Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Guest View-Bristow and Lamonna: What You Should Know about Your Voice, Our Future: Weekly Update

Oro Valley residents will vote on a new General Plan, Your Voice, Our Future (YVOF), in November 2016.  The Plan will guide Oro Valley for the next 10 years. The Town Of Oro Valley states that it is a "Public Participation Plan." Certainly, the town expended considerable effort to make it so. Yet, despite the town's best efforts, less than 1% of our community participated in the drafting of this plan.

Town Of Oro Valley Expended Significant Effort In Public Outreach
In 2013, a public participation plan was presented to the Town Council. The public outreach included; a phone survey; events at which people placed sticky notes in response to posted questions; online surveys; and paper surveys. Did you participate in one or more of these outreach efforts?

Some 60 Oro Valley residents, including members of Oro Valley Boards and Commissions, offered their time and expertise as part of this project. 43 of these community members were participants of the "Community, Environment, and Development Committees."

From September 2014 through May 2015, using a staff-developed workbook, each of these committees met for a great number of hours to consider, to discuss and to compile up to seven drafts of YVOF.

Ultimately, the public at large did not participate in Drafting This Plan
In June 2015, the Public Review Draft of YVOF (60% Completion) was published. Residents were asked to review it and respond with comments and suggestions. There were approximately 1,200 comments to this version of the plan; however, only about 100 people responded. That’s only .2% of population of Oro Valley.

The comments came from residents (including members of YVOF committees); other residents responding to proposed land use changes; government agencies, Oro Valley Boards and Commissions, SAHBA (Southern Arizona Home Builders Association) and MPA (Metropolitan Pima Alliance).

Recommended Draft (90% completion) was published in September 2015. The 90% version of YVOF does not address the cost to implement the actions nor does it suggest that taxes will be increased.

It is imperative that you read the plan before voting
Each week, we will highlight some of the YVOF Guiding Principles; Community, Environment and Development Committees goals, policies. This week we present two in side panels to this posting.

YVOF will be used for decision making
YVOF will be used by elected officials (Oro Valley Town Council), appointed members (Oro Valley Boards and Commissions) and staff members in making decisions both immediate and long term. These decisions will cover items such as land use, community improvements and service.

YVOF may give the Town Council a greater ability to support unpopular decisions because, as we will point out in future postings, some goals and some action items are contradictory among some chapters of the plan. Therefore, it is extremely important to re-elect councilmembers who will uphold and support the new General Plan.

Get involved with your Town. Read the 90% version of the Your Voice, Our Future, and be ready to vote in November.

Diane Bristow
Shirl Lamonna
Oro Valley Residents