On June 24, the Oro Valley Town Council rejected a proposal to create a new town commission on economic development.

Council members Paula Abbott, K.C. Carter, Al Kunisch and Mayor Paul Loomis cast opposing votes. In favor were Salette Latas, Barry Gillaspie and Bill Garner.

The proposed seven-member body was intended make recommendations to the council on economic development issues such as business attraction and retention, and provide the council with an annual action plan.

The commission would have worked with the town's economic development specialist and groups like Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities.

Carter opposed the formation of the group on the grounds that it would have done what council members were elected to do.

"Many of these items you're going to try to with this commission really should be done by the town council," Carter said. "We're supposed to lead this town, not start these d--- commissions."

The commission would have had members representing various sectors of the local economy from retail, lodging and other areas.

Garner proposed that Latas act as council liaison. He further requested that Latas have the power to appoint all members of the commission, and that standing members representing the town manager's office and the Northern Pima County Chamber of Commerce not be included on the commission.

Loomis asked to allow each council member an appointee at the creation of the new body, and that later members would follow the standing town practice of applying for open board positions subject to council approval.

Gillaspie disagreed with the suggestion.

"If we each select one of the members, then it becomes a political process," Gillaspie said.

Abbott said one member shouldn't have the power to appoint every member of a commission.

"I have trouble with one person on council picking every member," Abbott said.

Garner told the council that members of the new board would still have to be approved by a council vote.

Regardless, the proposed commission failed to meet council approval.

CORRECTION

In the June 24 Explorer, a story incorrectly reported a town council vote on the establishment of an economic development commission. The council did not approve the creation of the new commission. A corrected story follows.

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