Monday, August 3, 2015

We're Back: Our July Review

LOVE is back. Ready to roll. Here's a quick look at what happened while we were offline
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Hirmath recall election approved... to happen in November
In June, the Oro Valley Citizens for Open Government submitted petitions containing more than 3,400 signatures seeking the recall of Oro Valley Mayor Hiremath. The petitions were reviewed by the Oro Valley town clerk and then by the Pima County Clerk. The results is that far more than sufficient signatures were obtained. Hiremath's name will be on the November recall election ballot.

Straney To Seek Mayor Position
Oro Valley resident Pat Straney has announced that he will seek election for the position of Oro Valley Mayor this November.  Straney, who lost to Hiremath in the partisan, low turnout August election last year.

Straney believes that results will be different this time. "Everyone will receive a ballot for this election, not just partisans. In addition, last summer, there was no golf course purchase, no aura of a backroom deal and no half cent sales tax increase. Believe me, this time around I will be not be timid about drawing a stark contrast between me and my opponent or my vision for Oro Valley going forward.”

Learn more about Pat on his website.

Challengers Seeking Signaures
All of the candidates are seeking signatures so that they can get on the ballot. Their petitions must be submitted by September 4.

The 3 council candidates are looking to add to their signature list, even though they have signatures above the threshhold level of 526. Pat Straney is looking for signatures as he has just started. If you are interested in signing there petitioners, you can do so at the Oro Valley Library tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday, from  9 – noon each day.

The incumbents do not need to go through this process since they already hold office and they are the ones being recalled.

If you are interested in getting a election sign for Dr. Hartung you can reach him at ryanhartung1953@gmail.com.

November Election Line-up Is Set
The November election is a "head to head" competition. The lineup is:
  • Satish Hiremath incumbent v and Patrick Straney, challenger
  • Lou Waters incumbent v and Steve Didio challenger
  • Joe Hornatm incumbent v Ryan Hartung, challenger
  • Mary Snider, incumbent and Shirl Lamonna Challenger
There is a world of difference between these choices. Our only question: Will Oro Valley's voters do their homework to learn what these differences are?


"Lie, Intimidate and Bully?" Not so, according to council candidate Dr. Ryan Hartung
Mayor Hiremath  resorted to "name calling" and "labeling" his opponents. He was quoted in the Explorer as saying that the petition group, OVCOG would "lie, intimidate and bully." These strong words, not supported by fact, were refuted by OVCOG head and now council candidate Dr. Ryan Hartung. Dr. Hartung addressed council in late June:
"I am not a liar. I am not a bully. I don't intimidate people. I am a father of two who wants to be left alone and hang out in his house. I saw wrong in Oro Valley and I'm trying to fix what I see as a wrong. I have never come out and called names to anyone else and I would appreciate it if that is not the same for me."
Name calling and unfounded accusations on the part of a sitting Mayor of any community is child like.

Majority-4 Supporters Print Identical Letters In Explorer
The Explorer printed two letters from Majority-4 supporters in July. The articles contained virtually identical wording. As one of our readers pointed out: "Apparently, both they and their supporters are incapable of independent thought." Many believe that the printing of these letters and negative comments about opposing candidates will be the hallmark of the Majority-4 campaign. The opposing candidates, however, plan to take the opposite tack. They are sticking to the facts and have stated to LOVE that they will run "clean" campaigns.

For the past 5 years, the Explorer's preference has been to print, unedited, anything that is submitted to them by the town or any member of Majority-4. This was the operating model of the prior editor's reign. Thus, we referred to the Explorer as the "local advertising circular" since it was not, in any way, a journalistic piece. We understand that new editor Rupkalvis will not print letters from candidates. We hope, however, that he will teach his staff  to provide critical think to that which they do print. Printing relatively identical letters letter from two different people shows a complete lack of thinking.

Civility Lost
The council majority has yet another web page. This one is about how they claim to stand for "civility."

As one reader wrote us:
"With Hiremath's constant rants and character assassination, Snider's husband accosting Brendan [Burns] at the Community Center Grand Opening, and Waters' wife accosting an Oro Valley resident when he was delivering campaign flyers for Mike Zinkin, the have a lot of nerve carrying the civility banner!"
Are they "Civil?" You tell us.

