Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Guest View: Mike Zinkin – Hypocrisy: It’s in Our Nature

Town Council amends the Water Conservation Code
Last month, the Council amended the Town’s Water Conservation Code. (You can read the Code HERE).

The reason for the amendment was that the Town is responding to the drought conditions facing the State of Arizona. The amendment states:
“It is hereby declared that, because of the water shortage conditions experienced in the Town of Oro Valley, the general welfare requires that all the water resources available to the Town be put to the maximum beneficial use to the extent to which they are capable, and that waste, excessive use, or unreasonable method of use of water be prevented, and that conservation of water be exercised in the interests of the Town of Oro Valley and for the public welfare.”

The amended code goes on to state that the Town encourages its water users to conserve water voluntarily, and to “minimize water usage and to utilize water more efficiently.“

They want you to minimize your water usage yet they refuse to reduce golf
This is the same Council majority that ran on a platform of reducing golf, yet, in a town of 45,000 residents, they folded under the duress of just 400 pro-golf citizens to allow the continuation of 36 holes of golf and are also allowing the continuation of potable water usage at the Pusch Ridge course. (Remember also that 8,000+ residents elected them with the understanding that they would close at least one of the three town-owned golf courses).

Let’s look at the hypocrisy
Below is the water usage for the calendar year through October 2021:

Pusch Ridge – 23,616,000 gallons (potable water)
Canada Course – 92,727,000 gallons
Conquistador course – 96,967,000 gallons

In addition, it also takes more water to over-seed a course. This is why they should over-seed the greens and tee boxes only and leave the Bermuda grass dormant on the fairways. Overseeding the fairways may make the courses look prettier, but it does nothing to improve the quality of the lie of the golf ball. Hitting a ball off dormant Bermuda grass is just as good as hitting off winter rye. The Views Golf Course in Sun City is not over-seeding.

This entire waste of water illustrates the hypocrisy of our local government. The model of winter golf in Arizona must change due to our water problems.

Leading by example
Oro Valley has many neighborhood parks that over-seed. Before the Water Utility tells the neighborhoods how to use water more efficiently, perhaps they should look inward at the example the Town is setting.

It appears that the Oro Valley Government wants you to, “Do as we say, not as we do.” Is the Town leading by example? Are they using water more efficiently or are they wasting water?

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.