Tuesday, October 6, 2015

UPDATED: Candidates Decline Participation In Tonight's Chamber Forum

Mayor candidate Pat Straney and council candidates Steve Didio, Ryan Hartung and Shirl Lamonna have declined participation in tonight's scheduled Oro Valley Chamber Of Commerce candidate forum.

Their decision to not participate in the forum is a matter of fairness, according to a press release this morning.

"A vague format for the forum was provided late Sunday afternoon and concerns had not been addressed as of 5 pm Monday," according to a press release for the four.

"At issue was a list of conditions that the recalled incumbents had imposed upon the Sun City Government Affairs Committee (GAC) in order to participate in the October 3rd Sun City Candidate Forum. The challengers requested utilization of those same conditions for the Chamber Forum to ensure a fair and impartial exchange of ideas but were denied their request."

Challengers requested same treatment from Chamber as granted incumbents at SCOV forum
The incumbents had requested a number of conditions(panel right) before they agreed to appearing at the SunCity forum.

Sun City agreed to all of these demands. You can watch the Sun City forum here.

According to the press release, the incumbents did not foresee any need to request any preset conditions of the Chamber.

An email from candidate Steve Didio clarifies matters further.

"Because of the well-documented close relationship between the recalled incumbents and the Chamber of Commerce, and because the four of us felt that last year's Chamber debate was unfair to candidates Pat Straney and Don Bristow, we requested (panel below) many the same conditions that the incumbents received and that the SCOV leadership granted:

However, after multiple rounds of requests and denials, we felt the best course of action was to withdraw and attend a very important Planning and Zoning Commission meeting tonight instead."

That meeting is a hearing on the town's 90% complete version of the 2015 General Plan.

Candidtes Didio, Hartung, Lamonna and Straney are interested in hearing from the public.

"They will respond to emails and/or reserve space at the Oro Valley Public Library to meet with residents who would like to discuss issues with them individually.

Please direct your emails to:

Steve Didio – stevedidio@comcast.net
Ryan Hartung – ryanhartung1953@gmail.com
Shirl Lamonna – shirlforovcouncil@gmail.com
Pat Straney - vistosopat@aol.com"

(Source: Candidate Press Release and email from Candidate Didio)

Chamber President Perry Responds
In an email from the Chamber, President Dave Perry stated the following: "Some people would suggest those facts compromise our Chamber's ability to be fair and impartial in this forum, and in this election...As the individual who sets the tone for our organization, I hold dearly the values of honesty, fairness, respect and civility. We work extremely hard to do the right thing every day, and we will do so again this evening." (Source: Perry Chamber of Commerce email)

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