Letters to the editor published in the April 21, 2010, edition of The Explorer.
Loomis gives support to Hiremath
Thank you, Oro Valley, for your support over the past 12 years. We have a great town, and I am thankful for the opportunities I have had to serve as your mayor.
The successful transition from my administration to the next is important for Oro Valley during these tough economic times. Dr. Satish Hiremath has demonstrated his commitment to Oro Valley for many years, and he has the experience to lead Oro Valley in the future.
Dr. Hiremath also has the support of many people who care about Oro Valley. They are committed to making Oro Valley even greater in the years to come. For these reasons, I have decided to support Satish Hiremath for mayor.
I urge all of my supporters and voters to vote for Satish Hiremath.
Mayor Paul Loomis, Oro Valley
OV negatives now embrace positive views
We are entering the final phase of a critical Oro Valley election that will determine our future and the kind of community we want to be.
It is curious that negative forces on the town council are now giving the appearance of adopting the positive positions being espoused by candidates Lou Waters, Joe Hornat for town council and Dr. Hiremath for mayor.
Council member Barry Gillaspie has proposed the council now study the procedures for establishing an Oro Valley business, procedures so onerous that potential business has been driven away.
Sales tax revenues account for a major share of the town operating budget and should have been considered vital long before this current election campaign. While the current council continues its talk of "new revenues, fees and possible property tax,", the candidates talk of treating our small business, our neighbors and friends with respect and civility.
Co-opting a positive message by current council members will not prevent current council candidates from bringing positive action to town government and common sense stability to our economic sustainability.
It's time for a major change in Oro Valley government.
Linda Shatto, Oro Valley
Hiremath best, most qualified candidate for Oro valley
We live in an ideal community, convenient to excellent schools, shops, sports, recreation and cultural amenities. Unfortunately, in the last few years, there has been unrest and confusion within our town government, and perhaps unwise decisions by our town council that have negatively affected our community.
In order for Oro Valley to continue to be this ideal place in which we live, out town needs new leadership with a new vision. For this to happen, we need a mayor with the experience, background and ability to make necessary changes.
Satish Hiremath is that man. He has the background and experience needed to deal with the financial issues, and being a business owner himself, he has the knowledge and understanding necessary to help effect changes that will help existing businesses and attract future business.
Dr. Hiremath's continuing involvement in the cultural community, plus his desire to see our schools maintain quality education, make him the most qualified and well-rounded candidate for mayor.
We also need a town council that will work together in the best interest of our community and not their own agenda and special interests. Mary Snider has already committed herself to that. The three candidates presently running, Matthew Rabb, Joe Hornat, and Lou Waters, also want a new vision for Oro Valley and have pledged to work toward that end. Matthew Rabb can bring a young, energy and fresh view to the council. Both Hornat and Waters have experience that would benefit the council.
I support Satish Hiremath for mayor because I believe he is the best and most qualified candidate.
Mary Walsh, Oro Valley
Kyl's IRS hire exaggerated, hypothetical
Re: Senator Kyl's column in the 4-14 edition about Tax Day.
I would encourage your readers to investigate and try to verify facts and figures that are used to support or criticize any controversial issue, even when given by our elected officials.
I cite his statement that there will be an estimated 16,500 new hires as IRS agents as a result of the health care bill. Go to factcheck.org and click on "ask factcheck." Scan down to the question about "IRS Expansion" and you will see how this figure was arrived at, and that it is both exaggerated and purely hypothetical.
Janet Szumlas, Oro Valley
What about Hiremath and GOVAC's woes?
Why Hiremath? After reading Jackie Devery and Melanie Larson's letter in the March 31 Explorer, I wanted to comment on Dr. Hiremath's qualifications.
Has everyone forgotten that we no longer have The Greater Oro Valley Arts Council in Oro Valley, and it was due to Dr. Hiremath's micromanaging the board a few years ago, which caused half of the board to resign in protest along with many volunteers? His back room manipulations did not serve the organization very well. And now due to lack of funds, the name has been changed, the office moved out of Oro Valley and there are fewer employees. This is not a recommendation for success.
Paul Loomis did a good job for us and Mike Zinkin will most likely do the same.
Chris Dame, Oro Valley
No way Zinkin a pro-business OV candidate
Mike Zinkin claims that his work on the Development Review Board in Oro Valley proves that he is pro-business, but nothing could be further from the truth.
In fact, Mike was consistently arrogant, argumentative and made things much more difficult for business applicants. His tone of voice and body language indicated that if he made a suggestion to the applicant, they had better listen and agree to what he wanted, whether it made sense or not. Mike berated applicants and let the title of "chairman" go to his head. Just think what he might be like as "mayor" if being chairman brought out these attributes.
Mike did not show any leadership skills as chairman of DRB. He ran it just like he runs sporting games where he is the umpire. He makes the decision and there is no room for compromise. I believe that a large part of the reason that the DRB will most likely be eliminated is due to the poor leadership in the past of Mike Zinkin and his inability to work with applicants in a positive manner.
