canfield letters cartoon

Aug. 31 Council Meeting

Dear Council Members, Well, we did it. We had another time consuming meeting with a few hundred very polite people, heard pro and con speeches on whether or not a certain class of Scottsdale residents may or may not have been, or ever will be discriminated against. I would guarantee that not one person left the meeting with a point of view different than that with which they entered the chambers. Every citizen took personal time out of his personal schedule to once again go through exactly what we did a few months ago. AND WHAT WAS THE OUTCOME? Maybe everyone will be satisfied if we do a study, send it to committee, yada, yada. I guess you have heard the old adage, “doing the same thing and expecting different results is called insanity.”

Even each of you doesn’t hear what your fellow members are saying. Our mayor gave out some info with pretty clear statistics. He also mentioned that if we put it on the ballot, it would not pass. If that is the case, why should seven of you determine our fate based on a split audience of a couple of hundred? I walked over to the two gentlemen burdened with this new assignment and asked them, ”Who is paying for this? They said there is no line item in the budget, but they would be working it into their regular job description. So, while they are doing that, who does their regular job? So now, we wait for a study to protect everyone’s rights. Don’t we already have rights? courts? laws for hate crimes? laws for discrimination? Why are you exposing Scottsdale to frivolous lawsuits? Should my taxes go to defend Scottsdale against frivolous lawsuits? Absolutely not!

I try to get into each of your heads to figure out what is it you are doing and why. I wrote to you before the meeting and some of you had the courtesy to respond. I don’t understand prolonging all of this with a study with outcomes by which there will still be no consensus of the outcome. From what I hear you saying is that you want to be all things to all people. One of you said you had a belief “which may have resulted in the rights of some of our citizens being infringed,” (whatever that means). All day long wherever I go, some one is infringing on something of mine. I wouldn’t go “esoteric” just because I am a council member and feel it is my obligation to investigate a “belief” and then, feel it my obligation to make sure I am following the constitution. Don’t we have a state legislature, a federal government and laws infinitum? As I see it, only one of you doesn’t sit on a fence. Your response was very clear.

I do believe that council person Korte is the root of all of this unrest. She (or he) has an obvious personal agenda. The time spent on all of this , in hours, should be translated into $ and put into the Scottsdale treasury by person Korte and perhaps person Korte needs a new career where she will be happier and not antagonize the rest of us.

Rose M. Sampieri

Good job, Cave Creek Town Council

My commendations to the Cave Creek Town Council for settling the lawsuits resulting from the irresponsible and illegal termination of former Town Manager Usama Abujbarah.

Regardless of whether you liked him or not, Mr. Abujbarah is an honorable man who served the citizens of Cave Creek for some 16 years and did more for Cave Creek than probably any other individual. The mean spirited and vindictive little recalled wingnuts (Trenk, Spitzer, Monachino, and Durkin) who fired him were sadly lacking the meaningful management experience, responsibility and maturity necessary to make such a significant personnel decision. Worse, that very public lynching in the town council meeting was precisely (and illegally) orchestrated ahead of time right down to the assigned ‘dark side’ speakers and their scripts. So sickened by that secret despicable conspiracy, one of their ‘dark side’ conspirators turned and told Mr. Abujbarah (and his attorney) exactly what was going to happen in that council meeting, yet Mr. Abujbarah handled it all with class.

Just look at what they did to a respectable man. First, it was an outrageous and embarrassing public flogging of a man with more class than the four now recalled idiots have collectively. Then they not only took away his salary (livelihood) but significantly diminished his hard earned retirement. Remember that Mr. Abujbarah voluntarily reduced his salary when the bottom fell out of the economy, and never got it reinstated prior to the termination, so he will lose at least a thousand dollars per month, every month in retirement, for life. Of course all of this forced Mr. Abujbarah to pour his savings into what Trenk, Monachino, Durkin and Spitzer hoped would be a long term legal battle that would eventually bleed him dry. This ‘don’t settle’ strategy was great for them since they had no ethics, knew they were on shaky legal ground, the Cave Creek taxpayer was paying their legal bills and their favorite lawyer was raking in the cash. Finally, these four vindictive little men all puffed up with their newfound authority, virtually foreclosed his future employment by assuring that the 63 year old Mr. Abujbarah will never get another similar job.

