Vote NO on CCUSD's K-3 override renewal

Does CCUSD really need K-3 funds? NO! The 2005 K-3 override, narrowly passed by 100 votes, will still fund K-3 operations for this current school year (2009-10) and partially fund K-3 activities for two more years (2010-11, 2011-2012).

District taxpayers have paid out nearly $4 million over the past several years to fund K-3 and will pay out nearly a million dollars in the 2009-10 school year. Another million dollars will be paid for K-3 by taxpayers being spread out over the 2010-11 and 2011-2012 school years. CCUSD also received about $4 million from the state for all-day kindergarten as well as $1-2 million in "k-weight" (K-3) funds.

What has been the taxpayer's return on investment of these millions of dollars? Not much! There has been little change in Terra Nova test scores, comparing the school years preceding the 2005 K-3 override and the current school year.

Despite these multimillion dollar expenditures, have average class sizes changed? Very little! Has there been more teachers' aides added to K-3 staff? NO! Has money been spent on additional instructional aids? Very little! Does the district taxpayer really expect things to change?

Vote NO on CCUSD's K-3 override.

Richard Talts | Cave Creek

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More support for Propositions 400 and 401

In June, 2009 the Cave Creek Town Council took necessary steps in hopes to mitigate the impact of the economy on our town. The adoption of the General Plan Amendment and the decision to up-zone the Walmart property at Cave Creek and Carefree Highway by the Town Council was a tough, but essential decision for the future of Cave Creek. While the current status of the economy has opened our eyes to the potential danger in remaining static in our approach to governing and relying solely on tax revenue from the town core and development fees, it is important to take steps to ensure sources of revenue even when the economy improves.

I do not think it is a secret that the parcel of land in question was purchased by Walmart with the intention to construct a store. I know there are residents who do not support the development of the property by Walmart, many residents have supported the Council’s decision, and many residents just want the convenience of shopping in Cave Creek; whatever the personal opinion of Walmart, I think it is important for residents to understand that this change is crucial to preserving our way of life.

The Town of Cave Creek cannot afford, fiscally or fundamentally, to repeat the mistake we made with the Home Depot development. Walmart has proven a viable and involved community partner and it is important for residents to understand our ability to leverage our relationship with the retailer. Walmart will certainly provide vital revenue to our town, but we can also ensure the store will support our community events.

I support Propositions 400 and 401 and I encourage you to do the same – Help ensure the future of our town.

Ralph Mozilo | Cave Creek

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More support for Propositions 400 and 401

I have had the pleasure of living in Cave Creek for over two decades. During my time in our town I have seen many changes; I have, however, also seen many consistencies. Harold’s, The Buffalo Chip, and Frontier Town have all remained cornerstones of our Town core.

Another constant has been my inability to buy groceries and daily use items in our Town. I have always been forced to travel to Phoenix, Scottsdale, or Carefree to buy groceries and other necessities.

I have watched Scottsdale Road, Cave Creek Road, and Tatum Blvd. turn from rough, single lane roads to wide thoroughfares. Phoenix and Scottsdale now bump against our Southern border and I fear that if Cave Creek continues to remain inactive by turning away necessary commercial developments in the commercial corridor of Carefree Highway, that I will have a mailing address that reads “Scottsdale” or “Phoenix” instead of Cave Creek.

I believe that the Walmart development in Cave Creek will have a positive impact on our community. The Carefree Highway area is a commercial area. Walmart has a place near the Chevron, Lowe’s, YMCA, and Community College campus. The design and size of the store will be managed by our strict design standards. I learned, as did most of the residents, a valuable lesson when our town turned away Home Depot. The store is essentially in Cave Creek, and while it technically is outside of our jurisdiction, the store impacts our community without giving any benefits. The residents of Cave Creek will be able to manage the development of the Walmart store throughout the building process and we will ensure that the positive physical impact the store will have will not be mitigated by an obnoxious store front. I encourage you to vote ‘yes’ on 400 and 401.

Frank Ziskovsky | Cave Creek

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More support for Propositions 400 and 401

The current economy has forced the Town of Cave Creek to accept the fact that our economic engine is out of balance. The real estate boom, both commercial and residential, allowed us to grow and prosper for many years on the proceeds from impact and development fees, without concerning ourselves with sales or property tax. Those days are over. We can not survive on a single source of income.

