OV recall not the way to run a town - The Explorer: Editorials

OV recall not the way to run a town

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Posted: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 3:00 am

An effort to recall Oro Valley Vice Mayor Mary Snider and Councilman Joe Hornat is an unfounded, undermining distraction that sends the wrong message to the business community, the Northern Pima County Chamber of Commerce board of directors believes.

Recall is a way for the public to remove elected officials who are not fit to serve. It’s not to be used because someone simply disagrees with decisions. Hornat and Snider have done nothing wrong.

If Oro Valley residents tried to recall council members Gillaspie or Garner or Waters, Hiremath and Solomon – let’s name them all – for political reasons, the chamber would likewise oppose the effort. It’s bad policy. Let the naysayers run their own candidates at the next election.

Remember, we just had an election, and Snider and Hornat were chosen by the majority. They’re newly seated, yet a small, vocal, always-annoyed minority wants to shackle them. They want to take power from the majority. That’s not right. And it sends a message of instability and turmoil to the business community. We can’t have business wondering what’s up in Oro Valley. Recall is not a way to run our town.

The chamber endorsed Snider and Hornat, and we stand behind them. They are reasonable, sensible people who have raised the professionalism of this council. They are pro-business, and they think and act with the best interests of Oro Valley and its citizens in mind.

This council faces an extremely difficult task. Oro Valley, less than 40 years young, is in unprecedented times. The community’s tax revenue structure, founded upon rising sales tax revenue and revenue from growth, is crumbling. Demand for services never fades. The current budget does reduce spending. The general fund is down $6.7 million, or 21 percent, in three years, and town government has cut 36 positions since 2008-2009. Is it enough? All governments contract at a slow pace. That’s frustrating to all … including the chamber, and the council.

The business community didn’t want a 2-percent increase in the utilities tax, but it may have been the least distasteful option. A sales tax increase? Property taxes? Not in this climate. Business wants to do its part to keep Oro Valley strong. The utilities tax increase to 4 percent puts Oro Valley on a level plane with Marana, and with other local governments. We can all live with it.

Terrific Oro Valley is on the edge of an exciting future. We have an incredible quality of life, outstanding infrastructure and public safety, and we don’t pay very much for it. Oro Valley’s employment base is the envy of nearly every community in this country. Why blemish the future with a recall?

We urge citizens not to sign petitions, and to let Mary Snider, Joe Hornat and the rest of the council do their work.

 

Dave Perry is president and CEO of the Northern Pima County Chamber of Commerce.

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