Thursday, June 20, 2024

Bits and Pieces

Sign Destruction Continues…Police Involved
Council candidates report that all candidate signs were stolen at corners on La Cholla and Lambert and LaCholla and Naranja.  This appears to be vandalism. However, Robb and Bohen’s signs have been targeted and destroyed in multiple locations, including Pusch View Lane and Oracle.  Tuesday night we learned that a Greene sign at LaCholla and Tangering was sliced with the face cut out. A Murphy sign was on the ground in the same area. 

What is going on people? The police have been notified and are currently investigating the incidents. They are determined to catch the culprits.
Incidents are under investigation by the
Oro Valley Police Department

Follow Up: SRO Program Costs Oro Valley $550,000 Annually

In April, we reported that in 2023/24 the town received $90,000 from the Amphi School District for the School Resource Officers it provides to the district’s schools. According to the Oro Valley Police Department the cost of these officers is $639,885 for this year. Though the years are different, our best guess is that the annual cost of the program to the town is about $550,000. 

Sandbags available during Monsoon season
Last week marked "… the official start of monsoon season, and the Town of Oro Valley wants to make sure residents are monsoon ready. The Town will once again provide free sandbags to residents who may need to protect areas of their homes from storm runoff. Sandbag pickup is located at 9451 N. Egleston Drive, which is behind the fields at James D. Kriegh Park. Sandbags will be available beginning Monday, June 17, through September 30, 2024. The lot is accessible from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. "(Source: Town of Oro Valley Media Release)

CDO shared use path closures to enable water flood control
This week, the Pima County Regional Flood Control District began a Cañada del Oro (CDO) Wash Levee Augmentation Project along share use path.  There will be intermittent closures from N. La Cañada Drive to N. Oracle Road, with completion expected by November 2024, weather permitting. Following the 2020 Bighorn Fire, sediment build-up decreased the wash’s capacity, necessitating this project to restore capacity and enhance flood protection for nearby homes and businesses.  (Source: Town of Oro Valley Media Release)
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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Sun City Forum: The Bizarre Council Goals of Harry Greene

Insightful perspectives directly from the candidates 
At last week’s Sun City Candidate Forum, candidates shared their visions for a spot on the council. Today, we present current council member Mo Greene's thoughts. We will share the thoughts of other candidates in future weeks.
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Candidate Mo Greene's approach in his own words
"My approach to the town council job has really been tempered by these other life experiences. Being a doctor makes you see things differently. The ADA part I talked about. When I was playing tennis, seeing people who couldn't get around as well, that was an important thing."

Greene sees his approach in the creation of the Vistoso Trails Nature Preserve
",,,when Rompsen been pulled away from the golf course up here, the residents, like yourselves, rallied. They said, we're not going to stand for this. We're going to keep this, We're not going to have our property values destroyed. And they, and the Conservancy, and eventually the town came together to say, we're going to turn this into a park. We're going to make it something absolutely special. And so that's what's happening. And in just a few more years, we will be able to look to that as a real gem in the south. Well, I think I've babbled on about long enough, so I'm really interested in your questions and what you have to say."

Editors Note: Council Member Greene's  only role in creating the Preserve was voting in favor of it.

Greene also painted a portrait of former
Police Chief Danny Sharp and gave it to him
at a council meeting in 2020
His approach includes giving people plaques and paintings
Realizing that he was babbling, Greene, in a most bizarre move, abruptly concluded his remarks by giving a plaque to Joy Newton, the Sun City Candidate Forum panel moderator. He said: "I'd like to close my remarks with what's on this plaque. It's from Edward Everett Hale, who is a person from the Boston area. 'I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I'm not going to refuse to do the something I can do.'" He turned to Newton and added, "I present this to Joy because she's that kind of person, and I'd like to ask for your support this fall."

Editors note: It appeared to us that Greene played some role in planning this forum. As we noted, Greene presented Newton a plaque; and at the end of the meeting, with an astonished Newton looking on, Greene closed the meeting. 

Greene's two main goals for the next four years are not related to local government
"I have two long term issues that I'm interested in. One is having a rail system from here to Phoenix and on to LA. And the second is to have sustainable water for the rest of our lives.... And I'm spending a lot of time looking at the desalinization and spending a lot of time talking to my friends, actually from Israel, who have helped flourish the desert in the south area around them. And it is possible. It's very expensive. It requires a lot of energy. But the water could be brought into the CAP water system. At which point we would have water for as long as we and our grandchildren would live." 

