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Posted: Wednesday, June 20, 2012 4:00 am

A lot of money without discussion

Millions of dollars in public funds are listed on the Consent Agenda and Regular Agenda for the Oro Valley Town Council this week.  

After this public meeting, the Council plans to adjourn for the summer.  

If you are unhappy about any of these decisions, maybe they’re hoping you’ll forget about it before they return in the fall.  

On the Consent Agenda there are “housekeeping items” totaling close to $628,000.  We think these decisions are worthy of a public hearing for discussion and comment from the residents.  Some examples: Items: J&K. The Police department wants more officers for Oro Valley while requesting to assign three of our officers outside of OV:  One to Pima County and two to Tucson for one year.  What is the cost to taxpayers to have these officers assigned outside of Oro Valley?

Until all the facts are public, how do we know what’s best for Oro Valley?

Item: I.  For the Metropolitan Tucson Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (MTCVB) there is a three-year contract that includes steep increases for services.  Year one: $74,970; Year two: $120,000 and another increase to $175,000 for year three.  Has this historically been a sound investment?  If so, why does the town feel the need to add two new personnel to our Economic Development Department?  Are there redundancies?  Some public discussion needs to occur.

Item: P. Another $41,011 to TREO for more junkets to exclusive 5-star resorts.  I refer you to the same questions asked regarding MTCVB.  

Until the US Economy improves, can we realistically think tourism, new businesses and existing business growth will magically occur in Oro Valley? By contributing to pay six-figure salaries to these outside agencies does that help OV?  Marana said “no” to both agencies, they have attracted new business.

Item: O.  A multi-use path that is to be funded by a grant of $969,837.  The town would be responsible for any undetermined ‘overmatch’ should the project exceed the grant monies.  It appears there is NO CAP on how much the Town would pay if the project exceeds budget in partnership with ADOT.   Given the history of government efficiency, I find this worrisome.  

All of these items are on the Consent Agenda.  No discussion, no questions unless responsible Council Members “pull” these items for discussion. It would then be at the Mayor’s discretion if taxpayers are permitted to comment.  None of these items should have been on the Consent Agenda.

Conny Culver, Oro Valley

A vote in favor of the F-35 in Tucson

It has been a long road for the F-35. From the countless environmental hearings here in town to the debates on the floor of our nation’s capitol. But it looks like the program has finally turned the corner.

Forbes.com recently stated that the F-35 program is “progressing nicely” and that it is gradually becoming “an American success story.” We all know how important this program is to our air base, to the local suppliers, and to the jobs that the program provides.

Now that the program is beginning to prove successful, I hope that the local leaders in elected office who have had their reservations about the program see that the F-35 will only help our local economy and citizens for decades to come.

Devin Williams, Marana

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Kino College

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