Friday, April 16, 2021

Bits and Pieces

Horn Launches "Unsung Hero" Podcast
Oro Valley resident Jim Horn has a new podcast called: "Oro Valley's Unsung Heroes." Jim interviewed Oro Valley Police Officer Alex Carillo, whom we covered yesterday in LOVE, in his first podcast. 

Horn intends future podcasts. "The Oro Valley Podcast will continue to do a series on the unsung heroes in Oro Valley. The series will feature those first responders that have helped to save lives in our community that would have otherwise been lost. The first responders devotion to duty and commitment to help our citizens is often overlooked. The Unsung Hero Series will highlight those achievements."

Hardy roundabout closed April 20 and 21
The town will be closing the Hardy and Northern Ave roundabout on April 20 and 21 for surface treatments. This is midweek so be sure to use an alternate route those days.

Did you know?
Oro Valley Police are involved in the building development review process. They provide recommendations about how projects can be designed to deter or prevent crime. (Source: 2020 Oro Valley Police Annual Report)

Shaffer Dry Cleaning Closing
Shaffer Dry Cleaning is closing its Rooney Ranch store on April 21. They told us that there was simply not enough business to justify keeping the location. We suspect their business is a victim of the pandemic. People stayed home. They didn’t need to dress to travel to work. Thus, less laundry to be cleaned. Shaffer offers a “door to door” service by calling 520-318-3538 or visiting to sign up.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Above and Beyond: Officer Alex Carillo

Oro Valley Patrol Officer Alex Carillo went above and beyond
It’s one thing to save even just one life in your lifetime. It’s amazing to do it twice. Imagine saving two lives in your first year as a patrol officer. That is exactly what happened to Oro Valley Police Officer Alex Carillo last year. 

Saving two lives
Alex was the first officer on site in two instances last fall. He used his well-honed CPR skills to bring a lifeless 1 year old to life.  He did the same a few months later for a 40 year old cardiac arrest victim.

We met Officer Carillo. We found him to be as affable a gentleman as one could ever meet. He is "Dad" to a three year old son. He was born and raised in Douglas. He comes from a corrections family. He was in the Air Force. He was a car salesman. He hated that. But he does love working in public safety in Oro Valley.

An unresponsive child, lifeless, not moving
“The whole family was hysterical. It was mom’s birthday so you can imagine how mom was feeling. Her one year old not breathing. I pick her up. I start rubbing her chest. She’s not giving me any reaction. My partner is trying to calm everything down.” 

Alex thought: “We need to do our job here. We need to be the calm ones and we need to fix the situation. I start doing CPR. It seem like forever. She’s not giving me anything. And then, out of know where, she throws up a huge amount of water. Water gets all over me. I can’t tell you how great that felt. It was an insane amount of water out of this little body. She starts breathing again... labored breathing. It was a great moment. That’s why I signed up to do this.”

A cardiac arrest
Maybe four weeks later “We get a call. A male who is having a heart attack. He just passed out speaking to us.” When he got to the house, Alex found the male. “He’s purple. He’s blue. I thought: ‘This is bad’. I start doing my CPR and ask despatch for medical assistance ASAP. I’m doing this for what seems forever. He starts coughing. I’m seeing signs of life. ‘Ok’ I think, we’re getting somewhere’.”

To Carillo’s relief, a GFRD Chief and crew come to the door. “I’m thinking. This is good. This guy must know what to do.” Finally, Alex can take a moment to reflect: “I look around. I see three little kids’ bicycles....This guy has people who really need him.” 

Alex trailed the ambulance to the hospital. “The whole thing was amazing. We do our job. The fire fighters do their job. The doctors do their job. At the end of the day this guy was safe. It was amazing.”

"I just like helping people"
Carillo has a 'can do' attitude.  “When it’s time for ‘big time plays’ I want to be ready and I want to know that I can take that shot. I do my best to make sure I keep up my CPR. I keep up my physical fitness. I just like helping people. I want to be the guy that helps somebody when they need something." 

Alex looks young as you can see from his picture, but he is really long in years. Oro Valley residents are lucky to have him.

Be sure to give Alex a "thumbs up" when you see him on patrol.
Listen about the two incidents as told by Alex to Jim Horn in his new series "Unsung Heroes." 

