If the truth be known

Issues of Oro Valley Town Council discussed by Dr. Harry Mo GreeneI respect everyone’s opinion, but I prefer to look at the facts before I make a decision to make sure that I am looking out for the residents of OV.  If I see that the information being distributed is incorrect, I will try to correct the record and try to get accurate information to the community so that they are aware of the information I am using for my decisions.

Case in point, information on the Community Center and golf courses;

The community center was closed much of April due to the COVID-19 virus.  In March the fund was positive $478,709, erasing a $17,223 starting deficit, then the closure and the suspension of the membership fees.  The Center was hit by the pandemic as were all the businesses in the town so to imply that the Center is losing money on its own, is a little misleading.  My hope that since the Center has broad support from the community it will return to operating in the black as it was before the pandemic.

As for the golf course operations, the pandemic has had an effect on play.  Statics cited in a local blog refer to rounds played based at a nearby course on an 8-minute tee time interval (max. capacity 9450) vs. a 12-minute interval (max. capacity 6300) enacted at the Town courses to help keep golfers safe during the pandemic.  Considering the concern for public safety and the mandates imposed by the Mayor and government officials, I feel the decision to keep residents safe during the pandemic was wise.

As for golf members (“all 260 of them”), that number reflects memberships of which there are 372 members and during April, only 36 holes were open, the Pusch Ridge course was closed due to the COVID.

I feel people have a right to their opinion, but not their own facts.  I also question the use of misleading information, whether intentional or not, to the good residents of Oro Valley.

Dr. Harry “Mo” Greene

Mo’s Position Statements:  

 

Public Safety

I fully support our Public Safety agencies who, through their dedication to the community, have given Oro Valley the designation as one of the safest communities in Arizona.  I am committed to working with Chief Kara Riley and the Golder Ranch Fire District to keep Oro Valley safe for everyone in the community. I am committed to working with Chief Riley to implement a program I helped develop in conjunction with the Massachusetts Medical Society to curb domestic violence. 

Pension Fund                                                                                                                

The unfunded liability for this fund is of concern but with the guidance of the State and our close attention during our budgeting process will ensure that this issue will be managed in a very effective manner to meet our obligation to those who have served our community.  It is my intention to monitor the Town’s current plan to fully fund the PSPRS by the year 2036.  I support reviews and necessary adjustments based on input from the fund managers and Town staff, who have indicated the fund is in good shape, in lieu of actions based on emotion.

Oro Valley Village Center

The Town is facing the same issues that we see nationally in the transition of retail sales from brick and mortar to online purchases.  However, Oro Valley has a commercially zoned pad in the Oro Valley Marketplace that is ideal for redevelopment into an alternative center for entertainment, retail, dining, hotel, and additional living space. How this happens will take the willingness of the public, Town, and the owner to work together.  Successful completion of this Oro Valley Village Center will mean a significant positive impact on the Town’s financial sustainability well into the future and preclude the need for additional taxes. The Town is anticipating more than 25 new companies as well as a veterinary school that will open this fall.  A key issue will be working with Town staff and ADOT in addressing traffic concerns in the immediate area.

Annexation

I support managed growth based on the Town’s current Master Plan, first. I recognize growth is inevitable.  The Town is at near 85% build-out and will soon be faced with the decision of growth or no growth.  I will support a full review of options and input thru public hearings from the citizens. While I support managed growth with resident input, it must be transparent.  I agree we need to maintain our natural beauty and desert spaces while growing the Town in a way that supports families and businesses. 

Preserve Vistoso

I support working with Preserve Vistoso to resolve the issue of the golf course closure. Residents have lost property values because of the closure and the current conditions of the property. Additionally, the fact that there are no Town park facilities north of Tangerine is a major issue that needs to be addressed as the course of action is determined.

The Town was receiving revenue from the treated wastewater use and we need to restore some of the revenues to avoid negative impacts on the other users.  We need to review the Parks and Recreation Needs Assessment to see what the area needs are and how we can utilize the subject property to enhance recreational uses for all of Oro Valley.  We need to be assured that the Needs Assessment provides a balance of park facilities throughout Oro Valley.   As a Town Council member, I will seek to obtain local and state grants to assist in any transition of the lands.  We need to come together as a community to seek a “win-win”.

Community Center and 36 Holes

I support the Community Center, its existing programs, and propose that we look at expanding new programs for seniors and the youth of Oro Valley.  I feel the Community Center is a regional resource.  New programs supporting public health for the elderly, creative arts programs as well as youth programs would be a priority for me.  I will support a “space allocation study” at the Center before any improvements are undertaken.

The reduction to 36 holes allows the Town to market Oro Valley as a golf destination which brings in tourist tax revenue to support our community.  My emphasis is to work with other council members to fund the needed ADA improvements and address the parking issue in a fiscally responsible way.

Parks and Recreation

I support the effort to review the Town’s needs through the current “planyourparksov.com”.  The inventory of our current infrastructure along with an analysis of the current and future needs of the Town will set the tone for our future.  I have felt the prior approach of spending money on the park and recreational facilities without a needs assessment was not fiscally responsible to the residents.  I strongly endorse the Town’s obligation to ensure our cultural activities are not forgotten and that the Steam Pump Ranch is preserved and further developed to make it a valuable asset to the Town. I recognize that the next task, funding, will be a challenge.  However, as a council member, I support decisions based on needs and facts rather than emotions.