Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Extremely Low Voter, Primarily Partisan Turnout Gives Oro Valley Incumbents Win

34% of Oro Valley's 27,113 eligible voters set Oro Valley's leadership course through 2018 by reelecting Oro Valley's 4 incumbent officials to office. 

Voters elected incumbent Mayor Satish Hiremath over challenger Patrick Straney by a 61%-39% margin.

Incumbent Council Member's Hornat, Sniders and Waters outpolled challenger Don Bristow.  Bristow received 17% of votes cast.   His vote total trailed his closest competitor, Council Member Joe Hornat, by 1,900 votes.

We believe that the election result is the result of when the election was held and not because of any sweeping electorate mandate.

The election was remarkable in that voter turnout was exceptionally low.

Only 12% of Oro Valley's 12,769 poll eligible voters voted.  

Only 54% of those who received mail-in ballots bothered to vote.

In the 2010 Mayoral election, 14,766 votes were cast. In this election, 9,263 votes were cast.  That is a difference was 5,503 fewer votes cast.  That is astounding.

Republican voters controlled the election

The election was held coterminous with partisan primary elections as now required by law.

As LOVE had written previously, the requirement by the State that Oro Valley elections be held at such time virtually insured a low voter turnout and one that would be biased toward the town of Oro Valley's partisan voters, who are primarily Republican voters.  This change effectively locked out registered independents from voting since they had to make special effort to get ballots and since they were not in the habit of voting in partisan primaries.

Generally, unless there is some hotly contested partisan race, which there was not, partisan voter turnout is low.  There was a hotly contested race for congress district 1 on the republican side but no race on the democratic side:

We estimate that independents were 8% of the total votes cast.

There were 3,169 votes case for Mayor in Oro Valley's largest 2 largest voting districts (12 and 145).  Using votes cast for congress district 1 as a benchmark, we find that there were 2921 partisan (party related) votes cast in these 2 districts.  That means that only 248 votes were submitted with no party voting.  These are the independent registered voters. So, based on our estimate:

Votes cast by Republican registered voters:  58%
Votes cast by Democrat registered voters:    34%
Votes cast by Independent voters:                   8%

Full election results are available on the web site.

Tell us your reaction!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Election Special: Firefighers At Polls

Looks like the firefighters are at the Oro Valley polling locations. Here are some shots.

Some other blogger comments:

  • "Very slow morning. Some carrying individual mail in ballots to turn in
  • "...firefighters are Golder Ranch, and have already had a new one arrive and the first one leave."
  • " Nobody breaking any laws, but had been asked to tell someone if folks appeared to influence voters. There's a man in a service uniform (not army or Police, etc.) and a woman with a FFF firefighters? T-shirt outside the 75-foot limit waiting to meet and greet on behalf of Hiremath."

Engage The Elections On Twittter: #orvvotes

We've set up a Twitter hasthtag for those of you with Twitter accounts to regarding the Oro Valley elections. Just put @letorvexcel #orvvotes in your message. Post it. The "discover" [search] on @letorvexcel #orvvotes and, voila, you will see the conversation.


Heather's Corner: Today's Election Day. Moms, Be Sure You Vote!

What a Difference a Hundred Years Make: Why Not Voting would Dishonor the Sacrifices of Many

There is a humbling essay, which details the inspiring stories of the women's suffrage movement. And as election time is now upon us, it seemed appropriate to reflect, even pause with gratitude, for the fight fought by the women some 100 years ago to provide us the opportunity to vote. How trivial it seems to make it to the polls now. Maybe some of us won't even get there because of errands or carpool duty, a horrible bout of allergies or it's just plain too hot outside to stand in line. I implore you to invest a moment in some of these accounts and be reminded or spread the word of why voting is a privilege bestowed upon by our grandmothers and great-grandmothers that we should not take for granted.

In the spring of 1917, the National Women's Party began to picket the White House and the Capitol in order for the right to vote as part of a national campaign for a constitutional amendment for universal suffrage. Several months later, they were warned by the chief of police their protests would soon lead to arrests but they remained steadfast in their purpose, undeterred by the threat of consequence. I don't think any could have imagined what lie ahead.

Lucy Burns was wrongly arrested and convicted with 32 other women for 'obstructing sidewalk traffic,' while holding protest signs. One night, with the warden's blessing, 40 prison guards wielding clubs savagely beat the women. They chained Lucy's hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and barely alive.

For weeks in the prison, food for the women was infested with vermin and their only water was an open pail. This is picket leader, Alice Paul. When she decided to go on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair and forced liquid down her throat until she vomited. This torture went on for weeks.

There there is Helena Hill Weed, of Norwalk, Conn. Serving three-day sentence in D.C. prison for carrying banner, ‘Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.'