We love the “historic core” of Cave Creek, and it continues to play a significant role in supporting the Town; however, it can not carry the load alone. We must now look to sources, large retail, used by all other towns to supplement, not replace, the income from the Town core. If sales tax and development fees do not cover the expenditures of the Town, then a property tax would be the next step. No one wants that!

I think it is important to realize that the issue is NOT Walmart, but our ability to establish a wide tax revenue base that will not be severely impacted by the cyclical ups and downs of the economy. Even if the economy returns to normal levels, the Town has committed itself to progress; including annexation, a new water ranch and revitalization of the water company, which means that increased revenues will continue to be needed to realize our dreams.

I pledge to the citizens of Cave Creek in my campaign for Councilman that I would make the hard decisions needed to keep this Town viable and moving forward. Some of those decisions have been very hard, but they have been made and I ask you to support those decisions by voting ‘YES ON 400 AND 401. Let’s keep Cave Creek economically strong!

James W. Bruce | Town Councilman | Cave Creek

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More support for Propositions 400 and 401

We have a group of citizens who will not, or are unable, to look realistically at the future of Cave Creek. But people who have lived in our community for most of their lives have seen Cave Creek change. Change is a given. So how can we achieve the future we have planned for?

An unusual period of easy times over the past decade may have lulled us into thinking that our local services and planning would come easily including low-density housing with unprecedented open space. We have a western style town core we love, but those businesses cannot generate the revenues we need.

Our aquifer is limited, I expect that increasing numbers of residents will require town water, Additionally, we cannot grow economically without adequate wastewater treatment facilities. These acquisitions were and still remain rational decisions.

The communities around us are enveloping Cave Creek with tax generating businesses. We have been slow to learn how important it is to have our own economic engine. We do not want property taxes. But the money to build a bright future needs to come from somewhere.

Regardless of whether you choose to shop at Walmart, it is a unique opportunity for Cave Creek. Walmart is one of the few businesses that have a recession-resistant business model. It is one of the few food retailers that can compete very successfully with the providers in surrounding communities. This is one of our very few alternatives that can generate tax dollars needed for the future of Cave Creek.

This referendum is not about Walmart. It’s about an opportunity to support the future of Cave Creek. Please vote “Yes” on propositions 400 and 401 for a viable economic future in Cave Creek.

Elaine McGuire | Cave Creek

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More support for Propositions 400 and 401

When the Cardinals moved to Arizona it was pretty interesting to attend a game.

If they were playing the Cowboys, the stands were filled with silver and blue, black and yellow for the Steelers, green and white for the Eagles, silver and black for the Raiders. I think you get the picture.

There was no such thing as a "Home Game."

The Cardinals still had money from the ticket sales, but it was very disheartening for them to have to play an away game in their own stadium.

We have a very similar situation in Cave Creek. We can buy very few of the goods we need on a daily basis in Cave Creek.

CVS, Bashas’, and Lowe’s are in Carefree, Fry's and Home Depot are in Phoenix.

The Albertson's complex is in Scottsdale. As a result of this, the citizens of our town are continuously supporting other municipalities with our sales tax dollars.

If you are a property owner in Cave Creek you have recently received your property tax bill. Take a close look at the itemized list. You will not find any taxes for the Town of Cave Creek except Spur Cross Ranch. This will be paid for in a couple of years and will sunset.
So the Home Team is not getting property tax or sales tax from its citizens to pay for the amenities we enjoy. Some of which are vast amounts of open space (which we are trying to add to), Trails, and Streetscape. I hear people say that they don't get anything from the town, for instance fire coverage and garbage pickup. This is completely true, but how can the town pay for these things if there is no income stream to pay for them? The short answer is they can't.

A major portion of our economic engine has been through growth from development fees for the past several years. These have dried up with the current economy, and I hope we have learned a valuable lesson about putting all of our eggs in one basket.

We need a more diversified income stream, and to me, sales tax is the least offensive.
Please support the Home Team by voting Yes on 400 and 401.

Ernie Bunch | Vice Mayor | Cave Creek

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More support for Propositions 400 and 401

The sky is falling!

