canfield letters cartoon

An open letter to the citizens of Cave Creek regarding your right to vote on a property tax for fire protection

When I took office on the town council of Cave Creek many years ago, I took an oath to serve the town to the best of my ability and to vote accordingly. There have been some difficult decisions in the past and I am sure there will be some in the future. The Jan. 21 decision for me to vote against sending this measure to you, the voters, was trying, but not difficult as there simply was no “plan” to send to you to vote upon.

In my mind, it is irresponsible for the town council to send an issue to the voters which is incomplete in the details and lacking in scope and timeframe. No objective person reading the minutes of that meeting could say a comprehensive plan was submitted that evening.
Further I believe when the town council sends an issue to you the voters there is an implied “recommendation” that we agree and urge you to pass the issue. This Fire Safety Property Tax issue was simply not conceived, drafted and ready for a vote by the citizens or the council. The fact of the matter is the current Vice Mayor and two prior Vice Mayors rejected it because it lacked the necessary details.

Sending this matter to you would have been a disservice to you and I simply would not have been doing my job as your elected councilman. If and when I see a complete and comprehensive plan including any alternatives to having our own fire service, I would be pleased to review it very carefully and vote accordingly; hopefully sending it on to you, the citizens of Cave Creek.

Dick Esser | Cave Creek Councilman

Interfering with a local election

Because Rural/Metro (R/M) Fire Chief John Kraetz was not in Carefree on the day of my visit to the Carefree fire station, I instead had a talk with three R/M union employees, none of whom live in Carefree, about their campaigning for one of the candidates for mayor. I made it clear to the men, one of whom pointedly reminded me he is in a union, that I fully recognize that they have every constitutional right to lobby for the candidate they believe is likely to offer their union membership the best deal when the R/M contract comes up for renegotiation after current election results are known. The union members must believe David Schwan will do just that and want to see him elected mayor.

In a recent letter to me Chief Kraetz wrote, in part, “if you did try to interfere with any upcoming contractual negotiations with Rural/Metro, you might be in a compromised position.”

I submit Mr. Kraetz has the situation entirely backward. It is outside union members who are interfering with a local election. I do not propose to “interfere with contractual negotiations” but rather to try to be part of those negotiations and drive a far harder bargain with the union than apparently David Schwan is prepared to do.

I am a GOP Carefree Precinct Committeeman and would be happy to show anyone my Certificate of Election. I am also an elected GOP State Committeeman. I intend to stand by my strong belief that politicians should not be intimidated by unions. If am elected to town council, I will try to obtain the best terms possible with the next Rural/Metro contract.

Jim Peirce  |  Carefree Council Candidate


My fourth week of campaigning

I will be at the Carefree Post Office, on a split shift. I hope it is like last week, very calm and peaceful with plenty of time to talk to our citizens.

Interesting question on Saturday: "Jim, which one of the strong lobbies in Carefree talked you into running?" I replied: My motivation was when I found out there would be only 6 Candidates for 6 seats on the Council. I called Town Hall to find out if there was still time to register as a Write-In. I was told the deadline was at 4:30 that day. I NEVER spoke to any group or individual about running. I picked up the forms and went to the sponsor of the upcoming candidate forum, to see if I could get an invitation to same, if I filled out the forms. I then submitted the forms at 3:45 that day. While going over the forms with the Town Clerk the Vice Mayor walked up and asked what I was doing. I told him. That was the first anyone other than Betsy Wise and the forum sponsor knew what I was doing. (I hadn't even gotten hold of my wife).

Since that day I have received a wide spectrum of support, from the "left, right and middle," all the while maintaining an independent stand on the "hot button" issues that are surfacing. This is not because I don't have opinions on those issues ... but, most of them are quite separate from the job of running for a town council seat for the next term.

I am beholden to no group or lobby. If elected I will vote on the issues after considering first the citizens of Carefree; the long term implications to our financial status and what I think is the best way to preserve our unique town as the best place to live and work.
Will lightning strike and for the first time ever a Write-In Candidate win an election in Carefree? We will find out shortly.

And, I will continue to work hard to deserve the votes I will get.


Jim Van Allen | Write-in Candidate for Carefree Council


"A Date Which Will Live In Infamy"

Sixty nine years ago, the United States suffered one of the worst military attacks on American soil. On Dec. 7, 1941 the Japanese strike on Pearl Harbor propelled the U.S. into World War II in both the Pacific and European theatres. One of the most famous battleships sunk that fateful day was named after the Grand Canyon State. The USS Arizona, whose anchor is on display in Phoenix, offers a unique opportunity for us to reflect on the sacrifices made by those in the armed forces in the name of freedom.

"As historical anniversaries annually repeat themselves, we sometimes lose sight of the value of reflecting on their importance," said AZGOP Chairman Randy Pullen. "It is often said that, 'Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,' and these yearly days of remembrance should serve as an impetus to take time to remember the sacrifices of those who paid the ultimate price to ensure our enduring freedom and liberty."
"Over our beautiful winter months I would urge Arizonans to visit Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza near our state capitol in Phoenix, to view the anchor of the USS Arizona," continued Pullen. "Viewing the historical artifact only enhances our understanding of what President Roosevelt declared as a date which will live in infamy."

