Now that Cave Creek has officially begun another election cycle, it would be advisable to update ourselves on the actual real Town issues and chronic Town problems.
This is a call to Arms. Since seldom are there more than a few of the 5,500 Cave Creek residence in attendance at Council meetings, it is incumbent upon Citizens to be familiar with pressing issues in the Town Governance. Otherwise, we are just “taking the word” from politicians, and as Mark Twain said about politicians, “No man’s life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session.”
We will cover a few issues of which every single citizen should be aware.
- Unsafe drinking Water? True.
- 30 Million Budget and what do we get?
- Illegal Council Meetings; Why OMLA violations Matter!
- Available Hours for residents; The Town works “for” the residents, and they should act like it.
So let’s look at a few of these issues. But First, as of last Monday’s deadline for Candidates turning in packets, it is the same old cast of Characters, most of them life long bureaucrats who love spending other people’s money. As Prime Minister Maggie Thatcher said, “Socialism is great until you run out of everyone else’s money.” All of the current council members are running, only one challenger, Ron Sova, yet another career bureaucrat, has filed a packet for a council seat after failing re-election last time. Former Council women Eileen Wright has filed to run for Mayor, challenging Ernie Bunch.
Last June, Dr. Kerry Smith, a Cave Creek resident with a PhD in Economics and world expert on water and environmental issues who recently retired as a senior professor at Arizona State, testified that test results of water sampled showed unacceptable levels of Trihalomethanes. Results from Dr. Smith for Trihalomethanes are: Carefree at 31.2 ppb, Buckeye at 7.51 ppb and the EPCOR system serving Paradise Valley at 5.90 ppb, Cave Creek’s reading for the same time period is 56.3 ppb (Dr. Smith’s report to Town Council June 3, 2019 with an update on June 17, 2019). For towns and cities in the US, this is considered a serious carcinogen, CA. Standard level is 0.8 for Trihalomethanes. While this can be a natural byproduct of the chlorination and water filtration process, the Town council totally downplayed Dr. Smith’s testimony. Bob Morris, who usually is a very grounded guy and chemical engineer actually made a statement he probably now regrets, “I used Town water in my coffee this morning, and it tasted just fine.” Really, Bob! Maybe someone ought to inform Bob that a Huge number of Americans and Europeans will not drink “tap water” and as such buy or filter their own drinking water. None the less, to disregard a world expert out of hand is shocking. City Council members did something very similar in Flint, Michigan and that did not end well for many of those Elected Officials. We will be posting a link on our Website and Facebook so each of you who care about your drinking water can go read the highly professional, written report which Dr. Smith attached to his formal presentation to Cave Creek Council last June! Incidentally, the “Written Report” has somehow been lost from the files at Cave Creek Town Hall. The Town, as they do best, spent $1 Million renting an auxillary portable filtration unit, but NO new Data of the monthly test results has been made available to verify or Not verify whether the costly system is removing carcinogens and other dangerous contaminants. Let’s see if these current Council members, now running again for a two year Term will come clean with forthright water quality test results!
Town of Cave Creek Annual Budget Increase of 50%
In December of 2019 each and every Council Member voted to enormously expand the Town’s Annual Budget by nearly 50%! This can only be translated into the fact that each Member who voted Yes believes in much bigger government.
This is for a government which already does NOT do its Job.
1. It does not enforce existing lighting ordinances.
2. It does not enforce the Priceless Native Habitat Ordinance. The Planning Director constantly allows Wall to Wall balding of Residential properties, see the 10 acre piece up near Honda Bow, west of Spur Cross. In fact, he and the Notorious Bob Vorhees, P and Z Chair, have vowed to push the repeal of the indispensable Native Habitat Ordinance. What a travesty! This is the ONLY Foundation that Prevents rural Cave Creek from looking like the worst of Bladed communities.
3. The Town Does Not enforce The Sound Ordinance, as evidenced by the out of control Bike Week and the Hotel air conditioners on the Northeast side.
4. The Town does not enforce a very clear Arizona Statute which makes it illegal to “block bike lanes for parking.” This is violated for ten straight days during Bike Week. The Town not only refuses to enforce it, but Grants a Permit to do so by Council vote in December (6-1).
5. Last December, the Town also passed a $2 Million dollar “Slush fund” (they call it a rainy day fund) to ensure that Bureaucrat employees receive their pay checks during an economic down turn. This is to protect the wages of many, many employees who don’t enforce the laws of their own Town.
With the Huge economic down turn caused by the Covid19 shut down, which one of these seven Town Council candidates have spoken up as a leader to initiate budget cut backs to reflect massive revenue reductions and dramatically scale back its overhead and expenses to cope with the Shutdown Governor Ducey ordered?
Why in the world would each of these Council Members vote for a Huge expansion of Town budget and government when it already doesn’t follow its own ordinances and laws in the first place?
Illegal Gatherings of Council
When inducted as a new Council Member, the State of Arizona requires each new member to attend educational classes to teach them how they are to conduct themselves to AVOID violations of the State’s Open Meetings Laws. AZ revised statue? The laws came about to prevent “secret, back door meetings” initially, which was a big problem in AZ just like Chicago. It is also to assure citizens that “Official business” is done only at gatherings in which advanced public notice has been given to the Citizens, who live in an open Republic and Democracy, and can participate. (Remember the old stories about “back rooms, where cigar smoking men first reached deals out of sight of the public, then in public”)?
So, at least three times in the last couple of months or so the town council has reportedly violated the States Open Meeting Statues, subjecting themselves to re-education or financial sanction.
The three open laws violation reportedly occurred at; Dark Skies, 2/24, General Plan Review, 3/9 and CC Planning and Zoning, 3/4. Again, State law requires that if more than three members, a quorum of the Council, are to appear at a location or a virtual transmission, then 72 hours “prior” to that meeting, the Town Government Must post a Notice of “possible Quorum.” That’s the law, and is a good one. It matters Not if the subject of the meeting is a popular meeting, or likable, it must be posted in advance. To create “favorite” meetings status as a reason to selectively violate the law is the spawning ground from cronyism and corruption.
The Town is Closed, Illegally
The Chief Executive of the State of Arizona is Governor Ducey. As such and under such Emergency Powers granted him by the Legislature, he can order and direct many things and activities.
What is certain is that Ducey is essentially President, if you will, over all Arizona political subdivisions and entities, like Towns, Cities and 15 counties of Arizona.
When Governor Ducey made his Proclamation in March and on April 2, he specifically Ordered and Decreed that Town and City Government Offices will remain “Open for Business” yet, the renegade Town of Cave Creek, which believes it reports to no one, CLOSED ITS DOORS TO THE RESIDENTS March 24 in complete contravention to the Governor’s Order. What the Heck are they Doing? No rule of Law in Cave Creek. Doors appeared to be locked all week; did they declare themselves yet more paid vacation time?
Related to this, is that Cave Creek still closes it doors three days out of seven to its residents. This started occurring under Mayor Francia and despite pleas on this Editorial page, they still remain closed on Fridays (despite their huge salaries and benefits as well). We believe they have an obligation to be open to the public as an essential public service. That they be open on Fridays. In fact, since Town employees are the servants to the citizens who pay them, how about if Cave Creek expand their service to be open 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every other Saturday to be available for those who work Downtown and need access on weekends?
Lastly, for this week, the notorious Bike Week is re-scheduled for Oct. 7-11 2020. Expect more chaos, too bad a nice event has to always turn in to a Wild West drunken brawl.