The following is a letter to the Mayor and Council written by Oro Valley resident and Village 19 HOA President Ed Slentz.
Mayor Winfield, Vice Mayor Barrett, Council members Nicolson, Jones-Ivy, Pina, Solomon, and Rodman,
I have reviewed the agenda and attachments for the upcoming October 2nd meeting. The analysis completed by Mary Jacobs and staff clearly shows that 36 holes of golf is a viable endeavor and productive asset for the town of Oro Valley and should be maintained.
Mayor Winfield and Vice Mayor Barrett, you have now received over the course of 3-4 months, much more complete and accurate information than you had when you ran for office espousing golf course closure and/or partial closure. You have learned about significant negative impact to the town, businesses and citizens of Oro Valley should you choose a path other than 36 holes of golf. You have witnessed massive turnouts at council meetings as well as other meetings in support of 36 holes of golf. Yet with all this new information, you both continue to exert all your energies to coerce other council members and to convince the citizens (and I think frankly yourselves) that 36 holes of golf is bad for the city of Oro Valley. This almost takes the appearance of being petty, vindictive and perhaps mostly prideful – not willing to admit that with new information your previous understanding(s) were not exactly correct and that maintaining 36 holes of golf is a very plausible and even correct decision from both a cost standpoint and to preclude millions of dollars in lost property values and sales tax dollars within Oro Valley.
It’s a shame that all of the hundreds of man-hours expended by city personnel and numerous outside citizens groups could not (under your direction Mayor Winfield and Vice Mayor Barrett), have been channeled to improving golf course financials and seeing how to keep a $45M asset viable and productive as possible for the town of Oro Valley. You both continue to ignore all data presented to you and look for ways to make it NOT work.
What makes this approach so egregious, is that you do not use the same approach with other town amenities that are being massively tax subsidized (i.e parks and aquatic center). When it comes to golf, you conveniently forget that town amenities do not have to be cash positive “cost centers”.
Mayor Winfield and Vice Mayor Barrett, you still have a large contingency of followers that continue to expound that the 36 holes of golf utilizes 75% of the Parks and Recreations budget. You still have followers that are quoting that $2.5 million dollars is being used to pay for only 241 golf members. You know this to be incorrect yet you have not publicly and forcibly disputed these figures. That is both deceitful and dishonest. Perhaps again, personal pride has become the issue here and not the facts. How sad and disappointing.
I strongly urge you to support and accept the analysis/recommendations as outlined in the memorandum to Council attached to the October 2nd agenda that “staff” has worked so hard to complete. It’s the right thing to do. Don’t hesitate to ask for help. Engage the community groups in helping make the golf courses a viable community attraction for Oro Valley residents, non-Oro Valley residents, tourists and snow birds! WORK HARD TO MAKE IT WORK – not destroy it !!
Village 19 HOA President