The bar in Cave Creek is now set at what must be an historic low
The Town Council slate has now approved the contract for their Interim Town Manager at about the same salary as his predecessor – $112,000 per year. It just defies imagination given that the former Town Manager was a town resident, worked for the town for 17 years and served for 14 years as the best town manager Cave Creek ever had. The new interim town manager is a Tucson politician temporarily living in Phoenix with zero experience as a town manager, virtually no related management experience, widely reported integrity issues and paid the same salary. No enterprise can be successful doing that.
So, Trenk, Durkin, Spitzer and Monachino, financial geniuses all, now have the town paying the former town manager his full salary and benefits and the new guy with no experience the same thing. That’s well over $24,000 per month, all because of their misguided punishment of Usama and blind stupidity to hire the only candidate with no town manager experience. They don’t care because it’s not their money and they have their ‘yes man’.
It’s already common knowledge that the interim town manger is in way over his head and exacerbates that critical inadequacy by trying to micromanage. Staff morale must be close to nonexistent.
Cave Creek is headed downhill in a hurry and it’s very, very sad.
I have for a number of years enjoyed Sonoran News as a means of keeping current with happenings in and about the unique town of Cave Creek. I was stunned to learn recently of the sudden termination of Usama Abujbarah as Town Manager after many years of devoted service to the community.
I have known this outstanding man since 2001 and have always found him to be honest and gracious in his dealings with people of all walks of life. He is a friend with the utmost in integrity and loyalty.
I hope the citizens of Cave Creek will do all within their power to rectify this unjust and deplorable act.
Angelo J. Demis
Dear Carefree citizens,
On July 1, 2013, I requested to Mayor Schwan that we observe a moment of silence at our town council meeting of July 2nd, for the 19 firefighter heroes (and their families) who died battling the Yarnell Hill Fire, and remember the many sacrifices of all our community heroes (i.e. police officers, medical personnel, etc..).
While attending the council meeting, I was deeply disappointed by ex-councilman Arthur Gimson’s personal attack on me and his seemingly cheap, under-handed attempt to mis-characterize my statement to Glenn Miller, and his attempt to capitalize on the Yarnell tragedy for his own political agenda. As Gimson very well knows, I was referencing Mr. Miller's qualifications and past experience in being, in any way, applicable to crafting an Economic Development Plan for our town, or any municipality for that matter. I feel the same way about Gimson’s past experience and everyone else on the council, including myself.
That is why most responsible cities and towns utilize the services of either their own internal Economic Development Director (Carefree does not have such an individual), or contract out to third-parties that have the necessary expertise, training, experience and skill-set to do the same. It is highly arrogant, ignorant and irresponsible for an elected official to presume that by their sheer election to a governmental office, that they have somehow been endowed with new and special knowledge and skills that allow them to draft such a highly important document that has long-term material significance and at great cost…i.e. such as an Economic Development Plan for their community.
For example, the City of Phoenix and Tucson currently has significant problems with the revenue shortfall and operations of their municipal golf courses. Thus, they have chosen to utilize outside experts in that field to provide recommendations to them. In short, both cities have engaged the National Golf Foundation to make recommendations to their parks department and town council on a solution.
Carefree needs to utilize experts as well for our economic development planning, etc.. That is the responsibility of its council members to its constituents.
Unlike Mr. Gimson and some others, I have taken my position and fiduciary responsibility to our citizens seriously and will always scrutinize and carefully analyze how our town spends its public funds, and its future impact on our community.
Moreover, Mr. Elliot Pollack, a highly respected Economist in Arizona stated personally to me that our council would be foolish to attempt to craft an Economic Development Plan that was not vetted or analyzed and/or created by a third-party that has the specialized background, expertise and skill-set to do so.
To illustrate my point, "a person should not use an attorney, hairdresser, hotel manager, commercial broker, etc., for their dental work – and while Arthur might, and maybe he does – a prudent, responsible person would use a "dentist" for their dental work."
In addition, I am continually confused by Mr. Gimson’s position, as he has publically stated that he is opposed to any town funding for all the proposed capital projects within the currently drafted Economic Development Plan put forth by Councilperson Melissa Price.
Again, I have always been supportive of the proposed capital projects, but only if a third party expert confirms the same, and not just lay-people from our council. However, I do not see the need to spend three quarters of a million dollars for a garish splash pad in our beautiful garden and a sound system and lighting for the amphitheater especially as performers prefer their own sound system and lighting; especially given, we know we can do it for much less than what is being put forth.
Unlike many, I follow my own conscience and will never blindly follow other’s views on public policy decisions. Sometimes we agree and sometimes we don’t. It is the different views and voices and debate in our community and the ability for the same to be heard that make for a healthy democracy. I sincerely hope someday Mr. Gimson will understand that very important principle of our country. There was a reason for the American Revolution.
Carefree Town Councilman
See Farrar’s video response to Gimson: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=muxxBElUiCs
The truth about MAIG
I read Linda Bentley's article about MAIG and their use of taxpayer money to fund their anti-gun agenda. If you know and understand Mike Bloomberg you'll know that MAIG is a misnomer. His real agenda is MAG!! Mayors Against Guns. He and his followers want all your guns whether legal or illegal. This is their true agenda. Mayor Bloomberg has been often quoted as saying "The Constitution needs to change." Funny how liberals only want to change the Second Amendment.
