Regarding June 10 letter “Whose leader?”: Mr. Stinnett’s recent letter is riddled with inaccuracies and innuendo. Developers risk millions when they purchase land. Aren’t they entitled to profit on their investment? By what measurement is Mr. Stinnett using to make the flat statement that Oro Valley is over developed?
Is it not possible that “wealthy landowners and developers” are also Oro Valley residents? Isn’t it also possible that through the arduous process that General Plan amendments and many rezonings go through can and do result in a good product? Should a councilperson be adverse to good land use products?
Interestingly enough, Bill Garner must like General Plan Amendments, too. He voted for at least seven. And as a matter of fact, Councilman Rodman voted against at least two General Plan amendments, the Miller Ranch proposal and the Desert Springs amendment.
Mr. Stinnett itemizes the Olsen property. That project is an excellent example of the give and take that amendments go through. The end product was substantially less dense when it was finally approved through the efforts of town staff, the developer and builder and the local residents. By the way, Garner is in favor of this project also.
Bottom line is that Mr. Stinnett is the personification of the CAVE (Citizens Against Virtually Everything) group. He is against growth. He has a track record of being against sports facilities for our kids. If it was up to him we would still be Oro Valley circa 1974: 2.5 square miles.
Let’s vote for our community to grow responsibly and remain fiscally strong. Vote Greene, Rodman and Solomon.
THE REAL STEVE
Regarding June 17 letter, “Support Steve”: When we read Ted Dreisinger’s letter, we wondered if he was referring to the same Steve Solomon that we all know. He described Solomon as “a political breath of fresh air.” If he knew the real Steve Solomon, as others who attend or watch council meetings do, he would know the following:
Real Steve Solomon has a lengthy history of extreme rudeness and incivility towards the mayor and other council members, including one severe outburst directed at a female council member. Solomon has also belittled citizens speaking at the podium during Town Council meetings. This from the guy who ran for council in 2016 “to bring civility…back to our community and town government.”
Real Steve Solomon is self-serving. While in escrow to purchase land along the town-owned golf courses, he voted to spend $3.8 million dollars of taxpayer money for improvements to those courses on which he clearly had a personal financial interest. After all, he couldn’t build and sell his golf-course-view condos and townhomes if those views no longer existed.
Real Steve Solomon tried to hide his campaign donor information from the public when he ran for council in 2016. When asked during a candidate forum who financed his campaign, he refused to give specifics and said only that it was funded by people “who share my values.” Why the big secret? Because his campaign was funded by builders and developers, none of whom live in Oro Valley.
Real Steve Solomon is also a developer with a voting record of approving every developer-requested General Plan amendment and rezoning despite the protests of Oro Valley residents.
Real Steve Solomon has also repeatedly threatened to sue Oro Valley residents who question his votes or his actions. His behavior is unbecoming of a public official. He is unfit for public office.
We can end this incivility and lack of transparency by voting for Tim Bohen and Bill Garner.
Regarding June 17 letter “Educate Yourself”: This letter implied that if residents would only learn the facts, they would be happy to support the golf ticket of incumbents Solomon, Rodman and newcomer and golfer Mo Greene.
It stated that the Community Center fund supported by the half-cent sales tax is trending positively through April with a balance of $478,709. The facts the letter chose to not mention are that with a town subsidy of $2.5 million the community center fund is projected to decline by $17,000 in the fiscal year, not increase. Why? Because the town golf courses for the third year in a row will lose over $1 million dollars. Per the town financial update through April, this year is worse than last year, and golf is projected to lose $1.8 million, $83,000 worse than budget.
What comes next? Town Manager Mary Jacobs committed to the council in October 2019 that with her improvements, golf losses would be cut in half in fiscal year 2020/21 to less than $1 million, then drop further to $800,000 in the following year. Mayor Winfield voted to keep the 36 holes once Jacobs assured him the reduced losses would create enough money (from our $2.5 million golf tax subsidy) to pay for irrigation improvements. Does anyone believe that will happen? Ms. Jacobs budget provides no detailed forecast of this coming year’s golf losses.
The reason the El Conquistador Men’s golf association endorsed Solomon, Rodman and Greene is that they knew this would be the case and needed to stack the council to keep this scam going.
No golf ticket for me, I already support the Sun City Views golf course in my annual HOA dues and I don’t think the town golf courses should compete with our community course. Let’s elect council members who will look out for the rest of us.
How do you maintain Oro Valley as a safe and solvent haven? We elect qualified candidates with strong intellectual and practical experience backgrounds who dedicate all their energy to keep our town an extraordinary place to live.
