Cave Creek – A welcome mat or speed trap

Cave Creek voters will soon have the opportunity to decide if the Town will continue to put out the welcome mat to tourists or create a revenue stream with punitive speed trap fines.  Tonight (5/7/18), Channel 15 ran a news story quoting Mayor Ernie Bunch as the initiator of speed trap strategy.  Based on the news story the Town is sending a letter to governmental agencies including MCSO requesting more tickets be issued to both Cave Creek residents and tourists.

As a 35-year resident of Cave Creek, this is not the first time I have seen the Town use law enforcement as “Go-Fund-Me” ruse.  At least twice before the Council tried the ticket tax, once using the Town Marshal (former) as the enforcer and another time tapping MCSO.  The end result of this aggressive enforcement was harassment and threats of physical violence to male high school age drivers, sexual harassment of female high school age drivers and one incident that I witnessed involved two MCSO deputies approaching a car with hands on weapons around noon-time.  The vehicle had Indiana plates and was occupied by a young couple with two very frightened small children in the back seat.  I doubt this couple or anyone they know will ever visit here again.  The Town’s previous speed-trap shenanigans were covered in local, statewide and national media and lead to an MCSO internal investigation.

Coincidently (or not) the Town of Carefree is considering similar actions after listening to a few busy-body retirees complain about those darn speeding horseless carriages at a recent council meeting.  In my opinion, this dragnet is more about increasing revenue for both Towns and not about speeding traffic leading to property damage or accidents.  On August 28th Cave Creek voters will have an opportunity to determine if the Cave Creek brand will be “speed-trap” or “Welcome Mat.”

John Hoeppner
Cave Creek