Saturday, October 17, 2015

Don Cox' Triple E Pac Flyer: "Elections Matter" Hits The Streets

Oro Valley resident and chief new candidate attacker Don Cox sent, through his Triple E Pac, a four page mailer alleging "stuff" about the new candidates.  So, we asked the candidates to comment on Cox' assertions and we checked the facts:

Steve Didio
He fought against the reorganization of Coyote Run
Response: "As many of you know, I am the father of a severely handicapped son, Cameron, age 27 (photo attached). My wife Nan and I have dedicated ourselves to putting his needs first in all respects. Cam is our only child, and has brought us many blessings and much pride through the years. It has been an inspiration to both of us watching him overcome the many significant challenges he faces on a daily basis.

Steve and Cam
Using Dial-A-Ride
And many of you have heard me discuss the town’s transportation service for the elderly and disabled, formerly known as Coyote Run, and now called sun Shuttle Dial-a-Ride. Since 2010, Nan and I, along with a strong group of advocates for this service, have worked very hard to retain and continually improve this service for Oro Valley.

The current Mayor wanted to shut down Coyote Run in 2010 and 2011, and “The Friends of Coyote Run” prevented this from happening through hard work and advocacy for seniors and the disabled. We are all very proud of the fact that our actions saved Coyote Run, the jobs of the drivers and staff, and enabled the development of service we have today.
LOVE Fact Check
Didio's response is exactly as it happened. You can read our reports on this as they were written back then.. (Source) Didio had a right to be  upset that the Mayor and his fellow majority so quickly tried to eliminate this service without any consideration of the needy. It was council member Bill Garner who "saved the day" by identifying a source for funding this critical service after the Majority-4 had voted to cut the service.

Ryan Hartung
Did not vote in last town election
Response:  "It's true, I did not vote in the previous election. I'm fairly certain that Don Cox only mentioned the last election because he saw I did vote in the ones before that. The reason I didn't vote in the last election is that, although I did not like what Hiremath, Waters, Hornat and Snider were doing to Oro Valley, I did not feel a connection to Pat Straney and Don Bristow or know if they would be any better. I only vote if I feel I am properly informed or fully support a candidate running. However, having worked with Don Bristow extensively on the recall and with Pat Straney during this election, I have found them to be two of the most informed people in Oro Valley and knowing what I know now I would vote for either of them in a heartbeat."
LOVE Comment
Seems to us that Hartung exhibited good judgment by not voting last August. At that time, he probably was registered as an independent and probably didn't get a ballot.  (See Straney LOVE Fact Check) Not voting in an election when you don't like the incumbents and don't know the challengers demonstrates good judgment.

Shirl Lamonna
Botched a referendum
"It is truly unfortunate that the people of Oro Valley did not get to vote on the purchase of the El Conquistador Country Club, Golf and Tennis Facilities. We secured more than 3,000 signatures to make a referendum on this purchase possible - but our effort was thwarted by a simple "serial number." It was a mistake that anyone could have made. Certainly the town clerk could have clarified that "number" meant "serial number" when we first took out the petitions.

The only recourse after the referendum failed was a recall effort. Again, the community came out in droves to sign recall petitions for those who made the decision to buy this financial albatross.

In the end, this election finally gives Oro Valley residents a voice in the matter. I am 'your choice for a voice' in this election."
 LOVE Fact Check
Shirl Lamonna stood up for the thousands of Oro Valley residents who opposed the purchase of the El Conquistador Country Club. She and others spent thousands of hours getting thousands of signatures only to have them rejected because the Oro Valley Town Clerk had, we believe deliberately, knew but did not tell Lamonna or the other organizers the correct serial number to put on the petitions. The clerk could have told her that when Lamonna took out the petitions. Though the court upheld the clerk's right to do that, there is something so wrong about that.

Pat Straney
Lost the last town election for Mayor.
"That was then. This is now. This is a recall election. It is about the poor judgment of the current mayor in leading the purchase of the El Conquistador Country Club, raising our sales tax to pay for enormous losses and then forcing all of this on the people of our community with yet another 4-3 vote with the support of 3 council members who also have been recalled. They did this after the last election. Their actions and their cavalier disregard of the concerns of many in our community is what makes this election different. The publics’ trust has been violated and as a result this time is going to be different.”
LOVE Fact Check
The August 2014 election was flawed because independent voters did not receive ballots unless they had requested them. Most did not request the ballot:
"The election was remarkable in that voter turnout was exceptionally low. Only 12% of Oro Valley's 12,769 poll eligible voters voted. Only 54% of those who received mail-in ballots bothered to vote. In the 2010 Mayoral election, 14,766 votes were cast. In this election, 9,263 votes were cast. That is a difference was 5,503 fewer votes cast. That is astounding." (Source: LOVE 8-27-14)
Besides, a person who runs for a position a second time, after losing the first time, is demonstrating grit and character, two characteristics critical to the role of Mayor.

Pat Straney and Shirl Lamonna
Sued Town Of Oro Valley for allowing other candidates on the ballot
LOVE Fact Check:
The other candidates did not comply with the rules for filing their petitons. The only  way to insure that candidates on the ballot are valid candidates is for someone petition the courts for a decision.

Candidate Burke did not submit sufficient valid signatures to be on the ballot. Yet, he is on the ballot because the town did nothing but count the number of signatures before approving them. This is all they were legally required to do.

As you will read from a guest view from Lamonna that LOVE will publish Wednesday, she helped finance the suit to protect the integrity of the election process, once again demonstrating that she is quite willing to stand up for the people of Oro Valley.

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