Knowing that newly-elected councilmembers Pina-Rodman-Solmon would be voting to approve or reject Don Cox’s application to the Planning and Zoning Commission at the December 7th council meeting, I decided to research their comments/promises while running for office during the summer of 2016. Would they keep their campaign promises when deciding whether or not to appoint Cox to the Planning and Zoning Commission?
Pina: “I am an independent thinker in a lot of ways…Everybody has a voice and regardless of what Rhonda thinks, I have to be respectful of the community as a whole.” [Explorer, June 29th]
Pina: “Residents want a voice. I will bring a fresh perspective that will demonstrate impartial leadership by listening and collaborating as a council member for all.” [Sun City Candidate Forum, August 2nd]
Rodman: “I am an independent thinker.” [Explorer, June 8th]
Rodman: He again said that he was “an independent thinker” and that he seeks “first to understand and only then to be understood.” [Sun City Candidate Forum, August 2nd]
Solomon: “The amount of divisiveness and negativity that they [his opponents] have created is a disservice to the town and its residents.” [Explorer, July 6th]
Solomon: “I’m an independent thinker. I come to the council without any special interests, without any hidden agendas. I will base all my decisions on what’s best for the entire community. Nothing more, nothing less.” [Sun City Candidate Forum, August 2nd]
Their views on the election mailer published by Don Cox’s PAC
Additionally, during the Chamber of Commerce Candidate Forum on August 10th, they were asked their opinions of the tabloid-style mailer that Cox sent to thousands of Oro Valley voters. Pina-Rodman-Solomon were now caught between a rock and a hard place.
Should they disavow the mailer in an effort to gain more votes from citizens who were appalled by the content of the mailer or should they support the actions of their most fervent supporter who was working to get them elected via his political action committee?
While all three stated that they were mandated by law to have no involvement with any PAC’s and therefore had no knowledge of the mailer beforehand, only Pina and Rodman actually disavowed the mailer itself, although sheepishly and without much conviction.
Challenge issued to Pina and Rodman
We sent an e-mail to Rhonda Pina and Bill Rodman reminding them of their claims of being (a) independent thinkers and (b) being dismayed at the content of Cox’s election mailer. A portion of that e-mail is below:
“On Wednesday evening you have an opportunity to prove both. Pull Item G from the consent agenda for discussion, discuss your opinion of Cox's repeated antics over the years, and how the council should not be rewarding bad behavior, vote against Cox’s appointment to P&Z and persuade the others to do the same.”The Outcome
Not only did neither one of them give us the courtesy of a response, but they approved Cox’s appointment without so much as even the slightest discussion of his well-known and repeated transgressions.
This vote was a test of their honesty and integrity and it was a test that they failed. These “independent thinkers” who believe that “divisiveness and negativity” is a disservice to the town and its residents, just voted to rubber-stamp the appointment of a person who is known, above all else, for divisiveness and negativity.
Pina-Rodman-Solomon need to answer the following questions:
Ms. Pina, did you “bring a fresh perspective” and “demonstrate impartial leadership” when you voted to appoint Mr. Cox to P&Z?
Mr. Rodman, are you really “seeking to understand” when you do not respond to e-mails? How do you expect “to be understood” when you did not inform us of your thought process regarding this vote?
Mr. Solomon, how is appointing Don Cox to P&Z “what’s best for the entire community” when it is well-known that he has an axe to grind with one half of said community?