec by the Numbers

Town of Oro Valley a Media Release

OV Community & Recreation Center management transition and facility update

Oro Valley, Arizona (July 7, 2015) – As of July 1, 2015, the Town of Oro Valley will manage the fitness and community elements of the Oro Valley Community and Recreation Center. Previously, as the property was in transition, Troon had been contracted by Hilton El Conquistador Resort owner HSL Properties to operate the entire facility during the transition of ownership to the Town, through the end of the 2014-15 fiscal year (June 30, 2015). With the July 1 transition, Town staff now oversees facility management and operations of the fitness and community center elements. Troon will continue to manage the golf courses, tennis programming and food and beverage.

“This transition of management marks the next phase in the operations of the facility,” said Town Manager Greg Caton. “The partnership of management we are utilizing maximizes the specialized strengths of the Town and Troon in order to produce the best programming and operations and meet the needs of residents.”

The Oro Valley Community and Recreation Center, which was officially opened on May 2, 2015, has already seen tremendous success in its first two months of operation. In May and June, more than 200 new memberships were sold, exceeding the Town’s projections for new memberships for the entire year. Summer youth camps have been booked to capacity, and new (FREE!) community and enrichment classes are being held, such as Computers 101, Diabetes 101, Online Security, AARP Foundation Finances 50+ and much more.

Residents will also notice some changes around the facility in the next few months as the Town works to improve ADA access, renovate the fitness lobby and remodel La Vista Restaurant.

Keep an eye out for the Fall 2015 Parks and Recreation Guide, (published in late August), for exciting information on afterschool programs for youth, more enrichment classes for adults, special events and multigenerational and family programs.

For complete details on classes, programming, special events and memberships, visit us online at www.orovalleyaz.gov or follow the Town of Oro Valley and Oro Valley Parks and Recreation on Facebook.

BY THE NUMBERS

34 new staff hired for the facility (equates to 13 FTE’s)
213 new fitness memberships (including family memberships)
753 total fitness memberships
420 youth using the facility for summer camp programs
200+ people in attendance for the recent Drive-In at the Driving Range
190 golf memberships
3,051 rounds of golf in June
300 tennis players in June competing in 335 matches in OV and regional facilities

CONTACT INFO

Classes and programs: 520-229-5050
Community & Recreation Center facility info: 520-544-1900
Golf tee times: 5205441800
La Vista Restaurant info and reservations: 520-544-1984

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Town of Oro Valley 11000 N. La Canada Drive Oro Valley AZ 85737

From the Dais–July 1, 2015

Regular Session at 5:00 PM

Roll Call – Present: Hiremath, Waters, Hornat, Snider, Zinkin   Absent: Burns, Garner (Burns arrived 5:51 PM)

Council Reports –

Hornat: Attended Drive-In night at Community Center, good movie approximately 200 people in attendance including CM Burns and his family.

Zinkin: Starting something new, in the future will be highlighting private enterprises. Doesn’t think it is fair to promote Pasta Night at the Community Center restaurant as it is in direct competition with other businesses, also thinks it is unfair to promote town owned properties on the Town’s Website and Facebook page. He then continued to promote a golf package at the Sun City golf course.

Call to the Audience – 3 individuals submitted blue cards. Of note the head of the recall group spoke, he apologized to VM Waters for the incident that occurred the following Wednesday by an individual that was with him at Hiremath petition turn-in. He said the individual was not part of the recall group; however, he did support the recall. The individual who allegedly assaulted VM Waters did not attend any of the recall organizational meetings. He stated that he and his group thought about protesting and carrying signs at the he recent ribbon cutting at the Community Center but chose not to and wished that he had been afforded the same consideration.

ALL 14 Regular Agenda Items received unanimous votes –

 

 

 

Déjà vu…is it 2012!

Apparently so, the 2012 “hit” signs with negative messaging have come out of storage and are being placed around town. Just change the names and there you go.

Below is a post from 2012:

Good PAC? Bad PAC?

“WeAreOroValley” is the latest in a string of PAC’s (Political Action Committee) filed by ex-Town Council Member Conny Culver.

Conny is the Chairman and Shirley LaMonna the Treasurer of “We Are Oro Valley”. The intended purpose of this political committee is to support or oppose one or more candidates and to raise money to finance the cause. This group paid for and posted the negative and misleading black and white signs on the right-of-ways during the recent Town Council election…

See TRUTH Categories (left-hand side), “Political Action Committee” to read full post.

RECALL GROUP SHOWS TRUE COLORS

I have put off writing this post since June 24, 2015.  I did that for a couple of reasons. First, I was livid Wednesday.  But I have come to realize that the lies and misrepresentations the recall movement representatives used to gather signatures were simply a precursor to this incident.  This kind of behavior, other than the physical nature, is exactly what they have done from the beginning.

