Open space issue could dominate next election

Kaolin Cummens
Kaolin Cummens

CAVE CREEK – Call to the public brought Judy Lewis to the podium to express her support for an ordinance that only allows fireworks in the town core.

Lathy Latham followed to echo her support and announce her horse, which was spooked by the fireworks and ran into a fence, is alive and doing well.

Kaolin Cummens, who previously expressed his opposition to the town reallocating tax revenue formerly designated toward open space to the general fund and water infrastructure, queried council about whether the existing $1.7 million or so already in the open space account would remain.

Councilman David Smith responded, “Whatever is in the fund now, stays.”

Cummens, a passionate supporter of open space, showed off a new, large, colorful tattoo on his forearm that read “Passion” as he warned council that a “new council can re-vote the damage you’ve done.”

The two general agenda items were brought forward by Councilwoman Eileen Wright, the first of which was to amend the town’s ordinance regarding explosives and fireworks.

Wright said, “On April 15 explosives were detonated in a rural neighborhood,” regarding the fireworks display on Tom Lehman’s property for his daughter’s wedding.

Eileen Wright
Eileen Wright

She said Lehman did not have permission from the town in writing as required by the ordinance and stated, “This is a big story.”

However, it appears council’s discussion during executive session may have revealed potential problems with other aspects of the ordinance and a motion was made to table the item.

The motion carried by a vote of 6-1, with Wright dissenting.

Wright introduced the second item, which was to instruct the town manager to appoint members of the Water Advisory Committee Kerry Smith and Robert Morris, “because they have volunteered their expertise,” to determine the fair market value of the Desert Hills Water System.

Councilwoman Susan Clancy’s motion to table the item carried by a vote of 6-1, with Wright dissenting.