Even if the Oro Valley Town Council votes to reconsider eliminating the Coyote Run transit system on June 15, Acting Town Manager Greg Caton feels the final budget will still be approved.
The final $94.2 million budget for the 2011-2012 fiscal year was a planned part of the agenda for Wednesday’s regular meeting, but another measure to reconsider Coyote Run was not.
Coyote Run is Oro Valley’s demand-response transit service for residents who are disabled and/or 62 years of age or older.
On June 1, the council voted 6-1 to keep funding the program for at least one more year. The vote came as a surprise after council members spent several months planning to eliminate the program due to the lack of state assistance.
Instead, the city began working with the Regional Transportation Authority, to provide an alternative to the more than 800 regular riders of Coyote Run.
After emotional pleas from the public at the June 1 council meeting, the council in a surprise vote opted to keep the $220,000 transit program for another year.
However, rethinking the vote, council members Lou Waters and Steve Solomon emailed City Clerk Julie Bower, asking that the issue be placed on the June 15 agenda for reconsideration.
Caton said Oro Valley policy is that the mayor can place anything on an agenda, but there must be at least two council members in agreement to have something placed for discussion or reconsideration.
On June 9, Solomon said he felt the June 1 meeting became too emotional, and the issue deserves further discussion.
During Wednesday’s (June 15) regular meeting, if the council votes to reconsider the Coyote Run measure, it will begin another lengthy process.
While the budget will be in place, Caton said the town will have to at least fund the transit service for another month. If the council votes to reconsider, they will have to host another public hearing as required by law on July 20.
During the July 20 meeting, the council could again take another vote to keep Coyote Run, or turn it over to the RTA as they have been preparing to do for more than a year.
If the council votes against reconsidering the issue this week, the June 1 vote will stand, and Coyote Run will remain in operation.