My View

By Don Sorchych | April 1, 2009

Don SorchychCave Creek elections • Carefree’s good old boys have hand picked their mayor

General Elections will be held on May 19, with early voting beginning April 16, which will decide the final council membership in Carefree and Cave Creek. Cave Creek elected uncontested Mayor Vincent Francia by a huge margin.

In Cave Creek, Ernie Bunch, Ralph Mozilo, Steve Lamar and Dick Esser were elected in the Primary leaving two seats to be decided in the General Election.

Councilwoman Grace Meeth and Challengers Reg Monochino and Shea Stanfield were at the bottom and failed to be in the runoff.

Challenger Adam Trenk, Councilman Thomas McGuire, Challenger Jim Bruce and Councilwoman Kim Brennan were to run for the two open seats, but Brennan withdrew, leaving the top three to run for two seats.

Sonoran News has supported both Bruce and McGuire throughout the election cycle and continues to believe they are far and away the best choices. McGuire has voted right 99 percent of the time and has knowledge gained by two terms as a councilman. His charitable work is continuous and his knowledge of the area is vast.

Jim Bruce has a vaunted background as an attorney. Bruce is retired and has served with distinction as a Planning Commission member. He has earned a seat and will be a contributing member of council.

We have opined against Adam Trenk. He has only been here a year. He is in law school. A native of New Jersey, he has brought eastern political savvy and methods to Cave Creek.
What is the first thing you do in Jersey to run for office? Get the union vote.

Union members, especially firemen, have been lionized in New York since 9/11. But that is not the norm. Locals get the benefit of the heroics of the 9/11 firemen.

A Phoenix Fire Captain once told me they were overpaid, over vacationed, over retired and underworked. Watching where fire trucks are parked for events and exercise is one clue here.

When I saw ads and brochures where Trenk bragged about being endorsed by Cave Creek firefighters, I called the Rural/Metro fire marshal and he referred me to a Carefree fireman named Ryan, who was the lead union guy. Ryan disputed my suggestion Trenk was too young saying he was only 26, himself.

He said he talked to firemen from all three shifts and they agreed with the choice of Trenk. I asked if they voted and he said no, but they hadn’t objected to the choice and that Trenk was the only candidate that sought their support.

Hardly a silent vote, is it?

He also said they liked the fact that Trenk was on the Cave Creek fire commitee. He denied my allegation that Trenk was in a conflict of interest situation because of his fire board membership.

Trenk strongly supported T.C Thorstenen’s attempt to commercialize the property behind defunct Hammerhead Jacks, not being aware of the two other attempts to do the same thing. The town offered to consider a development agreement which would have assured Thorstensen would build as he promised but he refused.

Trenk wanted and got the cowboy vote.

Trenk attended dark side forums even though their complaints, and all they do is complain, have typically been bogus.

Trenk is a politician, even at his young age while no opponent or sitting board member is a politician.

Vote for Jim Bruce and Thomas McGuire.

Carefree’s Old Boys have hand picked their mayor!

I got that headline from Candidate Susan Vanik, current president of Kiwanis, the haven for good old boy (GOB) PAC members.

Somehow she picked up an e-mail message from a council member who withdrew while saying, “Support Schwan, Gemmill and Vanik. After 20 plus years it is time for me to move on. Not sure who will be mayor but it will be either be Miller, Gemmill or Schwan, if elected.”
An e-mail circulated, which said in reference to the above; “I can’t believe these people are still trying to run things and foolish enough to put their intentions in writing.”

Then the e-mail continued, “Perhaps (it is) time for Sonoran News to publish (front page headlines) CAREFREE’S OLD BOYS HAVE HAND PICKED THEIR MAYOR or something equally flammable – above the fold-the editions before the ballots are mailed out. I am guessing (by the vote) the voters in Carefree are tired of the ‘ole boys …”

Vanik wrote on the bottom of the above e-mail, which she sent, “I hope this isn’t how you arrive at your headlines.”

Thanks Susan, but I liked it fine and why search when there is a good and true headline lying around?

The above is all about the shocking news in which Bob Coady was the top vote getter, followed by challenger Doug Stavoe and Councilman Glenn Miller. The remaining seven were in a runoff for the four seats.

Even more shocking, Mayor Fulcher, third from the bottom, Vice Mayor Lloyd Meyer fourth from the bottom and Councilman Greg Gardner sixth from the bottom withdrew! The GOBs decided to take their marbles and go home.

That left Challengers Peter Koteas and Susan Vanik, Councilmen Bob Gemmill and David Schwan. Four candidates for four seats and a majority for the GOBs, when Vanik is included.

Is their any doubt Vanik isn’t a GOB when she is president of Kiwanis, the king makers?

The only way to get a majority for decent candidates is to use write-in candidates and both John Traynor and Jim Peirce have already filed write-in papers. Write-ins can file until April 9.

We have strongly supported Peter Koteas and still do. Even if one write in candidate won, new people will control the town – a long overdue delight for the little town that was.
When you consider that the lowest (GOB) vote getters are on the ballot (Gemmill and Schwan along with a PAC choice from Kiwanis), another write in candidate would be exciting and extraordinary.

Glenn Miller would then be with a minority. No manipulated COINS, no hidden risks and healthy new thinking.

The attempt to get four-year terms was soundly defeated so let’s hope the vote is soundly affirmative for direct election of the mayor.