Regarding May 1 op-ed “Mayor Winfield and company lead with lies”: From Mr. Hiremath’s op-ed it appears that he is nostalgic for his time as Oro Valley Mayor.
No doubt, the developers who financed his recent campaigns with thousands and thousands of dollars are also nostalgic and wish for his return, so they may continue to receive favorable rezoning decisions from Hiremath and his fellow councilmembers.
Count me among the OroValley Voters who became disillusioned with the Hiremath leadership. These voters overwhelmingly elected Joe Winfield as mayor in the August 2018 Primary Election. Most of us are decidedly not nostalgic for the Hiremath administration.
We continue to support Mayor Winfield and councilmembers also elected in 2018, who have exhibited they are working in support of Oro Valley residents and not the development community or other special interests.
—Rosalie Roszak, Oro Valley
Regarding May 1 op-ed “Mayor Winfield and company lead with lies”: Hiremath: Still spreading non truths and not representing of what I voted for.
I am so glad he is out. Don’t quit your day job, Satish. He brought the “City” down from what it was. The voters voted, now it is time for him to make sour grapes somewhere else. Way too much rhetoric and no substantial substance.
He was “Developers Delight.” Don’t want that and don’t need that!
—John P. Hayden, Oro Valley
Regarding May 1 op-ed “Mayor Winfield and company lead with lies”: I knew that it would only be a matter of time before ousted mayor, Satish Hiremath, began publicly criticizing the new mayor and council.
His claim that Winfield, Barrett, Nicolson and Jones-Ivey “ran a campaign based on falsehoods” is, in itself, a falsehood. You would be hard pressed to find four people with more integrity.
It was for good reason that Hiremath and his entourage was voted out of office last year, including their financial shell game to cover the losses at the golf courses. When they weren’t covering up that mess, they were allowing developers to rezone properties from 3.3 acre lots down to 7,000-square-foot lots, not in harmony with surrounding neighborhoods, thereby destroying the views and peaceful way of life for long-time Oro Valley residents.
Hiremath bragged about preserving 400 acres of open desert space, but neglected to mention his council’s approval of hundreds of acres of mass grading for 500 homes at Capella and 400 homes in Big Wash (just to name a few). How about the 3-story apartments on Oracle Road, obstructing our views of the mountains and the rolling foothills? His assertion that his council was “Maintaining the natural beauty of our town” is laughable.
When he hired Town Manager Mary Jacobs in 2017, he said: “I am confident Oro Valley residents, business owners, and stakeholders will be thrilled with our decision.” He described her as having a “wealth of knowledge and experience” and “team-effort mentality.” He now slights her by stating that her budget is a “political ploy” to appease the Winfield council and accuses her of “not standing on principle” in order to keep her job.
This is flawed reasoning since her budget includes Hiremath’s dream of continued funding for 45 holes of golf. It also includes eliminating the Community Center Fund and incorporating it into the General Fund which would make it much harder for residents to keep track of the golf losses.
His familiar refrain that public safety will suffer under the new council, is nothing more than fear mongering. To quote columnist, David Brooks: “Fear runs ahead of the facts and inflames the imagination.” This is the M.O. of the Hiremath regime.
Satish Hiremath lives in his own fantasy world of innuendo and hyperbole. No one should take seriously anything he has to say about the future of this town.
—Robert Peters, Oro Valley
Bad Moon Rising
The puzzle pieces are falling into place and sadly they reflect a storm on the Oro Valley horizon. The newly elected mayor and council members have been forced to show their hand. There is no hiding from the preparation and approval of the town budget.
Allow me to remind the residents of Oro Valley of one of the hot issues in the most recent election that initially came from the lips of Joyce Jones Ivey. I quote from her campaign flyer: “She will advocate for a moratorium on development and call for impact studies on current and future growth.” Her fellow candidates made like statements in their campaign rhetoric and during both candidate forums. When called out for this stance by the Tucson Association of Realtors, then candidate Barrett clarified their collective stance by saying they did not support a moratorium but did support a temporary halt to any new development. In other words, she simply changed the wording but not the intent.
On April 24 the council held a study session to review the “Town Manager’s proposed 2019-20 Town Budget” and specifically the capital budget and the five year financial forecast through 2025/26 among other budget topics. During that session it was revealed that the Town was forecasting an economic downturn in our future. Given the current national economic boom, the trends in population migration, especially to Arizona, the fact that Oro Valley in particular has been singled out as a great place to raise a family and is the safest city in Arizona, one must wonder why our Town Manager and her direct reports are forecasting a downturn in the local economy.
I submit that the four newly elected council members have, through Mayor Winfield and Vice Mayor Barrett, told the Town Manager that is what they wanted. They ran on a moratorium of growth and development and this budget is reflective of that. I don’t mention Ivey and Nicholson because they are nothing more than pawns and what I refer to as ‘echo votes’. During the 3-plus hour study session Nicholson said he was present and that he supported spending money on recreation areas in the parks. That’s it. Jones-Ivey on the other hand didn’t utter a word other than stating she was present. Why show up?
Fasten your seatbelts folks. This is going to be a bumpy ride. A large contingent of the population is going to realize that they made a mistake last Aug. 28. There’s much more about this study session to come. I urge you to attend or watch the next study session on May 8.
—Don Cox, Oro Valley
PRESERVE THE DESERT
A couple weeks ago while crossing Big Wash on Rancho Vistoso Boulevard I was shocked to note a large expanse of newly bladed land across the wash to the southwest. Further exploration determined that it was due to another very large development in the bottom of Big Wash close to the first one developed by Mattamy. This development was approved via a rezoning by recently defeated Mayor Hiremath and his minions, along with several other adjacent projects that will result in continuous housing along the wash from Rancho Vistoso Blvd to Tangerine. It is tragic to see this pristine desert sacrificed at the altar of “more development is good for Oro Valley”.
The excuse we always hear is that we need the population so they can buy more from our stores and provide more sales tax. I think it might be time to start debating a property tax (did you know Oro Valley does not have such?) This would provide a reliable base of tax revenue that would reduce the pressure to allow such desert desecration. Let’s try to save what is left of our desert!
—Jack Evert, Oro Valley
While there are many necessary items in this budget, I would question the need for the following: $70,000 Economic development study; $30,000 Economic specific collateral material (whatever that is!); $3,000 Annual Business Summit; $100, 000 Parks and Recreation study (while also already approving $3,000,000 for Naranja playground).
There’s also $48,000 Improve website (to say nothing of about $300,000 in new IT costs); $12,000 to improve on-line resident input; $20,000 Community engagement options (no idea what that means); $5,000 Continue Flash Vote—in addition to above. Also $184,000 for an additional town attorney to be offset by reduction of $24,000 in current outside counsel. Did we just lose $150,000?
I guess when they got handed the $700,000 windfall in taxes from the Oro Valley Marketplace and the additional State shared revenue…well…
—Joe Hornat, Oro Valley
Editor’s Note: Joe Hornat was a Oro Valley Town Councilmember until 2018.
MY TWO CENTS
I attended the celebration for Ina Road. It was modest, but nice. Everyone who drew a paycheck against this project was thanked, including contractors, bureaucrats and politicians. Not one of these people thanked the taxpayers.
Are all these people ungrateful to the citizens who pay the bills? I hope this leadership takes this as a reminder of who they work for and remember they are servants first.
—Thomas Szudajski, Tucson