On Aug. 1, 1993, my wife I arrived in Oro Valley, after spending the previous 28 years in our home on Long Island N.Y. Knowing we wanted to spend our remaining years enjoying the great weather, views, and everything else it afforded us,we were fortunate to buy a home in La Reserve, and watch as it was being constructed.
That was 23 years ago, and Oro Valley had a population about one-third what it is today. From our vantage point, we were able to look out at the whole valley, most of which was desert, filled with various cactus, giant sahuaros, palo verde and mesquite trees. Not surprising, thousands of other folks, both young and old, soon found what a great community lies just to the north of Tucson, and, literally, right before our eyes, the desert was filled not with the native plants, but asphalt, homes, apartments, and commercial buildings. So much for progress!
Soon after arriving, I became a little familiar with our local government, which, at the time consisted of a mayor and 4 council members. As the years went by, I got involved, attended most council meetings, and became an outspoken critic of many of the decisions made by the majority of the council.
I don’t recall the exact year, but there was a point in time, that Richard Furash and I started a local blog, that I was proud to name the “LOVE blog”-----an acronym for “Let Oro Valley Excel.” Our intention was to keeping our Oro Valley neighbors aware of the goings on in the community, and mainly the politics, and how decisions affected all our lives.
About a dozen or so years ago, the town council grew from 4 to 6 council members, plus the mayor. Although there seemed to almost always be a majority that leaned towards favoring what I refer to, as the “Special Interests,”------builders, developers, and the like, it wasn’t until the election of 2010 that it became evident a “coalition” of 4 were running as “a team,” and garnered enough votes to get elected-----and re-elected again in 2014.
After the 2010 election, it was obvious our voice was not heard by enough concerned Oro Valley voters, and, with regrets of not being able to compete with the tens of thousands of dollars the “Special Interests” were spending to get “their” candidates elected, I gave up on the LOVE blog, and turned it over to my friend Richard, who continued the yeoman task of getting the people aware of what was happening.
Well! My efforts over the years, and Richard’s efforts that are still on going weren’t enough to overcome the “big bucks,” and the results are what we see today.
While Mike Zinkin, Bill Garner and Brendan Burns did all they could, the Majority-4, were always in control of our town's destiny, and that is why, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Oro Valley is losing millions of dollars as a result of being “snookered” by the owner of the El Conquistador resort who had to find a “patsy” to sell his losing golf, tennis and restaurant operation, along with the golf club on La Canada, in order to maintain the Hilton as a “resort.”
From our home in La Reserve, we have a direct view to the 9 hole golf course, and can clearly see, it is almost totally void of golfers and the course is nothing but an eyesore, looking more like a weed invested place, than a golf course, while our money is being sucked away.
So---- that brings me “full cycle.” When I started this lengthy dissertation, I noted we’ve been here since 1993, and never expected to leave. As a result to seeing what 4 people---Mayor Hiremath and council members Hornat, Snider and Waters have done to our community during their tenure, my wife and I decided to leave before things get much worse.
For those old enough to remember the great Edward R. Morrow, award winning newsman from WWll and the famous CBS news show of the 1950;s, “See It Now,” he would always sign off with his famous closing; “Good night and good luck.”
Paraphrasing Mr. Morrow, I want to say to all our Oro Valley friends and neighbors: “Good bye, and good luck.” We know you’ll need it!
(Soon to be former) Oro Valley Resident