We will publish more on "civility" next Wednesday.

Majority-4 initiated a money transfer from their PAC to a private PAC... One that has no bank account
In January, Oro Valley resident Don Cox established a PAC. The PAC is named: "Triple E - Effective, Efficient, and Effortless Growth Management." The type of committee listed on the organization is a "committee organized for the purpose of making independent expenditures." Its seed money contributors are Council Members Waters and Hornat.

Council members Lou Waters and Joe Hornat  transferred $500 each to this PAC to this PAC on February 9 and February 12, respectively. The money came from their "Vote Lou Waters" and "Vote Joe Hornat" PACs.

The PAC did not list a bank to which funds are to be deposited in its filing. This is contrary to law. We wonder where the money went?

Want to learn more?

Really? Does Oro Valley really need a press release to explain the color of golf course grass?
Early in July, the town issued a press release explaining why the grass on the golf course turned brown. The explanation said the color change was due to aeration of the golf course. Aerification is performed in the hot, summer months, when fewer people are using the golf courses."

The process of aerification lifts cores from the soil, leaving them on the grass. So, that causes the brown appearance. However, the grass itself does not turn color from this process.

Our opinion: It really is a waste of town resources to create and then issue a press release on something of so little interest and consequence to most town residents. Would the town issue a press release if, for example, a water fountain breaks at the community center? At best, these types of notices belong on a bulletin board in the clubhouse and not as an official press release of the town of Oro Valley.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Sunday, July 5, 2015

LOVE Takes Vacation... See You August 3

LOVE is taking a vacation. This, after 8 plus years of continuous publishing. Its been a big job for a few people.

Each summer we have published even when there has been little of which to publish and even though many of our readers are vacationing.

This year, however, we are also vacationing.  We will be back on line August 3 with our review of key happenings during our 30 day absence. (Heather will be back on line in September). If something really significant happens we will send at email to our mailing list. So, please be sure to sign up for it.

You can still get your news about Oro Valley and Pima County right here.

Simply visit LOVE and click on the tab that says "Oro Valley News" or the one that says "Pima County News."  It will have the latest info from local and regional publications about Oro Valley and Pima County respectively.

We hope that you will enjoy the summer. We know that we will.

You LOVE Team
 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Much Ado About Nothing

Last Wednesday, there was an incident in which Oro Valley Vice Mayor Lou Waters and Oro Valley resident Tom Kamoske scuffled. It happened when residents were going to a scheduled appointment to turn in recall petitions on Mayor Hiremath.

If you have not seen the video, then you a probably wondering what really happened? Was Vice Mayor Water's attacked? Was resident Tom Kamoske pushed to the ground by the Vice Mayor? Did they scuffle? Was anyone hurt?

The Incident

The following is exactly what happened:
  • About 80 individuals wearing "Red Shirt" that voice support of Hiremath  formed a gauntlet through which those supporting his recall must pass through in order to submit their petitions to the town clerk. 
  • Vice Mayor Lou Waters was standing inside this gauntlet, partially in the path of the submitters
  • Vice Mayor Waters was taking pictures of the submitters as they walked through the gauntlet
  • The submitters walked past and to the right of Vice Mayor Waters.
  • Oro Valley resident Tom Kamoske blocked Water's camera lens by putting papers in front of Water's camera as he walked past Waters.
  • Waters pushed Kamoskie with his left arm as Kamoske passed him
  • Kamoske continued two steps, then turned back to face Waters. In turning back Kamoske fell. It seems to us that his left ankle gave way as he turned back at Waters. 
  • Waters watched Kamoske fall.
  • Waters then turned to face the submitters to take pictures of the other submitters. 
  • Then Waters turned to photograph Kamoske on the ground.
The total event was 13.3 seconds! We've slowed it down in the video at right so that you can see it  in detail.

"Much Ado About Nothing"

So why is this such a big deal?

Waters claims he was  injured. It is obvious that this not the case. After he pushed Kamoske, Waters turned to take pictures of other submitters. How injured could have possibly been? Certainly, not injured enough to even take personal note.

Kamoske claims that Waters push caused him to fall. How is it, then, that he took two steps and then fell after he turned to face Water.

In is on both sides: "No harm. No foul."

