The Northwest EXPLORER has asked the 14 Oro Valley Town Council candidates to answer 10 questions about various issues affecting the town. Most of the questions were asked in a way that encouraged the candidates to take a position on the issue or provide specific ideas or solutions. It is the Northwest EXPLORER's intent that in providing the answers to these questions, readers will gain some insight as to where each candidate stands on these issues, how well informed they are about them and how they may govern the town if elected. The candidates were limited to 100 words or less per answer. Five of these questions were published Jan. 28. The remaining five are below.
6. Have the town's economic development policies been successful during the past four years? If yes, explain in specifics how they've been successful and what more can be done to further that success. If no, explain what you will do to make them more successful.
Our economic policies may have given the town a quasi comfort level with the development of low-end stores and services to bring in the tax revenues. However, we've had some upscale development in our campus park areas and a hospital that will provide a source of high salary employees and new homebuyers. But certainly we have yet to live up to the desires of many of our citizens, who would like to see higher quality stores being built. Quality should be our focus from now on, not quantity. I believe that goes for retail, commercial and residential.
Our limited economic success is the result of working with proffered development and offering financial incentives (ie: "tax rebates") for extended periods of time. We should seek out developers/entrepreneurs (ie: Ventana Medical) with a proven record of successfully creating high class, innovative, and aesthetically appealing enterprises. We should assemble a "think tank" of retired and current businessmen and civic leaders to "brainstorm", research, and target appropriate ventures. Additionally, hiring, or contracting with, an individual to research, on a national level, grants for cultural , historical , and general revenue funding is imperative.
The efforts of our qualified and motivated elected officials, town staff members, and citizen volunteers have resulted in a true community of excellence, including the new library, the road and bike path improvements, the new hospital, the new parks, and the new schools. This success could be expanded in two ways. First, tax incentives during a company's start up period would be attractive. Second, Oro Valley should have an economic development task force that would demonstrate our commitment to economic development. These two strategies are examples of low-cost, high-impact options that can be utilized to increase economic development.
The town has been successful in attracting some substantial businesses. These businesses include, among others Ventana Medical, the urgent care center, and Northwest Community Hospital. However, the own could do a much better job of attracting upscale retail and fine restaurants. Too often Oro Valley residents drive to Tucson to shop or dine. It is time for Oro Valley to give its residents the opportunity to spend their hard-earned money in Oro Valley.
Since I have been here just a bit over one year, commenting on economic development policies during the past four years is difficult. However, continuing development at Tangerine and First Ave., Vistoso and Oracle, Magee and Oracle, Lambert and La Canada, is appropriate. The town should pursue gaining a multiscreen theater, upscale restaurants, and business offices. In addition, the pursuit of tourism should become a high priority.
Yes and no. We have been successful in gaining a much-needed hospital. We are currently negotiating for a beautiful development at First Ave. and Oracle. Progress is being made on the property north of Home Depot to Tangerine Road. We have not inked the Ritz-Carlton. Our non-residential revenue income is far from adequate.
The town's economic development policies have been mildly successful to this point. However, I believe we have missed opportunities to develop more revenue generating businesses. We must change the current perception among many in the business community, that the town's bureaucracy inhibits small businesses.
The Town's policies have been successful until now in avoiding a deficit situation. In the long-term, reliance on growth will not provide needed revenue. This will place us in the same dilemma that the city of Tucson currently faces, where services are severely underfunded. We need to plan now to avoid the dilemma. We will need to aggressively pursue all possible funding sources that exclude a property tax, which Oro Valley residents have indicated they don't want. A policy of cost containment/reduction may need to be adopted in all facets of the town's operations and strategic decision-making.
Oro Valley must continue to establish a solid financial foundation that extends from its current resort and recreation image. Business contributes a great deal to Oro Valley from providing employment to residents to offering goods and services. The financial impact of business and economic development is important and the town must develop a pro-business approach to attract high-tech, medical and other growing industries. This process has begun but there is much more that must be done to generate economic growth. This business friendly approach will diversify the economic base while ensuring a positive impact on our community
The success is evident in the buildings in the Innovation Park Drive Technical Center, the urgent care facility, the new hospital now under construction, the Cañada Crossroads Shopping Plaza, the Oracle/Pusch Ridge office complex, the Home Depot/Albertsons complex, the Oracle/Magee annexation and others. In addition, there are now at least three or four other projects under review by the town.
