Though the assigning of Oro Valley town council liaisons received no mention during the Dec. 7 session, being approved unanimously on the consent agenda, the positions play an important role in the communication and understanding of developments between the town’s governing board and the various boards, commissions and associated organizations which dictate numerous aspects of Oro Valley’s development.
The current liaison assignments were approved by council last December and will expire at the end of the calendar year. Assignments approved will last through the entirety of the 2017 calendar year.
Since last December, former councilmembers Mike Zinkin, Bill Garner and Brendan Burns failed to retain their seats during the August primary election. Though their liaison assignments would not directly pass on to new councilmembers Bill Rodman, Rhonda Pina and Steve Solomon, Mayor Satish Hiremath still held the responsibility of doling out new positions.
“My job is to find people that have an interest in the subject, then they will take an interest in the position.” Hiremath said. “The idea really for council liaison is not to manipulate the board or commission, but to show up and take an interest in that board or commission because the reverse certainly holds true. … All board and commission members serve as an extremely valuable resource to both the town and the council, and I want to make sure they all want to be there.”
Solomon will be the liaison for both the Historic Preservation Commission as well as the Board of Adjustment – both previously handled by Zinkin. In relation to Solomon’s two selections, Hiremath said it made perfect sense given the man’s history with land and real estate development within the community. Councilmember Rodman will take over for Councilmember Joe Hornat as the liaison for the Planning and Zoning Commission, a move Rodman suggested given his time on the commission as its president. Councilmember Pina will be taking over the position for the Water Utility Commission, a position also previously held by Hornat.
Councilmember Hornat will be taking over as the liaison for the Stormwater Utility Commission, previously held by Garner.
As for other liaison positions, Vice Mayor Lou Waters will remain with the Conceptual Design Review Board and Visit Tucson, Councilmember Mary Snider with the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and the Amphitheater Public School District, Hornat with the Legislative District and Hiremath will remain as liaison to the Greater Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Pima Association of Governments and the Regional Transportation Authority.
Regardless of where each councilmember is assigned, Hiremath said that the liaison work with boards and commissions which a majority of the time work behind the scenes, and are not always privy to town policies set by the mayor and council. Hiremath also said that there are some policies set in place of which the associated board, commission or organization is not aware, and those liaisons will act an an informational resource.