bil canfield cartoon

Town council meeting defamation

Mr. Mayor,

Attached are three letters I authorized Attorney at Law Timothy LaSota to send on my behalf.
I am sending them to you and the council members because they are a direct result of your partisan inability and/or unwillingness to control a public meeting.

The comments were recorded the evenings of Jan. 27 and Feb. 3 and given to Mr. LaSota to form the basis for these warnings. They should be taken seriously.

You let this meeting devolve into a circus of vicious, unsubstantiated innuendo, slander and defamation.

Your lack of control at what should always be in line with the Town Resolution of Civility was a stunning lack of judgment.

As a consequence of allowing speakers to engage in this kind of despicable behavior and even seeming to encourage it by letting them speak beyond their time limits is nothing short of reprehensible. Then, to cut off the lone speaker that objected to these tirades and ignore the Town Attorney’s’ advice to keep speakers on the subject is downright despicable. One of the most vocal speakers that evening, a friend of Terry Smith, falsely presented himself as a Cave Creek resident. John J. Fisher was and is a New River resident … see the attached letter.

You owe me and the Town an apology for your lack of control of this meeting. It was a disgraceful show of buffoonery, thuggery and low class histrionics.

Displays like this are why Cave Creek is held in such low esteem by those that follow and practice good meeting and governance standards.

Lest you or anyone else fall prey to the misbegotten idea that these letters are idle threats, let me reassure you I have no intention to threaten anyone.

I make it a PROMISE to follow through with legal action if there are further lies, fabrications and innuendo perpetrated. The groundwork is already in place.

You would do well to look carefully at the law Mr. La Sota has so carefully pointed out in these letters.


Gerald C. Freeman
Cave Creek


Mayor’s reply to Gerald Freeman

All written communication to and from the Mayor concerning Cave Creek is public information. This means the media is also entitled to it. In fact, both Sonoran News and Arizona Republic have daily standing freedom of information policies with the town.

Thus, I was not surprised when Sonoran News publisher Don Sorchych came up to me at Marla McGee’s recent “39th” birthday celebration at the Tap Haus, and asked me how I was going to respond to a letter from Gerald Freeman.

In brief, Mr. Freeman is taking me to task for what he claims to be my “partisan inability and/or unwillingness to control a public meeting.” The meeting cited is the council meeting of January 27, 2014. Mr. Freeman further points out that I let “this meeting devolve into a circus of vicious, unsubstantiated innuendo, slander and defamation” against him. Mr. Freeman mentions three speakers specifically who participated in this manner of speech.

To be clear, this is Mr. Freeman’s right of speech to address me this way. Whether I agree with his letter or not is irrelevant. That I would defend his right to opine this way is relevant.

This is not the first time I’ve been criticized for allowing citizens to speak their minds or allowing speakers to go over the three-minute limit. I suspect it will not be the last.

In the past, I have asked speakers to “tone it down,” or when going over the three-minute limit to “wrap it up.” But I try not to interfere with a speaker’s freedom of expression, whether I agree or not, whether I like what I’m hearing or not.

My response:
The First Amendment, embodied in the Bill of Rights, which establishes an individual’s Freedom of Speech among other liberties, seems to me to be the bedrock of the 26 amendments that follow. Even the Second Amendment – also one of the Bill of Rights’ original ten amendments – the right of an individual to bear arms, traces its roots to the First Amendment’s Freedom of Speech. After all, what is the right to bear arms or the freedom to worship, but a freedom to express one’s self?

The council chamber is more than a room in which the elected mayor and six council members conduct the town’s business. The council chamber is the community forum. It is the place where citizens and others outside the community may freely express their views to elected council members, on agenda items before the town or even on citizens of the town.

At the council meeting of January 27 many citizens spoke. Some speakers testified to specific experiences accompanied by their perceptions as to how they saw and felt about those experiences. If any speaker spoke in a slanderous, defamatory or libelous way, then that is to be decided in another forum – a court, for example – but not in a council chamber.

Going forward I’m sure I’ll have to request a future speaker or two to “go easy” or “sum up his/her thoughts.” I wish we would all speak more kindly to one another. Still I’ll tread lightly before restricting a speaker’s right to express him/herself.

I need not dust off anyone’s historical memories of how the occupying British soldiers felt about colonists’ freedom to express themselves.

I believe in the First Amendment that strongly.

Mayor Vincent Francia
Cave Creek


Dear Mayor Francia:

At a recent town council meeting I observed three saloon operators thank the town for allowing them to completely disrupt the east end of the historic district in our town. During bike week these saloon operators rented their parking lots to vendors and were apparently allowed by the town to cordon off one lane on each side of Cave Creek Road to accommodate motorcycle parking. The lane closures made it difficult and time consuming for all including emergency vehicles to get through the area.

Permission for these road blockages was obviously made without any consideration to the some six thousand residents of Cave Creek, other town merchants and non-bikers who attempted to visit our town during this period.

