Thursday, August 21, 2014

Hiremath Is Losing It As His Vendetta Against Burns Piques!

In late July, Mayor Hiremath sent an email (below) to count attorney Lawall.  It claims that:

"...there are town employees who have severe concerns about their safety given Councilmember Burns's increasing escalation of infractions of the law in addition to him having a military background." Also,  Hiremath asserts that " is a concern for me as well."

Let us set the record straight: There are no complaints by town staff on file about Council Member Burns.  Nor has Council Member Burns ever demonstrated any action to Hiremath that should make Hiremath fearful.  

What is going on here is simple:

The Mayor is fixated at removing at least one of the minority from council. 

The Mayor is simply out of control

Frankly, we think that Hiremath is "losing it."

The following is the email and Council Member Burns's response to it:
From: Hiremath Satish
Subject: FWD: Article
Date: Wednesday, July 30,2014 10:31:28 AM 
The article that is being referred to below by Council member Brendan Burns is the letter I wrote to you regarding an investigation into residency rules and being an elected official. I am forwarding this to you because I feel that it should be incorporated as part of your investigation. There are other Town emails which reflect communication between Councilmember Brendan Burns and both of our town attorneys (Tobin Sidles and Kelly Schwab) regarding Councilmember Burns wanting to challenge their interpretation of what constitutes residency. 
An additional note to consider is that there are town employees who have severe concerns about their safety given Councilmember Burn'ss increasing escalation of infractions of the law in addition to him having a military background. Safety is also a very large concern for me as well. I would like to discuss this further with you in person or via phone. My cell phone number is .... Thank you for your attention on this very serious matter. 
Satish Hiremath
Mayor Oro Valley
Sent from my iPad
Burns responded that same day:
"So I assume you realize you are lying to the public about your leadership when you actively work to discredit and remove fellow council members. I cannot stand a man without integrity or honor. You sir, have neither."

Constituent Letter: Its Time For A New Mayor

The following letter was sent to the local advertising circular and the Arizona Daily Star. The local advertising circular published in on its Tuesday online edition.  We thought we'd publish it to insure greater Oro Valley coverage.
At the Greater Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce Candidate Forum, Mayor Hiremath, said:
“The expectation you should have of your mayor is that you want somebody who is honest, has integrity, is respectful, is responsible and cares for you.” However, his written and spoken comments over the last four years reveal that he is not that person.
This is a direct quote from an e-mail that the mayor sent Councilmember Garner on 4/18/14:
"Your comments were at best very rude, inconsiderate, tasteless, mean-spirited and beneath contempt".
Couple this with the mayor's tirade toward a senior staff member at the 10/16/13 council meeting when he wanted staff to do the council's job. He stated,
"This is a waste of my time!  You are paid professionals. I'm lightly hammering you over the head because I disagree.”
Were these remarks civil and respectful?

How about the mayor contacting the County Attorney regarding a councilmember's residency rather than going through the Town Attorney?

What about the mayor instructing the chief of police that he need not respond to a councilmember's e-mail? (9/11/12).

Public disagreement and disrespect at council meetings has become the norm. At the 6/3/14 council meeting, the mayor publicly chastised Councilmembers Burns, Garner, and Zinkin because he did not agree with their vote against the budget...a vote that was taken over a month prior.

As for the mayor’s honesty, at the Sun City Candidate Forum, he claimed that the
councilmembers not currently up for re-election were proposing a vote against Home Rule and
that they desire a property tax. These statements are completely untrue.

Is the mayor responsible? Despite his desire to have the police department report directly to
council, the mayor instructed staff not to include him in the distribution of the OVPD monthly overtime reports. Interestingly, the most recent report indicates that the OVPD spent $86,443.17 more than what the budget allocated. The mayor insists that these expenditures not be questioned.

The payment of overtime for hours scheduled rather than hours worked was approved by the mayor and the three incumbents, despite being told by staff that paying overtime in this fashion will cost the town, at a minimum, an additional $120,000.

Unquestioned spending is the norm. Town employees will get a minimum of a 5.5% raise in an economy where the average raise is 2%.[Ed note: This number is actually .5% (source)] This along with free health insurance, free dental insurance, free vision insurance, and now a free, on-site, health clinic were all approved without question. After all, as Mayor Hiremath says, "We don't want to get into the weeds."

