Sun City name change: My opinion

Changing the name of our 25-year-old community is a big deal to me and many others who live here. Our 7 Member Board circumvented homeowners, by purposely not allowing them the opportunity to vote on this important community issue.

While nobody can say with complete certainty how the vote would have turned out, my sincere feeling is that it would have been overwhelmingly defeated. No doubt the Board had similar concerns as to the probable outcome, hence the way they went about effecting the change.

Changing our name impacts 2,488 homeowners and their families and will cost thousands before the process is completed. Who pays the cost? Homeowners, of course!

All 7 members voted their unanimous approval for the name change. They include: Robert Hefner, Fred Bjorling, Janice Strassburg, George Williams, Dick Brammell and Lou Gard. One thing is for certain, this Board knew how to shoot itself in the foot, when it came to healing wounds and bringing the community together.


Micheal Burk,

Formerly, Sun City Vistoso

What about endorsing Sen. Melvin?

I was discouraged to read the editorial on endorsements. I feel the Explorer should make an exception for Senator Al Melvin. Not keeping Captain Al in office would be a tragedy, and leave a void in print media that would take years from which to recover. Was not Senator Melvin’s voting to cut the education budget for our children not a boon to journalists city-wide in their quest for a story with depth?

And, when Al voted to slash funding for medical care for the poor. Was that not at least worth 500 words for a column about the senator’s lack of compassion?

What a great subject it was for a background piece when he voted to increase the budget of the Department of Corrections. Why spend Arizona’s money educating children when we can provide kumbayah programs for convicted felons. The pundits loved that one. It, however, was nothing compared to Melvin’s inviting nuclear waste into storage facilities to be constructed adjacent to Saddlebrooke. What a reporter’s delight. I beg the Explorer’s staff to rethink endorsements and consider the ‘above the fold scoops’ Al Melvin could provide in the next term.

Jon Langione,

Oro Valley

Response to Zinkin’s OV Police stance

Zinkin mismanages the truth…and other matters. How’s that for political correctness?

In his recent Letter to the Editor, Mr. Zinkin (self appointed spokesperson for Councilman Elect Brendon Burns and Bill Garner) makes the following statement, “None of the newly-elected councilmen have even mentioned that they want to outsource the police department, that want to rid the Department of the School resource Officers, or desire to cut the police department by 10% or that we want to replace the current chief.”

In March 2011, Mr. Zinkin sent the following to the Explorer:

“Before you come to the citizens for more money, you need to clean up your own house. You need to make some sacrifices. Oro Valley does the Amphi District job of providing security to the schools with seven school resource officers (SRO’s).”

That sounds like a desire to eliminate the SRO’s to me.  On many occasions Mr. Zinkin has stated that we have more motor officers than we need.  That sounds like a desire to eliminate motor officers.

Recently elected Council member (not “councilmen”) Garner has clearly stated his desire to eliminate SRO’s and wants to reduce the police budget. Since it is primarily a labor budget, one can only draw the conclusion that people must go. If it isn’t people it must be things like guns, uniforms, those pesky vehicles, bullet proof vests and so on.

I would ask that Mr. Zinkin just give us a break from the silliness that he and his ilk try to hide. Just tell us what you want to do and let the people decide. There isn’t going to be a management study so get your cards out on the table and deal with us, the people, honestly……for a change. That will be respected. Your current path is not.


Don Cox,

Oro Valley

Golder Ranch should end its attempt to annex CF

The Golder Ranch Fire District, which serves mainly Oro Valley and the southern portion of Pinal County, is attempting to take over a large area of the Catalina Foothills by leaping over the Coronado National Forest.

The GRFD impact statement clearly states that there would be a large financial gain to the existing residents of the GRFD at the expense of the residents of the proposed annexation.  To put this into perspective, GRFD projects first-year revenues of $2.16 million that they would receive from the proposed annexation area.

This new source of revenue is considerably in excess of the cost of providing services. Foothills residents need to be aware that it would not be in their best interest to sign the annexation petition.

 To accomplish the annexation, GRFD would need to obtain signatures from more than 50 percent of the property owners and from owners of more than 50 percent of the assessed valuation within the proposed annexation area.

For the past 40 years Rural Metro has provided prompt and excellent service to the Catalina Foothills. Rural Metro Station 80 is located in the heart of our area and will remain regardless of the outcome of the annexation attempt.

Currently, property owners have a choice whether or not to select fire coverage from Rural Metro. Choices include plans with discounts for alarm systems, sprinkler systems and master contracts for homeowner associations. If the annexation is successful, there will be no choice. Regardless of the outcome, Rural Metro Station 80 would remain to serve the Foothills area east and south of the proposed annexation.

Rural Metro bases its annual charge on the square footage of your home or business. GRFD will impose a property tax based on the assessed valuation of your home, which will increase as property values recover and increase. Homes within the Catalina Foothills will pay GRFD at least 15 percent to 200 percent more than what they currently pay depending on the valuation of the property.

GRFD will also assess a tax on vacant parcels at a considerably higher cost than the annual $71 optional coverage from Rural Metro.

At recent meetings held by homeowner associations and GRFD, it is very clear that the citizens attending these meetings do not support the GRFD effort. There is no reason to change, unless you want to enhance the coffers of GRFD.

We urge GRFD to re-consider its efforts and drop its attempt to take over our area through annexation. We urge our neighbors to reject any annexation petition passed by GRFD. If you sign the petition, it is your approval of the annexation.

Keeping Rural Metro and continuing 40 years of outstanding service is simple. Do not sign the petition. End of story.

David Nathanson & Robert Burch,

Catalina Foothills

A vote in favor of the F-35 in Tucson

It has been a long road for the F-35. From the countless environmental hearings here in town to the debates on the floor of our nation’s capitol. But it looks like the program has finally turned the corner. recently stated that the F-35 program is “progressing nicely” and that it is gradually becoming “an American success story”. We all know how important this program is to our air base, to the local suppliers, and to the jobs that the program provides.

Now that the program is beginning to prove successful, I hope that the local leaders in elected office who have had their reservations about the program see that the F-35 will only help our local economy and citizens for decades to come.

Devin Williams,


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