Wake Up Call
I promised more information on the April 24 study session.
After watching the May 8 study session, I feel a sense of urgency to comment on the glaring ineptitude and lack of knowledge on the part of our council leadership. I am speaking specifically of Mayor Winfield and Vice Mayor Barrett.
The distinguished Sheriff of Pima County rose to speak at the beginning of the session to voice his support for our police chief and strongly recommend that the Town Council take very seriously the needs of our police department. For Mayor Winfield to not know that Sheriff Napier was a resident of Oro Valley is astonishing. Mark Napier was a candidate for Oro Valley Town Council, was a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission, ran for Sheriff once before and lost and then won his most recent race for Sheriff. Winfield must have been deep in the forest managing the landscape for these past seven or eight years.
The second bombshell of the evening was when the citizens of Oro Valley learned that the staffing in the Police Department has reached such a critical level that some calls are not being responded to for extended periods and others are being responded to by sergeants. That in itself is a shock. More shocking is that the Town Manager refused to put forward the Chief’s request for more personnel. She obviously has no regard for the citizens of this community who pay her salary, but follows the mayor and vice mayor’s direction to come forward with a phony budget and fiscal forecast for no new hires for five years. What are we dealing with here?
For both the mayor and vice mayor to sit in a public meeting and state that they have never heard about manpower shortages in the police department is a strong testimonial not only to their failure to prepare for running for office, but reeks of malfeasance since being elected. The chief of police is a direct report to the Town Council. The Town Council hires and fires the chief. And to have been elected to office since Aug. 28, 2018, and to have never had a sit down conversation and solicit input from one of your direct reports for eight months is inexcusable. Shame on them. But then, I don’t believe they care.
I’ll close with another alarming observation. After listening to the presentation by the chief and the input from Council members Rodman, Piña and Solomon, for there to be no input from the recently elected council members is a clear demonstration to the voting population of Oro Valley that a grave mistake was made last August.
Wake up, Oro Valley!
—Don Cox, Oro Valley
Time to Simplify
It’s beginning to appear the bluster of the Oro Valley Council campaigns are resurfacing as budget discussion focus on the community center and golf course. As my sagacious grandfather told me years ago, there are three sides to every story. In this case, the old council’s story, the new council’s story and the truth. In my opinion, the problem with the community center is a management problem. Neither the town or the community center staff has the experience or know how to solve the problem. Perhaps it’s time to hire someone that knows what they are doing.
The community center is bouncing around in the Town Budget and allows for accounting to become very confusing for the novice citizen trying to understand what the problem is. It’s time for sophistication to be supplanted by simplicity.
—James Prunty, Oro Valley
Regarding the May 15 article “Oro Valley testing community feedback with FlashVote system”: I have two related comments and a recommendation.
First, although the FlashVote system was apparently implemented in early 2019, I, as a resident of Oro Valley, have never been notified of its existence or availability.
Second, as a research professional with experience in statistics, I noted that only about 750 residents have registered out of the more than 32,000 registered voters. Since FlashVote registration is self-selected and with so few residents participating, these surveys could easily be gamed by group(s) with particular agenda(s).
Recommended solution: wider publicity of FlashVote, a marked increase in the number and cross-section of Oro Valley residents registered (flashvote.com/orovalley), and greater survey participation. Until then, Oro Valley may call the results “statistically significant,” but are they?
—Paul Consigny, Oro Valley
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