Letters to the editor published in the December 9, 2009, edition of The Explorer.
In OV, halt growth of unnecessary government
The avalanche of letters both pro and con regarding the Oro Valley Town Council action for a study the OV Police Department are very emotionally charged and also very entertaining.
If one ignores the ridiculous, like comparing Los Angeles to Oro Valley and OV Police do the job we won't (hello, they are paid to be policemen!) a citizen should analyze the facts.
The facts are the town council has a mandate from the voters to run our town in the most efficient manner and to study their operations. It is their responsibility to then make any and all changes to ensure the same is justified. A $100K price tag for the study, in this economy, is however questionable.
What really are transparent in this whole issue are the OV police union's position and the crux of the problem. The union immediately jumps to the conclusion "this is just a way to justify staff reductions."
I can understand why the union is defensive. The OV Police Department is bloated with over-staffing as the result of years of the current and former councils' inability to "just say no" to budget growth. Kudos to Chief Sharp, who has, as any good bureaucrat does, built his empire on taxpayer dollars.
Sure, Oro Valley is a safe place to live and I am thankful for that. But consider why six motorcycle police hide in the foliage along major thoroughfares, several unmarked OV Police units roam our town and multiple OV Police units respond to Grandmother Jones being pulled over on Oracle for a non-functioning taillight. The reason is clear to me. The OV Police don't have much to do and there are too many of them doing that.
As a former councilman in another town (I was temporary insane) I know the bully tactics of police unions and bureaucrats cry of "this is for public safety and will save lives."
I urge the Oro Valley Town Council to "man up" (apology to Salette) and address this issue with both objective and subjective judgment. Oro Valley residents do not want any town employees to be eliminated. We want the growth of unnecessary government to stop.
Jim Spencer, Oro Valley
Where was God in essay about Thanksgiving?
While your "We Say" editorial on "Happy Thanksgiving" in the Nov. 25 Explorer says a lot of good things, it's sad to find that your apparent desire for political correctness precludes your mentioning even once (!) the name of God in your entire essay. Pathetic!
To whom are we to give thanks on this Thanksgiving Day?
As President Lincoln, in his 1863 Thanksgiving proclamation, reviewed the blessings that our nation enjoyed even in the midst of the Civil War, he said, "No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy…" and urged the nation to "solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledge" these mercies as from "our beneficent Father who dwellth in the Heavens."
Good advice…unfortunately not followed by the Explorer.
Rudolph M. Rabe, Tucson
OV could raise 'permanent base amount' of budget
The issue of home rule is obviously an important fiscal issue which all residents of the Town of Oro Valley should be interested in. Patrick McNamara gives accurate information on the effects on Oro Valley spending of not passing a home rule ballot initiative this next year, 2010.
Many Oro Valley residents are busy earning a living for their families and are most likely not closely following fiscal issues of the town until they appear on the ballot. Then they get only the picture which has emerged as a "consensus" from those who more actively participate. Many times this consensus comes from a minority of the voting public.
The Town of Oro Valley could ask for the voters to approve an increase in the "permanent base amount" the "spending cap" is currently pegged to by formula. The town could put several "base amounts" on the ballot reflecting various levels of Town spending. Arizona statutes do not limit the town to how many increases appear on the ballot.
This would give the people opportunity well prior to a vote to express opinions on the way their government is spending their money. The process could begin well before any voting would take place allowing for adequate discussion of citizens concerns and input.
"Tea Party" citizens comprised of Democrats, Independents, and Republicans are good examples of those wishing to be more involved in their government, and want to have their voices heard. While the article was accurate, it would have been nice for the alternative information to be presented. Even if all the presentation of the alternatives accomplished was alerting the citizenry to the alternatives available to them and to an increased local political process participation.
Kenneth W Gareau, Oro Valley
Help the least among us, but don't toss baby
Apparently the Pastryk (Voices, Nov. 25) faction of the Democratic Party, of which she is Legislative District 26 secretary, demand the destruction of the weakest among us in their continuing effort to marginalize life in its most innocent and uncorrupted form.
The hypocritical, amoral, myopic view of these Easy Bake Oven eugenicists who conclude, "Bringing a defective child into the world is not an acceptable choice for many parents who opt to abort and start over," is ghoulish. How horrifyingly convenient. Oooops, defective, try again. This is the problem with much of Pelosi's HR3962, and Reid's HR3590 is much worse.
Who are these screeching Pelosi-Reid acolytes, like Pastryk and Love, who demand the government, "promote (subsidize) health care for every citizen?"(Voices, Nov. 25) They are the same duplicitous power junkies bugling for "social justice," all the while calling for the destruction of the lives they deem unsuitable. Is that health care for all?
Abortion and euthanasia are anathema to anyone of moral and ethical conviction. Pastryk and Love need to avail themselves the opportunity to study our Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Federalist Papers, and diaries of our founders. They and many others will find a strong Christian foundation to our laws, though none require a religious affiliation.
The First Amendment makes no demands to freedom from religion as Pastryk would have it.
Oregon state's government insurance plan has recently informed numerous cancer patients that they will no longer receive their cancer treatment due to their doctor's less than optimistic prognosis, but hey, the state will pick up the tab for the government sponsored suicide drugs. Are these patients "full-blown citizens," Ms. Pastryk? Should we "promote (subsidize)," state assisted (read forced) suicide, Mr. Love? Will Oregon be the model for the government option in HR3692/HR3590?
Let's clear the obstacles to allow the purchase of health insurance across state borders, and enact tort reform to relieve the suffocating burden of ludicrous lawsuits. We can help the least among us, but don't throw the baby out with the bath water.
