Friday, August 26, 2016

Guest View-Bristow and Lamonna: What You Should Know about Your Voice, Our Future: Update 2

This week, let’s take a look at the work of the Community Committee and the first Guiding Principle: Focus on community safety and maintain low crime.
The Community Committee was comprised of 15 residents who met six times from December 2014 to March 2015. The Community Committee spent numerous hours studying background information and reviewing, working with and revising the staff-created workbook to come up with broad community goals, policies and actions.

With Oro Valley’s reputation for being a safe town, it’s no surprise that residents want this trend to continue. The Police Department’s philosophy is to deter crime proactively using dark house programs, community policing, aggressive traffic enforcement, etc. The dark house program is particularly popular with Oro Valley’s part-time residents.

In the Community section of YVOF, there are two Goals related to safety. Goal I states: Safety during emergencies and from the threats of natural and man-made hazards, whether at home, work, or at other activities. Residents expressed a desire for establishing programs for public safety education, emergency response and emergency planning in the future. Information regarding the emergency notification process, mass evacuation routes, shelter locations and suggested food/supplies for response readiness would be beneficial to the entire community. This is timely given the security threats to our nation, including cyber security

Goal J was added by a Community Committee member during the 60-day Stakeholder Review Period as there was no goal related to the focus on community safety and maintain low crime. Goal J: A safe community with low crime, safe neighborhoods and positive relationships between law enforcement and community members.

To learn more about community safety, read the policies (page 17) which focus on Town Safety (TS). Also, review the specific Safety Action Items #52 – 63 (pages 69-70) which will fulfill the goals and policies. These include Safety Planning, Safety Education, and Safe Development. The action items include the timeframe for completing each action and which Town department has the responsibility for each policy.

Again, some will use existing resources. Others will move forward when funds become available. The community will continuously be included in conversations about funding.

Get involved with your Town. You can view or purchase the current version of the plan ($30) at the Administration Building or Community Development & Public Works Building. You can or view the plan for free at the Oro Valley Public Library or Oro Valley Community Center. To view the 2016 version of Your Voice, Our Future online go to this link.

There are 2 public hearings about the plan. Try to attend one of these meetings where you learn about it and ask questions:
  • September, 2016, 6 p.m. Planning & Zoning Commission 2nd Public Hearing, Oro Valley Town Hall Council Chambers. At this meeting, the Oro Valley Planning and Zoning Commission will adopt the new General Plan.
  • September 21, 2016, 6 p.m. Town Council Public Hearing, Oro Valley Town Hall Council Chambers
To repeat: Get involved with your Town. Read 2016 Your Voice, Our Future and be ready to vote in November. If you have questions or comments about this, please contact Town planners at

Diane Bristow
Shirl Lamonna
Oro Valley Residents

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Guest View-Phil Richardson: Stop the Tax Hemorrhage in Oro Valley

The Mayor and Council Majority of Oro Valley are running three candidates in the present mail-in ballot, in order to pack the Council with a Supermajority so they can keep wasting millions of dollars on the El Conquistador (Once Hilton) golf course, restaurant, pool and tennis courts.

The present Council Majority has already wasted over $863,000 of contingency (rainy day) funds and $2-million of new sales tax money in fiscal year 2015/2016, with restaurant losses over $265,000—with much more to come with the required capital improvements for the community center building and the golf courses. 

Why did the new owner want to divest himself of this Albatross?  (For the same reason that Hilton did: It's a black hole for money.) 

Three minority members of the Council, now running for re-election pleaded for a due-diligence audit, but Humberto S. Lopez, the owner-to-be at the time, allegedly told the Mayor that he already had two buyers and that Oro Valley better act fast. Contrary to the input from the vast majority of the citizens, the Mayor and his minions voted to purchase what can now be renamed "The Titanic."

I'm not going to mention the names of the stalking horse candidates promoted by the Mayor and Council Majority, but if you learn the facts, you'll keep Burns, Garner and Zinkin (Your Watchdogs) on the Council—or pay a terrible price—forever.

