Tonight, the Greater Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce and the local advertising circular will host a candidate forum (See right panel for details). It is the 3rd of 4 forums. Both sponsoring organizations have been heavy supporters of the incumbents. The local advertising circular, for example, ran a recall Zinkin ad next to a posting by Zinkin explaining his position. And the Chamber lives off the largess of the town. So, really, we don't expect the challengers to be given much of a chance.
Still, we think that is it important to set the record straight regarding assertions made by candidates at last week's SunCity Oro Valley Forum since we may hear these again:
False Assertion: There Is No Division On Council Because Most Votes Have Been 7-0
Fact: One Measures Disharmony By Displayed Actions and Attitudes, Not By Votes. Besides, Most Council Votes Are "No Brainers"
Whether or not there is divisiveness and a lack of civility on the part of the Majority-4 can not be measure by "vote counts." Divisiveness is measured by actions. The actions of the Majority-4 for the past 2 years demonstrates an effort to divide and not harmonize the council. They think that there are no consequences when they try to recall Council Member Zinkin, marginalize the ideas of Council Member Garner, and intimidate Council Member Burns with impunity.
The only ideas the Majority-4 accept are their own. They never consider ideas of the minority. For example, the minority, seeking to understand options for future revenue sources, and there are many options beyond a property tax, sought to put the item up for discussion. They were voted down by the Majority-4. Something is wrong when only some of the ideas are considered.
The Majority-4 wants to convince you to measure "divisiveness" by votes cast at council meetings. They asserted this at the SunCity Forum. According to them, 59% of the votes cast in council meetings from June 2012 to July 2014 were 7-0 votes.
There have been 15, 4-3 votes. If the vote count has any validity as a measure of division, it is not only in the number of 4-3 votes. It is in the quality of the no votes. The no votes concerned important matters like:
- Approval of a Master Sign Plan for El Dorado
- Reappointment to CDRB (was this the Gil Alexander hearing?)
- Reimbursement from the general fund for TEP underground lines
- A Platt amendment for single family home
- Changing the Chief of Police Reporting Structure
- General Plan Amendment for Vistoso Highlands
- Election of Vice Mayor Waters
- Oro Valley Personnel Policy
- 2014/2015 Budget Adoption of Final Budget
Division? You think? Repeat: All the no votes are always those of the minority.
We conclude that, by any, measure, qualitative or quantitative, there is great division on this council. As a result, the voices of those who support the minority are never heard.
Fact: All 7 Council Members Voted To Put Home Rule On The Ballot
Incumbent candidate Mayor Satish Hiremath dropped this one at last weeks SunCity Oro Valley Forum:
"Keep in mind, there are members of this council, who are not up for reelection who voted 'no' on home rule."You will vote on Home Rule in November. Its passage allows Oro Valley to spend considerably more that the amount that would be allotted by state limits. Oro Valley residents have approve home rule ballot measures every time the measure has been on the ballot.
Mayor Hiremath is wrong. All 7 council members voted to put "home rule" on the ballot
False Assertion: Candidate Bristow Is Against The Development of Parks
Fact: Candidate Bristow Is For The Planned, Not Haphazard, Development of Parks
At this same forum, Council Member Lou Waters alluded to a lack of support on the part of Candidate Don Bristow regarding parks. "I find it most difficult to find that Mr. Bristow is on the "your Voice our Future" committee." Waters made this assertion after Bristow had observed that Oro Valley moved ahead with building 2 ball fields at Naranja Park before completing a current town-sponsored study on what to put at the park. Bristow stated that the plan should be developed before the project begins.
Bristow has never said he was against Parks. He is against haphazard, one-off, unplanned adventures.
False Assertion: Oro Valley "...Does Not Have A Lot of Challenges"
Fact: Oro Valley Has Many Challenges Facing It, Including Protecting Our Lifestyle
Council Member Joe Hornat measures Oro Valley's challenges in "dollars and cents." He, like Mayor Hiremath, see no other challenges facing Oro Valley.
So, we present a list of some of the items put forth by the challengers and others:
- Oro Valley moves forward on building things without a plan, such as the ball fields at Naranja Park;
- Oro Valley moves forward with a flawed "remodeling" plan for the pool. Then, after being told that the initial drawings were not sufficient to produce a world-class pool, it raids the bed tax and contingency funds to fund twice what it planned to spend on the Oro Valley Aquatic Center;
- Oro Valley fails to move forward on items that were agreed upon when there was a plan, such as Steam Pump Ranch;
- Oro Valley still does not have a Community Center, despite paying "lip service" to the need for one for 4 years;
- "Civility, Integrity and Teamwork" has been replaced with "arrogance and dismissiveness" on the part of the Majority-4. Our community is divided. Bringing Oro Valley together is a big challenge.
- Oro Valley must consistently work to do things things smarter: "Less money does not mean less services," according to Mayoral Candidate Pat Straney.
Today, Oracle Road is becoming like Ina Road in Marana: Traffic lights, heavy vehicular traffic, shopping centers and schlock signs. 800 new apartments will increase population density along Oracle Road, disproportionately burdening the need for town services. Dark Skies ordinances need to be created to eliminate huge illumination signs like the 2 LA Fitness signs,. How about our views and hillsides? These certainly must be protected against the onslaught of requested general plan and zoning amendments.
We could go on and on, but we think you get the gist.
Read the Arizona Daily Star's Fact Check of the Rancho Vistoso Forum.