Wednesday, June 3, 2020

The Solomon Chronicles. Part 1. Favoritism.

With the Town Council election on the horizon, LOVE will be presenting a series of articles entitled, “The Solomon Chronicles,” highlighting the abysmal record of Councilmember Steve Solomon who is running for re-election. This weekly series will highlight his 4-year record of incivility towards Oro Valley residents and his interdependent relationship with local developers. This series was written by a LOVE contributor and contains a synopsis of previous LOVE articles plus new information.
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April 5, 2017 Town Council meeting
A $17 million bond for sports fields at Naranja Park was on the agenda, however, there was no Public Hearing scheduled for this item. As you continue reading, keep in mind that Solomon was in favor of this bond.

With no Public Hearing scheduled, two residents who wanted to speak on this issue, chose to do so during the Call to Audience. Most likely, neither were aware that you are not allowed to speak during the Call to Audience regarding an item that is on the agenda.

The first person to speak (Oro Valley resident, Karen Stratman), was opposed to the $17 million bond and the secondary property tax to pay for it. She stated that if ball fields were wanted by our residents, then they should have been a priority rather than the Town purchasing 3 golf courses.

Solomon calls a Point of Order
Ms. Stratman was quickly interrupted by Councilmember Solomon who called a Point of Order, stating that she was not allowed to speak on an agenda item during the Call to Audience. Solomon addressed the Town Attorney stating that, “She specifically mentioned the bond issue that’s on the agenda.”

Although he was correct that discussing an agenda item during the Call to Audience is not allowed, it’s what happened next that revealed his true intention in stopping her speech…and it wasn’t because he’s a stickler for enforcing Parliamentary Rules.

Solomon’s True Intentions
The next person to speak (Oro Valley resident, Ben Baker) was in favor of the $17 million bond. He opened his speech by instructing the council on the best way to convince people to vote to approve the bond, including giving specific examples of how to entice residents into voting YES.

Solomon was silent. He never interrupted this speaker. He never called a Point of Order and Mr. Baker was allowed to present his entire speech unimpeded, despite speaking on the same agenda item that Solomon had just prevented Ms. Stratman from speaking on.

Why was Solomon not consistent in asking the Town Attorney to enforce the rules? One can only conclude that it was because Mr. Baker was in favor of the $17 million Naranja Park Bond (as was Councilmember Solomon) and Solomon wanted to make sure that that speaker’s voice was heard!

This is Councilmember Solomon in action. To him, Parliamentary Rules should only apply to those who disagree with him. If you agree with him, he’s just fine with suspending the rules for you. Councilmember Solomon has never understood the simple fact that he is supposed to be a councilmember for all and not just for those who agree with him.

Appointed his crony to Planning & Zoning
Solomon also voted to appoint Don Cox to the Planning & Zoning Commission despite the council receiving letters of concern from multiple residents about Cox’s repeated inappropriate and unprofessional behavior while serving past terms on P&Z. Cox had already been reprimanded twice by the Town Attorney for his inappropriate behavior and for violating the rules for Board and Commission members. (NOTE: Cox was a vocal supporter of Steve Solomon during the 2016 election and formed a PAC that endorsed Pina-Rodman-Solomon for election. Quid pro quo?)
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The Solomon Chronicles: Part 2. “Voting Record” will be published next Wednesday.