Today the Pima County Recorder certified Oro Valley Mayor Satish Hiremath’s recall petition. 3,242 signature were successfully validated.
It is expected that Mayor Hiremath, along with Council persons Joe Hornat, Lou Waters, and Mary Snider will face opposing candidates during the the general election this coming November.
Ryan Hartung, one of the recall organizers stated, “Although I wish the referendum had gone forward, as this recall would not have been necessary, I believe this recall election will give the citizens of Oro Valley a de facto chance to vote on whether they agree owning a money-losing golf course and its 30 year-old clubhouse is a wise decision.
“In what many residents thought was a misuse of power and funds, Mayor Hiremath, along with Council persons Joe Hornat, Lou Waters, and Mary Snider decided to rush through a very important decision in the middle of December with very little input and despite public outcry.”
Vice-Mayor Lou Waters, Councilmembers Mary Snider and Joe Hornat now all face recall. Hiremath has five days to either resign, or opt to face the recall election with his cohorts in November.
So far, Hartung, Steve Didio, and Shirl Lamonna have been recruited by Oro Valley residents, to run for openings on the Council. Nomination petitions for the candidates are available at the Oro Valley library Tuesday through Thursday from 9 to 12 this week and next week.
Lamonna stated, “It’s a shame that it had to come to this but at last, the citizens of Oro Valley will have a voice – not only with the El Con purchase, but the entire direction of Town government.”
It was the secretive actions of the Mayor, three Council members, and Town staff to proceed with the purchase of the aging El Conquistador Country Club despite the fact that the aging facility is not ADA compliant and will require expensive upgrades, that spurred the recall effort by OVCOG.
$8.3 million has been tentatively approved in the FY 15/16 budget for the golf course management and care as well as the Community Center. The Town Council approved a 1/2 cent sales tax increase for that purpose, but it is unlikely that the proceeds will cover the costs, according to sources. Recently, the Town Manager said he was considering putting a bond package before voters to cover what is expected to be mounting costs associated with the purchase.
According to sources, the Mayor and City Councilmembers’ campaigns have benefitted in the past from their associations with business people who are or hope to do business with the Town.
|Top Donors – 2014 Election (As of September 15, 2014)||Hiremath**||Hornat||Snider||Waters||Total|
|HSL (El Conquistador)||6,730||3,000||3,000||3,000||15,730|
|(1) Except for Click and Royal, all are developers or associated with developers|
|** Jan. 1, 2011 through Sept. 15, 2014 (2010 PAC never closed)|