The Cave Creek elections: Home Rule, the General Plan and the candidates

steve lamar

There is a great deal at stake for Cave Creek residents in the upcoming election that may have been overshadowed by the high drama of the national politic scene.

First and foremost is the issue of Home Rule that will come before the voters again this fall. A good friend and former Councilman Jim Bruce, who is now the President of the Cave Creek Library Board, pointed out to me this morning at breakfast that probably 75% of Cave Creek residents are not aware that Home Rule is on the ballot and what it means. What is home rule? Home rule allows us to govern ourselves as a town. Since our incorporation in 1986 the citizens of this town have nearly unanimously supported Home Rule. They understand Cave Creek is unique, we want to govern ourselves, elect our representatives, shape our future and make our own priorities for our home town. If Home Rule is voted down we are essentially giving control of our town to the State Legislature and subjecting ourselves to spending limitations that would insure the Town of Cave Creek would cease to exist except as a suburb of Phoenix or Scottsdale. For the first time in the history of this town a candidate for our Town Council, John Vanucci is urging you to help him and his slate of disaffected candidates destroy Cave Creek by opposing Home rule and your right to have a say in Cave Creek’s future. So if you love Cave Creek and you believe your vote for the future of your community should be counted; Vote Yes for Home Rule.

In 1986 I was on the first planning commission that helped write the first general plan for Cave Creek. Since that time there have been various amendments to that plan, but the core values have remained the same, and have been instrumental in guiding the development of Cave Creek in a way that honored our open space, our low density residential neighborhoods and provided for a sound economic engine that allows us to meet the challenges of financing services in a low density community and create a sustainable tax base. Most importantly it honors and calls us to preserve our beautiful Sonoran Foothills, the setting for our community which makes our town special and supports our residential and commercial property values. Without our general plan the town is literally up for grabs.

The general plan doesn’t cover every issue facing the community; that is not its purpose. For instance we should find a way to connect the west side with the east side of town. Folks shouldn’t have to drive to Carefree Highway to get to the library. How and where that is accomplished is still a matter of hot debate and should be addressed and studied in good faith. When there is a real consensus for how and where that can be accomplished, it should be included as an amendment to the general plan. Don’t reject our general plan. It has served us well for thirty years.

Many of my friends and neighbors have called and emailed asking my advice about the Candidates for Mayor and Council in this election given that your Mayor and Vice Mayor (Vincent Francia and I), as well as long time Councilman Dick Esser are not running. Here is my take on the candidates, having no personal interest in this election other than an abiding love of Cave Creek.

Ernie Bunch in my view is the only rational choice for Mayor. His opponents are either one issue candidates or in the case of Anna Marsolo, a clear and present danger to the future of Cave Creek.

In the Council race I support David Smith, Ron Sova, Susan Clancy, and Tom McGuire. Some of the Council candidates I simply don’t know. But Wright, Jenson, Vanucci, and front and center recalled councilman Monachino in my view, need to be in the clear and present danger to the community category with Marsolo.

I any event, get the facts and then be a part of this great democracy, and vote.