While there are six candidates in the race for three open Oro Valley Town Council seats, incumbent Barry Gillaspie isn’t one of them.
Gillaspie said by the time he leaves the Town Council in June 2012 he will have served as an interested citizen, volunteer and elected official for the last 27 years. On the council, Gillaspie has served eight years, where he has been the vice mayor and a councilman.
“I have chosen to term myself out in order to recreate, and consider my options,” said Gillaspie. “I am not tired or bored, I am at the top of my game, and it is difficult for me to leave when there is still so many
opportunities and challenges for our wonderful community.”
Gillaspie said he will continue to be involved in the Oro Valley community, and might run for the Oro Valley council again, or in another election.
“Most importantly, I am honored that I had the opportunity to serve,” he said. “I am proud of my contributions to the Town. I know that much has been accomplished.”
With Gillaspie opting not to run, there will be at least one new council member after the March and May elections.
Residents will be choosing from incumbent Bill Garner, and appointed councilman Steve Solomon.
Garner, who is seeking a second four-year term, said there is still plenty of work to be done.
“I want to continue to foster and lead the community into the future,” he said. “Another four years will help me work and finish some projects.”
Some of those projects include the $3.4 million pool expansion that was recently approved by the council. He also pointed out the town’s interests in future annexations.
Garner said with most of the council being sworn in last year, and Gillaspie choosing not to run for reelection, he would bring a certain amount of senority and balance.
Solomon was appointed to the council by a majority vote last year. This is his first election.
Solomon said he decided to officially run because, “I believe we have an amazing community. Oro Valley is truly a town of excellence, and should continue to be. The majority of the current council has continued to provide excellent service, even in the face of severe budget cuts.”
The remaining four candidates include Brendan Burns, Mark Napier, Fred Narcaroti and Mike Zinkin, who ran for mayor last year.
Burns, a local attorney, said he is running because he wants to assure that Oro Valley growth remains consistent with the community’s values and plans.
“Oro Valley needs to track young professionals, improve schools, grow business, while at the same time taking care of our retirees,” he said. “For Oro Valley, it’s not a question of grow or not grow, but to grow to be consistent with the town values.”
Napier said he feels Oro Valley is at a critical juncture, and decisions being made now will impact the sustainability of the town’s future.
Napier, a retired Tucson police officer, said, “I really have a passion for the community. I understand how to manage a public organization, and my whole life has been dedicated to public service.”
Narcaroti said he wants to get more involved in the community.
“I want to focus on the regional approach, rather than a small-town approach to planning,” he said. “The current council is doing a lot of good things, but with my experience in infrastructure and environment, I can be an asset.”
Zinkin said he doesn’t feel the citizens of Oro Valley are being properly represented.
“The only endorsement I am seeking is the endorsement of the citizens,” he said. “I intend to put in all the time required to make decisions that represent the citizens.”
The Primary Election will be Tuesday, March 13.The last day to register to vote in the primary is Feb. 13.
Like most municipalities, Oro Valley will continue hosting an all mail election. The ballots will be mailed to voters on Feb. 16.
The General Election will be held on May 15. The last day to register to vote in the General Election is April 16.
General Election ballots will be mailed on April 19.
Deadline to Register - Tuesday, Feb. 13.
Primary - The election is March 13, ballots will be mailed to residents on Feb. 13.
Deadline to Register - April 16
General - The election is scheduled for May 15. Ballots will be mailed to voters on April 19.