Monday, January 21, 2019

The Watchdog Report: What are the Town Manager and Staff doing?

The below screenshot shows that the Town/Troon, under the leadership of Town Manager, Mary Jacobs, not the council, continue to push for Oro Valley taxpayers to subsidize 45 holes of golf. This is not supported by the $50,000 contracted golf study from 2017 which recommended 27 holes and, I am almost certain, is not supported by the newly elected Council majority. [You can read a summary of the 170-page National Golf Foundation study HERE]

It is disingenuous to any potential members and is not in keeping with the Town’s Organizational Chart which places Oro Valley Residents at the top of the chart, above the Town Manager, Troon, and staff. How can staff/Troon make people commit to an annual fee when it’s possible that the golf environment will change within the year?

Why does the Town staff continue to follow the dictates of the ousted mayor?
As of November 2017, there were 226 golf members, 7 of which did not pay dues. How many members will be required to support their “dedicated 18 hole course?” Why is staff doing this now? Are they trying to corner the Town Council into accepting their policy, the policy of ousted former Mayor Hiremath, the policy of HSL? Why doesn’t the Town Manager put an immediate halt to this and let the new Council work with the citizens to see what they desire?

After all, the people are subsidizing the Community Center and Golf Courses with $2 million dollars per year from the dedicated sales tax increase, all because former Mayor Hiremath and his majority council favored passing the costs onto the public without any concern for the majority of people who will never use the golf courses. Every person in Oro Valley is forced to pay this tax to provide golf to a very small portion of the population.

In addition, in November 2017 there were 3,034 rounds of “non-member play” on 45 holes of golf. To put that in perspective, there is a public golf course within 5 miles of the Town’s courses that had 3,788 rounds on only 18 holes.

The Town Council needs to make the decisions, not Mary Jacobs.

Mike Zinkin has a Bachelor’s degree in history and government from the University of Arizona and a Master’s degree in Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education from California State University, Northridge. He was a commissioned ensign in the United States Navy Reserve. He was an Air Traffic Controller for 30 years. He and his wife moved to Oro Valley in 1998. Mike served on the Oro Valley Development Review Board from 2005-2009 and the Board of Adjustment from 2011-2012. He served on the Town Council from 2012-2016 during which time he was named a Fellow for the National League of Cities University, he was a member of the National League of Cities Steering Committee for Community and Economic Development, and a member of the Arizona League of Cities Budget and Economic Development Committee.