They wear the union label
Who is the negative faction in Cave Creek aligned with now? The UFCW, which opposes Walmart on a national level. They have formed a PAC, funded by the UFCW, and are collecting signatures for a referendum opposing Walmart. Who is leading this effort to have Cave Creek commit economic suicide? The usual suspects: Anna Marsolo, the non resident, former councilwoman Grace Meeth and their followers. Their last effort was to fire town manager Usama Abjubarah by electing candidates that would support that issue ... This resulted in a blow out election where all candidates who openly supported Usama and Walmart were elected. Now they have aligned themselves with the Union, in an effort to have Cave Creek fail economically.
They are openly soliciting signatures for a referendum to defeat the General Plan Amendment and the Rezoning which allows Walmart to build on the 20 acre property along Cave Creek Rd. recently purchased for $8,000,000. They have hired teams of solicitors who are in the process of collecting the required 126 signatures. If successful, on any one or both of these issues, there will be a special election on November 3, 2009 for Cave Creek citizens only. The election will ask Cave Creek residents to either support or not support the General Plan Amendment and the Rezoning. It will delay the construction of Walmart by three to four months, costing Cave Creek $8,000 to conduct the election and three to four months of lost sales tax revenue which could amount to $750,000. It is hard to imagine, in these economic times, that citizens of Cave Creek would vote themselves into bankruptcy. Economic collapse means no open space, no trails, no streetscape and no self determination.
What these naysayers are demanding is unconscionable. Their “head in the sand” approach defies reality. The intersection of Cave Creek Rd. and Carefree Highway and the surrounding properties are and should be zoned commercial. The market place has already determined the nature of that area. It is for Cave Creek to determine how it looks. Rest assured that Cave Creek will insure the environmental soundness of development on this property. It will be far superior to what Phoenix, Scottsdale and Carefree have done in the surrounding area. Walmart has already agreed to meet or exceed all Cave Creek building and zoning codes which include dark skies lighting, setbacks, building height, signage and all other regulations.
The mayor, council, manager and staff of Cave Creek are working tirelessly to secure the financial future of the town. Continue voting yes for a sound economic future for Cave Creek; leave the naysayers in the past where they belong. Support this essential economic solution. Say NO to the union and YES TO THE FUTURE, SUPPORT CAVE CREEK AND WALMART.
George Ross | Cave Creek
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Wally World in Cave Creek
Phoenix is planning to build a Walmart in the town of Cave Creek. Some people disagree and think there should not be a Walmart built there because it’s a residential area. But I disagree with them because there are already many huge stores like Lowe’s, Home Depot, etc. I think they should build a Walmart so we can get basic needs from there and yet save more money.
Harrison Jones, 13 years of age | Cave Creek
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To the people of Carefree
I have lived in Carefree a long, long time and have friends on both sides of the political divide. I try to stay out of politics and still don't know what a "good old boy" means. Only over the past few years have I even noticed the wrongdoings of people like Schwan. Some of my friends who also don't like the mayor tell me not to support the recall effort because it will just further divide the town and be negative.
Just wait for the next election they tell me. Having seen the ugly shenanigans of those behind the mail hit pieces, I know how they feel.
And I agreed with them at first to not rock the boat, to stay quiet and wait it out.
But then I got to thinking, why should we have to wait? Isn't it our right to recall our elected officials if they fail to represent us, if they fail to act ethically, if they fail to fulfill their duties of office with professionalism and honor? Isn't that the whole point of having a right to recall someone?
It's more than our right. It's our duty as citizens. Since becoming a councilman Schwan has time and time again gone against the will of the voters and taken harmful positions. He has treated the people he is supposed to represent like uninformed children, not the respectable adults they are. And he has followed in weakness rather than lead with strength. He is, quite simply, unfit for public office. I will not wait two more years let alone two more seconds to oust the man.
We need to unite together as a community and send a strong message that the will of the people shall prevail. That we don't want last place vote getters becoming our mayor. That we don't want people who belittle their constituents and fail to live up to their duties of office as our councilmen. That is why we should take a stand NOW, not in two years, and recall David Schwan.
