Your headline “Oro Valley’s proposed budget keeps controversial golf courses open” belongs on the editorial page, not above a news article.
—Michael P. Cuno, Oro Valley
In June 2012, the Oro Valley Town Council approved a withdrawal from the General Fund of $524,000 to help pay for cost overrides at the Aquatic Center. This money was to be paid back with $35,000 annual installments from the Bed Tax Fund. However, in 2018, Town Manager Mary Jacobs (with Council approval) combined the Bed Tax Fund into the General Fund. Doing this eliminated the accountability of staff to ensure that the annual reimbursement commitment is accomplished.
On March 4, 2015, the Town Council approved a sales tax increase with this increase dedicated to the new Community Center and Golf Fund. This name was later changed to the Community Center Fund. The council report reads: “… staff recommends Council consideration and approval of a budget amendment to establish a new, separate fund to account for the operations of these facilities. This new fund, called the Community Center and Golf Fund, will account for all revenues and expenses generated by the operations of these facilities.”
Just as she did with the bed tax, Jacobs now intends to combine the community center into the general fund. Doing this will eliminate all accountability regarding the expenditures of the “dedicated” half-cent sales tax. It will eliminate the monthly report which shows the revenues and expenditures regarding the Golf/Community Center.
Jacobs also wants to combine the Highway Fund into the General Fund. Will this allow for highway money to be spent for soccer fields? Keeping these funds separate makes staff accountable and allows for transparency in town spending. We can see where the revenues are generated and where the money is spent.
Jacobs tells us that this is the way most cities do business. Oro Valley is not like most cities. We desire to keep an eye on our money—where it comes from and where it goes. Combining these funds into the less restrictive General Fund would be a huge mistake.
—Mike Zinkin, Oro Valley
Editor’s Note: Mike Zinkin is a former Oro Valley Councilmember
It is a significant tell that the Trump Administration Republican cohorts in Congress have done nothing to remedy the situation that the Mueller Report laid out as fact showing that a hostile foreign government attacked our 2016 election to help Trump. And Trump welcomed that help. Once elected (not by popular vote remember), Trump obstructed the investigation into that attack with the aiding and abetting of Congressional Republicans. No significant legislation safeguarding our electoral process emerged from a Republican House or Senate in 2017 or 2018. Why? Because Republicans are so corrupt and power hungry they believe Russian interference will again help them in the 2020 election cycle.
We are clearly in uncharted waters here. Never in the history of this great country has the sum-total of a major political party yielded—expressly for political purposes—their constitutional duties to party over the well-being of the country, as present-day Republicans are doing.
Since some readers of this publication think these letters should have a local angle, here it is. Martha (Party over Country) McSally (R-Az) politically appointed Senator, has proven herself to be an unrepentant Trump party loyalist above being a true representative for her constituents.
— J. Watson, Oro Valley