Letters to Editor

No skin in the game?

Regarding Nov. 15 article “Oro Valley voters reject Naranja Park bond”: Mayor Hiremath’s remarks after the landslide defeat of his property tax are false. He had skin in the game by wasting $145,000 of our money to hold an election for a $28 million planned jackpot under guise of “sports” and “kids.” 

It is false that the council was “only responding to the community need for ball fields.”  In fact, as documented in the Oro Valley Little League Dec. 15 and 28, 2016 newsletters, the council engineered their requests for more sports fields.

“After placing the 454 bond on the ballot the town had no further involvement”, is also a lie: What about the Town’s presentations to service clubs, PTOs and at Sun City? What about the Naranja Park $33 million build out expense deceptively hidden from voters? And, what about the Mayor’s 2 TV interviews peddling his $28 million tax boondoggle?

The Mayor ended his comments stating the defeat of proposition 454 was, not a vote against the council, but an “outlier” not consistent with their 2015 recall victory.  In fact, the mayor should be good enough at basic math to calculate that a 72 percent loss is in no way outlying. The mayor and council are in fact the only outliers here.

—Brian Gagan

 

Yes for sales tax

Regarding the Nov. 22 article “County considering asking state legislature for sales tax for roadway repairs”: I would like to express my agreement with the ideas expressed in the Nov. 22 issue regarding the sales tax increase. There are two reasons for this.

People can regulate what they buy, thus regulating the amount of sales tax they pay. They cannot regulate the amount of property tax they pay.

Sales tax would be shared by snow birds, not only residents.

—Sandy Ainsworth

 

A done deal

I read the letters of last week, warning about General Plan changes and rezoning Big and Honeybee washes.  I care about the open spaces, views and the habitat these washes provide, but have stopped going to Oro Valley town council meetings which, at best, are a waste of time.

When the mayor had a 4-3 majority, the majority four would listen in bored silence to resident three-minute speeches against a development. Now, with a 7-0 majority, most items are on a consent agenda (decided before the meeting or decided without any discussion before a 7-0 approval).

The General Plan changes have been approved (controlled) town planning, and recommended by the Planning and Zoning Commission.

Finally, look at who is making the request. WLB on behalf of Vistoso Partners. Both were contributors to the mayor and majority during their recall, and the 2016 election of council members Piña, Rodman and Solomon.

If this request did not require changes to the General Plan approved in 2016 by 70 percent of town voters, it would likely be handled as a “consent agenda” item. I will attend tonight’s council meeting and join those opposing the changes.

—Joe Lauer

 

Leave Oro Valley

I bought my first house in Oro Valley 25 years ago. During that time frame, I’ve seen many changes to the area, both residential and commercial. 

I am sick and tired of reading, here in the Explorer, the negative comments submitted by the same individuals over and over again. Whether it be the golf course and community center purchase, or housing development, these naysayers constantly belittle the town council and administration. Their contempt for progress and managed growth only reflects upon their own selfishness and make it plainly obvious just how bitter they are in their attempts to further their own agenda. 

It’s as if they’re saying, “Now that I’ve got mine, let’s close the door to all others who want to live here and participate in the community.”

 The recall election was held and created even more divisiveness between both sides on town issues but the voters of Oro Valley spoke with their ballots. Those candidates pushing negativity lost so to their supporters, just get over it. If not, maybe sell and just get out.

—Ron Webster

 

Honey Bee déjà vu 

In Oro Valley, it seems that development issues are never fully settled or fully go away, but merely resurface in another guise.

Regarding the proposal on the Town Council agenda for a General Plan Amendment and to rezone a portion of Honey Bee Canyon and Big Wash for residential usage. Honey Bee Canyon was the focus of two referendum drives and major and contentious battles over its development and usage throughout the late 1990s.  

Honey Bee is one of only three areas within Pima County with Class 1 Riparian Habitats. The other two are Sabino Creek and Cienega Creek. Due to the importance of the canyon, its petroglyphs, riparian habitat and wildlife corridor, its development, use and buffer zones became a rallying point both in Oro Valley and throughout Pima County.

It appears that the developer request before the Town Council on Dec. 6 will receive approvals despite any opposition. Because really, speaking from past experience, when has this council failed to approve a developer request despite common sense and desires of area residents?

Maybe it’s time to bring back the T-shirts from the 1990s to “Save Honey Bee Canyon.”

— Rosalie Roszak

 Send letters to the editor to Logan Burtch-Buus at logan@tucsonlocalmedia.com.

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