Greene advocatess for high density use of town's remaining undeveloped land
Six percent of the town is yet to be developed. At the Forum, when asked how this land should be used, Greene noted that that land should be used for high density housing. He states the following with no justification of fact. 

"We need senior housing. They don't need necessarily or we don't necessarily need big mansions. We need places where we can live and flourish. In the meantime, after that we need some long-term care facilities or congregate living spaces. On the end of that, we need some hospices and other places where people can go as we age. We need to really be careful and thoughtful about what we do." 

Greene does not challenge or perhaps understand information given him by staff
During his four years on the council, Greene has accepted information provided by staff without question. His inability or unwillingness to challenge information he gets was clear at the forum. In answering a question about housing needs in Oro Valley, Greene quoted numbers from the internet without understanding them. "Right now in Sun City there's 407 homes for sale. The average price is $317." When questioned, he said, "Not in Sun City? I got this off the internet, so it could be wrong." Simple logic should have told him that 25% of the homes in Sun City are not for sale and that $317 was probably $317,000.

LOVE's Thoughts: Even after four years on council, Greene has no idea of what the real issues are that Oro Valley is facing...but he is a really accomplished artist!
Taken all together, Greene’s thoughts are disconnected from the issues that face Oro Valley and the need for responsible government. His approach is focused more on personal anecdotes and broad visions than on practical solutions for the town’s current challenges. His ideas, like advocating for a rail system to Phoenix and desalinization projects, fall outside the scope of local governance. Moreover, his push for high-density housing development without substantial justification raises concerns about potential influences from his developer campaign contributors. But, as you can see from the panel above and from a 2014 LOVE article, Greene is a very accomplished artist.
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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

The Desperate Tactics of Candidate Harry "Mo" Greene

Faced with a record of doing nothing during his four years on council, Mo Greene chooses the low road
Candidate Mo Greene has seemingly concluded that he cannot compete with candidate Tim Bohen on a straightforward basis. Both are current council members. Both are vying for a seat on council. Bohen is running on the issues.  Greene, on the other hand, has resorted to going after Bohen in a most unusual way.

Greene "plays the victim"
Greene has resorted to portraying himself as a victim, alleging to one reliable source that Bohen has threatened to kill him. This claim is ridiculous. If Bohen had indeed made such a threat, Greene would have reported it to the police immediately. Filing police reports on Bohen is a common tactic used by his compadre and current Councilmember Steve Solomon. Greene has not presented any evidence to support his accusation. And he has filed no such report.  Greene was "so afraid" of Bohen that he asked for, but did not get, police protection at last week's Sun City candidate forum.  Trust us. Greene survived nicely. Just like Bohen's supposed threat, nothing happened. It's all smoke.

...cover up four years of doing nothing on council
The core issue for Greene is his lack of accomplishments on which to campaign. During four years on the Town Council, he has achieved virtually nothing, as evidenced by the panel at right, listing his accomplishments. 

Desperate to come up with something he did, he grabs onto the work of others...
Last week, at the Sun City Candidate Forum, Greene was so desperate to demonstrate that he actually did something in his four years on council that he claimed credit for an elevator that is being added to the community center. It was not his idea. The idea came from former Oro Valley resident Jim Horne, who embarrassed the council into doing something in 2022.  Interestingly, Candidate Bill Rodman made a big deal about it during his failed campaign in 2022.

It took until March 1, 2023, for the council to act to approve an elevator. The motions needed for this were made by Vice Mayor Barrett and seconded by Council Member Nicolson.  All seven Council Members, including Bohen and Greene, voted to approve. The vote was the extent of Greene's involvement. 

The only notable action Greene took in his four years on council was to second every motion made by Councilmember Solomon.

Tomorrow: "Candidate Greene Discusses His Goal's on Council and More..."
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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Bits and Pieces

Saturday, celebrate Henry King Zipf
Henry King Zipf was a fifth-generation Tucsonan, born to Henry George Zipf and Ann Lourie Zipf, and the great-grandson of George Pusch, for whom Pusch Ridge, Pusch View Lane, Pusch Ridge Golf Course, Pusch Ridge Christian Academy, and many other areas in Oro Valley are named. Henry was also a lifetime active member, Board member, and past President of the Oro Valley Historical Society. He was born on June 15, 1956, and he died on May 7, 2023. 

