- Your Voice
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.
I attended the Oro Valley Town Council meeting last night and was dismayed that Mayor Hiremath seems to think he is King. He and he alone negotiated an agreement to adhere to “confidentiality” commitments so that the public could not know the “real” amounts from “secret deals”. I have not heard so much hubris from a politician since Gruber admitted that Obamacare had to be kept “secret” in order to pass it. Otherwise, the stupid (yes Gruber called the voters stupid) voters would never allow it to pass.
The Oro Valley Town Council will vote tonight (Dec. 17) on whether to purchase the golf and other recreational amenities of the El Conquistador resort, spending $1 million to acquire the property and committing to a half-cent sales tax increase for improvements and its continued operations.
With the election results a distant memory, the Mayor and re-elected members of the City Council have secretly made the decision to purchase for $1,000,000, the money losing entities of El Conquistador. Under the secret negotiations, the Town would purchase 45 holes of golf, two swimming pools, 31 tennis courts, a restaurant, and a building it will convert to a community center. The community center will house, among other things, exercise equipment that will help to decrease the revenue and taxes of such businesses as L.A. Fitness, 24 Hour Fitness and other fitness companies in favor of a non-taxpaying entity. Will Oro Valley also get into the restaurant management business? The Mayor indicates the golf course will lose money at first—$1,000,000 to $1,300,000 in the first year but he expects it will become a money maker in a few years. Of course that is pure speculation. The Mayor’s finance people indicate all of the repairs and upgrades will cost no more than $1,500,000 even though members of the existing club’s Grounds Committee provide information that the upgrades will cost between $6,000,000 and $10,000,000 with an additional $400,000 needed to restore the cart paths. We should also remember that the way to finance this boondoggle is an increase in the sales tax for Oro Valley businesses. Wasn’t it Mayor Hiremath who indicated in his re-election campaign rhetoric he was going to put effort into increasing the number of retail businesses in Oro Valley? These are the same businesses that could lose market share because it would cost less to make a major purchase in Tucson, Oracle, etc. to the detriment of Oro Valley businesses. Why shop in Oro Valley if a short distance away, we can save our hard earned money by paying less sales tax?
Sorry, Thelma Grimes, but I take issue with your article. Your critique of the Oro Valley Town Council’s recent decision does not bear scrutiny. Give the hard working and dedicated staff of the town a break.
Let me first state that I am absolutely opposed to the acquisition of the El Conquistador property. I am also in disagreement that Oro Valley needs a community center as one of its top priorities. Lastly, I am shocked that a decision of this magnitude including financial impact to our community is allowed two weeks for input.
Written, directed and starring Chris Rock, this romantic comedy delivers this holiday season’s funniest movie—albeit with shocking language and lewd behavior at times. In only his third time sitting in the director’s chair, the famous comedian potently combines an unsettling, crude style of humor with a milder storyline centered on relationships. The former cast member of Saturday Night Live takes moviegoers on a wild adventure involving strong sexual content and profanity-laced outbursts as we see his fallible character attempt to remain viable in the comedy business.
After more than a month of speculation, the Oro Valley Town Council finally thought it was time to include those taxpaying citizens in on the secret that they were going to be buying a golf course for $1 million. They stress that it comes with a community center though.
Mayor Hiremath, Council Members Waters, Snider, and Hornat have all just been re-elected to the town council by wide margins. This is the same group that, during their first term, doubled the Utility tax. Now they are proposing to buy the El Conquistador Country Club and raise the Town’s sales tax to pay for it. We all agree that Oro Valley needs a community center, but we do not agree on whether or not we need to rush into making a commitment that not all desire.
In the end the Marana Town Council voted 6-1 to move forward with the implementation of a half-cent sales tax to fund the construction of a new police station, but it wasn’t without a lot of debate, verbal jousting and some tense moments.
Fiscal hawks on the Oro Valley Town Council gave another presentation about the police department’s spending, but without visual aids to show the audience.
The Board of Coronado Little League unanimously approved a new name for the league. The league is now known as Oro Valley Little League or OVLL.
Last year, Best of the Northwest had its most successful year yet, with readers turning out to vote for their favorite restaurants, the community’s best hair and nail salons and to pay tribute to some of the community’s best police officers, firefighters and teachers.
Please join us for the IMPACT of Southern Arizona Golf Classic on Jan. 30, 2015. The event is dedicated in memory of Bob Richards, a passionate supporter of IMPACT of Southern Arizona and past Board member and president. We will have a great day of golf at the beautiful del Lago Golf Club in Vail.
A long-running debate over two major General Plan amendments in Oro Valley has moved beyond the Planning and Zoning Commission after each passed in a 6-1 vote on Nov. 20.
On Nov. 19, the Oro Valley Town Council amended two portions of the town’s zoning code. One portion dealt with businesses temporary signs during extended road construction periods and the other gave the town engineer discretion when it came to where a complex can have an access point off Tangerine Road. Both were approved unanimously with a 6-0 vote.
I am very pleased to announce that District 1 will be receiving a large portion of the $5 million allocated for road repairs this year. Although the County Administrator did not approve of road repair funds being allocated for neighborhood roads, there was some good news for residents when the Board approved $1.9 million for arterial road repair projects in District 1 at the November 18th Board of Supervisors meeting. While I did ask for consideration of funding neighborhood roads in failing condition, I was informed by the Director of Transportation that only arterial roads would be addressed. Regardless, at this time of Thanksgiving, I am very thankful that my fellow Supervisors approved any funding for District 1 road repairs and hope we can continue to work to find solutions to our road problems.
Be a part of the 10th Annual Oro Valley Holiday Parade. Now is the time to show support for the town that you love. Everyone is invited to either be a participant or a spectator. It is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 13, at 9:30 a.m. and will last 90 minutes. This year’s parade will be celebrating the Community of Oro Valley.
It was a busier than normal night at the Marana Town Council last Wednesday, and it could have been an even busier session had a council action agenda item not been taken off the board. As it was, the council held the first of two public hearings over the possibility of building a new police station.
The following details outline transit service on Thanksgiving, Thursday, November 27, 2014:
A little over a year ago, I wrote an article for The Explorer entitled: “In OV, we’re proud of our young people, and we want them to know it.” The inspiration behind that piece was my ongoing commitment to the youth in our community, and the responsibilities we have to ensure they are engaged and recognized.