Many of the recall ‘brain trust’ people are well known activists who oppose most everything under the sun. About the only thing you can find that they support is the three minority council members. And when you look at the morals and character of those three you must come to the conclusion that their supporters approve of their conduct, morals and character.  Remember the old expression, “Birds of a feather, flock together.”

The second reason I put off writing this piece is that I wanted to see all videos of the incident and hear the media reports on the incident. I wanted to see the website of the recall movement and their face book page. I wanted to write an accurate and truthful report because that’s what we do on the TRUTH. That’s what sets us apart from the ‘luv’ blog.

It is very clear from the video that there was a wide opening for the Ryan Hartung party to have an unobstructed path to the door of Town Hall. It wasn’t as though they had to run a gauntlet  and shove their way through. The twelve of them walked without hesitation or obstruction into the Town building.  The supporters of the Mayor were quiet and peaceful; no yelling, booing or name calling. Mr. Kamoske on the other hand was taunting the crowd and video supports that fact.

Here is what one video plainly shows:

Hartung ‘s group showed up at the late 6 second mark on the video. Mr. Kamoske veered away from the group and a direct path to the Town Hall entrance and approached Vice Mayor Waters at the late 10 second mark. Both arms of Kamoske were extended and locked with paper(s) being held by both hands. That in itself is an aggressive move toward Mr. Waters. At the early 11 second mark Mr. Kamoske makes physical contact with the camera lens, shoving the camera back into Vice Mayor Waters face.  At the 12 second mark Waters simply turns his body toward Kamoske. He makes no step toward Kamoske who is now past Waters with his back to the Vice Mayor and continues to walk toward the entrance to Town Hall. Kamoske never breaks stride. At the early 13 second mark Mr. Kamoske is still totally upright and now well past the Vice Mayor. At the late 13 second mark you can see Kamoske pivot and begin his flop. That’s 2 seconds after the initial contact with Waters, with Kamoske in full stride for those two seconds and Waters never moving other that turning his upper body. Mr. Waters is seen standing with his left hand apparently on his left hip as you can plainly see his elbow close to his left side. Mr. Kamoske doesn’t hit the ground until the 14 second mark. It was a controlled fall. Mr. Kamoske reportedly yelled, “Waters pushed me!” Two videos prove otherwise.

In a post incident interview, Hartung stated, “Lou lashed back.”  That my friends is a complete fabrication. When you stop the video split second to split second and look at it, it is clear that the Vice Mayor’s only move was to make an attempt to remove the papers from in front of his lens. The move by Waters is a simple slapping motion with his left hand; the left arm is never extended in a shoving motion. It is unclear whether he even actually made contact with Kamoske.  Mr.Hartung also stated that Vice-Mayor Waters was participating in the protest and wearing a red shirt along with the others. Here is a quote from him copied from the ‘luv’ blog. “Council members Joe Hornat, Lou Waters and Mary Snider we all wearing the same red shirts.” He later apologized for that statement on the OVCOG face book page as being incorrect and admitted that Mr. Waters was wearing a blue shirt. In fact Councilman Hornat also was not wearing one of the “same red shirts”.

It is also interesting that the OVCOG face book page has been wiped clean of any reference to this incident to include an exchange of comments regarding the incident.

Many eye witnesses confirm that the Kamoske ‘wilt’ was not a result of any action by the Vice-Mayor but something similar to a World Wrestling Federation rehearsed event.  One eye witness stated that recall candidate Steve Didio was seen lowering his head and shaking it back and forth in disgust at the actions of Kamoske.

But the bigger picture, and the one that I believe we need to concentrate on is that anger is the modus operandi of the recall movement.  Mr. Kamoske is a key figure in the recall effort. He is one of their trusted inner circle. That’s why he was part of the group delivering signatures. He just wasn’t along for the ride. He carries influence within the group. He is who they are.  We know they lied and repeatedly trespassed when gathering signatures.

Ladies and gentlemen, Wednesday, June 24, 2015, will be remembered as a dark day in the history of Oro Valley. It was a day on which a member of the duly elected government of this community was assaulted by an out of control citizen who simply didn’t want to be photographed.

We are blessed to have four dedicated persons who have sacrificed much of their private lives to make this community a great place to live. They have brought us through one of the worst financial disasters in this nation’s history. They made a lot of tough decisions along the way.  We owe them!

As time passes you are going to be asked to actively participate in this election. I hope you will. We need to send another strong message to the Kamoske clan.

Update…..Stay Tuned for the TRUTH

The following is the actual video of the incident which already has been widely run by the media.

 www.facebook.com/orovalleypolicedepartment or https://youtu.be/AVElhye7Fis

The following is the news story on KVOA of Hornat and Hartungs views of the same video.

