Don Sorchych My View

JANUARY 5, 2011

Lt. Rich Burden stays
• Elections


Bookmark and Share

We had the good fortune of knowing MCSO Capt. Ron Stoner. It was sad that he passed on. But we lucked out with Lt. Rich Burden, who was a friend of Stoner’s.

I had heard Burden was coming here amidst praise for his leadership. A friend told me Burden was the only MCSO employee who drove the speed limit and didn’t do California rolls at stop signs unless his lights were flashing in his unmarked car.

canfield cartoons
He is setting a good example, since it is true some deputies seem to believe laws were made for us and not them. I get letters on that behavior all the time.

Burden was selected, after being here for about a year, to go downtown into a unit that deals with threats to politicians.

He came by to tell me of the transfer. He said he was OK with it, although he liked it here. I told him a story about Lt. Jim Miller when he was here in the late ‘90s.

Miller, like Burden, was well liked here. He used to have local sweeps of hillsides and washes every few months to capture illegal aliens and turn them over to ICE, which came with prison vans to haul the miscreants away. Miller was also deadly with drug dealers.
Miller was a man’s man, a cop’s cop and well liked by not only his men, but by the community.

He was offered a transfer to MCSO’s lake patrol where the sightseeing made the post popular. Miller too said his goodbyes.

The Mayors of Cave Creek and Carefree wrote letters to Sheriff Joe commending Miller but not the transfer. The transfer was cancelled and Miller was pissed.

Much later Miller was quietly transferred and served with distinction until he retired. I am told he is living in Arkansas and has a chicken ranch.

Burden smiled through the Miller discussion, sure of his future, but once again local interdiction prevailed.

He dropped in again to say he was staying. When asked, he said he was OK with that and liked it up here.

Later, the Cave Creek Town Manager told me he had written a letter to MCSO Chief Deputy Brian Sands thanking him for its support of law enforcement in the town and praised their leaders and deputies. I was told others wrote letters praising Burden.

Sands agreed he was encouraged to leave Burden here and chuckled that MCSO aims to please its contractors.

Presuming Burden is not disappointed, I am delighted. But I also know Burden is a good soldier and wouldn’t complain if he didn’t like the decision.

In any case it is a wonderful New Year’s present to Cave Creek and Carefree.

Thanks Joe and Brian!

Cave Creek and Carefree will begin sending mail-in ballots for mayor and council on Feb. 10. Although Carefree has held all-mail elections for some time, this will be the first mail-in ballot for Cave Creek. As a consequence of that change, Town Manager Usama Abujbarah predictst run-offs are likely in Cave Creek even though there are eight council candidates for six council seats. There are about 3,600 registered voters in Cave Creek and the likelihood of bullet voting is high because not all candidates are well-known to voters who may not have voted before.

Vincent Francia is running unopposed for mayor. Council candidates are current Vice-Mayor Ernie Bunch, Councilmen Jim Bruce, Dick Esser, Steve LaMar and Adam Trenk. Only Ralph Mozilo from the past council has elected not to run. Mozilo said elsewhere he had accomplished his objectives approving Walmart and renewal of Abujbarah’s contract.
Challengers for council seats are Shelley Anderson, who serves on the Planning Committee, Alice Kunka and Tom Maguire.

Maguire served as a councilman for two terms. In the last election he tied with Trenk and lost in a card draw.

As a result of the above discussions, two candidates will fail to win a council seat.

In Carefree, Councilman Doug Stavoe has filed as a candidate for mayor and will oppose Mayor David Schwan. This will be the first direct vote for mayor in Carefree thanks to Councilman Bob Coady’s successful initiative.

Sadly, this will be Coady’s last term. He has opted to not run again due to health issues. But the GOBs will still have him in council until June 2011 so I am sure they haven’t retired their slings and arrows.

Council members Bob Gemmill, Peter Koteas and Susan Vanik have also chosen to retire from council.

The seven candidates vying for six council seats are, Michael Ferrar, Arthur Gimson, Vice-Mayor Glenn Miller, Jim Peirce, Melissa Price, Marty Salzman and Karen Smith Lovejoy.
Stavoe’s initiative, Proposition 421, seeks term limits for Carefree council and mayor.
Linda Bentley wrote the following on Nov. 10.

“Jim Peirce’s two property tax initiatives have also been certified to appear on the March ballot.

“Proposition 422 adds Section 15-1 to the Town Code, requiring an affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the members of the Carefree “Common Council to present any property tax proposal to the registered voters of the town.

“Proposition 423 adds Section 15-2, requiring a majority affirmative vote of the registered voters casting ballots on the issue before any Carefree town property tax or increase in existing Carefree town property tax previously approved by Carefree voters can be enacted.

“Peirce said he was prompted to file the initiatives after he heard Mayor David Schwan had said something to the effect that Carefree could impose a property tax if it’s properly sold to the public, and that there were no provisions in the state Constitution, state statute or town code to prevent a simple majority of council from imposing a property tax on the citizens of Carefree.”

So far we have the Cave Creek Town Hall for their forum on Jan. 26, 2011 and are seeking space for the Carefree forum. We will advise the dates and times as soon as they are finalized.