My View

By Don Sorchych | March 11, 2009

Don SorchychCave creek elections • Volunteers • Carefree excesses • Predators

After looking at the Scottsdale Republic (SR) choices for Cave Creek Council I asked several town leaders whether SR had used coin flips, dartboards or dice for their choices. What a line up!

But what do you expect when their knowledge of Cave Creek politics is so limited? Did Editor Leger make his choices after a full two hours with the crew of 11 incumbents and challengers? Or did he ask Beth Duckett, who attends most town council meetings, or was it that mysterious group called the Editorial Board, which never goes north of Bell Road?

Sonoran News eliminated both women in Cave Creek elections, not because of misogyny but because they are both flawed. Grace Meeth has become a beacon of hate and ancient ideas about what Cave Creek is or can be. She pals with people who have agendas unseen by her, or arranged by her, but are enormously costly to the town. Her assaults on the town staff are unprofessional and false.

Kim Brennan is a walking conflict of interest, which means she has to recuse for critical votes, or votes because of the infamous rule of ten, which allows her to legally vote even though a vote may benefit her restaurant, pole dancing or real estate business. Ten years of stripping in Anchorage, Las Vegas and New Orleans is great preparation to be a council woman.

Leaving those two women in, resulted in Steve LaMar being left out by the Republic, a major sin.

Cave Creek has chartered advisory committees for water, fire, budget and economics. It is a good way to make effective use of the variety of great human resources in town.
However, they are recommending bodies, not decision making entities.
We have a representative form of government and we elect a mayor and council to make decisions that benefit the town and people residing here.

Yet it is alarming that several committee members feel otherwise.

I was hearing from town hall that water rates would differ between residential and business users. I was amazed when in the council meeting Ralph Mozilo, chairman of the water board, had Utilities Manager Jessica Marlowe present tiered payments for both.

I found later that Town Manager Usama Abujbarah was concerned about the profitability of town core businesses and sought a flat rate for businesses. Claiming it wasn’t fair, Mozilo argued committee members would quit if their plans weren’t followed.

George Ross who serves on several committees called Abujbarah and berated him about the flat rate plan, threatened to recall Mayor Vincent Francia and to give his remaining PAC funds, about ten thousand dollars, to a local charity and not to choices that would benefit the town.

We understand he has now relented, but Ross had every opportunity to run for council and chose instead to be a volunteer.

The citizens who volunteer should be cheered, but they are not binding decision makers and should leave their egos at home.

Since the council wasn’t offered an alternative, they voted 5-2 to buy Mozilo’s plan. Gilbert Lopez and Meeth were the No votes, obviously.

Town staff had considered two flat rates for core businesses. One would have resulted in a deduction of about $60,000 from about $3 million in revenue. The lower rate would have resulted in about a $160,000 deduction from the $3 million in revenue.

Either option, although painful, would be affordable by town businesses, especially the lower rate.

The town needs revenue to provide a growing tax base. They won’t get it if they put businesses into Chapter 11, or worse, Chapter 10.

Carefree PACs, Get out and Vote 2009 and Caring about Carefree, are lead by a small and vicious group of men. They lose no opportunity to spread false and misleading propaganda.
Linda Bentley, in three hard hitting front page stories demystified two of the claims and put the blame squarely on town hall, especially Mayor Wayne Fulcher.

If the town’s use of their official newsletter, COINS, for political purposes isn’t a violation of statute, then just forget law. We will see whether Attorney General Terry Goddard will do his job this time.

We thoroughly investigated the charge that Carefree Councilman Bob Coady had abused the law by having a “secret” bank account for recycling. Both towns concede there was nothing secret about the account and our review of the account showed it to be absolutely in order.

Don’t be surprised if a lawsuit goes to the heart of the matter. We know who gave the propaganda sheet to the Arizona Republic and who gave the sheet to a Cave Creek businessman. Both are uncompromising fools. But they aren’t alone and lawsuits tend to bring out the truth through discovery.

I read of the sad death of a Jaguar in southern Arizona. It was tranquilized and had a collar attached so it could be tracked by satellite. When its wandering slowed it was darted again and euthanized because of kidney disease. How long would the animal have lived if it had been left alone?

An expert testified the stress of the tranquilization chemicals had caused the death. After raising a half dozen wolves from birth to death at about age 16, I have a special affinity for predators and watching them almost daily is a treat.

They kill. That is why they are here. So do we Homo sapiens. Ever hear about war?
We especially enjoy a pair of road runners that nest on our property and often see coyotes and bobcats.

Even as a meat hunter, death of prey animals is not a pleasant sight. But that is how nature works.

I wrote an editorial years ago condemning the federal wolf program. I called them bionic wolves, collared and only a step away from being caught – and killed because they kill cattle, just low hanging fruit to them.

Isn’t it time to let them alone? They will repopulate in their own time and own way.