Dear Editor:

We are asking Santa Rita Ranch 11 Home Owners Association Members in good standing if they would consider joining us as concerned HOA members. Our intent is to challenge the authority of the board of directors of this Home Owners Association in their decision to increase our home owner’s fees.

As you may be aware, the first increase in 2019 was approved by the only board member, after the Cadden property manager included the increase in the yearly budget. This increase was illegal in our opinion. The second fee increase was approved by three out of five appointed members of our HOA board of directors.

Our HOA has never had an elected board of directors. Board members have been appointed by other appointed board members. There may be questions about the vetting process used to appoint board members.

We believe that home owners should have been asked in a survey if they would agree to these increases. There are 301 homes in our HOA and there should be somewhere between 700 and 800 residents based on the size of families. Do you as a home owner believe that it was a good decision to have three unelected board members make this decision?

The board recently announced that they would be granting variances to residents that may need to park vehicles on our streets due to the covid pandemic. If there are concerns about resident’s that may be experiencing financial difficulties because of the pandemic, is this a good time for an increase in our fees? The board has plans to increase our HOA fees 20% for next year also. We are asking the board of directors to rescind the two fee increases at the next HOA yearly meeting.

If you would like to join our residents in stopping these increases, you may contact us at the below e-mail addresses.

Leroy B. Vaughn,
Cyrus Lasch,

Dear Editor:

I am sad to inform everyone that the garden land is now under contract. We just found this fact out yesterday and it is for full price as far as we know. It went under contract on February 10 so if this is a typical transaction, it will close in 30 days which puts us at moving out in as little as 2 weeks from now.
As most of you know, Greg and I are working long hours with our new food truck business, so I just haven’t had a lot of time to devote to finding very cheap or donated land and the landowners I have spoken with want too much for their land ($500,000 plus).

The requirements for the garden are: at least half an acre; low to no cost; water access; and on the Eastside near our existing garden if possible. We did have 1 person offer us a place to garden, way out in Vail, up a mountain off of a 2 mile dirt road, and another possibility was off of Wilmot and Sahuarita Rd. But both are way too far away for most of us. If its more than 20 minutes away, people aren’t going to go to the garden.

Another thought is that Greg and I purchase land. We can’t get a traditional loan at this point since Greg was laid off and we now don’t have a real ‘job’ to qualify us. So we are considering selling a rental we have in Picture Rocks. But we don’t want to trade an income producing property for just land that wouldn’t produce the same kind of income for us. So if we buy the property, it has to have a building on it that we can either rent to tenants or we can turn into a commercial kitchen for our business and then it will help produce income for our business so we wouldn’t be losing that income. If you know of any property like this, please let us know asap!

It will not be cheap to move everything. I did start a GoFundMe page for the garden but I haven’t had time to keep the buzz up about it so we only have $20 donated so far.

So here is what I think our options are at this point:
Find very cheap or donated property without a building in the next 2 weeks for the garden only.
Take a chance that the new owner will give us more time to move out but this could be tricky. Once he or she owns the land, we lose all rights and they could cause problems for our garden materials and sheds, etc. and we could face having to hire an attorney to try and stall their development if they start pulling up the fence, etc.
Find a place to move our garden materials to for temporary storage. We know someone who is giving us permission to store the 2 mobile minis and anything else we can fit on his property temporarily but we have a LOT of stuff and cannot possibly fit it all there.
Greg and I find property with a building we can use for both our business and the garden within the next 2 weeks if possible.
Have a garden/plant sale in the next 2 weekends for anything that we can part with now to lighten the load for moving. I’m thinking things like extra bricks, all those pots, one of the aluminum sheds, etc.
If we run out of time, auction off everything and turn the proceeds into another garden when we actually find a location.

I am keeping the faith though and trusting that God will help us figure out a good solution to this. Thank you everyone for all you do and your help and support in this difficult situation.


Elizabeth Warburton-Smith, Executive Director

Dear Editor,

In a recent trip to Tucson from Vail we were aghast at the stunning amount of trash on the sides of the highway. The sheer amount of trash is outrageous. The number of blown tires alone must be in the hundreds. In talking about why there is so much trash, we found it difficult to even come up with solutions for a clean-up simply because the amount of trash is so staggering. This is an embarrassment for Arizona. This is the gateway to Tucson. So who has the responsibility for this disgrace? I know we can be much, much better than this disgraceful trash heap along our highway. We need to hear from our elected officials on why this is so bad and potential solutions.

Catherine Kainer

Dear Editor:

I would like to comment on the beautiful story appeared in the column Alternative Perceptions last month where the editor wrote about her parents. I wanted it to be much, much longer (I especially enjoyed the part where her father buys perfumes for her mother–but he has no sense of smell!)–I hope that she will write additional stories to share. Thank you.

Faith Schild

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Lucretia Free