An Oro Valley man who challenged Satish Hiremath in last year’s mayoral race declared Friday his intention to run in November’s recall election.
“We’re at a point where it’s necessary to take an honest look at ourselves and the governance of the town,” Patrick Straney said. “The current leadership in the town of Oro Valley has been less than fully transparent.”
In last August’s mayoral election, Straney received roughly 32 percent of the vote, according to the Oro Valley Citizens for Open Government.
The group submitted recall signatures for Hiremath and three members of the Town Council on June 24. All four will be on the Nov. 3 ballot.
The recall process began after the council voted 4-3 in December to buy the El Conquistador Country Club and increase the sales tax to fund its upgrade to a community center. Hiremath and council members Joe Hornat, Mary Snider and Lou Waters all voted to approve the deal.
“They’ve committed the town to a financial requirement in going forward with the golf course and it wasn’t done in an open fashion,” Straney said. “When it comes to decisions like this, we need to gather input from the community.”
With more than 750 apartments going up along the scenic corridor of Oracle Road in a single calendar year, Straney said this type of rapid development has changed Oro Valley in terms of why people moved there in the first place.
“I’m supportive of development, but the general plan says it’s supposed to be a mix in terms of what type,” he said. “The leadership element of the town is interpreting the general plan more as a guideline, instead of resident’s recommendations for appropriate land use.”
Straney has served as president of the Rancho Vistoso Community Association board for the past six years. He has until Sept. 4 to gather the 221 signatures necessary to get on the November ballot.