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Posted: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 11:00 pm | Updated: 8:07 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

Hiremath is a disciple of special interests

Since 2008, the Town of Oro Valley has not contributed to the Northern Pima County Chamber of Commerce. Partially due to budget constraints, town council voted not to fund the former Greater Oro Valley Arts Council), TREO, the Tucson visitors bureau and others having little to do with business in Oro Valley.

Lo and behold, these organizations now endorse Satish Hiremath for mayor of Oro Valley. Hiremath's statement on the matter is that the organizations will provide levels of service that "we as elected officers" are responsible for in providing for "our" citizens.

Wait a minute. Who are "we elected officers?" Does Satish Hiremath think that he is already elected? Perhaps so. Said organizations have contributed heavily to his campaign, so the assumption may be that this upcoming election is a "done deal."

Not so fast, Dr. Hiremath.

Mike Zinkin is in this race to win. Many know that he has regularly participated in a wide range of town activities over the years.

While Hiremath was cleaning teeth, Zinkin's genuine, sustained interest in town government led him study and graduate twice from Oro Valley's highly regarded Citizens' Planning Institute.

What did Hiremath, as head of GOVAC, do for local artists? Nada mucho. He used taxpayers' money to bring in jazz musicians from all over the country, then charged $75 per person for tickets. Was this truly serving the needs of OV citizens?

Meanwhile, Zinkin safeguarded our town code and quality of life. Serving on and chairing the Development Review Board, he ensured that developers' and architects' projects were both practical and harmonious with Oro Valley's exceptional surroundings. Zinkin knows and respects Oro Valley's general plan and our strategic plan. We can count on him to adhere to both.

While Hiremath attended a single town council meeting to beg for GOVAC money (storming out when council refused), Zinkin put in long hours with our young people, officiating at youth sports.

Zinkin has wisdom derived from genuine experience with our townspeople and our businesses. Hiremath is a dilettante and a disciple of special interests.

Kathleen Pastryk, Oro Valley

OV is in need of committed, new leadership

We are all struggling financially as a country, as a state and even our beloved community of Oro Valley. Should we elect individuals that are committed to their positions and our future well-being, or individuals just looking for a part-time hobby?

At the April 24 study session on the town budget, Mike Zinkin was not present. What? How can he possibly lead our community if he is not engaged in creating our financial future?

The mayor's position requires an individual with sound financial management experience and leadership skills such as those of Dr. Hiremath. By the way, Dr. Hiremath was present at the study session, along with Joe Hornat and Lou Waters. And they all contributed their input.

The time has come for us to elect leadership that is committed. Period.

Michael Quinn, Oro Valley

Where's outcry over Mexico's biggest export?

Where is the outcry and the anger over the most guilty of all perpetrators in the illegal alien issue: Mexico.

It seems Mexico's biggest export is their citizens. Yet nowhere do I see our activist community or liberal press pointing the blame where it belongs. Instead, they fan the flames of race in an effort to obliterate the issue of unrestrained and ever growing illegal immigration.

How about holding Mexico's feet to the fire? How about demanding that Mexico improve its economy so that Mexicans can get jobs and support their families? How about demanding that Mexico clean out the drug lords rather than blaming America's appetite for drugs? How about … blaming Mexico, and not Arizona?

Judy Schwartz, Oro Valley

Why a rally on school ground? who's editing?

Two issues in reference to the front-page article of the 4/21 Explorer

1. Why are my and other property taxpayers' money being used for students to hold a political rally on school property? Supporting Proposition 100 is a right that anyone may exercise, but were the opponents of Prop 100 given the same space and time on government property to voice their opinion?

I think it is ridiculous that students, who are not voters or property taxpayers, are allowed to hold a political rally on school property.

2. The caption on the photo on the front page "The pile comprised of flowers,…" is grammatically incorrect. "Of" should never follow the word "comprise." The whole comprises the parts. The whole is composed of the parts. The word "composed" should have been used. Ironically, this caption is for a photo about an "education" rally.

Dale L. Knight, Oro Valley

Groups that endorse part of community

There have been some statements made in recent weeks about the pros and cons of endorsements in the Oro Valley elections. There has also been some very deceptive rhetoric regarding endorsements coming from some candidates and their supporters.

Specifically Zinkin and Rabb and / or their ardent supporters claim that they are not supported by these "special interest groups," and therefore will not be tainted or unduly influenced by these groups. The intent is to make you believe they didn't seek their support and therefore are "pure" and more deserving of your vote.

That message is also intended to make you believe that the organizations who have endorsed are somehow evil and out to sabotage the interests of the citizens of Oro Valley. What the candidates, and / or their supporters don't tell you is they did solicit the endorsements of the very groups they are now calling "special interests."

Groups that have endorsed candidates represent a wide cross-section of our community. And their interest(s) directly touch us.

