In the Oro Valley primary election, incumbent Mayor Satish Hiremath was reelected over challenger Pat Straney.
According to the unofficial results, Hiremath received about 61 percent of the 10,095 votes, while Straney had about 38 percent of the votes. There were 11 write-in votes.
Hiremath, who ran as a one-term mayor four years ago, is pleased to know the residents of Oro Valley chose to re-elect him for another term.
“Oro Valley is in phenomenal shape,” Hiremath said. “I like to think the second term is going to be more of what I call the fun stuff. We don’t really have any severe issues to solve anymore.”
Hiremath was speaking about the deficit the council dealt with and turned into a surplus during its past four-year term. He said he and the council can now focus on what he now has his sights on.
Hiremath is going to “focus on how we increase sales tax revenue. Everything I do will be geared toward that.”
Straney, who alluded to seeking the mayoral seat in another four years, said he was proud of the grassroots effort he and his supporters gave during the campaign.
“In the set of circumstances we found ourselves in, grassroots efforts had more than they could overcome in terms of election rule changes mandated by the state,” Straney said.
He said there was some difficulty with getting independent voters their ballots and with that, there was significant reduction in voter turnout. He also said it was nearly impossible to overcome all of the endorsements to each of the incumbents.
Speaking of how he wanted to make a difference in the future of the town, Straney doesn’t feel there is a problem in Oro Valley today, but still is wary of the future of the town’s budget.
“I struggle with the statements, ‘all is well in Oro Valley,’” Straney said.
Looking at the projections of the budget a few years out, he feels there should be more than the minimum in the reserves because the town relies so heavily on sales tax. He felt he could fix this problem if he was elected.
“I feel very proud of what I did and my campaign did,” Straney said. “I did not lose. Oro Valley lost. I offered a set of skills and learning experiences for application in Oro Valley and that experience is not currently able to come forward. So Oro Valley lost, not Pat Straney.”
Hiremath does not want the town to continue a nature of having one side pitted against another side.
“The way I choose to govern and the way I choose to live my life is the glass is always going to be half full,” Hiremath said. “So forget the glass is half full of water, I am always going to look at it and say ‘thank God there’s water in the glass.’”
He respects the fact that some people will continue to look at the budget and worry about the reserves going down. He said his approach is to acknowledge there is money in the budget, and to find a way to get the town more money.
The next regular council meeting is Sept. 3 at 6 p.m. in the Oro Valley Council Chambers.