Monday, September 8, 2014

Guest View-Bill Adler: "Citizen Involvement Is What Shapes Oro Valley's Future"

I think the the outcome of the election reflects the lack of opposition from "boots on the ground".

The rhetoric in social media - at least in Oro Valley - without being reinforced by testimony at public meetings where decisions are made and what media we have is present, results in few points of view being changed.

Oro Valley has committees formed now to revise the General Plan. Although I don't recognize all the names on the Committees, I recognize enough to also recognize the agendas that will be represented.

It is in these kinds of meetings that direction is set, attitudes are adjusted, and confidence is restored. Without involvement in the meetings under the radar: Planning and Zoning; Parks and Recreation; Water Utility; Conceptual Design Review; Historic Preservation, the general public cannot begin to understand how the process feeds up through staff and management to Council.

Just going to Council meetings is not enough, and sometimes going to all meetings doesn't seem to be enough because there are agendas at the top of Town leadership that are difficult to move.

I believe the Town needs to create more public opportunities for dialog...Town Hall meetings for example, where a couple of items are on the table and people of every persuasion can show up, speak out, and make a difference. "Council on your Corner" needs to be re introduced with more frequency. But, if offered, these opportunities need to be used, and that's often inconvenient. However, it is in there forums where "boots on the ground" can make a difference.
Bill also recommends reading David Brooks NY Times stimulating article: The Mental Virtues. In it, Brooks discusses six "cerebral values".  It is a thought provoking article.
Bill Adler is a longtime Oro Valley resident. Bill has served on many of Oro Valley's boards and commissions.  He is currently a member of Oro Valley's Board of Advisors, attends many Oro Valley board and commission meetings, and is a frequent "call to the audience" speaker at Oro Valley town council meetings.  You can post a comment here or write Bill directly at

1 comment:

Richard Furash, MBA said...


You are spot on but I also think that the OV Town processes could be much improved if these various committees were to establish a "committee portal" (read blog) on the towns web site that could be used to discuss and receive feed back from the public. The public you are talking about has jobs, family commitments, and other scheduling issues that prevents them from attending all the various meetings (nine listed on this web page with several on the same date) you are referencing, but these portals could very efficiently open a valuable new channel of communication that we all agree is needed. OBTW -- numerous major corporations are now operated via similar portals. Government needs to quit hiding behind their legacy board agenda - public testimony style of managing and get on board utilizing technology to expand and improve their processes. OBTW - 2 ... the town recently hired a web guru so additional cost to establish and manage these portals should be minimal. I expect that the bigger issue is to educate committees on how to use the portals for the best results.