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Proposal To Be Heard On Broadening The Use Of The Half Percent Sales Tax Levy

Enacted in 2015, revenues support municipal golf losses
The Oro Valley Town Council will hold a public hearing on the half percent Community Center/Municipal Golf sales tax. That tax was enacted by the Hiremath Council in 2015 to pay for the substantial losses that were projected from operating the community center on the golf courses. The estimated amount of the half percent sales tax was $2million.

Sales tax revenues more than anticipated
As LOVE has reported over time, golf and community center losses have been huge; but, recently the losses have narrowed because the pandemic has increased golf course use. In addition, sales tax revenues have increased over the six years to an estimated $2.5million. 

Municipal golf’s exclusive use of revenues at stake
The public hearing will be held at next week’s council meeting. The proposal is to broaden the use of these funds to pay for other parks and recreation facilities, amenities and operations.

What is at stake here is what appears to be in the minds of some members of council and residents a belief that the half percent revenue stream belongs to the golf courses. For example, during one council meeting Council Member Solomon said something like: “We have the money from the sales tax, so let’s just open the Pusch Ridge course.” Some residents in favor of the measure wondered why the course wasn't getting its "share" of the revenues. 

Expect a large turnout at the hearing
There are some who will be upset about any change in the use of this money. These are people who live along the golf course. They lobbied successfully last year to keep 36-holes of golf operating. They wore “green T-shirts” to the Council meetings, spoke in great numbers. It appeared to some that this high level of participation intimidated the some members of council.

Council set target subsidy levels
The council decided, in 2020, to retain 36-holes of golf and to lease the Pusch Ridge facility. In doing so, they set a subsidy target level of $750,000 within four years. That would be beyond the sunset of Winfield council majority. If that subsidy level is achieved, $1.8 million in sales tax revenue from the half-cent levy would be available for other uses. So, it makes sense to either rescind these sales tax dollars or direct them to other use.

Change in use requires council resolution
The original resolution for the sales tax levy earmarked the funds specifically for the golf course community center. Thus any change in the use of those funds has to be approved through another revenue resolution of counsel. That’s the reason for the meeting.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Oro Valley Town Council Approves Plan To Eliminate Public Safety Pension Unfunded Liability

6-0 Approval Vote
The Oro Valley Town Council voted 6-0 ( Council Member Greene abstaining) on a plan to fully fund the towns public safety pensions by 2036. It is a plan that will need to be implemented by the council if it chooses to include it in the annual budget.

Plan combines general fund money and bond funds
The plan will have the town issue $17 million in pension obligation bonds and earmark $10 million in general fund monies towards the pension obligation. According to consulting firm CBIZ,  this option is the least costly to the town.

Pension obligation bonds do not require voter approval
It is the expectation that the interest rates that the town will pay on these bonds will be far less than the rate of return the funds will earn on that money. The consultant assumed that the town could borrow the funds at 2.75% and invest them at 5.25%. The difference, according to Council Member Nicolson, is, in and of itself, sufficiently significant to warrant borrowing as a solution because Interest rates are at historically low levels. Indeed, that seemed to be the motivation of others on council to support a July implementation of the measure.

Prior Added $1 million contributions to PSPRS had small impact on underfunding
The aggregate funding ratio for all 264 plans in PSPRS is 48%. Ore Valley police funding is better than the average, at 61.7%.

Both the Hiremath and Winfield councils recognized the need to increase funding of the plans. Both contributed $1M annually for the past three years in addition to the required annual contribution. The result was a small dent in the unfunded liability total of $24 million.

Plan implementation requires that it be included in 2021-22 budget 
According to Town Manager Jacobs, the motion that the council approved directed her to “...incorporate into the recommended budget the capacity to move forward with this type of an option in the budget.” It did not direct her to implement the plan. As a consequence, the efficacy of implementing the plan will undergo much vetting over the next two months as the council and the public opine on the budget. 

