Letters to the editor from the July 30 issue.
Marriage stance is crucial for this voter
I read with interest your article on Vic Williams, since I am always looking for what candidates really stand for. Therefore, a defining issue for me this election is where a candidate stands on the marriage amendment that will change Arizona’s Constitution to read “only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state.”
This is the only way to prevent one judge from overturning Arizona law. May 15, one California judge overturned a 2001 61 percent vote of Californians on marriage, and right now the same thing can be done to Arizona’s law in the twinkling of an eye. Because one court in Arizona upheld Arizona’s law last time does not mean another court will do the same. Amending the Constitution will prevent this from happening in Arizona. It is the only way to prevent it.
Even liberal states like Oregon and Hawaii have amended their state constitutions to protect marriage. In fact, 27 states have so amended their constitutions.
In the Clean Elections debate, Vic Williams took the position that this doesn’t need to be in the state constitution, but said he would fight if the institution of marriage was challenged. On this issue, you can’t have it both ways. An amendment is the only “fight” left for a legislator or a citizen of Arizona. Either you are for the marriage amendment or you are against it.
Lynne St. Angelo
Chamber boss wonders why no dialogue with Oro Valley
During my many years of working for and with governments, I had not until recently experienced any problem with setting policies, thanks to a myriad of inclusive and transparent methods employed.
I truly understand that the complex process of policy-making is the key role of towns and cities. Because the entire community is impacted by those decisions, they must be undertaken in a thoughtful, non-political manner with an eye towards unintended consequences.
The Northern Pima Chamber of Commerce has been over the past 16 years an enthusiastic and willing partner in supporting the Town of Oro Valley State of the Town address, Oracle Road construction, business recruitment, retention and outreach program and much more.
It is precisely because of the support by the NPCCC that our membership is at a loss to understand the manner in which our organization was left out of any discussion before our funding was cut. We believe strongly in the value of business and government working together to find solutions that help build a better community. Creating dialogue is important to any decision that is made.
It is only with a positive and cooperative relationship between our town and our businesses that our community can flourish.
President and CEO
Northern Pima County Chamber of Commerce
No good from Arroyo Grande development
The annexation of state land known as “Arroyo Grande” (Big Wash) would bring water depletion, transportation and environmental problems.
A while ago, an Oro Valley citizen’s committee on renewable water came to the conclusion that CAP water had to be recharged before it is pumped for regular use, to protect the aquifer. Arizona is the leading state in subsidence in the U.S. But the town is not recharging the aquifer, even if the statutes require it (ARS 32-271). Further depletion of the aquifer is only going to exacerbate the problem.
When it comes to transportation, an analysis paid by the State Land Department shows that the increase in population would require a six-lane road to Tucson in addition to Oracle Road. If the 30 extra square miles of state land in Pinal County are annexed, it would generate the need of two eight-lane roads at a cost in excess of a billion dollars for a sale that benefits the state probably less than 500 million. That would not be a good financial transaction for taxpayers.
Pinal County has also given permits in excess of 54,760 houses not yet built that will use Oracle Road.
What bothers me the most is: what is going to happen to the wildlife and native plants in the region? Dr. Lisa Harris, a biologist with experience in conservation, told us of pygmy owls in the Tortolita Mountains. Now, there are no more of that endangered species anywhere in the Northwest.
The biological corridor in the area is designed to provide for safe passage of wildlife between the mountains. The animals will have to migrate through an underpass constructed beneath Oracle Road. Building a La Cholla extension would then need more underpasses for wildlife, making the success of the project unlikely.
On the 16th, the council voted 7-0 to reject the La Cholla extension. Good for them.
I have not been able to imagine any satisfactory solution to the many problems brought by the Arroyo Grande project and the existing projects in Pinal County that affect us. If the State Land Department would fade away from here, that may ease our problems.
• This letter was shortened. - Ed.