During the June 19 Oro Valley Town Council meeting, a heated discussion ensued on the merits of having the chief of police report to the town manager vs. the current reporting structure in which he reports to the town council.

Councilmembers Zinkin, Garner, and Burns all agreed that the best option was to have the Chief report to town manager, Greg Caton.  Their reasoning:  (1) it’s the council’s job to make policy decisions, not to manage day-to-day operations, (2) decisions could be made more efficiently by the town manager who is there every day as opposed to the council who meets only twice per month, and (3) they expressed their trust and confidence in Mr. Caton’s leadership abilities.

Mayor Hiremath and Councilmembers Hornat, Waters, and Snider disagreed and argued for keeping the status quo.  Then, surprisingly, in Snider’s attempt to explain why their decision was the correct one, she inadvertently sided with the minority when she said:

“This council, we hire professionals.  We hire people who have skills.  We hire department heads who know what they’re doing.  We hire department directors who know what they’re doing.  One of the most critical positions in a community is the chief of police and the town manager.  We have very capable individuals in there in both those positions.  The professionalism and the expertise and knowledge that it takes to run a police department, we (town council) don’t have and we hire a guy that knows what he’s doing…I have the utmost confidence in the partnership between the chief of police and the town manager.”

Her long-winded narration revealed that she actually agreed with Councilmembers Zinkin, Garner, and Burns.  I wonder at what point during her argument she realized that she had just uttered the longest Freudian slip in history.


Diane Peters,

Oro Valley

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