In honor of him, on the anniversary of his birthday, the Oro Valley Historical Society will hold a commemorative gathering at the Pusch House Museum on the historic Steam Pump Ranch at 10901 North Oracle Road on June 15 at 10 a.m.

Henry and his father loved riding horses through the Catalina Mountains (before it became a state park). With donations made in Henry’s honor from friends, members of the Society, and family members, the Society has purchased and will dedicate a memorial bench that will sit in front of the Pusch House, facing his beloved mountains and his great-grandfather’s home. The Society welcomes all who visit the Ranch to enjoy the view from this site, which contributed significantly to the early development of the Tucson region.

Before and after the dedication, enjoy the Saturday Heirloom Farmers’ Market and tour the Pusch House Museum from 9 a.m. to noon. Docents will be available to answer questions and provide additional information about the Oro Valley Historical Society, formed to keep Oro Valley history alive. Join us – history loves company! (Source; OVHistory.org)

Oro Valley celebrates July 4
"Join the Town of Oro Valley at James D. Kriegh Park for its annual July 4th Celebration. This free, family-friendly event begins at 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 4, with live entertainment and fun activities throughout the night. Then, at 9 p.m., we’ll light up the sky with fireworks!"  (Source: Town of Oro Valley Media Release)

Key council election dates
Just a reminder to act now to make sure you vote in the July 30 election.  Here are the key dates:
  • July 1: Last day to register for the election
  • July 3: Mail in ballots sent and mail in voting begins
  • July 19: Deadline for getting a mail in ballot
  • July 23: Get you mail in ballot in...
  • July 30: Vote in person or bring your mail in ballot to the polls if you have one and did not mail it. 
Questions: Call the Pima County Recorder's office: 520-74-4330.

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Guest View-Jack Stinnett: “Mo” Greene’s Shocking Ties to Developer Donations

Accused Price Fixer, HSL Properties, bas been a fixture in financing Oro Valley candidates since 2014
Since 2014, their practice has been to invest in the campaigns of development-friendly candidates. Their goal is to displace non-aligned, self-funded candidates on the council, none of whom were development-inclined. 

This approach reached a zenith in 2016 when HSL-funded council members Steve Solomon and Bill Rodman were elected to the council by outspending and defeating incumbents Mike Zinkin and Bill Garner.

The HSL strategy of financing candidate campaigns paid off for them
Since buying the El Conquistador resort in 2015, HSL Properties has developed apartments along Oracle Road. In addition, it has 500 apartments approved for their Oro Valley Marketplace development and is Oro Valley’s largest rental landlord. HSL is currently charged with price fixing rents.

Residents said "No" to developer campaign financing in 2018

Oro Valley residents voted out HSL-supported candidates in the 2018 council election and in 2022 rejected the HSL candidates once again. This occurred despite more than $81,000 of HSL-directed donations to mayoral candidate Sharp and council candidates Rodman, Hurt, and Erceg.

These donations included $32,000 from four HSL family trusts, which constitute campaign finance violations. That matter is currently being investigated by the Pima County Attorney.

Solomon and Greene, HSL-financed current council members, championed high-rise apartments for the Oro Valley Marketplace in 2022
Re-elected in 2020, council member Steve Solomon was the HSL spokesman for their proposed five and six-story apartments at the Oro Valley Marketplace. Dr. Harry “Mo” Greene, newly elected in 2020, provided the necessary second for Solomon’s pro-HSL Oro Valley Marketplace motions and voted with Solomon to approve the Town West / HSL plan for these apartments. Fortunately, the Winfield majority voted down the Solomon-Greene motion and approved two and three-story apartments at the Marketplace. These apartments will be adjacent to the Tangerine Road and Oracle Road scenic corridors.

Now, HSL funds Greene’s re-election campaign
In the first quarter of this year, HSL’s owner and employees contributed $13,050 to “Mo’s” re-election campaign [panel above right]. None of the contributors are residents of Oro Valley. The second quarter campaign finance report may show more.  Even, then, there will be a campaign finance report filed after the election. That may contain more.  For example, Greene reported an added $4,500 recived  from HSL officers and employees after the 2020 election. 

