Stunningly beautiful landscapes, safe neighborhoods, businesses, streets and parks, and a wonderful blend of growing families, young professionals and playful empty-nesters. The town of Oro Valley is absolutely one of the best places to live - not just in Arizona, but in America! Since our founding 47 years ago, residents and town leaders have worked together to make it so. It is our responsibility to our founders and our residents to make what is good...great.
The pandemic has taught many lessons including how quickly and dramatically change can happen. So, as we move forward together, our leaders must do so with a clear vision, make wise decisions and stay focused on our priorities - all the while being flexible, agile and looking ahead, listening to residents and being transparent in making decisions.
I believe our top priorities are public safety, fiscal responsibility and economic development. I further believe that I have the vision, skillsets and the servant leadership mentality to achieve our goal of improving an already awesome community, reversing the debt we've assumed from our current town council majority, and doing so WITHOUT introducing a residential property tax!
Keep public safety #1 to remain Arizona’s safest community!
Strengthen our Community Policing Program
As the police department has grown over the past 47 years, Oro Valley continues to be recognized as the safest place to live, work and visit in Arizona. From three officers initially to over 100 officers to provide full police protection and related services, there have been many challenges that have been met and addressed. In doing so, the OVPD has maintained an outstanding reputation for providing for the safety of over 45,000 residents who call Oro Valley home today. For nearly two decades, Police Chief Danny Sharp built a strong police force including an innovative, successful Community Policing Program.
Maintain a balanced budget WITHOUT PROPERTY TAXES!
Invite, respect and honor our residents' priorities
Property taxes are the financial backbone of most local governments. Oro Valley is an exception. Local governments have the authority to levy property taxes on property owners within their locality in addition to what the homeowner already pays to a county or state. Governments use taxes to provide its citizens with various services, including schools, police, fire, road maintenance and many other services. So far, Oro Valley has avoided levying this tax on homeowners because of our sales tax, hotel occupancy tax, and building permit fees.
Thoughtful, managed growth must be encouraged, and a vibrant business environment supported and enabled, both ensuring the long-term, fiscal sustainability of the Town and the avoidance of property taxes. We must also develop a comprehensive infrastructure maintenance plan.
Town residents want a Council that balances the annual budget without placing the burden of property taxes on its residents.
Supercharge our Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy
Lead implementation of a strong Business Retention & Expansion program
When the residents of Oro Valley created and approved the 2016-2026 General Plan entitled “Your Voice, Our Future”, our residents acknowledged the need for long-term financial sustainability which would be enabled by a diverse and robust economy.
The General Plan set forth the foundation to guide and direct the community and economic development priorities of local government, which include:
Developing and sustaining a diverse and robust economy that supports long-term economic and financial stability in the community and avoids a local property tax.
Establishing economic development policies, strategies and programs that retain businesses and attract new investment to Oro Valley, thus supporting a wide range of services, including shopping, housing, high quality parks, natural open spaces, recreational amenities, arts and culture, and exceptional town services.
Promoting Oro Valley as an ideal destination for new economic activity ranging from advanced technology employers to new shopping and tourism attractions.
Supporting strategic annexations that are economically beneficial to the Town while enhancing the social, aesthetic and environmental quality of the community.
Being responsible environmental stewards so that the natural beauty around and within the Town is preserved for current residents and future generations. Generating economic vitality and new job creation for local residents and businesses.
We must ensure that Oro Valley remains committed to attracting and welcoming new residents and businesses. Further, Oro Valley has a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS). I will work closely with our Community & Economic Development Director and other organizations like Sun Corridor and the Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce to develop and implement our CEDS that will include a dynamic Business Retention & Expansion (BRE) program.
Increase revenue opportunities through wise growth
Require thorough and exceptional due diligence
Annexation is the process by which municipalities incorporate new territory into their municipal boundaries. Annexation has been an important tool for the Town of Oro Valley since its incorporation in 1974. As a result of Oro Valley’s 48 annexations since 1974, our community now encompasses approximately 36 square miles.
Some 13,000 adult workers who live in Oro Valley drive to another community to work. So, by continuing to annex commercially-viable nearby properties, this will help ensure that our residents will enjoy a wide range of new employment opportunities, services, and amenities such as housing, shopping, and dining.
Our town’s services are supported by construction sales tax.
Annexation brings additional revenue to our Town to include new sales tax collections, hotel occupancy tax, some shared state income such as state income tax, highway uses revenue, vehicle license tax and state sales tax. These additional revenues will ensure the continuation and funding of services such as smooth roads, public safety, new parks and recreation, etc.
There must be adequate due diligence, including timelines for development. Homes reduce taxes, generate far more revenues than costs and provide customers for businesses.
Some important questions come to mind:
How can we help retain our existing businesses and help them succeed?
What do we want from our elected and appointed officials regarding new businesses, industry and talent attraction?
Will future town councils truly support economic development and effectively work with the business community?
A Quiet No-Growth Moratorium currently exists with the Council majority. They are not friendly to the business community; not anxious to have new economic development. We must have responsible environmental stewards who support growth as well as the natural beauty of our geographic area.
Oro Valley needs elected leaders who are committed to bringing together the public and private sectors to ensure that Oro Valley delivers “business friendly” services.
Open doors that have been closed far too often
Return honesty & openness to our decision-making
In the last Town election, the incumbents were being attacked for their lack of transparency. Candidates Winfield and Barrett pledged that theirs would be the most transparent council ever in Oro Valley. However, far too many Council meetings have had executive sessions during the past 2 years.
There currently exists a major transparency issue within the 5 majority Council members. The mayor and four council members often work behind closed doors violating open meetings laws. More importantly, a culture of secretiveness has been fostered.
The new Council will engage with complete transparency when presenting opportunities and making decisions. They will return to a sense of community, rather than encouraging division between differing perspectives. Town residents need to be treated as partners, not adversaries.