Plan implementation in July if it is included in budget
If it is included in the budget, the town will deposit $10 million from the general fund into the PSPRS in July. Bonding will require a council resolution in July. The town will then issue $17M in pension obligation bonds in July, the proceeds of which will be contributed to the PSPRS. 
According to Jacobs, there is some urgency to move forward with the plan in order to take advantage of low interest rates. “I think the Vice Mayor is correct. If we’re going to do this the sooner that we can take advantage of the interest rates and shoot for as early in July as possible or sometime in that timetable. I think would be the best.”

Council Member's Green and Solomon question wisdom of implementing the plan
Council Member Mo Greene abstained from voting on the plan. He had asserted that there is no urgency to fund the plan. Greene stated that he had met with police union officials. They told him they were not concerned about the underfunding and that none of their member payments have been impacted by it. 

Council Member Solomon said that the plan must be considered in light of other town needs; that it should not be considered in isolation. He referenced other needs such as upgrades and improvements to town facilities and funding that may be required for parks and recreation. He also felt that obligating future councils to pay interest on and to pay off pension bond debt principal was a statement that future councils were not capable of dealing with the underfunding problem.

Friday, April 9, 2021

The Conservation Fund Clarifies It’s Involvement In Former Vistoso Golf Course Purchase

The Conservation Fund has clarified its role in the purchase of the former Vistoso Golf Course in the following press release of April 8, 2021. The statement confirms what Town Manager Jacobs presented to the public at Wednesday night’s Oro Valley Town Council Meeting. It also provides detail as to what The Conservation Fund expects to happen as negotiations continue.  We have included Jacob’s remarks to council after this press release.
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The Conservation Fund statement regarding future involvement in purchase of the former Vistoso Golf Course
“The Conservation Fund (Fund) is pleased to announce it has been invited to resume formal discussions and negotiations with the Town of Oro Valley and representatives from Romspen Vistoso, LLC, concerning the purchase of the former Vistoso Golf Course. Yesterday, we met to discuss the proposed framework of a new agreement concerning the prospective purchase of the 202 +/- acres, currently zoned recreational/open space. A separate agreement between a private buyer and Romspen Vistoso, LLC will be executed concurrently for the remaining 6 +/- acres.

Securing the 202 +/-acre property will be contingent upon reaching agreement based upon an updated appraisal establishing current fair market value under mutually acceptable terms and conditions. We expect the report to be prepared quickly and we will announce the actual purchase price once final agreement has been reached.

Under related discussion, it was also agreed the Fund will manage and lead all fundraising associated with any prospective purchase. The Fund will coordinate directly with all interested parties, including Preserve Vistoso and the many residents who have long supported this important effort. The Fund will also develop a concurrent Conservation Easement to ensure the property will be protected and managed for conservation and open space, in perpetuity, prior to transferring the land to the Town of Oro Valley for long-term ownership and management.

The Fund shares the collective passion to preserve this unique property and we will keep everyone advised as details continue to develop. We plan to make a more detailed announcement in the next 30 days, following completion of the updated appraisal. In the meantime, we want to thank everyone for your continued trust and confidence. Your support, financial generosity, and valuable input will be needed now more than ever as we work to create lasting results for everyone.

For any questions or concerns please contact Mike Ford, Nevada and Southwest Director at”
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Jacobs’ statement regarding status of former Vistoso Golf land purchase
Town Manager Mary Jacobs provided the following update on the town’s purchase of the former Vistoso Golf Course, at Wednesday’s Oro Valley Town Council meeting:

The town has achieved “...a framework for the purchase of the golf course subject to working with third parties including The Conservation Fund and a successful fundraising effort; and while I’m not at liberty to outline the specifics tonight, this framework is consistent with the town Council‘s November 18th motion to staff.”

Jacobs continued “...this purchase framework has been discussed with Romspen, The Conservation Fund and a third party purchaser for the 6.3 acres [of land currently zone for multi-family housing]; and all parties have agreed to work within the general framework toward a detailed final agreement. Mr. Rothchild and I are working diligently to bring this framework to fruition; and subject to agreements being finalized with Romspen, we hope to then share the details with the community and invite your participation in the near future.”

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Happy 47th Birthday Oro Valley!

This is the 5th in a series of articles by The Oro Valley Historical Society. Future OVHS articles will appear on LOVE every other Thursday.

