All truth passes through three stages: First it is ridiculed, second it is violently opposed and third it is accepted as being self-evident.
When I first announced my candidacy for Mayor of Cave Creek, the insiders mocked my ideas to make Cave Creek a better community. When I put forth initiatives such as a Fire Prevention Ordinance and Town Emergency Response Plan social media caught fire with vicious comments and implied threats. When I suggested the town’s budget was out of control and challenged six-figure salaries and the four-day work week the attacks intensified. After a nearly doubling of the town’s budget to $37.7-million endorsed by Mayor Ernie Bunch and two destructive wildfires within a two-week period, the solutions I have proposed have become self-evident.
Time for transparency
Ernie Bunch has recently stated “There has never been as much information available to our residents as there is now.” He is wrong. At every council meeting the council chambers are basically empty. Why? Cave Creek residents are not properly informed about what is going on in our town. I will return transparency to our town government by, among other efforts:
· Posting the town’s checkbook registry of all checks written and paid on every council agenda
· Enforce all reporting requirements of town staff contained in our Town Code
As your Mayor, I will provide regular updates to Cave Creek’s only hometown newspaper, Sonoran News, to be published monthly in an ongoing effort to keep Cave Creek residents informed and to seek resident input on important issues we all face. Also, my goal will be to encourage all council members to vote based on feedback and input from the residents we have been elected to represent.
Put the town’s budget on a diet
The Town of Cave Creek’s 2021 budget is bloated and out of control! The council just unanimously passed a whopping $37.7 million dollar budget, a budget more than double the 2016 budget of $16 million. And, it contains Mayor Bunch’s pet projects including the exorbitant staff salaries (Town Manager $170,000 plus fringe benefits, Town Marshal $176,000) and a 4-day work week. This budget is not sustainable. My goal will be to bring fiscal responsibility back to town government that would include eliminating pork-belly projects, a return to a five-day work week and possible reductions-in-force (RIF).
Vote No on Home Rule – Prop. 433
One sure way to control spending is to vote NO on Home Rule (Prop 433). A NO vote will allow the residents of Cave Creek to control spending. Let your voice be heard and stop the out-of-control squandering by our town. A NO vote limits the town’s spending to a $11.4-million instead of the approved $37.7-million in 2021.
Fire prevention and rapid response
I recently authored and submitted a letter to the editor of Sonoran News which was published July 1, 2020. I emphasized the need for a Town Emergency Response Plan designed to communicate continuing current information on the status of any emergency to all of our residents. The two recent fires in Cave Creek dramatically revealed that there was no leadership from our town as there was no disaster plan in place. The evacuation orders were arbitrary and inaccurate. Astonishingly, our Town Planning Director issued the evacuation orders. Where was the Mayor, our Town Manager or the Town Marshal? The town did not provide any assistance to those affected by the fires with the only help in removing animals and residents coming from our residents. I fully intend to follow through with the immediate implementation of the Town Emergency Response Plan.
Cave Creek Road is not a parking lot
Bike Week must be run intelligently, abiding by all laws with no lane closures. Our council recently enacted an ordinance to allow the Biker Bars to fill their parking lots with vendors, pushing all motorcycle parking out onto our streets. I will take immediate action to rescind that ordinance. I will also revise the town’s Special Event Permit to only allow, under any circumstance, each business, organization or group one 4-day Town Core event each year.
Is our water safe?
Our town recently installed a Pall filtration system to ensure the quality of our water with the removal of dangerous bacteria (TOCA). However, to date there has been no information from the town on the operational status of the filtration units and whether they are working to effectively reduce TOCA in our water. The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) ordered the town to utilize a Water Advisory Committee (WAC) to assist with water issues facing the town. But our town government has systematically and continuously refused to allow the WAC to perform its obligations to advise the town on water issues. I will immediately begin to use the WAC as intended by the ACC.
Every day I am thankful I might have the opportunity to be mayor of the Greatest Little Town on earth. As complex and diverse as it is, this little town called Cave Creek binds us together in community and friendship. It is our home.
It is time to protect Cave Creek from the onslaught of mismanagement and hidden agendas. I would appreciate your support.
Candidate for Mayor of Cave Creek