The lane closures were allowed for multiple days on at least three occasions during the past year. Allowing road closures for private non-town sponsored events has established a dangerous precedent for our town.

It has been my understanding that town council has fiercely protected the towns’ historically quiet, equestrian and eclectic nature. When other special events are scheduled such as the Taste of Cave Creek organizers needed to provide off road parking and adhere to all the town’s ordinances.

I do not believe that the citizens of our town chose to live here so that they could be subjected to loud music booming into the night, traffic jams, road closures and the sounds of un-muffled motorcycles racing up and down our roads.

I am asking you to put a stop to these road lane closures and ask the town manager to instruct town staff and contractors to vigorously and continuously enforce all of our town’s ordinances.


Robert A. Fearnside
CC: Peter Jankowski, Town Manager


Building permits in question

Maricopa County Parcel 216-67-018B
Closing Date 3-07-2005
Violation Case Number V201101447
Years of Ownership: 9

Listing realty company when I bought the house: Osteicher Realty Group: Michelle Cannon, Realtor: Phone # 602-570-3534 Fax: 480-515-0893
Title Company: Capital Title Agency Sold to First American Title: Lawyer-Chris G.

The buildings in question were constructed around 1997 or 1998 using the labor of the deputy sheriff who owned the property along with a few other deputies. A neighbor was also recruited to assist in the construction of the buildings.

Both the Sheriffs' Department and the Maricopa County Planning and Development Department are all about laws, rules and regulations. According to Paul McNeil the Director of the Planning and Development Department, no one is above the law and the rules apply to everyone. The same sentiment can also be attributed to the Sheriffs' Department.

I find it very strange that the County cannot find a building permit for the structures in question. Both of the out buildings (a metal double car garage and a metal three car garage) were used by the Sheriffs' department to store unmarked or under cover police cars.

On any given afternoon one or more Deputies could be seen parking their cars in one of the structures and leaving in an unmarked car. This information was relayed to me by several of the local residents, including one who lived directly across the street.

Does it seem likely that a Deputy Sheriff would violate the rules and park under cover cars in a garage that did not have a building permit? The next question would be, who paid for the buildings? Why did it take so long to make the claim that the buildings did not have permits?

I owned the property 7 years before the Planning and Development Department contacted me and demanded that I have the buildings inspected and file for a building permits. They demanded that I pay a fine of $300 in addition to meeting their permitting demands.

To me it’s like receiving a ticket because someone ran into my car while it was parked legally; it makes no sense. If these structures were illegal, wouldn’t the one who put them up be responsible for them? There were other owners of the property between the Deputy Sheriff and myself.

All this started occurring during a very stressful time in my life. I had just under-gone a total knee replacement and was not able to continue working. That was about 2 years ago, and a couple months ago, I had another total knee replacement surgery.

Currently I am undergoing physical therapy 3 times a week along with continuing psychological counseling for PTSD, Bi Polar Disorder, Severe Depression and Anxiety. What income I have is derived from being 100 percent service connected disabled.

Why didn’t the title company find this out prior to closing? If anyone is responsible for complying with the county demands it should be either the former owner or the title company. I have invited Paul McNeil the head of the county Planning and Development Department and or his deputy Darren Gerard to come out and take a look at the buildings.

Both have declined to do so, they are not interested in pointing out any defects if any in the building. The impression I get is that they just want to collect fines and fees.

The county and local school district continue to receive taxes on my home along with the out buildings. Is that fair? Rural/Metro fire company charges an extra fee because of any out buildings, and I have two, so you can imagine how much more I have to pay because of those two buildings.

The big threat from the county is that they will have them torn down and bill me for the destruction of buildings on my property that they claim are illegal.

I wish to thank you in advance for any and all help you can give in helping me solve this issue.

Best Regards,

Al Horn
Cave Creek


Bad people usually register as Democrats

I would like to issue a challenge to Democrats. See if you can find a group of people that are generally thought of as bad and try to disprove my thesis that the majority of people in any such groups would be registered as Democrats (to the extent they are registered at all). These groups could include fathers who don’t pay their child support, mothers who keep having babies they can’t afford to take care of (often without benefit of marriage), those people who live off the various welfare entitlements while refusing to work, inmates of various incarceration facilities, those who have multiple DUIs on their record, those who have multiple bankruptcies, those who are obese, smokers, those who do not exercise, etc, etc. I would also include those with a large number of tattoos or piercings and other extreme appearance items that make it difficult for them to get a job.

If my thesis is correct it would then be instructive to ask why this is so. The answer seems obvious to me in the simple observation that Democrats generally prefer more government entitlement programs and more government regulations. Republicans are more inclined toward individual responsibility, low taxes, less regulation, and more reliance on private charity to help those in need. It therefore seems logical to conclude those people who are the least likely to accept responsibility for their own actions are more likely to be Democrats.