At worst, Kamoske, who was charged by Oro Valley police with assaulting Waters is guilty of 2 counts of bad judgment. The first count has to do with putting the papers in front of the camera. The second is turning back after being pushed.

At worst, Vice Mayor Waters is also guilty of using bad judgment. As the sitting Vice Mayor of Oro Valley he should not have been at this event. He should not have been taking pictures so as to intimidate the Oro Valley residents submitting the petitons. He should not have shoved Kamoske.

It's all politics

So, why the big deal?

It is a big deal because the Oro Valley police, supporters of the Majority-4, decided to turn this into a big deal. It was they who "investigated" the incident and "convicted" Kamoske. They should have simply said to bother parties: "Grow up."

Now, supporters of the Majority-4 are trying to say that the new candidates and those who support change are "thugs."

Waters seeks restraining order
Vice Mayor Waters has filed for a one year restraining order against resident Kamoske. 

A triple play of insanity

It's all politics, folks. And it makes us sick! It's a "triple play of insanity."

A town resident acts foolishly. A vice mayor participates in an event the he should not have been at; and then pressing charges when he, himself, pushed the resident. And, an outrageous, obviously biased enforcement of law on the part of the Oro Valley police.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Meet Candidate Shirl Lamonna

Oro Valley resident Shirl Lamonna will be a candidate for Oro Valley council in the November election.  Lamonna is a 10 year resident and a friend of LOVE.

Lamonna is very knowledgeable of what is happening in Oro Valley She has been following Oro Valley events and participating in the "call the audience" portion of the Oro Valley council meetings. In addition, she is a frequent commenter on LOVE.

Shirl is also very knowledgeable of what is happening in Pima County. She is currently working as research assistant to Pima County Supervisor Ally Miller. "I have the experience and knowledge of government dealings. This will allow for a fast learning curve as I have already researched every type of agenda item for the supervisors meetings am already familiar with many of issues that will impact the residents of Oro Valley."

Lamonna is not new to Oro Valley politics. Together with Oro Valley resident Debra Arrett, she led an effort to seek a public vote on the towns purchase of the El Conquistador Country Club. Were it not for a clerical error that vote would have occurred.

She led the successful effort in 2011-12 to block a rezoning of a parcel known as "7-I". That parcel, located on the northwest corner of Tangerine and Rancho Vistoso Blvd, was scheduled to have been rezoned for apartments. Lamonna mobilized the neighbors and kept our community informed. Read her incisive analysis of the 7-I situation to get an insight into the exceptional fact-based quality of her work.

We asked Lamonna why she has decided to run for council.

"I moved to Oro Valley, like so many, because it was a suburban, small town. It didn't just have the feel of one. It was one. Instead, Councilmembers Hornat, Snider and Waters with the Mayor have given us almost 800 apartments, a doubling of our utility tax, an increase in our sales tax, a $31 million dollar plan for Naranja Park (including an amphitheater and event center) and numerous higher density rezonings. They have changed the entire “dynamic” of life in Oro Valley."

Lamonna continued: "I’ve attempted to change the direction of this Council by using the tools available to citizens – heading opposition to the apartments as previously mentioned, attending Planning and Zoning sessions, speaking at Council meetings, and finally heading up the T.O.O.T.H. Referendum Committee. Nothing has worked. So now it’s time for me to step up to help shift us towards fiscal responsibility, transparency and sensible development."

We asked Shirl what she will bring to council that the current incumbents don't.

"I am an independent thinker who will research and analyze every issue before making a decision. I am running for YOU – to ensure your voice is heard."

Friday, June 26, 2015

Bits and Pieces

Meet the new candidates tomorrow
"Just a friendly reminder that you can meet three Town Council candidates this Saturday, June 27th and sign the petitions to help get them on the November ballot. The event is from 9am - 3pm at the Town Council Courtyard and at the Oro Valley Public Library. Refreshments will be served. Please see the attached flyer." (Source: Steve Didio email)

In light of the "insanity" that occurred at town hall Wednesday when Hiremath recall papers were filed, lets hope that only those interested in meeting the new candidates attend this event.

Petitions submitted to recall Mayor Hiremath

Oro Valley, Arizona (June 25, 2015) - At approximately 10 a.m. yesterday, June 24, 2015, signatures for a recall petition for Oro Valley Mayor Satish I. Hiremath were delivered to the Town of Oro Valley Clerk's Office. The petitions were submitted by the Oro Valley Citizens for Open Government Committee.

