Thursday, January 17, 2013

Town Council Approves $2.1 Million To Fund Burying TEP Wires

The Oro Valley Town Council approved the $2.1 million for the burying of TEP power lines. The expenditure is for three projects that will be built on Tangerine and on Oracle Road. (See our previous postings ).  The move preserves the view shed.

The  measure passed 6-1. The lone dissent was from Council Member Burns.  He noted that TEP had made a conscious decision not to bury the lines; that, in doing so, TEP was not operating as a responsible corporate citizen. This was especially troubling because TEP is an enormously  profitable company.  In addition, the company purports to be a positive influence in the communities it serves.

The TEP represented had previously noted that the decision to put the wires underground was made because the Arizona Corporate Commission will not TEP them recoup their costs in its rates.

In contrast to the comments of Commissioner Burns, Mayor Hiremath thanked TEP for giving Oro Valley the opportunity to bury the lines.   TEP is also "contributing" about $400,000 to the project.

The Oro Valley contingency fund will pay for this project.  It has yet to be determined whether this is a loan from the contingency fund, such as was done in funding a portion of the aquatic center overrun, or a permanent withdrawal of funds.  The contingency fund balance will be above Oro Valley required levels (25% of the operating fund) after the payment of the $2.1 million.


Unknown said...

It was an interesting meeting last night. Item 15 was rather contentious. I also left this comment on the previous post.

In case you missed the end of this lengthy Council meeting, watch the video. You will see why the Mayor put the Gil Alexander item at the end of the agenda.

It seems the Mayor sent a letter to Mr. Alexander saying the Council had decided not to reappoint him to the Board. However, Council had never discussed this while in session, and some Councilmembers had never seen the Mayor's letter until Mr. Alexander shared his copy with them.

Not only was the discussion lively, it was disrespectful to a citizen volunteer. The Mayor and Vice-Mayor also became quite angry and disrespectful as they yelled at other Councilmembers. Another Councilmember tried to trivialize the discussion by saying it was only a vote.

Makes me wonder what was behind all of this.

Victorian Cowgirl said...

I watched the Gil Alexander agenda item from home. It was clear that Hiremath placed this item last on the agenda so that everyone would have gone home by then and there wouldn't be anyone left to witness the mayor's misconduct being exposed.

It was also clear by his opening remark..."Because it's going to come down to 'he said, she said' and I don't get into 'he said, she said.'"...that he had something to hide.

It was also very convenient how the mike went dead during the first 3 minutes of Mr. Alexander's speech (the exact amount of time that citizens are allowed to speak). He ended up speaking for 4.5 minutes but only the last 90 seconds were audible when the microphone was finally fixed. What did he say during the first 3 minutes?

And why wouldn't Hiremath state publicly exactly what terms Mr. Alexander had supposedly violated?

Why did he become enraged when Councilmember Garner challenged him on this issue? Why did he yell and bang the gavel at THAT point? He wanted to end the debate right there. Why? Because he couldn't defend himself.

When a person is caught in a big lie, the first thing they do is head for the door. They storm out before you can challenge them any further. The Mayor can't storm out of a council meeting, so he does the next best thing...bang the gavel and yell, "Point of Order!" and then end the discussion.

Victorian Cowgirl said...

Cares for OV asked what was behind all of this.

Vice-Mayor Waters answered that question during the discussion when he admitted that, "We were nurturing someone with vast experience to be a member of the CDRB to fill a position that is sorely needed."

Councilmember Zinkin nailed it when he asked Waters: "So are we creating an opening for this individual that we've nurtured? Is that what's going on?"

Waters never answered the question.

Unknown said...

Victorian Cowgirl,
I agree with both of your postings.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Richard Furash, MBA said...

Greetings All,

Monday, we will be posting a video of the "discussion" with the facts as we know them.


chuck davis said...

Does Hiremath have the temperment to be mayor again? Just asking...