Oro Valley has an interesting election atmosphere – there are three seats and six candidates, but instead of looking at each candidate independently, some think filling the three open seats has to come through as a package deal.

There is talk that Mike Zinkin, Councilman Bill Garner and Brendan Burns have to be elected together. Then, apparently Mark Napier, Councilman Steve Solomon and Fred Narcaroti are in it together.

During a recent luncheon, some current council members, and even the guest speaker, said the open seats should go to Solomon, Napier and Narcaroti.

With these discussions out there, I can stress this, vote for the people you like.

The people who have good answers to important questions, the candidate who you feel will represent you best - vote for that person. Then, vote for two others with the same credentials.

There should be no thinking that since I like this candidate I have to vote for the two named regularly with him.

The Explorer doesn’t endorse, but we have been out there. We have heard the rhetoric on both sides, we know who the candidates are, we’ve put out our own questionnaire. Interestingly enough, there was a quick complaint about those questions from a specific group who thought they were too hard. Remember, if you can’t answer hard questions now without telling on The Explorer to your allies, public office is going to be a long-hard road for you to travel. A newspaper’s questions during an election are nothing compared to what a mob of angry residents are going to ask or say when you are looking to raise taxes, or cut programs.

Given leadership coming from our president, our Congress and the State legislature, I have no doubt that residents are sick of the bickering back and forth. We all are.

However, I will say this about any Town Council - seven yes men who agree on every single topic, on every single issue will do nothing but a disservice to the community.

A councilman who questions budgets, reviews an agenda thoroughly, and votes how he or she feels they should, even if it goes against the majority, is the candidate who is looking out for your well being.

A candidate asking hard questions about every topic is doing his job. The council member that is more excited to talk about a recent party they attended than question numbers in the budget is not representing the town, they are playing their part in what they believe is a popularity contest.

When questions are raised, alternatives are sought and discussion is held, the citizens are being represented. When a majority agrees on everything, questions nothing and goes with the flow, there will come a point that something will get missed.

Do not think that a group of seven people who are friends, meet socially and appear to adore each other are going to be good leaders as an entire board when a serious subject warrants serious discussion that leads to the best course of action.

The best advice I can give is remember there are six candidates to consider. All six must be looked at as independent. They must be considered on their own merits, their own ability to lead and not whether or not they are friends of the other candidate you like, or seem to be adored by some of the current council members.

Follow the information, attend the forums, read the candidate’s positions in their own words and vote for the three “individuals” you want.

And, just because it’s a sticking point that has annoyed me throughout this election process, I have to stress that your Town Council is comprised of seven people. There has been one candidate saying “me, me, me.” Just remember, not one of these candidates did anything on their own. Things get done through a majority vote of the council. If they don’t say “We” in listing accomplishments, then that should raise some red flags for you.

— Thelma Grimes

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