Letters to the editor for June 18, 2008

Burdened by the cost of government

This letter was sent in April to the mayor of Oro Valley, vice mayor and city council members. The only respondent: Bill Garner.

How many times did I hear that the annexation into Oro Valley would not increase taxes? Now that my subdivision has been annexed, taxes have and will be increasing the cost of living in Oro Valley.

My cost for Rural Metro went from $132 in 2005 to a whopping $256.96 in 2006 – almost doubled in one year. This year, $278.68. This because “both fire agencies as well as the town of Oro Valley are working together to make the system better.” This is better? It’s my understanding that once we are annexed by the Golder Ranch Fire District I can look forward to this cost (probably increasing) being added to my property taxes.

Oro Valley gained approximately 126 businesses with annexation of the Rancho Catalina area. Because of this we now pay an increase in sales tax when we patronize these businesses.

It’s curious why, when Oro Valley gained tax revenues from annexation of these businesses, should costs for Rural Metro or anything else increase for residents? Why should an increase in tax revenue for the town of Oro Valley translate into higher costs for residents? Maybe a no-annexation, no-growth policy would be better for all of us.

And now Oro Valley has decided that we should pay yet another $34.80 a year for a “storm fee.” Now we have to pay for our scant rain?

I’m sorry to say that I was better off under Pima County. These are lean times. The whole country is in a recession. We are paying more and more for food and gas, and seeing more and more home foreclosures. Maybe you don’t think that $34.80 a year is very much, but this is the very worst time to be putting increasing economic pressure on people.

We need city council members with good fiscal problem-solving skills who will balance the budget and prioritize the use of tax revenues so not to overburden residents with the cost of government.

Jacqueline Parker

Oro Valley

Writer was wrong about political signs

Dear Mayor Loomis,

Thank you for your graciousness in writing to The Explorer to explain that the campaign signs that I cited in a letter to the editor belonged to your neighbor.

I was misled some time ago about whose home had the campaign posters.

You corrected the comment very nicely, but I am sending this to The Explorer acknowledging that I was wrong about the ownership of that property.

I certainly have nothing against displaying campaign signs. Still, I can understand your choice of not taking sides in a nonpartisan election.

Thank you,

Kathy Pastryk

Oro Valley

Desirable OV has no need to give any incentives

You can always tell when a business is on the ropes and management has lost its competitive edge. It starts cutting prices.

Oro Valley sits atop one of the most desirable locations in the entire country, but Councilman Gillaspie seems to think the only way Oro Valley can attract companies such as Sanofi-Aventis is to use public funds to bribe them.

In an e-mail response to a constituent, Gillaspie wrote: How do we make this happen if we do not engage in mutually beneficial agreements? I don’t intend to be cynical, but standing on the corner and waving is not very useful. It is apparent that Gillaspie learned nothing from the Vestar debacle that resulted in OV forking over $23 mill to get a Wal-Mart.

Even worse, out-of-touch Councilwoman Dankwerth described the $360,000 bribe to Sanofi-Aventis as “miniscule.” To whom is 360 thousand dollars miniscule?

And the always generous-with-tax-dollars, developer-poster-boy, Councilman Parish, said “it would be a snub … if we didn’t give this $360,000.”

I guess it’s easy to give away other people’s money, but any councilman or councilwoman who cannot adequately extol the inherent virtues of this community and induce businesses to locate here is demonstrating his or her inadequacy for the job he or she was elected to perform. If Gillaspie, Dankwerth and Parish choose to subsidize a multinational corporation, which is already located in Oro Valley, they will create more angst and provide yet another opportunity for the referendum. Voters are disgusted with giveaways. Fifty million in giveaways is more than enough for our little town.

Perhaps their limited business experience contributes to this Wal-Mart, give-away mentality, but my business experience is quite different. If you produce an unique, quality product and back it with exceptional service, customers will flock to your store. Locating in Oro Valley is the desirable product. Unlike Detroit, Oro Valley does not have to bribe people to come here.

Occasionally, listening to the voters is a good thing for politicians.

Geri Ottoboni-Gilmore

Oro Valley

Don’t blame Dems; energy woes rooted in demand

In his recent letter, Rick Cunnington blames high gas prices on the Democratic Party and its “radical extremist base.” In compiling his baseless piece, Cunnington fails to mention the specter of China and India, nations whose rapid industrialization policies are at the core of this problem.

So let’s look at some statistics. The Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, a non-profit group with no particular axe to grind, has advised that world oil consumption will rise by about 60 percent in the next decade. China’s oil consumption will grow at a rate of 7.5 percent a year, with India following at 5.5 percent per year. These projections, along with oil speculators driving up prices, have contributed to the crude oil price spike over the past five years.

Cunnington also implies that the “ultra-rich Democrat donors” living on the coasts have prevented oil exploration along the coastlines because they don’t want oil rigs spoiling their view. I suggest he take a trip to ultra-rich Santa Barbara, home of many liberal Democrats. Here, you can walk out to the pier and not only eyeball the Pacific oil rigs on the horizon, but you can smell the petroleum wafting through the air.

As I ride to work every day in my vanpool, among a sea of gas-guzzling, single-occupant SUVs, it occurs to me that we’ve learned nothing from the Arab oil embargo of the ‘70s. Some 35 years later, we still don’t have a national energy policy. The most recent attempt by our cloak-and-dagger vice president was clouded in secrecy.

A 2004 study by the British Petroleum Statistical Review of World Energy has advised that oil reserves will run out by 2045. Our children will live to see this day. The Bush Administration and Mr. Cunnington both believe that we can drill our way to energy independence, but with only 6 percent of known oil reserves located in North America, this argument is rather limited.

In Cunnington’s rush to judgment, he has failed to realize this is a global energy crisis to be solved only by the community of nations. Our national politics is a mere sideshow in this equation.

Robert Peters

Oro Valley

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