Voters of Oro Valley, don't be fooled, Mike is not a friend of business, any business large or small. His idea of instituting the Business Development Commission is just another attempt to make you believe he is pro-business.
Although there are many examples showing Mike's inability to listen and be attentive to business owners, one case comes to mind. Wal-Mart requested a paint color change and Mike insisted that they could not change the color, so it was denied by DRB. Once the issue reached town council, it was determined that the color requested was part of their trademark colors and therefore had to be granted as a color change.
Mike Zinkin does not have the skills or temperament to be mayor of Oro Valley. The only candidate who does have the right skills and temperament is Dr. Satish Hiremath, who has been endorsed by the Northern Pima County Chamber of Commerce, SAHBA, Tucson Chamber of Commerce, Tucson Association of Realtors, North Tucson Firefighters and Oro Valley FOP.
Jill Anderson, Oro Valley
Kyl is truly concerned for the privileged
Isn't it wonderful that Sen. Kyl is so concerned for Middle America and the plight of the middle class taxpayer?
His feelings are about as genuine as a wooden nickel. Isn't he a member of the Republican Party that wanted to filibuster the continuation of unemployment benefits to millions of Americans, who are trying to eke out an existence during this economic downturn? He may talk about the tax burden faced by Middle America, but his concern is for the privileged. Sen. Kyl's circle of friends and associates isn't Middle Americans.
Republican, Sen. Kyl represents America's "privileged class" which doesn't believe in healthcare for all, in education for our children, or Social Security and Medicare for our seniors. No, the privileged that Sen. Kyl represents believe in "Wall Street," gated communities, the privatization of Social Security and healthcare, and a philosophy which is based solely on one's own self-interest.
The privileged class never feels that they owe anything to their country. Instead of Sen. Kyl focusing on "Tax Day," maybe he should be reminded of "Memorial Day," which honors all those who gave "everything" for their country. Without their ultimate sacrifice there would be no nation, union or democratic republic. Taxes would be the least of our concerns.
He should also be made aware of "Labor Day," which honors all of those workers who gave their sweat equity to build this great America, factory workers, miners, and farmers. These laborers immigrated to this country and worked hard to build communities with public parks, public education, public libraries and a system of public safety. These men and women paid their taxes and were proud to do so, because they focused on the needs of all and not just themselves.
Sen. Kyl can try to stir up fear in the hearts of Middle America in the hope that it will follow the lead of the his Republican Party. But Sen. Kyl's concern is not for Middle America, or the middle class taxpayer, and it never has been.
Edward Heller, Tucson
Hiremath the natural to be OV's mayor
Dr. Satish Hiremath is the natural person to be our new mayor.
He is hard-working, intelligent, and generous and knows how to succeed in business. While building his dental practice over the years he has generously been a very active volunteer in the life of the community, lending his support on many levels to civic groups, non-profits and charities — the list is long.
He was until recently the president of the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance, which, under his watch, began its present expansion and outreach to new audiences. This growth was largely due to two major achievements: the recruitment of new and very able management and staff and new board members, and equally significant, the development of a healthy fiscal financial presence, which have allowed the organization to flourish even in this economic crisis.
The community needs leaders like Dr. Hiremath if we are to thrive and maintain our quality of our life and have something special to pass on to our kids.
Al Cook, Oro Valley
Zinkin the only choice for OV mayor
Oro Valley is facing many major decisions over the coming years. One major issue is how to establish a balanced budget without draining reserves or impacting town services.
To accomplish this daunting task, we need a mayor that has strong leadership qualities and can lead the council to consensus decisions in a timely manner. Our contingency fund has recently been drastically diminished by more than $7 million. Dr. Hiremath endorses using these funds to balance our budget. Mike Zinkin does not.
Mike Zinkin has the training and experience to serve as Oro Valley's mayor. His career as an air traffic controller allows Mike to multitask and operate under stress. His tenure as a volunteer for many town committees, including chairman of the development review board, will serve him and us well.
Recent letters to The Explorer reported that Mike Zinkin has received financial aid from the Democratic Party. As Mike's treasurer I can assure you that is not true. Note that contributions to candidates are public record.
On the other hand, Satish Hiremath has received continued support from many special interest groups including the Chamber of Commerce, TREO, MTCVB, Tucson Association of Realtors, and most recently the firefighters.
Special interest groups usually support a candidate and expect something in return. You may recall that Golder Ranch Fire Fighters supported candidates in the 2004 election with most being elected. Thereafter, the new council voted to allow Golder Ranch Fire District to annex and provide coverage on town hall. Shortly, Rural Metro Fire was forced out of business in Oro Valley. That led to thousands of our citizens having fire service rate increases of up to 100 percent and more.
Mike Zinkin is prepared to debate the other candidate in any forum. Hopefully, Satish Hiremath will accept this challenge so the voters will get to hear each position, and determine who has the most time, the most experience, the better grasp of the issues, and who will put the citizens of Oro Valley as the top priority.
I believe the only choice for Oro Valley mayor is Mike Zinkin.
