Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Excerpts from June 28, 2022 Town Council Candidate Forum: Statement of Melanie Barrett

Today, LOVE is presenting the Opening and Closing Statements of Vice-Mayor Melanie Barrett during the Town Council Candidate Forum. LOVE added the subheadings.
Melanie Barrett Opening Statement
I’m a 13-year resident of Oro Valley. I’m the mother of 4 great children ages 16 to 5. My husband works at Raytheon. I grew up in San Diego and I love to call Oro Valley home and plan to raise my family here.

I originally ran for office [in 2018] because I felt families in Oro Valley needed to be represented and that local government ought to be more responsive to its citizens than to landowners and developers. Now, 4 years later, I’m running for re-election to finish the great track record that we’ve started and continue making Oro Valley the best place to live, work, and play in Arizona.

What we’ve accomplished
We were able to listen to our residents when we partnered with them to purchase what is now Vistoso Trails Nature Preserve as a Town park rather than see it turned into homes, apartments, and large senior care facilities. We need leadership that sees the potential in this and other parks. In the Marketplace, we helped keep Oro Valley beautiful when we asked for a plan that did NOT include 75 foot, 6-story apartments on a viewshed corridor that blocked beloved Catalina mountain views and included the largest buildings north of downtown. Now the developer is working on a plan to add housing, two hotels, and businesses largely within existing heights. This will help the center thrive while keeping the viewshed as our General Plan and residents expect us to protect.

With recreational opportunities expanding within existing revenues and no new taxes, business growth over 12%, new employers like Leonardo Electronics, annexing the Westward Look Hotel, and being ranks the safest city in Arizona, I am very proud of what we have accomplished and look forward to continuing to improve the things that make Oro Valley great while protecting the things that make us special and unique.

Melanie Barrett Closing Statement
I’m glad for tonight because it helped clarify some of the issues and why I’m running for council. I’m thankful to these gentlemen for wanting to run.

It’s a hard thing to run for council, but if these gentlemen running against the current council are elected, we will have no women on the council and we will have no members on the council under the age of 50. We will have no paid police pension because they’ve said they’re against the police pension. They support 6-story apartments in our scenic corridor and no Naranja Park buildout for our residents and families.

Those are things that are important to me, that we keep those things that make Oro Valley special.

We’re doing great things. We’re the safest community in Arizona. We’re moving in the right direction. We’re bringing in businesses and employers, annexing resorts, managing balanced growth in a smart way to balance our financial future and [the needs of] our residents. So, I ask for your vote to be able to continue moving Oro Valley in a forward direction. Thank you.
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