Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Explanation As To Why Basis Land Deal With Oro Valley Was Put On Hold

The approval for the Basis School at Steam Pump Village was pulled abruptly from the OV June 16 Council agenda and was discussed in Executive Session.

In the June 30 Explorer an explanation is made as to why the item was pulled.

What the Explorer didn't explain was what Mayor Hiremath meant by his comment:

"What I told the council is that at some time we have to start governing with integrity. This is a perfect example."

Here's The Explorer article


The Zee Man said...

"What I told the council is that at some time we have to start governing with integrity. This is a perfect example."

What benefit is it to the Mayor or the current Council to make this statement? The Mayor's statement indicates that he believes that the decisions of the Councils of the past did not demonstrate integrity.

Though, in some instances, he may be right (For example, the firing of David Andrews), it would be best for Mayor Hiremath, however, to refrain from such comments.

Even if he believes a prior Council decision was wrong, there is no benefit to him or the current Council to take a "swipe" at the prior Council. Doing such, merely demonstrates a lack of maturity and lack of control.

Zev Cywan said...

The only thing I see that is (was) wrong with the 'deal' is that it appears that the appraisal might have been flawed, as Doug McKee expressed, thus perhaps skewing the opinion of value by declaring the parcel a potential use for commercial development. In turn, the agreement intertwining the possible difference in the value of impact fees vs. the actual value of the property could have been affected by CREATING a base for a 'zero difference' that 'Basis' might have had to pay if the appraisal had been based on an 'open space' designation and therefor might have come in at a lower value than the 'agreed upon' amount of the 'would have been' impact fees.

As to the quote attributed to Mayor Hiremath, yes, I have to agree that this was an inappropriate statement given that no further rationale was given by him relative to specifics thus leaving wide open the question as to that which or to whom he was referring. However, during many Council terms there does appear to have been several instances of questionable integrity in the governance of Town and now it is up to Council, Mayor included, to prove that 'times have changed'.

Oro Valley Mom said...

Zev, I agree that many prior councils made questionable deals regarding the value to the taxpayer of fee waivers and/or tax subsidies. But this clearly wasn't one of them. Even Joe Hornat, I recall, got up and praised the prior council for making this win-win deal unanimously.

Clearly, there is a value to the taxpayers to have a world-renowned, tuition-free charter school at their doorstep. Still, the prior council did not want to repeat the mistakes of previous councils by waiving the impact fees entirely, but instead wanted something tangible in return for the taxpayer dollars. Thus, the win-win solution of the land transfer, provided that the land proved to be worth at least as much as the fee waiver. The most efficient way to determine that and still allow the school to open for the coming year was for the town and the developer to agree on an appraiser and go with that.

If Hiremath sees this as "a perfect example" of lack of integrity, then he either doesn't know what integrity means, or he doesn't understand the situation.

Zev Cywan said...

OV MOM, I couldn't agree more. My post was meant to be a hypothetical simply following statements made in the article and the questions the 'article' leaves open.

A 'Basis' school - I welcome it!

Oro Valley Mom said...

What bothers me the most is that Satish not only showed a lack of integrity during the campaign ("I am the only candidate..."), but that he also sent out mailers with aphorisms such as "Competence over controversy." And here he is creating controversy where none existed!