Chet Oldakowski, Oro Valley
Prop 100 for schools, and for our safety
I am writing as a 32-year Arizona resident, counselor in MUSD, and daughter of retired senior citizens who live independently.
Prop 100 is not just an education issue, but it will benefit education in a state that is next to last in funding per student in the U.S.
The state of education concerns me for my grandchildren's generation, and I will vote for Prop 100 for them and my students. But another important issue is public safety, and that concerns me for my parents' generation.
Seniors in this state need to be able to depend on first responders in case of an emergency health issue or accident. Remember "Help, I fell and I can't get up?" Arizona residents need to feel secure that when they call 911, they will not have to wait in line for first responders to come to their service. That's why Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona, Arizona Highway Patrol Association, and the Arizona Fraternal Order of Police support it.
Arizona has a large number of retired seniors who do not have children in school now, but these seniors will benefit with Prop 100 passing. I ask seniors who oppose the proposition to remember when their children went to school. Don't all children deserve the best their state can offer? And compared to states many of you come from, Arizona falls far behind.
For those of you like my parents who remember war rations and the great sacrifices citizens made in those days, this is a small sacrifice to make. One cent on the dollar more will help our children receive a better education which will help them have more secure futures. And Arizona seniors can feel secure that if they fall, someone will be there to help them get up.
Joni Rubinstein, Tucson
Deep cuts in school funds are appalling
I am a tax-paying citizen in Tucson for 21 years, where my two children have attended public schools and a state university. I am appalled at how deeply the state legislature is forcing K-12 schools to eliminate services, programs, staff and teachers.
Our Amphitheater school district, and many others, are giving pink slips to all teachers hired in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, are eliminating all high school elective courses, and eliminating other programs.
Our legislature is raping the education of children and threatening the stability of our future. Never in our lifetimes has funding to education been so drastically cut. There is no precedence for the long-term negative impact this will have on society. It is short-term stupid to allow this to occur, and it will incur higher long-term costs to the citizens of Arizona than the short-term savings realized.
Reduced educational opportunities and support programs for children will directly translate into higher crime, and more burdening of the legal and penal systems. They are undoing so much of the good that society and the state has accomplished over decades.
All of the studies, research, justifications, program designing, hiring, training, equipment procurement, and benefits these programs have provided to youth, and society – they are just throwing them all in the dumpster.
Minimizing this problem requires your "Yes" vote on the May 18 Prop 100 proposed temporary 1-cent sales tax increase. Money now desperately needed to secure our future. Get out the vote.
The next step is to find government officials that can mastermind Arizona out of this predicament and re-establish our manufacturing and job base. Apparently these skills are hard to find amongst our current officials.
Phil Roper, Tucson
Special thanks to young men who saved a day
This letter is being written to you to thank publicly several young adults who helped me out of a tough spot on Easter Sunday.
I was on my way to have dinner at the home of some friends who live on the hill east of Lago del Oro about a mile north of Golder Ranch Road. I turned east to go up the hill on the dirt road. But first I had to go across the wash. Water was flowing down the wash, but it was very shallow so I thought I could make it across without any problem.
It didn't occur to me that underneath the water was wet sand, not a paved surface. So I got stuck. I got out of the car to see if there was anything I could do to get me moving. As I was standing there, a white pickup truck approached the wash coming down the hill on the east side. The young man stopped the truck and walked toward me. He got a shovel and moved some of the mud in front of the front wheels, then brought some fairly large rocks to put in front of the wheels. That didn't help.
As we stood there considering what to do next, another white pickup showed up on the road, heading east. It stopped a short distance behind me. The two young men in this truck knew the young family in the first truck. They talked for a while, then moved the second truck across the wash. Each truck had a tow cable. They tied the cables together and attached them to the underside of the front of my car and to the second truck, which proceeded to pull my car through the wash and up on the dry section of the road going up the hill.
I thanked my rescuers for literally pulling me/my car out of a bad situation. As I drove up the hill to holiday diner with my friends, the occupants of the trucks proceeded to their holiday destinations as well. I gave silent thanks to these young people who took time out of their holidays to help one old (pushing 80) stranger. Thanks, young' uns. We may never see each other again but I won't forget you.
Joe Botsko, Marana
Get out and vote, early and often
Vote, vote, vote …
The November general election is important, but the best way to get your candidate elected (or thrown out) is to vote in the primaries. Many districts are gerrymandered to the point where one party or the other is almost guaranteed success once they reach the general election. (Note: With the 2010 US Census, all Congressional and many local districts will be redrawn. Send in those forms.)
Independents need to switch their voter preference to one of the parties if they wish to vote in the primaries. Do so now at https://servicearizona.com/webapp/evoter/?popularclick You can register to vote at the same site, or pick up a form at a library, DMV office, etc. (Did you get married with name change, change addresses, etc.?)
Special elections are also important because they usually affect your wallet, e.g., budget overrides, sales tax increases, bonds. Get out and vote early and often.
Tom Sander, Tucson