A Hotel versus a Community Center?

One of our readers pointed out a posting on another blog suggesting there is somehow an interesting parallel to be seen between the Sheraton in Phoenix losing money over the last several years and the purchase of the El Con Country Club for a Community Center.

We don’t see the sense of a comparison but in doing some digging, we found it interesting that Councilmember Bill Garner* asked the Town Manager if in doing his due diligence, had he considered making an offer for the hotel and resort, as that is where the money is and would give Oro Valley the opportunity to put its name on a hotel/convention center for our signature events. Garner felt OV was getting the “crumbs of the pot.” It was pointed out to Garner, that while not uncommon for municipalities to own hotels it was not an opportunity that was given consideration. However, the Town Manager said he would pursue at the direction of Council. It was unlikely to enter into discussions since there was already an offer from a buyer and conversations could not occur unless that deal fell through. Mayor Hiremath stated that for those that may not have known, the Phoenix Sheraton is probably the only municipally owned hotel in the state and believes Phoenix is losing somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 million dollars.

So what do you think, should the town have made an offer to buy the Hilton El Conquistador Golf & Tennis Resort? The hotel sold for $15 million, A $16 mil rehabilitation and capital improvement project is planned, CM Garner thinks this was a good idea. Your thoughts.

*December 4, 2014 Regular Town Council Meeting

Subject: YES, the Majority 4 care about our youth

More often than you might believe, we get letters that have been sent to the Explorer and for some “reason” they just aren’t printed. The following is one of them and is in response to a letter that did get published.

 

Mr. Kavvouras has not been paying attention! The Majority 4 have done more for Oro Valley youth than any Town Council in Oro Valley’s history.

What wonderful programs do we have for Oro Valley youth?

-Project Graduation was brought to Oro Valley by Mary Snider in 2004. This program has protected 10,000 + teenage lives and is supported yearly by the Police and the Majority 4.

-Youth Advisory Council (YAC) comprised of thirty high school students from four Oro Valley High Schools. YAC was formed in 2012 and meets monthly to give a voice to our youth.

-Dive in movie nights at the Oro Valley Aquatic Center sponsored by YAC. Last Saturday of the month from June – September 7:30 – 10:00 P.M. Open to all O.V teenagers. Free use of pool, movie and pizza.

-Free Field Day sponsored by YAC open to all O.V. teenagers April 11, 2015 5-8 p.m.

-YAC youth liaison to Town Council to keep teens informed about what is going on in town government.

-For the first time the General Plan Committees have teenagers from the Youth Advisory Council giving input as to what youth want and need in O.V.

-The Holiday Parade

-Children’s room at the Library.

-The new Children’s Museum opening May 1, 2015.

-Settler’s Day Festival at Steam Pump Ranch.

-Arizona Distance Classic for Kids.

-Basketball, volleyball, soccer at Riverfront Park.

-Archery, Lacrosse and soccer at Naranja Park.

-Baseball field, playgrounds, volleyball at James Kreigh Park.

-Hiking and biking trails.

-The police department has School Resource Officers (SRO’s) in our schools protecting our children. The police participate in Shop with a Cop, National Night Out, Safe Treats, public school safety talks, free child car seat checks, and drug awareness day.

-Explorer Program – training tomorrow’s police officers today. Four of our current O.V. police officers are former OVPD Explorer Cadets.

-5 million dollar addition to the Aquatic Center – Olympic pool, diving boards, interactive splash pad, giant water slide, recreation pool, classrooms for parties, Junior Lifeguard camps, Scuba Rangers camp, world’s largest swim lesson, Splash and Dash Aqualon.

local weekly summer swim meets, home to six youth swim teams, and 4 out of town youth swim teams, and state and national competitions.

-The El Conquistador Community Center will be for EVERYONE. Since when are kids not interested in swimming, tennis, weight lifting, summer camps, hack golf, basketball and food?

The Parks and Rec department is hard at work to make our community center a gathering place for ALL.

Does the majority 4 care about Oro Valley youth? Oh yes, George, they do! And hang on to your hat it’s only going to get better!

Marty Waters

 

Why Sales Tax?

The following Post is at the request of the Mayor of OV

To the readers of the TRUTH:

This is a continuation of a series of posts that I will be submitting for the TRUTH so that you have the facts. The revenue source that was chosen to fund the improvements of the El Conquistador Country Club with all of its amenities by not only me, but Lou Waters, Mary Snider and Joe Hornat was chosen by design and here’s why.

