NOVEMBER 17, 2010
Yetta wields power of persuasion to pass Cave Creek Hug Day
Wild West Days deemed ”incredible success“
Channel 3’s Yetta Gibson, presiding as guest mayor, wielded the power of persuasion, a gavel and the tie-breaking vote to pass a proclamation declaring Jan. 1, 2011 “Cave Creek Hug Day.”
CAVE CREEK – Thomas McGuire, the former councilman who lost his seat to Councilman Adam Trenk in a card draw during the last election, announced at Monday night’s council meeting during Call to the Public that he was running for council again and collecting signatures.
He stated, “With less than 50 percent of citizens subscribing to Rural Metro,” the town needed to explore its options.
Johnny Ringo also spoke to thank council, the chamber and Channel 3 for helping make Wild West Days an “incredible success.”
Ringo said there were record sales by 21 merchants, they received 250,000 hits on their website and raised $1,200 for the 100 Club, $5,000 for Luv Shack Horse Rescue and $500 for DFCA and Fiesta Days.
He said the town needed to do more activities like Wild West Days throughout the year.
After unanimously passing the consent agenda, council voted to allow Channel 3’s Yetta Gibson to preside as guest mayor on an agenda item proclaiming Hug Day in Cave Creek.
Planning Director Ian Cordwell introduced the item and said staff picked Jan. 1, 2011 to be designated “Cave Creek Hug Day” because it was past the flu season.
Gibson opened up the discussion for public comment and members of the Grand Canyon Council Cub Scout Pack 134 weighed in on the subject.
Taj with the Grand Canyon Council Cub Scout Pack 134 spoke during public comments to say, “I think Hug Day is awesome.
Matthew was against it and said, “Some people may be uncomfortable with Hug Day.”
Taj, on the other hand, said, “I think Hug Day is awesome.”
Nate agreed, stating, “I think Hug Day would be pretty good.”
Seeming somewhat skeptical, Ben asked, “Why would we want to hug someone all day?”
Gibson clarified that they wouldn’t have to hug anyone all day and it was only one day out of the entire year.
When Bennett said he was “kind of against it,” Gibson asked, “How can I change your mind?” and asked if she could give him a hug right then. However, Bennett demurred.
Cole said he was “forward” but thought it should just be done in one place rather than everywhere in town.
Gibson, seeking a tie breaker, found it with Drake, who was all for Hug Day.
Councilman Steve LaMar moved to approve the proclamation, for the purpose of discussion, but said he was more inclined to support it once it was clarified they were discussing Hug Day rather than Hog Day.
Vice Mayor Ernie Bunch expressed concerns about security and said, “I’m going to have to vote no.”
Councilman Dick Esser said he was undecided, while Councilman Jim Bruce was all for it.
Councilman Ralph Mozilo said he had two concerns, one of which was the cost for security, as brought up by Bunch and it was not in the budget. “The second issue,” said Mozilo, “There are a lot of people in this town I really don’t want to hug,” adding there were probably a lot of people who didn’t want to hug him either.
Trenk asked Town Attorney Marlene Pontrelli if there was a legal precedent for such a declaration.
Pontrelli said there was not but Cave Creek has always been “forward thinking” and stated the law firm would vigorously defend the town if there were some sort of legal action stemming from any sort of outbreak.
With a split council vote of 3-3, with Bunch, Esser and Mozilo dissenting, Gibson cast the tie-breaking vote to pass the proclamation.
However, during the five-minute break after the agenda item, Gibson was somehow able to engage the entire council in a group hug before leaving.
The “Let Yetta Do It” segment will air on Monday, Nov. 22 during Channel 3’s “Good Morning Arizona.”
After the break, Court Administrator Yvonne Passey introduced the next agenda item, requesting an increase in the Court Enhancement Fee from $20 to $25 per defendant/citation.
Passey said the fee had not been increased in over 10 years. The request also included an effective date of Jan. 1, 2011, which would save money by delaying the printing of new bond cards and envelopes.
Mozilo asked how she arrived at the amount of the increase and questioned if an increase to $30 would be a hardship on those assessed the fee.
Passey responded, “Yes, it would be a hardship.”
Trenk, who said the increase was modest and necessary, moved to approve the first reading of the ordinance, which passed unanimously.
Yetta Gibson may be the only mayor in Cave Creek history able to engage the entire council in a group hug, especially considering the Hug Day proclamation only passed by a 4-3 vote.
Photos by Linda Bentley