If you still have the mail-in ballot, please mark it up and mail it in ASAP.  If you do not vote by mail, go to the polls in Oro Valley on AUGUST 30 and vote for BURNS, GARNER AND ZINKIN, or prepare to pay more taxes that will be necessary to cover the runaway loses on the El Con Albatross, forever.

Oro Valley is not going to declare bankruptcy. They will just increase fees, licenses and taxes.

I don't want to say, "I told you so."

Phil Richardson

Oro Valley Resident

--- About Phil Richardson
Phil is a long time Oro Valley resident. His professional background is in media, including both publishing and radio. We "cut our teeth" on Phil's "Oro Valley Watch Dog", which preceded LOVE.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Guest View-Patti Clemente: Save Our Police and SRO

I have been a resident of Oro Valley for 14 years. My husband and I raised our two children here after retiring from law enforcement. Recently I observed political signs erected by Steve Solomon with wording “Save Our Police and SRO” [School Resource Officer]. I’m confused as to why Mr. Solomon feels it’s necessary to highlight such sentiments. I don’t believe our Oro Valley PD needs to be saved. They do a great job for our community and are respected and appreciated.

The current counsel, including the 3 members up for re-election, just voted to add an SRO to Pusch Ridge Academy as reported by the "Explorer."  I have attended various meetings through the years and have never once heard any discussion by any council member which would lead me to believe our Oro Valley Police Department was in jeopardy and needed to be “saved”.

Yes, we all know Mr. Zinkin has always questioned why the Oro Valley Police Department, the largest receiver of tax payer money, is not subject to an audit as other city agencies are, but he has never pushed to shut down our SRO’s or Police Department. This subject came up in the re-call last year when Ryan Hartung was accused, incorrectly, of being against the Oro Valley Police Department. He emphatically denied any truth to those rumors. So I have to wonder: Is Mr. Solomon jumping in with the usual allies of the Mayor initiating accusations and fear? Is he using the current events and attacks on our national law enforcement agencies as a political ploy to get elected?

Whatever his reason I am appalled he is using law enforcement as a pawn in his election bid. I am a retired Sergeant of the NYPD with 20 years’ experience, married to a retired Sergeant of the NYPD with 21 years’ experience. My brother is a retired NYPD Sergeant with 25 years and his wife is a retired 1st grade Detective. Lastly I am the proud daughter of an NYPD Lieutenant retired with 30 plus years.

Yes, I have a right to feel offended by politicians who use us for their gains and fear mongering.

Patti Clemente
Oro Valley Resident
This article was submitted directly to LOVE by Patti. It also appeared several weeks previously in the local advertising circular. We think that Patti's words provide a unique perspective on the character of those who try to use fear to sway an election.

Guest View-Diane Peters: What You Need To Know About Rhonda Pina

This is the last in a 3-part series of what voters should know about the challengers running for Oro Valley Town Council prior to casting their vote in the primary election on Tuesday, August 30th.

Pina has admitted that she wants to continue to foster growth of business. Of course she does! Look what’s in it for her. At the Sun City Candidate Forum, she stated that she is employed by Wells Fargo where she manages, “a commercial banking portfolio that includes multi-million dollar non-profit and for-profit companies.” These are her customers. This is her bread and butter. She has an incentive to keep her customers happy. Give them what they want and they will continue to seek out the services of Ms. Pina and Wells Fargo for all of their business and development needs.

Simply stated, Wells Fargo makes money off of the interest from these commercial loans. The more money that Ms. Pina makes for Wells Fargo, the more money she makes in commissions and perhaps she even gets a nice bonus at the end of the year. As such, if she is elected to council, she has a huge incentive to approve any new business or development proposals that her customers bring before council. It’s a win-win for Pina, Wells Fargo, and their commercial customers.

