Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Guest View-Kevin Mattocks: If Public Safety Is Important To You…

Mayor Winfield and his incumbent slate of candidates support what Danny Sharp has accomplished.

Now, after two Oro Valley candidate election debates, and their own election material distributions, it's clear Mayor Winfield and his incumbent slate of candidates are the biggest supporters of Danny Sharp and what he's done for this community. They all constantly talk about how Oro Valley is recognized as one of the safest communities in Arizona. Do they now acknowledge that it was Danny Sharp's 20 years of leadership with the Oro Valley Police Department into 2020 that continues this historical recognition of safety?

Mayor Winfield and his incumbent slate of candidates are constantly talking about how great it is that they hired Kara Riley as the Chief of Police. I agree, however, it was Danny Sharp who as Chief of Police recommended to council that an internal Oro Valley Police personnel process be conducted to find our Police Chief. Kara Riley was one of the Oro Valley Police Department members that Chief Sharp mentored and provided the training opportunities to, as part of his succession planning commitment, in order for her to be able to fill the Police Chief position. Mayor Winfield and his incumbent slate of candidates, in spite of Chief Sharp's succession planning and recommendation, spent thousands of dollars conducting an external process. Besides the unnecessary expenditure, this had an immediate negative morale impact on the entire Police force.

When Danny Sharp became a candidate for Mayor, incumbent Mayor Winfield and his incumbent slate of candidates professed their support of public safety by pointing to the town's funding of the police pension fund. They talked about how the excess millions of dollars in the contingency fund was put into the pension fund along with monies borrowed at a low interest rate to avoid future costs. What they don’t mention is the fact that there was a long-term plan in place already to address the pension funding issue. They do say their decision will save "up to 30 million dollars". So, it's "up to" 30 million dollars? When was the last time you were told you could save "up to" something and you actually saved that amount? By the way, zero is up to 30 million dollars, so what will it be? Sure looks like a typical play on words, sleazy sales gimmick we are sick of in national politics.

What Mayor Winfield and his incumbent slate of candidates did not do was use any of the excess contingency funds to address staffing needs in the police department that have been brought up for several years prior. Winfield and his incumbent slate of candidates advertise their funding of “School Resource Officers (SROs) for schools” in their campaign materials. The truth is they eliminated funding for two school resource officers since they took office. Now they say it was due to the schools being closed for "COVID". So why when all the schools opened back up were the School Resource Officers not returned to schools at the same staffing levels as before? Is this reminiscent of the national politics where a crisis is used to institute generally unpopular wishes of the few?

Mayor Winfield and his incumbent slate of candidates now tout their decision leading to Oro Valley Police Officers being the highest paid southern Az force. Again, what they don't mention is that this support for correcting the pay issue didn't happen until May 2022. If Danny Sharp, with decades of public safety support, wasn’t a candidate for Mayor do you think Incumbent Mayor Winfield and his incumbent slate of candidates would be “all in” to support public safety? Where have they been for the last three or four years then?

As has been said before:

If public safety is important to you, it is important to elect a Mayor who will support public safety consistently, and not just every four years as Mayor Winfield and his incumbent slate of candidates do when there’s an election.

Danny Sharp will be the Mayor who will always support public safety to make sure Oro Valley remains the safest community for citizens to live, work and play.