Letters to Editor

No distortions

Regarding April 25 op-ed “Critics are distorting the Town’s Community Center purchase”:  John Gorman referred to articles that were published on the local political blog Let Oro Valley Excel that he felt presented a distorted view of the Community Center golf financials.  However, all of the financials presented on LOVE are taken directly from town financial documents.

Explorer readers should also know that Mr. Gorman wrote a guest opinion for the Explorer in August, 2016 entitled, “The golf courses at the Oro Valley Community and Recreation Center are truly a community asset.”  In that article, Mr. Gorman admitted that the number of golfers at that time was not sufficient for the facility to be self-sustaining, but he believed that the number of golf members and outside players would increase due to the following three things:

The recession appeared to be over, capital improvements would increase the quality of the golfing experience leading more golfers to play on these courses and a significant number of new homes were being built which would bring more golfers into the area, including more retirees.

Troon stated that they needed 318 members by December 2016.  It is now May 2018 and despite all of the above actions, golf memberships continue to decline and continue to be way under Troon’s membership goal.

You can read former councilmember Mike Zinkin’s response to Mr. Gorman’s op-ed at letorovalleyexcel.blogspot.com.

—Diane Peters



Primary Source

Regarding May 2 letter “Be the Change”: Last week a letter to the editor recommended that if you don’t like the direction that Oro Valley is going you should visit several blogs. Two of these blogs are strictly opinion blogs which only allow a small number of people to post their opinions which agree with the blog’s position. 

Needless to say, these blogs don’t present all sides or all of the facts. If you have questions or concerns with the direction of Oro Valley, why not go directly to the source for your information and input. All Town council, board and commission meetings are posted, open to the public and recorded. You can even watch the council meetings live on line or at a later date.

The town’s website contains vast amount of information and documentation on all aspects of our community including the detailed budget and all proposed developments and rezoning applications and reviews. Additionally, you are always welcome to contact the town with any specific questions you may have and the appropriate individuals will be happy to discuss and answer them.

—Steve Solomon

Editor’s Note: Steve Solomon is a Town of Oro Valley Councilmember.


ATC must see

There is no violence nor horrific death scene in Arizona Theatre Company’s tour de force “The Diary of Anne Frank,” which I saw recently at The Temple of Music and Art.  Yet the story grips us in the most profound of ways.  It is at once heart breaking, life affirming and sadly very relevant to events of today.

To name just a few highlights of this grand finale to ATC’s 2017-18 season: the setting of the secret annex which, as my theatre companion remarked, has an eerie resemblance to a gallows; special effects, including trains rumbling, sirens blaring and most chilling—a snippet of one of Hitler’s speeches; and the cast. A tight ensemble of talented actors, including Anna Lentz, a woman in her twenties, who captures the hyper, chatterbox façade and internal angst of Anne, age 13.

I’ll always remember what is usually the most forgettable part of a theatrical production.  After the last scene, during the well-deserved standing ovation, the actors came out to take a bow. What a contrast. I thought to the final chapter in the lives of all but one occupant of the secret annex. It was a chapter which, under different circumstances, could have been mine…or yours. “The Diary of Anne Frank” will stay with me forever.  I think theatre goers fortunate enough to see it will feel the same way. The Diary of Anne Frank is playing at The Temple of Music and Art through May 12.

—Barbara Russek


Gross blading

Mayor Hiremath and the town council want to increase sales tax revenues.  Although sales tax provides only about a quarter of OV revenue, it can be used for things like covering the embarrassingly large ongoing losses from the golf course.  Increasing sales tax revenue requires increased retail sales; therefore the mayor and council want more roofs and “more diverse” housing alternatives (i.e., apartments) to attract lower income households.  

This rationale is being used to justify rezoning large areas of Oro valley from rural low-density to high-density to enrich developers who contributed to the mayor’s and councilmembers’ election campaigns.  Areas zoned for 144,000-square-foot-lots) are being rezoned for 7,000 -square-foot-lots).  This is a 20-fold increase in density, and R1-7 zoning allows developers to bulldoze virtually all the desert plants (except those in flood plains).  

For example: The proposed Capella Development with a dense cluster of houses and townhomes and three shopping centers on the west side of La Cholla would blade more than three-fourths of the land. Look at their Proposed Plan on the town website, including the egregious zoning code variances listed on the last three pages, to understand their vision for tightly packed homes and oversized businesses.

When you drive past any undeveloped land in Oro Valley, picture all of those mature desert plants bulldozed and hauled to the dump.  If you don’t want most of our remaining desert landscape destroyed by bulldozers, you’d better act quickly.  The mayor and council favor high-density development of virtually all remaining undeveloped Oro Valley land in the next six to eight years.  

I urge you to voice your opinion at the May 16 Council meeting, where councilmembers will vote on the Capella rezoning, and to support alternative candidates for mayor and council in the next election.

—Larry Stepp

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