You judge for yourself, but we are going with Hornat on this one!!

http://www.kvoa.com/clip/11632457/man-accused

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We find this regrettable, as reported by Tucson News Now:

Oro Valley man cited for assault of vice mayor

Updated: Jun 24, 2015 5:15 PM Wednesday, June 24, 2015 8:15 PM EDT

By John Ames

“According to a news release from the Oro Valley Police Department, Thomas John Kamoske, 63, allegedly assaulted Lou Waters, 76, while he was photographing people gathered outside the Town Administration Building in support of Mayor Satish Hiremath.

Police said Kamoske allegedly charged at Waters and shoved papers into his camera lens. Waters was bruised and scraped above his right eye, police said.

Witnesses reported that Kamoske claimed he was pushed to the ground by Waters, but a video of the incident appeared to show him deliberately falling to the ground, according to police.

Kamoske was cited for assault and released into Pima County Justice Court.”

Stay tuned for more updates and the TRUTH, some local blogs are putting their spin on today’s incident.

Tucson News Now story appears at

http://www.tucsonnewsnow.com/story/29402216/oro-valley-man-cited-for-assault-of-vice-mayor

 

From the Dais…June 17, 2015

Roll Call: Present Hiremath, Waters, Hornat, Snider, Zinkin. By Phone: Garner, Burns

 

Waters: Update on mold issue at Community Center. Private inspector hired, after a thorough inspection, a small amount of mold was detected in an unoccupied water heater closet. No other mold detected, removed to industry protocols. Airborne samples were taken, tested and found to be lower than outside levels.

Reported success of Thursday Pasta Nights at the Community Center, there were 40 attendees week one and 85 week two.

Meet the Architect Event, Monday, June 29 6-7 pm in the Sunset Room at the Community Center. Opportunity to view the three focus areas of the initial renovation of the Center.

Hornat: as part of American Legion Post 132 along with other members, participated in recent Explorer Academy at Golder Ranch facilities as actors in training evaluation scenarios.

Attended the annual Urban Land Institute in Scottsdale; reporting that even simple temporary “sign codes” have reached the U.S. Supreme Court for the Town of Gilbert.

Zinkin: “just came back from Salt Lake City” (attended National League of Cities)… “if you haven’t been there, it’s a wonderful community… the stigma if you are not a Mormon; you are nothing, not true. All the bars (stammering)   don’t have to be a member to get in…it’s a regular town now!”

Talked about Indians not paying sales taxes and would be in favor of starting dialogue about mass transit in Oro Valley.

Snider: Parks and Recreation Director, Kristy Diaz-Trahan asked for new member update. Report of 51 new members to the Center since June 1. Total memberships since the opening May1 is 229. Forecast for the first year was 200 memberships. Well over the annual forecast in just one month.

Ms. Diaz also reported over 90 children are currently participating in target camps. The American Junior Golf Association will hold an event in OV 1/15-18/2016.

Drive-In Movie Night at the Driving Range will take place Saturday, June 20th at sunset.

Zinkin: (Consent agenda item C. request for modification of a conservation easement). “Let me get this right, this applicant lives in a 7,500 sq. ft. house, he wants to add 680 sq. ft. to this little piece of squalor over there in Stone Canyon…don’t feel sorry for this guy…7,500 not enough for the guy…will not support…this is gluttony…” Staff response OV actually gaining preservation with modification. Vote was 4-3, Hiremath, Hornat, Snider, Waters in favor. Burns, Garner, Zinkin opposed.

Zinkin (Regular agenda Item 2) grandstands about the town being obligated to stabilize the buildings at Steam Pump Ranch. Apparently unaware this item was brought back specifically to fund Steam Pump as represented in the previous Council meeting.

Indicated he would vote no on the 2015/16 budget at the May 20th TC meeting. His telephone connection “dropped” when calling for the June 3rd meeting to accept the final budget. Hiremath, points out Zinkin voted NO on the 2013/14 and 2014/15 budget which contained funding for Steam Pump. Hiremath, Hornat, Snider & Waters have consistently voted yes on the budgets.   Zinkin consistently votes NO to fund Steam Pump Ranch with his NO votes on the Manager’s Recommended Budget. Vote was Hornat, Hiremath, Waters, Snider, Zinkin, Burns yes. Garner abstains.

Quick Start for OV Community & Recreation Center

Good news for those that may have missed this Media Release from the Town.  Read here or click the link below:

 The Oro Valley Community & Recreation Center gets off to a quick start

 Oro Valley, Arizona (June 3, 2015)

Since its grand opening on May 2, 2015, the new Oro Valley Community & Recreation Center has been booming with activity. The month of May was promoted as membership month, during which time, registration fees were waived. 176 new memberships were sold (for a total of 424 people, as part of family passes). The Town had estimated that in its first year of operation, 200 memberships would be sold-or approximately 17 per month. To have nearly met the annual membership goal in its first month of operation is confirmation that an important need is now being met in our community.

