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Don’t swap horses

I served as Army Chief for President Reagan, not in the cavalry for President Lincoln! But we all can rely on the campaign slogan of our sixteenth president. Lincoln ran for re-election under the banner of “Don’t swap horses in the middle of the stream.” There is wisdom in that advice this time around in Oro Valley.

Mayor Satish Hiremath and council members Joe Hornat, Mary Snider and Lou Waters are doing a great job for Oro Valley. Especially when you think of the Town of Oro Valley as a multi-million-dollar corporation, with hundred of employees, serving tens of thousands of customers. 

Vote to keep the team in place that is investing in recreation, putting public safety first, and attracting good jobs. 

—Gen. John Adams Wickham


Follow endorsements

One of the fundamental principles of government is to provide safety and security for its citizens. On the national level this protection is provided by the Defense Department and the Department of Homeland Security. On the local level, protection is provided by a communities’ first responders, its police and fire departments. 

For Oro Valley voters still undecided as to whom to elect in the upcoming election, I submit to you five words: “Endorsed by Police and Fire.” As a retired public safety employee (San Jose Police Department 1970-2000), I can assure you that this endorsement does not come lightly. 

Candidates are subjected to considerable background research including interviews, previous support for safety agencies, and their vision for the future and how to achieve that vision. Several years ago, Family Circle magazine listed Oro Valley in the top 10 communities nationally in which to raise a family. Their criteria included schools, parks and recreation and public safety. I believe those high standards still exist today because of our current mayor and council and I fully intend to vote for them again.

—Ron Webster


Forget endorsements

I noticed, to my surprise, that Mayor Hiremath and his colleagues are touting that the policemen and firefighters are supporting them in the coming election. Why are the policemen and firefighters endorsing any set of politicians running for office? Sadly, the question answers itself. Invariably, there is a quid pro quo: Our money and our votes in exchange for our kind of contract. 

Why any politician would tout the support of any public service organizations is beyond me. Public service unions are the ACME of vested interests. Such quid pro quo throughout the municipalities and cities of the United States has put many municipalities and cities into a financial bind. 

This brings me to a second point. Eight years of one administration in Oro Valley is more than enough. It’s time for change!

—Jerome Spier


A happy place

I find the best way to take in sights and sounds of a place is by foot. Walking the residential roads of Capitol Hill, Manhattan, Coronado, Westwood and Cambridge the last few months just made my family appreciate the place we live in a little more. 

What I found in common was the diversity and inclusion of people from all parts of the country and the world. Languages, origins, food, clothes, pets--all the differences resulting in sameness. Oro Valley has been such a neighborhood I have called home for almost a decade. The breathtaking landscape, quality education, clear skies, mild winters, and above all a happy place for all ages.

The community center, aquatic center, parks and library provide families, pet owners, bikers, runners, seniors and the disabled many opportunities to thrive. It is on us to take this forward as informed voters and realize that this healthy and inclusive coexistence is key to OV’s success. I will be voting for Mayor Hiremath and his team because the root of this progress has been the voter’s voice and will be an integral part of their developmental process going forward.

After all, people from neighborhoods such as the ones I speak of are the ones who make up this happy place called Oro Valley!

—Indrani Solomon



Dancing in the streets

How can the incumbents state that the political contributions that they receive from developers don’t influence their decisions and they are not indebted to these people? Really? Why would the developers contribute if they didn’t think it was in their best interests?  

Balanced budget and El Conquistador? Anyone can balance a budget when they freely make unilateral decisions and charge an additional half-cent sales tax for a facility that so few use. There’s a newsflash for you recent letter to the editor writer!

In the coverage of the recent candidate forum last week, the article states: “Waters assured the crowd that the money put into the golf course has been taken care of.” What exactly does that mean? Sounds like the typical current council double speak.

The incumbents mention that Oro Valley is listed as the Safest City in Arizona. Are we to believe it is because of their efforts? How long will this last when we let development grow unchecked with apartments and crammed together housing? It is sad that the current council considers their unchecked growth an accomplishment.

Hiremath and council state they are doing what they perceive the residents want. Is this the same mayor and council who treat the audience at council meetings like dirt? Their arrogance, disrespect and pomposity at these meetings is appalling. No respect for constituents, no respect for people.

Can’t wait for Joe Winfield, Joyce Jones-Ivey, Josh Nicolson and Melanie Barrettt to take office! There’ll be dancing in the streets!

—Steve Alverdes


False Information

Regarding last week’s letter from Frank Pitts (Commision Experience, Aug. 8): Pitt’s letter is representative of many of the letters that have been published, as it too contains false information. It is also representative of the statements made by the challenging candidates for the Oro Valley Mayoral position and the Oro Valley Town Council. 

In his letter, Mr. Pitts admits that he lied during his interview in order to obtain a seat on the commission.   

Later in the letter Mr. Pitts wrote, “The rezoning of the property overlooking the state park came up and Mr. Hornat explained how he would like to see the ridge overlooking the park lined with quality homes. I ground my teeth and smiled.” 

I have no recollection of that property being discussed. However, that was 4-plus years ago and I admittedly could have forgotten. I started researching. Here is what I discovered.

The property adjoining the Catalina State Park that Pitts was referring to was heard by the P&Z in October and November 2012. The case was forwarded to the Town Council with a 4-3 vote to recommend approval. The case went before the Town Council in December 2012. By a 7-0 vote it was continued to a later date. Shortly thereafter the applicant withdrew the application.

Now here is the problem. Mr. Pitts applied for a seat on the Oro Valley Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) in 2013.  He was interviewed, I believe in October 2013. I was chair of the commission at that time so I was part of the interview process. Council member Joe Hornat was also part of the interview team. 

P&Z interviews are not recorded. But the interview questions are prepared in advance, recorded and every applicant is asked the same questions. Some notes are retained on file. The questions asked during the 2013 P&Z  interviews made no reference to the case that was closed in late 2012/early 2013. 

The last paragraph of the Pitt’s letter is a complete fabrication. 

The entire campaign of the ‘yellow people’ is based on misinformation and documented lies!

Vote wisely!

—Don Cox

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