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feel compelled to write this letter to give credit to Mayor Winfield for having the courage to make a difficult decision regarding keeping the 36 holes of golf. I am not a golfer nor do I live in one of the subdivisions bordering the golf course. However, I can only describe the feeling I get driving by the green of the courses as joyful! That bit of green in the middle of our lovely town lifts my spirits every time and I doubt that I am the only one who feels this way. 

I did not vote for Mayor Winfield, but I must say that I am surprised and very grateful that he has had the ability to keep an open mind and indeed to change his mind when presented with the evidence. And then to buy a golf membership to further show his support, that is class! 

I hope the many hundreds of people who hoped for this decision will thank him and the other council members who voted to go forward with this investment in our town. 

—Melvina Strijdonk,

 Oro Valley 


have read with interest and dismay the latest two issues of the Explorer’s opinions section pertaining to the Golder Ranch Fire District’s proposed bond. I disagree with the writer’s positions regarding the necessity of passing the bond. I have also seen past comments from proponents urging funding for services that are nice to have rather than needed. The Golder Ranch Fire Department is one of those “needed” services.

I too am a senior citizen, living on a fixed income, and reside within the Golder Ranch Fire District. I confess I don’t have data on the demographics of our area’s population, but anecdotally, I am pretty sure we seniors constitute the majority of the district’s residents. Guess what folks, we are exactly the demographic that most needs the EMS services provided by this fire department! Younger people are healthier and generally need less EMS services.

When the fire department responds with a need for paramedics, I personally don’t want an under trained paramedic or fire fighter to respond to a potentially life-threatening condition. I believe we all want the best rather than a response dictated by lack of training funds, equipment and staff. The training and the need for sufficient staff and equipment to respond quickly costs each of us taxes.

It is no secret that our area is growing every year as seniors retire here from other locations around the country. We are not the small community many of my fellow citizens would like us to be. In order to maintain a critical core service to our community, Golder Ranch Fire must grow too.

I urge my fellow citizens to vote “yes” on this bond proposal.

—Gerald L Perry, 

Oro Valley


The Golder Ranch Fire District Board has placed a property tax increase (Prop 477) on the ballot. We all have received our ballots and voter information materials. The $26.6 million bond will carry an annual interest rate up to 8 percent and a maturity period up to 25 years. Golder Ranch projects that at 4.25 percent interest, this bond will cost taxpayers $45 million. However, at the maximum 8 percent interest authorized, the bond could cost district property owners $80 million. Golder Ranch continues to increase costs and rising property assessments alone will increase property taxes on Oro Valley, Catalina and Saddlebrooke residents.

In 2010, the district’s total assessed property value was $772 million with a tax rate of $1.59, which yielded $12.8 million to support the fire district. In 2016, the assessed valuation was unchanged at $771 million, but the tax rate increased to $2.07, yielding $17 million to GRFD.

In 2018, with the acquisition of Mountain Vista Fire District, the net assessed value of properties in the fire district increased to $1.1 billion and the tax rate increased to $2.29. This property tax increased GRFD funds to $26 million, doubling the tax funding in 2010. 

Every year, the Pima County assessor will raise property valuations and increase our property taxes. Golder Ranch Fire District funding will continue to increase without this additional new bond.

I am voting “no” to this additional taxation and suggest Golder Ranch be required to live within their means just as fire district taxpayers do.

—Joe Lauer, Oro Valley

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

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