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Never before?

Regarding Oct. 30 article “New liaison assignments cause rift between council members”: In this article, council member Steve Solomon is quoted as stating: “Never before in the history of this community have Board and Commissions been politicized.”

Solomon either has a short memory or a selective memory.

During the Hiremath regime there was a selectee to the Planning and Zoning Commission whose appointment was objected to by three council members.  What was the reason for the objection?

The entire council, all seven members, had been copied on communications that the proposed selectee had violated town policies and practices on two different occasions regarding the code of conduct of commission members.  This was documented by two different town attorneys, first in September 2012 and again in May 2014.

When the selection of Planning and Zoning Commission members was placed on the consent agenda, it was removed for discussion over this particular individual.  In spite of the empirical evidence that was communicated to all council members, the Hiremath majority council disregarded the attorneys’ communications and appointed this individual, who was one of their most vocal supporters, to the Planning and Zoning Commission.

Don’t tell me that the Board and Commission selectees have not been politicized in the past.

—Mike Zinkin, Oro Valley

Editor’s Note: Mike Zinkin is a former Oro Valley council member.

History Lesson

Regarding Oct. 30 article “New liaison assignments cause rift between council members”: Solomon has a habit of stating things with such authority that those who don’t know the history would assume that he’s telling the truth.  He was not.  Whether it was a deliberate lie or simply ignorance on his part remains to be seen but council liaison positions have been politicized in the past.

Back in early 2013, during the Hiremath administration, the majority four members of that council denied the reappointment of a member of the Conceptual Design Review Board. Council member Lou Waters, who was also the council liaison to the CDRB at that time, admitted that they were “nurturing someone” to fill that position.  Council member Snider agreed that they were denying the reappointment in order to create an opening for the individual that they had been nurturing.

Waters, in his role as council liaison to the CDRB, had actively participated in shaping the membership of that board.  It appeared that the Hiremath majority had rigged the deal so that an individual of their liking would sit on the CDRB. That’s political.

The Hiremath council also reappointed a Planning and Zoning commissioner despite him being reprimanded on two separate occasions for violating the code of ethics for commissioners. That person just happened to be one of their most vocal supporters. Now, that’s political.

Further back in history, during the Loomis administration, another member of the CDRB was fired for speaking out as a resident against the $23.2 million sales tax sharing agreement with Vestar.

In contrast, when Mayor Winfield explained his rationale for amending the council liaison appointments, none of it was “political.” Councilmember Solomon owes Mayor Winfield an apology for his false statements.

—Diane Peters, Oro Valley

 

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