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EVERY VOTE COUNTS

When doing voter registration, it concerns me when someone declares that they don’t vote because it doesn’t count.  As of July 2019, in Arizona, 35 percent of registered voters are Republicans, 31 percent are Democrats, and 33 percent are independents or other. 

Our state is nearly divided into thirds by party affiliation which makes it difficult to imagine that votes don’t count. It’s also important to note that independents play a significant role in our election outcome.  

Independents, especially those new to our state, may not realize that in order to vote in the Democratic Presidential Preference Primary on March 17, 2020, they must be registered as a Democrat. There is no other option. This differs from our other primaries. Registering to vote, changing party affiliation, or updating an address due to a move is easily done online at the county recorder’s website. Voting is our voice and not voting allows someone else to choose for us.  Voting does matter.   

—Karen Harris, Tucson

 ENSURE PUBLIC SAFETY

I would like to urge every voter that lives within the Golder Ranch Fire District to vote “yes” on our bond election Nov. 5. I have been chairman of the district board for over 30 years and I am very proud of what we have built for our community. We are one of the largest districts in the state with one of the lowest tax rates. 

Passage of this bond issue will significantly improve firefighter safety while also reducing response times to the community. The Golder Ranch Fire District is one of the most fiscally responsible taxing districts in both Pima and Pinal Counties. If during your worst day of your life you have to call 911, you want highly trained personal, in the best equipment showing up in the fastest time possible to save your life. Vote “yes” to ensure public safety. 

—Vicki Cox Golder, Tucson

Editor’s Note: Vicki Cox Golder is the chair of the Golder Ranch Fire District Fire Board.

PRIMARY PROBLEM

An article in the Star on Sept. 21 said that Independents and some Democrats want an open Democratic Party primary in Arizona.

The two-party system insures majority rule—a basic requirement for a democracy. Having an open Democratic Party primary would be like letting safari hunters vote at a People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals meeting! If you pick one of the two major political parties that most represents your interests and vote for their slate of candidates, then your governments will have the mandate necessary for their leadership. Anything else dilutes the process.

—Robert Maddex, 

Oro Valley

APPROVE 477

As one of the first homeowners to build in SaddleBrooke Ranch, I was grateful to find that among my new neighbors was Golder Ranch Fire District. Without a fire station close by to the new development, Robson Communities offered Golder Ranch a “home” in a residential house near the front gate to the community. It was a great interim step, but 10 years later trying to offer state of the art fire and medical services out of a structure designed to be a single family home is less than perfect. 

We’ve come to know the challenges of first responders in our communities because we experience it every day. You cannot escape how fast our neighborhoods have grown, and with them, so have the needs of the entire fire district. 

The Golder Ranch Fire District Bond 477 addresses the needs of today, with an eye on inevitable future growth. We need these services in order to sustain the quality lifestyle we have chosen to live, whether in Oro Valley, or the communities in southern Pinal County. 

Our first responders need to upgrade their communications and alerting systems, fulfill their staffing needs and upgrade and expand facilities to fully serve us while maintaining safety for all. 

The Golder Ranch firefighter/medics give us their best every day. We should give them ours.

Please vote “yes” on 477.

—Mick Anna, Oro Valley

YES ON 477

I’m voting yes on 477, the fire bond for Golder Ranch, and it’s personal. My husband is a volunteer firefighter/medic in Southern Arizona. He just walked in from a 24-hour shift tired, wet and smelling faintly like the 1,000 acre wild fire his unit was fighting over night. 

While he was not on the fire line, he was holding down the fort, re-filling tenders, feeding the shifts and responding to medical emergencies in the middle of the night. No matter the position you are assigned in a fire/medical company, the job is intense and often a matter of life and death. 

No matter where we live, we need our fire/medical personnel to be well trained, equipped and performing at their best. That lifesaving call could be you or someone you love. Vote yes, on 477.

—Sharon Bechman, 

Oro Valley

GREEN OR WEEDS?

