Guest Viewpoint by Henry Sheetz in the Explorer

The TRUTH received a comment from Henry Sheetz a couple of weeks ago that he was preparing a piece for the Explorer and hoped it would be printed.  The following appeared as a Guest Viewpoint in the Explorer dated August 19th 2015.

Thank You to Henry for his research and thoughts.

After four months, all people of Oro Valley should understand we now have a community center. Those that don’t want to accept it, even after the courts ruled against their petitions, are now involved in the recall of three members of town council and our mayor. They accomplished their mission of getting enough signatures requiring the election of a mayor and three members of council. Unfortunately, they are too busy to review what these four ‘targeted’ dedicated people have accomplished over the last five years and the fact that their failed petitions cost the town over $100,000.

When they came in to office, they inherited a $3 million debt, which has been paid off, and at this time, the town has a surplus approaching $2 million. We have the best roads in the county, spent over $2 million to upgrade our aquatic center to a ‘state-of-art’ facility, have a police department that has made our town one of the top 10 safest places to live and raise a family, spent over $2 million to construct several sports facilities at the Riverfront, Naranja and Kreigh parks, spent $2 million to bury overhead electric elect lines so the mountain views would not be obstructed by some home owners, hosted a post-graduation party (supported by the police department), created a ‘Youth Advisory Committee’ allowing them to voice their concerns and needs of the youth and this is only a partial list of what has transpired since coming into office.

The originators of the recall refuse to accept what the present council and their wants are to have an open government, which goes back to the purchase of the El Conquistador community center and not allowing the public more time to consider the proposal. The mayor has explained on several occasions that the purchase was not a ‘back-room’ deal as they maintain. As far back as June 18, 2014, in an executive meeting with all members of town council present, the possible purchase of the El Conquistador Country Club for its use as a community center, which many people were asking for, were discussed. At that meeting, council gave the mayor permission to do more investigating and negotiating for the property. After several more meetings were held, town council agreed to the purchase, however, the buyer (HSL) of the El Conquistador Hotel, insisted that the country club purchase by the town not be made public until his purchase agreement with Met Life (then owners of the hotel) was completed. With two other buyers showing interest in purchasing the country club property, one being a home developer, town council had to make a quick decision, and made the possible purchase of the property public at the Dec, 3, 2014, town council meeting. Timing was of the essence with settlement of the hotel scheduled for Dec. 18, 2014, and if Oro Valley was not interested in purchasing the country club property by that time it would have to be offered to one of the two buyers waiting in the ‘wings.’ 

Several public information meetings were held and complete details were discussed. The county had a $3 million asset value of the property appraised at $42 million. Purchase price to Oro Valley would be $1 million to be paid over a three-year period with no interest charges. At the Dec. 17, 2014, town council meeting, to a standing-room-only crowd, many questions, both pro and con, were asked and answered. After more discussion among members of council, the purchase of the property was approved by a 4-3 vote. 

The cost to construct a new community center may have been lower than remodeling of the El Conquistador community center, however, the building costs would not include the amenities the country club already has — landscaping, parking, tennis courts, equipment for the fitness room, etc.

Troon Management recently signed a contract with the town for the operation of the golf, tennis, fitness center and restaurant. Golfers have told me the courses are already much improved and play has increased, however, the real use will be determined when the snow birds return. The city of Tucson had the same problem. Their courses were not being properly maintained by city employees and use declined. I called the assistant manager of the El Rio Course, and he advised me since hiring a professional golf operating company, O. B. Sports, the condition of the courses improved and play has increased.

The opposition insists that the restaurant at our community center will be a financial losing proposition. Sun City is spending over $200,000 to increase the size of their café and revenue has increased almost $50,000 over budget since hiring new management, even without completion of the new facility. Both of these restaurants are open to the public.

Another one of their concerns is the construction of the apartments along Oracle Road. Real estate managers maintain many people, young and old, prefer apartment living over individual homes because of the costs of maintenance, taxes, mortgages, etc. With the anticipated federal tax increase, higher mortgages rates can be expected and the need of these units will become more popular. Although the units are not all completed nor are the finished ones all occupied, I’m certain the owners did much research on the future needs before investing funds for construction of these complexes.

Finally, before voting for a mayor and three members of town council, I urge all residences to take time to look around to see what Oro Valley really has to offer for both young and old and remember we do have an ‘open government’ with our present mayor and town council.

NOTICE TO TRUTH READERS

 

First of all I want to do something that we have neglected to do in the past…..as far as I know.  But our failure in no way is reflective on the value we place on your support, it just one of those things that all too often we take for granted. A recent post from a follower reminded me that your participation on this blog is greatly appreciated but we do a poor job of telling you.  And we (Blog Master and Blog Masters  2- 7) sincerely appreciate you and your commentary.  Please keep reading and don’t be shy about leaving a response.  Often your responses trigger input from others and that’s a good thing.

There are several significant events on our horizon.

Summer is winding down which is always a welcome event even though we have chosen to live in an arid climate.  Our beloved winter visitors will begin arriving in 30-45 days.  And the local election season has an accelerated start due to the inability of some to comprehend and/or appreciate the purchase of a Town  Community Center.

The residents of Sun City Oro Valley have enjoyed the benefits of multiple community centers in their neighborhood for many years. The benefits are clear and we are happy that they have enjoyed that advantage. The remaining 37,000 +/- residents of Oro Valley have clearly stated their desire for a community gathering place on numerous occasions and until recently have been denied that amenity.

As a result of the foresight of Mayor Hiremath, and Town Council members Hornat, Snider and Waters the Town was able to purchase 300+ acres of prime Oro Valley property for a price well below appraised value. To quote my neighbor, “It was a gonga deal!”

So to express their appreciation to the M-4 for that “gonga deal’ the griping minority, who oppose anything that may indicate progress, is attempting to fire them .  Their recall campaign, to date, has included a botched effort to allow voters to express their approval for the purchase (costing Oro Valley residents $53000 in legal fees), a continuing effort to misinform, a physical attack on Vice Mayor Waters which resulted in the arrest of a recall supporter and the resulting election that will cost an additional $30,000. The ‘side damage’ attributable to the recall (Town reputation, loss of future revenue due to political turmoil, etc.) is immeasurable.

The lines have been drawn. The outcome is clear. We will have an Oro Valley lead by leaders (Mayor Hiremath, Council Members Hornat, Snider and Waters) who have dedicated 6 years of their life to improving the quality of life for all residents of Oro Valley. Or we will have an Oro Valley led by those who have voted NO on the Town budget for three straight years, have a criminal record, who have a documented record of questionable conduct, and four who have never  served as a volunteer for the Town in ANY capacity.

 

The choice is as clear as was the choice in the successful primary election last August. If you like your current lifestyle and have a desire to see it continue to improve then Hiremath, Hornat, Snider and Waters MUST be your choice. If you want a gutting of the budget which will translate into a reduction of services to include public safety and road maintenance then the opposition should be your choice.

We are gearing up for what we hope to be a positive campaign. We will accentuate the positive record of the M-4. We will also point out the many flaws in the rhetoric of those who challenge them.  We will post the truth, in what we expect to be a sea of lies and misinformation.

There are many ways to support our great team. They each have their own individual web sites. There is also a group that has created a supporting web site. That site is www.KeepOVStrong.com. It is up and active now. It highlights some of the accomplishments of the M-4 is an accurate reflection of their dedication to Oro Valley.

In closing, the key to victory is you. It is you exercising your voting rights. PLEASE VOTE!!!

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.

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

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.

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

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

###

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

………………………………………………………………………………………

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.

1 2 3 4 5 7 8