Two more years of listening to Council Member Solomon are going to be hard for Oro Valley residents. Solomon is simply disagreeable. He is insulting. How disagreeable? How insulting? Watch last week's council meeting and listen to his remarks as he discusses appointments to the five Oro Valley commissions. But, if you don't have time to do that, this is LOVE's recap. We have transcribed his comments. You be the judge.
Council Member Solomon: Campaign Promises Don't Matter
"There is a major difference between campaigning and governing. It is really irrelevant what your campaign promises were. As council members, we're here to do what is in the best interest to the town of Oro Valley." The inference is that Solomon believes that one can say as they wish in order to be elected. There is, in his mind, no need to follow through.
Council Member Solomon: Board and Commission term limits will result in poor decisions
In December, the council voted to return term limits to its boards and commissions. Term limits were removed under Hiremath.
Solomon lectured council on his philosophy of organizational success.
"Any organization that would expel its most experienced people in favor of 'new blood' that is unexperienced and maybe not nearly as qualified, surely will not survive. And, if they do survive, the services which they have provided to their customers, in our case our citizens, are going to be greatly diminished. Unfortunately now, a poor policy that was passed in December is being used to justify even more poor decisions."
Council Member Solomon: The Council "wiped out" the Storm Water Utility Commission
"That decision in December, wiped out our Storm Water Utility Commission. Two people were dismissed simply because these people were on their third term. These were experts in the field. Stormwater Utility is not a very glamorous position. It is a very highly technical board that has to provide very solid technical input."
Council Member Solomon: Experience matters more than community involvement
"It doesn't matter what the qualifications are because we promised new blood. That's what we are going to do. That's not the way to govern. I'm sorry. This is not in the best interest of the town of Oro Valley or its residents. And that needs to be noted: That this council seems to be set on making decisions, not based on the residents interest, but simply on a campaign pledge of new blood." Apparently, Solomon does not subscribe to the concept that what is best for the residents is what is best for the Town Of Oro Valley.
(Source: Town meeting video, minutes 45:35 to 47:05)
Council Member Solomon accuses Winfield of giving a "pep talk"
Later in the meeting, after Mayor Winfield discussed the results to date of increasing community involvement, Solomon insulted Winfield: "That was a very nice general discussion... but now let's get down to specifics again instead of this general, high level pep talk." This occurred after Solomon attempted to interrupt Winfield's comments.
Council Member Solomon accuses new members of possible open meeting law violation
After insulting Winfield, Solomon stated that he felt that the council majority had already made the decision to not reappoint Hitt prior to the meeting; and that this concerned him because of open meeting laws. "You have your four votes. It seems that you had your four votes before this meeting which is of concern because of open meeting laws." (Video: 56:44)
LOVE's closing thought
We do not envy the job that Mayor Winfield and the members of council face. Increasing community involvement is just one of these jobs. There are so many others. Having Solomon on the council is going to be yet another challenge because he simply does not have the ability to understand and respectfully discuss viewpoints that differ from his.