Residents have been complaining about all the new apartments. The mayor's response is that "apartments are noted in the General Plan." However, every apartment complex now
underway on Oracle road required a re-zoning; a vote that was contrary to the established land use noted in the General Plan.

At a candidate forum on 7/24/14, the mayor said that, "civility, integrity, and teamwork are emotional words and political terms." Most people believe that these words represent values, not political rhetoric.

We need a mayor who will promote harmony, teamwork, and civility.

Our current mayor does just the opposite. He even had the audacity to state that if you do not agree with him, then you need to "consider your own judgment and sensibilities." (Explorer 12/27/13).

Mayor Hiremath's actions over the past four years have been neither responsible nor respectful, and show a complete lack of integrity. Do we desire this man to continue as our mayor? The choice is ours. Please join me in voting Pat Straney for Mayor of Oro Valley.

Art Segal
Oro Valley

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Oro Valley Historic Preservation Tries To Move Forward

In June, the Oro Valley Historic Preservation Commission issued a 2014 update to the 2011 "Oro Valley Cultural Heritage Preservation Plan."  Historic preservation can make a major contribution to Oro Valley's culture. Yet, for a variety of reasons, it has been relatively underfunded by our community during the past 4 years.

The report provides a road map for moving historic preservation forward:
"Among the most important aspects of historic preservation today," notes the report "... is ensuring that it is relevant to a community and will attract visitors—to learn about special places of the past, and to contribute to the overall economic sustainability of a community."
The report recommends actions in 6 areas of emphasis:
  • Public participation and heritage education is a set of actions to educate our community about existing cultural resources. This would include "On site tours of Steam Pump Ranch, Honey Bee Village Archaeological  Preserve,  the  CaƱada  Del  Oro  trail  and  historic  neighborhoods."
  • The historic Steam Pump Ranch " provides an excellent locale for developing a 'sense of place' for Oro Valley and holds economic viability as an educational facility, special event venue and heritage park."
  • Gathering and disseminating information on Oro Valley's historic neighborhoods. These neighborhoods include, but are not limited to "...Oro Valley Estates, Suffolk Hills, Campo Bello, and Shadow Mountain Estates."
  • Creating a centralize archive, a document "warehouse,"  for all historic documents. This would  include gathering documents from the town, the historic society and those who live in the community.
  • Implementing Oro Valley's environmental sensitive land ordinance as a "...basis for identification, evaluation, and treatment of known [culturally significant] sites as well as ones that may be discovered in the future."
  • Monitoring ongoing activities at the Honey Bee Canyon preserve.
The report suggest that some of the funding for these efforts come from yet to be determined partnerships.

We asked Oro Valley resident Bill Adler, an advocate of historic preservation, what could be done to move heritage preservation to a higher level on the Oro Valley priority list. He cautioned us.  Maintaining an historical site is expensive:
"Preserving history is expensive. Maintaining historical sites in an attractive and useable manner costs more than a new property. So, money for maintenance is a constant priority. Maintaining cannot mean "re building" because that loses the historic look, construction and content, and would cost the property its identification in the Register of Historic Places that is necessary for tourism,"
Nonetheless, he notes, there are things that are being done:
"Members of the Historical Society have been very diligent in providing other attractive exhibits on the property: a Heritage Garden formed and irrigated as the native Americans did hundreds of years ago; the creation of a pit house that is how native Americans lived during that period. And, the video of the Town, which captures accurately the native beauty of the overall landscape and the problems of a desert environment. During the June and July months a member of the Historical Society conducts a summer camp for small kids based upon the archaeological importance of the area."
Some of the commission's recommendations could be implemented at relatively low cost.  For example, heritage education could start, as the report suggest, with some brochures that describe Oro Valley's sites and their significance. Perhaps, it could continue with increasing tours.

Historical preservation requires a community commitment.  We wonder: How do you feel about it?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Heather's Corner: What Has Arms But Can't Hug? Or Can They?

Friends of the Catalina State Park offer some wonderful programs to educate, experience, and to give back. One program in particular is called Adopt a Saguaro with adoption fees supporting projects and activities in Catalina State Park. And reasons for adopting a saguaro are endless

You can scroll the Friends of Catalina State Park Website for a full range of photographs of the majestic beauties that include a description including how many arms it has, GPS coordinates, and on which trail you can find it. For a fee of 25.00, 50.00, or 100.00 per year there are a variety of sizes, ages, and shapes to chose.

