A group of Oro Valley citizens opposed to the Town Council’s split decision to purchase the Hilton El Conquistador Country Club, Golf and Tennis facilities for the purpose of creating a community center, have begun the process of ordering a recall to remove Town Mayor Satish Hiremath and three Council members.
If enough signatures are collected by opponents, a special election would take place in November, when Oro Valley residents will have the opportunity to remove Mayor Satish Hiremath and Council members Lou Waters, Joe Hornat, and Mary Snider.
Oro Valley Citizens for Open Government (OVCOG) will begin collecting signatures the first week of March. With the previous referendum failing due to a technicality, they are optimistic that the number of signatures needed to order a recall are attainable.
Ryan Hartung, who is heading up the recall effort said, “The residents of Oro Valley spoke loud and clear when they penned over 3,000 signatures in less than three weeks’ time calling for a referendum vote on the El Conquistador purchase.” Hartung went on to say, “However, due to a technicality, these signatures were rejected by the Town. We believe that even if the referendum does eventually pass, the current makeup of the council is not in the best interests of Oro Valley and its citizens.”
The Oro Valley Town Council voted 4-3 at their February 18th meeting to not suspend the sales tax increase which was approved for the purchase of this property, even though the purchase is not yet finalized.
On Sunday, March 1, 2015, the half-cent sales tax increase goes into effect. The sales tax funds will be designated solely for maintenance and operations and capital improvements for the proposed Community & Recreation Center and related amenities, according to the Town officials.
O.V.C.O.G. in Oro Valley, Arizona is a Citizens Action Committee formed following the Town Council’s vote to purchase this property and the referendum’s initial failing. For more information contact OVCOG2015@gmail.com, or visit www.OVCOG.org.