Posts Tagged ‘Explorer’

5th February
2009
written by Arizona Kid
Dave Perry, the new editor of the Explorer is a new comer to our region but he’s sizing things up pretty well. He knows his market, his readers and his advertisers. The Explorer realizes that without attention paid to all three it’s tough to earn a living in the print newspaper business. Just ask Kimble over at the Citizen. Their catering to the liberal no growth, environment above all else, not in my back yard crowd has drove the advertisers away and locked our community in a death spiral that may be tough to come out of.

The Explorer could step into a vacuum by becoming a right to center publication that discusses things like economic development, reducing government and pointing out that growth may actually be a good thing for a community.   How about expanding the Explorer through the foothills and Tanque Verde valley?  Just look at the Republican voter rolls and distribute your paper in those neighborhoods.  We have private sector jobs, send our kids to charter or private schools, love the environment but within reason, believe government should get out of most of the things they are in and most importantly SPEND MONEY with your advertisers. Kudos to Dave, keep up the great work! 

Enough to make you twitch

 

By Dave Perry, The Explorer
Published:
February-04-2009
Information about Oro Valley government, its finances, its budget, its future, its legal agreements and more is flying about so quickly that consumers begin to twitch.
Recognizing The Explorer is not the end-all of information — let’s not take ourselves too seriously — consider these reports about Oro Valley:
• In a time of housing malaise, Oro Valley is raising its residential and commercial development review fees by multiple fold. Town appointed and elected officials claim fiscal responsibility and cost recovery; builders say “ouch.” Given the level of anticipated construction activity in the short term, those review fees won’t make much difference in the town’s revenue stream. Builders won’t be building much … or they’ll look elsewhere. There’s a proposal in Tucson to waive some construction-related fees for a year, to encourage activity. A tale of two cities?
• Oro Valley is looking at a decline in revenue for the next fiscal year, to the tune of $4.2 million. Thankfully, for decision-makers and residents alike, Oro Valley has alternatives — use some of its reserve funds, raise taxes or cut spending. The utility tax comes up for council review in April. A fascinating decision awaits. Eliminate the tax, leave more money with residents, figure out another place to find money and/or cut spending? Raise the tax, as a way to overcome the projected shortfall? Just what, exactly?

• The town council decided, on a 6-1 vote, to halt payments on its economic development agreements, pending the ultimate resolution of a Phoenix case in the Arizona Supreme Court. The much-criticized EDAs may be in violation of the constitutional “gift clause,” as interpreted through the CityNorth case regarding Phoenix that has been decided by the Arizona Court of Appeals, city attorney Tobin Rosen has said.

Correctly, Oro Valley would place funds that would have gone to business interests in escrow, pending any highest-court resolution. Further, Mayor Paul Loomis, who voted against the Oro Valley Marketplace incentives, voted against suspension of EDA payments, too. Why? Premature suspension, Loomis argues, and it’s a good argument.

Soon, we would expect, the development interests in those agreements shall file legal claims against the Oro Valley decision. Why wouldn’t they — millions of dollars are at stake.

Incidentally, dear voters, in March 2006 you approved the Oro Valley Marketplace EDA.

• The Greater Oro Valley Arts Council fears town funds for the Fourth of July celebration are in limbo. GOVAC has put on its celebration for 10 years, and it has asked for $50,000 from the town to do it again. Town Manager David Andrews countered with $25,000. GOVAC has called its supporters to action.

It’s a fine celebration, certainly. It’s an expensive one, too. As government wrestles with fewer funds, it may have to curb its contribution to this celebration of America’s birth.

What’s it all mean? That’s the overriding, more difficult, extremely complicated question. Municipal funding is predicated upon growth, no property taxes for operation, state-distributed funds and sales tax revenue certain to decline in the short term. Hard choices must be made. Government cannot maintain its existing level of service without making those choices.

A step back, a breath caught, and a good conversation about what is important would all be merited.

 

 

 

 

 

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