There are five revenue sources available to our Town and they are: 1) Property tax, 2) Commercial Lease tax, 3) Utility tax, 4) Renters tax and, 5) Sales tax. Let’s take a look at each one….

Property Tax

Currently, the Town of Oro Valley does not have a property tax. The tax we pay is a county tax. There is a push by some council members to have a discussion of a property tax and take it to the voters to let them decide whether a property tax is warranted or not. This avenue was not chosen as a financing mechanism because the town of Oro Valley was founded on no property tax and more importantly, in both the 2010 election and 2014 election, the residents were adamant about not having a property tax. Lou, Joe, Mary and I chose not to support this suggestion out of respect of the wishes of our residents. We were elected on the platform that we would not institute a Property tax unless it was absolutely necessary. 100% of the burden would fall on the shoulders of the residents and we felt it would be very unfair in these tough economic times. Also, because of our out of the box thinking and vision, it is not necessary to institute a property tax at this time.

Commercial Lease Tax

This option was not chosen because it would place an undue burden on the businesses of our Town. Roughly 1/2 of our general fund comes from sales tax and is used to provide such things as public safety, roads, parks and recreation. It is imperative that the burden not be placed solely on businesses in our Town, especially in these tough economic times. We should be doing everything in our power to make sure that our businesses are successful. Mary, Lou, Joe and I feel that if business is successful, then the Town will be successful.

Utility Tax

Increasing the Utility tax was not chosen by Joe, Lou, Mary and I because again, like the property tax venue, 100% of the burden would be carried by Oro Valley residents and business owners alike.

 Renter’s tax

There is a push by some council members to enact a Renter’s tax. Joe, Mary, Lou and I disagree with this approach because a small segment of the population would have to shoulder a very large burden. Other council members like this tax because they feel that renters are a different class of residents and they don’t really consider them true Oro Valley residents. I disagree with their assessment because I was myself, at one point in my life, an apartment dweller. In my opinion, this would be a very unfair tax.

Sales Tax

I, along with Lou, Mary, Joe, chose this venue because currently, roughly 1/3rd of the sales tax revenue comes from a visitor. What this means is that 100% of the burden does not fall on the shoulders of Oro Valley residents. The half-cent increase we approved will be dedicated specifically to improvements of the Community Center (El Conquistador Country Club and its amenities). It is estimated that a half-cent increase will lead to collections of $2 million. Since 2/3rds of this will be paid by Oro Valley residents, we are looking at an estimation of $1.3 million. Dividing $1.3 million by the approximately 18,500 households in Oro Valley and divide by 12—the result is $5.85 per household per month. What is important to keep in mind is that the half-cent increase does not apply to fuel or non prepared food.

Yes it is true that there is no sunset clause. This was also done by design. Most elected officials get into trouble because when it comes time for the sunset to occur, something invariably happens. Either they have to go back on their word and not let the sunset occur or they have to find ways to cut services because the economy is not performing like they had hoped. We four on Council were very upfront about not having a sunset clause attached to the half-cent increase. In my opinion, this is transparency at its finest.

As you can see, under the leadership of me as your Mayor, Lou Waters as your Vice-Mayor and Mary Snider and Joe Hornat as your council members, everything is done with a certain vision and deliberation in mind. Nothing is done by accident or dumb luck. We four are creating an environment where our residents can truly, live, work and play in our beautiful community while the revenue needed for the exceptional services provided by the Town of Oro Valley staff is contributed by visitors to our community. And now you know the TRUTH!

Respectfully,

Mayor Satish I. Hiremath

Sunday Potpourri

Good Sunday Morning.

For those of us who follow the Wildcat basketball team, we are in mourning this morning. But it was a great season and in all honesty the better team won yesterday.

Another of our activities is following that ‘other’ blog in Oro Valley. While it may not be that pleasant, it does keep us informed of how far out there the ‘fumbling few’ really are.  They recently posted a story about the police department and the low crime rate here in Oro Valley which contained a quote from the Mayor.  I  happened to mention it to Mayor Hiremeth and he said that they only published a small part of his comment.  I then asked him to send the entire text to us and it appears below. As usual the ‘other blog’ only wants part of the truth to see the light of day. Our goal is to provide you with the entire picture.

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

The Oro Valley Police Department continues to provide quality service to the residents, businesses and visitors in the Town.  The voter approved General Plan calls for Community Policing as our guide for the provision of police service, and we are fortunate that Chief Sharp, along with his department’s leadership, has a solid grasp of those principles necessary to carry out that mission.  The relationship between the police department and the town’s residents is key to assuring we keep Oro Valley a safe community.

