Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Mayor Hiremath: ELCON is "A Calculated Risk" for Oro Valley and A Great Opportunity

In an email to us, Mayor Hiremath addressed some of the concerns residents have voiced with regards to the purchase of the The El Conquistador Country Club  and its conversion to an Oro Valley  community and fitness center.

We want to share his thinking directly with you. The headings, added for your reading convenience are ours. The comments are the Mayor's.

The Decision Was Not Rushed
"Unfortunately, the appearance to the general public was that it was "rushed" but that couldn't be further from the truth. The entire council knew about it as well during that time so their "surprise" was a surprise to me!"

It's About Controlling Land In The Middle of Oro Valley
"What it comes down to for me is who is going to "control" the 330+ acres in the middle of our town?"

The Deal Is A Bargain To Preserve Our Land and To Protect Our Property Owners
"In my opinion, $1,000,000 for 330 acres over a three year interest free payment is a bargain deal to preserve what we currently have especially given the entitlements that are currently on that PAD. If a new owner, or HSL for that matter, wanted to build on that property, they could do that legally and no one could stop them. There are 2,500-3,000 sq ft homes worth $750,000 and upwards. Imagine 330+ acres for $250,000 more that we could OWN. There are over 1,300 homes that will be affected. "

There are additional amenities for Oro Valley's residents
"The icing on the cake would be that we have tennis courts, could have basketball courts by converting three of the courts, a turn key community/recreation center and yes....even a golf course!"

Sun City: "We are not building new courses"
"I know Sun City is very concerned about the Town acquiring the golf course and the resulting competition. But ask yourself this? If a private company acquires it, don't they think that it would be worse for them as a private company is out to make money? I would imagine that someone private wouldn't care about any course around the area and will do anything to get the lions share of the golf market. The Town is willing to at least try to find ways where we both can be successful. Also, keep in mind that the El Con golf courses are not "new courses". Sun City should not be threatened as the courses have been there for many years. We are not building new courses."

Oro Valley Is Starting From A Better Position Than Most Golf Courses
"Regarding the other metro region golf courses and the loss of revenue, keep in mind that they all had to raise an enormous amount of capital to acquire the course in the first place. Secondly, what is the trend they are all defaulting to? They are all going to a management company.

Here in Oro Valley we will have zero debt and starting with one of the best management companies in the golf world going into it. A very calculated risk in my opinion."

My Job As Mayor Is To "Open Doors"
"At the end of the day however, it comes down to this....my job as Mayor is to open doors of opportunity for our Town. This is nothing more than an opportunity being presented to Oro Valley. If it pans out, fine. If not, then that is fine as well. Life will still go on. I will still continue to provide and present opportunities for our Town!"
Dr. Satish Hiremath has been Oro Valley's Mayor since 2010. One of his 2014 campaign pledges was to bring community center to Oro Valley. The The El Conquistador County Club purchase, as approved by council, would do that.


Richard Furash, MBA said...

Re Sun City: The concern is not that there might or will be new or additional golf courses to compete with! The concern of many Sun City residents, especially
non-golfers is that we will be paying additional monies in sales taxes while
already having to spend hundreds of dollars each year supporting our HOA community
golf course that is not and has not been a money maker for over a decade.

Richard Furash, MBA said...

Mr. Hemminger, I am frustrated, angry, and saddened by the stance taken by those in Sun City against the purchase of the El Conquistador Country Club. I realize you already pay HOA dues in Sun City. You were aware of the HOA dues in your area when you moved there. Your facilities are exclusive. Non-Sun City residents can not use them. Your lack of interest in supporting a community center that will be available to ALL Oro Valley residents is not only selfish, but short sighted. A community center will improve the lives and property values of ALL Oro Valley residents.

The Town of Oro Valley (and its residents) support several departments, including police, fire, water, roads, etc., that serve the entire town, not just a select few. Those living in Sun City benefit from all of the public services offered by the town.

