Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Guest View-Mayoral Candidate Pat Straney: "What A Difference A Year Makes"

Ever since July 28 of this year when I declared my candidacy for mayor in the 2015 Oro Valley Recall Election, I have been asked many times why I am running again for the Office of Mayor. “What is different from a year ago?”

The short answer to that question is, “A whole lot has changed and – unfortunately – a whole lot has not changed!”

Allow me to share my thoughts, and provide some of the details and context behind my statement. During the 2014 election, very few “hot button” issues that had been created (or were in the process of being created) by the dysfunctional town council were commonly recognized or acknowledged by the Oro Valley community-at-large. The issues were starting to boil over but did not break through the “all is well in Oro Valley mantra” declared over and over again by some of the town leadership. Too many residents liked what they were hearing and did not look deeper into the truths behind the headlines being touted as facts.

The subsequent divisiveness in the community created by the actions of the current town leadership is stunning!!

I campaigned on the need to improve the overall municipal governance and leadership of the Town of Oro Valley and described several areas of opportunity for improvement:
  • Bring an atmosphere of civility, integrity and teamwork to the town council, town staff and the community-at-large. (Interestingly, the Majority 4 have borrowed my slogan for their use in their campaign efforts this year.); 
  • Utilize “best practices” and “lessons learned” employed by successful businesses and other municipalities to improve town governance; 
  • Improve transparency and openness in town governance to facilitate an atmosphere of “inclusiveness” for all residents.
In spite of these goals, the “uncommon timing” and “partisan balloting requirements” of last year’s election cycle coupled with low voter turnout failed to bring needed change to our town. But 2015 brings us a whole new set of circumstances that directly affect all residents and businesses and cannot be ignored (panel on left)

In addition, “self-serving” interpretation of the intent of the General Plan, along with Planning and Zoning change requests approved by the current town leadership, have resulted in the type of home and overdone apartment construction we are currently witnessing in Oro Valley.

To top it all off, we have the controversial El Conquistador “deal” that commits us (the tax payers) to large capital investments, long-term subsidies and significant operating losses for the foreseeable future. This “deal” was accomplished in a “less than open manner”, and is based on a flawed business plan and incomplete due diligence prior to the purchase of the properties. Very importantly, it puts Oro Valley in direct competition with private businesses in our community.

We are at the point where it is necessary to take an honest look at the governance of our town and what steps to take to begin the healing of this great town.

Oro Valley residents and business alike deserve a professional, respectful and transparent mayor and town council that functions in an atmosphere where all resident’s feel welcome to share their opinions and are respected for their positions on important town issues and decisions. As mayor, I pledge that I will make you - the citizens of Oro Valley - my special interest group. Thank you for your support and for your vote.

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