At the Greater Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce Candidate Forum, Mayor Hiremath, said,
“The expectation you should have of your mayor is that you want somebody who is honest, has integrity, is respectful, is responsible and cares for you.” However, his written and spoken comments over the last four years reveal that he is not that person.
This is a direct quote from an e-mail that the mayor sent Councilmember Garner on 4/18/14: "Your comments were at best very rude, inconsiderate, tasteless, mean-spirited and beneath contempt".
Couple this with the mayor's tirade toward a senior staff member at the 10/16/13 council meeting when he wanted staff to do the council's job. He stated, "This is a waste of my time!
You are paid professionals. I'm lightly hammering you over the head because I disagree.” Were these remarks civil and respectful?
How about the mayor contacting the County Attorney regarding a councilmember's residency rather than going through the Town Attorney? What about the mayor instructing the chief of police that he need not respond to a councilmember's e-mail? (9/11/12).
Public disagreement and disrespect at council meetings has become the norm. At the 6/3/14 council meeting, the mayor publicly chastised Councilmembers Burns, Garner, and Zinkin because he did not agree with their vote against the budget...a vote that was taken over a month prior.
As for the mayor’s honesty, at the Sun City Candidate Forum, he claimed that the
councilmembers not currently up for re-election were proposing a vote against Home Rule and
that they desire a property tax. These statements are completely untrue.
Is the mayor responsible? Despite his desire to have the police department report directly to
council, the mayor instructed staff not to include him in the distribution of the OVPD monthly overtime reports. Interestingly, the most recent report indicates that the OVPD spent $86,443.17 more than what the budget allocated. The mayor insists that these expenditures not be questioned.
The payment of overtime for hours scheduled rather than hours worked was approved by the mayor and the three incumbents, despite being told by staff that paying overtime in this fashion will cost the town, at a minimum, an additional $120,000.
Unquestioned spending is the norm. Town employees will get a minimum of a 5.5% raise in an economy where the average raise is 2%. This along with free health insurance, free dental insurance, free vision insurance, and now a free, on-site, health clinic were all approved without question. After all, as Mayor Hiremath says, "We don't want to get into the weeds."
Residents have been complaining about all the new apartments. The mayor's response is that "apartments are noted in the General Plan." However, every apartment complex now
underway on Oracle road required a re-zoning; a vote that was contrary to the established land use noted in the General Plan.
At a candidate forum on 7/24/14, the mayor said that, "civility, integrity, and teamwork are emotional words and political terms." Most people believe that these words represent values, not political rhetoric. We need a mayor who will promote harmony, teamwork, and civility. Our current mayor does just the opposite. He even had the audacity to state that if you do not agree with him, then you need to "consider your own judgment and sensibilities." (Explorer 12/27/13).
Mayor Hiremath's actions over the past four years have been neither responsible nor respectful, and show a complete lack of integrity. Do we desire this man to continue as our mayor? The choice is ours. Please join me in voting Pat Straney for Mayor of Oro Valley.