As crime trends evolve, this proactive approach from OVPD is key to assuring we maintain our quality of life in Oro Valley.  I am committed to ensuring that the Police Department has the resources and flexibility to address any and all issues that threaten our safety and security.  The reason the OVPD is as effective as they are is due to the combined efforts of a number of areas moving in the same direction.  There are some people that believe there can and should be cuts made to individual line items in the police department budget that will not have an impact on the overall effectiveness of the department.  This is absurd.  The overall system works because each part plays a crucial role as related to the outcome.  They have no clue as to how the system works.  They think you can somehow diminish one aspect without having an impact on the rest of the system.   I am not interested in trying to cut service, only to find one or more of our residents become victim, just because someone thinks we can save some money in our budget.  I rely on the expertise of the Chief of Police and his staff to let us know what is necessary to provide service, and I trust them to carry out their mission.   Chief Sharp is the expert in the field and, while it may appear to some he has a blank check, I can assure you he does not.  Simple math will show you that he doesn’t.  The OVPD budget for fiscal year 14/15 is approximately 14.9 million dollars.  If we divide that number by Oro Valley’s resident population of 43,193 (PAG estimate for July 1, 2013), it comes out to a total of $344.96 per resident for the exceptional public safety offered by Chief Sharp and his staff.  This begs the question, “How much do people want to save?”  As an example, for every $100,000 someone wants to save, it equates to $2.32 per resident saved.  So even if someone wants to save $1,000,000, that will only reduce the total to $321.81 per resident vs. $344.96 per resident.  The cost saved is $23.15 per resident, per year, or in other words, a savings of 6 cents a day.  Would you rather save 6 cents a day or possibly become a victim of a crime?  Keep in mind any reduction equates to less service and diminished safety.

Some people who commit crimes are aware of budget season in municipalities in hopes that public safety monies will get cut, because they know this will lead to less police officers being able to respond to lower level crimes such as burglaries.  In turn this will lead them to an easier time becoming more effective.  I have always said the thought process of an elected official should never be whether they can save a nickel or not.  The thought process should be how wisely they spend that nickel.  Here in the town of Oro Valley, the general public expects elected officials will keep them safe at a reasonable cost.  I believe for a mere $344.96 per year, per resident is very reasonable indeed.  Our Chief, Danny Sharp, has been tasked with an immense responsibility of keeping Oro Valley’s residents and non-residents safe.  That is a very heavy burden.  The proven track record of the Oro Valley Police Department makes them a model other communities follow, and I am very pleased with the service they provide.  I am proud to be the Mayor of a town with such low crime statistics!

More misinformation exposed!!

 

We received the following as an email from OVBill and thought it deserved a post to show that most people do get it and some people want to continue their tirade without acknowledging or knowing the facts…especially when the facts do not support their position.

Thanks OV Bill for calling out Mr. Richardson!!

 

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

From OV Bill

So, this is what one recall supporter, Phil Richardson, has resorted to doing. When facts do not add up to support a recall…just make them up!!!

Mr. Richardson has crafted his own set of “facts” and is emailing them to his neighbors (see below a copy of his email).

Mr. Richardson, you are factually incorrect. The council did not “block” a citizens referendum.

The two individuals who attempted to bring a referendum to fruition bungled the job.

State law PROHIBITS councils from initiating a vote in these types of matters because it is the JOB of our elected officials to make these decisions in a community’s best interest. Even if the council wanted to put it to a vote, they are legally precluded from doing so.

I am curious what the term “NO VOTE FOUR” means since they voted yes. If you are implying that there was actually a vote to NOT send the question to the voters, then once again you are wrong and apparently intentionally misleading your neighbors. You should at least provide the facts, but they don’t really support a recall, now do they?

+++++++++++

Richardson email follows.

Sat, Mar 28, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Oracle and Suffolk entrance to Suffolk Hills

Oro Valley voters. Stop and sign the petition to force a recall election of the Mayor and 3 council members who blocked a citizens referendum on the multi-million dollar tax burden of buying, renovating and running this huge money-loser. IF THE WILDCATS PLAY A DAYTIME GAME – WE’LL BE SURE TO BE NEAR THE ENTRANCE OF SUFFOLK HILLS BEFORE AND AFTER.

STOP AND SIGN TO PREVENT A TAX BLACK HOLE CAUSED BY THE “NO VOTE FOUR.”