Stories like this were all to common during that period of revolt. Affidavits recount women protesters being dragged, beaten, choked, slammed, pinched, and kicked all in the name of obstinance so that you and I can vote today. To read more about the sacrifices of these women you can view the essay here.

Or better yet, take a few minutes out of your busy schedules this week to validate the courageous efforts of these women and vote. You do matter!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Decision Time Awaits Oro Valley Voters--"Some Final Considerations"

Tomorrow is election day. In just a few hours, Oro Valley voters will decide if they wish the direction of the Town Of Oro Valley to remain unchanged or if they wish Oro Valley to move in a different direction.

One vote for Pat Straney, Mayor, and one vote for Don Bristow, Council, will change Oro Valley's direction.  Voting for the 4 incumbents will keep Oro Valley on its current course.

Many of you reading this will have already voted by mail. Still, you will want to read this posting.

We offer the following analysis for those of you who have not yet voted by mail (and you need to do so now) or for those of you who plan to vote at the polls.

Public Safety Is Not An Issue.  Anyone who tells you otherwise is misinformed.  

Mayoral candidate Straney and council candidate Don Bristow have repeatedly said that they want a strong, effective Oro Valley police force. Straney and Bristow have said that they will provide oversight to the department as the council is required to do.

An Oro Valley Property Tax Is Not An Issue. Anyone who tells you otherwise is misinformed   

No candidate supports the creation of an Oro Valley property tax.  All candidates recognize that Oro Valley was founded on the basis that there would be no property tax.  Based on town financial projections, there is no future need for a property tax.  There is, as challenges Straney and Bristow have noted, a need to examine alternative sources of revenue because of the gigantic increase in spending by the Majority-4.

All Candidates Have Proven Leadership. Anyone who tells you otherwise is misinformed   

Pat Straney has demonstrated the management and the financial skills, both in the public and private sector, to be able to put a critical-eye to Oro Valley financial needs.  Together, he and Don Bristow bring a wealth of private sector experience to Oro Valley's council.

Only Pat Straney and Don Bristow can unite Oro Valley. Anyone who tells you otherwise is misinformed   

Oro Valley needs leaders who unite us, not divide us.  The Majority-4 have demonstrated that they are not interested in listening to all of us. They have marginalized Council Member Bill Garner's ideas for 4 years. Before that, they marginalized Council Member Barry Gillaspie's ideas. They actively tried to recall Council Member Zinkin. They are now trying to oust Council Member Burns. They are the great dividers.

The Majority-4 represent the interests of the police, the firefighers, the apartment-builders, the developers and the business interests. Anyone who tells you otherwise is misinformed   

The only special interest group that Pat Straney and Don Bristow represent are the people of Oro Valley. You are their only endorsement.

Pat Straney and Don Bristow will do the hard work of reaching conclusions based on facts and analysis, not based solely on staff recommendations and briefings. Anyone who tells you otherwise is misinformed   

Hard work is no stranger to Straney and Bristow.  Pat Straney does his homework as leader of the Rancho Vistoso HOA.  Don Bristow does his homework in his efforts to have Oro Valley actually enforce its ordinances.

The Majority-4 are on auto-pilot.  The only information they rely on is what they are told in town staff briefings.

Pat Straney and Don Bristow are committed to balancing the needs of all Oro Valley residents.  The Majority-4 have demonstrated that they are not interested in doing so.  Anyone who tells you otherwise is misinformed   

More than 25% or Oro Valley's citizens are over 65.  "According to the 2010 Census,  there were actually 37% more people over 65 (10,699) than 18 or under (7,888)" (Source).  Certainly, our seniors deserve attention.  Instead of balancing the needs of all citizens, the Majority-4 have focused primarily on the needs of the town's younger demographic.
  • We documented that the Majority-4 eliminated the Oro Valley recreation center, a center for adults, seniors and people of need.
  • We documented that the Majority-4 tried to kill Coyote Run, which provided transportation for the most needy in the community. 
  • We documented that the Majority-4 eliminated a Parkinsons Disease group exercise program only to have it reinstated once LOVE screamed of how wrong this was.
  • We documented that the Majority-4 have supported the young people in our community.  The refurbished aquatic center, which cost twice what it was supposed to cost, and new Naranja ball fields are primarily for our youngsters.  This is a good thing. In fact, the aquatic center was approved by all council members.
  • We discussed the lack of any Oro Valley commitment to historic preservation. This commitment has been non-existent for the past 4 years. Just take a look at the condition of Steam Pump Ranch: Dirty, dusty, tired, with a crumbling pump house.
The politics of "division" is never a good thing. The needs of the entire community must always be balanced. For goodness sake: Let's spread the "wealth." No one group should be forgotten.

Now, It's Up To You. Anyone who tells you otherwise is wrong!

Stay the same? Change Direction?