Newly Awakened Old Timer | Via e-mail
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Unseemly and unwarranted attacks
As an acquaintance of Jayne Carroll, I have occasionally enjoyed a conversation with her, even though politically we are poles apart. No matter. However, her recent outbursts, as reported in Sonoran News, have taken a decidedly ugly turn which I must deplore.
Back to basics. The recent town election was tantamount to a referendum of Walmart. Those who supported it were voted in, with one turncoat exception. Those who did not were shown the door. In the run up to the election, Ms. Carroll wrote to the Scottsdale Republic and stated there were many other options available to the council, although she failed to enumerate any of them.
The democratic process has been strictly adhered to at every step. Nobody, except non-residents of course, wants to impose a property tax so Walmart represents an excellent way forward for Cave Creek. The naysayers have the option of attempting a referendum; that is how our system works. I believe the only result, if they are even successful in placing it on the ballot, will be an unfortunate delay of the commencement of the project, plus an additional cost of $8-10,000 to the town that we can ill afford. As I said, that is the process, and part of our system of checks and balances, and I respect that.
However, to accuse the mayor and council and local business people of being "pimps" and "apologists" without a shred of evidence is disgraceful. These baseless and unfounded accusations have no place in the public discourse, and border on the libelous.
I, for one, sincerely hope she will apologize to all for these unseemly and unwarranted attacks.
Gary Kiernan | Cave Creek
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To Mr. Ducharme and associates
Are you fxZ&8ing nuts? Why do you want to put the town through that kind of expense for absolutely the most ridiculous reasons anyone can come up with?
David Schwan has been a great asset to the people of Carefree; and yes, we are citizens and voters in Carefree and know the contributions he has made. Certainly that far outnumbers anything you have done for our town.
You would be well advised to disassociate yourself from Bob Coady and the Sonoran Rag (useful at best as shredded material for my compost pile), both of whom cast spurious innuendos and falsehoods about anyone not agreeing with them.
If David Schwan votes against the peoples' wishes then you can be assured that he has a very good reason. Voting against your request, along with the rest of the council, for zoning changes was one of the votes that the "people of Carefree" wanted. If you were an honorable person you would not force your particular issues on the town of Carefree just because of your negative attitude from being a sore loser.
How about getting a life and leave this alone. We are a small community and don't need the kind of negativeness (sic) you bring to it.
Vince Fratarcangeli | Cave Creek
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Sales tax goes with us
We lived south of downtown Cave Creek for over twenty-five years. In those good old days we loved having breakfast at Jackie's Breakfast Cafe or the Mine Shaft, and always enjoyed an evening meal at the Tree House, Buffalo Chip, or The Long Branch before it became a Jesus is Lord store. We still enjoy dining out at the Horny Toad, Silver Spur, Harold's, and some of the spendier places in Cave Creek.
Your editorial stance and some of your residents in these newer days suggest that we should keep our noses out of Cave Creek's business if we happen to live outside of your town limits. Some of your noses are so high in the air they even suggest that we should have a different zip code.
Please be careful when you insist we keep our noses out of your business. We might take you up on it; we can travel those few miles east, south, or west to eat out, and may even spend our money in other Walmarts. And, of course, our sales tax goes with us. "Me thinks thou dost protest too much!"
Charles Bormann | Cave Creek
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Light in the tunnel
The recent election brought three new faces to the Carefree Town Council. Thank God for Peter Koteas and Doug Stavoe!
There is little doubt the prior Council majority, led by combative ex-mayor Fulcher, tried to hang a budget albatross around the neck of the new council. Bottom up budgeting? A Balanced Budget? Plenty of money in the General Fund Reserve? Cow Pies for all the believers!
Coady didn't like the budget. Koteas and Stavoe didn't buy into it; they are a lot smarter and quicker than defeated/resigned members of the past government, and other current office holders. Coady admits he is not a financial whiz, Gemmill still thinks he is, but it’s the other Gemmill that is the whiz.
The budget handed over to the new council was a sham, period. Revenue assumptions were the magic dust of Disney. Expenses, based upon those assumptions, were even more ludicrous. I praise Koteas and Stavoe for hanging tough, forcing a line by line review of the budget and engineering at least some realistic reductions in spending. I bet some council members never had to look at the details before – gracious Greg always told them the score, as he crafted it, and they swallowed. It had been easy for most of Carefree's existence because revenue exceeded expenses – no longer. Any fool can spend money, a shrewd man spends wisely.
