Council presented with White Paper and draft budget

By Linda Bentley | June 10, 2009

Citizens outraged over one-minute comment limit, water bills
CAVE CREEK – Call to the Public brought Jim Hamberlin to the podium during Monday’s council meeting to say he drove over 80 miles to attend the planning commission meeting on Thursday, representing a landowner who has owned his property for 40 years and was upset about the one-minute limit for public comments.

He said “council’s actions” to bring Walmart to town has caused the landowner to suffer a 50 percent loss in value.

Dean PhilipsDean Phillips, who lives in closest proximity to the proposed Walmart, said, “One minute was not enough time … If three minutes is what is reasonable and customary, let’s get back to that. One minute was entirely inappropriate.”

Paul Diefenderfer spoke about an e-mail the town manager had forwarded to people that called his wife Anna Marsolo a “bitch.” Diefenderfer said the town manager told him he didn’t feel he needed to apologize. He said, “I deserve better, my wife deserves better and the citizens of Cave Creek deserve better,” and stormed out.

Jerry Pettigrew said he was there to discuss water rates. He said his water bill has increased from $155 to $494. “How many people expected their bill to go up 318 percent?” asked Pettigrew, adding, “This will cause devaluation to properties in the hamlet of Cave Creek.”
Roger Kohrs also was outraged by his water bill, which he said was more than his electric, gas and trash bills combined.

Christopher Verdi, who owns Storm Haven Stables at 504 W. Galvin in the Desert Hills Water service area, said he can have up to 100 horses and can’t just shut the water off, but said his water bill has increased from $400 to $1,900.

Kathryn Bosco, chair of the Cave Creek Citizens for the Future Committee, presented their White Paper to council with specific recommendation, some of which the town manager had already implemented, to reduce expenses, increase revenue and long-term economic development.

The White Paper can be downloaded from the town’s website at
Town Accountant Marian Groeneveld, along with each department head, presented the draft budget to council. A public hearing is scheduled for June 22, at which council will adopt the tentative budget.

Photo: Dean Phillips, who lives in closest proximity to the proposed Walmart, told council the one-minute time limit imposed for public comment during Thursday’s planning commission meeting was “entirely inappropriate.”
Photo by Linda Bentley