Councilman Zinkin responds to Hiremath - Northwest Chatter - Explorer

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Councilman Zinkin responds to Hiremath

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Mayor Satish Hiremath and Coucilman Mike Zinkin.


It was with disappointment and sadness that I read the attack on me by the mayor in last week’s Explorer.  It was filled with hearsay, innuendo, inaccuracies, and twisted “facts.” Considering that he won his election for mayor against me by a mere 30 votes, there was a time I hoped that we might be able to work together.   After all, I was elected to council by a substantial margin.  Unfortunately, he is now using his position in an unprecedented public effort to engage in character assassination to enhance his position as a viable candidate for re-election.

So, I will respond to his article factually:

Sexual harassment is a crime.  In 30 years in government service, I was never accused, let alone convicted, of sexual harassment, nor have I been now.  The people making these allegations are the same people alleging that I was fired as an air traffic controller (despite evidence I have provided to the contrary) and that I use inappropriate language at the town hall.  All this is devoid of truth, and I can only hope the citizens of Oro Valley can see through these repeated attempts to defame my character.

I attempted to place OVPD supervision under the town manager, like over 95 percent of all other cities and towns in the nation.  That idea was rejected by a council majority (all of whom were endorsed by the OVPOA.)  Since the OVPD currently reports to the council, I attempted OVPD oversight and have been attacked by the OVPOA and the Mayor, who carries an OVPOA endorsement.

I did mention during a phone conversation with the police union that if an analysis showed that the OVPD needed to be “right-sized,” nobody would be fired.  The junior lieutenant would simply be made a sergeant.....the junior sergeant an officer.  It was unknown to me at the time that the junior lieutenant is a female.  My statement was not “anti-female,” nor an attempt to “intimidate” anyone.

The so-called “hit and run” accident was thoroughly investigated by the Pima County Sheriff’s Department and no charges were filed.  It was not a hit and run.  In fact, the person who offered to fix my car was the brother of the owner of the subject vehicle that was not damaged.

It’s true that I inquired about how much money the OVPD spent to escort the Prescott Fire Fighters.  I have yet to receive an answer.  Apparently, it’s easier to attack my alleged “insensitivity” than answer two simple questions:  “How much did it cost and how did it enhance the safety of Oro Valley residents?”  I have also asked the OVPD how much the take-home car policy costs the citizens.  I don’t see this as anti-police, but pro-accountability.  If the OVPD can justify such expenses in terms of enhanced safety, then the expenditures are worthwhile.  I still don’t have answers, only attacks.

The mayor conveniently did not mention that the attorney general is currently investigating two open meeting law violations against him, or disclose from whom he has accepted money.  When I campaigned, I said the only endorsements I wanted were from citizens.  I accepted no endorsements or money from builders, developers, or PAC’s representing special interests.  The mayor accepted then (and does to this day) money and endorsements from such organizations.

This recall is a veiled attempt to shore up the mayor’s council majority (all of whom are up for re-election in 2014).

These special interests and the mayor have underestimated the intelligence of Oro Valley voters, and I encourage readers to consider the motivations of those behind these relentless, antagonistic  attacks.  Let’s move forward in 2014 and together celebrate our town - Oro Valley.


(Editor’s Note: Mike Zinkin is a member of the Oro Valley Town Council. The opinions expressed in the above column are Mr. Zinkin’s and do not necessarily reflect those of The Explorer.)