After more than a month of speculation, the Oro Valley Town Council finally thought it was time to include those taxpaying citizens in on the secret that they were going to be buying a golf course for $1 million. They stress that it comes with a community center though.
It was as if with the news of wanting to assist a local developer out of a jam, and doing the community this great favor by purchasing a $1 million 36-acre golf course was like those wanting this project to move forward deserved some kind of pat on the back. As if, this is what they are doing and all others should just jump for joy over it.
For those who weren’t privy to the Oro Valley council’s decision to finally include the public, who has to pay to make it happen, apparently the Hilton El Conquistador has a new investor that wants to buy the profit-earning part of the resort, meaning they need someone else to dump the money-sucking golf course portion off their hands.
Apparently, the sucker in the deal is the Town of Oro Valley. They basically have decided to purchase this 36-acre golf course under the guise of it being a community center that happens to come with a golf course. Let’s be clear, if a community center is of such high importance, then do it the smart way like you did with the aquatic center and make it happen for the community in a different location.
Buying a golf course, talking about losing millions for up to five years and telling the public that the kicker is paying another half cent for sales taxes - is not just a bad investment, it’s not good planning and if it were, the public would have been let in on the secret much sooner than two weeks before the council plans to vote and make it all official.
I have to side with council members Mike Zinkin and Bill Garner on this issue – What is the hurry? Why does it have to be done so quickly?
Also, if it’s so up front and great for the community – Why wait so long to tell the public?
The town recently won an award for the “Your voice, Your future” project. However, after the golf course plans have been released, I would say that slogan is used as a talking point for community service awards, but at the end of the day, it’s not really the public’s opinion that really matters.
After all, it appears the Dec. 17 public hearing is merely formality, and public input is just because the law says they have to collect it. With how this so-called ganga deal has been handled so far, I wouldn’t be surprised if those voting with the majority don’t bring head phones and listen to some iTunes so they don’t have to hear from the pesky public who may not want to foot the bill for a golf course they probably won’t use.
To be even more realistic, golf is a losing business. Look at the City of Tucson, look at the City of Benson. Really, it won’t take long to find the answers to questions the voting majority doesn’t seem to be asking.
Also, we are in different times. The days of dad going out golfing during the weekend while mom stays at home or does something with the children are over. Now, mom either gets a break from the children and dad stays home, or the family is out doing something other than golf.
Stick to running a family-friendly city – leave the investor bail-outs to the federal government.