Town Council challenger, Steve Solomon, claims that one of the reasons he’s running for council is to bring “civility” back to our community and town government. If that were truly his goal, he would have run against Mayor Hiremath in last year’s recall election since Hiremath has been the instigator of all the incivility on council for the past six years. Furthermore, it’s laughable that Solomon would be running on a platform of civility when the record shows that his past history on council from 2010-2012 was hardly one of graciousness and manners.
For those who aren’t aware, Solomon was never elected by the citizens. He was appointed by Hiremath-Hornat-Waters-Snider to fill a vacancy and there are valid reasons why voters unceremoniously dumped Solomon the first chance they got. In 2012, voters chose instead to elect Mike Zinkin and Brendan Burns and to re-elect Bill Garner.
Why were the voters turned off of Solomon?
Arrogant and Condescending Leadership Style
Upon taking office in June 2010, it didn’t take long for Solomon to irritate the citizens with his boastful habit of telling everyone how smart and right he always was. Solomon’s penchant for lecturing ad nauseum and taking credit for others’ work came to a head during one council meeting when, to everyone’s surprise, Council member Gillaspie had had enough of it and put Solomon in his place. You know you’re an arrogant bully when the always civil and well-mannered Barry Gillaspie has had all he can take of you.
Solomon’s arrogant style was also directed at citizens who dared to disagree with him. His idea of civility is to ridicule citizens. During one council meeting, a senior citizen asked for clarification on ambiguous passages in the sign code. Solomon responded with his usual lecturing and then insulted the speaker by stating, “I can’t even address half of those comments. They’re so far out there.”
At another council meeting, when this citizen presented statistics from the National Real Estate Association on the lack of positive results from the use of Open House signs, Solomon rudely interrupted the citizen and yelled, “I don’t believe you!”
Penchant for approving high-density developments
Are you one of the many citizens who are frustrated with all the high-density apartment buildings that have been built on Oracle Road over the past few years and are continuing to be built as you read this?
Steve Solomon voted to approve all of them.
That should come as no surprise since Solomon is a homebuilder who admitted in a recent newspaper article to having a life-long passion for construction and development.
Stacking the deck
Chances are good that Solomon’s entry into the race is Mayor Hiremath’s handiwork, a man who knows how to stack a deck. The Majority-4’s appointment of Solomon in 2010 resulted in them having a super-majority on council for the next two years. Hiremath would like to recreate this super-majority. In doing so, not only will he continue to have control over items requiring a minimum of 4 votes, but he will once again have control over items requiring 5 votes as well, such as Major General Plan Amendments, also known as major developments coming to a neighborhood near you.
If you want to have any civility at all on the Oro Valley Town Council and if you want to protect what’s left of Oro Valley’s scenic views, I urge you to re-elect Mike Zinkin, Bill Garner, and Brendan Burns.
Oro Valley Resident
Robert Peters is an Army veteran who served in Germany and South Korea. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Russian and Eastern European Studies and a Master’s degree in Business Management. He’s been employed by Raytheon Missile Systems since 2004. He’s been active in dog rescue organizations for the past 20 years. He’s also an avid reader and history buff who has traveled extensively throughout the U.S., Europe and Russia. A former hippie, he attended the 1969 Woodstock Festival in Upstate New York.