Friday, December 3, 2021

Bits and Pieces

Council approves video recording of board and commission meetings
This past Wednesday, The Oro Valley Town Council unanimously approved a motion by Council Member Bohen to video record all board and commission meetings. Currently, these meetings are audio recorded. They are difficult to follow when there are presentations being made. Thus, the need for video.  The motions increases governance transparency. It wa unanimously approved by all Council Members.

Town Manager Jacobs: Town's staff wellness program is robust"
"We have a extremely robust wellness program here and the Town of Oro Valley for employees and because we are self insured that’s particularly important so that we keep our employees out of the doctor keep them healthy and that ultimately saves taxpayer dollars so it all works out really well with regularly been recognized for outstanding wellness programs and we were notified that we received the official gold seal of good health keeping renewal awards so again we get it again and the employer resiliency recognition from the wellness council of Arizona and so will be receiving that award." (Source: Town Manager Mary Jacobs report to council at meeting of November 17, 2021)

Great holiday lights display for you to watch...
This year, as in past years, the home at the intersection of Landoran and Golf View Drive in Oro Valley has a simply lovely, fun display. It's hard to describe so we've included a video for you to enjoy. It's really something.

OV SafeSteps program wins PRSA IMPACT Award of Excellence
ORO VALLEY, Ariz. (Nov. 15, 2021) –– The Town of Oro Valley’s OV SafeSteps program has been recognized for exemplary professional skill, creativity and resourcefulness in public relations and communications by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) for Southern Arizona.
 
On November 2, the program was awarded a PRSA IMPACT Award recognizing the highest standards in programs that successfully incorporate the four key elements of: research, planning, implementation, and evaluation and demonstrating the value these practices bring to communities. (Source: Town of Oro Valley Press Release)

Proposed Senior Care Facility at Stone Canyon is no more
"The Real Estate Purchase and Sale Agreement with Spectra Properties for the 51-acre Stone Canyon parcel has been terminated," according to the Stone Canyon Community Association letter of November 24. The project was for a "skilled care facility" and not a resort. In September, the Town's Board of Adjustment unanimously rejected an appeal of a zoning interpretation by Town Engineer Bayer Vella regarding building height. At that meeting, residents were complementary of Vella's detailed study of the matter as well as former Mayor Loomis' comments at the meeting. 

Oro Valley Municipal Golf: How does it compare?
One of ways to understand how well Oro Valley's 36-holes of municipal golf is doing is to compare its "rounds" results to another, reasonably close municipal course.  One of the challenges in doing this is that Oro Valley operates 36 holes of golf while a comparable course operates only 18. Another challenge is that the Oro Valley courses are not strictly comparable because Oro Valley's course has memberships. Member rounds account to 40% of total round played.  Other municipal courses have no memberships.

Considering these differences, we compared Oro Valley Municipal Golf results to that other course, focusing on total non member "played" rounds. For the four months ended October, the other course had 479 non member paid rounds per hole. The Oro Valley course had 323. So, in that regard, the Oro Valley courses are underperforming. 

On the other hand, Oro Valley is outperforming this other municipal course (561 to 479) if total rounds are considered.
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Thursday, December 2, 2021

2022 Candidate Handbooks now available Oro Valley Town Council elections

Candidate Handbooks are ready for 2022
ORO VALLEY, Ariz. (Dec. 1, 2021) –– Any qualified Oro Valley resident interested in running for Mayor or Town Council in the fall of 2022 may now make an appointment with the Town Clerk to pick up a Candidate Handbook in the Town Clerk's Office at Town Hall, 11000 N. La CaƱada Drive.

To make an appointment with the Town Clerk, please email Mike Standish at mstandish@orovalleyaz.gov or call 520-229-4700.

One Mayoral and three Council seats will be filled in 2022. A candidate for Council must be a qualified elector at the time of election, be 18 years of age or older, and have resided in Oro Valley for at least one year preceding the election.

The newly elected members will assume the duties of office after the vote has been canvassed by Council and are typically sworn in at the next regularly scheduled Council meeting following the General Election held November 8, 2022.

Securing the required number of signatures on a nomination petition and filing nomination papers enables a resident to run as a candidate in the Primary Election, which will be held August 2, 2022. The number of signatures required is at least 429 and not more than 858.

Candidates may turn in nomination papers from 8 a.m. on March 7, 2022, to 5 p.m. on April 4, 2022.
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(Source: Town of Oro Valley Press Release)

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Scams Everywhere

"Never Ending"
“We have the never ending scam calls regarding vehicle warranty, there’s a warrant for your arrest, or you have won millions,” according to Oro Valley Police Sgt. Amy Graham.
 
“But now we are starting to see a trend towards using the computer against you. Scammers send emails as though they are with Microsoft or Amazon; or they let you know there was a mistake in a bill and; they are sending you money, they just need access to your account.  It’s amazing the number of ways they prey on peoples’ uncertainty especially around computers.”

Seniors most vulnerable  
We are all targets. But we are not all equally vulnerable. Lack of technology skills and increasing isolation brought by the pandemic have made seniors specific targets of scams. These include sweepstakes scams, romance scams, IRS impersonation scams, charity scams, healthcare scams, telemarketing scams, and tech support scams. 

...especially when it comes to family scams
Seniors can be scammed by their own family members, caretakers and neighbors. Their high level of trust in these people makes seniors vulnerable.

“Your grandson is in jail. Send bail money.” Or worse: "You are not competent so grant me financial power of attorney.” Often these requests come from previously uninvolved family members or friends seeking to get account access.  
 
Prevent computer and bank fraud
According to Sgt. Graham, here is what we need to do. 