Paid for by the Arizona Republican Party |
Not authorized by any candidate or candidate committee


Good fences

It is said that good fences make good neighbors, and so it is with nations. Sadly the mind set of our current crop of Democrats, and not a few RINOs, would surely tear down our border fence both real and virtual. The resulting tidal wave of illegal immigration would overwhelm our state and federal benefit programs and erase all evidence of our national sovereignty.

The border question is not new. Since the annexation of Texas in 1844/1845 border problems have persisted. American and Mexican bandits have crisscrossed this invisible line at will carrying violence and corruption with them. Groups like La Raza have worked diligently to blur that line or boldly claim ownership of the border states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California that were "stolen" from Mexico. Not so, the corrupt and greedy Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna jockeying for bribes from the Polk administration, infighting in California between the Pico faction in the south and the Castro's in the north both contributed to the eventual outcome of the war with Mexico, bringing those territories into our union.

Open border advocates appear willing to go to any length to aid the gate-crashers blaming the tragic shootings in Tucson on SB1070, comparing the illegal's plight to the Civil Rights Movement, slavery and that tired old saw - racism. In Tucson it was pure homicidal intent with no political motivation whatever, the Civil Rights Movement was about the rights of American citizens, slaves were sadly brought to America against their will and nobody really cares what your ethnic origins are, don't break into our country.

It is past time for us to act as good neighbors, curb the human smuggling, stop the drug cartels invasion, put an end to the slaughter of our border agents and secure our border. Mr. President, build the damn fence.

Randy Edwards | Cave Creek


“Death By Misadventure”

No, this is not the title of a novel, but rather a peculiar interpretation of sudden and unexpected death in the United Kingdom. All of us die: some due to aging, some due to disease; some as a result of homicide; and some by accident. However, in British jurisprudence, there is a link, or legal bridge, between accidental death and suicide, the famous “death by misadventure” clause. A person who decides to go fishing in a metallic boat during an electric storm fits this category. He dies because of impaired judgment, neither the victim of an accident nor the actor in a suicidal act.

The two retired couples who sailed close to the coast of Somalia and were captured and executed by that country’s pirates fit the category. Not only were they foolhardy, but also carried a large consignment of Bibles, which would hardly endear them to their Muslim captors.

We mourn the death of four unlucky mariners, but they are no different from a tipsy customer in a seedy bar, flashing a wad of cash and attempting to walk home after midnight. Not quite an accidental death, but not quite suicide, but something in between.

J-P. A. Maldonado | Phoenix



Massachusetts Rep. Michael Capuano called for the unions to get a little bloody in the streets. Some might call that trying to incite a riot. Has President Obama or Pelosi or Reid chided Capuano for saying that? Will anyone one call for an official censure of Capuano for calling for a criminal act by the masses?

Had this been a Republican he would have been asked to resign by the media. The liberals call for civility from one side of their mouths and call for blood from the other.

Is this the civility Obama called for in Arizona?


Joseph DuPont | Towanda, Pennsylvania

The facts about pay for Wisconsin
teachers and private -sector workers

I write in response to an op-ed from The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) entitled “Oh, To Be a Teacher in Wisconsin” published February 25, on the high cost of benefits as a percent of cash compensation for Wisconsin teachers. Be careful: When you know the facts, you’ll be driven to distraction by the coverage of most of the media.

I did a similar analysis several years ago of the compensation of Arizona teachers for my regular newspaper column. I had tired of the biased media’s misleading articles about teacher pay – articles that conveniently overlooked non-cash compensation in the form of benefits, time off and job security.

In 1997, one of my seven guest columns for the WSJ was on the same subject of cash vs. non-cash compensation, but with respect to private industry instead of the public sector. I had become nauseated by press reports of declining pay in the country with no mention of how employee benefits were replacing cash in employee compensation. The article had absolutely no impact on the media, which continue to ignore non-cash compensation in their dire reports of plummeting earnings.

As the WSJ piece said, the cost of all fringe benefits had soared to 40 percent of total compensation in 1997, compared to 17 percent in 1955. Corporations were spending almost 12 percent of total revenues on employee benefits in 1997, versus 4.4 percent in the 1950s.
In 1997, the average employee’s benefits package (including payroll taxes) cost just other $15,000. These costs have no doubt increased even more in real dollars in the intervening years. In addition, the hidden regulatory costs associated with complying with labor, safety, and benefits laws have skyrocketed. There has been a corresponding growth in staffing levels for human resources departments and labor/benefit attorneys and consultants.
Meanwhile, all of the geniuses in academia, government and the media scratch their wooly heads and wonder why working stiffs can’t find good jobs and have trouble making ends meet.


Mencken’s Ghost | Scottsdale


McGuire for Cave Creek Town Council

We support Tom McGuire for a seat on the Cave Creek Town Council.

When he and his wife Elaine arrived in town over ten years ago Tom became immediately involved in the community. He unselfishly volunteers to assist at most town projects. If he is not helping to run the event he is always there providing support.

We know Tom will continue to make an important contribution in the role of town councilman. His style is to be involved with the people in the community and fairly represent their views. He possesses a level of knowledge and integrity that will serve the community well.

Mike and Patty O’Rourke | Cave Creek