Monday, August 15, 2016

Guest View-Joe Lauer: Merits vs. Mudslinging

In the last 6 weeks, there have been multiple letters from Don Cox doing his best to malign the reputation of anyone who disagrees with him. Sadly, I’ve read more cogent arguments from a 5th grader.  I won’t give a rundown...his vitriol doesn’t need any more exposure, but I would implore LOVE readers and Oro Valley voters to please do their homework.

Who is Don Cox?  
Do you know that he’s behind the Triple E. PAC that pays for the professional 4’x8’ billboard signs supporting the 3 challengers for OV Town Council?  The same Triple E. PAC was instrumental in the Nov 2015 Recall election in which Mayor Hiremath and councilmembers Waters, Hornat, and Snider spent nearly $200K, and barely kept their seats. 

$200K for a local town council election? 
Special interest money bought that election and it’s buying this one as well.  The challengers are using the same tactics to win as the Majority-4 used last year – multiple glossy mailers, public safety scare tactics, huge campaign signs, expensive electronic media ads, and the hiring of a Phoenix-based political consulting firm.  Meanwhile, the incumbents, Brendan Burns, Bill Garner, and Mike Zinkin are standing firm with a grassroots citizen-funded campaign.

Challengers disavow knowledge of Triple E
When specifically asked at the Aug 10th Chamber of Commerce candidates’ forum, the challengers disavowed any knowledge of support from Don Cox’s Triple E. PAC.  Most certainly, they know exactly who’s backing them but they clearly know the stigma of being associated with Don Cox.  More importantly, they’re not telling the truth.

A super-majority would bring absolute control to the Majority-4
Remember, if even one of the challengers is elected, since they’re supported by the Majority-4 (if you have any doubts about that, you can view their endorsements from Hiremath/Waters/Hornat/Snider on Facebook), the council will have a super-majority of 5 votes.  This means that Major General Plan Amendments including converting residential properties to commercial or converting low density residential to high density residential will be approved without any discussion or debate.

How about re-zonings?  Are you aware that if citizens file a formal protest against a rezoning, then that re-zoning requires approval by 6 votes on council?  Therefore, if two of the challengers are elected, the Majority-4 on council will now have the 6 votes needed to squash any rezoning protest.

Let's maintain Council balance
Personally, I prefer a more balanced town council - one where there will be some healthy debate over re-zonings, high density housing, budget issues, and the future of the golf course and our community center.

I fear that voting any of the 3 challengers in will leave us with a Town Council which operates with a "Group Think" mentality, without thoughtful debate or serious discussion, and will result in some very bad decisions for the future of our town.

Is that what we want for Oro Valley?
Joe Lauer
Oro Valley Resident