Recall effort begins in Oro Valley over golf club purchase, sales tax

Published: Feb. 26, 2015 at 10:22 PM MST|Updated: Mar. 2, 2018 at 4:15 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The organization Oro Valley Citizens for Open Government (OVCOG) filed for petition numbers to recall the mayor and three council members who voted to buy El Conquistador Country Club and Golf Course.

"I'm somewhat a little disappointed, actually. I think to change the entire flavor of government, four people, over a disagreement as to whether this is a viable option just doesn't make a lot of sense to me," said Oro Valley Town Council member Joe Hornat.

"If the citizens of Oro Valley feel that I don't belong making decisions for the town, then that's what will happen. For me, I'm concerned more about the reputation of the town," said Oro Valley Town Council member Mary Snider.

The council approved buying the club four to three back in December for $1 million. They also narrowly approved a half-cent sales tax increase that kicks in Sunday to cover costs of improving the property.

An effort to take this decision and put it in front of the voters collected more than enough signatures in January. But the town clerk cited a wrong number used on the forms and rejected them, which is being appealed in court.

The council rejected delaying the sales tax last week, and the town is expected to take ownership of the club next month.

In the meantime, the recall effort focuses on Mayor Satish Hiremath and council members Lou Waters, Joe Hornat, and Mary Snider.

Councilmember Waters was out of state Thursday. Mayor Hiremath said that he welcomes citizens exercising their democratic right to recall.

"We will try to get more signatures, obviously, that are needed. Then we will start looking for qualified candidates to bring forward to replace those that we are looking to seek their ouster. But, yes, that is a chance you risk, but at this point we feel that our hand has been forced to do this," said OVCOG chair Ryan Hartung.

The collection of signatures starts next week. The effort to recall the mayor requires 2765 signatures, while each council member requires 2193. The forms are due June 26th.

The recall election would be in November.

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