Letters to the editor published in the April 14, 2010, edition of The Explorer.
Serving as OV mayor requires commitment
I would like to respond to Melanie Larson, who is on the board of the Northern Pima County Chamber of Commerce.
She stated the chamber receives no funds from the Town of Oro Valley, (which is true), but in the past I have sat through many council meetings where they have come and asked and received financial backing as well as TREO. The practice was discontinued when the town started having financial difficulty.
I would like to know what businesses these two organizations have brought to Oro Valley. I know it cannot be Sanofi-Aventis, as they have been here a very long time and it was a project started years ago at the U of A.
Apparently Ms. Larson was not paying attention or did not acknowledge that Mike Zinkin told her that he would resign his 40-year career as a sports official and also his part-time job with Jim Click. That shows me true dedication.
Also responding to Ms. Devery, I have met Dr. Hiremath and find him to be moderately personable, and I applaud his working on the once a year Oro Valley Holiday Parade for the past four years.
But when you are on a commission or board it is at least a monthly commitment. I do know that Dr. Hiremath was on the board of GOVAC, because when they couldn't make their budget, that was the only time he seemed to appear at the town council meetings. Again he has stated that he did not like attending the meetings, then why become Mayor, many times these meetings go until 11 p.m.
Being the father of four, but not married to the mother of three, as he stated in his biography in this paper, makes one question his commitment.
Geri Ottobon, Oro Valley
Is thinking on Medicare pay really clear?
Regarding the letter to the editor April 7 entitled "Clear-Thinking Seniors Will Rise Against 'Reform:'"
I don't think the letter writer is thinking very clearly.
Mr. Vana claims he can't give up his Medicare benefits even though he's against a "further march towards socialism with the 'health-care reform bill'." His reasoning is that those in the Medicare program would have no options available except self-insurance (you mean just like those millions who presently have no insurance?) and that for years he was forced to pay a percentage of his income to Medicare with no choice in the matter.
Well, I have no idea when Mr. Vana turned 65 and thus was eligible for Medicare — or how much his annual income was since the program was enacted in 1966, but let's assume he earned the national average income and didn't retire until five years ago. That means he paid a range of 0.33 percent of his income in 1966 for Medicare and 1.45 percent in 2005.
The average annual income in 1966 was $6,000, and the average in 2005 was $43,000. So, using those income assumptions, he was paying something like $20/year in 1966 to fund the Medicare program and $624 in 2005.
I would hope even Mr. Vana would agree that he's getting way more in benefit value from Medicare than the relatively meager amount he's had to pay over the years. Many of us who haven't reached Medicare age yet would dearly love to be able to take advantage of this government-run health insurance program.
Karen Schickedanz, SaddleBrooke
Loss of Coyote Run would be a blow to many
I read with dismay that Coyote Run is at risk of losing funding to continue its service.
This was quite a blow to many of my friends and myself who use this convenient way of transportation.
The people who are employed at Coyote Run, from the courteous drivers to the office employees, are so pleasant and helpful.
Coyote Run serves many of us who depend on this service. I hope that the OV Council will provide the funds to keep this wonderful service.
Yolanda Mancini, Sun City
Tell me cuts won't affect kids, education
I would suggest that some writers to The Explorer, who don't seem to have a clue as to what dollars do for education, visit a school and see what happens when there is not enough money to go around.
I have been a tutor at the same elementary school for five years. I've seen class size increase to as many as 37 students with no additional help for the teacher.
This April, notices were given to some staff members that their contracts would not be renewed. There will be classes of 35, there will be fewer supplies, there will be limited services for kindergarten, the library, art, physical education, chorus, band, and orchestra.
These dedicated professionals are distraught, as they know the children will suffer. The more students in a classroom, the less each will have the opportunity to learn because the teacher cannot possibly give each undivided attention. These teachers will continue to do the best they can with less and less.
You tell me cuts will not affect the children and their education.
Patricia Bowen, Oro Valley
Why criticism when someone puts family first?
Regarding the recent resignation of Salette Latas, when does the decision to choose one's family first over work or public office merit criticism?
Perhaps this is one of the reasons good and talented people avoid public service … nothing that they do is ever appreciated. And to not list one accomplishment for her service is mean-spirited.
Jon Skaug, Oro Valley
Mayoral hopeful says he's pro-business for OV
One of the major issues raised during the primary campaign was Oro Valley's reputation for being unfriendly toward business. All the mayoral candidates agreed with this perception. Now that we are going forward to the general, my opponent is claiming I am business unfriendly, and that I do not deserve the vote of the business owners.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
As a member of the Development Review Board for four years, I worked with business owners and developers to meet their needs within the town's codes and guidelines.
I realize that over 20 percent of the town's income comes from sales and bed taxes. The needs of the citizens and the needs of the businesses are not in conflict. Business needs can be met within the Oro Valley codes and design guidelines.
The sign code is under review. I agree that it needs substantial modifications. There should be a single time when wall signs should be turned off. We should allow for "A" frame type signs to be placed in front of businesses while they are open. Real estate signs should keep the same license number after they are renewed.
I will initiate the establishment of a business development commission, consisting of residents who are business owners. This commission will have a direct responsibility to the council to voice the ongoing needs of the business community.
My opponent has offered nothing substantial, only that he is a small businessman and, therefore, knows all about your needs. I do not assume to know all your needs, but I do know your desires and the town's desires are not in conflict. We both want a successful, profitable business community. The business development commission will be an important tool for you, the business owner, to express your needs and desires.
I will speed up the development process, and standardize the inspection and licensing procedure. No rules or codes will be "reinterpreted" after you start the development process. You will know "up front" what the town's expectations are and will get all the assistance you need to meet them.
Mike Zinkin, Oro Valley