Petitions were filed Monday seeking the recall of three Oro Valley Town Council members after controversy over the purchase of the El Conquistador Country Club.

Oro Valley Citizens for Open Government wants to recall Lou Waters, the town’s vice mayor, and council members Mary Snider and Joe Hornat.

The group collected more than 3,000 signatures for each council member. The group needs 2,196 signature to force a recall election.

The group launched its recall effort after a referendum petition to put the town’s purchase of El Conquistador Country Club up for vote was rejected by the town clerk for having the wrong serial number written on the forms. The town plans to turn the country club into a community center.

The three council members, along with Mayor Satish Hiremath, are part of the majority who voted for the purchase.

Oro Valley closed on the purchase of the country club from Tucson-based HSL Properties for $1 million last week and will spend an estimated $5.5 million in renovations over five years.

The Town Council increased sales taxes in March by a half-cent to fund the project.

“People don’t like the taxes; people don’t like us buying a golf course that’s losing money; people don’t like that we have to compete with private business now, but I think the biggest issue is the transparency” said Ryan Hartung, a member of Oro Valley Citizens for Open Government, which spearheaded the effort to collect signatures.

Phone calls to Snider and Waters were not returned.

The Oro Valley Clerk’s Office has 10 days to certify the petitions. The petitions will then be forwarded to Pima County for signature verification. A recall election would be held Nov. 3, if sufficient signatures are verified.

The group continues to seek signatures for the recall of Hiremath. It has until June 26 to collect the minimum of 2,765 signatures.

Hartung said Monday that he plans to run for Oro Valley Town Council if there is a recall election.

Hannah Palaniuk is a University of Arizona journalism student who is an apprentice at the Star. Contact her at