Letters to the editor published in the March 31, 2010, edition of The Explorer.
Dragging us through gates of perdition
Constituent services and support of local initiatives are important, as a recent letter writer has pointed out, and no one doubts that Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her staff do an excellent job in this regard.
However, she votes with Nancy Pelosi and the Democrat leadership 92 percent of the time, according to a recent analysis by the Arizona Republic. This includes support for out-of-control government spending that has driven the national debt to astronomical levels and placed this country on the same path to financial collapse now facing Greece.
Rep. Giffords postures as a fiscally conservative "blue dog" Democrat, but this image doesn't hold up when her big-government voting record is scrutinized.
Yes, local issues are important, but they fade into obscurity when compared with the monstrous problems we face nationally. We need a congressional representative who understands this.
George W. Bush took us to the gates of perdition and Barack Obama, Giffords, and the Congressional majority are now threatening to drag us through.
Robert Key, Tucson
Make donation, and make up for override defeat
I just received a mailing from the Oro Valley Community Foundation urging citizens of the Amphitheater School District to take local control of funding our community's schools. I urge everyone to respond positively to this campaign.
I voted "yes" to both of the recent budget overrides and was heartbroken when the capital override failed by such a close margin. As a resident of Oro Valley and a teacher in one of the older schools in the district, I know first-hand the desperate need for upgraded technology resources. I challenge everyone who voted "yes" to both measures to determine what it would have cost you for the tax increase and donate that amount to the Oro Valley Community Foundation (www.orovalleycf.org) or directly to the Amphi Foundation (www.amphi.com). In fact, if you can, please consider doubling the amount to make up for everyone who voted "no" to the measure. This will be even better than the tax because you will be able to claim the amount on your taxes as a charitable donation instead.
Joanna Myhr-Arrison, Oro Valley
School presence at Founders Day was sorely missed
I had the distinct privilege to attend the 33rd Annual Marana Founders Day on Saturday, March 20.
I marched in the first parade when the Town of Marana incorporated in 1977 and attended many parades when I lived in the area. The town honored Mrs. Georgia Acker, a citizen that has supported the community since 1966 in many areas.
The event itself was well planned and offered people of all ages fine food and activities. It did strike me strange that there was not one parade entry from the Marana Unified School District. The only band that performed was from the Pusch Ridge Academy.
I understand that the event was planned during the district's spring break, but it was unfortunate that only children that participated were in other community entities such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, FFA, 4-H and church groups.
The community was missing a very integral piece of its future on this day, and was sorely missed.
Kristen Rex, Dewey, Az.
Candidate says he has the time to be Oro valley's next mayor
My opponent has raised the question about whether I have the time to serve as mayor of Oro Valley. Let me assure you that I do. Oro Valley operates with a full time town manager and a staff that is recognized for its professionalism.
I understand that serving as your mayor will require a sufficient amount of my time and attention. That is why I modified my private work schedule last July, in preparation to run for mayor and ultimately to serve as mayor. Likewise, I understand the role of mayor and the difference between non-issues that amount to petty distractions and the real work that lies ahead.
Having been nominated for mayor in the March 9 primary election, I am putting my attention on a successful campaign to be elected on May 18. It is imperative that this election be about electing a competent individual with sound judgment and the appropriate management skills.
My campaign is about providing competent leadership that will orchestrate a stable transition and that will address challenging issues in the present time and throughout the term of office. I am asking for your support and your vote, that will give me the responsibility and the accountability that is required of the position and that you have a right to expect.
I believe that my reputation as a consensus builder, who is committed to the Town of Oro Valley, will bode well for our future. I am accustomed to community service, and I am prepared to devote the time and the attention it will take to serve you well.
Dr. Satish Hiremath, Oro Valley
Thanks, sen. Melvin, for thinking outside the state's spending box
Thank you Sen. Al Melvin for thinking "outside the box" for ways to use our taxpayer funds more wisely than the quick and easy approach of just raising taxes.
Using inmate labor to work on school grounds is not a bad idea at all. It is undoubtedly costing the Arizona taxpayer more money to house, feed and provide medical care to our prison population than it would be to send a law-abiding student to our state universities.
As far as spending more money on education, this country has repeatedly spent billions of dollars on education and there appears to be no end nor any demonstrable improvement. Instead, we need to look very closely on how our educational dollars are being spent.
Everyone knows that governmental organizations do not operate cost effectively. Just look at how our federal government operates with a total lack of respect for our hard-earned tax dollars. We need to pay our teachers well, look for ways to incent schools that demonstrate excellence in education (there are proven successful school programs with benchmarks that have worked in the U.S.).
Lastly, parents also need to take responsibility to ensure their child does his/her homework, attends classes, and behaves. It is not all up to the teacher.
Michael D. St. Angelo, Oro Valley
OV in need of pro-business leadership
Oro Valley residents need the facts, not falsehoods.
