Want library control? Pay for it - Tucson Local Media: Editorials

Want library control? Pay for it

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Posted: Tuesday, September 8, 2009 11:00 pm | Updated: 1:33 pm, Mon Apr 18, 2011.

A few years back the legislature changed state incorporation law and two more towns briefly existed in Northwest Pima County, Tortolita and Casas Adobes. After a lengthy court fight, the statute was ruled unconstitutional and both were dis-incorporated.

The change eliminated the power of an existing community to veto a new one if any part of it was within six miles of their border. This dated from 1961 and was lobbied for by the Arizona League of Cities and Towns as a classic example of "I got mine."

Oro Valley was gaga over hosting the recent meeting of the League there, an organization that constantly urges the expansion of local bureaucracies and their budgets. Their lobbyists — paid by you through the cities who fund the League — have much to do with why so many towns and cities are going broke. As an organization they benefit the average citizen about as much as OPEC.

Tortolita was finally suppressed by Tucson, Marana and Oro Valley. OV forgot their arguments for self-determination from the 1970s during their long court battle, primarily with Pima County. The 1990s Board of Supervisors supported Tortolita by a 3-2 vote with then Supervisors Bronson, Carroll and Eckstrom outvoting Boyd and Grijalva.

Greenies who swoon over now-Congressman Grijalva should remember his opposition to a "restrained growth" community he shared with his fellow neo-Marxist, then Tucson Mayor George Miller. Both claimed allowing local control over zoning matters "destroys central planning."

No one issue broke up partisan and philosophical alliances like this one. Land speculators howled "no growth" as we saw no need for shopping centers and high-density housing, a charge refuted by noting that under the existing zoning, the town's population would have quadrupled.

The big question was "what will be your tax base?" If we simply contracted with Pima County for the services we already had, we could cover it with state revenue sharing. That meant we would not be adding all the cookie cutter crap pitched by the Cities and Town folks.

We wouldn't need a parks department because we already lived in one and the idea was to keep it that way. Wouldn't need a human resources department for two employees, the city clerk and an assistant to be housed in a mobile home on donated land. Jobs like city attorney would be contracted out, while cops and major roads would be handled by Pima County. But here's the big one.

We had a lot of assessed value, and most were willing to pay a property tax just so the rest of you would leave us alone. No taxation without representation is fine, but having the representation may call for taxation.

Folks in Oro Valley should recognize that if you want your own library, pay for it. You don't get to weasel out of paying for the rest of the libraries in the county. Choosing to have your own cops doesn't mean you can stop paying for the sheriff. Same with roads and health care. Don't like how the county spends or acts? Then un-elect 'em.

One undiscussed item in the Oro Valley library debate is dirty pictures. OV has tighter controls than Pima County on library porn. I suspect many want it kept that way, as the present county supe majority believes there is a constitutional right to smut, and if you can't afford any it will be provided at taxpayer expense.

Libraries are a basic public service supplied by local governments. If OV residents want to control their own, they should pay for it by eliminating other things from their budget, not by asking the legislature for some Mickey Mouse new taxing district they aren't going to create.

Listen to Emil Franzi and Tom Danehy Saturdays 1-4 p.m. on KVOI 1030AM.

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