Posted by Phil Richardson

1d ago to Suffolk Hills + 12 neighborhoods ·

Explorer v Truth Letters

We’ve posted two comments to two of the Explorer letters we discovered in the on line edition of 3-18-15. You can read the letters if you like and here is the link to the Explorer, just click on http://tucsonlocalmedia.com/ and go the tab “Your opinion”.

We would have posted them here, but they were too long and not very accurate.

We do believe the following response made individually to the letters makes some good points.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Response to Mr. Hartung letter:

Don’t let Mr. Hartung “soft sell” you on what an actual recall is. It is a serious consideration that is and was intended to replace those in elected office who committed egregious acts for which there was no other way of removing them.

Voting for a Community Center hardly fits that description!

Does Mr. Hartung not understand that in order for any action to be taken by a representative government there must be a majority vote? He seems to think that is unnecessary or just not his majority choice.

Actually, the first three sentences of Mr. Hartung’s letter are correct. I think this “Major-4” as he refers to them as had done exactly that, i.e. acted in the best interests of the community.

Including Naranja Park, burying electric cables, Steam Pump Ranch improvements, new park programs, the Aquatic Center and the list goes on, all in the interest of the community as a whole.

The connection with the “Don’t Sign” signs and upsetting OV citizens I don’t get. Are we to believe his recall signs have not upset any of our citizens? Really!!

Timing again of the decision and why, explained many times, but I guess it just doesn’t fit what he wants to hear. Let him keep beating that drum. He feels his opinion matters more than those of the duly elected officials who do represent the people.

Don’t be fooled by a blatant attempt to change the direction of OV and remove four very effective people on our Council.

DON’T SIGN and don’t be silent in your support of Oro Valley!!!

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Response to Mr. Emmert’s letter:

Well Mr. Emmert like Mr. Hatung starts down the right path with his first few paragraphs and then veers into opinion not supported by fact.

His reference to not putting this to the “voting public” ignores just a couple of facts.

  1. It was someone else ineptness that did not allow this to go to the “voting public” not any Council action by the “Major-4” or anyone else on Council.

This is the old joke “I didn’t say it was your fault but I am going to blame you”!

  1. As explained in a Council session by the Town’s attorney there is no mechanism for taking a once made decision to the voters as she describes OV as a “Title 9” entity.

He is right on another point “leadership is a function of a selfless desire to formulate policies and arrive at solutions for our community’s benefit, based on guidance and input from citizens…etc”.

The “Major-4” and whatever they chose to call the other Council members have done that. Look around. Take a look at the list of accomplishments and the state of OV and it’s finances, programs, streets, parks, public safety, water assets, etc… and I think you will see they have. No they all haven’t agreed at times (we have statistics on how often and not and you would be surprised at how well it has worked).

None of this just doesn’t happen to fit Mr. Emmert’s story line.

Recall about Golf & a Community Center for all of OV?

Yes it is.

Here is the text (in italics below) of the petition for the Council Members.  We hope you haven’t seen it or signed it.  Same old same old after several Council meetings and the forums to explain.  All about opinions and some inaccurate information on the petition.  Disagree with a single decision and there you are “Recall”.   Don’t forget, the Sun City Board voted to make their facilities available for collection of signatures!

The grounds of the recall are as follows:            (State in not more than 200 words the grounds of the demand.)

xxxxxxxxfailed in his duties to Oro Valley Citizens as a Town Councilmember. He voted to purchase the El Conquistador Country Club, Golf and Tennis Facilities without public approval or input. He also obligated the Town to a long-term financial agreement to operate the golf courses, which allows the resort to retain its status as a franchised resort with Hilton Hotels and Resorts with no limits on costs to the taxpayers. Ignoring public input, he voted along with Mayor Hiremath for the Council to pass a 0.5% Sales Tax increase without a sunset clause to supplement the costs involved to operate the golf courses. The tax starts March 2015 even though the sale is not yet final.

Xxxxxxxx followed Satish Hiremath’s lead in a bad deal for the Citizens of Oro Valley. With the golf industry in a major decline, this rushed, back room deal will pit Oro Valley against private industry for the patrons needed to remain afloat. His irresponsible actions pose a threat to the financial stability of the Town. For these reasons, including the poor judgment involved, we request his Recall.

I hereby make application for the issuance of an official serial number to be printed on each side of each signature sheet of the petition (please affix to lower right-hand corner).

 

Arrett v Bower Appeal Rejected

A three judge Appellate Court has rejected the appeal of the Arrett/Lamona referendum petition decision by Town Clerk Julie Bower. It affirms, once again, her decision as correct in rejecting the petitions for lack of a required serial number.

