Regarding Jan. 30 letter “Gross Failure”: Did someone take away Don Cox’s marbles? He still seems to be “pouting” that he and several others were removed from the Oro Valley’s Planning and Zoning Commission and he continues to throw his tantrums via his consistent letters to the Explorer demeaning those he does not agree with.
He doesn’t seem to get it that this occurred because he was part of the cabal that frequently changed the city’s General Plan from lower density to higher density and which ultimately caused the “old regime” to be voted out and replaced with new members to the city council. Suggest it’s time for Mr. Cox to stop his petty remarks towards others and realize his time has come and gone.
A recent letter from this reader pointed out the fact that Rep. Mark Finchem’s House Bill 2002 was lifted almost word for word from Stop K-12. When asked about this by the Arizona Republic and Phoenix New Times, Rep. Finchem claimed the sole motivation for a code of ethics was from concerned parents and teachers.
Not only did Rep. Finchem not write or have anything to do with this bill, but now in a story from AZ Central and Arizona Republic by Lily Altavena reported that Finchem told a reporter “I’m being inundated with calls, emails, letters and mostly personal encounters…”
Seems a public records request from The Arizona Republic shows that Finchem actually heard from one parent on the issue over emails, and that message came after he introduced the controversial bill. The Republic also requested any texts or records of phone calls Finchem got on the topic, but House officials did not provide that information.
But wait there’s more. In another report from AZ Central two months after voters rejected a massive expansion of Arizona’s school voucher program, Finchem introduced another bill to alter the so-called empowerment scholarship account program even though the change is similar to the plan voters rejected as Prop. 305, which was defeated 65 percent to 35.
Here is a question I think Rep. Finchem owes to the voters. Tell us exactly who wrote the recent bills you introduced, and were you really inundated with messages?
The residences on the El Conquistador golf course have paid a significant premium for their lots. It is understandable that they are quite concerned about the sustainability of the 36 holes at El Conquistador. However, if the golf course cannot maintain its financial sustainability it’s obvious that some changes need to be made.
The unfortunate situation is that the town of Oro Valley decided to purchase the golf courses in 2014. It is obvious from the recent study session that governments do not belong in entrepreneurial businesses. If HSL had not sold the town this huge maintenance liability we would not be wasting our time discussing how to maintain the golf courses. Instead, business decisions would be made by HSL as to how to financially run the golf course, which might include closing some of the holes.
The purchase of any asset has risks and liabilities including home ownership. And I believe that as the town negotiates the proper sustainability program for the golf course the residences surrounding the golf course need to take into consideration that their asset value may be affected. Of course, no one wants that to happen. The golf course at Vistoso is a perfect example of that situation. However, the citizens of Oro Valley removed the past councilmembers that overwhelmingly voted to purchase the golf course.
I suggest that the residences surrounding the golf course work in good faith to come to a solution that benefits the taxpayers of Oro Valley and yourselves. This cannot be a one sided arrangement.
As President of the Men’s Golf Association at El Conquistador Golf and Tennis who attended the council study session on Monday, Jan. 22 I want to make a point for the mayor and all councilmembers. While I am president of the men’s golf association, there are more people that need to know about me, and the other men and women who are members at El Conquistador.
I spent four years as a member on, and chairperson of, the town’s development review board from 2007 through 2011. I served as a member of the town’s “Your Voice, Our Future” task force that established, through voter approval, the town’s current General Plan. I assisted in gathering citizen input for that effort, then served as a member of the task force’s development committee. I made numerous presentations to the council, and the planning and zoning commission in those roles.
Currently, I’m a member of the town’s board of adjustment. I also served as the campaign chairperson for a former councilmember who ran unsuccessfully for mayor, and again when he ran successfully for council. I was the original president of the Verde Ranch Homeowner’s Association and recently assumed that role for a second time. Finally, I do employment discrimination mediations for the attorney general’s office in Tucson. In short, I’ve constructively contributed to the community ever since my wife and I permanently moved to Oro Valley in 2005.
My point is, I’m like many other Oro Valley citizens who happen to also be members at El Conquistador. They, too, serve on HOA’s, are leaders in community religious and charitable organizations, run businesses and in many other ways contribute to the health of our community. Yet, these are the same citizens who have been vilified in the “Voices” section of The Explorer, as “those self-centered El Conquistador golf members sponging off taxpayers.” Stereotyping us in this manner is not only inaccurate, it’s purposefully denigrating. The mayor and all councilmembers should keep that in mind when the second Study Session is conducted Wednesday, Feb 20, and as public input regarding golf and the community center continues.
—Michael Schoeppach, Oro Valley
Oro Valley truly benefits from our many experienced commissioners who have served us for so many years that their commission service may need to be subjected to a term limit. Term limits are needed to provide opportunities for other residents to get involved at a higher level and grow our knowledge base.
Not only does our Town need fully staffed commissions, but we also need knowledgeable residents to support these commissions as well. Please continue lend your town your abundant experience by continuing to attend meetings, speaking at our public hearings, and communicating with staff when you see a concern or if you believe information being provided to a commission is incorrect.
Great teammates play any position that the team needs to help the whole team get better.
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