I appreciate everyone getting involved because it’s important for our citizens to be involved in our local government.
Police and Public Safety
Very early on, I personally pushed to fix our police pension that was growing like a credit card at 7% a year. Oro Valley had ended up being $27 million underfunded, leaving a huge financial liability. With the recommendation of Stifel Consulting, our newly elected Budget and Finance Commission, and our Town CFO, we ended up using $10 million of our savings to secure a bond at historically low 2.4% interest. This is going to save our taxpayers $30 million over the next 20 years, while meeting all our public safety pension obligations.
This $30 million in savings affords us to give our police officers a raise. They are now the highest paid officers in Southern Arizona. As many police departments throughout the nation are struggling to recruit new officers, our officers have a fully funded pension and the highest pay in Southern Arizona. This will help in recruiting and retaining the best police force.
As many know, I live on the Conquistador Golf Course and that was one of the things we had to tackle the very first year we were in office. We changed operators from Troon to Indigo and we opened up all all the holes to public play. This is saving us millions of dollars. We used this extra cash flow to finance the golf course irrigation, build in Naranja park, tennis courts, and many more without any new taxes.
Yes, we did have a lot of Executive Sessions because we inherited a whole lot of complicated issues from the prior council in 2018. But what were the results from those Executive Sessions?
- We did several Executive Sessions on golf. There was a huge contract, and we saved $2 million per year on golf.
- We hired our wonderful police chief, Chief Kara Riley
- We preserved Vistoso from being developed.
- We hired Judge Hazel.
- We annexed Westward Look gaining $800,000 in tax revenue for Oro Valley residents.
So I want you to look at transparency. We are transparent, but when you do Executive Sessions, it’s regarding contracts, it’s for legal advice. It’s not talking behind closed doors against the citizens.