Letters to the editor published in the May 6, 2009, edition of The Explorer.
Personal attacks on OV's Abbott are unwarranted
In the last two editions of The Explorer there have been letters from two citizens criticizing Councilwoman Abbott.
The first writer, Ms. Culver was defeated in her bid for a second term. The following week, the second writer, Mr. Cox, failed in his bid to get elected to the council. On the other hand, the voters have repeatedly reelected Councilwoman Abbott.
One has to wonder why Ms. Culver and Mr. Cox suddenly, perhaps jointly, decided to attack an elected council member.
Councilwoman Abbott has links to families with children in Oro Valley. That represents a constituency that some other council members are not as connected to. We need to have that citizen group represented on the council.
In the interest of fairness, I would hope that personal attacks of this type would not be standard fare for this popular community news source.
Pat Kinsman, Oro Valley
Wake up, people;Feds think every last thing a crisis
It's troubling that while the growth of government is exploding out of control, the current administration categorizes every issue as a crisis. Wake up people. Hell has frozen over (snow in Vegas) and pigs do fly (swine flu).
It's a telling sign when my representative (Gabrielle Giffords) sends me an e-mail reminding me to cover my sneezes and to wash my hands with soap and water. During his presidential campaign, Obama reminded us uneducated serfs to check our car tire pressure to save gasoline. We're suggested at what degree we should keep our thermostat (uncomfortable), what type of light bulb we shouldn't use (incandescent), what foods we shouldn't eat (McDonald's), what type of cars we shouldn't drive (SUVs), how many sheets of toilet paper we should use to wipe ourselves (the number is unhygienic).
It's grossly offensive that my representative and our federal government think that I need to be told to utilize common sense where common sense should always prevail. It's a sad, sad day when the people we elect to serve us become our keeper in the nanny state.
I believe Congresswoman Giffords' plate is full enough. She should do her job as a representative for the people of Arizona. Enforce immigration laws by securing our national borders, repair our health care system through free enterprise by allowing insurance companies to sell insurance across state lines, and most importantly, rein in big government spending by reducing unnecessary social programs and cutting the pork.
Misti Chivaluksna-Smith,Oro Valley
If OV must cut police, it does so with little choice
A careful look at the police blotter usually published within these pages will lead you to see that Oro Valley is far from crime-ridden. From what I have read, just about every police report is about something minor or petty.
For those who insist that Oro Valley needs a bigger police force to keep the crime rate low, consider these statistics: Despite a higher police staffing ratio than OV, Marana suffers almost twice the number of crimes than Oro Valley does. Eighteen serious crimes in OV per 1,000 population compares with 33 per 1,000 in Marana.
Oro Valley's low crime rate has been relatively stable through years of constant growth, not because of sheer luck, but due to certain fortuitous factors: Far from being a shoot-'em-up, lawless territory, Oro Valley as a young town had a fair and honest reputation.
Through the years, peaceful, law-abiding citizens prevented the development of over-crowded conditions, slums, junkyards and impoverished neighborhoods by careful planning, enacting zoning laws, HOA guidelines, and yes, traffic regulations. Peace and quiet led many a retiree to settle here, and young families came as well. As residents watched out for each other, such qualities as caring and sharing contributed to our safety and well-being, as they do to this day.
Oro Valley is neatly contained; it is not yet really urbanized, nor is it infected by sprawl or located next to major transportation arteries that encourage swift flight for scofflaws. During rare criminal investigations, residents are cooperative with detectives. A low tolerance for bad behavior leads us to report suspicious persons or activities.
Currently, this town that prides itself on excellence must practice fiscal discipline as never before without overtaxing the resources of our citizens.
Should council need to reduce the numbers of police or other municipal employees, let us recognize that they are doing their best to lead us through hard times as fairly and honestly as possible. A reduction in any department or program will be sad, but it shouldn't be an occasion to obsess over or take personally.
Kathy Pastryk, Oro Valley
A three-part solution for OV's budget
The recent flurry of letters to your publication regarding the Oro Valley Police Department caught my interest and compelled me to submit the following.
It is very clear to anyone that examines the OVPD budget and staffing levels, as compared to other Arizona towns, they will find our police department excessively bloated. It is also clear to the casual observer. After all, do we really need the following levels of law enforcement? Officers, two each I believe, assigned to Oro Valley elementary schools? Multiple communications officers in the department? OVPD officers assigned to multi-agency law enforcement units working outside our town limits? Two unmarked police cars and six motorcycle units working traffic? Add to that a police armored vehicle I witnessed driving on Tangerine Road. Is a police helicopter next?
To give credit to the OVPD, the crime rate is low and I feel safe living here. That cannot be attributed solely the number of police here. The demographics of Oro Valley, which include a more mature and affluent population, are a factor in the low crime rate.
In the end, I think Oro Valley citizens do not support the layoff of any police officers or other town employees, for that matter. The police officers are not the problem here. The problem is the OVPD chief, the town manager, and the town council. For decades the chief has submitted bloated budget requests, the manager has rubber-stamped them, and councils have approved them. I lay the blame on the chief, who submits those requests under the veil of "protecting the public and saving lives." Naturally the council folds like a cheap tent and votes a resounding Yes to any police request.
The solution is three-part. One, Chief Sharp, stop building your empire. Two, Mr. Manager, manage things. Three, Town Council, just say no to all OVPD budget growth until Oro Valley is more in line with other Arizona cities and towns.
James Spencer, Oro Valley