Pina can’t think for herself
In fact, an Oro Valley citizen called Ms. Pina and told her that it would be a conflict-of-interest for a commercial banker to be on council. The citizen then asked Rhonda how she would handle that problem if elected. Rhonda was dumbfounded and had no answer. The morally and ethically correct response would have been to say that she would recuse herself from voting on any items that present a conflict-of-interest. But Ms. Pina couldn’t even think to say that, probably because it hadn’t been scripted for her beforehand by the Majority-4.

Anyone attending the candidate forums could plainly see that Ms. Pina’s answers were scripted as she just kept repeating the same talking points…that she will solve every problem by being part of “a cohesive council” and “working in a collaborative manner.” When that response didn’t fit the conflict-of-interest question, Rhonda was stumped.

However, even if Ms. Pina recuses herself, it won’t change the outcome of the vote, it will just allow her to disown any responsibility for it. Her Majority-4 buddies plus Rodman and Solomon (if elected) can still vote to approve the commercial proposals submitted by Pina’s clients and Pina and her employer will still benefit from them but her hands will be clean.

Political Connections
But wait, there’s more! Rhonda’s husband, Raul Pina, is a civil engineer. His history includes making large campaign contributions to Pima County Supervisors. So it was quite suspicious when his company, Collins-Pina Consulting Engineers, began receiving lucrative country road contracts despite other firms being chosen by the selection panel. It was so suspicious that the FBI launched an investigation. Of course, Pima County Supervisor Chuck Huckelberry, then-supervisor Dan Eckstrom, and Rhonda’s husband Raul all denied any wrongdoing. Of note is that Huckelberry and Eckstrom have now donated to Rhonda Pina’s campaign. You scratch my back…

Raul Pina’s current company is CPE Consulting, LLC. The website advertises their experience in land development, infrastructure, pipelines, roads and bridges. If Rhonda is elected, will her husband’s firm suddenly begin receiving Oro Valley civil engineering contracts?

These are just more compelling reasons to re-elect Bill Garner, Mike Zinkin, and Brendan Burns. They are not politically-connected. There is no cronyism and no conflict-of-interest. They do not stand to gain anything personally from being on the town council. They are there to work for you. There will be no suspicious contracts awarded, and no political paybacks to wealthy special interests in return for large campaign contributions. Burns-Garner-Zinkin have always worked for the people.

Councilmember Zinkin summed it up best during his closing comments at the candidate forums: “With their special interest money and endorsements, the challengers want you to see how powerful THEY are. As the voice of the citizens, we want you to see how powerful YOU are.”

Diane Peters
Oro Valley Resident

Four Good Reasons To Not Vote For Rhonda Pina

The following is from an email sent by Oro Valley resident Chris DiSimone.
While I believe that the Mayor should not get any more zombie-like supporters on the Oro Valley town council, one candidate is especially dangerous.

Her name is Rhonda Pina and she is the favored candidate of Chuck Huckelberry and the Pima Democrat Machine.

Four Good Reasons to Stay Away from Rhonda Pina

1. Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry and Dan Eckstorm are the 2nd and 3rd donors to her campaign.
Link to campaign report.

2, From a Chris Limberis Tucson Weekly article in 2001 about Rhonda's husband:
"But alas, Raul Piña, the local manager of Collins-Piña and now the political point man for Tetra Tech, bagged another one. Piña has lavished campaign contributions on supervisors for years, particularly for his friend and supporter Raúl Grijalva, a Democrat in his fourth term. Piña regularly has fundraisers for Grijalva and Grijalva's campaign finance statements reveal not only Piña's largesse but that of a host of other Collins-Piña and now Tetra Tech big shots" Link to article 
 3. Rhonda is Ramon Valadez's appointee on the small business commission. You would think a small biz owner near South Tucson (in Ramon's district) should be the appointee, not a Wells Fargo Adviser from Oro Valley. Can't let go of the their buddies.
Link to Small Business Commission page

4. One more. She is using Saguaro Stategies, whose owner is Adam Kinsey. Adam is the former executive director of the Pima Democrat Party.
Link to July Article.

