The Mayor you don’t know:
I can always tell when an election is upon us. First the signs…..Signs everywhere promoting their candidate. I always notice the chatter of patients in my office engaged in conversation about the candidates. Is seems a recent trend these days has turned to discussing more of the “dirt” of the other candidate rather than the merits of one’s own. Although I am not a resident of Oro Valley I can no longer sit idly by and watch a good man get torn down by some of the political nonsense I have seen and heard. For over 20 years I have know Dr. Satish Hiremath as a friend. This is what I have observed over that time.
Dr. Satish Hiremath is the most selfless, kind, and caring human being that I have ever met and to watch him being publicly trashed sickens me. This is a man who came to a community 28 years ago and went to all of the senior care facilities in and around Oro Valley and asked their staff for a list of residents who had no one visiting for the holidays. There were over 60 seniors the first year that were going to be alone. He asked the staff at these facilities to provide a customized list for each one of the residents as to what they needed for Christmas. The list included haircuts, postage, books, toiletries and warm clothes to give you an idea. Satish then goes out and not only buys these items, but he also hires hairstylists and manicurists to provide services to the senior residents. The incredible thing is that he did this anonymously. He and his dental staff gift wrapped all of the presents and when they dropped them off to the staff at each facility, they were instructed that if a resident asked who the gifts and services came from, they were to respond “Santa Claus”. Six years later, there was not a single senior resident at these facilities that didn’t have someone coming or caring for them at Christmas.
This is also the same man who for almost fifteen years has provided free back-to-school dental exams for any child kindergarten-12th grade. Completely free. And do you know why he does this? Because he wants to instill a sense of responsibility and caring in kids so that when they grow up and spread out all over the country that they know that they can, and should, make a difference in their own communities for no other reason than it’s the right thing to do.
In addition, he has provided over $250,000 a year of free dental work to those who can’t afford it for both adults and children. For those who probably think at this point that he is “rich”, let me assure you that he is not. He lives a very modest lifestyle. He gives back way more than he takes in.
Other examples of his kindness and caring selflessly? He is the title sponsor of the Oro Valley Holiday Parade for over 10 years now. When the Town decided not to fund the parade he stepped up and made sure that the parade would continue for the residents to enjoy. He donated the Children’s room in the Oro Valley public library, contributed to many organizations and sponsored many events since moving to Oro Valley over 28 years ago. Again, he does these things for no other reason than it’s the right thing to do.
The last thing that people probably don’t know about him is that he donates his Mayor’s salary back to the town. When some of his colleagues on the current council told the town manager to stop using taxpayer money for things such as buying a cake for milestone celebrations like birthdays and anniversaries, and for things like condolence cards and flowers during tragedies that have happened to town staff and their families, your Mayor, without hesitation, told the Town Manager to redirect his salary towards a fund that could be drawn from for those things that would show compassion and/or increase the morale of town staff. He in essence works as your Mayor for free. All of this while caring for a family and working as a full time dentist.
The list of things that Dr. Satish Hiremath has done showing his kindness, compassion, caring and generosity goes on and on. I have heard from people that if their friends and family come in town for a visit and they have a dental emergency, he gets them out of pain (even if it’s after hours) and doesn’t charge them so that they can enjoy their time down here without a toothache. I have seen him visit residents in hospitals to keep them company and attend funerals for people who aren’t even patients of his practice. He goes to children’s events because parents ask him to be there to become part of a proud moment in their children’s lives.
If anyone sits down and just talks to him, you can’t help but leave a better individual after having met him. I would be willing to bet that people who have formed a negative opinion of him have never really sat down and had any kind of an in depth conversation with him yet they say negative things about him in the media as if they know him.
Oro Valley is very fortunate that Dr. Satish Hiremath is their Mayor. Why he continues to endure this nonsense is well beyond my ability to comprehend. The next time you see a nasty sign about him or hear anything bad about him, think twice before just accepting what they say as fact. Odds are that they have an ulterior motive. Politics is a very dirty game. Don’t fall for it. I am quite sure that he is going to be upset with me when he sees this letter because he doesn’t like the limelight about publicizing all of the good he has done because he does them for no other reason than it’s just the right thing to do. I can assure you that I am not the only one who can share a story of kindness, compassion and caring provided by him. Those stories are the real Mayor that you don’t know.
Dr. Eric Lane
Serving Tucson since 1993