The sky is falling according to a representative from the anti-Walmart group in Cave Creek. Well, maybe it’s not really falling but it was recently opined by Mr. Charles Spitzer that anyone who disagrees with him and his little group (e.g. anyone who supports Walmart) is a shill for Walmart, on the take from Walmart or both. I guess that when there is no real justification for your position, you must over reach and sound a little silly.

Get a grip, Charles, because no one really believes that and Walmart may very well be the best thing that has happened in Cave Creek lately.

Robert B. Williams | Cave Creek

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Neville Chamberlin never bowed so low nor invested any more political chap stick in kissing up to blood thirsty despots than our own Appeaser-In-Chief. Speaking before the United Nations, that freak show dominated by cut-throats and dictators, the duly elected President of the United States took every opportunity to diminish America’s greatness, deriding and apologizing for her people and her world leadership. Choosing instead to pander to his audience and seek their approval while snubbing allies. No U.S. President has ever achieved the level of universal praise and applause from dictators and terrorists than the current occupant of the White House. That praise and a political agenda that runs counter to the constitution he swore to protect and uphold should strike fear in every loyal American heart.

Randy Edwards | Cave Creek

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President Barry stimulating certain segments of the economy

Dear Ms. Bentley: After reading your negative articles about President Barry and being a fair-minded person myself, I'm disappointed that you fail to discuss the achievements he has made during his time in office. I may have missed an article but so far I've seen no mention of the massive stimulus of the firearms industry that he has created. Gun manufacturers are hiring, some have added a second shift, dealers are doing a booming business, and the related support businesses. Just this morning I received an article saying bullet makers are working around the clock. Remington Arms Co. has added a fourth shift and are now working 24/7, ammunition sales are up by 2 billion rounds over last years and this too trickles down to the metals and chemical industries.

How can you not give him credit for stimulating this unprecedented amount of consumer spending in this industry?

Larry Gardner | Skull Valley

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Happy Birthday to Bil Canfield!

I would like to wish a Happy Birthday on October 8, 2009, to a great American World War II hero, talented artist, and a true blue person, Mr. Bil Canfield.

Mr. Bil Canfield is truly one of the most talented persons I know. His sense of patriotism, humor, and regard for his fellow man is outstanding. I won’t say how old Bil is for privacy reasons. For those who know Bil, be sure to say thank you for his service to our country, weekly cartoons in Sonoran News and contributions to mankind.

Jim Ryan | Phoenix

Editor’s note: We are honored that Bil’s cartoons have blessed our pages for 15 years.

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Vote No on CCUSD's K-3 override

Why is CCUSD seeking another override, when the original override isn't near expiration? District taxpayers are already committed under the 2005 K-3 override, to provide full funding for this school year (2009-10) and partial funding for the following two school years (2010-11, 2011-12). Additionally, CCUSD expects to receive more kindergarten funding from the state.

How has CCUSD spent the 2005 multimillion dollar K-3 override funds? It wasn’t used on hiring new teachers and aides for K-3 staff to achieve lower class size. The opening of Horseshoe Trails in 2005-6 caused a significant drop in overall elementary school class sizes to about 18 students per teacher. However, students per teacher in the K-3 grades, continues to be about 23. Furthermore, there has been no overall increase in the number of elementary school teacher aides in the last 5-6 years!

Only 1-2 percent of CCUSD's multimillion K-3 budget has been expended on additional instructional supplies and purchased services since the 2005-6 school year. Where was our money spent? Additionally, CCUSD will continue to receive millions of dollars in all-day kindergarten funding from the state. Why should district taxpayers trust CCUSD again?

Vote No on CCUSD's K-3 override.

Michael A. Pfeffer | Cave Creek

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Bashing Homecoming?

Man I wish some people included their names in some of these inputs.

Last week, there was man or woman vilifying both Cave Creek/Carefree and CSHS's Homecoming Parade. Seriously?! Homecoming parade?

Homecoming is the quintessence of school spirit. If you don't even support school spirit, then go and live in a town that doesn't have a school since this person seems to be so against this idea. Go ahead and bash the override if you want, but please leave the joy and pride of our students alone.

Vincent Chien | E-mail

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