Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Glossy Mailers and Flashy Ads Misstate the Facts… Add Nothing To The Conversation

Glitter ain’t gold
Glossy mailers and ads in a local advertising circular are making assertions against the incumbents running for Mayor and council. These mailers are being paid for by the “Keep OV Strong Pac”. 

A week ago Friday, resident Jack Stinnett wrote a Guest View disclosing some of those behind this PAC. They include current Council Members Mo Greene and Steve Solomon and current council candidate Bill Rodman.

One marketing company working for all
It is rather unseemly that a current Council Member and one who wants to be a Council Member would condone these ads and mailers. According to a campaign violation complaint filed by current Oro Valley Vice Mayor and Candidate Melanie Barrett, the PAC is allegedly using a third party (Campaign Associates of Southern Arizona) to collude with the campaigns of the challengers. That organization is operated by MattMann Creative, a Tucson based individual (aka Mattmannportfolio).  That entity, under the various companies, has received ten’s of thousands of dollars from the PAC and from the candidates, according to their filed campaign finance reports.

The assertions that are being made add no value to what should be a serious conversation about the future of our community.
Let’s take a look at three of them:

“You put us $52 million in debt past year”
It is true that the town issued bonds in the amount of $52 million last. year. However, $27 million was used to eliminate a liability the town owed to the State of Arizona Public Service Pension Retirment Fund. So, the net added debt incurred was $25 million. 

“You lied about the Naranja Park Bond” 
We know of no lie that any of the incumbent candidates made regarding the $25 million parks bond. They never hid its purpose. What is true is that the incumbents abandoned the town’s forever “pay as you go only” philosophy for building parks by supplementing funding for parks with these bonds. These same incumbents had previously publicly supported “pay as you go only.” Not exactly a lie….but a definitely change in position.  The bond is paid from an existing sales tax revenue source. There are no new taxes. This is Winfield’s justification for supporting the bonds.

You violated Arizona open meeting laws on several occasions
The “violation” to which the mailers refer was filed with the Pima County Attorney Office. They looked into one complaint. The county attorney made a preliminary finding of a violation without investigating the matter with the town. Town outside council Rothschild provided the facts. After reviewing these facts, the county attorney concluded that “further investigation would not be productive and further action on the complaint is not warranted.” That letter further states that “…the additional materials [provided by Rothschild] demonstrate that the Council’s use of executive session was arguably justified… and that the OVTC made good faith efforts to comply with the OML in conducting town business.” (Source: Letter From Pima  County Attorney, March 31, 2021)

We suggest that you throw the glossy mailers away and focus on what the candidates are saying
None of these assertions form the basis for an informed decision for whom to vote. We suggest that you focus on what’s real… The candidates… What they have done for the community… What they would like the future to be.

Because it is the future that matters.

The real issues need to be debated by serious candidates, not by a PAC of wolves.
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