For the first time in 8-1/2 years there will be four new council members.
Tonight, at 6pm in Town Council Chambers, Mayor Joe Winfield, and Council Members Joyce Jones-Ivey, Melanie Barrett, and Josh Nicolson will be seated at the table. We've published a personal profile about each of them this past week.
Huge challenges ahead
The new council faces many challenges. We have discussed some of these in the past several weeks.
- Expansion of Oro Valley's boundary
- Large number of proposed general plan amendments and zoning changes
- Bringing back that "small town feeling"
- Oro Valley's ticking development time bomb
- Empty store fronts and the impact on Oro Valley's major source of operating revenue: The sales tax
- Oro Valley's de facto property tax: Your Water Bill
- Oro Valley's bloated budget
- The money-sucking Town of Oro Valley Country Club (a/k/a The Community Center)
- Lame-duck decisions like the zoning amendment to the "Ford Property" to allow residential property; the extension of the Troon Country Club management agreement to December, 2019, adding a total of $60,000 in fee due Troon; and proposed bonds to fund a police substation and the water utility
Despite the magnitude of these challenges, the biggest challenge will be within the council itself. Can they work together in the best interest of the community?
We have no doubt that the newcomers will be able to do so. They are individuals. They will all act in accordance with what they believe is best for the community. They will disagree on some things but they will never be disagreeable.
But what of the three holdover members?
They have 2 years left in their term. They ran as a team in 2016, supporting the agenda of the former council. They have distinguished themselves by voting for general plan amendments, zoning changes, a property tax, a bonding to pay for improvements to the golf course, and for developers in general.
What will the three Hiremath holdovers do when faced with decisions for which they must prepare? What will the three Hiremath holdovers do when they have to engage in a logical and not a bullying discussion? What will the three Hiremath holdovers do when their job requires more than attending events for photo ops?
Time will tell.
It begins tonight!