Catalina State Park Web Site
Here's one for you.

"Grand Daddy Saguaro Br-7 Bridle Trail...GPS Coordinates: N 32.42568629 W -110.9141212"

What I found truly inspiring were the dedications for the already adopted Saguaros. For beloved ones, for those who love the park, anniversaries, for friendship, a valentines day gift, a Mother's Day gift, and even one in the name of legislature. Some have been personified and given their own names like the Ludwig family who adopted "Susie." The possibilities are limitless.

The Park has Saguaro Etiquette in order to preserve these adoptees so remember the saguaro is delicate, protected, do not mark or deface in any way, and don't leave the trail to visit one as you may risk trampling the newbies.

If you are looking for a wonderfully thoughtful gift for the person who has everything or you want to honor a loved one, please consider adopting one for your own. I can't think of a better way to support one of our state parks. And if you've got your eye on a saguaro not listed on Friends of Catalina State Park website, just let them know and they are happy to oblige.
Heather Nenadovich has lived in Oro Valley a total of five years. She has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Arizona. Her husband is Canadian so she is a hockey fan by default and so are her two very clever children. When not being a mommy, she enjoys hiking in Catalina State Park, hand building pottery, and gardening. Her favorite things about living in Oro Valley are the towns recognition of art and culture, their commitment to preserving nature and the Christmas parade. (Also anything from GMG Chinese Bistro.)

Monday, August 18, 2014

Guest View-Art Segal: Vote One For Straney and One For Bristow

It's been a few years since I turned over LOVE totally to Richard, who has done an outstanding job of informing and enlightening the residents of Oro Valley as to the issues confronting us.

About a month ago, Richard sent out an email to those on LOVE's email list that I hope you all read, that discussed our upcoming election. In his message, he suggested ("implored" might be a better word), that if you're concerned about the representation of the mayor and 3 council members up for reelection, you'll vote ONLY for Pat Straney for mayor, and Don Bristow for council.

After 4 1/2 years, doing my best to keep our friends and neighbors in Oro Valley informed, I began to realize that not enough of our fellow citizens either knew, or cared who, or how our local government impacted our daily lives. The election of 2010, in which Mike Zinkin failed to become mayor by a total of 30 votes, in a questionable vote count, left me very disenchanted. Since being elected Mayor, Dr. Hiremath has consistently denigrated publicly anyone who may have an opinion not shared by him. He's not embarrassed by his actions, but he is an embarrassment to the people of Oro Valley.

30 votes could have, and would have changed everything in Oro Valley. You can be sure that a study of the police department's operation would have been done, not "squashed" by the 4 seeking reelection. We wouldn't have the police department working a schedule that requires the citizens to pay for hundreds of hours of overtime. We wouldn't have about 50% of the police, regardless of where they live, driving OUR police cars home on a daily basis. We wouldn't have an escalated "Use Tax" on our necessities of life: our water, gas & electric bills. More than likely, we wouldn't see hundreds of apartments being built, on what seems to be any open parcel in Oro Valley. Look no further than Oracle road, and you'll see 3 major apartment complexes in various stages of construction.

YOU can change the dynamics of Oro Valley. Take Richard's advice, and PLEASE----- VOTE FOR ONLY PAT STRANEY & DON BRISTOW. Things can and will get better in Oro Valley. And, remember----Your vote is critical! Let Oro Valley Excel!
Art Segal is LOVE's co-founder. He worked tirelessly for years to inform Oro Valley's residents of the happenings in our community.   Known for his sharp insights and  his"no holds barred" writing style, Art kept LOVE moving forward by "telling it like it is."  He helped identify and champion Oro Valley's leaders, like Council Member Bill Garner.  Though retired from LOVE, Art is always with us. And for that we are most appreciative.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Bits and Pieces

A "Criminal Mastermind", A Mom and A Student

By now, you have read about Oro Valley's successful prosecution of Brittany Leigh Underwood, the "criminal mastermind" behind a credit card scam.

"The investigation revealed there were more than 40 people victimized by Underwood and more than $85,000 dollars fraudulently charged by her. " (Source: Oro Valley Police Department)

In 2011, the year that the criminal enterprise probably began, Underwood posted her resume on line.

"Experienced Administrative/Public Relations Assistant," she wrote, "looking for a challenging position working in an administrative, public relations and/or entry level accounting role at a growth-oriented company, which will allow me to both further utilize my skills and acquire new abilities."