The Court remains a significant problem. It had been the catalyst for rushing to purchase a property in town which now appears destined as another financial drain on the budget.
Further, the Court has not been self sufficient; it will run up a deficit nearing $200,000 in the new fiscal year alone, an amount that must be covered from the Town's general fund reserves. The Court's primary function is to directly serve the residents of Carefree, yet its docket is filled almost exclusively with non-resident matters, like traffic tickets and the like. Such matters can easily be handled by another jurisdiction of our choosing, for a fee, without draining our budget and perhaps generating some actual income.
There is still plenty of work to be done in order to craft a rational budget, but Koteas and Stavoe illuminated the potholes. Together with Coady, they are beginning to make a positive difference. The days of 6 – 1 council votes, steaming-rolling over the will of the people, may finally be coming to an end.
John Traynor | Carefree
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Salvation at hand?
Perhaps a turn of the cards has supplied Cave Creek with it's financial savior in Adam Trenk. With water rates rising and budget woes looming putting Trenk in charge of solving these money problems may be just the ticket. After all, he was able to rally contributions in excess of some 40 times that of his opponents for a council seat.
Randy Edwards | Cave Creek
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Where is our representation?
As a citizen of Cave Creek, I too moved here to what I had considered a better quality of life. I moved away from subdivisions cutely named Quail's Run or Coyote Springs, when in truth they should be called "Red Roof Vistas" or "Block Wall Views." I moved away from the "conveniences" of the more populated areas. I moved away from the malls, Walmarts, the Costcos, and the PetSmarts.
I moved to an area where I could still see mountains all around me, rather than seeing a mountain in the right corner of my upstairs window. I moved to an area where I could see the desert animals not just in the zoo, but in my backyard.
I moved to a town in which people can still ride horses into town. I moved to a town that even taxed itself to keep out a Four Seasons Resort in order to maintain and preserve the character of the town.
I moved here for all the right reasons. Unfortunately something has gone wrong.
I naively thought as probably you do too, that our local officials represent the people of the town. Suddenly we are being asked to accept anything under a 20 acre parcel of land is subject to renegotiation under the General Plan. This means that residentially zoned land under 20 acres could very easily become commercial property. In other words, this means that the unimproved lot next to you would no longer be home to a family of owls and a family of bobcats, but instead it would be home to a new PetSmart. And this is how Walmart is moving into Cave Creek … through zoning changes.
We elect our officials to represent the wishes of the people. Yet the surveys I saw in our local paper plainly stated that the readers of this paper were against the establishment of a Walmart by a 3 to 1 vote. At Open Meetings at the Black Mountain Baptist Church and at the Cave Creek Town Hall the majority of citizens spoke against the development of Walmart. Indeed it does appear that our local officials are not listening to their constituents who have elected them.
True, as a town our financial circumstances are, at best, desperate. Yet is that a good reason for our officials to sell our sole (sic) to Walmart?
With Walmart, comes crime, depreciation of our property, and a host of other undesirable activities. Our officials have opted to bring a 24 hour Super Walmart into town saying that the people would never accept a property tax. But they never, in all their wisdom put it to a referendum and asked us.
I wonder where is our representation?
Marie Keane | Cave Creek
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Response to Fenger Pointing
I would like to thank Becky for the very informative article on "Why Walpin Matters."
Most interesting point is, if this were a Republican President involved, the "masses" (Democrats) would be demanding his impeachment. I certainly hope that the proper legal channels are followed and Mr. Walpin will either be reinstated or at least that there will be an investigation into how the funds from the AmeriCorps grants were used/misused. These tactics are very reminiscent of the entire "Chicago" mentality which in plain English spells Mafia style politics.
J. Bitler | Scottsdale
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A pair of kings
When King Abdullah of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia bestowed a gold necklace and pendant to BHO, it became apparent that this award, to be bestowed ONLY TO MALE MEMBERS OF MUSLIM FAITH, was from equal to equal. This time, BHO did not bow to Abdullah, as he had before.
This was a ceremony between a pair of kings: King Abdullah of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and King Hussein of Obamistan.
I weep for our dead republic!
C.O. Jones | Desert Foothills
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