The Oro Valley Clerk's Office has 10 days in which to process the petitions and verify that the total number of signatures eligible for verification is equal to or exceeds the minimum 2,765 required signatures.

Pima County will then have 60 days in which to verify the signatures before the petition process moves forward. Once the county verifies the signatures, they will come back to the Oro Valley Town Clerk for a final check before they are legally filed. (Source: Town of Oro Valley Press Release) 


Group forms to oppose Pima County Bond
Taxpayers Against Pima County Bonds has formed. According to a group press release: 
"The real myth is “new bonding will not affect your property taxes.” The fact is, last year on my tax bill, I paid almost $170.00 under the category "county bonds secondary." This represents almost 5% of my total tax bill! It does NOT include the roughly $1,385 I pay in other secondary property taxes, many of which are also bonds for other things. And secondary property taxes are in addition to the primary property taxes we pay. Bonds DO affect your taxes! Pima County now wants to borrow close to $816 Million. This is a 57% increase over what Pima County currently owes. If my taxes on the existing Pima County Bonds are $170 a year, what can I expect them to go up to after they borrow another $816 Million? It's basic economics, the more you borrow, the more you need to pay back! " (Source: Taxpayers Against Pima County Bonds Press Release)

Their webside is pimabondfact.com

 Hecker Leads Pima County Bond Support
"A group in support of the Pima County bond proposal has formed and begun to lobby the public to vote for the $815 million bond plan. The group, called "Yes on Pima County Bonds", held a news conference Monday to announce the effort.

Tucson attorney and chairman of the Pima County Bond Advisory Committee Lawrence Hecker is listed as the group’s chairman.

Business consultant and former Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities chairman Steve Eggen is treasurer of the group." (Source: Arizona Daily Star

Do you think that Hecker has a conflict of interest being chairing the Pima County Bond Advisory Board and now leading the cheerleading effort?

"Waters: From CNN To Council"
Rose Law Group published an exclusive interview with Council Member Lou Waters.

Entitled: "From CNN anchor desk to Oro Valley Town Council", the article asked why he ran for office. "Service always has been in my DNA, so I ran and won . . . twice." Later in the article he notes: "Far too many of our “politicians” will say or do anything to remain in office. And far too many things they say are just not in the best interests of the constituents they serve."

Rock Ridge Apartments Needs Tenants
Rock Ridge Apartments are located on the west side of Oracle Road, just south of Lambert Lane. The've been in town a long time. They need tenants. And the prices actually look pretty interesting. Want to learn more?

We imagine that apartment pricing in Oro Valley is going to get even better for the consumer as Russ Rulney's apartments, located just south of Rock Ridge on the east side of Oracle near completion. It is a monster development.

Oro Valley Releases Latest Crime Statistics
Oro Valley Police Department has issued their latest crime statistics.  Almost have of Oro Valley's accident intersections are at 3 major intersections. Oracle and Magee are, once again, at the top of the most frequent collision intersections.  Next are LaCanada and Tangerine and Tangerine and First Avenue.

The report includes information on how quickly police reach the scene of an incident, traffic or otherwise.  90% of the time or more officer response is at or under the allotted time for a particular incident priority. For example, our police responded to 97% of top priority incidents within one minute. There were 14. (Source)


Coffee with a Cop This Morning 
 "The Oro Valley Police Department is excited to announce its June Coffee with a Cop event located at Jerry Bob's, 10550 N. La CaƱada Drive, Suite 140 . It will be on Friday, June 26, 2015 from 7 to 9 a.m. This marks the one year anniversary of its inception." (Oro Valley Police Department Press Release)

November Sees The Q and Brew 10K
"On Your Left Fitness is excited to partner with the North Tucson Firefighter’s Association (NTFFA) in hosting the Q and Brew 10K Run/Walk in conjunction with NTFFA’s BBQ Cook Off. Over 30 firefighter teams will be cooking up mouth-watering BBQ for you to enjoy after your run." The race is Saturday, November 21 in Oro Valley. (Source) On Your Left also sponsors a Test N Tune events at Steam Pump Ranch.