Good job, town council, for settling this matter. It was what you were elected to do and $300,000 is nothing compared to losses and anguish suffered by Mr. Abujbarah and his family. You simply cannot repay that kind of damage. The final tragedy here is that the four recalled ethical pygmies who caused this problem not only cost Mr. Abujbarah dearly and the town has now wasted a reported half million taxpayer dollars defending them and cleaning up their mess, but they did not personally have to pay a dime.

Bob Williams
Cave Creek


Bike lanes in Cave Creek and Carefree

To Cave Creek Council:
It is my understanding that the previous council was the initiator of the $3.7-million bicycle lane project. If improving tourism traffic in the town core is the primary objective, I doubt adding bike lanes is the solution. The infrastructure priorities should be sidewalks for pedestrian traffic and parking.
Visitors conveniently parking their cars and walking around town will add value to the local economy. Bicyclists just pass through town, run stop signs and may only stop to use Cave Creek for a toilet.
Many are unhappy with the decision to move forward with the project, many more are unhappy with the proposed construction schedule.  If there is a way to scrap this initiative you should.
John Hoeppner
Cave Creek

P.S. I know the Federal Government is funding about 94 percent of this project. However, this is not "free" money for the town. Perhaps this is why the highway fund is broke and the country is bleeding red ink.


Morning Star Road Properties

Morning Star Road Properties, Inc
3912 N.54th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85018

August 25, 2015

There has been considerable speculation about plans for our property located along Morningstar Road, west of the Creek, and there are concerns about creating a road connection with the Cahava Springs property. I can assure you, again, we have no such plans to connect the two properties. However, we are preparing plans to subdivide this land, as well as the 20 acres we own to the south of Cahava Ranch Road. Prior to finalizing these plans, and making application to the Town, I want to share them with you and provide an opportunity to ask questions and get answers directly from me. A map of our property will be available at the meeting. We invite you to join us on Tuesday, September 15 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Town Council chambers. If you are unable to attend but have questions, please feel free to contact me at the above email address or phone number.

Mark Stapp


Street repair and maintenance in Cave Creek

It seems that the Pavement Management Plan (PMP) for Cave Creek has some serious flaws. In March, 2015, I noticed that several dead-end streets in Canyon Ridge Estates that have no name and no residents had been carefully seal coated. It seemed odd to me at the time and even odder today that it was a strange priority to expend scarce resources to seal coat these streets to nowhere, with no residents and no names when most heavily used streets urgently need repair and maintenance. I sent an e-mail of inquiry to Mr. Jankowski. That was followed up 3 weeks later with another e-mail asking why he had not responded. In answer he forwarded my original inquiry to Mr. Prinzhorn. His response was that unused roads actually deteriorated faster that used roads and that he was just following the PMP. I had heard that explanation but my question still remains – why were those roads to nowhere with no residents and no names given priority over other roads that have residents and are heavily used and are crumbling. Mr. Prinzhorn also stated that the new builder, Richmond American, would be constructing homes on those roads in the near future. My question there is did Richmond American request the seal coating and if so, did they pay the town for the work? And knowing the damage construction equipment will do to a road, will Richmond America repair them when the building is complete?
I followed up the original e-mails to Mr. Jankowski asking him what he thought about the priorities of the PMP. He chose not to respond. I am increasingly hearing around town that is the way Mr. Jankowski and Mr. Prinzhorn do business. When questions are asked, don’t respond. Maybe they think we will go away. Surprise, we are still here and you might take note of the fact that you work for us. We don’t work for you.

