Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Chamber President Perry Plays Politics.. Impunes Motives... Gets it Wrong.

It is always a shame when people assume what motivates others. It is especially unfortunate when it implies nefarious motives that never existed. The assumption is often wrong. It is especially troublesome when the president of the Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce, Dave Perry, does it.

Speaking in favor of the town's raising sales tax to support the operation of the El Conquistador Country Club, Perry stated that Resident Shirl Lamonna, leader of the effort to put the purchase of the El Conquistador Country Club on the ballot, spoke to council 3 years ago opposing the rezoning of a property on Rancho Vistoso and Tangerine Road (Parcel 7i).

Perry stated that "Certainly Shirl was motivated [to oppose the rezoning] by the belief that apartments on that property would have negatively impacted her property value." He then projected this "mind set" onto the residents living along the El Conquistador Country Club as a reason people should support the purchase.

Perry was wrong regarding Lamonna's motivation.

In a sharply worded email to Perry, Lamonna responded: "The reasons for opposition were ... mirrored by the entire community: Increased traffic and safety issues, increased class size in schools, the unproven market demand for apartments, the need to retain commercial zoning for future services to the community and (last but not least) the inconsistency with Oro Valley’s General Plan Vision, Goals & Policies."

Lamonna continued: "I can only surmise your motive to personally attack me by mentioning my name three times during your 'Call to the Audience' comments and for falsely painting me with selfish motivations."

Her email rebukes Perry for overreaching his role as president of the chamber.

"In your role as President and CEO of the Greater Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce, it is not your role to call out a member of the public in a Town Council meeting particularly due to opposition of the risky and contentious Hilton County Club and Golf Course acquisition. Your role support the mission of the Chamber, which is the following: 'To serve, protect and promote the businesses of the members of the Northern Pima County Chamber of Commerce and the business community in general.'" (Chamber Charter Article IIb).

Perry stated at the council meeting that the Chamber receives $30,000 annually from the town. In return, the chamber is not allowed to become involved in any political activity.

"Lastly," noted Lamonna, "since you speculated on my motives, I therefore shall speculate on yours: The Mayor generously funds your organization; accordingly, you loyally take public political positions and freely misrepresent private citizens. It’s a shame that the Town deems it necessary to fund your organization given your partisan nature."

Council President Perry responded to Lamonna: "Thanks for your comments. Take good care,"

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