Letters to the editor published in the July 8, 2009, edition of The Explorer.

Columnist enters the great Arizona taxation dispute

State Republican legislators have passed their budget; ignoring their governor and the Democratic Party; forcing citizens to bear deep cuts in all state services.

On TV, Republican Al Melvin expressed great satisfaction that his party had banded together to force their "no new tax" pledge down our throats. The governor wants a regressive sales tax increase that would impact the lower income residents and the Democrats recommend a progressive income tax increase that would affect higher income residents.

In an opinion on July 1st, Mr. Franzi entered the dispute, charging that the Republicans are hypocrites for not allowing a public vote on the sales tax. He ignored the fact that the Republican budget is based on their failed economic model that jeopardizes the future of our state. Voters probably would not approve a sales tax increase even if it was on the ballot.

Franzi took his best shot at the Democrats, using all the favorite Republican tricks, none of which have any truth. He says Democrats have a psychosis about taxes.

Nobody likes to pay taxes. Some of us realize we can't have a great country without paying for it. Next Franzi uses an article from an undisclosed newspaper, which quoted that the state income tax collections were down 57 percent, without stating the time line. This is deceptive. AZDOR lists the April '09 individual income taxes being down 79.5 percent over April 2008 collections. This is because so many people paid their taxes early this year to get the economic stimulus money. The last AZDOR report shows individual income tax collections were down 33.7 percent for fiscal 2009 instead of 57 percent.

Franzi claims Demos reject the governor's sales tax but the Tucson Council Democrats approved new sales taxes. Doesn't he know that cities can't raise income taxes? He touted County Supervisor Huckelberry as an expert on income tax collections, but he never gave Huckelberry's expertise. Could that be because counties, like cities, can't legally collect income taxes?

Ben Love, Oro Valley

Many simple alternatives to pet euthanasia

After reading the recent article on Oro Valley possibly starting a no-kill animal shelter, I was at once heartened and sickened.

A quote was made in the article about the number of animals killed everyday — "about a dump truck dumped in the Tangerine landfill every day." This is beyond awful.

There are so many simple solutions to this. Spay and neuter your pets. Adopt a mutt instead of spending hundreds on a pure bred animal. Don't get an animal unless you can take care of it. Donate to the Humane Society. Volunteer at a shelter. A no-kill shelter in Oro Valley would be great, too.

Mahatma Ghandi's quote comes to mind — "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."

How are we doing?

Steve Arechiga, Oro Valley

On the Fourth, let's welcome voter sign-up

I was to have a table for voter registration set up by the Marana Parks and Recreation. I called the contact at that office five times between July 1 and July 4, but my calls were never returned. I ended up setting up my own card table since I had made the commitment to be there.

I could not get an announcement made that there was a voter registration booth available — I felt it should have been announced with all the other "goodies." Call me silly, but being the 4th of July it would seemed the perfect time to register voters, no matter what their affiliation.

I hope in the future businesses, religious meetings, schools, etc., will welcome voter registration. If individuals handle this task, perhaps it will keep the paid community organizers out of this realm.

Connie Pellman

Thanks for the 'works, Hilton El Conquistador

Thank you to the Hilton El Conquistador Hotel for an exciting fireworks display.

Hundreds of Oro Valley citizens filled parking lots and Riverfront Park to celebrate the grand finale of Independence Day in the traditional patriotic way… a sky filled with bright colors and the air filled with thunderous sound.

Again, a great big thank you to the Hilton El Conquistador Hotel.

Louise Keene, Oro Valley

No idea what's involved to run animal control

Salette Latas wants the town of Oro Valley to take over their own animal control. What a joke. This person has no idea what is involved.

If the council had taken up the offer of the Pima Animal Care Center to participate in this proposal, they could have shed the light on what is really involved in animal care and regulation. Several examples come to mind.

Licensing compliance countywide is traditionally about 25 percent, reducing the $313,000 flow into town coffers to $78,250. Microchips, provided to every adopted animal at PACC, would cost $5 each per Ms. Latas. The actual cost is about $10 each when bought in bulk (source of Ms. Latas $5 cost – council meeting notes).

Regarding the concept of a no-kill shelter, well, we would all love if that were possible. Where do you think the people of Pima County take their aging, sick animals to be euthanized for a fee far less than the average vet? Furthermore, many animals that are put down at PACC are not adoptable or eligible for rescue groups due to aggressive behavior, age, or illness. A responsible facility cannot adopt an aggressive dog into the public (actual lawsuits involving the mauling of children by adopted dogs are part of public record).

The concept of the police as dogcatchers is also laughable. When did animal control training become standard for our police? The 28 or so men and women who do this job for Pima County are well trained and do an excellent job. I would like to know how our police feel about picking up the body of some poor animal hit by a car.

The operation of any animal control facility require: 1. An actual facility (does Oro Valley have one?) 2. Vets, clinic staff, kennel workers and an army of volunteers. 3. Vehicles, equipment and clerical staff.

Regarding the volunteers: Animal Rescue Foundation provides about 60 volunteers to PACC. Despite many attempts to recruit new ones from Oro Valley, only two OV residents volunteer at PACC for ARF.

Well, I think we just spent that $78,250 and then some.

Bob Smyth, ARF volunteer, Oro Valley

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