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Push to recall Oro Valley mayor, vice mayor is 'over with'
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Push to recall Oro Valley mayor, vice mayor is 'over with'

Oro Valley Mayor Joe Winfield and Vice Mayor Melanie Barrett.

An effort to recall Oro Valley’s mayor and vice mayor is off after Oro Valley residents behind the initiative said they were satisfied with recent decisions by the Town Council, including the pick of an internal police chief candidate.

Resident Tom Plantz, who filed the application in October to begin circulating the recall petition of Mayor Joe Winfield and Vice Mayor Melanie Barrett, told the Arizona Daily Star on Tuesday that “it’s over with” and that the recall effort has “achieved its goals.”

“I think the mayor and council have moved positively in the right direction,” Plantz said. “I think the recall has achieved its purpose in promoting the betterment of Oro Valley.”

Winfield said in a prepared statement that he’ll “serve in the best interest of the community.”

“My commitment to the residents of Oro Valley is that I will strive to serve in the best interest of the community and I understand not everyone will be in agreement with every decision I make,” he said.

Plantz filed the application on Oct. 22, citing concerns that Barrett and Winfield’s policies would have an adverse effect on property values and town revenues. He had until Feb. 19 to turn in 3,952 signatures to initiate the recall for Winfield, and 3,668 for Barrett.

But since then, the Town Council has voted to move forward with improvements to the town’s two 18-hole golf courses, Conquistador and Cañada. They also made the pick of Oro Valley police commander Kara Riley as their preferred candidate for chief, and was set to officially appoint her on Wednesday, Feb. 5.

Plantz cited those two decisions as examples of “major issues that have been resolved.”

The recall effort similarly had the support of the nonprofit group Oro Valley Thrives, which provided volunteers to help collect signatures at tables set up around town.

But Jennifer LeFevre, director of Oro Valley Thrives, said Tuesday that the group would no longer participate in the recall and would focus on other issues to “keep Oro Valley a vibrant, thriving, fun community.”

She declined to say how many signatures were collected but added “it’s a moot point,” citing their satisfaction with the public safety and golf course decisions.

In a statement, Barrett said she feels good about the council's recent actions.

"I have remained committed to making the best decisions possible for Oro Valley and to serving my fellow citizens," she said. "My decisions were not influenced by any recall attempt, but were based on what would be in the best interests of the Town. I look forward to Oro Valley moving forward in a positive direction."

Contact reporter Justin Sayers at jsayers1@tucson.comor 573-4192. Twitter: @_JustinSayers. Facebook: JustinSSayers.

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