My View

By Don Sorchych | October 7, 2009

bil canfield cartoon

Don Sorchych
Walmart • CCUSD • Kiwanis

The simplest and most compelling thing I can repeat about Walmart is our experience with Home Depot. Walmart won’t say much about it, but it is a fact they have their eyes on the nursery a couple of hundreds yards to the south as a back up to the Cave Creek location.

I know there was a high level meeting with Walmart and Phoenix officials and the blanks aren’t hard to fill.

If you think your property value is horrendously low, and it is, it will drop like a rock if Walmart is not here. If property taxes are enabled because we lose Walmart, property values will drop.

Walmart has proved to be a good neighbor and gives Creekers a place to do one stop shopping, but they have options that we don’t.

We need Walmart desperately, so please greet them with an overwhelmingly positive vote. Remember to vote YES for propositions 400 and 401, which is in favor of the general plan amendment and rezoning applications made by Walmart.

Remembering YES for Walmart is vital and remembering NO for the CCUSD override is also important.

It is undisputed that the override is taxpayer’s money used to exceed their operating budget by five percent. Why allow budget overrides, especially when the state is providing huge funds thanks to our liberal governor?

The economy, including employment, has substantially dropped. CCUSD has full override this year and will have one third drops the next two years.

Attorney Carol Lynn de Szendeffy has sent letters to CCUSD and got a letter back from CCUSD’s Attorney Christopher Schmaltz of Gust Rosenfeld’s firm that supported the schools position on using school resources to pimp for the override. Is it surprising when an attorney agrees with his client?

The school has long broken election laws and the elections department supposedly trained school officials in January. Obviously the training didn’t sink in.

This year you will need earplugs, because PAC leader Steven Hart is deploying teams of “community activists’ to visit your homes and give you a one-sided lecture.

Keep your money and CCUSD will do fine. Industries know what to do in bad times. They cut back. School districts believe cut backs are evil and use the “it is for the kids” argument. It is not about the kids. It is about their jobs and salaries.

Industry people take salary cuts. Have you heard of any offers to take salary cuts from school administrators or support staff?

Vote NO on the CCUSD override.

I once wrote an editorial about Carefree Kiwanis. It was about a call from President Lee Lange during which he suggested when I referred to Kiwanis, I should use the phrase “a local social club” as opposed to Kiwanis.

I said I would think about it, he replied, “I am not asking you, I am telling you!”
That ended the conversion until my next editorial was written.

It is a good time to revisit the discussion I had then for many other reasons.

In my past editorial I conceded the patriotic song and pledge to the flag were moving and thrilling to be involved in. I went on and described the changes over the years. In the mid 90s there were only two women members, but I would imagine by now women are a majority.

When I joined it was a jolly club and volunteers took their membership seriously. In the mid 90s the club was about local charitable work. Year by year Kiwanis became more focused on politics. Probably not a majority, but a sizable group followed Huber Stevens, a pied piper who once was mayor but dropped out in the succeeding election because he was at the bottom in the primary.

Although I haven’t been to Kiwanis much in the past four years I have been there often enough and have friends who keep me abreast to get the drift.

For instance, I remember the leader of Habitat for Humanity bragged that over 50 percent of Kiwanians were involved in local Habitat issues.

It is notable that all of the Habitat units were built in Cave Creek, none in Carefree.

I grumbled editorially about Kiwanis involvement in CCUSD’s school board hiring Superintendent Debbi Burdick. Burdick even sent a letter to Kiwanis, thanking them for their help in getting her job. Why is a “local social club” involved in the CCUSD superintendent’s position, even passing around a petition in Burdick’s favor and sending it to the district?

I saw Burdick today looking chic in a yellow T-shirt emblazoned with Learn YES for the override. Don’t be surprised if Kiwanians go to the next few Wednesday luncheon meetings covering their paunches with those T-shirts.

Of course there is the political involvement in Carefree politics by Good Old Boys (GOBs) who have infiltrated officer and director positions in Carefree Kiwanis.

Over the years I have heard outright endorsements from the floor in Kiwanis meetings. I have complained about former Mayor Ed Morgan endorsing five candidates from the podium. I complained about Mayor Ed Morgan introducing and chatting with Attorney General Terry Goddard while Morgan was under investigation by the attorney general’s office.

A Carefree activist wrote the head of Kiwanis International complaining of the politics in Kiwanis. He received no answer. He wrote again with the same result.

I wrote about Huber Stevens accosting then Vice Mayor Lloyd Meyers in Kiwanis and haranguing Meyers to take recycling away from Carefree Councilman Bob Coady so he wouldn’t be so popular.

The only people we saw collecting useless petition signatures to register support for David Schwan were Kiwanians.

How can anyone be for Schwan after he trampled the constitutional rights of Ryan Ducharme and Rod de Szendeffy? How about bid rigging – does Kiwanis support Chicago tactics?

I could go on for thousands of words but you get the picture.

To add insult, today, Councilwoman Susan Vanik takes the president position in Kiwanis. Vanik is a Good Old Girl (GOG). I know how undemocratic Kiwanis voting is so there is no surprise here.

So, today, effective October five, I submit my resignation from Carefree Kiwanis.