Melanie Williams
Cave Creek


Carefree sign explosion coming

Folks, by the time you read this the town council in Carefree will have voted on how many HUGE new "gateway arch signs"... at a cost of about $ 100,000 each ... you will be seeing real soon.  Three of the wise members are on record saying "no more than TWO." But, at least three members (of the 'Miller/Price Slate") are trying to sell FOUR OR MORE. They have even prepared drawings showing SIX OR MORE, PLUS A GROUP OF SMALLER ONES. Looks like a carnival or Disneyland to me.  We simply must put the brakes on their run a way spending.
Our residents, in 2011-12 answered the survey by shouting loud and clear...TOO MANY SIGNS.  We now have at least 18 (maybe 22) signs on Cave Creek Rd. and Tom Darlington to tell visitors they are in Carefree. What we need is for more of our stores to stay open and offer goods our visitors want to spend their money on. That is economic development.  Not more signs, splash pads or fireplaces. You need to send the council a strong message to stop spending all our reserves.

Contact them by phone or email and give your support to the three brave members who are voting NO to more than two monster signs. 

The message below was sent to all of the Council Members

Subj: Gateway locations

Folks: three of you have visited the Chamber office when I was on duty as a volunteer, over the past two years.  One of the questions I always asked the visitors to the center was..." which streets did you use to come to Carefree??"  I then kept track of the answers … and be reminded these are answers from the visitors we so badly need in Carefree.

About 80 percent replied they come up Scottsdale Road (then Tom D.) and turned into Easy Street at either Wampum or Lucky lane. I don't ever recall anyone turning in on Carefree Drive from Tom D.  NO ONE.

The other 20 percent were pretty evenly split as to Cave Creek Rd. and Pima Rd.  In both cases they turned in on Hum Rd. for the most part.
Folks these are facts, and supported by the Baker Study.

If these proposed Gateways (one or two) are going to cost $100,000 or so, let's see some real smart thinking about the above FACTS, which might be quite different than what one or two council members have on their 'wish list' of ways to make us into a 'Disneyland' center.
Jim Van Allen


Scottsdale open house on “The Outpost” development

The city is hosting an open house on the “Outpost”, the gas station and other commercial development on the northwest corner of Pima Road and Dynamite on September 10 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Copper Ridge School cafeteria. The city’s web site for this case originally had a September 9 date for an offsite Planning Commission hearing, but that was wrong.

If you are concerned about this fourth attempt to jam this commercial development onto this corner, currently zoned for 5 acre lot single family residential, you are encouraged to attend this meeting and provide your comments and/or concerns. The current zoning would allow only 2 homes on the 10 acres, but they want to change the zoning to allow a bunch of commercial buildings, including a gas station. Resident opposition has killed this proposal the last 3 times they have submitted it, but we have to oppose it again to be sure it won’t be approved. I have listed some of the concerns with it below along with the notice.

If there are any of you who think this proposal is good and needed, I would like to hear from you.

Some Issues:

Not Needed. There is NO need for additional commercial in North Scottsdale, there are already vacant commercial buildings and building pads close by. Adding more will put existing businesses out of business. Because NO additional business has been generated, it will not generate ANY additional sales tax income for the city. A quote from an owner of a business in the area: "It doesn't make any sense to create new commercial land when the current stores still are vacant or struggling the way we are."

Will NOT serve any neighborhood. This corner is about as far from any population as you can get in North Scottsdale. The proposed site is in the LEAST dense area of the city, 5 acre lot residential to the north and west and intended preserve on all 3 other sides. NO population to serve, no trip reduction. If anything it will increase trip distance. Other commercial centers are located close to higher density population.

Dangerous Intersection. This intersection, Pima Road and Dynamite, is one of the most dangerous in the city and a busy one. To add a use that will require a lot of turning movements very close to this intersection is a recipe for disaster. Both Pima Road and Dynamite Blvd. are a single lane in each direction on this corner. Left turns out of it will be virtually impossible and even right turns into or out of it will create a dangerous situation at the intersection by backing up traffic. It is one of the worst places such an intense vehicle use could be located.