The month of May also included a grand opening celebration on May 2, including free use of the pools, driving range and tennis courts, as well as the kickoff of Hack Golf (golf played with larger cups). Hack Golf will continue every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the month of June at the Pusch Ridge nine-hole golf course. Other golf promotions at the El Conquistador golf course include the “Summer Sizzle” special: $149 per player, which includes six rounds of golf at either of the 18-hole courses, two rounds of golf at the Pusch Ridge nine-hole course, six non-alcoholic beverages, two sleeves of Callaway golf balls, and 10% off restaurant purchases. The golf package is good through Labor Day.

At La Vista Restaurant, a new Friday night menu was unveiled May 22. Each month will bring a different dinner menu. Starting June 4, the restaurant will premiere Pasta Night every Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. Chef Robert and his culinary team will have two pasta stations ready to custom make pasta dishes for diners. Cost is $13.50 per person, plus tax.

A Drive-In Movie on the Driving Range was held May 16, with more than 100 people in attendance. Additional drive-in events will be held this summer-the next one on June 20 at sunset.

As the facility continues to transition from a former country club into a community and recreation center, many improvements are planned. Entryway signage has already been installed and in the near term, a new lounge area will be developed for patrons to gather and enjoy coffee.

The Town recently finalized a contract with the Breckenridge Group for design services. In the coming months, following public input sessions, the design phase will begin for identified improvements. A “Meet the Architect” public session will be planned over the next month.

 

http://myemail.constantcontact.com/OV-Community—Recreation-Center-gets-off-to-a-quick-start.html?soid=1111314412429&aid=q0TcpQ1dDz4
 

Un “Explored”

Councilmember Joe Hornat sent us the following email that was sent to the “Letter to the Editor” at the “Explorer” concerning an unprinted timely response to a previous letter submitted by Mr. Hines. The un “explored” letter  follows this also.

“David,

I am a little disappointed that my response to Mr. Hines letter printed last week was not in the print edition of the Explorer today. I did get an “email” receipt for my letter.

I am concerned that only the “other” side is being heard in this debate and that the voice of others is not being heard. I think we saw this with the previous administration and frankly I was hoping for better.

My letter was a rebuttal of Mr. Hines letter based on facts that have been presented are verifiable but ignored.

You are right in your editorial “My Turn” that you don’t know about Oro Valley. I don’t expect you to know at this stage, or to edit letters to the editor for accuracy, but I do expect that you allow rebuttal and let the readers judge for themselves.

Hopefully, in the future you will extend that courtesy, i.e. responsibility, to “this side” also.

Regards

Joe Hornat

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Un Explored follows.

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In response to Mr. Hines letter to the editor last week, let’s try and concentrate on some facts instead of inflammatory conspiratorial surmise.

  1. Oro Valley Marketplace (OVMP) is a success and a major contributor and partner in the sales tax contributions to OV. The very same sales tax that pays for the amenities you enjoy here. This Council was not in office when the OVMP was approved by voters.
  2. The La Cholla changes were a 7-0 vote, not the entire responsibility of the four “puppets” Mr. Hines accuses.
  3. The future widening of LaCholla has already been provided for in the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) budget as explained at the very meetings Mr. Hines was attending, but wasn’t listening. The timing of this is in conjunction with the potential build out Mr. Hines in concerned about and in fact has been moved up at the request of OV.
  4. Mr. Hines, like so many of us in OV, is currently living in home that was part of what was once “pristine” desert. We were not denied that, but should we deny that to others?
  5. Apartments are part of every community in America and ours is no different. What prejudice exists towards apartments located on a major thoroughfare, I just don’t understand. They aren’t in anyone’s “back yard” and they are and will be a contributor to the already mentioned sales tax we survive on here in OV. Add to traffic, somewhat for sure, if Mr. Hines wakes up a little earlier I suggest he take a look at the traffic that is coming down from north of OV already…that is why Oracle is being widened…not because of the apartments.
  6. Campaign contributions…really. Is Mr. Hines such a small man that he expects anyone would sell their soul or their vote for any amount let alone the meager amounts mentioned? To what personal end? None of the Council is in real estate, construction or anything related to this. Perhaps so that we could continue to enjoy the “perks” (free parking at OVMP, et al) that go along with our elected positions? I will wait for someone to list those!

Maybe Mr. Hines would sell his vote and that is why he is so concerned.

November, yes! A chance for the other 24,000 voters in OV to be heard over the 3,000 who signed the recall petitions and keep OV on the track that so many have approved of and enjoyed already, including Mr. Hines by the way.