Don Sorchych My View

NOVEMBER 24, 2010

Do real men hug everybody?
• Property taxes

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The Cave Creek Council meeting on Nov, 15 featured an abominable snow woman named Yetta who, with help from Mayor Vincent Francia, decided the town needed to file off its rough edges.

Forgive me for a curmudgeon reaction. I no more think this town can be described by hugs, hogs or ughs, well ughs maybe, than I think we should collectively be called perfectly uncivilized.

C’mon on people.

canfield hugs
This “exciting” event even merited a quarter-page in the Scottsdale Republic. The article told us that Yetta Gibson, who is a Channel 3 TV talking head when she isn’t doing silly things to Cave Creek, met Francia at Turf Paradise where he labors as general manager. She must have fed him something funny for him to suggest this event as “fun.”

One councilman, who chooses to remain anonymous, told me of a conversation he had with a Whispering Hills subdivision citizen who asked the councilman if what he read in the Scottsdale Republic was true. When the councilman said it was generally true, he was told he didn’t pay taxes for that kind of shenanigans to go on at town hall.


Fortunately for all concerned, a troop of cub scouts were there to learn what government does, otherwise hostility would have boiled over. The kids’ answers to Yetta’s questions were telling. If Yetta had not chosen a cub with a minority view, that is pro hug, her idea would have gone down in flames as it should have.

Bentley’s news story follows:

Gibson opened up the discussion for public comment and members of the Grand Canyon Council Cub Scout Pack 134 weighed in on the subject.

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.

It is notable that the Republic reporter only gave the views of the council’s three attorneys, all of whom voted for the Jan. 1 Hug Day in Cave Creek. Thankfully, NFL cooperates with games on New Years Day, which saves most men from presence in the towm where hugs will be lurking all day long.

The testosterone battle was almost won by Vice Mayor Ernie Bunch, Councilmen Dick Esser and Ralph Mozilo all of whom voted NO. The three lawyers, Jim Bruce, Steve Lamar and Adam Trenk, who recently passed the Arizona Bar, all voted YES, leaving a tie breaker with the Yetta person. Of course she voted YES thereby declaring New Years Day Hug Day. I like UGH day better and I am sure the frivolous action by someone none of us voted for obviates the declaration.

Linda Bentley’s online article was more revealing. Mozilo’s take was the best of evening: 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.

Right on Ralph, I feel the same way ... and so do most real men.

Bentley published a photo of the council, in a circle, hugging.


I hope the Scout Master encourages parents of the Cub Scouts to visit a competent hypnotist and have their memories of the council meeting erased. Hopefully the scouts will try again during a “normal” meeting.

Last Friday the Republic recycled the HUG nonsense but added Francia’s belief, unlike a mayoral proclamation, HUG Day would drive business to town. I say, much like “perfectly uncivilized,” it will drive people away. Come here to get hugged or is it mugged?

Yep, UGH has it.

Property taxes

Back to the real world.

Rumors are circulating about the rising costs of the Rural Metro contract. There is concern about the huge increase of billings over last year. It has been mentioned that citizen participation is less than 50 percent. I have asked Fire Chief John Kraetz why he doesn’t hire sales people to get new customers and he says he can’t get the budget for that.

To avoid a property tax for fire services, Carefree raised their sales tax by one percent arguing the increase would total $1 million and that purchasers (from out of town) would pay for fire protection. Former Mayor Ed Morgan was adamant about that and vocal. One has to wonder whether potential customers remember they were being taxed for fire protection. So maybe that and advertising in the wrong publications is defeating the merchants’ desire for more business.

Here lies the danger. Political eyes have settled on the Spur Cross Ranch property tax, which was overwhelmingly voted in to save the 2,240 acres from development. In one year that tax will go away. Politicians at the time promised and promised again they wouldn’t repeat what politicians are noted for and that is to never let a tax die but extend it.

The Cave Creek administration is pondering if a new tax approximating the Spur Cross Ranch tax amount, wouldn’t be a good thing so everyone would have paid fire protection and citizens wouldn’t notice it because they have gotten “used” to paying property tax and it is also tax deductible. I maintain a promise is a promise – NO PROPERTY TAX!

It is true that everyone has fire protection but all subscribers pay is the subscription cost. If they don’t pay Rural Metro and there is a fire at their homes or business, the cost to them could be tens of thousands of dollars.

Council should remember President H.W. Bush’s promise, “Read my lips, no new taxes!”