It is my view after years of discussion and debate of the quantitative and qualitative pros and cons it is time to decide to keep the two 18-hole golf courses open. It is indisputable that economically the golf courses are no more a burden on town finances or taxpayers than any other town amenity. Alternatively, an unknown repurposing concept would present a very high risk to the property values, health and safety of those households 

surrounding the golf courses. Repurposing would destroy a town recreation amenity that has been an icon and the brand of Oro Valley for decades. 

This is why I and many others moved here and why others visit from out of town and spend money. Repurposing to 18 holes or no golf would eliminate guaranteed member revenue and the ability for the town to hold tournaments that support charity events such as the lifesaving Project Grad Night and others. 

I’m not supportive of throwing good money after bad but for the town as a whole this is good investment. Unless you’re in the weeds, a phrase I heard from a speaker opposing the golf course at the last council meeting and dead set on revenge for the original purchase you will probably never see the bigger picture of the value and benefit of this unique and beautiful town asset. Maybe that in the weeds comment is the very reason this topic has been so divisive. You’ve heard the phrase, “can’t see the forest through the trees.” Maybe there are those that are so far down in the weeds they are blind to the overall benefit of the 36-hole option. 

Whatever their decision it is my sincere hope that the town mayor and council do not have their heads in the weeds and revenge is not their motivation.

—Robert Wanczyk, Oro Valley

VOTE YES

Living in SaddleBrooke Ranch for seven years, Golder Ranch Fire has been a major presence for us and our growing community. My experience with the response time to our home when I had a health issue was impressive but better yet was the quick setup to reduce my severe pain. 

As our community grows, so will the demands of the Golder Ranch team. I want to feel confident the firefighters and EMTs are able to get to me at my home, on the court, or in our fitness center.

Reading the statistics; 66 percent of firefighters develop some sort of cancer due to on the job exposures. I want to help improve conditions to reduce exposure.

I feel the average cost of $2.39 a month to support the needs of Golder Ranch is a small price to pay. I want to help, so I am voting “yes” on fire bond 477, please join me!

—Linda Shannon-Hills, Oracle

TAINTED DECISION

As a resident of Oro Valley and a homeowner under jurisdiction of Cañada Hills HOA, master association for Carmel Pointe, I am appalled and stupefied that the HOA should wish to divert assessments as a “contribution” to the Town of Oro Valley, and that the town council has not outright rejected such a dubious, questionable source of revenue.

I have not seen in print any specifics of the so-called “contribution” but understand it is offered as incentive for a decision by the council to retain all 36 holes of the municipally-owned and operated golf courses, El Conquistador and La Cañada, along with continued operation of the community center.  

The municipally-owned and operated community center and golf courses are open to and benefit all residents of Oro Valley and the general public.  These town-owned entities should be funded through the town’s regular taxing mechanisms, along with appropriate fees for use.  They should not be funded by “contributions,” in reality impost or levies (so defined in my Webster’s Encyclopedic Dictionary).  While “contribution” may sound like a kind, genteel word it is in this case essentially a tax to be imposed upon only one segment of the town’s residents!

Indeed, a half-cent sales tax was enacted at time of acquisition of the community center and golf courses and specifically designated to support, along with fees, these town-owned entities.  Per the recent budget report, this funding mechanism was more than adequate for last fiscal year.   The council should not be soliciting “contributions,” from one segment of the town’s residents while looking to divert designated revenue elsewhere.

Whatever the pros or cons of retention of the golf courses may be, this so-called “contribution” upon only one group of residents is, indeed, a highly questionable source of revenue for the town.  It may be enticing, but would set a dangerous precedent, and in the here and now, would only taint the council’s decision if it decides in favor of continuing golf operations.

—Elizabeth Clarke, Oro Valley

Want to see your opinion in the paper? Send letters to the editor to logan@tucsonlocalmedia.com or to 7225 N. Mona Lisa Road, #125, Tucson, Arizona 85742, ATTN: Letters to the Editor.

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