If you have any questions or comments, I encourage them. Just let me know.

Chris DeSimone
21 Year Oro Valley Resident

Wake Up, Tucson!
Radio Host Weekday
Mornings 6am-9am

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Zinkin: "Magic Fund To Cover Golf Losses Is Gone!"

The following is from an email received from Council/candidate Mike Zinkin. Zinkin along with council member and candidates Burns and Garner want to stem the losses. According to Zinkin these losses, as they continue, will become a drain on our residents as funds will have to be diverted from needed uses to pay for this luxury.

The Majority-4 and their 3 council candidates want to wait until it is far too late. They are hoping for a resurgence of the sport of golf. This is not going to happen.

The "writing" has been on the wall for 18 months now. When will the incumbents and their 3 candidates learn? When will they act?
You might have heard the challengers for the Oro Valley Town Council defend the purchase of the golf and community center from HSL by telling you that "we have a fund to cover this purchase," and that the "sales tax increase supports all the funding." Much to the Town staff's credit, and much to the mayor's chagrin, I have received the unaudited financials for the Community and Recreation Center Fund (attached).

These numbers include not only the expenses, golf and restaurant losses, and capital improvements, but also the revenue. Upon inspection you can see that the contracted revenues were $1,828,807 LESS than budgeted. The Town's operating revenue, which is the fitness center, some of the tennis, swimming, and recreation programs came in over the budget by $122,069. The increased sales tax to cover expenses is shown as $2,030,000 in revenue. What isn't shown is that due to Troon's forecast not being achieved, Troon rebated the Town $36,000 in management fees. Also not shown is that the first year's promised repayment of $120,000 back to the General Fund was postponed until next year. In summary, the fund started the fiscal year (July 1, 2015-June 30, 2016) with $1,025,222. This money was borrowed from the General Fund Contingency with the promise to pay it back at $120,000 a year for 10 years. After all the expenses and revenues were calculated, the fund lost $863,070, leaving an ending fund balance of $162,152. Keep in mind that if Troon had not rebated the $36,000 mentioned earlier, and if the Town had paid the promised $120,000, the fund balance would have been only $6,152.

The questions that the People must ask are:

  1. Where is the money coming from in fiscal year 2016/2017 to cover the predicted losses? The "magic fund" created to cover all expenses is dry.
  2. Will the Town be able to pay back next year's $120,000 installment that they promised the People when they took the $1,200,000 loan from the General Fund? 
  3. Or will they miss that re-payment two years in a row?
  4. How is the Town going to cover any capital improvements?

The challengers insist that this is a five year plan and that it is too soon to do anything.

Look at the attachment and you decide if we need to do something NOW. 

The magic fund is dry. There is only enough money to cover $162,152 in losses. Any additional money must come from the Citizens, and I believe the Citizens have seen enough of this disastrous purchase and want the Council to do some corrective action Now.

Mike Zinkin
Oro Valley Town Council

(Via email)

What You Need To Know About Bill Garner

Bill Garner has been your representative on the Oro Valley Town Council and he is running for his third term.

Bill was born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia. He holds a Bachelor's in Communication and Master's in Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance from Temple University and Post Masters Public Administration and Public Safety from Saint Joseph’s University. Back East, Bill served as an emergency management director and volunteered as a fire-fighter and EMT.

Bill discovered our beautiful community in 2004 when he moved here permanently. Since arriving, Bill has remained an active participant through his involvement as a member of the Citizens Corps Council; serving as an instructor of CPR and Emergency Medical Technician classes at Pima Community College; and as a Senior Clinical Research Associate for a major pharmaceutical company. Bill has been married to his wife, Darlene for a total of 23 years, and together, they have two wonderful daughters. They believe in and love Oro Valley!

