Wednesday, March 13, 2019

The Watchdog Report: Half way through the Fiscal Year

The December 2018 financials have been posted. This marks the halfway point of the fiscal year (July 1 through December 31). This also gives us an indication of the success of the holiday shopping season.

In December 2017, the sales tax revenues posted in the Community Center Fund (CCF) showed a gain of $206,132. The gain in December 2018 was $224,773. This is a gain of $18,641 in 2018 holiday shopping sales tax revenues. That’s the good news.

The bad news? Remember that former Town Manager Greg Caton and former Mayor Hiremath told us that the sales tax increase would bring in revenues of $2 million per year and that this would sustain the CCF. The sales tax revenues are projected to be $2,384,558 for FY 2018/19 but the CCF ended December 2018 at $221,389 in the RED. So much for Councilmember Solomon’s claim that we are “breaking even.”

December is one of the prime months for golf. The courses posted 2,748 non-member rounds on 45 holes of golf. To put this in perspective, a public golf course within 5 miles of the El Con posted 3,320 rounds on 18 holes of golf. That is 612 more rounds on 27 less available holes.

Mary had a little…plan
As of December 31, 2018, Troon has lost $1,175,440 of your money. We have shown that, from the start, Troon has done nothing but lose money since the golf courses opened in May 2015, yet Town Manager, Mary Jacobs, extended their contract an additional 6 months.

One of Ms. Jacobs’ essential functions is to: “Provide oversight and assist Departmental Directors in analysis and resolution of problems…” Another function is to “Respond to citizen complaints.” If you agree that extending the Troon contract was in conflict with one of her essential functions, you may write her at If you do, please inform LOVE of her response.

In other good news/bad news
With all the rain, the frosts, and even the recent snow we’ve had this winter, the utility (water) costs for the golf courses should be reduced. However, this wet weather will also adversely affect the golf revenues which will be revealed in upcoming Town reports.

Another interesting number on the December report was a capital outlay of $2,633. When I asked the Town what this was for, the reply was, “minor reconfiguration of the parks administrative office.” Apparently this is more important than making the Community Center facility ADA compliant.

There was also a transfer out of the CCF of $133,999 to the Debt Service Fund to pay for principal and interest on the Energy Efficiency Bond. You see, we already have one bond dedicated to the CCF.

The Overlook lost $4,059 in December 2018, bringing the total losses to date $66,384.

Ending on a positive note, the Community Center (fitness, tennis, etc.) has made $8,548 through December 2018.

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.