Letters to Editor

Who’s disingenuous?

Regarding June 20 story “Mayor fires back: challengers are disingenuous”: Brand new to Oro Valley, I am concerned that our mayor thinks millions of dollars in dispute is nit picking. And, I’m disturbed that we disguise a tax that all residents pay as a kind of offsetting income derived from golf operations. Golfers do not support 45 golf holes, shoppers do.

The mayor accused candidate Winfield of being disingenuous, and then returned the favor with three claims I think are untrue. He said Winfield would close the golf course. Show us. He said Winfield would put a moratorium on building. Tell us when and where he said that. Finally, the mayor said his challenger would put a playground structure in Naranja Park...something that’s already in next year’s budget. So, on this, they agree.

It happens that I come to this community with years of experience regarding the life and death of golf. Those of you who play, forgive me. It is a pastime on life support, nationwide. Life support can take many forms. In Oro Valley, it’s the sales tax. If you ask me, disingenuous is pretending that golf will get up and leave its sick bed. It won’t.  

I have read the entire report the town paid experts to prepare. Mr. Mayor, direct voters to a single paragraph or sentence that is encouraging. To my reading, it screams, “Don’t do this.” Well, you have done it, but it’s not too late to stop pouring money into 45 under-used holes. 18 are enough.

—Nicholas H. Kondon



Fired up

Regarding June 20 story “Mayor fires back: challengers are disingenuous”: I was appalled to see the quotes from the current mayor regarding how his opponent, Joe Winfield, was being disingenuous and not telling the truth about little things. Based on the facts, the current mayor is the one flat out lying about the golf course’s cost to Oro Valley taxpayers. 

The golf course is losing huge amounts of money. The loss is not what is calculated after the taxpayers’ money is spent out of the half-cent tax, it is the amount before. I am paying that cost through my tax dollars. All of the taxpayers in Oro Valley are paying that cost. Obviously, the current mayor is the one fabricating tales. 

You and I are paying for the few people who go to the golf course, is that how we want to spend our money? I would prefer that the money goes to infrastructure improvements that many of us benefit from, teacher salaries, paying our police and firefighters more, or even staying in my pocket. We are now even facing a recommendation to take out bonds, which are paid for by us, the taxpayers, in part to do further improvements to the golf course. 

My votes will go to Joe Winfield for Mayor and Melanie Barrett, Josh Nicolson, and Joyce Jones Ivey for Council Members. I would like to have people in office who will listen to residential taxpayers and not just developers.

— Elizabeth Bondioli



Fact check

Regarding June 20 story “Mayor fires back: challengers are disingenuous”: Satish Hiremath kicked off his primary campaign by calling Joe Winfield disingenuous. This is like the pot calling the kettle black, but worse. You see Winfield is an eagle scout and Hiremath can’t keep from misrepresenting the truth.

We will look at two misrepresentations by Hiremath in the Explorer story:

In the first Hiremath calls out Winfield for noting that the Town golf courses have lost millions since purchase through the third quarter of last fiscal year. This number is taken directly from the town’s financial reporting of Troon operational losses. But by using an accounting shell game, Hiremath claims the losses are less by adding in millions of resident sales tax dollars.

If you feel that the extra sales taxes the incumbents levied on residents are  “greens fees” and not sales taxes, then accept Hiremath’s position. If not, it is Hiremath that has misled residents on purpose for the past three years. 

The other misrepresentation was about playgrounds. Hiremath has not built a new playground in his seven-and-a-half years as mayor. Now he boasts he will build one next year. The fact is that Hiremath and the other incumbents approved the first playground for fiscal year 22/23 on May 16 in the tentative town budget. They pulled it forward into next fiscal year at the 11th hour after seeing it was becoming a campaign issue with voters.

Town residents can decide who is “disingenuous.”

—Jack Stinnett

Editor’s Note: Jack Stinnett is a Joseph Winfield mayoral campaign advisor



Quit Whinning

Regarding July 4 letter “Wildlife danger”: How can you live in Tucson for more than one day and not be aware of wildlife danger? Do you think posses should be organized to go out and kill every animal you don’t approve of? Where is your sense of personal responsibility? The government can’t do it all. My neighbor walks his dogs along the Santa Cruz and is always armed. He’s had a dog set upon by coyotes. Some people should not be pet owners here. 

Grow up and defend yourself and animals. Quit whining about things you should be responsible for. The government already does too much citizens should take care of.

—John Orto



Personal responsibility

Regarding July 4 letter “Wildlife danger”: The sniper attacks on current elected Oro Valley officials have reached another low. A letter writer blames the mayor for not advising her and other residents of the dangers of wildlife in the area. 

Here’s a thought, people have chosen to live here among the wildlife and should realize the inherent dangers there in. You should not need someone to tell you about pet or personal protection. Step up and take some personal responsibility. If not, try calling the police department and tell them you need an armed officer to accompany you on your walk. See how far that gets you. 

Other recent letter writers have complained about over-building here in the community and the loss of wildlife because of the destruction of the local habitat. You can’t have it both ways.

—Ron Webster



Watch your pets

Regarding July 4 letter “Wildlife danger”: She complains that wild animals are a danger to pets left alone in their yards, which is true. She expects the mayor to do something about it and will not be satisfied “until something is done to correct the problem.” 