"Do not give access to your computer to anyone online. If you are ever asked to download a program that is emailed to you do not do it.  If you received an email with a link to open be suspicious; and for your own computer’s safety do not click on it. Our biggest vulnerability is uncertainty and when we open a document, you cannot undo it."
 
Graham continues: "In this day of online banking, it is becoming easy for people to be attacked online. If ever you have questions regarding a bank charge, a computer issue or a phone call, hang up and dial the main company directly. Do not  use any phone numbers you were given by the suspect or through their sent email.  Slow down and double check the information. Even if it appears to be legitimate ask someone else who has more knowledge, such as your local bank or police department. Play it safe: Slow down, educate yourself and ask questions.”
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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Fun Tomorrow At Steam Pump Ranch... Be there

Tomorrow at Steam Pump Ranch
Tomorrow, the Oro Valley Historical Society will host a talk about the history of the Narrow Gauge Railroad: The Railroad to Everywhere and Nowhere. 

The speaker, Gene Caywood, Historian and President of Old Pueblo Trolley will give the presentation. 

The event will be held at The Pusch House Museum at Steam Pump Ranch (south end of ranch 10901 N. Oracle Road, Oro Valley) at 2:00 p.m. 

Preview the Holiday Exhibit
Those attending will be able to view the Oro Valey Historical Society December Exhibit: Holiday Traditions, Toys and Trains before it opens on December 4! 

We hope to see you and BRING A FRIEND! 

The event is free but donations are greatly appreciated! For more information visit ovhistory.org
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(Source: Press Release, November 21, Oro Valley Historical Society)

Monday, November 29, 2021

CAP Confirms: Oro Valley Will See No CAP Water Reduction

No impact on Oro Valley's CAP allocation from CAP tier one reduction
Oro Valley water will not be impacted by the tier one reduction in Colorado River water. This reduction goes into effect in January. 

In a briefing to The Oro Valley Town Council on November 17, Karen Cesare, elected representative for Southern Arizona on the state's CAP water board, stressed that Oro Valley and all municipalities  "..will see no reduction in your CAP." Later in the discussion she emphasized to Council Member Jones-Ivey  "We’re trying to do everything we can to protect it or minimize the impact on municipalities."

Summer Monsoon had no effect on CAP water levels
This summers wet monsoon season has not impact on CAP water levels. This is because CAP water comes from the snow melt in the Colorado Rockies. "We look at snow pack and what's happening in the Rocky Mountains," Cesare noted. According to her, if you want to follow the snowfall and the melt you can follow the weather in Grand Lake, Colorado. "If it's snowing in Grand Lake Colorado that’s a good thing," 

Oro Valley water use restrictions are not on the radar
Oro Valley Water Director Peter Abraham does not foresee a time when restrictions will be put in place. Speaking to council in June, he stated that the only time he thinks a significant water restriction would happen is if there is a breakdown to a part of the system, such as a major water break in a portion of the water system that does not have sufficient redundancy to switch to an alternate supply." 

The town reaffirmed its confidence in its ability to deliver a reliable water supply to the community regardless of what happens with CAP water: "To ensure the perpetuity of a safe and reliable water supply for Oro Valley, the Town is well positioned to meet the challenges presented by the supply shortages on the Colorado River water system." This appeared in the November issue of the Town Manager Executive Report To Council (p14).

One day, perhaps by 2025, a CAP Tier 3 emergency will be declared. This will reduce CAP water allocation to Or Valley. Even if this happens, CAP has no authority to mandate how the local water can be used.  Oro Valley's has detailed is water restrictions by threat level level. The council approved these in June. The levels and the restrictions for each are based on water demand in relation to water production capacity. They are not related to CAP water deliveries. You can Oro Valleys emergency restriction plan here.

Good News: Reconsultation is in Progress
The current CAP water use agreement was created long before Arizona was part of program. California, with its enormous political clout, has priority to the Colorado River Water, Arizona is a junior partner. California will see a reduction in CAP water only if further declines in the water level at Lake Meade happen. Even then, the amount of their CAP water reduction is only half of Arizona's. 

There will be a reallocation starting in 2026 that is to be negotiated. According to Cesare, reconsultation is "...an opportunity to reset and everyone’s take. We are dividing up a smaller pie. There’s a whole bunch of ways to do it and that’s what the process is about.... Arizona’s working right now to come up with our position so that we can go into the whole process as a unified state."
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Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Vistoso Golf Course Property Fund Raising Goal Achieved

Purchase of the former Vistoso Golf Course
It is my pleasure to announce we have reached our fundraising goal! This monumental milestone will now allow us to acquire and protect the former Vistoso Golf Course property. The key to the fundraising success was attributable to the financial support and generosity from the entire community. In approximately 5 weeks, over 400 individuals contributed towards our goal and the overwhelming support is testimony to the importance of this effort.

Thank you, residents, and friends of Oro Valley!

So, what happens now?
Over the next 30-days we will complete our remaining due diligence in furtherance of closing on or before December 30th. We do not anticipate any issues of substantive challenge and we will make a formal announcement when we officially close and record.

We will also be processing all current donations and pledges, including converting gifts of stock and other securities to cash, directing the collective proceeds to an escrow account. Those that have donated will receive formal acknowledgement from The Conservation Fund for tax purposes associated with your specific contribution. 

Upon closing, the property will be protected in perpetuity. The Conservation Fund will become the interim owner and we will continue working with the Town of Oro Valley towards the eventual donation and transfer for long-term management and ownership -- subject to a conservation easement.

Please accept our sincere thanks for your collective trust and confidence. Your financial generosity, and the valuable input we have received throughout the process, will enable us to create a legacy for everyone.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Mike Ford
Nevada and Southwest Director
The Conservation Fund
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(Source: Press Release, November 23, 2021, The Conservation Fund)