Monday, August 22, 2016

Guest View-Brendan Burns: Help Make Oro Valley a Better Place!

Brendan Burns is one of the three incumbents running for re-election to the Oro Valley Town Council. If elected, they will help make Oro Valley a better place. Here’s what you need to know about Brendan Burns.
Brendan’s Vision for Oro Valley
My main priorities are: (1) fiscal responsibility, (2) development of recreation, arts and culture, (3) attraction of high tech/biotech employment, (4) public safety, and (5) smart growth.

Public Safety
Public safety is government’s number one priority and the council should never take any action that diminishes our police force’s ability to protect Oro Valley.

The council must spend time managing the police department’s operations and budget to ensure that the highest level of safety is provided.

Government can always become more efficient and streamlined and the police department is no exception. By effectively managing the police department, we can ensure that our officers are properly trained, that morale is high, and that Oro Valley continues to be a safe community. We must ensure that we always have adequate funds to (1) retain quality officers by providing pay raises or other benefits to increase morale, (2) provide our officers quality training, and (3) allow the department to adapt and stay ahead of developing security threats to Oro Valley.

Recreation and Arts and Culture
The long term survival of Oro Valley is incumbent on transforming our town into a center for culture, art, and upscale dining and shopping. 

In order to balance our budget we will need additional revenues. The only way to balance our budget is to increase sales tax revenues. By focusing developments on art, culture, and upscale businesses, we can attract residents from throughout southern Arizona who will spend money in Oro Valley. This will provide increased revenue to balance our budget with the added benefit of the taxes being paid for by non Oro Valley residents. That is why I am adamant that Oro Valley must maintain its unique upscale nature. If we allow Oro Valley to become just another suburb of Tucson, we will not produce enough sales tax revenue to balance the budget.

I support the continued development of Naranja Park to include additional multi‑use fields as well as new baseball diamonds. I will also work hard to expand the aquatic center to include a zero depth pool with a water play structure and features, an adventure walking crossing, and a lazy river.

Oro Valley must continue to attract high‑tech employers such as Ventana and Icagen. We need to increase our competitive edge over other locations by offering great schools and a high quality of life to their employees. 

I will work with high‑tech employers to ensure that Oro Valley continues to attract new high‑tech jobs. I bring a young professional’s perspective that will allow the town to develop programs aimed at attracting professional families while also increasing support for our senior citizens and retirees through recreational activities, outdoor spaces, and programs.

Fiscal Responsibility
I do not support a property tax and voted against the increase to the sales tax. We need to grow our revenue base and not simply rely upon continually tax increases to pay for our out of control spending.

Over my last four years I have been a watchdog protecting the people’s money from wastefully spending. Oro Valley is in financial trouble as the acquisition of the community center is costing millions more than originally projected. I will continue fighting to stem the hemorrhaging losses inflicted by the community center.

We must ensure that Oro Valley maintains its uniqueness by protecting our scenic views, natural trails, open spaces, and night sky.

About Brendan Burns
Brendan Burns earned his Bachelor’s degree in government and international relations from the University of Notre Dame in 2001. While at Notre Dame, he was enrolled in Army ROTC and received his commission as a Second Lieutenant. Brendan earned a law degree from the University of Arizona in 2003, and from 2004-2008, he served on active duty in the Army JAG Corps as an attorney. He continued his service in the Army reserves, reaching the rank of Major, before leaving the military in 2014. He graduated Cum Lauder from Notre Dame and Magna Cum Lauder from the University of Arizona. Brendan currently works as an attorney in private practice. He lives with his three beautiful children, ages 10, 8 and 5, and they love living in Oro Valley.