Monday, May 19, 2014

Summarily Dismissed: A Story Of The Politics of Oro Valley Voluntary Board and Commission Appointments

We have suspected for some time that appointment to Oro Valley Voluntary Boards and Commissions can be arbitrary and political.   We know, for example, that it is far better to be recommended to a board or commission by a council member than to apply "cold."

We suspected this based on observing that Commissioner Cox has remained on the Oro Valley Planning and Zoning Commission despite using his position to criticize elected officials.  He should have been removed, but he is the the political ally of the Majority-4.

We suspected this based on the dismissal of Oro Valley resident Gil Alexander from a board because he asked too many questions. He is not an ally of the Majority-4.  Read: "The Fix Was In."

Such is life in the "big city" that Oro Valley is becoming.

Town Council discussed the process of selecting members of Oro Valley's Boards and Commissions at the May 7 council meeting.  Council Members Hornat, Snider and Waters  defended the current process.  Their defense of the process confirmed our suspicion.

These are the only town stated qualifications for being on a volunteer town board or commission.

"To serve on a board or commission, members must be residents of the Town, be available to attend the designated meetings and be committed to the completion of the Town’s Community Academy within their term."

Before you rush to apply, recognize that you need much more than what has been stated to serve on a board or commission.  You really do need an "in.

Each board or commission has a town council member as a liaison.  As stated by Council Member Garner at the May 5 council meeting, council liaisons should not be involved in the interview process. (Meeting marker 3:20:08)  Their participation biases those on the selection committee, whomever that may be, to "please" the liaison.

But, the liaison does participate in the interview process and their participation is significant.

It was Council Member Hornat's discussion of the recent process of filling vacancies on the water commission that affirmed this.  Watch his brief discussion of the process.

As he states, he participated in the review of the applications.  As Council Member Hornat explained at the council meeting: "There were 17 applications." Working with Bob Milkey, "We threw out 7 or 8. Some of those were for good reason. There were obviously or potentially conflicts of interest with their employer and what they had done in the past." (Source: 3:25)

Apparently, when they had done in the past includes being critical of a council member.

We know of an individual who applied for an opening on the water commission.  The individual was most surely qualified to serve on the commission as the individual had water rate making and water operations expertise.  The individual is also very current on Oro Valley operations. The individual has also completed the Citizen's Academy.  The individual was most certainly worth of consideration. The individual had not conflict of interest.   The individual submitted an application, expecting to be interviewed.  The interview never happened.


Hornat notes that some applications were thrown out for good reason.  We see no "good reason" for not even considering this individual.  Rather, we think that this individual was not considered for political reasons.  In this instance, this individual has been critical of Council Member Hornat's actions in the past.  Council Member Hornat knows this individual.  It appears that Hornat made sure that this applicant was never considered.

The "no thanks" letter sent by the town said: "Thank you for taking the time to apply for a position on the Water Utility Commission with the Town of Oro Valley. Although you were not selected at this time, we appreciate your willingness to serve the community."

Not selected?   Heck.  Not even considered.

Such is life in the "big city" that Oro Valley is becoming.


Richard Furash, MBA said...

Praying for change in Oro Valley...

Richard Furash, MBA said...

It's clear that they're trying to create their own little kingdom where they and their friends run everything. They demand complete control. Diversity of opinions and ideas is not allowed. Criticism is not allowed. These are hardly the hallmarks of democracy.