Underwoods resume lists a number of skill and efforts to continue her growth and education. It also says she has children.

Caught in a "bad economy" and plagued by the inability to obtain full-time work, she chose to commit identity theft, fraud schemes and forgery.  She exchanged  her freedom and her love of family for an orange suit and 14 years in prison.
"OV adds 500 acre feet of CAP water to potable water system

Oro Valley, Arizona, (August 11, 2014) - On Wednesday, August 13 at 9 a.m., the Town of Oro Valley will celebrate the completion of a blending facility on Calle Buena Vista, just north of Hardy Road, which will allow the addition of 500 acre feet of Central Arizona Project (CAP) water to be delivered to Oro Valley Water service areas, bringing the Town's total CAP delivery to 2,000 acre feet per year.

The delivery of CAP water first became a reality in January 2012, through a partnership with Tucson Water, when the Town began delivering approximately 1,500 acre feet per year.

One acre foot of water equals 325,851 gallons. For every gallon of CAP water delivered, Oro Valley Water Utility replaces a corresponding gallon of water pumped from the Town's ground water, preserving the aquifer.

"This project will further protect and preserve the Town's groundwater resources in Southern Arizona by delivering our Central Arizona Project water," commented Oro Valley Water Utility Director Philip Saletta. "It is an example of regional cooperation and the commitment between Oro Valley and the City of Tucson that follows through on our existing water agreement."

With this latest addition, 42% of Oro Valley's total water deliveries now come from renewable water resources." (Source: Oro Valley Press Release)
Buyers Wanted: Lots Of Inventory Of Oro Valley Homes

Oro Valley's housing market continues to be very soft.  This from Long Realty:

"In the Oro Valley area, July 2014 active inventory was 330, a 47% increase from July 2013. There were 60 closings in July 2014, a 22% increase from July 2013. Months of Inventory was 5.5, up from 4.6 in July 2013. Median price of sold homes was $251,000 for the month of July 2014, up 12% from July 2013. The Oro Valley area had 62 new properties under contract in July 2014, down 10% from July 2013." (Source: Long Realty)
Would You Trust The Leadership Judgment Of These Guys?

They Like The Majority-4
As reported previously, the "North Tucson Firefighters" and the " Oro Valley Police Officer's Association" endorse the Majority-4.   Both organizations did so without even bothering to interview candidates Straney and Bristow.  The Majority-4 mailed an expensive 4-color postcard last week with the astounding announcements.

Here it is.

We wish the public servants would stay our of politics or at least do diligence in endorsing candidates.

For, in taking sides, these organizations are taking arms agains those of us who do not support these candidates.
Dispose-A-Med Tomorrow

Click here to learn more.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Majority-4 Announce: "The American Dream Is Dead"

The Majority-4 have announced that the American Dream of "... Marriage, A Single Family House, A Car, and Kids" is dead.

Forget any hope you may have of selling your house one day. No one is ever going to want to buy a single family home.  Forget any hope of getting a decent job. There are no decent jobs.  Forget marriage. That's out too. Young people don't want to get married.

The 3 Majority-4 council candidates pronounced the dream dead at the Oro Valley Chamber Candidate Forum.  Mayor Hiremath announced it dead at the SunCity Candidate Forum.  They announced it as a reason why building apartments in Oro Valley is so absolutely critical.

Council Member Snider reminded us at that forum that Oro Valley needs apartments. Besides, she noted, apartments are in the general plan.

What Snider did not say is that the Majority-4 approved amendments to the zoning code for the apartments that are being built along Oracle Road.  That is not according to the general plan.

Snider drew her conclusion that the american dream is dead from a study published by the University of Arizona's "APlus" which is part of the University's "Take Charge Institute."  APlus focuses on the transition period to adulthood life stage.  The goal of the APlus study is to determine financial habits of young adults.

We found the study to which Council Member Snider refers. It is called: "Life After College: Drivers for Young Adult Success" The study had followed student financial behaviors for 5 years.

Our conclusion upon analyzing this study is that it is by no means a valid basis to draw a sweeping conclusion that the American Dream is dead. In fact, it actually supports the fact that the dream is alive and well.

First, the study is not a random survey.  Therefore, its conclusions should not be generalized.

APlus started in 2007 by surveying 2,098 freshmen.  This was 32% of 2007 University of Arizona class.  38% were male. 62% were female.  33% were minority.  This is most certainly not a representative cross section of youth.

