Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Oro Valley Resident Bristow: "Our parks and recreation facilities are for our residents first"

In recent years, the Town Of Oro Valley has designated its parks and recreation facilities as a vehicle for increasing tourism to Oro Valley. The objective is to use the facilities to boost economic growth. This directive is not in the 2005 General Plan. It is, however, in the 2014-15 town strategic plan.

Not all residents are pleased with this focus.

Some believe, as does resident Don Bristow, that the needs of Oro Valley's residents should be the over reaching objective of determining the futue of Oro Valley's parks and recreation facilities.

Don spoke of this at the Oro Valley Town Council meeting of May 6. The following are his remarks:
At the April 29, 2015 Council Study Session for the 2015/2016 Town Budget, the Parks and Recreations Director presented her proposed budget. While there were several areas of concern within this proposed budget, the overriding Focus Areas that served as the basis of this budget are of particular concern.

Two Focus Areas were identified:
  1. Economic Development which was to: "Support cultural, entertainment and sporting events."
  2. Parks, recreation, and cultural development which had as a goal:
    "Develop exceptional recreational and cultural facilities and programs that attract visitors and events that enhance residents’ quality of life and strengthens the economy."
The first focus area is 100% economic development with no parks and recreational focus for the residents. The second area offers the residents an enhanced quality of life - if their life style fits with what attracts visitors and events to strengthen the economy.

I support parks and recreational opportunities for the residents of Oro Valley.

In my opinion the foremost purpose of our parks and recreational programs and facilities is to support the needs of the residents. This would include sporting events that result from Oro Valley team activities. Economic development and strengthening the economy shouldn’t be the primary reasons for our parks and recreational programs.

If the Town can’t support the parks and recreational needs of the majority of the residents first, it must tell us why.

Please change the focus of the Parks and Recreational Department to put the residents first.
Don Bristow is a long-time Oro Valley resident and 2014 candidate for Oro Valley Town Council. Don is a frequent speaker at Oro Valley council meetings and has been a member of various Oro Valley committees.

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