Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Editorial ~ The Manipulation Chronicles

Two things were glaringly obvious at the September 21, 2016 Council Meeting.

First, it was a foregone conclusion in advance of the meeting that all controversial agenda items would be postponed until the new council members take their seats in November. This assured that there would be no discussions or probing questions coming from Councilmembers Burns, Garner, and Zinkin. Silencing the opposition makes it much easier for the mayor and his puppets to approve or reject items because there will be no evidence in the public record of any relevant discussion indicating that their YES or NO vote was a bad idea.

Second, Steve Solomon’s only interest in being on council is to make sure that his self-interests are not compromised
Supporting Evidence for the Majority-4 Silencing the Opposition
1.  The Public Hearing to amend the General Plan Land Use Map from Neighborhood Commercial Office to Medium Density Residential for property at the NW corner of Rancho Vistoso Blvd. and Vistoso Highlands Drive was moved to the November 16th council meeting. This was a Major General Plan Amendment requiring five votes to approve.

While the meeting minutes indicate that it was the applicant who requested that date, the video of the meeting (conversation presented below) shows that it was the mayor who volunteered the new date for the continuance.

"Mayor Hiremath: Is a motion to continue to the second meeting in November fine?

Paul Oland (Applicant): That would be acceptable."

Keep in mind that if the new General Plan is approved by the voters on November 8th, the Plan will be only 8 days old when the first request to amend it comes before council. More than three years of community outreach went into this plan to learn what the citizens wanted. Will the new developer-driven council (The Majority-7) undo all of that hard work after just 8 days?

2.The Discussion and Possible Direction regarding closing the Overlook Restaurant or contracting the services out was tabled in a motion made by Vice-Mayor Waters and seconded by Mayor Hiremath. There was no discussion. The Overlook lost $255,000 in Fiscal Year 2015/16 and has already lost $17,000 in the first month of FY 2016/17. Why do they refuse to discuss options for curtailing these ongoing losses?

Supporting Evidence for Solomon’s Self-Interest Agenda
1. During the above agenda items, we observed Solomon was looking down at his phone and scrolling the entire time. He continued scrolling on his phone for the entire 20 minutes of the Town Presentation on the Your Voice, Our Future General Plan. [YVOF]

2. During the Public Hearing portion of YVOF, we observed that Solomon continued looking at his phone, paying absolutely no attention during the 14 minutes that Oro Valley residents Shirl Lamonna, Geri Ottoboni, Diane Bristow, and Don Bristow were each speaking at the podium.

3. Not surprisingly, however, when Bill Rodman got up to speak, Solomon put his phone down and paid attention. You’ll remember that Rodman and Solomon, along with Rhonda Pina, ran for council as “an alliance.” Solomon also continued listening intently as Dave Perry spoke (President, Greater Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce).

It’s clear that Solomon is only interested in listening to those who agree with his views.

As a comparison, Rhonda Pina and Bill Rodman, appeared to be paying attention throughout the meeting, including when citizens were speaking.

4. When the agenda item regarding a proposed conceptual site plan, landscape plan, and archaeological display area for Viewpoint at Vistoso Trails came up, Solomon turned off his phone, looked up attentively, and continued paying close attention for the entire 12 minutes that this item was being discussed. Why was he so interested in this agenda item, you ask? That would be because Solomon owns the property!

In the beginning of the campaign, Solomon stated in a newspaper interview that he was in the home-building business and had a passion for construction and development. However, this information was never mentioned in any of his campaign mailers where he listed himself only as a small business owner. We’re not surprised that he would omit this information, we’re just sad that many Oro Valley voters were so uninformed about Solomon’s background and personal agenda.