Not as successful as we had hoped, because the events of 9-11 have affected every jurisdiction's economic development efforts. We're moving more slowly than we had planned, but we're moving in the right direction. I look for some significant progress during the coming year, particularly in the area of commercial development.
Too much of our current revenue is dependent on one-time building permits and fees. Â This is shortsighted and explains our present budget difficulties and guarantees economic hardship in the future. Â More of Oro Valley's disposable income would be spent in our town if we encouraged unique and distinctive retail establishments. Â Planning for our short and long-term needs with an eye towards a steady stream of revenue is the only way to ensure a sound financial future. Â I would encourage technological park development, thereby creating desirable higher paying jobs in Oro Valley.
In general, the town's economic policies have been successful when considering the pure financial components of revenue, budget, and expenses. What the town has failed to do is to properly evaluate the natural capital of the town. Appeal, quality of life, natural resources, and community atmosphere all have an economic value that needs to be considered when evaluating financial plans or approving development. For example, while approving development that fills in our washes and nature corridors may provide an immediate revenue stream, the long term reduction in natural capital may offset any short term gains through losses in property valuation.
The town's economic development should concentrate on putting together high tech parks, business that produce above normal salaries, and produce high sales tax revenue. The end result would make higher salaries which would result in low density housing which also would support higher priced quality stores for shoppers. Sometimes I believe we tend to build in lots of low sales tax producing business which require the same maintenance costs from the town as high end business.
7. A large park and community center has been proposed at the 212-acre Naranja Town Site. Should a park of this size be built? If no, explain why and offer alternatives. If yes, explain how the park's construction should be funded and how quickly it should be built in its entirety.
The first step was to purchase the land. The second step is to decide what to build first and does the town have the money to do it. Unfortunately I believe the answer is "not right now." Our citizens are used to quality services. They expect them, they deserve them and the town should do everything to provide them. However, according to Bob Jennens, member of the Budget and Bond Committee, "Oro Valley is facing a softening and a possible leveling off in its revenue growth curve. So patience and fiscal responsibility should be the modus operandi."
The Naranja Town Site should definitely be developed - but in stages, prioritizing need and return on investment. Provision for a concert stage, theater and exhibition hall should head the list, as they will be an early source of revenue. Funding should come from a combination of limited bonding, corporate sponsorship, grants and business and individual donations.
It must be stated that the Naranja Town Site Park and many of the other improvements that we enjoy would not have occurred without the professionalism of our town staff and the willingness of our elected officials to persevere against adversity. Now that the site has been established, the next town council needs to begin development of this public resource. The first phase of development should include the open areas such as sports fields. This development as well as future developments to the park should be funded with grants and other funding sources.
Oro Valley needs more recreational facilities for people of all ages. Children need safe areas where they can play. Adults need a place where they can meet and exercise. Because a park and community center offer many benefits, the park should be built as quickly as possible. Municipal bonds are a viable source of funding.
The Naranja Town Site Park and community center should continue to be developed. Certainly this is a long term project, probably in the 10-12 year time frame. The composition of the park depends directly on what the community wants as it will be expensive to maintain. Seeking participation of various satellite campuses, state financing, bond issues, citizen contributions, reclaimed water rates and ground water preservation fees all could contribute financially to its construction.
Yes. Grants, private funding and if necessary bond issues. However the park needs to be built in a single phase. It should be built as soon as possible.
Parish The Naranja Town Site should be developed for the maximum potential that it holds to benefit the community. Finances dictate that this project should be completed in stages. Funding alternatives should be explored. I will work to make this project happen using grant funding, private funding, and corporate sponsorships. All Oro Valley residents will benefit as a result of this project. I believe that the development of this site should be a community wide project. The community working as a whole can accomplish more than the town government could ever do alone.
