Monday, August 29, 2016

Guest View-Mike Zinkin:

Tomorrow's election is upon us. Her are a few thoughts from me to you as you consider your vote.

My Philosophy
I believe that the Town of Oro Valley is responsible for serving the needs of its citizens. Essential services, including Public Safety, Parks and Recreation, city infrastructure and water utilities are paid for with your tax dollars.

Encouraging local business growth should be a key activity of the Oro Valley government.  Increasing business enterprises encourages employment opportunities and helps reinvest tax revenue in our community.

Oro Valley should not be in business to make money or to compete with the private sector.  The Town should not own restaurants or golf courses.  Nor should it seek to make profits in these enterprises thus limiting private sector establishments the opportunity to succeed. If re-elected, I plan to pursue opportunities to:

  • Contract the Overlook restaurant to a private entrepreneur
  • Lease the golf courses, thereby maintaining ownership and control of the land while reducing expenditures
  • Secure citizen input for public policy decisions

I am a fiscal conservative who will continue to guard your tax dollars just as I have during my past four years on Town Council.  I will separate the wants from the needs, ask questions, and demand justification for every dollar spent.  

My Work to Achieve Sensible Development
Oro Valley residents value the scenic and natural beauty of our Town, as well as the small town feel.  During the past several years, we experienced greater residential growth which caused some contention between the developers and the community.  I believe it’s vital that Council supports land use that is in harmony with our native setting and the character desired by those who live here.

I’m an independent thinker with a demonstrated ability to work with proposed developments so long as they are keeping with the Town’s General Plan. 

For example:

  • The first neighborhood meeting introducing the development of the Kai property at First and Palisades was filled with over 200 yelling and frustrated neighbors.  I coordinated a series of meetings between the property owner and the HOA leaders that continued for more than 15 months. Ultimately, a compromise was reached and the development came to the Council with the support of the neighbors and was unanimously approved by Council.
  • A Major General Plan Amendment request for the property along La Cholla - from Lambert to Naranja was met with much resistance from those living near this project.  The project required a super majority vote of council to pass (5 votes).  I facilitated meetings with the citizens and the developer that resulted in numerous restrictions that the developer was willing to accept.  Once again, the project was unanimously approved when it came before Council for a vote.

After these projects passed, I sought further input from the developer and the neighbors.  Their response was "There are things I still don't like, but I can live with it."  This is an example of compromise.  This approach to problem solving is what we need more of in Oro Valley.  If elected, I pledge to continue to work with all parties to achieve what is best for the Town – not a select few. Elected officials should represent the People.  The People desire responsible development that conforms to the General Plan.  I will continue to do my best to see that this is achieved.

My guiding principles

  • I pledge to be fiscally responsible and accountable to the people, not special interests.
  • I have not voted, nor will I vote for any tax increase.
  • I have not accepted, and will not accept money from any special interests.
  • I will continue to work with both sides to identify what is best for Oro Valley. 

My vote will always be for the constituents who I represent. 

I hope I can continue to count on your support and your vote to allow me to be your voice and continue working for you and the future of Oro Valley.
About Mike Zinkin

Mike Zinkin earned his Bachelor’s degree in history and government from the University of Arizona and earned a Secondary Education Teaching Certificate. Mike earned a Master’s degree from California State University, Northridge. Mike was a commissioned ensign in the United States Navy Reserve. For 30 years, Mike worked as an Air Traffic Controller for the FAA. After Mike retired, he and his wonderful wife moved to Oro Valley. They live on one of the Town’s golf courses and love Oro Valley. Mike is a member of the National League of Cities, serving on the Steering Committee for Community and Economic Development, and serving on the Steering Committee for Small Cities Council. Mike was named as 1 of 23 Leadership Fellows for the National League of Cities University. He is also a member of Arizona League of Cities and Towns, Budget and Community Committee. This has allowed Mike to go outside the constraints of local knowledge and network with officials throughout the nation to see how other communities have handled situations that are similar to Oro Valley’s.