The firefighters want to make sure we are safe and that they have the fiscal and community support to accomplish that task. The chambers of commerce insure we have a healthy business environment to provide us with needed products and services at prices we can afford. The bonus byproduct of that effort is essential sales tax flowing into the town treasury thus keeping more spendable income in our pockets.

Realtors want the candidates to respect the personal property rights of individuals. Homebuilders have a goal of providing us with affordable, quality housing. Newspapers want to keep us informed and insure that we have sufficient information to make informed decisions.

I don't know about you, but none of these "special interests" sound the least bit threatening to me or my family. Candidates who support these interests and are endorsed by organizations who champion these results are, in my opinion, a cut above.

Local elections are extremely important. Please vote on May 18, and vote for those who will represent your best interest. I urge you to vote for Dr. Hiremath, Joe Hornat and Lou Waters.

Don Cox, Oro Valley

Zinkin actions were delays for OV businesses

This letter is written by myself as a voter and a citizen of Oro Valley.

Mike Zinkin in his talks has put forth the image that he is for small business and will aid them in the work of getting plans approved, etc.

I have followed and attended the majority of the Development Review Board meetings. As chair of DRB, Mr. Zinkin needs to explain his votes on several issues that delayed the plans and work for construction. Examples include decisions on Arbys using Yokohama Rice bowl existing building, the shade of brown to be used on Wal-Mart stores, and whether palm trees planned for the In-And-Out Burger site could be used. All of these substantially delayed the project completions and contributed to the "hard to work with" perception that business people have had with Oro Valley.

Another item, which has amazed me, is his coming out with a major decision on the existing Kai land and by flyer putting out the message that he would do his best to control any use of the land other than what the local neighbors want.

It should also be noted that neither Mr. Zinkin nor Mr. Rabb were sufficiently interested in next year's budget to attend the April 24 Saturday budget study session. Mr. Hiremath, Waters and Hornat were all in attendance and contributed with questions.

And we understand that a complaint has been filed regarding Mr. Zinkin's unauthorized use of the town's seal in campaign literature that was mailed to town residents.

One thing that you learn at an early date is that there are seven voters on the council and four will do a majority and can vote in an item.

Looking forward to the up and coming election results and the outcome of the end results.

KC Carter, Oro Valley

In past, people of OV were 'taken for ride'

I am a recently retired, average Oro Valley citizen who was never involved with politics until now. I am learning as much as I can about the candidates so that I can become an educated voter. I am not part of a special interest group and I will not allow any special interest group to sway my vote.

I am worried about the future of my community. Things happened in the past that totally disregarded the views and opinions of the people who live here. I think citizens were "taken for a ride" and I don't want to see this continuing.

The coming election In Oro Valley is very important. I urge people to see through the "smoke screen" that is being created. It happened before, so I hope we don't let it happen again.

My husband and I will be voting for Mike Zinkin as mayor and Matthew Rabb for council. We feel that these are the only two candidates that we can count on to serve us, as citizens who live here, and not the interests of outside agencies that support the other candidates.

I can only pray that all other Oro Valley voters will become familiar with the candidate's views, see what special interest groups support them ( ask why) and then, cast an educated vote.

I would like to see a debate between the candidates but as to date, the other candidate has refused to debate with Mike Zinkin. We should wonder why the other candidate is not willing to do this.

Josephine Di Gennaro, Oro Valley

Perhaps he didnot hear, nor read comments

I am shocked at the postcard and recent Sun City Republican meeting that I attended, where Dr. Hiremath, implied, that if we didn't vote for him, there would be a property tax in Oro Valley. This is almost a blackmail statement.

I have attended several forums, where apparently Dr. Hiremath didn't hear, but I did hear Mike Zinkin state that he was against a property tax for Oro Valley. Not only do I have good hearing, but also my reading skills are good. I am referring to the question and answer section for the candidates in this paper.

Perhaps this needs to be repeated for Dr. Hiremath to read. Question #2 Would you put a property tax question on the ballot for voter approval? "Why or why not?" Mike Zinkin's answer: "There cannot be any property tax without voter approval. At this time, with so many of our residents on fixed incomes, facing job losses, or struggling to pay their bills, it would be premature and irresponsible to even consider a property tax. If 10 years ago the cost of government was $1,700 per resident, and now government costs $4,600 per resident, that indicates there is a lot of excess. We must be fiscally responsible and separate our wants from our needs."

My comment to Dr. Hiremath — "Read his lips."

Geri Ottoboni, Oro Valley

Government's spending spree must now end

"Follow the money." This currently popular cliche certainly can be applied to the upcoming proposed state sales tax proposition.

Where is all the money coming from to pay for the expensive commericals, newspaper ads, billboards, posters and mailings urging voters to vote "yes?"

