FEBRUARY 2, 2011

Cave Creek Council and Mayoral Candidates

Vincent Francia

franciaAge: 65
Occupation: General Manager, Turf Paradise
Education: B.A. John Carroll University
Birthplace: Harrisburg, PA
Cave Creek Resident for 20 years
Council/Commission/ Committee Experience: Mayor since 1999, Chairman Parks Commission; Chairman Future’s Committee
Candidate Statement:
As 2011 unfolds, the flickering light at the end of a three-year dark tunnel should grow brighter for Cave Creek. Business diversification spurred by Walmart’s construction will produce benefits for citizens at an intersection that is primed to accept its economic role for the community. Opening of the water farm and the town’s water company will provide the infrastructure for future growth. The budget will remain lean, balanced and prioritized.

The future challenges, though numerous, are resolvable. The sacrifices made, though painful, were worthwhile for the good of the community. Construction is showing a hint of life; new, small business owners seek their dreams in the Historic Core and revenue produced by sales tax is at an all-time high. Forward thinking local entrepreneurs continue to unveil promotions that fill the town with new people, who are in turn, future patrons. A few of those will probably be among the flood of supporters to downtown Sunday, February 6 as Harold’s (Steelers’ Country) versus The Buffalo Chip (Packers’ Territory) in Super Bowl XLV. In the midst of all this hype, however, Cave Creek’s spirit and commitment to its Western heritage and desert lifestyle is still intact, guiding us as we move toward the goal of a self-sustainable community. It’s possible. It’s happening.

Shelley V. Anderson

shelley andersonOccupation: State Farm Insurance owner/ for the past 30 years.
Education: I am a graduate of Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science degree
Birthplace: Salt Lake City, Utah
Cave Creek Resident for 4 1/2 years
Council/Commission/Committee Experience: I have served as a member of the Waste Water Treatment Plant Committee and the Fire Protection Committee. I am currently on the Planning and Zoning Commission.
Candidate Statement:
Before coming to Cave Creek I lived in Scottsdale where I served six years on Scottsdale Parks and Recreation Board both as the chair and a board member, Scottsdale Equestrian Safety Committee and NESPOA’s Board.

I received 2 volunteer awards, one from the city of Scottsdale presented by the mayor and one from the Francis Young Community Heroes award.

I came to Cave Creek to enjoy trail riding and the lifestyle we are so fortunate to have. Being an equestrian gives me a perspective I can share with others when an issue arises.
I have been a devoted volunteer with a strong conviction to help conserve and protect this wonderful town we love.

I have enjoyed serving my community and being involved where I could help. I have experience dealing with challenges and a strong sense of fairness and logical decision making abilities that I apply to life and the business I have owned for the past 30 years.
My desire to be on town council comes strictly from my wish to help the town and the residents by assisting to make important decisions with careful, rational and logical thinking.
Some of the issues facing Cave Creek at this time include fire protection, noise control, and preserving the financial stability of the town. Financial sustainability is one of the most important issues facing the town. Careful commercial growth in appropriate areas will be important to help attain this goal for Cave Creek’s future.

I wish to preserve the lifestyle, the character, and value for the generations of Creekers to come.

Jim Bruce

jim bruceAge: 64
Occupation: Attorney
Education: Juris Doctor
Birthplace: Elgin, Illinois
Cave Creek resident for 9 years
Council/Commission/Committee Experience: 4 years Planning and Zoning, Fire Coverage Committee Chair 2008, 2 years Town Council
Candidate Statement:
I am running for re-election because there are several major issues affecting the Town, which could arise in the next two years.

First of all, I love the Town of Cave Creek! I want to see the residents, businesses and the arts, not just survive, but flourish.

The most immediate issue is the property tax for fire protection. Fire protection, which is paid for by all residents, is needed to insure we have it in the future. Only 43 percent of residents subscribe which leads to a very unfair form of participation. For those who subscribe it will be less money and deductible, for those who do not, it is time to pay for this service. I will never forget the monstrous flames erupting out of Tonto Forest a few years ago.

Annexation of open space is also a priority. To continue to acquire more open space for the citizens of Cave Creek will insure the wonderful and breathtaking desert lifestyle that we enjoy.

We must continue to encourage commercial ventures and business in the town. We must diversify our tax base so that we do not suffer the loss of services that many towns have incurred.

Finally, we must continue with the development of the water ranch, Walmart and the intersection of Cave Creek road and Carefree highway. This commercial development will, hopefully, help reduce water rates and sales tax.