With council member Solomon’s recent announcement that he will not seek re-election in 2024, it looks as if Dr. Greene, if re-elected, will likely be the HSL spokesman on the Oro Valley Town Council. So look for HSL funded campaign ads and thousands of mailers supporting “Mo” and attacking his opponents to help re-elect their main man.
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Editor Note: No other candidate has accepted donations form the development community.
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Tuesday, June 11, 2024

The Battle for Oro Valley: Which Three Candidates Will Secure Your Vote?

Four candidates seek three open seats
There are four candidates for three council seats. You will be voting for them in the July 30 primary. If you are a registered independent, be  sure to order either a Republican or a Democrat Ballot or you won't be able to vote unless you go the the polls. You can order your ballot by contacting the Pima County Recorder's Office at 520-724-4330.

Vote only for those you want in office
Now that you know how to vote, you need to decide for whom you are going to vote. There are three council seats so you can cast up the three votes. You're not required to do so. You should cast a vote for only those whom you want on council. Otherwise, if you vote for a person you don't want on council, you increase the vote count threshold for those you want on council.

LOVE's "Candidate Snapshot" can help you decide
We've created a "Candidate Snapshot"which summarizes each candidate.We created the snapshot based on research and based on our discussions with three of the  candidates. 

The candidates share common ground on issues such as water conservation, public safety, fiscal responsibility, and community engagement. They differ in their approaches to revenue diversification, growth management, specific water conservation initiatives, and their methods of collaboration and engagement.

While the candidates do agree on the following...
    • The importance of water conservation and sustainable management of water resources. 
    • The importance of maintaining strong public safety services and ensuring that police officers are well-compensated and supported. 
    • The need for fiscal responsibility, though they have different approaches to achieving it 
    • The importance of community engagement and collaboration with regional authorities and state agencies.
There is some divergence in their approach
    • When it comes to fiscal responsibility, Bohen wants to focus attention on improving the efficiency of town operations and better prioritization of spending, while Greene, Robb, and Murphy are open to diversifying revenue through various means. 
    • When it comes to growth management, Bohen emphasizes infill development, while the others are more open to strategic growth in areas with infrastructure and preserving the town’s character. 
    • Regarding water conservation, Bohen proposes direct non consumption drinking water use reduction actions, while others focus on using technology, promoting responsible usage, and water harvesting.
    • In the area of collaborating with other entities, Bohen focuses on direct engagement, Greene emphasizes strategic planning and grants, Robb highlights proactive partnerships, and Murphy emphasizes regional planning and resource sharing.
Tomorrow, Sun City is holding a candidate forum. This is something they've done for years. However, we've learned that this time the forum is not really a forum and that it is not open to the public, so we're not sure whether will be able to report on it or not. If we can will let you know what we learn.
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Friday, June 7, 2024

Respect Campaign Signs: Vandalism is a Felony

Substantial damage to Robb and Bohen signs
It's political season in Oro Valley, and with it comes the unfortunate act of vandalizing candidate signs. We want to remind everyone that tampering with a sign is a felony, with penalties that can include imprisonment, fines, and a permanent criminal record. The cost of replacing damaged signs, often rendered unusable due to damage, adds up. Let's respect the democratic process and each other's property.

In the area of the OVCN
The damaged sign are located in the area of the Oro Valley Church of the Nazarene (OVCN). This raises questions about whether this is a general political statement or specifically targeted at those opposing the Concordia Buena Vista group's ongoing effort to prevent OVCN's efforts to build sports facilities in their peaceful neighborhood. We say this because signs opposing the church's efforts have been vandalized in the past. The perpetrator was found by the OVPD.

Regardless of the motive, such acts undermine our community's values and carry serious legal and financial consequences.

Police will be involved
Representatives from the campaigns of Robb and Bohen, whose signs were damaged, and Council Candidate Mary Murphy, have all condemned these actions. We have not spoken with candidate Mo Greene, who is a member of OVCN. These incidents have been reported to the Oro Valley Police, who will investigate and pursue remedies once responsibility is determined.

Let's work together to ensure a fair and respectful political season in Oro Valley.