Councilmember Jones-Ivey nominated Melanie Barrett to serve for another year, seconded by Mayor Winfield. Councilmember Solomon nominated Bill Rodman, seconded by Councilmember Pina.
Discussions began and the hypocrisy ensued.
Councilmember Solomon’s argument:
“…it’s appropriate that since Councilmember Barrett has already served a year as Vice-Mayor, that it’s time to let another council member step in and serve in that capacity.”Councilmember Pina’s argument:
“I think that Councilmember Rodman would bring a different perspective to work with the mayor so I’m in favor of Councilmember Rodman being the Vice-Mayor for the following year…Why not give someone else the opportunity?...Why not do something different and have someone that would give a different perspective?”Mayor Winfield pointed out that regardless of title, they all have the opportunity to share their perspectives and they each have one vote.
A tangled web
According to Pina and Solomon, the necessary criteria for the vice-mayor is:
• they should not serve more than one year
• it should be someone who has different views than the mayor
Interestingly, they felt much differently about this “criteria” when they were in the majority on council.
Lou Waters was the vice-mayor when Pina-Rodman-Solomon were sworn in on 11/16/16 and he had served as vice-mayor for five years at that point (2012-2013-2014-2015-2016).
Yet when Waters was nominated for vice-mayor again for 2017 and 2018, Pina and Solomon never argued that someone else should be given the opportunity or that it should be given to someone with a different perspective than the mayor. They elected Waters with a 7-0 vote to serve as vice-mayor in 2017 and 2018.
In fact, on December 6, 2017 it was none other than Councilmember Steve Solomon who nominated Waters to serve as vice-mayor for 2018…despite Waters already having served as vice-mayor for 6 years at that time. Solomon was just fine with Waters serving as vice-mayor for a 7th year. (See referenced minutes from 12/6/17 meeting below):
Now that Pina and Solomon are in the minority, they’ve suddenly decided that it’s imperative to give someone else a chance. Waters can serve as vice-mayor for 7 straight years but Barrett can serve for only one year.
Mayor Winfield held a roll-call vote. The vote was 5-2 for Barrett as Vice-Mayor for 2020.
• YES votes: Winfield, Barrett, Jones-Ivey, Nicolson, and Rodman (yes, Rodman)
• NO votes: Pina and Solomon
Diane Peters has lived in Oro Valley since 2003, moving here to escape the humidity of the East Coast. She’s been involved in OV politics and development issues since 2006. In 2014, she organized a citizens group, who over a 9-month period, successfully negotiated a controversial 200-acre development project. In her past life, she worked in medical research at various University Hospitals in New England. Her interests include reading, writing, nature photography, travel, art galleries, museums, and politics.