Not suited for residential claim wrong. Very large lot residential is the ONLY logical use for this corner as it has virtually NO impact on the Dynamite/Pima intersection (access to the site would be from the northeast, not from either Pima or Dynamite) with minimal visual impact. There are many occupied residential sites that are closer to power lines as this site is – some close to the very same power line corridor.

Sets a bad precedent. This will be the FIRST commercial development to encroach into the Desert Foothills Character Area, which is an area that contains ONLY large lot residential development and is the ONLY residential Character Area in the city with a zoning overlay applied to it to control development.

Light Trespass. This site is in a dark skies area. How can light and reflections, particularly from the gas station, be controlled to not intrude on the dark skies? Further, it is downhill from Troon and Estancia, so they will be heavily impacted by light trespass especially from reflections and glare off the pavement and vehicles at the gas station.

Howard Myers


Carefree council meetings a pretense of openness

It appears that a very few Carefree council members have commandeered a complete takeover of this town’s administrative body, including control of any and all decision-making actions. The balance of council members act as simple rubber-stampers of whatever direction the council chieftains want to take the village.

This majority appears to be another bunch of big government guys who are looking strictly for the big expenditures that will drive the need for increased sales tax revenue (but not necessarily drive the actuality of those increases) so that bigger expenditures for barmy, no payback, feel-good projects can continue.

The effort is a sort of cover that affords the council the opportunity to present a public appearance that suggests it is “doing something” to enhance the town’s identity and increase the visitor count. The “doing something” also connotes the comfort of job security for the elected council in that voters would possibly be reluctant to replace a sitting council if there are many unfinished or planned projects awaiting completion or implementation.

But the money they might receive from increased sales tax revenue, or more likely a looming property tax when the sales taxes inadequately cover routine administrative expenses, is intended to continue the growth of bigger and bigger Carefree government. The intent is to convert Carefree to a sort of today’s mini-America. Bigger government requires more and more money, more and more staff, and the need to keep re-electing the same “idea” guys that control town council actions, decisions and expenditures in order to dream-up even more projects to cover the misspent, no-return investments of past endeavors.

For example, why does the town need a new building to house the council chambers? At the most recent council meeting, there were two Carefree residents in attendance. These two were in addition to the ever-present duo of “Carefree Truth” videographer/spinmeisters and the Sonoran News reporter. In the last 40-months there was a standing room only crowd on a paltry 3 occasions.

The current meeting room is 1,400 square feet and a new building would “ . . . . take care of the needs when the town was built-out.” Really? Isn’t the council putting the proverbial cart before the horse and living in the fantasy world of wishful thinking? When, exactly, is this build-out completion scheduled? And is the justification based on, “If you build-it, they will come”? Oh yes . . . I forgot, a splash-pad with scorpion feature is going to be the salvation for the town’s financial condition.

Fellow residents, this self-serving council, at least a majority of it, want to mold Carefree into something it never was, was never intended to be, and something that I believe the great majority of full-time residents do not want it to be.

On the other hand, the town could save some money on the chair expense for new council chambers. The only seating needed would be for the two spinmeister/videographers, the two residents of the town who might choose to attend this month’s pretense of a public meeting (in other words, watch the meeting begin and then abruptly adjourn into the secretive executive session where the real discussions and decisions occur), and a chair for Ms. Bentley, reporter from the Sonoran News.

The frequent and quick segues to executive sessions after the meeting is opened combined with both the invariable “Carefree Truth” one-sided description of council meeting antics and the accompanying video showing the backs of the heads of speakers with the frequent sound interruptions of the orators’ words, ensures that Carefree residents remain discouraged from meeting attendance. Why bother attending when one can always read the reports of the meeting activities from the “Carefree Truth” newsletter publisher who lives, not for the Carefree truth, but for currying the recognition, praise and favor of town council members? That newsletter, and especially its video — good sleep therapy, I say.

