Monday, August 1, 2022

Four More Years? Yes or No? It’s Up To You

Oro Valley votes for mayor and council tomorrow  
Tomorrow, Oro Valley votes on who will be their Mayor and town council. 

It is a “winner take all scenario for Mayor
The mayor will either be former Police Chief Danny Sharp or Current Mayor Joe Winfield. Four years ago, Winfield won a landslide victory over then Mayor Satish Hiremath. Winfield received more than 58% of the 15,817 votes cast. Four years earlier, Hiremath won a landslide victory over his opponent, receiving more than 62% of the 11,027 votes cast. This earned him a second term as Mayor. 

We’ve covered the mayoral candidates and their views during the past four weeks. Still, we think it important to hear a bit from their supporters on why they support their candidate.

Sharp supporters say Danny is the best candidate
Mary Murphy is a six year resident of Oro Valley. She is also a member or the town’s Board of Adjustment. One of the reasons she chose to live in Oro Valley was the town’s outstanding public safety record. Here’s why Mary believes that Danny Sharp would be an excellent Mayor:
  • With a forty-year career in law enforcement, he has a documented record of community and service orientation, and as the spouse of a retired first responder, I fully understand the commitments they make on a daily basis.
  • While serving as police chief, he was asked to step in as Acting Town Manager for over a year. He took on this additional challenge without hesitation. That the Town looked for him to take on this task, and his willingness to do it indicate both a high level of competence and a commitment to our community. While filling this role, Danny gained valuable knowledge and insight into all aspects of town operations and funding. This experience is something few mayors have and is critically important here in Oro Valley, considering the current financial climate both locally and nationally.
  • Danny was one of the founders of Project Graduation in Oro Valley, a program designed to keep our young people safe on graduation night, and he continues to volunteer his time to this important program. As a mom, this commitment really resonates with me. 
  • Danny and his family demonstrate their love of Oro Valley by participating in the “Adopt a Road” program. For years the Sharp family has been clearing trash and debris from a large section of Naranja Drive, helping to keep Oro Valley beautiful. 
  • Additionally, Danny is also a member of the Oro Valley Hospital Board, and as someone with a background in the medical field, I find this to be quite admirable. Viewed with his other activities, this shows Danny’s commitment to the town as a whole, one that serves all its residents.
Winfield supporters say that Joe is the best candidate
Jack Stinnett is a long-time resident and former Chairman of the town’s Parks and Recreation Commission. He is passionate about our community and passionate in his support of Joe Winfield. Here are his thoughts:
  • The Winfield council has moved Oro Valley forward in every area, and Oro Valley today is the best place to live in Arizona. 
  • They have invested in our police officer’s pay and pensions to retain the men and women who keep Oro Valley the safest town in the state. 
  • They have improved the town’s financial rating to AA+, and paid off police pension debt that will avoid millions in future pension liabilities. They have used golf savings to improve and expand recreation amenities without any new taxes. Topping it off is our new 202 acre Vistoso Trails Nature Preserve that Joe refused to rezone for high density development. 
  • Mayor Winfield’s vision is to grow Oro Valley responsibly. He has self funded his campaign and will decide what is best for residents, NOT Tucson apartment developers, and real estate PACs who have funded his challenger. 
  • Finally, Mayor Winfield is the most honest man I know, and we need leaders who tell us the truth even when it is not what we want to hear.
Don’t forget to vote for three open council seats
The Mayor does not make decisions alone. It is the town council of which he is a member, that has the final say. There are six candidates vying for the three open council seats. Here’s who they are:
  • Melanie Barrett is the town’s Vice Mayor. One of her focus areas is representing the needs of families with school age children
  • Joe Erceg is a business development candidate. Joe wants to bring more sports activities into the community 
  • Charlie Hurt has lived in Oro Valley for 16 years. He is a former member and chair of the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission and a former member and chair of the town’s Water Utility Commission 
  • Joyce Jones-Ivey is a current council member. She takes pride in being an independent thinker. Joyce does not “go along to just get along.” 
  • Josh Nicolson brings a financial perspective to the council. His insight into finance was one of the driving forces in the town fully funding the public safety pension plan 
  • Bill Rodman served as council member from 2016 to 2020. Rodman is a proponent of growing the town to support business and to support the town’s finances. He voted for all approved general plan and zoning amendments during his prior tour on council. 
These six have affiliated themselves with one of the two mayoral candidates. But you don’t have to vote for one or all of them simply because they have done that. You can “mix and match.” 

We will be back Wednesday to report preliminary results
These results will likely include about 98% of the total votes cast. However, there will still be “provisional” and possibly late mail in ballots not yet counted. It could take a few more days for those.

So, Oro Valley, it’s election time.

Do your job!