Yes, a park of this magnitude could be a wonderful asset to Oro Valley. The park will have to be funded through public/private partnerships. We should consider developing the facility around a theme, such as a performing arts/community center so that revenue can be generated from appropriate events and sponsorships that are of interest to the region. User fees for activities and facilities would also be appropriate. Reinvesting revenues with targeted funding from other Town sources could potentially stimulate generation of more revenue for continued improvements. This incremental approach should have a goal of about 12 years or sooner.
I support the town park and community center proposed at the Naranja Town Site. This park will include natural open spaces, walking trails, along with sports and recreational areas. Along with the park activities will be an element of culture and art for musical performances and concerts performed in our wonderful climate surrounded by spectacular scenery. Due to the size of this park and the different elements involved it may need to be constructed in phases as the funding becomes available.
The land has been purchased and a site plan has been developed. The size of the project has been determined. Corporate and/or individual sponsors' should be secured for the park and the structures and a bond issue could be proposed with payment of the bonds by: (a.) Current revenue, if available; (b.) Imposition of a utility and/or communication sales tax; (c.) Secondary property tax IF PASSED BY THE VOTERS. If none of the options work, there must be a Plan B for a smaller and expandable development.
Yes, Naranja Town Site park definitely should be built. This is a pivotal feature of our town's future. It will add to our quality of life and attractiveness of Oro Valley. How the project is funded will be determined by voters, probably in a bond election.
Due to poor planning and unnecessarily generous incentives, we do not have adequate funds to complete the Naranja Park. However, we can phase it in so that the benefit increases as funds become available through improved future planning, impact fees on new development and potential corporate funding. Parks are wonderful assets to a vibrant community. They provide opportunities for exhibitions, concerts, conferences, and family oriented events. Planning would include a focus on keeping maintenance costs low. I oppose a property tax to pay for its completion.
I fully support the development of a town park and community center as a large community center would provide community heart in much the same way the smaller Riverfront park has begun to. I feel the town park should be an immediate priority for the council and town as the changing population dynamics of the town dictates the need for community parks and family recreation areas. I would support a bond proposal to deliver immediate funding and an aggressive development schedule for completion of all components.
This park should be finished and may require this to be done over a staging process. I would not vote to move the equipment and all the noise and confusion from Calle Concordia into this area. We should build a community center and performing arts facilities. One of the major financing approaches would be to work with large corporations to build and maintain these centers. Other areas of financing can be reviewed and I would not vote to use property tax on this.
8. What can Oro Valley do to help solve the region's traffic problems? Would you support or advocate a freeway that leads to or through the town?
First, the Oracle Road Corridor Study is being conducted by ADOT in cooperation with PAG (Pima Association of Governments), Pima County, Pinal County, the city of Tucson and the town of Oro Valley. It is evaluating present and future transportation needs of Oracle Road, from Oracle Junction to Miracle Mile. The study should be completed before the end of 2004. I suggest we wait to see the results. Second, John Zukas, Oro Valley Transit Administrator suggests that Sun Tran Bus extend their route to Campus Park Development and the new Hospital. A Freeway through Oro Valley. "No Way."
I DO NOT support a high speed freeway running through our town, as it would encourage by-passing, rather than "stopping to shop", in Oro Valley. A widened Oracle Road will, in essence, function as a "controlled" conduit of north/south traffic. A second east/west corridor, in addition to Tangerine, created by widening either Lambert or Naranja with access to the "I" is needed. Initiating and completing road construction which looks to future requirements, prior to further business and housing developments, is crucial.
When the improvements to Tangerine Road, La Cañada Drive, First Avenue, La Cholla and Oracle Road are completed, there will sufficient transportation infrastructure to support traffic in and around Oro Valley. I believe these improvements and improvements that will naturally be implemented in the future are a more appropriate solution to our traffic problems than is an urban freeway. The town of Oro Valley needs to work with the Arizona Department of Transportation, the Pima Association of Governments, and local governments to ensure that improvements are planned and implemented in a coordinated manner to maximize their effectiveness.