First elected to the Town Council in 2008, Bill has been a consistent and honest voice for the citizens and people of Oro Valley. He is running again to continue his platform of delivering responsible, accountable, and effective leadership to Oro Valley. He has supported the Oro Valley General Plan by making sound policy decisions reflected in the Plan. Consistent on the issues, Bill Garner has been a resilient voice of conservative responsibility and real leadership on the Oro Valley Council.

  • Support smart growth for the Town of Oro Valley
  • Oppose tax incentives with no clear benefits to the Town of Oro Valley
  • Support Steam Pump Ranch and the development of this historic site • Support responsible and limited annexation
  • Will not vote for a property tax
  • Support Parks and Recreation facilities that allow for economic growth opportunities
  • Continue to support signature events that promote the Town of Oro Valley
  • Fight to keep our public safety services strong and to keep Oro Valley prepared for all disasters, natural and man-made
  • Support the Oro Valley General Plan by making sound policy decisions reflected in the plan
  • Continue to be a voice and advocate for the residents of the Town of Oro Valley

This election is about the future and direction of Oro Valley. It is important that you support Bill Garner as our voice and advocate to put Oro Valley back on track to prosperity.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Guest View-Brendan Burns: Help Make Oro Valley a Better Place!

Brendan Burns is one of the three incumbents running for re-election to the Oro Valley Town Council. If elected, they will help make Oro Valley a better place. Here’s what you need to know about Brendan Burns.
Brendan’s Vision for Oro Valley
My main priorities are: (1) fiscal responsibility, (2) development of recreation, arts and culture, (3) attraction of high tech/biotech employment, (4) public safety, and (5) smart growth.

Public Safety
Public safety is government’s number one priority and the council should never take any action that diminishes our police force’s ability to protect Oro Valley.

The council must spend time managing the police department’s operations and budget to ensure that the highest level of safety is provided.

Government can always become more efficient and streamlined and the police department is no exception. By effectively managing the police department, we can ensure that our officers are properly trained, that morale is high, and that Oro Valley continues to be a safe community. We must ensure that we always have adequate funds to (1) retain quality officers by providing pay raises or other benefits to increase morale, (2) provide our officers quality training, and (3) allow the department to adapt and stay ahead of developing security threats to Oro Valley.

Recreation and Arts and Culture
The long term survival of Oro Valley is incumbent on transforming our town into a center for culture, art, and upscale dining and shopping. 

In order to balance our budget we will need additional revenues. The only way to balance our budget is to increase sales tax revenues. By focusing developments on art, culture, and upscale businesses, we can attract residents from throughout southern Arizona who will spend money in Oro Valley. This will provide increased revenue to balance our budget with the added benefit of the taxes being paid for by non Oro Valley residents. That is why I am adamant that Oro Valley must maintain its unique upscale nature. If we allow Oro Valley to become just another suburb of Tucson, we will not produce enough sales tax revenue to balance the budget.

I support the continued development of Naranja Park to include additional multi‑use fields as well as new baseball diamonds. I will also work hard to expand the aquatic center to include a zero depth pool with a water play structure and features, an adventure walking crossing, and a lazy river.

Oro Valley must continue to attract high‑tech employers such as Ventana and Icagen. We need to increase our competitive edge over other locations by offering great schools and a high quality of life to their employees. 

I will work with high‑tech employers to ensure that Oro Valley continues to attract new high‑tech jobs. I bring a young professional’s perspective that will allow the town to develop programs aimed at attracting professional families while also increasing support for our senior citizens and retirees through recreational activities, outdoor spaces, and programs.

Fiscal Responsibility
I do not support a property tax and voted against the increase to the sales tax. We need to grow our revenue base and not simply rely upon continually tax increases to pay for our out of control spending.

Over my last four years I have been a watchdog protecting the people’s money from wastefully spending. Oro Valley is in financial trouble as the acquisition of the community center is costing millions more than originally projected. I will continue fighting to stem the hemorrhaging losses inflicted by the community center.

