Coinciding with the retirement of former Parks and Recreation Director Ainsley Legner, the Town of Oro Valley has officially hired Kristy Diaz-Trahan to take over the position. The former Recreation Services Division Manager in the City of Albuquerque, Diaz-Trahan began work on Feb. 4.

Town Manager Greg Caton said after a national search, staff found the “cream of the crop” in their latest hire. 

“She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the organization, and we are extremely excited to have her on board,” said Caton. 

Native to Southern Arizona, Diaz-Trahan said she is excited to return.

“Having grown up in Southern Arizona, I always held Oro Valley in high regard,” she said. “With the beautiful Catalina Mountains, the miles of hiking and cycling trails, the robust recreational opportunities, and the top-notch golf courses, I am honored to be part of this special community.”

Legner retired after 13 years of service to the town.

Though Diaz-Trahan’s introduction was well received, there was slightly more dissention when it came to the appointment of Kelly Huber as the latest member of the Conceptual Design Review Board – though for reasons unrelated to the merit of her qualifications or character.

In a Jan. 16 meeting, the reappointment of former CDRB member Gil Alexander was denied in a 4-3 council vote. Prior to the vote, Mayor Satish Hiremath sent a letter to Alexander stating that his reappointment would be denied, to which Councilman Bill Garner took exception, arguing the issue should go to a vote. 

On Wednesday, Councilman Mike Zinkin chose to abstain from voting on Huber’s reappointment due to what he considered a flawed appointment process.

“My reason for taking it (the item) off the consent agenda is because I have a problem with the whole process, which created the vacancy, and I want my vote recorded as an abstention,” said Zinkin. 

Vice Mayor Lou Waters, who also serves as the liaison to the CDRB, addressed Zinkin’s decision by saying Huber’s appointment and Alexander’s denial were unrelated.

“Kelly Huber was the only person to apply for the CDRB,” he said. “The Gil Alexander events and the Kelly Huber events are contrary to the narrative that you have argued. Your arguments are fine, but absent the facts… Kelly Huber’s encouragement and support by me, as liaison to the CDRB, was inspired by her imminent qualifications… and Kelly Huber’s consideration for the CDRB was inspired by an offer of resignation by one of the board members to make way for her.”

Garner voted in favor of Huber’s appointment, along with Hiremath, Waters, and councilmembers Mary Snider and Joe Hornat. Councilman Brendan Burns was not in attendance for the meeting.

In other business, the council voted 6-0 to allow a planned area development amendment that will allow areas, including Sun City Oro Valley, the use of up-to-date signs that will better match the kiosk signs located throughout Oro Valley.

Council expressed worry that the replacement of the 20 neighborhood signs might take place over too prolonged a period, but it was stated by the applicant that immediate replacement is desired. 

Council also unanimously approved Conditional Use Permits that will allow two drive-thrus in the coming San Dorado development, located on the east side of the intersection of First Ave. and Oracle Road. 

The drive-thrus will be located at a CVS and Paradise Bakery.

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