Oro Valley should work with regional planners and the Pima Association of Governments (PAG) to solve its traffic problems. Without PAG's endorsement, it is too early to support a freeway. However, Oro Valley must be proactive rather than reactive in planning traffic flow. Before a development goes in, the roads must be in place. Oro Valley could have averted many of its traffic woes if it had been proactive. For example, First Avenue should have been four lanes long before so many homes were built in Rancho Vistoso.
Oro Valley's regional traffic problems are solvable, preferably by a parkway solution on Tangerine, expanding Oracle Road to three lanes each direction up to Vistoso, expanding Lambert and Linda Vista to two lanes each direction, as well as La Cañada with two lanes each direction. I do not support or advocate a freeway that leads through the town. Involvement in an association of regional governments acting as a transportation authority with funding by a county wide sales tax should cover a significant part of the costs.
Oro Valley must be a partner in regional transportation problem resolution. However we cannot solve the problems of Tucson and/or Pima County. We have made great strides in the past two years to improve our traffic issues and we will continue to do so if I am elected. A freeway is a huge undertaking with multi-faceted impacts. I would have to see a detailed cost/benefit analysis and a proposed route in order to make an informed decision.
To solve Oro Valley's traffic problems the town must do several things. First, quality shopping and employment must be brought to the town to lessen the miles the we currently must drive. Targeting growth to benefit the entire town is key. Secondly, the town needs to be more involved with the Pima Association of Governments. We must hold enough influence in the region to get our fair share of transportation revenues. Third, We need to work with the state legislature in an effort to gain greater access to Highway User Funds. Fourth, we need to build a freeway leading to the town.
This is a regional issue requiring local and regional commitment to solve. OV will need a multifaceted approach including a refocus on neighborhood friendly office/retail and movement away from the traffic dependent strip commercial development that is currently in favor. We should continue with improvements to major arterials to better disperse traffic flow and consider improving mass transit that targets moving commuters to Tucson. I am not in favor of building a freeway through OV; however, a parkway through the Tangerine corridor may help by improving access to I-10. It should be planned well before any significant development is in place.
Due to Oro Valley's population growth, the transportation needs will continue to grow at a similar pace. A study completed in 1999 indicated that four percent of Oro Valley residents have used public transit services offered by the town. Almost all town residents travel by driving personal vehicles and future planning must approach transportation issues from this understanding. The planning of roads must incorporate long-term goals and be completed as quickly as possible. Residents of Oro Valley deserve safe, convenient and efficient mobility. Town council members must make sound decisions today, to address the public transit issues of tomorrow.
Oro Valley must be a significant player in any attempt to solve the region's traffic problems. Right now the best opportunity appears to be through PAG where Mayor Paul Loomis is the current chairman. Rep. Steve Huffman plans to introduce a bill in the legislature to make PAG a regional transportation authority that would be the vehicle to develop the plan and provide the funding through a voter approved sales tax. If a freeway were to be part of the plan, I would suggest consideration.
Oro Valley should cooperate with other entities in our county to come up with the planning and funding for a regional transportation plan under the Pima Association of Governments. I don't support a freeway like I-10 in Oro Valley, but I do support taking a good look at parkways, Tangerine and other major arterials.
Traffic problems are created by growth exceeding the available infrastructure. Unfortunately, the congestion we're suffering today will likely get worse. Previous councils have increased land use densities allowing high-density housing that concentrates more families and cars into our limited space. Â Equally significant, surrounding towns are doing the same thing. All of this translates into severe congestion, we must begin the planning process for the following: (1) Provide roads that will accommodate present & expected traffic; (2) Improve public transportation. I plan to meet with staff and surrounding communities to examine the needs and impact of past decisions on this critical issue.
When 86 percent of working residents work outside of Oro Valley, support must be given to these individuals to leave and enter Oro Valley efficiently. Just as punching notches in a belt only solves a weight problem for so long, widening roads can only do so much for Oro Valley. We need to reduce traffic on smaller arteries by supporting traffic on a few major expressways. During rush hours we must limit cross street turning on the main north/south arteries of Oracle and La Cañada. Full highways are inappropriate given limited access to I-10 and the commercial centers along Oracle.