Roy Miller


Thank them

The city council tonight, in a study session, gave staff direction to continue to pursue the two parcels we were trying to acquire for the Preserve, so we are back on track with land acquisitions. A big thank you to those of you who contacted the council about the proposed moratorium as it obviously had an impact. To her credit, Councilwoman Korte apologized for bringing up the moratorium and re-affirmed the goal to acquire the two parcels of land we were going after this year. While no vote was taken, because it was a study session, they did give staff the direction they needed to continue the process to acquire land.

If you get a chance, it would be good to write the council and thank them for putting the land acquisitions back on track. Their e-mail addresses are below.

Thanks again.

Howard Myers

One e-mail for all council members:

Individual E-Mail addresses:
Mayor W.J. "Jim" Lane:
Councilwoman Virginia Korte:
Councilwoman Suzanne Klapp:
Councilman Robert Littlefield:
Councilman Guy Phillips:
Councilwoman Linda Milhaven:
Councilman Dennis Robbins:


The dilemma facing America … credibility

This year we have mid-term elections in the United States followed in 2016 by the Merry-Go-Round ride to grab the brass ring, the presidency. The criteria on which my vote is based has changed over the years. Sure, I’m for fiscal restraint, tough immigration policies and a smaller government, but this time I want to know I’m not being played the fool. You know, the sucker, clown, or the rube that just fell off the truck. I want to believe in someone’s ability to lead, their heart and intelligence. I’m looking for someone who can break the chain of sweet deals and lies that have virtually brought our nation to its knees. I want to vote for someone who will not only acknowledge an error, but take responsibility, then actually follow up and repair the damage. I will not vote for a liar. It has been my experience that once someone lies to you, they will continue to lie until caught. Once caught, they will lie again because they really have no respect for you as a person. If they did, they wouldn’t have lied to you in the first place. Personally, I try my best not to lie. I found out at an early age I wasn’t good at it. I couldn’t look a person in the eye and tell them a whopper to save face. You see, once found out, you have lost not only credibility but a chunk of your reputation.

It’s hard to determine which of our leaders have been truthful with the American public over the years, both Democrat and Republican. Based on what I have seen over the last decade, smoke screens have become a fixture on the political landscape. Will they be truthful in the future?

It appears there is little consequence to telling the big lie today. Who can forget Clinton defiantly stating he “did not have sexual relations with that woman!” Or Obama with his, “If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor. If you like your plan you can keep your plan, period!” These were both presidents of the United States who looked us straight in the eye and lied. Not about the dog eating the homework, but issues and events that impact the entire nation. They are obviously good at this skill and will continue practicing their craft until the day the die. If your wife told you that all the bills were paid and you found out the electricity had been turned off for non- payment, what would you do? What questions would you ask of your wife? Would you be hurt by the deception? If your husband renewed his wedding vows and you found out two weeks later he had three girlfriends on the side, how would you feel? Would a bond of trust be broken? Could you trust him in the future? Is a lie from our federal government and its leaders so different?

What about taking responsibility for actions that occur during your watch? If I let my dog out of the house and he runs over and bites my neighbor, who’s at fault? Who needs to pay any medical bills? Who needs to apologize to the neighbor and his family? Who needs to face the music? Fido?

It appears that in the cases of IRS targeting, negligence in Benghazi, the stupidity of Fast & Furious, the release of tens of thousands of immigrant criminals, and the debacle that is Obamacare, Fido is indeed the culprit. No one has been man or woman enough to step forward and take responsibility.

If your leaders have no credibility how does a nation grow and prosper under a veil of deception? The answer is painfully simple: it won’t, it can’t. It’s time for Uncle Sam to make an appointment with the political chiropractor and get a major ethical adjustment.

Scott Haberman
Cave Creek


Smart Meter Data

May 15, 2014
Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC)
Docket Control Center
1200 West Washington Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85007
Re: Docket # E-01345A-14-0113

Ladies and Gentlemen;
Here is breaking news. SmartGridNews has just come out of the closet and admitted what I and others have been saying all long: “Smart” meters are surveillance devices.

APS and utilities nationwide have been denying the surveillance capability of “smart” meters but here is one of the foremost “smart” meter cheerleaders in the world finally admitting the truth.
SmartGridNews calls such “smart” grid industry names as Telvent, Silver Spring Networks and Lockheed Martin its “major sponsors”. So of course the news story attempts to put a positive spin on the surveillance, hyping such nonsense as an “over 4% conservation [of energy] after just a few months”.

Wow, that means I might save four whole dollars and change on a one hundred dollar electrical bill. Where do I sign up to be spied on?

Enclosed is the SmartGridNews article, Now utilities can tell customers how much energy each appliance uses (just from the smart meter data).


Warren Woodward

PS – In the article, note the creepy picture of a guy dressed in black and using binoculars. SmartGridNews is shameless to promote Peeping Toms as cool. Note also Orwellian phrasing such as “behavioral science“ and turning ratepayers into “willing partners.” It's not a “smart” grid; it's a sick grid.