We must ensure that Oro Valley maintains its uniqueness by protecting our scenic views, natural trails, open spaces, and night sky.

About Brendan Burns
Brendan Burns earned his Bachelor’s degree in government and international relations from the University of Notre Dame in 2001. While at Notre Dame, he was enrolled in Army ROTC and received his commission as a Second Lieutenant. Brendan earned a law degree from the University of Arizona in 2003, and from 2004-2008, he served on active duty in the Army JAG Corps as an attorney. He continued his service in the Army reserves, reaching the rank of Major, before leaving the military in 2014. He graduated Cum Lauder from Notre Dame and Magna Cum Lauder from the University of Arizona. Brendan currently works as an attorney in private practice. He lives with his three beautiful children, ages 10, 8 and 5, and they love living in Oro Valley.

Guest View ~ Diane Peters: What you need to know about Bill Rodman

Bill Rodman is a former Oro Valley Planning & Zoning Commissioner (2012-2015) who is hoping to unseat one of the incumbents (Brendan Burns, Bill Garner, Mike Zinkin) on the Oro Valley Town Council. What does Bill Rodman bring to the table?

Rodman’s views on the golf course
When Rodman was asked by two local newspapers how he would handle the financial problems of the Community Center golf courses, he responded:
  • “Provide the oversight necessary to make sure that we’re analyzing it properly.” 
  • “If at some point the expenses continue to outstrip the revenues…the golf courses can be closed, partially closed, leased or sold to a third party, and/or made open space.”
Of note is that neither of these “solutions” are new. First of all, Councilmembers Burns, Garner, and Zinkin have been providing financial oversight since the golf courses opened in May 2015 only to be chastised by the Majority-4 for doing so.

Secondly, Councilmembers Burns, Garner, and Zinkin have already proposed closing or partially closing the golf courses, they’ve proposed leasing one course back to the Hilton (which is allowed per the existing contract), they’ve proposed looking for private entities to lease the other 18-hole course, and they’ve proposed turning one or more courses into a linear natural greenway/park. These are the exact same solutions that Rodman is now proposing.

Isn’t it interesting that the Majority-4 are endorsing Rodman when his “ideas” are to simply replicate what Burns-Garner-Zinkin have already been doing or suggesting all along?

Rodman also stated at the August 10th Candidate Forum that the council shouldn’t make any decisions on the golf courses because, “I believe there is a 5-year plan.” Is Rodman aware that Troon’s own forecast continues to show expected losses of $1.4 million dollars in year-five? Can we even trust that figure when the first year was expected to lose $1.5 million and it actually lost $2.4 million? That forecast was off by almost $1 million dollars!

Rodman’s voting record on Planning & Zoning
On Rodman’s Facebook page, he states: “I spent 4 years on Oro Valley’s Planning & Zoning Commission, serving as Chair, advising the town on how to manage growth and make good decisions.”

Below is a sample of the items that Bill Rodman approved while on P&Z. Is this your idea of managed growth and good decision making?

  • Increased building heights at Linda Vista and Oracle (El Corredor) within the Oracle Rd. Scenic Corridor District (obstructing mountain views)
  • General Plan Amendment, ESL Amendment, and Rezoning for a 5-story retirement community (Nakoma Sky) on 79.5 acres at 1st Ave. and Naranja
  • Increased illuminated window signs for businesses
  • CUP for a Fry’s gas station at 1st Ave. and Oracle Rd.
  • Rezoning of the 39-acre Olsen property from R1-144 to Planned Area Development
  • LaCholla Major General Plan Amendment, convert 45 acres from R1-144 to R1-7 at LaCholla and Naranja
  • Amended zoning code to allow property owners to grade right up to the adjacent property
  • Rezoning 149 acres at Tangerine and First Ave. from R1-144 to MDR and commercial
  • CUP for U-Haul business at Ace Hardware on First and Tangerine
  • Rezoned NE corner of Tangerine and LaCholla from R1-144 to Commercial and NCO
  • Major General Plan Amendment of Olsen property from LDR and open space to MDR
  • Major General Plan Amendment of Miller Ranch from LDR to MDR
  • Rezoned 13 acres at NE corner of Linda Vista and Oracle (El Corredor) to HDR (The Canyons Apts.) 
  • Major General Plan Amendment for NE corner Tangerine and LaCholla from LDR to NCO
Were these “good decisions?” Is this how you “manage growth?” By turning every remaining low density residential parcel into medium density or high density or commercial?

