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OV residents have questions; the town is providing answers

January 27, 2015

As public interest grows in the Town’s acquisition of the El Conquistador Country Club for conversion into a community and recreation center, staff has been working diligently to answer questions from residents. Below is a second round of frequently-asked questions (FAQs).

The first round of FAQs, as well as more information on this project, is available on the Town’s website at www.orovalleyaz.gov.

When did the idea to purchase the property first come up? 
Although the specific executive session materials are confidential by state law, the idea was first discussed with all seven Town Council members in an executive session on June 18, 2014.  Two more executive sessions were held on the matter, in which all seven members were present: October 15, 2014 and December 3, 2014.

Why didn’t the Town Clerk assist the referendum committee with their petitions and/or provide advice on the process?
The obligation of the Town Clerk under Arizona law is to provide a petition and petition number when requested. When the petition is returned with voter signatures, the Clerk is obligated to make a neutral review of the petition to evaluate its completeness according to the standards of state statute. The Town Clerk cannot maintain neutrality if she gives legal advice. In fact, courts have found that even where a clerk gave assistance in good faith, the clerk could be subject to a lawsuit for violation of civil rights. (See Galassini v. Town of Fountain Hills, U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona.)

Can Town Council refer this item to a vote themselves?
No.  An Arizona Supreme Court case called City of Scottsdale versus Superior Court specifically forbids the Town Council from referring the item to a ballot.

Did the Town consider buying just the country club building and not the golf courses?
The Town did inquire about the possibility of purchasing the El Conquistador Country Club facility without the golf courses; however, the building and amenities operate as one unit and are only being sold together.

Has the Town considered selling the golf courses after the sale is complete?
The Town has not considered selling the golf courses at this time. With the Town’s financial projections, planned capital improvements and Troon Golf managing the courses, we are confident the facility will break even and possibly turn a slight profit in year four. Additionally, the golf courses will be assets for our community, as there are currently no municipal courses in the Town of Oro Valley.

Does the half-cent sales tax impact purchases like groceries and fuel?
No. The half-cent sales tax increase does not apply to groceries or gasoline. The estimated impact is $5.85 per household per month.

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