Please be sure to vote.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Stolen Straney and Bristow Signs Are A Sign Of Oro Valley Lawlessness

We wrote Friday that the political signs of candidates Pat Straney and Don Bristow are being stolen.  This is happening while the signs of the incumbents, located in the same areas, have not been touched.

We conclude that some incumbent candidate supporters are absolutely petrified at the thought that 2 of their candidates could they lose the election.

Pat and Don, running bootstrap campaigns, have found a way to combat the insanity:

Leave All Signs Alone!

Destroying a sign is insane. It is also a federal offense.

Pat and Don have filed complaints with the Oro Valley Police Department. Do you think they will ever hear back on their complaint?

Saturday, August 23, 2014

It's Not Too Late To Vote Your Vote-By-Mail Ballot!

Pima County Recorder F. Ann Rodriguez would like to remind Pima County voters that it’s not too late to vote your vote-by-mail ballot. All vote-by-mail ballots must be received by the Recorder’s office no later than 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 26, 2014.

Ms. Rodriguez encourages everyone who received a vote-by-mail ballot to vote it by dropping it off at ANY polling location on Election Day, August 26, 2014. You can also drop it off at any of the Recorder’s offices on Monday or at the Recorder’s main office at 115 N. Church Ave. on Election Day.

Anyone who received a vote-by-mail ballot but decides to vote at the polls on Election Day will be required to voter a provisional ballot instead. Ms. Rodriguez recommends that voters drop off their voted vote-by-mail ballots in order to avoid having to complete the paperwork for a provisional ballot.

If you have any questions about your vote-by-mail ballot or your polling location, you can call the Recorder’s office voter line at 520-724-4330.


Friday, August 22, 2014

Bits and Pieces

Straney and Bristow Signs Are Disappearing

This from council candidate Don Bristow: "During the past week, Pat Straney and my signs have been disappearing from both street and yard locations. We have also experienced damage to our signs. The signs of the incumbent candidates at the same street or in neighboring yard locations are not being disturbed. Please let Pat or me know if your yard sign has disappeared."

Arizona Daily Star Eliminates Northwest Section Print Edition

If you subscribe to the the Star, you may notice that it is lighter than usual. That is because it has eliminated the print edition Northwest section. We also notice that the last posting on its online Northwest section, which you can link to on the right panel of LOVE,  has no current information.

Are Oro Valley's Police Armed Better Than Our Troops?

You may have read this article describing how police in Fergusson Mo. are armed better than US troops in Iraq.

"Let me repeat that: the police in Ferguson have better armor and weaponry than my men and I did in the middle of a war. And Ferguson isn’t alone — police departments across the US are armed for war." ((Source)

We wonder if this comment applies to Oro Valley.
Mr. Mayor: Who Pays For These Pens?

Perhaps if you grace his highness, the Mayor, well enough you may be gifted on of these nifty pens.  We wonder why Oro Valley or its Mayor would need such an extravagance, regardless of what the cost.  Once again, the Mayor demonstrates his hubris.
Did You See The Rainbows?

With the monsoons come the rainbows. The one over the mountains.
Bill Adler Earns "Legacy Award"

Resident Bill Adler was award at the 2014 Legacy Award by the Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce on August 8:

"For years Bill has supported efforts to make Oro Valley the great community it is today. His long-term contribution has made and continues to make a difference in this place he loves."
(Source: Greater Oro Valley Chamber Of Commerce)
More "Smash" Break-ins At LA Fitness

Watch and read KGUN9's report on 6 smash and grab car break-ins at LA Fitness.  These have happened since April.  Best advice is to never leave anything of value in your car, regardless of where you park.
Dr. Hiremath's Mayoral Pen

One of our readers' sent us this picture of one of the pens identified with Oro Valley's Office Of The Mayor with his signature on them.  We thought you would like to see it.


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Is Oro Valley Mayor Hiremath "Losing It" As His Vendetta Against Burns Piques?

In late July, Mayor Hiremath sent an email (below) to Pima County Attorney Barbara Lawall.  In it he claims that:

"...there are town employees who have severe concerns about their safety given Councilmember Burns's increasing escalation of infractions of the law in addition to him having a military background." Also,  Hiremath asserts that " is a concern for me as well."

There are no complaints by town staff on file about Council Member Burns.  Nor has Council Member Burns ever demonstrated any action to Hiremath that should make Hiremath fearful.

Council Member Burns was in discussion with Town Attorney Rosen about residency requirements long before Mayor Hiremath chose to become involved.  The requirement that an elected official must live in their community is a state law the came into effect in July.  The only reason Burns was not a resident at that moment was that he had separated from his spouse.


Yes. Council MemberBurns was arrested on domestic charges.  Yes. he has to prove himself in court and if he's found guilty of a felony, then it will be difficult to support Burns behavior outside of the arena of politics.  Having said that, Burns is a council member who would go to bat for any Oro Valley citizen and we continue to support his professional role as a leader of our community until it's proven otherwise.