She moved into an area teeming with wildlife which is being forced out of its home because of heavy construction. She can expect no less than one on one confrontations. Keep your pets in the house; don’t let them outside alone. Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Learn safety measures if approached by a wild animal. Know that this is Arizona!

—Julie Silverman


A general’s support

Since 1992, my wife, Ann, and I have really enjoyed life in Oro Valley. We have seen much change, all for the good. The current Oro Valley council has provided enlightened vision and leadership to grow the town. By encouraging good construction of homes and world class recreational facilities the council has motivated quality businesses to open. Also, the University of Arizona will be opening a veterinary school due to availability of housing and recreational facilities. This fine growth based on quality leadership surely will motivate more businesses to move into the town.

Having served 41 years in uniform, the last four as head of the U.S. Army for President Reagan, I have some knowledge of character based leadership. I have known current town council members for years and can attest to their solid integrity, 24-karat gold character. I strongly urge residents to vote current council members back into office for the next four years.

—Gen. John Wickham (Ret.)



Erosion control

A short time ago I was delayed for road construction on East Tangelo Drive for a stretch of asphalt about four feet wide by 200 feet long. Just being curious, I called Jessica Hynd with Oro Valley and inquired as to first why the work was being performed and second what the cost was. 

I was told the work was performed for erosion control and the cost was roughly $6,000. As an alternative, there are rocks that serve the same purpose of controlling roadside erosion. I’m sure that the rocks would serve the same result and would be minimal in cost compared to the asphalt. Rocks are used for this exact purpose a short distance away on the same road.

We have major roads with high traffic that need repaired and instead we are spending money on a neighborhood road with very little traffic. Another example of Oro Valley not using our tax dollars wisely.

—Rick Wampler



Time’s up

No matter where you turn in Oro Valley, there seems to be yet another yellow sign for a public meeting to amend the general plan. Please do keep in mind that this general plan was approved by a vote of the people of Oro Valley.

And so, here we are in yet another election cycle for the town council and mayoral positions.  And once again we have incumbent candidates who are being influenced by special interest. That special interest is none other than developers and landowners like Vistoso Partners, Diamond Ventures and the Kai family who have everything to gain by financing the elections of these public officials.  And, oh, have those contributions to their elections paid off.

The pristine desert areas that were once abundant in this quiet town have been scraped to mere dirt so that the developers can fill their coffers. If there is dirt in this once-desert oasis, this mayor and town council have seen to it that developers are richly rewarded. This has been the case for every election cycle since 2014 concerning these incumbent candidates.

As the date of this election approaches, the one true question which the voters of Oro Valley need to ask themselves is this: Do we want the best democracy money can buy, or do we desire a democracy free of influence, as the founding fathers intended?

—Susan Ross


Bargain buy

The Purchase of the Oro Valley Community Center from HSL at $1 million was a bargain. Judging by letters I read, most don’t understand the true land value of the golf course for potential sale and development. 

It is in a prime development area already surrounded by good quality housing. The land value is many times the purchase price. The original plan to build a community center on Naranja Park would have cost much more than $1 million for the building alone. 

As I see it, there will ultimately be some sell-off of the money losing golf course for development. And the rest should be turned into a park area to enhance Oro valley for the benefit of all its residents. The issue of the restaurant being detrimental to other businesses in the area is a minimal effect. There are already many others already competing in the area. I feel The Overlook is a valuable asset to the center and should be kept. The view from there is superb.

I talk as a resident of Pima County and a long time member of the center from Hilton times.

—Anthony J. Wilson



Local art?

I’m glad that they installed that new stop light at the entrance to our town’s new golf and community center, else, I might have missed seeing this new thing that adorns both sides. Now that I’ve seen it, kindly take out the lights so that I don’t have the occasion to stop and ponder whatever it’s supposed to be. 

I hope the town’s people didn’t have to put up any tax money for this—somebody’s idea of art. I hope it was all volunteer do-good-er effort. And most of all, I hope it’s transportable.  

I thought the sound walls on La Canada were kindergarten-ish, but, these new structures have it all over the walls. Yikes! Is this a hint of what the future holds for Oro Valley? Surely this must be the work of some town official’s cousin. Thank the heavens that election time is nearing.  

—John Spitler



Keep the council

We decided to purchase a home and raise our family in Oro Valley 20 years ago. In that time, we have seen vast infrastructure improvements including roads, parks, trails, a premier aquatic center and multiple retail and dining establishments. The town has also dramatically reduced its dependence on groundwater pumping. All these achievements were implemented in a fiscally responsible manner, within a balanced budget, which means a lot to us as local business owners. Oro Valley continues to be a wonderful place to raise a family, as we have enjoyed hundreds of youth activities at safe and clean local parks.

It seems every year we see recall elections, calls for limiting growth and other divisive elements that distract from the town’s vision. We commend the town’s leadership, amid continuous scrutiny, for staying the course and continuing to build and maintain our town. We would like to thank the town council and staff for your service, what you are doing is working and you are making a difference!

Vote Hiremath, Hornat, Snider and Waters.

—Thom and Diana


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