Monday, February 12, 2018

Editorial ~ Remember when?

Today we will take a trip down Memory Lane to see if the assertions made by the mayor and council regarding the Community Center/Golf Courses have proven to be true or false.

2014 Assertion: The Community Center is a Turnkey Operation (False)
Remember how the Mayor told us about the "turnkey" operation we were getting with the purchase of the Community Center? That "turnkey" operation has already drained $2.45 million from our General Fund Contingency.

2015 Assertion: The sales tax increase will cover all Community Center expenses (False)
Remember being told repeatedly by the Town Council that the Community Center Fund (financed with the dedicated sales tax revenue) would cover ALL the needs of the Community Center including golf and tennis and that NO MONEY would be taken from any other fund? [See “2017 FACT” below to see how that turned out.]

2017 Assertion: The Community Center is not using any other Town funds (False)
Remember Councilmember Steve Solomon stating at the April 19th council meeting:
“The Golf and Community Center revenues and the dedicated half cent sales tax for this year will cover all of its costs. It’s not using any other Town funds. It’s not taking money from any other Town project or Town source.”
Once again, Solomon is full of bluster. Read on to learn why.

2017 FACT: Town dips into Bed Tax Revenues to cover Community Center renovations
The Quarterly CIP Report (Capital Improvement Program) for the quarter ending 12/31/17 revealed that the Tennis Court Improvements were budgeted for $75,000. However, the improvements actually cost $96,323. (This is a 28.4% miscalculation).

Where did the additional funds come from to cover the overage? They came from the Bed Tax Fund! (The tax on hotel rooms).

So now we have another fund supporting this “turnkey” operation. This does not include the monies that Councilmember Rodman stated that we will need to borrow ($4.7 - $5 million) to fulfill the recommendations identified in the Town Manager’s presentation to the Council during the February 7th Golf Study Session. Rodman stated, “We’re going to have to finance this no matter what we do.”

Council assertions about the financial sustainability of the Community Center/Golf Course purchase have been, at best, wishful thinking…and at worst, deliberate lies to cover for their reckless decision to purchase this money pit. 

As a side note, the Department of Defense and the U.S. Air Force are no longer going to supplement golf at Davis-Monthan.  The Blanchard Golf Course is closing at the end of April.  The U.S. Government has decided to stop paying $400,000 a year to water the golf courses and to discontinue supplementing the $700,000 a year in golf losses.  For how long will Oro Valley continue to supplement the losses at the El Con Golf Courses?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Editor’s Note: Mayor Hiremath and Councilmembers Hornat, Snider, and Waters are up for re-election this year. These are the four “public servants” who made the disastrous decision to purchase the Community Center (including 31 tennis courts and 3 golf courses) and to increase your sales tax in order to meet the expenses. You will have an opportunity to vote them out of office during the primary election in August.