There are several reasons why the voters of Oro Valley should vote for me.
My life experiences have included extensive leadership training. Throughout my working life I have been placed in leadership positions and there have been occasions where I simply assumed a leadership role through my own initiative. Allow me to give you an example of why this is important to Oro Valley.
When asked to review their accomplishments members of the Town Council, listed a series of events that had been initiated by their predecessors and completed or nearly completed during their tenure. For example they listed the partial completion of the reclaimed water system. They listed the completion of our fine new hospital. They stated the library construction was nearly complete. A new site for the Town maintenance yard had been purchased. They listed nothing that they alone had initiated and/or completed with the exception of passing a resolution regarding medical liability and agreeing to have a Town parade. The reason for this very pale list of 'accomplishments' is, in part, the fact that they lack cohesiveness. There does not appear to be that sense of purpose so very important to a Town Council. They lack a leader who can work within the group pointing out common ground, bring about well-mannered, courteous discussions and negotiate through differences. The goal is to have a result that makes Oro Valley a better place to live, work and play. I believe I bring that leadership attribute to the Town Council.
Additionally, I have served on the Oro Valley Planning and Zoning Commission for five years from 2000 to 2005. In 2004 I was elected to serve as the Vice-Chair and a year later was elected to Chair the Commission. This was an invaluable learning experience. I gained important insight into the Oro Valley Zoning Code Revised, was instrumental in crafting the now approved General Plan and was able to sharpen some of my leadership skills previously mentioned as necessary to be an effective Councilperson.
There are other large issues that I will address.
We do not have a comprehensive long range plan (10 years) for Oro Valley. If we do not have a clear vision of where we want to be ten years from now, how can we develop a roadmap for getting there? One of my highest priorities will be to establish a long-range plan that is divided into three year, five year and ten year segments. An integral part of that plan must include the financing strategies to support achieving the goals of the plan.
We need to move forward on the Naranja Town Site and move it from a Town Site to a regional park. I see the funding for this coming from several sources. Corporate sponsorships should be encouraged and sought. Grants from federal and state agencies or private foundations should be vigorously pursued. Revenues from local sales taxes, bed taxes and other current existing tax methods can be utilized. Lastly, bonds could be sold to fund some of the construction. Once built, users of the park facilities should be required to pay appropriate fees to maintain those facilities where feasible. For instance, users of a softball diamond should pay for its use. Privatization of some aspects of the park is certainly an option. To the extent possible, the park should pay for itself.
There is a lack of business acumen on the current Town Council. That is not a criticism it is simply a reflection of the background of the individuals currently serving. I have the business skills necessary to make sound financial decisions. I have been directly responsible for the management of multi-million dollar budgets. I have managed large groups of both managerial and hourly employees and have made those hard decisions that make a business successful.
We still have no comprehensive fire plan for Oro Valley and in particular the future Oro Valley. If we are successful in the areas that are currently being considered for annexation, we may very well be dealing with four different fire service providers. This is an issue that must be addressed in our planning process and we need to do it sooner rather than later.
We have a significant shortage of medium income residential purchase opportunities. As of January 26, 2006 the average listed price for a home (manufactured, townhouse/condo or site built) in the postal zip codes of 85737 and 85755 is $579,608.00. One of the current goals of the Town is to attract high tech businesses. I whole-heartedly agree with this goal. But to truly benefit in the long term, we must have homes available in our community for the employees of these businesses to purchase. I have spoken with two CEO's of major Oro Valley employers. Both have expressed a concern about the ability to recruit qualified employees as a result of the high cost of housing.
I will work hard and address these issues during the next four years. I intend to work full time plus as your Council representative. I believe Oro Valley has grown to the point where this is the level of dedication necessary to accomplish the job and be an effective Councilperson. I believe that the citizens of Oro Valley deserve that kind of commitment from their elected officials.
COUNCILWOMAN CONNY CULVER RESPONDS:
I agree with Don Cox's business-like approach to problem solving. He has been a regular attendee at Council meetings and study session during the past few years. He has been very forthcoming in expressing his thoughts and is prepared to deal with town issues.
CANDIDATE AL KUNISCH RESPONDS:
These are some of the reasons I support Don Cox for Town Council.
Having been a member of the General Plan Steering Committee I had the pleasure to observe Mr. Cox leadership skills. I also observed him as a Planning and Zoning Commissioner. In both cases he did a great job.
However I do not agree with Mr. Cox about our current council member's leadership skills. We do have council members who have displayed leadership skills. Some are very well versed and have good attendance and are not tardy.
Mr. Cox supports a Yes vote on the Home Rule option and a Yes vote on question 2. Because of this I strongly support Mr. Cox for Town Council.