Thursday, March 16, 2023

Guest View: Mike Zinkin – A Plea to the Younger Demographic of Oro Valley to "Get Involved"

I have documented on many occasions how the newly elected mayor and three councilmembers will be remembered as the most fiscally irresponsible council members in the history of Oro Valley.

Allowing the past Town Manager to spend $620,000+ unchecked and against Town Policy, spending bonded monies for park amenities that the citizens did not desire and without asking what the cost will be to maintain these amenities in the future, giving over $400,000 to Visit Tucson even though our Bed Tax revenues are down 11%, and until recently, completely ignoring the ADA issue at the Community Center and ignoring the need for a new Police Station.

Does anyone care about these issues? Does anyone care about the horrendous waste of potable water the Town is using on its properties? Does anyone care about the continued golf losses?

The impact of these council decisions will have lasting effects
Those most impacted will be those who are younger…our college students, young couples with small children, and those under 65. Where are these people? Why are they not engaged in the conversation when they will be the most impacted?

These issues will not likely affect me, and yet I still take the time to research them and report on them. Where are the citizens that have children who will be adversely affected by this Council’s decisions?

Over the years, residents in various parts of town have been “up in arms” over land and development issues that impact their views, their neighborhoods, and their property values. They organize and spend a lot of their time and energy on these issues that directly impact them. But where is their anger over the Council’s reckless spending and water waste?

An appeal to the younger generation
Unless the younger population of the Town gets involved, this Council will continue unchecked. The result? In about 10 years, there will be a Council faced with paying for the maintenance and upkeep of the Town’s amenities -- the cost of maintaining the splash pad, the BMX track, the Vistoso Preserve. When coupled with the cost of providing needed services, the Council in office in 10 years will either have to reduce amenities, reduce services, or levy an additional tax on you to pay for these things.

People need to get involved, ask questions of the Council, and implore them to consider the future costs of the decisions that they make today that will impact you tomorrow.

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.