- 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 signatures, the group trying to get the council’s approved purchase of a $1 million golf course, and let’s not forget the coveted community center, overturned by voters in a special election turned in more than 3,100 signatures.
Marana Mayor Ed Honea doesn’t care if the state balances its budget (Explorer Feb. 21). I (and a lot of others) do care that the state has a balanced budget, and not by me (or us) paying higher fees and taxes to the state that then get cycled back to Marana. Nor am I (or we) interested in paying higher costs for goods that result from higher business fees and taxes paid to the state cycling that money back to Marana.
“It was so easy to get these signatures,” “disrespect of the voices of the residents” and “lost confidence and trust” were just a few of the things said in Oro Valley last Wednesday.
Two rezonings passed at the Jan. 20 Marana Town Council meeting, one with no opposition and another that was more controversial.
Opponents of the Town of Oro Valley’s decision to buy the El Conquistador country club and golf facilities are suing the town clerk for rejecting the petition they filed to send the purchase to the ballot.
Aaron Anderson is living the dream. It may not have been the dream he envisioned as a kid, but being paid to play basketball was a dream come true for the former Mountain View standout.
HSL Properties President Humberto S. Lopez recently spoke at the Greater Oro Valley Chamber’s breakfast. He commented on the sale of the Hilton El Conquistador Country Club to the Town of Oro Valley. Lopez stated that he is willing to hold the $1 million offer until May if Oro Valley goes through a referendum process.
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.
While Marana and Oro Valley officials say they like the energy and the basics of Gov. Doug Ducey’s message, they worry the budget lacks new taxes and takes from education and local municipalities.
The Oro Valley Town Clerk has rejected the petition filed by opponents of the town council’s decision to purchase the El Conquistador country club and golf courses because the signature sheets did not bear a serial number.
Organizers of the referendum petition drive that could reverse the Town of Oro Valley’s planned purchase of the El Conquistador country club and golf courses handed the town clerk more than 3,000 signatures Thursday.
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.
In December, Arizona’s State Transportation Board (STB) approved $15 million to initiate the environmental impact studies (EIS) needed to build the proposed Interstate 11 highway from Wickenberg to Nogales. The unanimous action followed a two-year study by the Arizona and Nevada Departments of Transportation urging construction of the new highway. Funding came from putting a number of just-approved construction and repair projects on indefinite hold.
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.
Coronado Little League has become Oro Valley Little League. In early December, the executive board voted unanimously to make the name change to better reflect their demographics.
I was very disappointed to discover that a small group of citizens is planning a legal move to block the Oro Valley acquisition of the El Conquistador Country Club (ECCC) property, which jeopardizes a much-wanted community center. Sadly there is also a group of Sun City residents who have joined in. This group is only concerned with their own interests and not the greater good of Oro Valley.
It’s going to only take one of the current majority to do the right thing and vote to table, or against, the proposed golf course purchase and sales tax increase tonight (Dec. 17). It’s going to take one of the majority, consisting of Mayor Satish Hiremath, Councilman Joe Hornat, Councilwoman Mary Snider or Vice Mayor Lou Waters, to say no to this ill-advised, badly-planned prospect.
So here’s a new revenue idea for Oro Valley… start a lottery to pick the date when the public realizes the real amount of taxes they have voted for.
Town of Oro Valley Procurement Administrator Brian Garrity has been appointed to the National Procurement Institute (NPI) Board of Directors.
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.