Printed in the official state voters guide are dozens of commentaries "for" and "against." Chief among those in favor and financially supporting these promotions are: teachers and other educators; school superintendents; school business office personnel; teachers' unions; public university advocacy groups and students; some police organizations; public transportation organizations; public health organizations; various other government officials; and some individuals.

Among those against are: organizations of independent businesses; free enterprise organizations, several candidates and government officials including the state treasurer; tax reductions advocates and many individuals.

Now a couple of interesting facts about overall state spending and state aid to public education:

1) In 2003, state spending was $6 billion; this year almost $10 billion. That's a 66 percent increase.

2) In 2000, state spending on public education was $2.7B; this year $5.1B. That's an 88 percent increase with a student population increase of just 26 percent.

Prop. 100 is presented as a "temporary tax increase" for three years. If this is so, should the proposition pass and three years from now the economy remains in the doldrums, as forecasted by many economists, what do we do? The same budget problems will reappear, and will hear the same tired "The Sky is Falling" arguments for higher taxes.

It's time to bite the bullet. Yes, school class sizes might increase a little; there will be longer lines waiting at government offices; and even the universities will have to finally get serious and really cut waste, excessive administration and frills without just resorting to tuition and fee increases to make their budget. Lastly, many people will have to reassume formerly personal responsibilities currently now looked upon as entitlements from the government.

The state's ever increasing spending spree has gone on long enough. Vote No on Prop. 100.

Tom Vana, Marana

Why obsession with MTCVB, TREO funds?

On Nov. 18, the Town of Oro Valley council voted 5-0 for the suspension of all community funding for 2010/2011.

This cut-off of public funding deeply concerned two "special interest" groups: Metropolitan Tucson Convention &Visitors Bureau and Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities that were under community funding.

Not to worry. A different approach might be found to continue the tax "earmarks" for these "special interest" groups.

On Jan. 23, Mayor Loomis stated that funding should be included for MTCVB and TREO in the fiscal 2010-'11 budget under economic development.

On Jan. 27, Mayor Loomis made a motion, seconded by Councilman Al Kunisch, to add a study session for a "revised" economic development process.

At the March 24 study session, "special interest" agencies MTCVB and TREO appeared to "testify" that they needed tax "earmarks" under a "revised" EDA process to get their funding restored for fiscal 2010-'11.

At the April 7 town council meeting, a resolution was passed to create a separate line item in the economic development budget through which the council could allocate funding to economic development agencies if they so choose. This option would remove the allocation of funding for economic development agencies from the community funding process, thereby providing council the discretion to allocate funding for these agencies during the annual budget process (MTCVB and TREO were these agencies).

On April 14, a balanced budget was presented to the mayor and council. It did not include any funding for MTCVB and TREO.

At the April 24 budget study session, Mayor Loomis raised some questions. One question concerned fiscal 2010-'11 funding for MTCVB and TREO. The discussion was moved to the April 28 budget study session.

Why the obsession with MTCVB and TREO funding?

Assuming that economic development agencies are critical to the town operations and funding can be found, then the economic development manager, could advertise for competitive bids (request for proposals) from economic development organizations for developing business and tourism growth. MTCVB and TREO should not be awarded automatically.

John Musolf, Oro Valley

Why would OV take Loomis' suggestion?

As a close observer of Oro Valley politics, I couldn't help but notice that our "lame duck" mayor, Paul Loomis, would like his "legacy" continued for four more years.

Without trying to offend the almost 3,000 voters that saw fit to vote for Loomis in the primary, why in the world would the overwhelming majority of Oro Valley citizens want four more years of Loomis, by taking his advice, and voting for Dr. Hiremath?

It would be one thing if Loomis gave even one coherent reason to vote for "his" candidate, but the best he could come up with in his April 21 Explorer letter was, quoting Loomis:

"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." and "Dr. Hiremath also has the support of many people who care about Oro Valley."

I, and many others, ask, "Just exactly what experience Loomis is talking about?" The good dentist has absolutely zero experience in Oro Valley government. Should one vote for this man because, according to the mayor's rationale, many people support him?

There is only one candidate that will take us away from the "Loomis legacy." That candidate is Mike Zinkin, the only candidate beholden to the people of Oro Valley, not all the outside special interest groups

Art Segal, Oro Valley

Suppose no hyphenation were possible

I noted in the April 28th Explorer, in the "You Say" section, the use of the term "far right." Did the writer intend to identify himself as "far left" in order to imply that his position was more valid?

Today, I often recall a Parade article by Daniel J. Boorstin, "The Hyphenation of America," which identified the challenge contained within our current path of dividing ourselves into smaller and smaller hyphenated groups. Today's political climate only confirms Dr. Boorstin's thinking.

What would happen if our political leaders and their minions were suddenly unable to identify any opponent or group through the use of a hyphenated title? What about that … we would all be Americans.

Bob Hollingshead, Oro Valley

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