Details as follows you can read the opinion for yourself if you like by just clicking the case number.

 

2 CA-CV 2015-0017  DEBRA ARRETT and SHIRLEY LAMONNA v. JULIE K. BOWER, Oro Valley Town Clerk; MICHELE REAGAN, Arizona Secretary of State  Author 2 CA-CV 2015-0017 ** Constitutionality decision
Issues Summary: Did the trial court err in denying Appellants’ request for a writ of mandamus pursuant to A.R.S. § 19-122 compelling the clerk of the Town of Oro Valley to accept and transmit to the Pima County Recorder for certification a referendum petition Appellants had submitted and which the clerk had rejected for lack of compliance with the serial-number requirement of A.R.S. § 19-111(B), and in finding that requirement did not impermissibly burden the constitutional right to referendum?

Mayor Satish Hiremath KVOI 4Tucson at 4

 

The date on the Podcast is incorrect the interview was actually Friday 3-6-15

Take a listen and tell us what you think.

http://kvoi.com/podcast-post/4tucson-at-4-10/

 

 

A note from the Mayor of Oro Valley

As a preface to this, the Mayor has asked us to post this statement.  You have probably heard most of this in bits and pieces over time or if you attended any of the forums, but here it is all at once in one place.

 

To the TRUTH readers,

FACTS REGARDING THE PURCHASE OF THE EL CONQUISTADOR COUNTRY CLUB

There have been many statements made regarding the purchase of the El Conquistador Country Club and its amenities. Some statements made to the public have been intentional misstatements made by individuals. This letter is to let everyone know the true facts.

