Letters

Please save Oro Valley 

Editor:

I am writing this letter to implore the Oro Valley voters to cast their votes for any candidate that will preserve Oro Valley and not build, build and build.

In 2016, the voters of Oro Valley voted on a town plan. The prior administration of Hiremath and Co. never met a developer they didn’t like.

Those signs that went up for town meetings always ended up changing the town plan and rezoning the master plan. Thus, it resulted in cookie-cutter houses and more cookie-cutter houses being jammed into small spaces.

There is no mass transit here and the roads are becoming too crowded. We the voters wanted low density to preserve our beautiful desert and wildlife, and now our Oro Valley is becoming Phoenix South or Tucson North.  

I came to Oro Valley from a crowded place which was once beautiful, so I know what I am talking about. Oro Valley leaders need to learn the word exclusive. On Long Island, where I am from, you would never block the water view.

Why would you want to jam in high-rise apartments to block our views of the mountains? There are places where apartments are located on Oracle Road. There is no need to put apartments and little houses near low-density existing homes.

Again, the word “exclusive” comes to mind when developers say they are fulfilling a need for lower cost housing with these new small homes and apartments. There were places I just couldn’t afford to live on Long Island and, guess what, they had a water view. Please Oro Valley, let’s elect a mayor and a town council who will keep our town beautiful, exclusive, and a home for us and our native wildlife.

Ann M. Rogan, Oro Valley

 

Transparency needed

Editor:

Don’t know about other town residents, but I have been bombarded by unsolicited fliers from the Keep Oro Valley Strong Political Action Committee (PAC), attacking our current mayor and council. The PAC says on its webpage: “Our vision for the future is to support a vibrant, prosperous and growing Oro Valley, etc. …”

But the mailings the PAC sends seem to promote the opposite. They are peppered with hateful attacks on the current mayor, council members and even the town itself. Attacks, as a 10-year Oro Valley resident, I know not to be true.

Further, I found the PAC is run by Tom Plantz, the same person behind the failed 2019 initiative to recall Mayor Winfield and Vice Mayor Barrett. I also found on the town clerk’s website, the PAC’s fourth quarter 2020 initial campaign finance report includes several contributors who supported Mayor Hiremath’s failed 2018 town council reelection, council members who supported big-land developers, rezoning areas favorable to their construction projects and the town’s purchase of the money-losing El Conquistador Golf Course.

It is clear to me the PAC’s real purpose is to elect a town council that is pro-big-city-environment, big-developer friendly, with Danny Sharp as mayor and his running mates Erceg, Hurt and Rodman as new council members. A council with the same governing approach that was overwhelmingly rejected by Oro Valley voters four years ago.

So, Keep OV Strong PAC, Oro Valley voters need a little transparency on what you are really promoting. Stop the hateful attacks and honestly make your case. Then let the voters decide.

Steve Denning, Oro Valley

 

A homegrown issue

Editor:

After a recent Oro Valley Town Council meeting an incident involving Councilman Tim Bohen and another councilmember occurred.

It was heated enough that the OVPD needed to get involved. It ended in a courtroom, and an injunction against harassment was levied against Councilman Bohen. It was a sad day for Oro Valley. It was also avoidable, in my opinion.

Councilman Bohen has, on more than one occasion, in recent months used the days to belittle and criticize town staff. His tirades are sometimes short and sometimes lengthy. But each time these happen, he is allowed to do so by you, Mayor Winfield.

You sit there with a blank look on your face and say nothing. Ms. Jacobs (town manager), you sit there and allow your staff to be ridiculed. Both are unacceptable.

You have known for a couple years the behavioral issues associated with Mr. Bohen. I personally called it to your attention about the time he was sworn in. OVPD detail incident report V19010481 illuminates Bohen’s behavior and its potential outcome.

This should have been sufficient to keep him on a short leash, in my opinion. Mr. Winfield, you have the authority in Robert’s rules to throttle Councilman Bohen. It’s time you showed some modicum of leadership. Ms. Jacobs, you need to defend your staff.

This is just one more vivid example of why, according to a recent mail piece, Oro Valley is a community in decline. 

Don Cox, Oro Valley

 

Trying to steal election

Editor:

In a still-developing story, we are learning about an alleged plan to mislead Oro Valley voters by challenger campaigns colluding with a political action committee to attack the town’s mayor and council.

Here’s what we know so far. Starting in the fourth quarter of 2020, a group of Canada Hills residents and HOA leaders donated to Keep Oro Valley Strong Political Action Committee.

Additional donors included current Councilmember Dr. Harry Greene and former councilmembers Joe Hornat and Bill Rodman, and council critics Thomas Plantz, Don Cox and James Prunty. Councilmember Steve Solomon joined the team with a donation in the first quarter of 2021.

Through the first quarter of 2022, this group had raised $15,301 and spent $11,297. Their work product consists of a website, nefarious Nextdoor posts and unsolicited emails to the general population. More recently they have been sending expensive “hit piece” mailings and buying Explorer ads to attack the current mayor and council with lies and half-truths.

A closer look would reveal the challenger campaigns may have also benefited from inside help. Councilmembers Solomon and Greene — both donors to KOVS — have placed items on the council agenda and seized other agenda items to berate their fellow members creating “nonissue” election sound bites.

Examples are the reinvented years-old community center ADA access issue, Solomon’s passionate support for his contributor Town West’s six-story apartments at OVMP, and the failed attempt to delay the Naranja Park groundbreaking etc.

However, the recent revelation that KOVS and all council challenger candidates have used and paid substantial sums to the same political adviser lifts the lid off this operation. In essence, it means KOVS appears to have acted as an unreported fundraising operation to support mayoral challenger Sharp, and council challengers Hurt, Erceg and Rodman.

That’s all we know so far, but this negative campaigning by the challengers tells me they don’t have the vision or platform to earn our votes.

Jack Stinnett

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