The more the town allows crowded high density housing the more traffic we have. An answer is to get industry to come into our area so that people will not commute out to other areas, thus crowding the traveled ways. Public transportation can not be used for the people going across Tucson for work. Long range planning for our future expansion, including the infrastructure work that will meet these demands, must be done immediately. Work with the Pima Association of Governments for future revenues and data.
9. How will you make sure Oro Valley has enough revenue to cover its operating costs each year and build the road, water, parks and other infrastructure needed during the next 10 years without resorting to a primary or secondary property tax? (Be as specific as possible given the allowable-words constraint.)
In these past few weeks I have spoken to Town Manager Chuck Sweet, Finance Director David Andrews, Community Development Director Brent Sinclair, Chief Building Inspector Chuck King, Parks and Recreation Administrator Ainsley Reeder, Transit Director John Zukas, Public Works Town Engineer Bill Jansen, Water Utility Director Alan Forest and Shirley Seng, Water Utility administrator, George Duncan, Magistrate, Jeff Weir, Economic Development Administrator, Danny Sharp, Chief of Police, John Fink, Golder Ranch Fire Chief, Rural Metro Fire Chief George Good.
With Mayor Loomis' permission, I will invite them to an all day retreat and get the answer.
Revenue Creation: € Obtaining Federal/State grants, matching funds, awards (ie: COPS U.S. Department of Justice hiring grant, Growing Smarter Planning Grants, Arizona Department of Commerce grants); € Annexation of proven commercial areas (ie: Foothills Mall); € Increasing tourism (ie: winter music festival); € Attraction of service, medical equipment, components (ie: optics industry) providers; € Increasing construction, service provider fees (ie: waste dumping, personal services); € Increase sales taxes ? - ? %
Cost Reduction: € Paring budgets; € Prioritizing expenditures. Headcount/organization review; € Curtailing (most) hiring other than safety personnel; € Reviewing town service charges (ie: building inspection, connection fees).
Although our current financial condition is stable, it is not solid and definitely not sustainable based on current revenues and expenditures. Fortunately, we have adequate revenue-producing land uses that will allow us to achieve financial sustainability. The challenge will be to ensure this type of development has a positive effect on our financial stability while not resulting in a negative effect on quality of life. Based on my experience as a long-term member of the Town of Oro Valley Budget and Bond Committee, I believe a property tax is unnecessary if we actively pursue other revenue sources.
Oro Valley should encourage economic development. With more businesses generating revenue in Oro Valley, the town will collect more sales tax. Another source of funds for infrastructure improvements is grants. State and federal grants may provide Oro Valley with additional funding for improvements.
In order for Oro Valley to have sufficient revenue to cover its operating costs each year and accomplish the multitude of tasks which the town has assumed, an evaluation of the sales tax, developer fees, business tax, and impact fees has to occur. Moreover, exploiting opportunities and annexations of financial rewards, in addition to a re-examination of expenditures to include re-allocation, reduced funding, and realignment of priorities could result in significant savings.
The answer is simple to state but much more difficult to bring to fruition. Over the years Oro Valley has primarily offset its costs through building permits and the income related to residential growth. That income source is dwindling annually. In addition, the financial woes of the state and county are having a detrimental impact on us. Unbridled residential growth is a fast track to financial instability. We must broaden our base of revenue generation. We need non-residential growth that will produce needed income for our town. The alternatives are a reduction in services or additional taxes.
I believe that Oro Valley has great financial potential. This is the direct result of the people that live here. We must develop more quality business shopping that won't require a drive to Tucson or Marana. Oro Valley residents should be able to shop locally and reap the rewards of the sales taxes that we generate. Having and maintaining quality infrastructure is essential to this mission. Some annexation will also be essential to enhancing our quality of life. As a fiscal conservative, I believe that a property tax would represent a failure by the town government to develop our resources.
