Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Guest View: Mike Zinkin ~ Biggest budget in Oro Valley history

The latest from our “fiscally responsible” Town Council
Our “fiscally responsible”(?) Town Council just passed the highest budget in the history of Oro Valley. To quote directly from the budget: “This budget totals $134.4 million, representing a significant increase of $29.0 million, or 27.5% higher than the adopted Fiscal Year 2020/2021 budget of $105.4 million.”

A Private Citizen paid for the Town’s Fourth of July fireworks
We all took pleasure in the recent fireworks display on July 4th. However, the fireworks were not paid for by the Town. Even with the passage of the highest budget in history, the Town needed a private citizen to pay for the fireworks.

Why couldn’t the Chamber of Commerce sponsor the fireworks? After all, they get $40,000 a year from the Town. Why couldn’t HSL, or Meritage homes, or Pulte homes sponsor the fireworks display as a thank you for all the times the Town bent over backwards for them? Why does the Town need a private citizen to offer to sponsor the fireworks?

Using Citizen Funds is not new to this Council and Town Manager
• The Town depends on $125,000 per year from two HOA’s to supplement the golf debacle.

• The Town counts on private citizens to maintain Canada Hills Dr. and Mountain Breeze Dr. (south of Naranja) despite those streets not being gated and through-traffic being allowed.

With the passage of a $134.4 million budget, the Town still requires additional funding to support the services that should be expected from the Town. The Town is supposed to serve the people, not squeeze every dollar they can from them. The people should not be expected or required to serve the Town.

Mike Zinkin and his wife have lived in Oro Valley since 1998. He served on the Oro Valley Development Review Board from 2005-2009, the Board of Adjustment from 2011-2012, and the Town Council from 2012-2016. He was named a Fellow for the National League of Cities. He was a member of the NLC Steering Committee for Community and Economic Development and a member of the Arizona League of Cities Budget and Economic Development Committee. He was an Air Traffic Controller for 30 years. Mike has a Bachelor’s degree in history and government from the University of Arizona and a Master’s degree in Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education from California State University, Northridge.