Fred Groszkruger


Dear Mayor Peterson,

I am a resident of Carefree and I am choosing to send a letter to you instead of using Sonoran News as a middle man. While I realize that the bike lane issue is never going to be resolved till all the roads are torn out and refitted to the bicycle folks I would just like to add ‘live’ opinion, i.e.: from someone who has actual weekly, sometimes daily experience with bicycles.
Unfortunately it is me!

I have my own business and I have to drive all our roads for my business. I am so sick and tired of all the havoc the bicycles are creating that it is a relief when I don’t see any!!
The highlight of my week, trying to travel south down Pima while all the church folks are coming and goinng and all the bicycles are peddling in packs of 2-3 wide! I guess my point is that it is NOT going to matter how much or how many lanes you give to the bicycles, they are going to take the road they want, and when they want to! You need to get out on the road and experience it for yourself because it is a real thrill to be traveling and have cars entering your lane from the other direction while other drivers are trying to get around these packs!! Add to it some of the folds that WANT to give a bicycle their lane and swing out into yours, and it turns into a nerve racking, very, very dangerous and totally unacceptable way for our roads to be operating. I have wished 1000 times for police to be out there to see the real danger the bicycles are creating! I used to have respect for them ‘til they started running stops lights and signs, turning when they felt like it instead of with the right of way! I’m sorry, if they need more room they need to find different roads because it is obvious to me that adding wide lanes for them is NOT going to matter! Case in point: go travel on Dynamite toward Troon! All that time, energy and money on that road to give them nice wide lanes and they are still outside them most of the time, if they are even on that road now!! We can’t design bike lanes wide enough for 2-4 bicycles wide without turning all our roads into freeways!! Now they are concentrating on any road that doesn’t accommodate them instead of using the ones that do! Also I love those “bike lanes closed” signs that have to be used in the construction areas!! -The bicycles just take over the car lane then! I have seen it all out there and I sure wish you would too!
I have tried using Scottsdale Road as often as I can because of course now that it is all wide bike lanes, the bicycles hardly use it at all! Instead they would rather be on 2 lane road where no one has any options to stay safe!

I can tell you are a stickler for facts, well all of mine are true and I wish you would get out there and see it! I don’t even have to wait to get to Pima, the hoards of bike riders blast thru my quiet neighborhood on a regular basis! They speed through down the hills! It was especially exciting when one happy smiling fellow ran right into the front fender of my truck just barely stopping himself from flying over my truck -he ran the stop sign!! Unfortunately I was too busy trying to jumpstart my heart when I slammed on my brakes to avoid him running into me, to get out and give him a huge piece of my mind! Of course he didn’t care about scratching my fender! While I wanted to be glad he was fine, I also wanted to kill his bicycle!!

When I was a child I learned to keep my bicycle out of the roadway where the cars were, NOT to expect NOR force the cars to move for me! Apparently the bicycles have the full roadway right of way today!!!?? I hope they will appreciate all the destruction of this beautiful area that they are causing but I’m pretty sure they won’t! What I can’t figure out is why no one that actually lives in this beautiful area is speaking out!? Why no one cares??! We are supposed to be caretakers of the desert, not destroyers of it! If we wanted all that roadway and wide shoulders we would move to Phoenix! Why do we need to ruin our roads to accommodate bicycles?!? I know I’ll never get any answers, just needed to vent!

You may say that you think Mr. Van Allen is incorrect in his facts. What is totally true and 100 percent visible is that it is not going to matter how much lane we give for the bicycles, they aren’t going got be happy, it won’t be enough.

Now naturally all this useless construction is going to occur at high season to further add to the chaos! Another bad idea!! What I am also trying to figure out is who is really going to get their pockets filled by doing all of this!!?? It certainly isn’t for the “greater good,” or the safety of the automobiles that have to be on the road!!?? Just curious….

I know this was long, hopefully you read it. I wish it mattered. Thank you for letting me vent.

A concerned citizen of small town living!