Monday, August 29, 2016

Guest View-Diane Peters: Challenges Bring No Solutions To Stem Golf Course Losses

The following is article appeared in the Arizona Daily Independent earlier this month
--- In the July 15th edition of the Arizona Daily Star and the July 20th edition of The Explorer, the candidates for Oro Valley Town Council were asked how they would handle the growing losses of the Community Center and Golf Course operations.
While the incumbents (Brendan Burns, Bill Garner, and Mike Zinkin) all offered actual ideas and solutions, the challengers (Rhonda Pina, Bill Rodman, and Steve Solomon) offered no new ideas or solutions at all.

Below are quotes from the articles:

The Incumbents
Brendan Burns:

  • “Take a portion of the $2.1 million in sales tax revenue and bond for enough capital to make the improvements to the fitness portion of the community center.”
  • “Establish a sub-committee that can bring together the various interests such as the golf members, fitness members, homeowners that abut the courses, and the public.”
  • “The logical first step is to determine the savings if we close the 9-hole course. Closing the course could bring an immediate savings of approximately $500,000.”
  • “Use the land for green open space, a linear park, running trails or a host of other uses that can be developed by the sub-committee.” 
 Bill Garner:

  • “Separate the golf course and Community Center operations.”
  • “Lease out the restaurant or completely shutter it.” 
  • “I would like to see a future study session dedicated to a discussion around specifically the golf course operation…a negotiated meeting of the minds to allow all sides on this issue a seat at the table.” 
 Mike Zinkin:

  •  “First and foremost, the citizens need to be consulted on what they desire to do with that acreage.”
  • “Options could include leasing the golf course or installing a solar farm which would allow the town to raise revenue by selling energy.”
  •  “Close the golf course.” 
  • “The restaurant lost $220,000 in the first 10 months. Contract the restaurant out or close it.” 
The Challengers
Rhonda Pina:

  •  “I’d like to do whatever is possible to try to make the venues a success.”
  • “See if we can continue to keep the operations running.” 
  • “The best course of action for the golf courses is to examine all the facts and work collaboratively as a council to establish realistic solutions.” 
 Bill Rodman:

  • “Provide the oversight necessary to make sure that we’re analyzing it properly.”
  • “If at some point the expenses continue to outstrip the revenues…the golf courses can be closed, partially closed, leased or sold to a third party, and/or made open space.” 
Steve Solomon:

  • “I believe it is the Town Council’s responsibility to ensure that it will be successful.”
  • “I will work with everyone involved to improve its success.” 
Pina and Solomon’s “solutions” are nothing more than vague responses offering no solutions at all, while Rodman’s “solution” is to replicate ideas already being performed quite skillfully by the incumbents and/or offering solutions previously suggested by the incumbents over the course of the past year. One has to wonder why Pina-Rodman-Solomon are hoping to unseat Burns-Garner-Zinkin when the challengers clearly have nothing new to offer to the conversation, to the debate, or to the citizens.

Diane Peters
Oro Valley Resident