United we stand
After moving to Oro Valley in September 2016 I have been following the town issues closely. One of the major issues I see frequently is the town community center and the golf course. While trying to research all sides on that issue, I examined candidate Winfield’s website for information on the subject. While citing several dollar amounts pertaining to the center’s deficits, I didn’t notice any mention of income from the center itself, or the half-cent tax revenue. It appeared to me that those numbers were purposely omitted, or a gross oversight?
As I continued my research I couldn’t help but notice a post about “golf welfare” at The Golf Club at Vistoso. Winfield states that the sitting mayor and council members were responsible for the closing of that club. I had to find out for myself. As it turns out, Vistoso is in fact owned by Romspen Mortgage of Toronto, Canada. It was their decision to close, period. It appears to me that it’s politics as usual. I wish that “candor” were a requirement for office. Voters want to hear the facts, only the facts. Not innuendo or speculation in order to assess blame to a political opponent.
Let’s elect candidates that work on behalf of their residents. Candidates that can sit down together and compromise on the tough issues! United we stand, divided we fall. It’s that simple.
— John Klippstein
During my time as the chair of the Oro Valley Planning and Zoning Commission, I participated in the selection of Melanie Barrett for membership on the commission. We felt that as a mother, a lawyer and a woman, she would represent a valued perspective in what was previously an all male body.
However, having served with Melanie, I cannot endorse her for election to the Oro Valley Town Council. In a recent vote by planning and zoning, Melanie participated in a way that calls into question her qualifications to become a member of the town council. She was the only dissenting vote on a motion to approve the design of a number of new model homes. Her stated rationale was that she personally felt that the homes did not contain enough windows, even though the developer had met each and every requirement of the town, architectural and otherwise. This is not the kind of critical thinking required to be an effective member of the town council.
A Remarkable man
Voicing my political opinion makes me nervous. There’s always someone who doesn’t agree with you. And let’s be honest, most of us are afraid to be disliked.
That being said, however, I would feel remiss if I did not take a chance to publicly endorse Joe Winfield with all the feeling that can be conveyed through a computer keyboard. Joe is my friend. I know him personally, and I know beyond doubt that he is a man who is as honest and forthright as they come. Joe has worked for the National Parks Service for most of his life; he has attended countless town and civic meetings and volunteered in his local church community.
This is a man, who, because he feels so passionately about changing his community,began to reach out to voters by doing what felt natural to him: going door to door, talking to voters. He told me recently that he has probably knocked thousands of doors since April. He said that casually, like it was all in a day’s work. But there is nothing casual about that. I teased him a little, that he hasn’t knocked on my door yet (Ironically, he was at my house at the time, so I guess you could say he had knocked on my door.) But I was impressed that he would knock doors in this heat.
Despite my reticence to enter politics, I want to publicly state that I know and respect Joe Winfield; he is a remarkable person.
Growth or death
A person’s quality of life is sometimes a direct correlation between the community they live in and their enjoyment of the services and recreational facilities available to them. As a realtor, I hear out of town home buyers rave about Oro Valley and what a safe clean place we live in.
That’s not by accident. Our current incumbent Mayor Satish Hiremath and incumbent council members Hornat, Snider and Waters have used sound management practices to achieve the quality of community we enjoy. Challenger Winfield wants to close down our golf courses, While Jones-Ivey proposes “no-growth” for Oro Valley. Seriously? If we’re not growing, we’re dying.
Following the incumbents’ supporters on social media sites has produced more than one “you can’t make this stuff up” moment. An extended Nextdoor thread called “Oro Valley Elections” had the mayor allegedly use a fake ID to troll opposition posters on the thread. Go check the thread out and decide for yourself.
The mayor had his daughter take the fall for the posts, and stated that the posts were inappropriate. What father sets his daughter up like that? The mayor posted on the same thread that his daughter and he were done posting on Nextdoor. I thought that would be the end of it. Nope. His daughter is now aggressively posting on the Facebook group “Oro Valley Community of Women” with the same Hiremath campaign talking points. Wash, rinse, repeat.
What are the characteristics of the incumbents’ supporters on social media websites?
Hiremath, Hornat, Snider and Waters supporters accuse posters with different views of incomplete information or misinformation. Many use new and old campaign messaging. A couple of the Mayor’s supporters’ posts can be viewed as bullying or public shaming. In one Nextdoor thread a sitting council member made 10 of the 28 posts, in effect policing the thread. One of the mayor’s well known supporters trotted out the preacher on a Nextdoor thread. (Whoever trots out the preacher first loses.)
I simply view their efforts as an attempt to suppress the debate and lower voter turnout. They must be worried.
Stand with council
I have personally talked, met and set up radio interviews with local, state and national politicians. Most of their objectives seemed to deal with an individual public “buzz” concerns or the successful securing of their upcoming election. The town of Oro Valley has four individuals, who I personally know, observing their tenure as councilperson and mayor: Satish Hiremath, Lou Waters, Joe Hornat and Mary Snider.
These individuals have some different political beliefs and affiliations diametrically apart and similar. What they have done instead of posturing personal agendas, or political fighting camps, is work together as a group for the betterment of the Town of Oro Valley. It is unusual, especially in this divisive political climate, to see such teamwork, as Hiremath, Waters, Hornat and Snider have demonstrated for the success of the Town of Oro Valley. Pay attention as the new candidates will be harping on a buzz issue or two with little regard to the overall picture disregarding any past success and suggesting details that may be unsubstantiated to further their cause. So, back to politics as usual. After all, it’s about getting elected.