"Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my honor to deliver my fifth 'State of the Town Address' as your newly reelected Mayor...I'm pleased to tell you that, in 2015, our house is in order. That is not by accident. It is by design."
Friday, an upbeat, enthusiastic Mayor Hiremath delivered this opening remark to 520 attendees at the "State Of The Town" address. The event was held at the Hilton Tucson El Conquistador Golf and Tennis Resort. The event was sponsored by the Greater Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce.
"It has been through the deliberate building of relationships with residents, businesses, and employees, that the Town Of Oro Valley has been able to meet and exceed the community's expectations."The Mayor told LOVE that he chose this theme because it was the next step of a plan for Oro Valley that he identified when he was elected in 2010. Prior year theme's were:
- The need for Oro Valley to be more business and development friendly in order to achieve financial success without the need for a property tax(2010);
- Encouraging the development community to invest in Oro Valley (2011);
- Improving intergovernmental-regional cooperation (2012); and
- A "thank you" to Oro Valley's dedicated employees for their many accomplishments (2013)
"We need to hear from you," Hiremath observed so that the town can make decisions that are best for the whole community.
Mayor Hiremath asserted that citizen input is critical at the local level. Otherwise, those making decisions will have no idea of what the community wants. "Unfortunately. there seems to be a disconnect for some of us," referring to the fact that there are some who are simply not engaged.
This is something which LOVE has observed. It is an area in which we most certainly agree with the Mayor. There is no excuse for resident apathy. People who are willing to "gripe" should also be willing to work to remedy that gripe. Indeed, if you don't get involved in some way in our community then you will have a community that may not reflect what you want. Please read the guest view of Oro Valley resident Bill Adler that we posted last Monday. Bill explains what it takes to become involved and why it is so important for you to do so.
Mayor Hiremath referred to the creation of the 2015 General Plan as an area in which Oro Valley wants community input. "Community input is critical" and there are ample ways for our citizens to get involved. The Mayor observed, and on Friday LOVE reported, that Oro Valley was recognized for its community outreach efforts in developing this plan.
The Mayor spoke of other activities undertaken by the town to enhance citizen involvement:
- The Town Of Oro Valley and The Oro Valley Police Department smart phone "APS" for residents to use to get information directly from the town.
- The town gathers community groups to identify citizen needs. Such a group has been working on a Naranja Park plan.
- A Youth advisory Council is sponsored by the town manager's department
- The Oro Valley Police Department has a new "Coffee With A Cop" Program
"I challenge each and every resident to engage with us to strengthen the relationship." Oro Valley will only be successful, he concluded "...if the town and the community are equally engaged."
(The town will post the video of the Mayor's remarks. We will link to it on LOVE's right panel.)