- Your Voice
It is tough for the group who worked diligently for weeks to find out in heartbreaking fashion that thousands of signatures were thrown out on a technicality. Needing just over 1,100 signature… Comments (0)
The Oro Valley Town Council has really done it now. They’ve stepped in places that they know nothing about and it has a very unpleasant odor. How does the objective of building a Recreation Center for the Town of Oro Valley wind up with buying 45 holes of golf at a golf course that has never turned a profit, at least of the past eight years that I am familiar with. With all the outside play, member play, food service, and special events centered around golf, El Conquistador CC has always had to be subsidized by the Hilton Hotel operation. Guess what, no hotel in this picture. Sure, Troon Golf is a great managing outfit, and will do their upmost to make the golf profitable. But, they are getting paid by the owners and if the owners don’t have the money to support Troon’s plans then what? I’ll tell you what..... All the hard work the Council has done to keep Oro Valley in the positive financial side of the ledger, will be for not. I applaud the Council for all their efforts on behalf of our community, in times that have most cities in the red. But here, in spite of critics on the other side, golf is not growing as most clubs are losing members still. Further, the younger set – which golf needs to sustain growth – is more captured by soccer and other sports.
Although the 2015-16 fiscal year doesn’t begin until July 1, 2015, Town of Oro Valley staff has already begun the budget process. Many months of preparation go into this document, which serves not only as a guideline for spending, but also as: a policy document, the budget indicates what services the Town will provide during the next year and spells out the level of services and reasons for their provision.
Here’s your first lesson in government for the year. No, we’re not going over the hundred questions on the new high school civics test. We’re taking a look at what we’ve learned about government and politics from our new Governor Doug Ducey. Spoiler alert: the lesson will not be uplifting. Our new Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas might even say it’s too cynical to be taught to elementary school children. But we can take it. We’re all adults here.
Instead of talking politics, and drama – this week we’ll change things up and focus on another circus world. That world would be the lives busy moms lead.
On Dec.17, the mayor, with the votes from three other Oro Valley Council Members passed an Ordinance and a Resolution to raise our sales tax and to buy the El Conquistador Country Club facility, including three golf courses for $1,000,000. This was done without Voter Approval.
It is with a mixture of amusement and confusion that I read the cacophony of dissent and support regarding the El Con. purchase. I am going to assume that letter writers are also letter readers. How many times in discussions about downtown Tucson have we heard Portland’s downtown referenced, and the San Antonio riverwalk adnauseam as things and places to emulate. Oro Valley has given itself an opportunity to be in that conversation. A town that is essentially ringed by golf courses in an era when that industry is over built for it’s existing and it’s projected client base can make a cutting edge choice to cut that (by most if not all analysis) financial dead weight.
Every year is exciting in the Town of Marana. Our community is one of great dreams and unlimited potential for the more than 40,000 who call it home.
There is a lot written about the cost the Town might incur with the proposed purchase of the El Conquistador Club. One thing I believe is overlooked is that golf is a sport, much like baseball, softball, tennis, soccer, archery, swimming and lacrosse. The Town currently funds the upkeep and maintenance of numerous sports activities/facilities at a cost to the residents and those who use the facilities. Why should golf be any different? Golf is an excellent recreational sport for all ages, whether you are young and interested in an individual oriented sport or older and looking for exercise and companionship.
While last week I primarily looked back at the year, with plenty of changes in our state this week; it’s time to look ahead.
I have read with interest the ongoing “conversation” regarding the town purchase of the El Conquistador property, including the latest letter from Mr. Skip Stevens, in your most recent publication.
I found the front page article in your last edition penned by Hillary Davis to be problematic on many fronts.
On Dec.17, the mayor, with the votes from three other Oro Valley Council members passed an ordinance and a resolution to raise our sales tax and to buy the El Conquistador Country Club facility, including three golf courses for $1,000,000. This was done without voter approval.
Q. I see more and more children with electronic devices everywhere - They use them to be entertained at restaurants, they use them in vehicles. When is it too much? Should we as parents do a better job at having our children behave without some form of electronic entertainment?
Upset with the rushed deadlines and lack of transparency in the proposed country club purchase, I had an email exchange with Councilman Joe Hornat just prior to the Dec. 17 meeting. When asked why on earth the town would want to get into a declining industry like the golf course business, Mr. Hornat replied “we don’t want to be in the golf business and that is why we will be hiring Troon to do that.” Really? If the town owns a golf club, it is in the golf course business. Period. And by extension, so are all Oro Valley residents, like it or not.
The general consensus about this year is that it seemed unusually long because of the onslaught on political advertisements and general unrest around the country and the world. Compounding the challenges of annual survival is the ritual we practice that laboriously rehashes the previous twelve months called the New Year’s Eve celebration. There’s really no reason to do this because the year is over, so we should move on quietly without the expansive, and often expensive fanfare, but not a chance.
We are saying goodbye to 2014, a year that went by too quickly. We are saying hello to a new year, 2015, and for the most part, I can’t say I’m too optimistic about it.
Forcing more than 4000 Sun City residents to subsidize a new and unfairly competing golf operation in our community is unfair.
In regards to the recent vote by the Oro Valley Town Council majority to approve the acquisition of El Conquistador country club, I want to express my support for the plan and vote. Many Oro Valley residents like me are in support of this project, but once again a vocal minority are speaking out and making this seems like a horrible idea. The opportunity to purchase 300 plus acres of influential property along with the buildings valued at $3.25 million for $1 million is a great deal. Sure, the property needs improvement and upgrades, but that’s part of operating any piece of property. Once the initial repairs are made, the subsequent maintenance should not be anything beyond the level of maintenance at other municipal facilities that the town already owns. To build facilities like this today, it would cost the town nearly $20 million. In that sense, this acquisition should be a no-brainer.
Lord Mayor Satish Hiremath opened his chambers on Dec. 17 as required by law to allow citizens to observe Council’s passage of the tax increase and planned purchase of El Conquistador Country Club. The Chambers were filled to capacity and beyond (SRO) and citizens (subjects) were permitted to approach the bench and make their points to his honor. Thirty-nine of us were allowed to speak, however, a much lower number was actually heard, for, you see, the deal was already done. His ruling majority had apparently decided the outcome as soon as the public was made aware that the transaction was proposed and no further input was really required. Such is the nature of Oro Valley governance under the current Town Council. It is sad when a deal of this magnitude is decided with little to no taxpayer input.
Over the weekend, like many, my heart sank when I heard the news of two New York officers sitting in their patrol car when a man came up and basically assassinated them. Apparently, the suspect, who is now also dead, did this in the name of officers killing “unarmed” African American men Michael Brown, from Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner, who died in New York after a police officer restrained him in a choke hold.