Monday, June 22, 2015

Meet Steve Didio: Oro Valley Town Council Candidate

Oro Valley resident Steve Didio has announced that he will run for a council seat this November. We met Steve for an "up close and personal" interview.

There is no doubt that Didio is qualified to run for office. He brings a knowledge of our community, participation in community activities, public and private sector experience and a good deal of common sense. He has been married 35 years to his wife Nan. They have a special needs adult son, Cam, who lives with them.

Didio was not involved in the recall effort of Council Members Hornat, Snider and Waters. He told us that he has no "axe to grind" with any of the incumbents. "My strong desire is to run a most positive campaign. I will not cast aspersion on any of the council members. I do believe that they think that they are doing the job that they are supposed to do."

Steve is familiar with how things work in Oro Valley politics.

In 2011, Didio and resident Terry Thompson founded "Friends of Coyote Run" which is now called "Friends of Oro Valley Transit." They needed to do so because the Majority-4 had voted to cut the service at the April 20, 2011 meeting. Only Council Member Garner had voted to keep the service. Garner even identified a source to fund the service.

Subsequent to that vote, the council asked appointed council member Solomon and council member Waters to work with "Friends" to find a solution. 

"Solomon ended up being a helpful person.... He changed and saw the light. Therefore, the system was saved" when it rolled over to the Sun Shuttle, which is run by the RTA. "Service is better than it has ever been."

We asked Steve why he has decided to seek a council seat.

"I'm running because I believe that we need to have a lot more independence on the council than we have now." The town needs "People who are going to vote their conscience and their heart; and actually cast independent votes that are not influenced by external factors."

What factors?  The money that is contributed to political campaigns by special interests influences too many council votes in Oro Valley. "I want to put a little more scrutiny on what and where we develop."

Steve does not plan to accept special interest donations.

One difference in thinking between Steve and the Majority-4 is the view of the importance of the general plan. The Majority-4 see the voter approved general plan as a guide. Steve believes it carries more weight than that because it is a voter approved plan. It is a compact between the town and its citizens.

"I'm concerned that the general plan is routinely ignored in favor of making policy that runs counter to the general plan."

Another difference in thinking between Didio and the Majority-4 regards the purchase of the El Conquistador Country Club. Unlike the Majority-4, Didio believes it is not right for the "...the town to be in the golf business. Competing with private enterprises is what has most people in Sun City up in arms. Why should the town be in direct competition with privately run golf courses?"

We asked Steve about the Oro Valley Police Department. We asked because it seems like the department's operations become an issue in every election. "We have an outstanding police department. I plan to get to know the police department and their leadership better during the campaign."

We closed our discussion with Steve by asking him if his perspective on leadership. "My goal is to represent all the residents of Oro Valley, not just those who support me."

You can also learn more about Steve in an article he posted in "Communications Sun City."

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