Ernie Bunch

ernie bunchAge: 56
Employer/Occupation: Co-owner B Bunch Co. Inc. (Printing equipment manufacturing)
Education: Some College
Birthplace: Denison, Texas
Cave Creek Resident for 11 years
Council/Commission/Committee Experience: Now serving 3rd term on Council
Candidate Statement:
I still believe that Government is too intrusive in our daily lives.
I will do everything in my power to keep this from happening on a local level.

Dick Esser

dick esserEmployer/Occupation: Retired
Education: Utah State University; ASU Executive Development Center (ongoing)
Birthplace: Utah
Cave Creek Resident for 24 years
Council/Commission/Committee Experience: Three term Cave Creek Town Council, including one term as vice-mayor; four years Cave Creek Planning & Zoning Commission, including one term as chairman; current budget committee member; recycling coordinator, Foothills Caring Corps.; Maricopa Association of Governments representative; resolutions committee; Arizona League of Cities and Towns.
Candidate Statement:
I am seeking a fourth term on town council because I am not done yet. Representing Cave Creek as a councilman I have developed contacts over the last six years with federal, state and local governments.

During this involvement I worked with and acquired from Maricopa County funding sufficient to assist in completion of intersection improvements at Cave Creek Road and Carefree Highway.

I am dedicated to promoting the Cave Creek lifestyle – open space – Spur Cross, Annexation, Desert Foothills Land Trust. I have endeavored to support not only our mayor, but I have encouraged further development such as Walmart to enable the town to obtain the necessary resources to continue to serve all Cave Creek citizens.

Steve LaMar

steve lamarEmployer/Occupation: Private practice of law with the firm of Beer & Toone, primarily focused on major complex civil litigation involving governmental entities.
Education: BS Marketing; Millikin University, Decatur, Illinois; Juris Doctor; Valparaiso University School of Law, Valparaiso, Indiana
Place of Birth: Decatur, Illinois
Cave Creek resident for 25 years
Council/Commission/Committee Experience: Founding Planning Commission for Cave Creek that partnered in drafting the original Cave Creek General Plan; Served fifteen years on the Planning Commission as a Commissioner, Vice Chairman, and Chairman and on a variety of other committees; Served one term as a councilman.
Candidate Statement:
I am running for a second term on the Cave Creek Town Council to complete the purchase of the annexed State Land open space, to continue a plan for the development of a diversified tax base for Cave Creek that protects the town core businesses, brings quality projects to Cave Creek while maintaining Cave Creek's identity, and continue to support fiscal conservatism vital to the long term viability of Cave Creek.

The last term has seen Cave Creek successfully manage one of the most devastating economic down turns. The council, at every turn has made the tough policy decisions that have enabled our dedicated town staff and fine Town Manager to exercise fiscal conservancy and work with a balanced budget. As a result, Cave Creek is in better financial shape than nearly all communities in Arizona. But there is more to be done to meet the challenges ahead.

It has been rewarding to serve the people of Cave Creek as a councilman through these tough times, I will be honored if the people allow me to serve them for a second term. I promise to continue to do everything in my power to make decisions in the best interest of Cave Creek.

Thomas McGuire

thomas mcguireAge: 65
Employer/Occupation: Science education author
Education: BA, Geology, University of Rochester; MA, Education, State University
of New York
Birthplace: Canandaigua, New York
Cave Creek Resident for 10 years
Council/Commission/Committee Experience: Two terms as a Cave Creek Councilman, Member of the Cave Creek Open Space Citizens' Advisory Group.
Candidate Statement:
Cave Creek needs to encourage business development, particularly in the vicinity of Walmart. This will provide a tax base allowing our citizens to avoid unnecessary taxes.

Our property tax to purchase Spur Cross will end in 2012. A continuation of this tax would allow the town to negotiate a contract with Rural Metro or a neighboring fire district for community-wide fire and ambulance services. I support this tax extension because the majority of our property owners no longer subscribe to Rural Metro. Furthermore, Rural Metro subscriptions are decreasing each year. This places an unfair burden on those of us who pay our annual subscriptions. While I am very reluctant to propose new taxes, this roll-over will help to stop an unsustainable situation.

As a result of loss of income from construction taxes, we have many roads in need of repair. Further delays could prove costly.

My background in geology makes me uniquely qualified as a policy maker in land use. In the future, Cave Creek will have funds available to purchase State Trust lands. These areas will provide recreational opportunities for hikers, bicyclists and horse riders, all of which I consider essential in defining Cave Creek. Nearby communities have lost their trails and facilities, especially for equestrian events. We must not allow this to happen in Cave Creek.