A vote for Rodman (as well as Pina and Solomon) will result in an abundance of 7-0 votes on council with no discussion or debate, no adherence to the voter-approved General Plan, more rezonings to appease greedy developers, and millions of dollars in continued golf losses.

Diane Peters
Oro Valley Resident

This article was submitted directly to us by Diane. She also submitted it to the Arizona Daily Independent where it was published last week. We publish it here to insure complete coverage of this election.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Solomon's Lies

We thought you might enjoy reading council candidate Steve Solomon's August 7 posting on his Facebook Page.

His assertions have nothing to do with reality.

Then again, we suspect that his 4 year absence from council, a time in which he did absolutely nothing for our community in any capacity, would cause him to either make stuff up or learn "sound bites" from those who "whisper in his ear."

So we will set the record straight:

  • The recall was about ridding the community of special interest control of Oro Valley.
  • The recall supporters did not say anything about shuttering the community center
  • The financial facts about Golf brought forth by Council Member Zinkin always include an analysis of revenues. It is revenues that lag so badly that losses have grown. It is not expenses.
  • The incumbents do not fight against development. In fact, Council Member Zinkin works closely with developers and the community to bring reasonable, savvy compromise to worthy development efforts.
Perhaps Solomon would have his facts correct if he actually had been involved in our community during the past 4 years.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Guest View-George Cates: Golf Course/Community Center

Opposing voices concerning the town of Oro Valley’s purchase of the El Conquistador Golf and Country Club have fallen on deaf ears with the ruling majority of Oro Valley Council. What was true at the outset, before the purchase, continues to this day. They seem to believe that if we keep trying, somehow the great deal will turn in a positive result. Therefore, no criticism or recommendations for improvement meets with agreement.

Special Fund? Not hardly.
Following one recent update from Mike Zinken that called attention to the $2+ million golf course losses, Lord Mayor Satish Hiremath pronounced from his high horse that this was a “real estate deal” and not a “golf deal “ and admonished us to not worry about the losses because we have a “special fund” to cover them. His statement makes it seem that we have a source of free money when it is, in fact, tax money being diverted from other more productive uses. A bookkeeping maneuver created the “special fund” not some magic source. This fund ultimately flows from the massive tax increase that was supposed to cover repairs and upgrades to make the facility viable. Instead it does not even cover golf losses. Special Fund? Not hardly.

Zinkin, Burns, and Garner golf fix efforts continuously rebuffed by Majority-4
I appreciate the continual efforts of Council members Zinkin, Burns, and Garner to keep the issue in focus. Their efforts are continually rebuffed and often kept off the Council agenda by a solid majority that seems intent on preserving the status quo regardless of the consequences. For example, Council Member Zinkin researched and brought forward an operator who would lease the golf course and relieve the town of these continuing losses. His efforts were met with “stonewall” resistance and the operator could not even make a presentation to the council. What is the majority afraid of at this stage? The mayor continually resists any efforts to correct the golf course problem.

Another example was recently brought forward by Council Member Burns to correct many of the deficiencies by bonding the improvements and then using the (already enacted) tax receipts to fund the bond repayments. Again, the solid majority voting bloc gave the matter thumbs down.

Other examples can be given but they illustrate the same point: Oro Valley simply must reelect these three fine independent thinking council members if we have any hope of restoring fiscal and operational sanity.

George Cates
Oro Valley (16 year resident)