Keith Smith, Oro Valley
Northwest Fire taxpayers need sand out of eyes
You found getting accurate information about Northwest Fire District and Golder Ranch Fire District rushing into a bizarre elopement difficult?
That's a NWFD trademark. Its entrenched culture of entitlement excuses them from adhering to the rules of the real world as they tax and spend.
Praise the GRFD board for voting 5-0 to not consider consolidation or any marriage in protecting their taxpayers.
When the two fire boards met Dec. 4 at Hilton El Conquistador talking consolidation, NW Fire Chief Jeff Piechura played blushing bridesmaid but didn't discount consideration for being GRFD new chief? All because he and GRFD retiring chief, John Fink, exchanged comments in a parking lot two weeks prior? Piechura said they should reconsider blending districts from a new angle, with GRFD taking over NWFD. That afternoon two board members from each district met, and this debacle began.
Piechura's give-away of the district betrayed employees, taxpayers and three members of his board. Chairman Richard Nassi, with Lee Mellor, vice chair, decided NW board majority should be informed at Nov. 30 meeting? Do you think?
NW board never has a clue what this rogue chief and other administrators are doing. But they never gave direction to the chief to give away the district and throw them under the bus. There is no public record of a quorum giving him dictator powers to sell us out.
Piechura's long list of arrogant leadership exhibits include infamous 19 cent tax he promised, in 2000, to sunset in two years, repaying county treasurer for covering $1M in warrants. The tax is still there.
NWFD taxpayers need to get the sand out of their eyes. They need to confront the NW board to be responsible adults as elected officials and get control of administration and costs, or resign — or be recalled? There should be consequences.
This is a wake-up call to just what out of control bureaucrat run government is capable.
Mary C. Schuh, Pima County
What's the real reason for OV police study?
After reading with great interest the article "Council asks for study of police department" in The Explorer, I couldn't help but wonder the real reason behind this study.
The article states that the police department is 50 percent of the town budget; my first thought was … is that all? How many people move to Oro Valley because of the parks, or the library or because of the town council … few if none. How many people move to Oro Valley even though they work on the east side of town with a long drive and no direct routes … a lot , myself included.
Why do we move to Oro Valley? We live here large in part because of the police department and the safety and comfort knowing we can walk any street in Oro Valley anytime and not fear harm. Can that be said of all of Tucson or many other parts of the country? I think not.
I'm all for a study if it's for the right reason. I'm sure what will be found is that Oro Valley has a great police force with great leadership that is the envy of any town or city. What I'm against is spending hard-earned tax money, reserved or not, on a study because council members have a problem with the chief or other police officers.
If you want to do a study, why don't you spend our tax money researching the results that came from other cities and towns that cut headcount on their police force?
Some may feel that the OVPD is draining the budget. Me, I look at them as a cash cow. Think about it, if Oro Valley becomes unsafe and unattractive to raise a family, how many people and businesses will be calling Oro Valley home and how will the tax base be affected?
I urge, no beg the Oro Valley Town Council and leaders to spend our money wisely and for the right reasons, and I beg The Explorer to find and report on the real reason for this study. I for one respect admire and appreciate the OVPD and I pray that the council will not weaken the force, drive people away and create yet another crime ridden city/town in America.
Mike Spiva, Oro Valley
Higher taxes in OV should make everyone quiver
It is interesting to read the articles that address the police department of Oro Valley. I would like to focus on something much more important.
We each have something that greatly affects us daily. During a recent trip to an established business in Oro Valley, I noticed that the tax rate is 2 percent higher than that of the same establishment outside of Oro Valley.
Why are the taxes 2 percent higher? Perhaps I am ignorant, but the tax rate in the City of Tucson, which is part of Pima County, is 6 percent. Does it take 2 percent more revenue to run the town of Oro Valley?
It's absolutely astounding to read of budget cuts and the request for volunteers to assist Oro Valley resources. Our taxes are higher, yet it appears that leadership of Oro Valley cannot manage the town of Oro Valley with 2 percent higher taxes. This should make everyone quiver. I wonder if this is part of a "grand experiment" for the taxes of everyone in Pima County and perhaps the state of Arizona taxed at 8 percent? This fiasco makes the 1 percent "temporary tax proposal" of Jan Brewer appear as a "piece of cake."
Was this done secretly behind a closed door? Was the general public given an opportunity to vote? Who is accountable for this higher rate? Is each citizen to be held accountable?
There has been much focus on our national deficit, spending and uncontrolled budget. It seems that Oro Valley may be the national leader in irresponsible financial management and leadership.
I personally challenge any elected official in the town of Oro Valley to justify the motivation for the 8 percent tax. Evidently the tax revenue is not enough to manage the resources in Oro Valley. Why? Others can manage with a 6 percent tax rate. Why can't we? I suppose that there will be a tax increase to 9 percent or 10 percent for the shortcomings of leadership. I can hardly wait. Anyone game for a cup of tea?
Bob Black, Oro Valley
It's not about religion; abortion an issue of rights
I take issue with Ms. Pastryk's letter re: The sell-out re: abortion.
She tries to frame the debate as a religious issue. It is not. It is an issue of human rights which was addressed in the Declaration of Independence ratified on July 4, 1776. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men (mankind) are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
There is no provision in the Declaration for disposing of a defective child into the world. If you follow Ms. Pastryk's logic, it is easy to go directly to other "defective" people such as disabled people. This was the logic of Nazi Germany. Do not say it couldn't happen here because it definitely could.
We would all do well to study the Declaration and the Constitution. The Supreme Court chief justice in 1973 declared Roe vs. Wade a decision of "raw judicial power." Dangerous.
One more thing for Ms. Pastryk that shows the weakness of her argument is that there are non-religious people supporting life.
Patricia A. Lien, Oro Valley