The current anti-business voting "block" on town council has hurt our reputation and financial stability. We need change and now. Mary Snider's a good beginning, but we need to elect pro-business candidates to protect our interests above their own.
Comments have been made that need correcting:
First, the chamber is not funded by the town. Its job is to advocate for businesses —because someone needs to.
They have shown the financial benefits for funding TREO and MTCVB. Both organizations have a record of bringing business into the community, even though some continue to argue against the facts. They hope voters won't question them.
Second, Dr. Satish Hiremath, business owner, sets his own time, hired another dentist to assist him in his practice and has modified his schedule to accommodate the time needed to be mayor. Let's remember, Loomis worked full time, Barry Gillaspie and Bill Garner both work full time, Mr. Zinkin works two part-time jobs (refereeing and Jim Click) so why the misdirection?
The comments that a person is only qualified to serve if you've gone through the Citizen Planning Institute is ridiculous. Current council members haven't, so why Satish? In fact, the course content is under revision; though it's useful, it's not meaty enough to be a pre-requisite. We need people that look at all the facts, research information and make rational decisions to get us back on solid footing.
We need people that will stop micromanaging town staff and start leading them to get us back on track. We need to build our economic engines; help our businesses build their sales tax revenues, encourage tourism and bring businesses with quality jobs to our region. Revenues we can expand and control.
Finally, I applaud the voters that made their voices heard in the primary election and I hope you vote May 18. Let the town of Oro Valley know you demand change. Not continued fear mongering that exists today.
Melanie Larson, Oro Valley
Hiremath now gives of his time for the community
This is being written in response to Geri Ottoboni's letter about Dr. Hiremath not having enough time to become mayor of Oro Valley.
I'm guessing she has never actually spoken to Dr. Hiremath. If she had, she would have discovered that Dr. Hiremath's involvement in our community is very hands on and includes a significant amount of his time already.
He was president of the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance (formerly known as GOVAC) for four of the last five years. This organization alone required an inordinate amount of his time in helping it to shape the entity it is today, a successful non-profit dedicated to a diverse array of activities for the betterment of citizens everywhere.
Dr. Hiremath has been the title sponsor for the Oro Valley Holiday Parade for the last four years (five years running), and is committed to be the title sponsor going forward. He is a member of the parade committee, being very hands on with the logistics and getting people to participate so the parade remains a continued success. I know this because I chair the committee.
In fact, he creates the time for things he believes to be very important for the community. We should all be very thankful that a successful businessman, father of four, and a respected community leader is actually taking the time to make a difference. So the next time you want to write anything about Dr. Hiremath … please pick up the phone and call him. Maybe you will be very surprised at how dedicated he is to our community while making significant sacrifices.
I urge all Oro Valley voters to consider the candidates' "full body of work" and ask themselves who would be the better mayor: a person who has spent an entire career as an involved, independent businessman and respected community leader with actual accomplishments, or someone who has simply tried to create a resume over a short period of time to give that impression.
For me, the choice of Satish Hiremath for Oro Valley is quite clear.
Jackie Devery, Oro Valley
Who are these 'evil rich' two are demonizing?
Just who are the evil rich that Kathy Pastryk and Dave Safier demonize week after week as people without compassion who don't pay enough taxes to keep this great country rolling? I'm keeping my eye out for them.
Are the rich those top 25 percent of earners who pay 86 percent of federal income taxes? Those who frequent restaurants to keep waiters, waitresses, bartenders, chefs and bus boys employed? Those who patronize drycleaners, gyms, hair and nail salons, home improvement and grocery stores?
Are they the merciless doctors and veterinarians who treat the spectrum of maladies, all the while paying through the nose for malpractice insurance and med school student loans? Are they the evil pharmacists who deal out drugs to the sick? Are they the snowbirds who visit Tucson when their primary home is under snow in other parts of the country? Are the rich my newlywed friends who recently graduated from college and make a decent salary, but have a bundle of student loans strapped to their backs? Or are the evil rich my other friends who are a teacher and policeman whose combined salaries reach six figures?
I've seen rich people donate their time, finances, and resources to charities. (Gasp!) They are people who help fill the community food bank shelves. They are those who help build churches, coach Little League, lead Boy Scout troops, care for their aged parents, volunteer time in their children's classrooms, and help their neighbors. I've even seen rich people serve in the military.
Those rich misanthropes must stop and pay more taxes!
When Pastryk and Safier demonize "the rich," they're not scorning Oprah, Soros, Sean Penn. They affront you and me, the middle class, who work hard to earn every penny we make.
We struggle to keep the freedom to share our earnings with our families, friends and charities. However, I'm learning that the only way to get in good with the Libs is to turn over our earnings to the government. So, you out there, turn off your iPhone, sign off Facebook, your wealth is being redistributed.
Misti Chivaluksna-Smith, Oro Valley