Second, the survey reports the responses of some of the original participants, less than half of whom participated in the original survey.   In 2013, the study reconnected with 1,010 of the students.  Again, this was not a random survey. 67% of the respondents were women.

Third, the study then erroneously concluded:
"For previous generations, becoming an adult meant an observable series of life events in dependable order: college graduation, career, marriage, buying a home, having children. Implicit in that transition from adolescent dependence to adulthood was the understanding that financial self-sufficiency followed college graduation and preceded everything else. 
For today’s young adults, however, those life events are no longer so predictable: young people may marry earlier, later or not at all, they may or may not have children, they may not want to own a home. 
We also see APLUS participants reporting that traditional goals of adulthood — including marriage, having children and owning a home — are not important to them."
Finally, most of the respondents to the survey actually said that marriage, home ownership and family are of importance to them.

The report includes a chart that shows "life goals not important to individuals."  We've added to this chart by highlighting, in blue, those who feel that the life goals are important.

As you can see, the vast majority of respondents believe the the american dream is alive. According to them:
  • 72% do think that getting married is at least of some importance.
  • 73% say that becoming a parent is at least of some importance
  • 81% say homeownership is at least of some importance
Candidate Mary Snider based her conclusion that the american dream is dead on a non random survey of some 23-26 year olds, mostly females who had started at the Univerisity of Arizona in 2007, some of whom chose to respond to a survey in 2013.  Most of these respondents said that getting married, becoming a parent, and purchasing a home were of importance to them.

Our conclusion: "The American Dream Is Not Dead!"

What do you think?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Heather's Corner: Oro Valley's Own Heaven Sent Rescue Organization

Tell me one of your favorite parts of our Oro Valley Christmas Parade isn't seeing the sweet faces of Goldens from the Southern Arizona Golden Retriever Rescue (SAGRR). Anyone who's ever been in the presence of one knows why they've received the reputation of being intelligent, friendly, and gentle beings. Which isn't surprising then to learn they are the third most popular family dog in the United States. But sometimes circumstances, some intended and some not, have left these dogs in need of rescue.

The SAGRR is a non-profit, all volunteer organization here in Oro Valley that fosters and finds permanent homes for these guys. They have rescued dogs from such circumstances as divorce, neglect, allergies, financial hardship, illness, and death of an owner. Focusing only on Golden Retrievers allows them to become experts in needs, both emotionally and physically, specific to the breed and to find the most appropriate forever homes for the fosters.

"I Am Lucy"
Here is an example of one of the dogs they are currently helping and up for adoption. This beautiful girl, named Lucy, is a sweet tempered two year old. She was found abandoned by a family that hoped to make her a part of "their pack" but unfortunately their other dog did not concur. She finds herself yet again waiting for a family she can call her own. There is no doubt Lucy will make someone out there a fortunate and lucky companion.

Without volunteers, SAGRR would not be as fruitful in helping dogs like Lucy. There are three ways to volunteer. Dog-related volunteering consists of fostering, transporting, home visits, intake and placement among other tasks. An Administrative volunteer helps with bookkeeping, membership, ordering supplies, and other administrative activities.  A public relations and fundraising volunteer organizse meet-and-greets and special events.

If volunteering isn't possible, SAGRR also has a wonderful store on their website where you can purchase merchandise like calendars, shirts, dog leashes, or memberships with proceeds helping the organization. In fact, you can also purchase raffle tickets for a 2014 Jeep Cherokee by the Jim Click Automotive team in hopes of raising one million dollars for local charities. (Entries must be received by October 31st)

My prayers go out to all the animals in need of rescue out there.

It is true that rescue dogs DO make the best pets. In my life I've had two rescues and their appreciation overwhelmed me. Take some time to check out the SAGRR website and see if you can help in any way and view the dogs they have ready for adoption. And here's to Lucy! May she find her forever family very soon.

Anyone else have great experiences with rescues? We'd love to hear from you.
Heather Nenadovich has lived in Oro Valley a total of five years. She has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Arizona. Her husband is Canadian so she is a hockey fan by default and so are her two very clever children. When not being a mommy, she enjoys hiking in Catalina State Park, hand building pottery, and gardening. Her favorite things about living in Oro Valley are the towns recognition of art and culture, their commitment to preserving nature and the Christmas parade. (Also anything from GMG Chinese Bistro.)