Oro Valley will have to be as creative as possible to fund services. Water rates will have to reflect the rising cost of providing water in a desert. The OV council and citizens will need to set priorities and employ cost reduction/containment as necessary. Previous councils made a decision to provide a full service community. The extent that we can provide for this will be determined by the role that we set as a Town government the leads actions for the next 20 years. It is obvious that growth in sales taxes as development - related revenues decline will be necessary.
The budget for 2003-2004 fiscal year is $103 million, up from $83.5 million for the 2003-2003 fiscal year. The growth our community is experiencing has tremendous impact on infrastructure at all levels. The revenue required to fund Oro Valley will continue to increase. I feel it is important to attract and support development that will generate sales tax revenue to finance the projects of Oro Valley. I am opposed to a property tax for Oro Valley and would approach economic decisions from this understanding. I would evaluate all options in addressing the financial concerns of this town to ensure that funds are available to provide this community the services it deserves.
RochmanThe current town budget of $103 million is balanced and the town is in a fiscally sound financial condition with a contingency fund that exceeds the minimum amount set by policy. However, with the reduced number of residential building permits now and into the future resulting in lower building sales taxes, impact fees, and state shared revenues, it will be necessary to identify other revenue sources so that we can continue to provide town services. The town is directing its efforts to expanding sales tax revenue to replace this reduction. Additional retail businesses is one answer to this challenge.
The addition of new retail sales tax bases during the next five years, plus the annexation of some existing retail areas, should greatly increase our sales tax revenues. Those steps will go a long way toward providing the money needed to fund future operating and capital costs.
I would stop giving away the town's share of the sales tax revenue. Â The economic incentives have gone too far, our council has simply given away too much. Â The town should NEVER authorize incentives before knowing what business will actually be located there. Oro Valley should encourage businesses that set us apart from other communities. Â Specifically, we need retail that encourages our residents to shop here and attract others. Â We need revenue-generating development, not corporate giveaways. Â Additionally, we must carefully consider the long-term consequences of bonding so we don't overburden our long-term debt.
During the period that Oro Valley grows to the extents of its physical borders, possibly for the next 15 years, much of the revenue to develop and operate the services of the town can be subsidized by planned business growth and housing development through impact fees, development licenses, and sales taxes. However, as growth areas are completed, Oro Valley must examine alternative sources of revenue. Alternatives I would support now include additional commercial taxes, a property sales fee, and a very limited income tax. I would not support fees for
services such as community park access and library fees.
As I have stated before, I will not vote for a property tax. There are many other ways to raise monies. Increase the impact fees, even if these in the long run will start to slow down, construction sales tax fees for new houses and for renovation projects, maybe real estate tax or transfer fee on houses and commercial.
10. Identify one problem/issue in the town not already covered in this questionnaire and provide your solution/ideas for it.
The defeat of the General Plan is probably the town's biggest problem right now. I would implement a new program. The course would be 8 weeks as follows: (1) General Plan - why it failed. (2) General and comprehensive plans. (3) Sustainable Development (4) General Plan dlements and issues (5) Growing Smarter (6) Organization and framework (7) General Plan implementation (8) How to present your concerns and desires at Planning and Zoning, Development Review and the Town Council using the General Plan as a support vehicle. This course may prevent another General Plan failure.
Lack of trust and confidence in the present council, and concomitant unresponsiveness to citizen concerns, is a major issue. Council must scrupulously enforce our zoning, building, and signage codes. We must keep citizens informed and educated regarding issues and contemplated actions, providing opportunity for two way discussions (such as town hall meetings) and regularly published newsletters. Council persons should explain their reasons for a "yea/nay" vote at the time of voting, and publicly swear to uphold an ethics/code of conduct pledge.
One of the most important issues in the Southwest is water, and this is no less important for the Town of Oro Valley. Water has been and must remain a high priority for the town council. Fortunately, we have made considerable progress in the past few years identifying and acquiring a renewable source of water for use on golf courses and other large turf areas. The accomplishment of our goal to reach and maintain a safe yield of water is an example of what can be achieved when we all work together. Our families and our community deserve nothing less.