Vote for Bill Rodman, Mo Greene and Steve Solomon.
In the town’s 2018 primary and for the first time, residents understood the amount of special interest money buying success in Oro Valley elections. In spite of a 5-times spending advantage, the Hiremath majority was voted out. Residents did not like Tucson-based businesses, developers and lobbying groups picking friendly candidates to run our town. It was easy to highlight because the incumbent majority never saw it coming, and in the first quarter of 2018, they raised over $60,000 from special interest supporters before they realized it would be an election issue.
This time, incumbents Rodman and Solomon, hand-picked to run in 2016 by Hiremath and the “special interest crowd, know their donors will be an issue. So we should expect lean campaigns by both, and any large donations received will not be in the public record until July 15 (the date second Quarter Campaign Finance Reports must be submitted.) This is one week after early ballots are mailed out on July 8 so we won't know who their donors are until early voting is well underway.
So how do voters form an opinion? Look at what they have done, not what they say they will do. In 2016, incumbents Rodman and Solomon each received over $22,000 from special interest contributors, including over $12,900 from HSL owners, or employees, alone. They both won and on their first day in office voted 7-0 with the Hiremath majority to change our 2016 General Plan approved by Oro Valley Voters only eight days earlier.
Then the tempo increased. They collaborated with the Hiremath majority to approve 13 general plan amendments or rezonings between 2016 and 2018 before the Hiremath majority was voted out.
So the key voter question should be: Do tigers really change their stripes? Or will Solomon and Rodman continue to place developers ahead of town residents?
—Joe Lauer, Oro Valley
SAVE OPEN SPACE
Most of us who live in Oro Valley greatly value the undisturbed, open desert surrounding us. One of the more prominent of these is Big Wash which bisects Oro Valley. In the past I have hiked it, seen enormous jack rabbits, coyotes and ruins of structures from an earlier day.
This area had been zoned for recreation (golf courses), so I felt confident that it would remain as undeveloped in perpetuity. Silly me. When the Hiremath gang saw an opportunity to blade more desert and replace it with houses, that zoning became history.
Now you can see the results; hundreds of houses already built in the wash off Moore, more under construction further south near Safeway, and even more to be built north extending to Rancho Vistoso Boulevard. We are going to have 600 houses in the Big Wash from Rancho Vistoso south to Tangerine Road.
Part of the gang that did this to us are two candidates running for reelection to the town council. That would be Bill Rodman and Steve Solomon. How much more desert can they spoil?
Well, there is a way to ensure that no more desert is spoiled. That is to vote for Bill Garner and Tim Bohen in the upcoming primary election. Bill was on council aggressively opposing the decision to purchase the golf courses and has actively encouraged town staff to follow the resident approved general plan to minimize future rezoning. Tim Bohen is equally opposed to unrestricted rezoning. These candidates will keep our wild areas wild. I will be supporting them in the upcoming primary and urge you to do likewise.
—Jack Evert, Oro Valley
SUPPORT BOHEN AND GARNER
Under Trump's thumb, Gov. Ducey jeopardizes the health of Arizona citizens by opening businesses without adhering to CDC guidelines. Likewise, Oro Valley town council candidates Solomon, Greene and Rodman—all funded by deep-pocketed developers—will override general plan zoning restrictions codified by Oro Valley residents.
The governor pretends his actions don't have negative consequences; COVID-19 state statistics prove him wrong. Oro Valley residents need only look at the overabundance of high-density housing developments with view-obscuring acreage approved by the developer-controlled Hiremath majority to know that a future town council also controlled by developer money will approve extraordinary zoning variances that further diminish the quality of life in Oro Valley.
I strongly urge voters to select independent candidates Tim Bohen and Bill Garner for town council to help Mayor Winfield protect the health and welfare of Oro Valley.
WE NEED RODMAN
During my 22 years as an Oro Valley resident, I have observed and met many leaders of our local government. Many critical decisions have been addressed over these years and the process of reaching decisions has often been quite contentious. In recent years, I have seen Bill Rodman, as a member of the Oro Valley Town Council, work through areas of disagreement to bring together council members in reaching reasonable and effective solutions.
I have had several opportunities to meet and get to know Bill over the last few years. Bill is a good listener and always brings a strong knowledge of the issues and an understanding of the near and longer term implications of possible solutions. He has the character, intelligence and skill to ensure that Oro Valley continues as a wonderful place to raise a family as well as a retirement home.
Please consider Bill Rodman as a go-to leader for Oro Valley and support his upcoming election for Oro Valley Town Council.
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