Guest Editorial by George A. Ross
Smoke screen

September 16, 2009

george a rossA smoke screen is an obscuration; you know, a slight of hand. The metamorphosis of the anti Walmart group in Cave Creek makes the butterfly transformation pale by comparison.

The history is enlightening and disturbing. Step one was the insane statements, mostly by non Cave Creek residents, alluding to Walmart as a criminal magnet, an attraction of low class citizenry and “Simon Lagree” business practices, i.e. “slave labor.” This has been a union argument against Walmart – the very same union that has had a strong hand in the bankruptcy of “Bashas’.”

Now the transformation begins: first, non-resident, Anna Marsolo takes a resident by the hand and forms the PAC, “PRIZE,” leading the charge for a referendum opposing the General Plan Amendment, which would allow Walmart to build on the property they purchased.

Since Ms. Marsolo has extremely high negatives, in marches former council woman Grace Meeth in an attempt to rescue the situation. She, along with the husband of the former “PRIZE” chairwoman, reforms the PAC and assumes control of a new referendum opposing both the General Plan Amendment and the rezoning of the property owned by Walmart.
Morphing continues: “PRIZE” no longer opposes Walmart per se; magnanimously, they oppose only the General Plan Amendment and the rezoning. Meeth and company have the gall to tell Walmart, the most successful retailer in the world, where to build their store. “PRIZE” is now a self proclaimed marketing genius.

Of course, this flies in the face of reality. Chevron, CVS, Lowe’s, Home Depot and Fry’s are already developing the area.

Metamorphosis continues: “PRIZE,” now under the tutelage of Mr. Phillips and company, dump Meeth and at a Sunday Forum profess to support the town and state they do not dislike Walmart, just the location.

“PRIZE” then proceeds to show an anti Walmart propaganda film and throw a tirade against the town. How is that for mixed messages? It doesn’t matter; it is all a smoke screen. This is still the same group of “screeching” elitists who hate Walmart. Who is behind this transformation? How do you spell union? Just ask the “Bashas’” employees who are out of work.

It is now the soft approach. Do not be fooled. This group really wants Cave Creek to fail.
The referendum is costing Cave Creek $8,000-$10,000 to have the special election.

“PRIZE” has delayed Walmart by at least 4 months which is costing Cave Creek a potential $750,000 in lost sales tax revenue. Only financial viability will preserve Cave Creek. The preservation of Cave Creek means the preservation of open space, trails, streetscape, the classic Town Core, and the horse community.

Without revenue, none of this will continue. Preservation of Cave Creek means preservation of our rural lifestyle. This can only happen through financial viability.

In the November 3 election, vote YES on Proposition 400, the General Plan Amendment and vote YES on Proposition 401, the rezoning. Remember, early voting begins October 8. If you are not registered to vote, do so immediately. Cave Creek’s future relies on participating citizens.