The following article is from the Oro Valley Historical Heritage Guide, April 2009. 
The Making of a Town by Marjorie K. Kriegh, Town Historian
It is fact that the Town of Oro Valley has been happily incorporated since April 1974. But, perhaps, you have wondered how and why the Town of Oro Valley came to be.

Our story began long ago, way back in 1968. Tucson Mayor “Gentleman” Jim Corbett made a statement, which , to some area residents could be likened to the “shot heard round the world.” Well, ‘round Tucson, anyway. Mayor Corbett said that they (the areas around Tucson) will be taken in (to Tucson’s city limits) “kicking, stamping and screaming, if necessary.” The City of Tucson’s political climate, as it was at that time, was not to many people’s liking and many, many people living outside Tucson’s corporate limits wished to remain so. Some concerned citizens began to look at the feasibility of forming their own town in order to avoid being “absorbed” by the City of Tucson.

Photo Appeared in Arizona Daily Star on 4/26/84
The State of Arizona, however, had done its part to discourage incorporation of areas on the “outskirts” of larger municipalities. A ruling came down from the legislature which stipulated that an area proposed for incorporation must have at least 500 inhabitants who all had to exhibit common goals and objectives. Additionally, to protect the larger cities, an area proposed for incorporation had to be farther than six miles from another incorporated city’s boundaries. If the proposed boundaries were not six miles apart, then permission by the incorporated city must be given. Larger cities and towns lobbied long and hard for these incorporation rulings because they did not wish to be hemmed in by a proliferation of “bedroom communities”; to avoid competition.

Some residents northwest of Tucson were undaunted by these rulings. With the competent legal advice of Mr. Ellsworth Triplett, for whom I served as legal secretary at the time, interested people began to organize. These people came from, not only the area later to become known as Oro Valley, but also from the Catalina Foothills area.

There were obstacles to overcome. The “six mile” rule made incorporation of the Catalina Foothills area impossible, but, as Mr. Triplett advised, the outlying area which included the Oro Valley Country Club Estates and the Highlands Mobile Home Park, could conceivably be incorporated since the area was six miles distant from the City of Tucson limits. (Later, the Highlands Mobile Home Park was dropped from the incorporation effort because less than 50% of the people favored the incorporation.) At this time, the proposed Town was to be named, “The Town of Palo Verde.”

Because the Oro Valley Country Club Estates, under the direction of Mr. Robert Daly, President of the Homeowner’s Association, was undertaking street improvement, interest in the incorporation effort waned for a time, but was renewed when Mr. E. S. (Steve) Engle, the new Oro Valley Homeowner’s President became interested. Together with my husband, Jim Kriegh, they gathered citizen support from all areas proposed for incorporation, including Shadow Mountain Estates East and West, Campo Bello Estates, Linda Vista Citrus Tracts, and Oro Valley Country Club Estates.

Citizens from all these areas worked long and hard for many years, the culmination of their efforts being the filing of a petition for the incorporation of the Town of Oro Valley with the Pima County Board of Supervisors. As may have been suspected, this petition was promptly rejected by the Board, leading to a four year court battle which ended in the Arizona Supreme Court. The decision handed down by the Supreme Court directed the Pima County Board of Supervisors to incorporate our tiny 2.5 square mile Town of Oro Valley.

This decision signified the birth of the Town of Oro Valley on April 15, 1974 and the beginning of a Town which, it is hoped, all citizens may be proud of today.*

*The resolution to incorporate Oro Valley was adopted by the Pima County Board of Supervisors on April 15, 1974. The first Mayor and Council were appointed on April 17, 1974, so April 17th is the official Town birth date.
Interested in local history? Stop by Steam Pump Ranch on April 10 and April 24. The Oro Valley Historical Society presents docent-guided tours from 10 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. No reservations are required for the 50-minute tour that leaves on the hour and every fifteen minutes thereafter. Tours leave from the OVHS tent that is located just south of the Farmer’s Market. Suggested donation is $5 to assist in the cost of our displays and exhibits and ongoing programs. We hope to see you!

The Oro Valley Historical Society is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit volunteer organization, whose mission is “To promote research, preservation, education, and dissemination of historical information related to the greater Oro Valley area”. We invite you to become a member or volunteer. Visit us at and help keep Oro Valley history alive!