Monday, January 19, 2015
HSL Will Wait At Least Until May For Oro Valley To Purchase El Conquistador Country Club
HSL Properties will wait until a May, if necessary, to allow the Town Of Oro Valley to purchase the El Conquistador Country Club. This was reported at a meeting of the The Greater Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce last Thursday.
Lopez' statement puts into question Mayor Hiremath's assertion that the town had to purchase the property quickly or that the opportunity to do so would go away. This was he reason Mayor Hiremath gave as why he pushed the split council approval.
Lopez also disclosed at this meeting the nature of the transaction. According to him, Mayor Hiremath approached Lopez regarding the town's purchase of the facility. Mayor Hiremath stated that it was his role as mayor to find opportunities for the Town Of Oro Valley. So it made sense that he would have sought this opportunity to purchase the El Conquistador Country Club.
According to Lopez, Mayor Hiremath negotiated a deal on behalf of the Town Of Oro Valley. Lopez said HSL wanted $2million for the property. Lopez noted that Mayor Hiremath told him that he was authorized to purchase it for up to $1million, in 3 interest free annual installments. Lopez agreed to that deal.
According to a statement made by Council Member Burns at the December 3 Council meeting, Mayor Hiremath was never authorized to negotiate a deal for the purchase of the El Conquistador Country Club. Burns clarified this further for us writing that “We never authorized the mayor to do anything. It was not a resolution but rather direction given in the exec session."
HSL may not have to wait until May.
LOVE has been told by TOOTH that more than sufficient valid signatures have been filed with the Oro Valley Town Clerk to require a public vote in May. Town Clerk Julie Bower has 20 business days to issue her ruling on whether she approves the petitions. If so, the process moves to the County Election office for review. This adds another 15 business days to the process. So, we are looking a decision sometime in late February.
However, the process could push beyond that. If either the town or the county rejects the petitions, they will have to prove the rejection to more than 3,100 signees, Sun City, the community at large, the Arizona Attorney General, advocacy groups, and perhaps a court. The process could become long and arduous, pushing the purchase date beyond May.
It is often the case that the courts become involved in referendum decisions.
This was the case when Oro Valley residents went to court to become a town in 1978. That was a 2-year delay. It was the case when a group of concerned citizens won the right for residents to vote on the Oro Valley Marketplace almost a decade ago. That delayed the agreement between the town and Vestar, the developer of the Marketplace, almost a year. Though we hope that this is not the case here, it is possible that it will be so. This thing could just drag on if the petition is rejected.
How long with HSL wait? Will HSL wait beyond May?
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