Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Guest View-Ryan Hartung and Brian Selvy: Recalled Councilmembers’ Website Deliberately Misleads Voters

Councilmembers Mary Snider, Joe Hornat and Lou Water’s “Stand for Civility” website erroneously states: “This election is unnecessary and will cost taxpayers over $150,000.” Call it a scare-tactic or a straight out lie, because this is simply not true and they know it.

The recall election in November will cost $30,000. It would have cost an additional $75,000 if Mayor Hiremath’s recall had been postponed until March 2016 (which is not the case) but at no time would it have ever cost $150,000.

So where did they get their $150,000 figure?

A constituent asked Councilmember Snider for a breakdown of the costs. Snider responded:

“The recall election on November 3, 2015 is estimated to cost $30,000 and the March 2016 Mayoral recall election is estimated to be between $75,000 and $80,000 as it will be an unscheduled election.

Snider continued:
“The Oro Valley taxpayers are required to pay the hard costs incurred to defend the Town Clerk from [the] failed lawsuit and appeals in the amount of approximately $53,500…Total costs to Oro Valley taxpayers, including the legal costs for the failed lawsuit and appeals, will be over $150,000.” Talk about fuzzy math. Hornat, Waters, and Snider included over $53,000 in court costs related to the previous referendum in their calculation.

Let’s be clear. The $53,000 that Snider cites is not part of the recall election costs. The recall and the referendum are two entirely separate things. The referendum was run by a different group of individuals with a completely different purpose. That purpose was to allow the citizens to vote on whether or not they wanted the Town to purchase (with taxpayer money) the El Con Country Club, Golf and Tennis Facilities and turn it into a Community Center.

The recall is a last resort to remove the mayor and three councilmembers who voted to purchase the El Con without due process or due diligence.

Also of note is that despite the Town announcing in a Media Release on July 15th that Mayor Hiremath’s recall would be “added to the ballot for the November 3, 2015 recall election,” (meaning that the entire recall election will cost $30,000) Hornat, Snider, and Waters still have not removed their false $150,000 figure from their website.

First they weren’t straightforward in including the citizens in the El Con purchase and now their “civility” website is disingenuous. In fact, the website also falsely states that they turned “the $3 million deficit they inherited into a $1.7 million surplus.” That assertion will be refuted in a future article.

Dr. Ryan Hartung, Candidate, Oro Valley Town Council
Brian Selvy, Oro Valley Resident
Publisher Note: According to the Town Of Oro Valley, the $30,000 covers the Town's share of the costs to print, mail, process and tabulate the ballots. It also covers the Town's share of the personnel costs, updating the voter registration rolls and other miscellaneous costs of the election. These are the primary costs, so this is not an exhaustive list.

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