Monday, August 3, 2015

We're Back: Our July Review

LOVE is back. Ready to roll. Here's a quick look at what happened while we were offline.
Hirmath recall election approved... to happen in November
In June, the Oro Valley Citizens for Open Government submitted petitions containing more than 3,400 signatures seeking the recall of Oro Valley Mayor Hiremath. The petitions were reviewed by the Oro Valley town clerk and then by the Pima County Clerk. The results is that far more than sufficient signatures were obtained. Hiremath's name will be on the November recall election ballot.

Straney To Seek Mayor Position
Oro Valley resident Pat Straney has announced that he will seek election for the position of Oro Valley Mayor this November.  Straney, who lost to Hiremath in the partisan, low turnout August election last year.

Straney believes that results will be different this time. "Everyone will receive a ballot for this election, not just partisans. In addition, last summer, there was no golf course purchase, no aura of a backroom deal and no half cent sales tax increase. Believe me, this time around I will be not be timid about drawing a stark contrast between me and my opponent or my vision for Oro Valley going forward.”

Learn more about Pat on his website.

Challengers Seeking Signaures
All of the candidates are seeking signatures so that they can get on the ballot. Their petitions must be submitted by September 4.

The 3 council candidates are looking to add to their signature list, even though they have signatures above the threshhold level of 526. Pat Straney is looking for signatures as he has just started. If you are interested in signing there petitioners, you can do so at the Oro Valley Library tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday, from  9 – noon each day.

The incumbents do not need to go through this process since they already hold office and they are the ones being recalled.

If you are interested in getting a election sign for Dr. Hartung you can reach him at

November Election Line-up Is Set
The November election is a "head to head" competition. The lineup is:
  • Satish Hiremath incumbent v and Patrick Straney, challenger
  • Lou Waters incumbent v and Steve Didio challenger
  • Joe Hornatm incumbent v Ryan Hartung, challenger
  • Mary Snider, incumbent and Shirl Lamonna Challenger
There is a world of difference between these choices. Our only question: Will Oro Valley's voters do their homework to learn what these differences are?

"Lie, Intimidate and Bully?" Not so, according to council candidate Dr. Ryan Hartung
Mayor Hiremath  resorted to "name calling" and "labeling" his opponents. He was quoted in the Explorer as saying that the petition group, OVCOG would "lie, intimidate and bully." These strong words, not supported by fact, were refuted by OVCOG head and now council candidate Dr. Ryan Hartung. Dr. Hartung addressed council in late June:
"I am not a liar. I am not a bully. I don't intimidate people. I am a father of two who wants to be left alone and hang out in his house. I saw wrong in Oro Valley and I'm trying to fix what I see as a wrong. I have never come out and called names to anyone else and I would appreciate it if that is not the same for me."
Name calling and unfounded accusations on the part of a sitting Mayor of any community is child like.

Majority-4 Supporters Print Identical Letters In Explorer
The Explorer printed two letters from Majority-4 supporters in July. The articles contained virtually identical wording. As one of our readers pointed out: "Apparently, both they and their supporters are incapable of independent thought." Many believe that the printing of these letters and negative comments about opposing candidates will be the hallmark of the Majority-4 campaign. The opposing candidates, however, plan to take the opposite tack. They are sticking to the facts and have stated to LOVE that they will run "clean" campaigns.

For the past 5 years, the Explorer's preference has been to print, unedited, anything that is submitted to them by the town or any member of Majority-4. This was the operating model of the prior editor's reign. Thus, we referred to the Explorer as the "local advertising circular" since it was not, in any way, a journalistic piece. We understand that new editor Rupkalvis will not print letters from candidates. We hope, however, that he will teach his staff  to provide critical think to that which they do print. Printing relatively identical letters letter from two different people shows a complete lack of thinking.

Civility Lost
The council majority has yet another web page. This one is about how they claim to stand for "civility."

As one reader wrote us:
"With Hiremath's constant rants and character assassination, Snider's husband accosting Brendan [Burns] at the Community Center Grand Opening, and Waters' wife accosting an Oro Valley resident when he was delivering campaign flyers for Mike Zinkin, the have a lot of nerve carrying the civility banner!"
Are they "Civil?" You tell us.

We will publish more on "civility" next Wednesday.

Majority-4 initiated a money transfer from their PAC to a private PAC... One that has no bank account
In January, Oro Valley resident Don Cox established a PAC. The PAC is named: "Triple E - Effective, Efficient, and Effortless Growth Management." The type of committee listed on the organization is a "committee organized for the purpose of making independent expenditures." Its seed money contributors are Council Members Waters and Hornat.

Council members Lou Waters and Joe Hornat  transferred $500 each to this PAC to this PAC on February 9 and February 12, respectively. The money came from their "Vote Lou Waters" and "Vote Joe Hornat" PACs.

The PAC did not list a bank to which funds are to be deposited in its filing. This is contrary to law. We wonder where the money went?

Want to learn more?

Really? Does Oro Valley really need a press release to explain the color of golf course grass?
Early in July, the town issued a press release explaining why the grass on the golf course turned brown. The explanation said the color change was due to aeration of the golf course. Aerification is performed in the hot, summer months, when fewer people are using the golf courses."

The process of aerification lifts cores from the soil, leaving them on the grass. So, that causes the brown appearance. However, the grass itself does not turn color from this process.

Our opinion: It really is a waste of town resources to create and then issue a press release on something of so little interest and consequence to most town residents. Would the town issue a press release if, for example, a water fountain breaks at the community center? At best, these types of notices belong on a bulletin board in the clubhouse and not as an official press release of the town of Oro Valley.

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