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‘Tis the season in wonderful Oro Valley

Mayor Joe Winfield with Town Seal

It has been six weeks now since the newly elected councilmembers and I were sworn into office to represent and serve the residents of Oro Valley. In that short time that I have been your Mayor, I have learned a great deal and enjoyed connecting with our residents. I have developed a new appreciation for the dedicated people who live, volunteer and work in our town. Each of you help make our community a special place.

December 19, 2018

This time of year, as we reflect on things we are grateful for, we also share appreciation and recognition for much of the work that has been done throughout the year. Let me share with you some of what I have seen in Oro Valley.

At our first Town Council meeting, 29 residents were present to receive their Oro Valley Community Academy graduation certificate. They attended multiple classes to learn more about the workings of town government. The academy is a springboard for more in-depth involvement and service in our community. Many graduates seek opportunities to serve on town boards and commissions, or volunteer in other ways. To all those residents who have committed time to learning more about their community, I express my appreciation and admiration.

Just last week we recognized our volunteers at a celebration. Did you know there are about 250 volunteers who donate thousands of hours of their time each year to ensure that Oro Valley is a community of excellence? And this volunteer count only includes those residents volunteering in official, town-sponsored programs, such as our boards, commissions, public safety and office volunteers. The number of residents serving our community goes up dramatically when we take into account the service given across the Oro Valley area. While not a part of the official Town volunteer programs, groups such as the Friends of the Library, the Oro Valley Historical Society, Parent Teacher Associations, CDO Little League and other youth sports, Interfaith Community Services and Sonoran Desert Mountain Bicyclists—to name just a few—are equally vital to the quality of life we enjoy. It would be impossible to tabulate their volunteer hours, but their dedication and service is acknowledged and appreciated. To each of you, I say thank you for contributing to our community!

In addition to those residents who volunteer their time, we are also served by many dedicated staff members. In late November, I had the opportunity to join town employees for the annual employee service awards, where significant milestones are celebrated, such as five years of service, 10 years, 15 and so on. We even celebrated some employees who have been here for 30 years! It was an impressive reminder of the scope of experience and talent we have serving our community.

You may find it interesting to know how many years of service we have in our town government. As of this moment, Town of Oro Valley employees have a total of 3,643 years of service. That is not career long service, that is service right here in Oro Valley. Our employees not only have outstanding skills and expertise; they also strive to understand and know our community and the collective values and priorities of our residents. I am grateful for their service and dedication.

As your mayor, I am elected to represent residents, set policy and provide direction along with the Town Council. Yet, it is our town staff and community volunteers who provide these services to residents and help make the community’s vision a reality. We could not do it without them, and we are grateful for their service.

When you live in a wonderful place like Oro Valley, there are so many things to be thankful for during the holidays. I wish to express gratitude to the volunteers and town staff who work to provide service to our community.  I am also thankful to you, our residents, for being involved in making Oro Valley the wonderful town it is.

I wish each our citizens the happiest of holidays. I am confident 2019 will be a great year for Oro Valley, and I am glad to join you for the journey.

By Mayor Joe Winfield   - Explorer Newspaper, 12/19/18