Answering a call from town officials to submit arguments in favor of and opposed to the Naranja Town Site ballot issue, 39 residents sent in their opinions.
Their arguments will appear in the November general election information booklet sent to
registered voters throughout
In the final tally, 24 letters supportive of the park bond were received. Another 15 sent in were opposed to the measure.
At least five letters in favor of the bond to fund the proposed park’s construction noted an enhanced quality of life the new park would bring.
The need for more recreational opportunities was mentioned in five of the letters as well.
“We lack recreational space to serve our residents of all ages, and the Naranja Town Site provides a perfect solution to those needs,” one letter read.
Other arguments in support of the park cited overcrowding at the town’s existing parks.
One letter writer supportive of the bond election argued the park would help with business attraction efforts.
“Naranja Park not only will enhance recreation opportunities for families and attract new residents, but also motivate investment by business enterprises..,” the author wrote.
On the side opposed to the park bond, the difficult economic times in the country were cited in at least eight letters.
“Under these circumstances, it seems unconscionable that Oro Valley voters are being asked to consider a large capital investment that can clearly be deferred until economic conditions improve,” wrote one resident opposed to the ballot measure.
In a letter, Councilman K.C. Carter also cited the current financial woes of many across the country as the primary reason people should vote against the park.
Carter was the only council member to vote against putting the park on the November ballot.
Two letters against the proposed park mentioned the Wal-Mart under construction at Oracle and Tangerine roads.
In one, the author claims the town’s Naranja Town Site Web site employs “colorful images and smiling people” in an effort to garner residents’ support in the November election.
“This is the same marketing trick that Vestar (the developer building Oro Valley Marketplace) used to hoodwink Oro Valley into approving the above-mentioned $23 million dollars (sic) for a Wal-Mart,” wrote the author.
Another letter writer suggested that a park would attract an unwanted criminal element to the town.
“It would be a place for those to congregate and deal in drugs and other vices,” claimed the writer.
The deadline to register to vote in the November general election is Oct. 6. Election Day is Nov. 4.
Bond election would mean secondary property tax
In March, the Oro Valley Town Council voted to put the park issue on the November election ballot. Voters will decide whether to approve the municipal bond-financed park with an estimated $48-million price tag.
By approving the measure, residents would agree to a secondary property tax averaging about 38 cents per $100 of assessed property value.
The property tax would remain active for the 20-year bond schedule.