I have run a positive campaign about my vision and hope to help fulfill Oro Valley’s bright future. We have faced real challenges in my first four year term, but by listening to and working with residents much has been accomplished to help make our Town the best place to live in Arizona.
Unfortunately, my opponent has run a negative campaign citing intangibles like “lack of transparency”, “reckless spending”, and calling the expansion of Naranja Park for residents and guests our “pet project”.
I have previously chosen to ignore my opponent’s attacks, trusting in the wisdom of Oro Valley voters to see our accomplishments and judge for themselves who will be the best steward for their Town.
However, my opponent is sending residents negative mailings which are either misleading or outright false, which forces me to call him out. One of the more subtle ways to mislead others is to take a fact, then state that it means or implies something that is not true or misrepresents the real situation.
Below are several false and misleading statements from my opponent’s attack postcards:
“We are down 14 Officers from where we should be”
We have approved every police personnel budget request since 2018 under our current (Riley) and former (Sharp) OVPD chiefs. Period.
If we followed my opponent’s advice it would add $5M to Oro Valley’s Public Safety budget which today already funds more sworn officers per capita than Marana, Pima County, Tucson, and Sahuarita.
In this year’s FY 22/23 budget Chief Riley asked for 2 additional officers and 2 additional support staff which were approved by our Council. One of the support staff positions is currently filled by a sworn officer and Chief Riley has stated that in essence we will be adding 3 additional officers to our force.
“It took a recall to appoint our new police chief”
The failed recall attempt cited was initiated and quickly ended months after the search for our new police chief began.
We conducted a nationwide search for our new police chief to ensure the best choice and give credibility for the next police chief. Over 50 applicants applied, including three OVPD internal candidates. We successfully chose Chief Kara Riley, who has been twice named the Best Community Leader in Northwest Tucson by residents.
The failed recall was initiated by Tom Plantz, the chairman of the Keep Oro Valley Strong PAC that is sending out recent false attack mailers in support of our opponents. The organizer’s paperwork stated the reasoning was about concerns for the El Conquistador Golf Club.
“Oro Valley has accrued over $52 Million in debt”
When we took office in November 2018 the Town had $73M total in debt, and today it is $74M, at a lower interest expense.
Because of wise management and timely refinancing, we reduced Oro Valley’s annual debt payments by $1.8M, a 21% reduction, compared to what the Town paid annually in 2017.
Today our annual total debt payments, including principal and interest, are $6.6M, compared to $8.4M annually when we took office.
This includes the water department capital investments, police pension debt ($23M), Community Center building energy improvements, etc. Within our debt mix today we are funding needed Community Center tennis court and golf course repairs, expanding Naranja Park and increasing our multi-use path system without any increase in Town sales tax or proposing a property tax.
Also included in the Town’s current debt is a $17.6M bond at an ultra low 2.4% interest. This debt instrument was used to pay off the long-ignored unfunded police pension debt, saving the Town up to $30M in reduced future pension contributions helping to ensure the Town’s long term financial security. (Source: Oro Valley Finance department)
Oro Valley has the lowest per capita [$772] debt of any Pima County jurisdiction and less than half the per capita debt of nearby Marana [$1,877].
“They have gone from a surplus to a $14 million deficit”
Oro Valley ended FY 21/22 with $26M in our General Fund Reserve, twice the $13M required. The just approved FY 22/23 budget is balanced as are the budgets for the next four years through FY 26/27.
Again, my opponent has taken a fact and used it to mislead residents on the Town’s strong financial position. In fact, in June 2021 S&P Global Ratings upgraded Oro Valley‘s credit two levels to AA+, due to our very strong financial situation.
“Their reckless spending could lead to a 1st ever Oro Valley property tax.”
I am committed to NO Oro Valley property taxes. Period.
My opponent, as acting Town manager in concert with the Hiremath council, and Bill Rodman on the council, actually supported a $17M property tax [454 bond] in 2017 for a partial build out of Naranja Park. Voters overwhelmingly rejected the property tax. (Source: Explorer News, Oct. 10, 2017)
Further, when Sharp announced his campaign my opponent stated himself that an Oro Valley property tax may be required in the future to pay for Town services. (Source: Explorer News, June 23, 2021).
A final observation I would make is that my opponent is shown wearing an OVPD uniform when in fact he left OVPD in February 2020. This misrepresentation that he is an OVPD officer is a violation of town regulations.