  • We had three Executive Sessions “regarding the purchase, sale or lease of real property”. All now know these were specific to the purchase of the El Conquistador Country Club on La Canada Drive for possible use as a Community/Recreation center.
  • ALL OF COUNCIL WERE PRESENT FOR ALL THREE EXECUTIVE SESSIONS.
  • At the first Executive Session, limits for negotiating the framework of a proposal to bring back to the Council for discussion and possible action were given to the Town Manager and me by the whole Council.
  • There were 3 sellers along the timeline for the property between June 18th and December 17th. The first seller we were in discussion with occurred between the timeframe of June 18th and the middle of July.
  • Staff started doing their due diligence as of June 19th.
  • The seller requested that we withhold their name on the off chance that the deal of buying the Hilton resort fell through. Obviously, if their deal with MetLife for purchase of the Resort fell through, our conversation for potential acquisition of the El Conquistador Country Club would end. The deal eventually fell through.
  • Staff had done an enormous amount of due diligence until the middle of July when the first buyer pulled out.
  • There was no activity or discussion about purchase of the El Conquistador Country Club during the time between mid July and the first week of October.
  • Around the first of October, The Town Manager and I had heard rumors of another buyer possibly wanting to purchase the Hilton Resort property.
  • Still following the direction of the entire Council, we entered a conversation with MetLife (this is the second seller) to see if they would sell us the El Conquistador Country Club and all of its amenities. They said that the property was appraised at over $3,000,000 and that they would sell it to us for $2,500,000. This figure was a bit more than what was authorized by the Council for the Town Manager and me to negotiate.
  • Very shortly after the conversation with MetLife, HSL entered the picture as the proposed buyer for the Hilton Resort at the beginning of the second week in October.
  • The Town Manager and I started a conversation with HSL to see if they would be willing to potentially allow the Town of Oro Valley to purchase the El Conquistador Country Club and all of its amenities. This was around October 8th.
  • A dollar figure that was under one-half of the financial cap that the Council set was offered by the Town Manager and me to HSL as the starting point of a discussion for a possible proposition for me to bring back to the Council to discuss, as was directed by everyone on the Council.
  • The specifics of that conversation were relayed to the entire Council during the October 15th Executive Session. ALL OF COUNCIL WERE PRESENT AT THIS MEETING.
  • Based upon direction by the entire Council, staff was told to resume their due diligence at an expedited rate.
  • HSL made it very clear from the beginning that they did not want their name released to the public, as was the request of the first seller, until they knew that they would buy the Hilton property.
  • The initial bargaining price from the Town to HSL (which we now know to be $1,000,000), was again under one-half of what the Council set as the top limit and was well below the selling price offered by MetLife to the Town. This price was to include the 31,000 sq ft. building, the 36 holes of golf, 15 tennis courts and 2 pools at the El Conquistador Country Club.
  • After further conversations with HSL, the amenities for the possible purchase price were expanded to include all of the above PLUS the tennis and golf pro-shop building, the 9 holes of golf and the 16 tennis courts at the Hilton Resort property on Oracle Road. This was for the same price with no increase. This spanned over 300+ acres in the heart of our Town.
  • It was requested by HSL that if the Town of Oro Valley was seriously interested in acquiring the property discussed, that it be voted upon by December 17th as they were going to finalize their deal with MetLife to buy the Hilton Resort on December 18th.
  • HSL also wanted the Town to decide its interest in acquiring the property by December 18th because there were two additional buyers in line for purchase of the same property.
  • I told them that it would be possible to make a decision by December 18th because the Town had voted to reactivate the cancelled December 17th meeting for the sole purpose discussion and possible action by the Council on any items related for the purchase of the El Conquistador Country Club in addition to any other pertinent discussion and action items related to this purchase.
  • At the December 3rd Executive session just before the council meeting, a final conversation amongst all of Council was had.
  • At the December 3rd council meeting regular agenda, it was discussed and revealed to the public that the Town offered $1,000,000 to HSL for 330+ acres which included 45 holes of golf, 31 tennis courts, both buildings, and two pools. A public hearing was had at this meeting to seek public input regarding the potential acquisition of this property.
  • At the December 17th meeting, another public hearing was held and Council voted 4-3 in favor of the acquisition. Council members Brendan Burns, Bill Garner, and Mike Zinkin were against the acquisition.
  • The acquisition date when the Town would own it, if it passed, was always March 1st.
  • As to the details of the acquisition, it was always planned that the community would be educated about the deal to acquire the amenities through press releases, fact sheets and open forums.
  • Everyone on the council had plenty of time to review the data and was kept abreast of the situation through the three Executive Sessions and Council reports.
  • NO BACK ROOM DEAL WAS MADE UNILATERALLY BY ANYONE! The Town Manager and I were instructed by the entire Council to bring back a proposal with parameters to see if the Town had an opportunity to purchase the property to use as a Community/Recreation center.
  • A decision to acquire or not acquire the property was required on December 17th because there were two other buyers in line ready to discuss the acquisition of the same property with HSL if the Town was not interested in acquiring the property.
  • THIS DECISION WAS MADE BY A COUNCIL VOTE….NOT UNILATERALLY. THE PROPERTY WOULD HAVE NOT BEEN THERE ON DECEMBER 18TH IF THE TOWN CHOSE NOT TO ACQUIRE IT ON DECEMBER 17TH.
  • There is NO contract to date with Troon. Contract negotiations are taking place.
  • There is NO contract to date with HSL. Contract negotiations are taking place currently for the agreed upon price.
  • The Town had planned to acquire the property by March 1st but due to the litigation currently under way, the acquisition date for the Town will most likely be April 1st.
  • This has NOTHING with the Town wanting to own a golf course. This has to do everything with the Town being presented with an incredible opportunity to buy this property to use as a Community/Recreation center for its residents. It also has to do with who is going to control over 330+ acres in the Town of Oro Valley.
  • The property does NOT always have to remain a golf course. It has remained a golf course for over 30 years because all of the previous owners of the hotel always wanted a golf course associated with the hotel.
  • It is a fallacy that in order for the Hilton to keep the designation of the term “resort” in their name that the Hilton HAS to keep the golf course. There are properties across Arizona and the country that have the word “resort” in their name and they do not have a golf course attached to their property.
  • There are entitlements on the property on certain portions of the golf course which currently allow for single family homes to be built.
  • One of the two buyers in line waiting for the Town to decide was a developer. There is now currently another developer who added their name to the “waiting list”.

I would like to close by saying that I understand why the public would feel as if they had very little time to decide properly on whether to acquire the El Conquistador Country Club and all of its amenities (along with the amenities at the Hilton Resort) to use as a Community/Recreation Center for our Town. The fact of the matter is that due to the other two potential buyers, a vote by the Council was necessary on December 17th on whether to acquire or not acquire the property. What I do not understand however is why some on Council state that they were not made aware of any conversation regarding the proposal to purchase the property until December 3rd when the public was made aware. As you can see by the above timeline, this is simply not true. Any other comments or statements made by other Council members countering this timeline are simply not true. The Town Manager and I are the only two individuals that are uniquely qualified to state the above timeline in addition to the content of the negotiations. Now you know the TRUTH.

Respectfully,

Dr. Satish I. Hiremath-Mayor