Letters to the editor published in the Octover 14, 2009, edition of The Explorer.
Mayor doesn't deserve respect; priorities, editor?
Dave Perry, as his is right, saw fit to chastise council members Bill Garner, Barry Gillaspie and Salette Latas for not attending the "State of the Town" speech last week, given by Mayor Loomis.
Far be for me to act as a spokesperson for my three council friends, and whatever their reasons, the real point should have been the comments by Loomis, not who did not attend this event. Mr. Perry saw fit not to note the absence of Supervisor Ann Day or Mayor Walkup, but made sure he directed his comments toward Bill, Barry and Salette.
Perry wrote: "State of the Town is the place to demonstrate civility and respect." From my standpoint, you can't demand respect; you must earn respect.
Mayor Loomis does not deserve respect. Perhaps if Perry was aware that Loomis orchestrated the removal of our dedicated Town Manager David Andrews only days earlier, he may have seen fit to editorialize that issue in lieu of making the issue Bill, Barry and Salette.
Additionally, although not part of his speech, Loomis advised the media that a property tax may well be on the horizon in Oro Valley. That news made page one in The Az Daily Star, and yet Perry did not even think this issue was worthy of even one sentence of his editorial, or for that matter, in the most recent edition of his newspaper.
We question the priorities of Mr. Perry and The Explorer.
Art Segal, Oro Valley
An elected chief would be more fiscally dutiful
In response to Don Cox's comment that " neither author has any clue about what goes on within the Police Department, much less what the Chief knows or doesn't know," I would like to reiterate my position that if a police chief was elected not appointed, it might lead to fiscal responsibility. If elected, a chief would have direct accountability to voters and might be more willing to cooperate with his budget.
Law enforcement is a public service, paid for by community taxpayers. As an OV resident of 18 years, I examine the decisions made by local government carefully before voting. How my tax dollars are spent is important to me.
What is curious is that you do not recognize as important what the Oro Valley constituents think. You refer to the chief as if he was CEO of his own company, not a department within the town. Perhaps, this contributes to the feeling that Chief Sharp is building a kingdom.
On three occasions at town council meetings, the chief was questioned by council members. One time he was asked to present statistics that proved take home vehicles were necessary and why. Another time he was to explain why the overtime budget for the PD at the proposed July 4th celebration had jumped $5-6,000 in a week.
Not once but several times the council requested his proposed budget cuts. As a regular attendee at town meetings, I witnessed firsthand his inability to answer. As the top administrator, in my opinion, these items should have rolled off his tongue when asked by his superiors. This is the reason why I wrote that he did not know what his officers were doing.
Again, I raise the question whether electing a police chief might provide greater motivation to be fiscally responsible.
However, you feel because he communicates with you, he's doing a great job. Then why does the possibility of an election to that post by the whole community trouble you?
Geri Ottoboni, Oro Valley
He won't be convinced, but one more letter
Firstly, allow me to commend The Explorer for publishing letters on the serious issues that are before us. This is a unique opportunity for citizens for have a discussion with one another, and for others to profit from their arguments.
Mr. Gareau and I have been discussing healthcare issues, and it has been my intention to remain cordial amidst his various accusations and assertions – however, a few things he has stated in his attempts to turn the argument on its head are of such a nature to require response.
First of all, in his letter in the Oct. 7 issue, he "compassionately" states that he is happy that I did not lose the use of my "leg." My illness, as I stated, nearly cost me the use of both my legs. A much more serious issue, but given Mr. Gareau's natural talent for minimizing serious issues, this typo may be seen to be a revealing one.
Second, he tries to imply that because I take issue with the for-profit American system, that I am calling all our wonderful medical personnel "immoral." This is a blatant untruth. And when I spoke of my experiences with a recent illness, he states "To assume Mr. Myers was 100 percent right because he says so is not logical," and goes on to offer ostentatious suggestions as to how I could have paid for scans denied by my insurer.
Let me be clear – my insurer went to great lengths to make my treatment process more difficult, even after I had presented with some extremely serious symptoms. That is fact.
To these facts, Mr. Gareau just shoots the messenger, and his world view thus remains intact. While good people across American continue to suffer, physically and financially due to the shortcomings of our healthcare system.
It is clear that Mr. Gareau is not going to convince me and I am not going to convince him. So I'd like to thank The Explorer for publishing our exchanges, and I think it's important now to allow others in our community to get involved in the discussion.
Neil Myers, Oro Valley
Is fresh air, smoke-free, too much to ask?
The weather is cool now, we wait all year for this to come. Aaaahhh, I can open the windows! Aaahh, the breezes feel so good, the air so fresh. … cough cough, choke choke, my eyes are burning! I gotta close the windows because someone is burning!
Please neighbors, we all share the same air, be considerate, we all love having our windows open and we want clean air to breathe here in Tucson. Did you know that we have the highest asthma rates here in the country — so can you please refrain from any kind of burning, whether it be fireplaces, or other?
I want to keep my windows open this time of year. Thank you, I want fresh air, is that too much to ask for?
Janice M. Ward, Oro Valley
Let the founders rest in peace; vote 'no' on 200
If our founding fathers were alive today, they'd be banging on the lids of their coffins shouting, "Let us out of here, we have to stop the Public Safety First Initiative folks in Tucson. We wanted limited government and fiscal conservatism, and elected officials to live within their means."
We're in the worse economic shape since the Great Depression. The federal government is $60 trillion in debt, the state $4 billion in the red, the county about $100 million short, and the City of Tucson about $48 million short.
The proponents of the Safety First initiative think it's OK to take another $164 million per year from city and county taxpayers to pay for more cops, firefighters, lawyers, judges, corrections officers, support facilities, equipment and staff, etc.
Generational Theft is rampant. We seem to forget that one day we will be in nursing homes relying on our kids and grandkids to provide for us and to provide us care. Instead of keeping them as happy campers, we'll send them a bill for several hundred thousand dollars for items they received little or no benefits from. This will lead to the death panels many fear!
Let's let our founding fathers RIP. Vote no on Prop 200.
Tom Sander, Tucson
Fear, created by innuendo and distortion
In the Sept. 30 edition of The Explorer, Al Melvin submitted an article in response to criticism of the senator's voting record by Rex Scott. Mr. Scott, a local high school principal, cites the negative impact (increased class sizes, less money for essential supplies, and out of work teachers) seen every day in our schools as a result of cuts to education made by the state legislature. Gov. Jan Brewer, a member of Mr. Melvin's own political party, called the cuts to education and social services "devastating." Yet, Mr. Melvin wants us to believe that "we're spending more money, not less" on education.
Mr. Melvin then proceeds to say, "Scaring people by misleading them produces diminishing returns as people gradually become aware of this strategy." If the rest of his essay is examined under the lens of critical thinking rather than fear, what he wrote would be exposed as a farce. So, let us do just that.
Mr. Melvin hints at some unholy alliance between the Arizona Education Association and Planned Parenthood. Ignoring the wide range of preventative health care services provided by Planned Parenthood, Mr. Melvin distills the role of this organization to "abortion providers." He warns parents that they should be suspicious about any information from their public schools because it "is written with a political agenda in mind." He advises parents it will be "disguised as being 'in the best interests of the children.'"
Citing the ever-popular right-wing bogeyman, the liberal, Mr. Melvin claims that "the education bureaucracy is largely a part and tool of the liberal Democrat Party."
I sincerely hope that the voters of Arizona will refuse to succumb to the fear that is generated by innuendo, distortion, and conspiracy theories.
Joan M. McKitis, Oro Valley