The meeting of the Oro Valley Town Council and their vote to raise taxes showed that the concerns of the residents and their opposition to plans for purchasing the El Conquistador Country Club meant little to the powers-that-be, as a result Oro Valley residents who oppose the Town Council’s recent resolution to purchase a golf club have filed an application for a referendum petition to overturn that vote.
Tee’d Off Over Tax Hike, (T.O.O.T.H. in OV), will challenge the Council’s decision to buy the El Conquistador Country Club, Golf and tennis facilities in an effort to ultimately have voters decide on the project.
Following 5 and a half hours of public comment mostly against the proposal, Mayor Satish Hiremath, Councilwoman Mary Snider, Vice Mayor Lou Waters and Councilman Joe Hornat voted to approve the controversial project and tax increase. Citing concerns with financial data and forecasting, Councilmen Bill Garner, Brendan Burns and Mike Zinkin voted against the idea and corresponding tax hike.
The few members of the public who did speak out in support appeared to be mostly residents living on or near the golf courses and echoed the fears they had been fed by Hiremath that the course would likely “go brown” if the town did not buy the course. However, Troon, a course management group, took control of the course today so that threat was baseless.
Shirl Lamonna, who is heading up the referendum said, “It is unfortunate Hiremath, Snider, Waters and Hornat, who were elected to represent the people they serve, not only ignored the will of their constituents by approving this financially flawed project but have further risked the financial future and prosperity of Oro Valley in doing so”. Lamonna went on to say, “It is also very concerning that every individual who voted for this project and tax increase, has received substantial campaign funding from interested parties involved in this transaction”.
On top of the declining golf industry statistics, residents were stunned to hear the council had received new, revised capital improvement numbers just hours before the meeting. Questions of due diligence, transparency and lack of fiduciary responsibility were the common theme from the residents who spoke out at the meeting.
T.O.O.T.H in OV plans to set up various locations in Oro Valley to have residents sign petitions in order to overturn the decision of the Town Council and to allow the decision to be placed on a ballot for vote. The petitions will be turned in by January 16th.
For more information contact email@example.com, future updates will be available at www.toothinov.org, which is currently under construction.