VOL. 17 ISSUE NO. 30   |   JULY 27 – AUGUST 2, 2011


Running of the Bulls still under scrutiny over insurance issues

‘It is a lot more safe than what they’re doing at the Buffalo Chip’

TCCAVE CREEK – A jovial town council began Monday night’s meeting with Mayor Vincent Francia announcing the cancelation of the Aug. 15 and Sept. 6 meetings. Council will take a summer recess until the next council meeting on Sept. 19.

The first agenda item was discussion of the Running of the Bulls event scheduled for mid October and insurance coverage issues previously raised by council.

Town Attorney Marlene Pontrelli said she drafted an agreement that acknowledges the event is not a town sponsored or sanctioned event and names the town as additional insured, to which she stated promoter Phil Immordino said he was amenable.

While Councilwoman Shelley Anderson suggested Immordino obtain higher insurance coverage during the last meeting, Pontrelli said Immordino told her it would be cost prohibitive and he would only be able to provide the $2 million in coverage.

However, Pontrelli stated if council doesn’t feel that is sufficient, the item can be agendized for the September meeting.

Councilman Steve LaMar stated, “His coming back with not being able to afford higher coverage makes me question his ability to indemnify the town.”

“I expected Mr. Immordino to be here,” said Pontrelli, as she noted he was not present.
Vice Mayor Ernie Bunch asked if the concern was over whether a bull gets loose and stated the event is being held on private property.

He said, “I think we’re getting a little nit-picky, since every Wednesday and Friday we have bulls in town that could potentially get loose.”

Pontrelli explained even though the Running of the Bulls is not a town-sponsored or town sanctioned event, because the town issued Immordino a special even permit, there is some culpability.

Councilman Thomas McGuire asked if there was precedent set in any other towns.

Pontrelli stated there was only one person left in the city of Mesquite, Nev., where the event took place for two years in the late 1990s, but she was on vacation and town staff was still waiting for a return phone call.

Francia confirmed the town was involved by virtue of issuing a special event permit, even though it is not a town-sponsored or town-sanctioned event and stated, “I’m speaking only for the mayor. I’m very disappointed Mr. Immordino has not shown up,” adding, “This is a health, safety and welfare issue.”

The item was for discussion only and no action was taken by council, although it appears the agreement will be placed on the September council meeting agenda.

Council unanimously passed the second reading of an ordinance to rezone Cameron Smith and Leslie Gustafson’s parcel, where they have operated a motorcycle repair business as a home occupation, on the southeast corner of Cave Creek Road and Seven Palms Drive from Desert Rural to General Commercial.

Bunch commented, “I thought that property should be commercial for a very long time.”
Councilman Dick Esser wished the applicants, “Good luck.”

In unanimously passing the second reading of the last tax levy, paying off the town’s obligations for Spur Cross Conservation Area, the mayor stated the motion was made by the entire council and seconded by the entire council.

McGuire commented, “This is an integral part of the identity of Cave Creek.”

Council also unanimously approved T.C. Thorstenson’s site plan for Hogs and Horses, a restaurant, bar and an arena as an accessory use.

Associate Planner Luke Kautzman said staff addressed the parking issues, stating they will ensure the parking meets the usage requirements.

Kautzman also stated the applicant has agreed to additional parking of one space per four seats of bleachers for arena events.

Thorstenson will also be giving the town 15 feet of easement for streetscape and a bike lane.

Anderson asked Thorstenson if there was going to be mounted shooting events.
Thorstenson said the local mounted shooting association has been “shut down.”

However, commenting on the Running of the Bulls event, Thorstenson stated, “It is a lot more safe than what they’re doing at the Buffalo Chip.”

During Public Comment, Adam Trenk encouraged council to support the site plan.
Bunch moved to approve the site plan, stating, “Mr. Thorstenson has been trying to do this for a very long time.”

Anderson, who seconded the motion, said, “It’s a good place for it. It will be a nice addition to the town.”

LaMar said, “It’s the perfect place for this. If you came with this plan three years ago, I would have approved it.”

Council then unanimously voted in favor of recommending the transfer of a # 6 Bar Liquor License to Thorstenson for his proposed Hogs and Horses establishment.

Town Clerk Carrie Dyrek introduced the next item, as recommended by the town attorney, to authorize corrections to the legal description attached to a resolution that abandoned a certain right-of-way and direct staff to rerecord the resolution with the corrected legal description.

LaMar’s motion to approve carried unanimously, accompanied by his comment, “Oops.”
The last item on the agenda, unanimously approved by council before adjourning for summer recess, was a resolution declaring the various 2009 International Building Code components as public records.

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