On February 28th, Councilmembers Bill Rodman and Rhonda Pina attended the Sun City Board of Directors Meeting to discuss current events in Oro Valley. Rodman discussed a recent Town Council meeting where at least 100 residents attended. About a half dozen parents and children spoke regarding their concern that Oro Valley does not have enough ball fields to meet the growing number of teams playing. The children must go to Catalina for ball games. They requested the construction of more ball fields. After the meeting, Oro Valley resident, Susan Ross, sent them the following e-mail:
Bill and Rhonda,
It is like I said at the last BOD meeting at Sun City: It is time to cut your losses and to set your foolish pride aside. We all make mistakes. We all wish from time to time that we could have a do-over. However, as we all know, usually a do-over is not possible. What we can do is to right the wrongs -- especially when we are spending the taxpayers' money.
A tax increase -- another one -- to bail out the golf and restaurant follies is not going to fly. That half-cent sales tax increase could go to building a community center, ball fields, and whatever else is needed to make this ever-changing family-oriented community the kind of place where people want to come to raise their families.
I was a school teacher for 26 years. How you could sit there at a town council meeting and not be affected by the speeches that those young people wrote and presented to you is far beyond me. I would have had those hemorrhaging golf courses and restaurant on the market the next day. But then I was raised by a father who made it clear: “You got yourself into this mess. Now you are going to have to unmess.” Not once did my dad bail my brother or me out of a mess. It was our mess. We owned it.
Did having to unmess make us stronger? Absolutely. Did we learn from our mistakes? Every time. Both my brother and I ended up being public servants, as were both of our parents and many, many members of our family. We learned to think like a taxpayer.
Get rid of the golf courses. Get rid of the restaurant. Admit that mistakes were made and that it is time to move on. If we lose some money, life will go on. The voting public will be forgiving. No one bats 1000. No one.
Remember the Bay of Pigs? What a fiasco for the United States in the eyes of world opinion. What did President Kennedy do? He did not say that we would wait a couple of years to see if things change. He did not pass the buck and lay blame on poor advising. He stepped up to the mic and he owned it. All of it. He told the world that he alone executed the invasion of Cuba. He alone owned the debacle. And guess what? His opinion polls skyrocketed. Would he have been reelected had he not been assassinated? By a landslide.
Now let us look at Nixon and Watergate. Instead of admitting to the American public that he had surrounded himself with a bunch of narcissistic, self-serving idiots and immediately fired their asses and had them prosecuted to the fullest, he pig-piled in with the cover-up. Eventually in all of his paranoia, he fetaled up in the corner, hid from the press, and never took one shred of the blame for one of the worst disasters in the history of this country. And we all know what happened to him. In the aftermath of Watergate, the citizens of this country had no faith or trust in their own government. And why should they? They were betrayed.
So what is it going to be with the golf courses and the restaurant? Bay of Pigs or Watergate?
Think like a taxpayer.