Maybe you and your Sun City HOA board will open your facilities to ALL Oro Valley residents. That would be fair, since you don't want to help those of us who don't live in your neighborhood acquire a facility.

Richard Furash, MBA said...

Is the property in question open for OV residents to visit and see for ourselves what we're getting?

Richard Furash, MBA said...

With all the money we spent on the aquatic center, how much public use is it getting and how will two more pools impact it?

Richard Furash, MBA said...

The golf course has been open to ALL Oro Valley residents and the public for a few years! That had to be done because the golf course has not and is not making money.

Richard Furash, MBA said...

Cares, I am talking about ALL of the Sun City facilities. I don't think non-Sun City residents can use the facilities there, to include the pool, rec center, tennis courts, etc. Sun City has a community center, yet they don't want the rest of the town to have one. In my opinion, Sun City would not favor a community center whether it was one built from the ground up or the El Conquistador Country Club.

Sadly, a vocal group of Sun City residents seems to think only about their own needs. Several years ago, those residents voted against a school bond measure. Again, this is very shortsighted. Good schools increase property values. Poor, underfunded schools do not.

I am of age to live in Sun City, but am willing to pay for services and facilities that can be used by the entire

Richard Furash, MBA said...

Town of Oro Valley, not just pick and choose what's best for me! (I apologize for the second post, but it was necessary to complete the thought.)

Richard Furash, MBA said...

Sheldon, I'm just wondering if this debate were about universal health care, would you still use the same arguments?

Examples: "Your lack of interest in supporting health care that will be available to all is not only selfish, but short-sighted."..."Universal health care will improve the lives of all residents."..."Maybe you should open your home as a free clinic. That would be fair since you don't want to help those who can't afford health insurance to acquire it."

Just something to think about. Unless your argument applies in all cases, then it's a "selfish" argument.

Richard Furash, MBA said...

The mayor's "story" keeps changing. First this was about having a community center because that's what the residents keep saying they want. Never mind that this community center isn't going to have any of the things that the residents said they wanted in a community center, but somehow this is being done FOR THE RESIDENTS.

Enter the petition drive. Now his story changes to, this is being done to control 330 acres in the middle of town and to protect the property values of the 1300 homes along the golf course. He's using that as a scare tactic to persuade those 1300+ people from signing the petition.

When a friend of mine spoke with him regarding the LaCholla General Plan Amendments and how the proposed plan would diminish property values in the adjacent areas, the mayor said, "I don't owe those homeowners anything."

But now he needs to protect the property values of those living along the golf course??!! There's no consistency in his responses and that indicates that he's not telling the truth.

Richard Furash, MBA said...

I guess today's politicians believe that they can do whatever they want without consequences. This is a huge mistake but no matter what you believe, it should be the people who decide on such a large precarious purchase that will affect all Oro Valley residents for years to come. Why not put it to a vote? Why the rush? If HSL "prefers" to sell the property to the town, then they can wait a few months. If not then sell it to one of the "two private investors" who can afford the renovations and upkeep. If it's such a "great deal" then allow us citizens to do our due diligence and decide for ourselves. If anyone really believes that they can pull this off without raising more
taxes in the future than they have drank the cool-aid and are not fully informed about this endeavor. Wake up OV because there is something fishy going on here and you are about to live in the stink!

Richard Furash, MBA said...

Correction. He said, "The town doesn't owe those homeowners anything."

Richard Furash, MBA said...

That's the best synopsis I've seen on this deal!

Richard Furash, MBA said...

Well ya'll - As most contributors here know I do not always agree with the Mayor (nor should anyone) but in this case I really like his position. It may not happen as planned, but not making an effort is even worse than listening to the "land-of-no" that exists in this community. As for Sun City .... competition will tell the tale. Maybe "ole Del" needs to sell of the fairways for more housing tracts.

Richard Furash, MBA said...

Agreed! The council voted. Time to move on. Success may not be a given, but it is certainly achievable. A positive outcome, which isn't the stretch that it is made out to be by some, benefits the community. And to do nothing....good luck with that. Go Bucks!!