Thursday, December 18, 2014

Thursday Mid Day Special: El Con Purchase Referendum Petitioning Underway

There are citizens of Oro Valley who are opposing Wednesday's Oro Valley Town Council's 4-3 approval of the purchase of theThe El Conquistador Golf and Tennis Country Club. They have established a political action committee.

The group filed a statement of organization this morning with the Oro Valley town clerk. The group now has 30 days to secure sufficient Oro Valley registered voter signatures to force a voter referendum on the purchase.

This filing complicates the situation regarding the purchase.

The filing presents a legal challenge to the town. Oro Valley can continue to negotiate with HSL. This is what last night's vote charged town manager Caton to do. However, the town can not consummate an agreement before the 30-day petition filing deadline. If sufficient signatures are obtained, then the town can only move forward with the transaction if it is voter approved.

The filing for a referendum also presents a challenge to HSL Properties. HSL Properties is the purchaser of the El Conquistador Golf and Tennis Country Club. and the El Conquistador Resort.  According the last night's council discussion, HSL was scheduled to buy the property from MetLife today.

HSL's timing regarding the sale to Oro Valley may be such that they can not wait for either the 30 day or vote, if one occurs. Mayor Hiremath stated at last night's meeting that HSL had other buyers that would purchase the property if Oro Valley did not agree to do so.  A delay in timing could trigger such an event.

If voting actually does occur, it is likely that more voters will vote in this referendum than in the August mayoral and council election. This is because all Oro Valley registered voters would receive ballots or be able to vote at the polls as opposed to just those who are registered partisans or who asked for ballots. Also, the issue is a "hot button" for many.

No comments: