My View

FEBRUARY 13, 2013

Cave Creek council election

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Don SorchychAlthough we plan to print Carefree Town Council candidate position statements, we still, after repeated requests, have not received input from Mayor David Schwan and Councilmen Glenn Miller and Marty Salzman. We will print the ones we received and suggest you take that into account in this election.

We also decided to forego our traditional candidate forum since there seems to be little interest in Carefree for a responsible forum.

In Cave Creek the simmering amongst candidates continues and we will make endorsements in this issue. This is a most important election since those elected will be seated for three and one-half years before the next election. As I said before, the slate of challengers is practicing the views of Rahm Emanuel that a crisis should never be wasted. They are trying to leverage discontent over the developer-proposed Enchanted Canyon to replace the council that had nothing whatever to do with it. In fact, Town Manager Usama Abujbarah told the firm promoting the development it was doubtful it would ever happen.

bil canfield editorial cartoonWhat is a mystery is that new resident Mike Chutz in a northeast political trick corralled $40,000. Why? And why did he find and coordinate with what we have identified as the Dark Side? It is a mystery that should be considered as a negative by voters. This after all, is not Chicago or Pittsburgh.

There will never be a council that I or anyone else will agree with all the time. But the present council, mayor, town manager and town staff have done a remarkable job in good times and quickly responded in the last four years of recessionary times. To function for four more years under Obama will take the experience invested by this group.

The slate of now five candidates wants to roll back the clock, which would put the town in dire straights. They fume about the town debt, which was entirely necessary and is under control even in continuing bad times. Are you aware Walmart sales tax alone pays our low interest debt service with WIFA? And it was the same local government which approved the Walmart project. Development of the Carefree Highway corridor for future tax revenue is essential to protect the massive open space which was voted in. The slate argues that the approval of a possible national fast food chain store (McDonalds perhaps) should not have been approved even though Carefree has a CVS pharmacy and Lowes on the corner of Cave Creek Road and Carefree Highway.

It is clear the town core alone can’t support the growing needs of the community yet this council has proved it is their intention to retain the western equestrian nature of Cave Creek.

Therefore our endorsements are:

Mayor: Vincent Francia. He deserves your vote although unopposed.

For council: Shelly Anderson, Jim Bruce, Ernie Bunch, Dick Esser, Steve LaMar and Thomas McGuire.

The opposing candidates are:

Mike Durkin, like all the others hasn’t attended many council meetings and has a propaganda attitude. So he is an electrical engineer; I have managed hundreds (Yes, I am a graduate EE) and don’t remember one who could have been a capable councilperson. He is arrogant and knows little about town government. Check his signs. They say, “stop government growth, limit spending and preserve low density.” The council already has and continues to deal effectively with these issues. In an Arizona Republic letter he asked, “What is the point?” about slates. Slates are abusive of process to have majority control of council; that is the point.

Reg Monachino ran in the last election and was trounced. He claims all sorts of capabilities from his background, but he won’t be an employee and his background is not in the municipal field. Reg tries hard to be a Creeker and was seen at an event in brand new western clothes with a belt buckle as big as a saucer. Only trouble was the belt buckle celebrated barrel racing, a sport dominated by cowgirls. Scottsdale or Carefree may be better fits, Reg.

Charles Spitzer is a software nerd who reads from a typed script in council meetings. He is an angry person who has never forgiven the town for a water tank next door to his property in spite of the fact the town owned that property long before he bought the house. The town has disguised the tank with vegetation and the tank can scarcely be seen.

Adam Trenk was previously voted in after two ties and finally a successful card draw against McGuire. He broke any local record by raising over $20,000 for his election, mostly from out of state family members.

Coming from New Jersey he immediately got the backing of Unionized Firemen. The captain said they voted for him because he was on the fire committee. When reminded that it would be a conflict of interest, the fireman, and other firemen, were active recruiters for his vote.

Remember Trenk was taken to court because he allegedly moved out of town and in his own words returned to town on weekends to ride his horse. It is likely he shouldn’t be on the ballot.
As a recently minted attorney, he is a lobbyist for medical marijuana.

Trenk lied in his recent mailer. He wrote, “a majority of incumbents have proposed new property taxes …” The majority voted to allow a public vote; they did not propose new property taxes.

Two separate people told me they asked Trenk to vote for Walmart while he was on council. They said they owned him because of his answer, which was, “I will vote for Walmart if you will contribute to my favorite charity.”

We can do without ascribing to New Jersey style corruption.

Eileen Wright was so off the charts during our forum that Mayor Francia, famous for his Buddhist beliefs, rebuffed her and her slate in an angry speech. Although not illegal it is worth mentioning her husband is the Carefree Town Attorney. If that is where she gets her crazy ideas she should go to charm school. Her husband certainly doesn’t engender confidence when he opined Vice-Mayor Melissa Price didn’t break open meetings law when it was obvious to everyone but him that it was a violation. The criticisms Wright had of the town were libelous at best and absolutely untrue. Nice to have as a friend though because, as a friend of Anna Marsolo, Wright filed a complaint against Marsolo’s ex-husband claiming he needs a business license for working out of his home. For those who know Paul Diefenderfer, he is a salt of the earth kind of guy and Marsolo is lucky he hung around with her as long as he did.

Monachino, Spitzer and Wright, three members of the slate seeking a majority to control the town, paraphrase Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s slogan of Protect and Preserve.

All of the challengers agree they held meetings together and rehearsed forums. They are a slate, all of them.