What is going on on the part of Mayor Hiremath is simple:

The Mayor is fixated on removing at least one of the minority from council.   He failed at removing Council Member Zinkin last winter in a recall attempt.  Now he wants Burns out.

The Mayor is out of control.

Frankly, we think that Hiremath is "losing it."

The following is the email and Council Member Burns's response to it:
From: Hiremath Satish
Subject: FWD: Article
Date: Wednesday, July 30,2014 10:31:28 AM 
The article that is being referred to below by Council member Brendan Burns is the letter I wrote to you regarding an investigation into residency rules and being an elected official. I am forwarding this to you because I feel that it should be incorporated as part of your investigation. There are other Town emails which reflect communication between Councilmember Brendan Burns and both of our town attorneys (Tobin Sidles and Kelly Schwab) regarding Councilmember Burns wanting to challenge their interpretation of what constitutes residency. 
An additional note to consider is that there are town employees who have severe concerns about their safety given Councilmember Burn'ss increasing escalation of infractions of the law in addition to him having a military background. Safety is also a very large concern for me as well. I would like to discuss this further with you in person or via phone. My cell phone number is .... Thank you for your attention on this very serious matter. 
Satish Hiremath
Mayor Oro Valley
Sent from my iPad
Burns responded that same day:
"So I assume you realize you are lying to the public about your leadership when you actively work to discredit and remove fellow council members. I cannot stand a man without integrity or honor. You sir, have neither."

Constituent Letter: Its Time For A New Mayor

The following letter was sent to the local advertising circular and the Arizona Daily Star. The local advertising circular published in on its Tuesday online edition.  We thought we'd publish it to insure greater Oro Valley coverage.
At the Greater Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce Candidate Forum, Mayor Hiremath, said:
“The expectation you should have of your mayor is that you want somebody who is honest, has integrity, is respectful, is responsible and cares for you.” However, his written and spoken comments over the last four years reveal that he is not that person.
This is a direct quote from an e-mail that the mayor sent Councilmember Garner on 4/18/14:
"Your comments were at best very rude, inconsiderate, tasteless, mean-spirited and beneath contempt".
Couple this with the mayor's tirade toward a senior staff member at the 10/16/13 council meeting when he wanted staff to do the council's job. He stated,
"This is a waste of my time!  You are paid professionals. I'm lightly hammering you over the head because I disagree.”
Were these remarks civil and respectful?

How about the mayor contacting the County Attorney regarding a councilmember's residency rather than going through the Town Attorney?

What about the mayor instructing the chief of police that he need not respond to a councilmember's e-mail? (9/11/12).

Public disagreement and disrespect at council meetings has become the norm. At the 6/3/14 council meeting, the mayor publicly chastised Councilmembers Burns, Garner, and Zinkin because he did not agree with their vote against the budget...a vote that was taken over a month prior.

As for the mayor’s honesty, at the Sun City Candidate Forum, he claimed that the
councilmembers not currently up for re-election were proposing a vote against Home Rule and
that they desire a property tax. These statements are completely untrue.

Is the mayor responsible? Despite his desire to have the police department report directly to
council, the mayor instructed staff not to include him in the distribution of the OVPD monthly overtime reports. Interestingly, the most recent report indicates that the OVPD spent $86,443.17 more than what the budget allocated. The mayor insists that these expenditures not be questioned.

The payment of overtime for hours scheduled rather than hours worked was approved by the mayor and the three incumbents, despite being told by staff that paying overtime in this fashion will cost the town, at a minimum, an additional $120,000.

Unquestioned spending is the norm. Town employees will get a minimum of a 5.5% raise in an economy where the average raise is 2%.[Ed note: This number is actually .5% (source)] This along with free health insurance, free dental insurance, free vision insurance, and now a free, on-site, health clinic were all approved without question. After all, as Mayor Hiremath says, "We don't want to get into the weeds."

Residents have been complaining about all the new apartments. The mayor's response is that "apartments are noted in the General Plan." However, every apartment complex now
underway on Oracle road required a re-zoning; a vote that was contrary to the established land use noted in the General Plan.

At a candidate forum on 7/24/14, the mayor said that, "civility, integrity, and teamwork are emotional words and political terms." Most people believe that these words represent values, not political rhetoric.

We need a mayor who will promote harmony, teamwork, and civility.

Our current mayor does just the opposite. He even had the audacity to state that if you do not agree with him, then you need to "consider your own judgment and sensibilities." (Explorer 12/27/13).

Mayor Hiremath's actions over the past four years have been neither responsible nor respectful, and show a complete lack of integrity. Do we desire this man to continue as our mayor? The choice is ours. Please join me in voting Pat Straney for Mayor of Oro Valley.

Art Segal
Oro Valley