2 vie for final town council seat - The Explorer: Pima Pinal

2 vie for final town council seat

Barry Gillaspie: Touts experience, planning; Terry Parish: Communication key to leadership

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Posted: Sunday, April 20, 2008 11:00 pm | Updated: 8:04 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

Barry Gillaspie

First-term Councilman Barry Gillaspie has lived in Oro Valley since 1985. He works in the Development Services Department at Pima Community College. Read his responses below:

Q

As pre-annexation agreement talks for Arroyo Grande begin, what will be the greatest potential sticking point coming into the process?

A

The State Land Dept. seeks to maximize profits through higher densities, whereas my goal is to maintain the existing high quality of life enjoyed by Oro Valley residents.

I will use my 25-plus years of experience in land planning and natural resources to the town’s benefit. Dedication of real open space and existing wildlife corridors are extremely important to me and should not be negotiable.  Insuring that there’s adequate water and transportation corridors have me deeply concerned. The discrepancy between our basic objectives will challenge virtually everything I’ve learned during my entire career.

For example, I will lead Oro Valley to stipulate for future regulatory controls that are not currently developed. My many years of experience negotiating land-use stipulations on the (Oro Valley) planning commission and as principal planner will better protect this natural resource for future generations.

Q

In a recent town survey, residents considered police and road maintenance as the most important services the town provides. As Oro Valley grows, how can the town maintain high levels of service without raising taxes?  

A

The safety and welfare of our residents is extremely important and I am pleased with our police department’s performance. These service levels can and will be maintained by prioritizing services such as police and roads.

We can continue to fund the maintenance of police and roads without demanding higher taxes and more fees. I am an experienced manager with insight to government operations.

I opposed the utility tax because I expect our town to live within its means and use taxpayer funds prudently. That means minimal bureaucracy and emphasis on services as the highest priority.  

I will use the community survey process that The Explorer has mentioned to help refine priorities over time. I will not support more commercialization at the expense of our citizens. We should not sell out our neighborhoods for the tax dollars!

Q

Later this year the council could vote on several amendments to the general plan. How can the town promote infill development while balancing the goals and policies set out in the general plan?

A

During the last 30 years of my life, I have served as principal planner for Pima County, chairman of the town planning commission, vice chairman of the Oro Valley development impact fee committee and as a neighborhood advocate.

Serving as a councilman allows me to apply what I have learned from 25 years of experience.  Infill is not something to be promoted; it is usually an entitlement that must be mitigated so that it will not degrade the quality of life for existing residents and I have experience to protect our community.

Examples of my efforts to protect the quality of life of our residents include the Native Plant Preservation Ordinance and the Oracle Road Scenic Corridor Ordinance.  I will lead new efforts to bring our zoning laws into compliance with the general plan so that we can better protect existing residents from unsuitable infill development.

Terry Parish

Terry Parish is a first-term councilman. He is a sergeant in the Pima County Sheriff’s Department. Read his responses below:

Q

As pre-annexation agreement talks for Arroyo Grande begin, what will be the greatest potential sticking point coming into the process?

A

Misinformation about the annexation process represents the greatest potential sticking point.

I have worked diligently on the council to make honest communication a priority. That communication will be essential throughout this process. Most of the disputes we find ourselves engaged in, have their roots in misinformation.

The Town of Oro Valley has worked hard to insure that every citizen has access to truthful, factual information regarding our beautiful town.

I believe that this annexation holds the key to Oro Valley’s future as a leader in sustainable growth, protecting our environment and wildlife corridors, while simultaneously preserving the wonderful quality of life we all enjoy. For this to happen, we must achieve balance. That is only possible if open and honest communication is part of the process.    

Q

In a recent town survey, residents considered police and road maintenance as the most important services the town provides. As Oro Valley grows, how can the town maintain high levels of service without raising taxes?

A

We have to make sure that growth pays for itself. Appropriate impact fees and infrastructure requirements are one way to do this. Second, we must limit the size of our town government according to its priority.

For example: Why does Oro Valley charge us a tax to manage storm water when Pima County already taxes us for this same service through the Flood Control District as part of our property tax bills?

I was the only council member to vote against this and I am committed to repealing this example of double taxation and excess in government. We also have to insure that our businesses have an opportunity to be successful.

Because strong businesses generate revenue, we are able to keep taxes low. Sales tax receipts are up over 15 percent in Oro Valley, while statewide collections are down. We need to capitalize on the strength of our businesses and continue to minimize our tax burden.

We cannot afford to allow public safety to decline. This country suffers the loss of billions of dollars every year as a result of crime. That point completely disregards the pain and misery that our people also endure as a result of crime. We must remember our priorities and keep our government lean so we can fulfill our responsibility to protect the public.

Q

Later this year the council could vote on several amendments to the general plan. How can the town promote infill development while balancing the goals and policies set out in the general plan?

A

I don’t think we need to promote infill development. It’s coming whether we like it or not. Balancing the policies of the General Plan, with the rights of property owners, while considering the possible benefits or detriments to Oro Valley as a whole, is always the test.

We need to be consistent in our decision making. Our decisions need to be based on criteria so that the average citizen can know what to expect from their government.

I am proud of my approach to consistent decision making. There is no way I can expect you to agree with me all the time. However, you can count on me to evaluate all the facts and make decisions based on those facts.

Town Election

May 20 is the deadline to return ballots for Oro Valley’s Town Council election.

The cut-off date to register to vote is April 21. Voter registration forms are available at Oro Valley town hall or online at www.recorder.pima.gov.

The election will be conducted by mail. Registered voters can expect to begin receiving ballots around April 17.

Completed ballots must be mailed directly to the Pima County Recorder’s Office by Friday, May 16. Mailing instructions are on the envelope.

Ballots also can be returned after May 16 at the Oro Valley Town Clerk’s office located in town hall, 11000 N. La Cañada Drive. Ballots must be returned by 7 p.m., Tuesday, May 20.  

The Pima County Recorder’s Office also will accept ballots. The office is located in downtown Tucson at 115 N. Church Avenue.

For more information call the Oro Valley clerk at 229-4700.

© 2014 The Explorer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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