Letters to Editor

Fuzzy Facts

Regarding May 30 letter “What About Policy?”: A former councilmember stated that the March financials were not pulled for discussion from the consent agenda at the May 16 council meeting. As the member that asked for them to be pulled, I know this to be a misstatement. At the very least, we do publicly discuss these statements quarterly. If this person had been there, he would have heard the overwhelming positive financial report through the third quarter.

The second misstatement astounded me coming from someone who should know better. He stated the town policy is to not use long-term debt to finance current operations. He then stated that the possible bond would be used for operations at the Community Center when he should know that, if actually passed by council, the bond would be for capital improvements, such as replacement of failing irrigation equipment and extensive remodeling of the Community Center which would, among other things bring the building into full compliance with ADA requirements. Since these are all capital expenses, they would be in total compliance with town policy.

These mistaken public statements are from the same person that, during the public hearing before planning and zoning on April 3 regarding the Capella PAD, accused the town of having already scheduled this application on the Town Council agenda for the next night before any action was taken by P&Z. This was serious public accusation and totally mistaken. The agenda item for the Town Council the next night was Saguaro Viejos, not Capella. When this was immediately pointed out to him, he refused to publicly acknowledge his misstatement and left the council chambers. I leave it to you to decide where you get your facts.

— Bill Rodman

Editor’s Note: Bill Rodman is a Town of Oro Valley Councilmember.

 


Policy Naive

Regarding May 30 letter “What About Policy?”: I am not sure former councilmember Mike Zinkin should be carping at the current Town Council about their knowledge or lack thereof of Town policy or their proper application thereof.

During his tainted tenure as an elected official, Mr. Zinkin received numerous complaints for “inappropriate comments of a sexual nature” from town employees. I suspect all were a violation of a town policy. Maybe he didn’t know about the town policy. He was also called out in a report provided by an outside counsel, hired by the town to investigate the aforementioned allegations, for making “inappropriate comments regarding persons of Mexican national origin.”  I suspect this was not in accordance with town policy. But then, maybe he didn’t know about that policy either.

There is a long wide trail of false information that follows Mr. Zinkin. One of his more recent gaffes was when he testified before the Planning and Zoning Commission. His concluding comments were an absolute misrepresentation of the truth. When the factual knowledge was brought to his attention, in a matter of moments, his response was to walk out. He refused to admit to his error. I think Mr. Zinkin owes the Planning and Zoning Commission and the many residents that were present that evening a public apology.

—Don Cox

 


More lives lost

Another school shooting: 10 lives lost, 10 hurt, but plenty of thought and prayers.  

The cost of lives in Santa Fe, Texas, is incalculable, along with the incalculable cost in monetary value. But the tangible and intangible cost go on for a lifetime. Here in Arizona, because of the no-destruct laws for guns turned into the police for disposal,  cities, counties and even the state are liable for cost of care. It seems most people brought into emergency rooms because of guns have no medical insurance, or insufficient insurance to cover being transported to the hospital. 

Unfortunately hospitals and municipalities have to cover the cost. Rep. Mark Finchem was quoted in the Arizona Daily Star complaining of Tucson’s “longstanding practice of crushing seized firearms was a hostile, defiant act against the wishes of the Legislature.” He was bolstered by a law passed in 2013 that said if police seize or acquire guns, they must sell them to licensed firearms dealers and the city of Tucson flagrantly violated state statutes and deprived the taxpayers of the opportunity to obtain fair-market value of a public asset. 

Guns sold at public auction recently by Tucson netted tens of thousands of dollars. I wonder if Mr. Finchem could venture a guess how much it would cost if one of his precious guns sold at auction was used in a school shooting? I wonder if Mr. Finchem would have the courage to admit he was wrong with No Destruct Bill?

 — Clyde Steele

 


No money for fields

Mayor Hiremath and council recently approved the largest budget in Oro Valley’s history. I want to highlight some areas Mayor Hiremath and our council members decided not to fund in their record  budget.

No funding is included for the “critically needed” Little League fields which Mayor Hiremath proposed to to be built with the Prop. 454 bond. Maybe higher priority needs like the  overrun for our second police station or the millions to repair the losing golf courses have pushed the ball fields out a year or two. 

But no, the town’s capital investment plan that runs through FY 26/27 shows that no new little league fields for Oro Valley Little Leaguers are to be built for the next nine years.

What about multi-purpose fields for the Oro Valley Little League Football Dolphins? Little League football fares better. The town has planned two new multi-purpose fields for Naranja Park one in FY 23/24 six years out and a second in FY 24/25 seven years in the future.

Finally, the number one amenity residents asked for in the 2014 survey was playgrounds. Had voters approved the property tax we would have gotten one playground in the Naranja Park build out. The capital plan shows the town will provide a playground in FY 21/22,  four years from now, if funds become available.

Parents need to understand that our mayor and council have higher priority projects than fields and playgrounds for kids. We need to elect town leaders whose priorities align with residents.

— Jim Horn

 


Winning Team

Once again the same letter writers wanting to promote their candidates are trying to convince you that it’s horrible living in Oro Valley. Really, why do most of us choose to live here? Oro Valley is constantly rated as one of the safest and best communities to live in. Our roads and infrastructure are the envy of every resident of Southern Arizona. We have an outstanding parks and recreation system serving thousands of residents of all ages. 

The town consistently wins awards for financial management and finished the past several years in the black while providing these outstanding services. We are home to some of the top schools in the country, an amazing growing bio tech center and many new restaurants and local businesses. This has not happened by accident but by design through the leadership and hard work of our Mayor Satish Hiremath and incumbent Council Members Joe Hornat, Mary Snider and Lou Waters. Let’s continue our community’s success by re-electing this winning team.

—Janet and Joseph Busch

(2) comments

Timothy Bohen

Councilmember Rodman,

I was in attendance at the 5/16/18 Council Meeting in which the Town third quarter financial update was posted on the Consent Agenda. While the detailed financial updates were available online, these were certainly not presented for any form of public review at this meeting. All 17/18 budget information reported at this meeting was done so through Council question and answer only. Also, this information was only provided in response to specific questions raised by yourself, Councilman Solomon and Councilman Hornat. I encourage anyone who is interested to view the 5/16/18 meeting video to verify this for themself. As for the status of the Community Center Fund, Staff reported $988K in outside play through the end of nine months. This 9 month amount attributed to outside play is greater than was collected from outside play in either full fiscal year 15/16 or 16/17. This surprisingly positive difference is now a matter of record and can be verified by anyone who is interested. Given the recent reported closure of the Golf Club at Vistoso, this report should be subject to our curiousity at the very least if not to outright question. What is Troon doing to enable our Community Center to report their highest ever outside play month since Oro Valley took ownership (March 2018) at the same time their neighbor to the near north is getting ready to close it's doors within two months?

High Roller

Mr. Steele has been an avid anti-gun advocate for years and sounds as if he is still under the ridiculous misconception that banning all gun sales will instantly and permanently eliminate random shootings. If someone wants a gun, then going to a gang infested area late at night is always an option if they bring cash.
The overwhelming majority of gun owners are upstanding, responsible people and own guns for personal safety, hunting and occasional range firing. None of these uses are a likely threat to anyone.
Mr. Steele needs to find another anti-something to whine about because his gun rant has gotten laboriously old.

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