Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS). Oro Valley’s Trojan Horse. Part 2.

On Monday, LOVE published a synopsis of the 19-page CEDS Report. Today we are providing a list of the 90 people whom the Town interviewed for that report.

The Usual Suspects and “Stakeholders”
The report includes “the input of over ninety (90) interviews with key leaders, executives and other officials representing business and industry, education and workforce, government and strategic economic development allies.” The report refers to these people as “stakeholders.” One wonders why no “ordinary” Oro Valley citizen was interviewed. Are the citizens not considered stakeholders in their own town?

The short list of those interviewed includes:

Southern Arizona Homebuilders Association (SAHBA), Meritage Homes, Diamond Ventures, WLB Group, Mattamy Homes, HSL Properties, Venture West, Oro Valley Hospital, Simpleview, Honeywell, Amphi Schools, Tucson Chamber of Commerce, Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce, City of Tucson.

The list goes on for 3 pages and there wasn’t one ordinary Oro Valley citizen.

The point is that many of these entities have been wanting to control Oro Valley’s growth for years and now Jacobs and Johnston have opened the door for them to do just that.

Below is the complete list of individuals interviewed (along with their positions in the community). Other than for Mayor Winfield, Vice-Mayor Barrett, and Councilmembers Nicolson and Jones-Ivey, do you see anyone on this list who is interested in citizen input?


No Comprende
What Ms. Jacobs and Mr. Johnston don’t seem to understand is that the model for retail has changed with the advent of the internet. Other than for Wal-Mart and Costco, people frequently shop online. Citizens still need local drug stores, grocery stores, hair salons, and some automotive, but look at retail in Oro Valley. All the sporting goods stores have closed – Dick’s, Big 5, Sports Authority. We need to fill all that empty retail space before we start bulldozing the desert to build more retail.

Oro Valley should be focusing on employment centers, not commercial centers. Ms. Jacobs and Mr. Johnston need to read the General Plan and listen to Citizens when they speak up. They need to stop going out on their own and pushing their own ideas…Main Streets, 36 holes of golf, and now with this CED Report, an easier way for developers to bypass citizens’ wishes.

CEDS. Clearly Egregious Destructive Scenario
Something sinister is going on here. Oro Valley was incorporated in 1974 because citizens wanted a community that was designed by citizen input…the very thing that has been removed in this document. We can only hope that the new mayor and council see through this smokescreen and keep the Trojan Horse out of Oro Valley.