The 28 acres of open space north of Naranja Town Site should become part of the park. This would provide a gateway from Tangerine Road to our future park. This should be included in the current Pima County bond request.
Keeping a promise. The town has promised to relocate the public works yard on Calle Concordia, but has yet to keep its word. A number of sites has been recommended to the council, but action remains to be taken. I believe the citizens who are affected by the yardss presence deserve to have it moved. I would work toward keeping that promise.
The town is often criticized for failing to communicate to or listen to the citizenry. To enhance the effectiveness of communication between the town and the citizens, I believe we should work with the cable providers in the town to televise both the regular town council meetings and a quarterly town Hall where citizens can discuss matters of importance to them with their elected officials. Education and understanding are the keys that open the door to effective communications. Oro Valley should be driven by a majority of the citizens. A forum like this will go far in achieving that goal.
Water is an issue that the town needs to continue to address. The town spent a significant amount of money to settle the Northwest Water Agreement. We need to get the City of Tucson to make good on that agreement. The town is entitled to purchase blended C.A.P. water at wholesale prices. This is a resource we are not using that we should be. This water could be utilized as a partial solution for turf irrigation or countless other uses. We cannot remain complacent while we continue to deplete the aquifer that currently acts as our only supply of water.
Thirty percent of town residents are over 60 years old and the number of senior residents is growing. We need to plan now for providing the services that will continue to allow senior residents to enjoy living in Oro Valley.
QUESTION - How do you feel about growth and its impact of the quality of life in Oro Valley?
ANSWER - Oro Valley offers a wonderful place to raise a family. Over the next decade the population of Oro Valley is expected to grow at 7 percent annually. Members of the Town Council must address growth in a proactive manner, not a reactive one. I will be committed to achieving a balance between growth and its impact on our quality of life. I will work to be responsive to the residents and achieve success in dealing with the challenges facing our community.
Understanding council decisions: Council decisions are sometimes misunderstood. Council members are no different from voters in that we all want what is best for "our community of excellence". However, the path taken to reach the goal may not be the same for all. The final result may not please everyone but the council, at that time, feels that it is acceptable to the majority. Sometimes it may be that the council decision was correct but the implementation process was not acceptable to certain interests. In this instance, the council should look to improve the implementation process.Â
Acquiring open space, particularly east of Oracle is a high priority for me. We must preserve the vistas and beauty of Oro Valley that attracted most of us to make it our home. If our voters agree with that priority, one way to finance the purchase of that open space might be to add a small percentage to our sales tax and earmark it for that purpose. That would shift some of the burden to non-Oro Valley residents who shop in our store, and once the land has been acquired, we could repeal the increase.
There are so many, for instance: (1) Citizen voice! Time after time I've listened to citizens plead with council not to approve development inconsistent with our vision. Time after time, they've been ignored! When I am elected, the citizens will have representation. (2) Oro Valley needs to lead, not avoid, tough issues such as overcrowded schools, fire, police, and inappropriate development. I promise these issues will be aggressively pursued. (3)Â Prudent spending: Our tax dollars are in short supply. We simply cannot afford to waste them on litigation and General Plans the public rejects!
I believe all citizens want a stronger sense of community. Like many, I chose Oro Valley to raise a family. However I quickly became concerned with how the town has been too heavily focused on maximizing the finances and not enough on the quality of life for its residents. Development is geared towards high profitability not livability. As a leader, I will include the value of Oro Valley's natural capital in every decision I make and promote a development code that supports a sustainable community, so that our children will enjoy the same quality of community as we enjoy now.
Future water needs when all the growth keeps coming on line. We would need to use the CAP water and bring it over in another pipe line, plus some sort of treatment plant. The main problem in adding the CAP water is who pays for this. Not like the water for use on grass areas, etc. The home owners are footing a great deal of this. I believe these costs should be passed on to the builders coming in to our town. Both CAP and reclaimed water benefit builders. Without these water sources, new development will soon end.