As a point of interest, if you check the CDC and FBI statistics the cities with the most gun violence have the same commonality – the most restrictive and numerous gun control laws and a Democratic mayor and city council. New York, Chicago, Detroit, Oakland California come right to mind.
We have been reading your opinions and paper for years. You are as close to the same mind set politically and otherwise as anyone I read. That is both locally and nationally. The question I hope you can help us with is a different one. My wife and I and also friends want to donate to families of lost fire fighters in the Yarnell fire.
I have been told by a reliable source that 100 Club only gives 30 percent of every dollar raised. 70 percent goes to salaries and expenses. I have been on net trying to confirm this. Also emailed KTAR and haven’t heard back. I understand there are expenses involved, but if this is the case we need another way to help. If you know anything about this I would appreciate you sharing it with us.
Marc and Marilyn Summers
Editor note: Charity Navigator reports approximately 80 percent of 100 Club of Arizona funds go to support the programs they offer and only 20 percent to salaries and administration.
Donors may also give securely online with a credit card to the Yarnell Disaster Relief Fund and/or the Yarnell Memorial Scholarship Endowment at www.azfoundation.org/yarnellfire or call to make a gift by phone 602 682-2042.
Recall of McCain and Flake
Dear Don, I've spoken to you a few times at your Laundromat.
I'm including a link to a web-site which is promoting the recall of McCain and Flake for voting FOR the Senate's Immigration Bill. http://senatorflake.com/recall-petition/ and the petition itself http://senatorflake.com/recall-petition/.
May I respectfully suggest you consider publicizing this recall effort for the sake of Arizona and the Republic.
Gary J. Zalimeni
President or king?
Let’s review: Congress passed a bill called Obamacare and the president signed it into law. The law imposes what the U.S. Supreme Court ruled is a “tax” on employers that fail to comply with the law. Now the president decided to not enforce the law as it is written, thus granting a tax break for one year to a large number of companies without Congress having passed a new bill. When did the president get the powers of a king? Is such disregard for the rule of law not grounds for impeachment?
Jack C. McVickers
A thought for our times
It is entirely possible that someday in the future someone may write a book and call it … "While Christians Slept."
I prefer this future book be titled … "How Awakened Christians Saved America."
God has blessed America. It’s time to return the favor.
Just saying … it's time.
Politically correct hogwash
As most Americans find the hypocritical foolishness of the scandal built around something Paula Deen said over two decades ago, I am reminded of one of the “classic” examples of the same kind of politically correct hogwash. Only a few days ago, I was talking to a recent high school graduate and asked her what she knew about Mark Twain. Basically she had heard the name but that was it.
Several years ago, the books of one of America’s greatest writers, Mark Twain, were removed from many school libraries because in his books, he used the “N” word. No one bothered to mention that Twain was a lifelong abolitionist who actively spoke out for the rights of the black man and fought against slavery.
This first came to my knowledge when I watched a movie about one of Twain’s lesser known books by the name of Pudd’nhead Wilson. The evil of slavery was clearly revealed in this work.
In Twain’s better known works, he was more subtle. He wrote stories that both the pro-slavery and the anti-slavery folks would enjoy. In Huckleberry Finn, one of the main characters was “N… Jim.” Jim was a slave and Huck’s close friend. When Jim sought to escape to freedom, Huck assisted him. The readers on both sides of the slavery issue found themselves hoping that Jim would succeed in his quest for freedom. This was Mark Twain’s intention. He was generating sympathy for the slave.
In visiting Twain’s Connecticut home, I was surprised to learn that Twain’s next door neighbor was none other than Harriett Beecher Stowe, the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Twain and Stowe worked together in their efforts against slavery. The books of both authors contained the “N” word. But whereas Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin was a blatant attack against slavery, Twain’s works were more subtle, trying to open the eyes of readers who weren’t thinking about slavery one way or the other.
Stowe’s works are honored in our schools. Twain’s are not. What asinine foolishness.
This is only one of many examples of how politically correct insanity has robbed the younger generation of a good education in favor of political extremism. God have mercy on us!
We must prove ourselves innocent
There is no place in a society of free people for a government agency like the IRS. For 80 years it has been used by administrations of both parties to punish their enemies. All citizens are subject to the IRS. Congress has made is so, if we are charged by the IRS of wrongdoing, we MUST PROVE OURSELVES INNOCENT or pay the penalty. This is just plain wrong.
Recently Dave Camp, chairman of the House Ways and Means committee, in a press release mentioned "...first steps that have been taken to correct management flaws at the agency..." Really; management flaws! Those guilty of behaviors described recently in the media should go to prison. The IRS should be dismantled. Congress should be ashamed.
Finally, in the name of "comprehensive tax reform" the FairTax legislation should be given a fair and public hearing by the Ways and Means committee. This legislation has been in the possession of this committee for over 12 years; it has not been brought to the committee table for consideration. If the FairTax were the law of the land this could never have happened. Contact your congressmen with the message: "Kill the IRS and pass the FairTax."
Glen E. Terrell
Each year as Congress assembles, new Legislative Bills are introduced as previously introduced bills die. Some bills relate to Vietnam veterans who did not have boots on ground. Many served at sea and in the air who need VA benefits including compensation for their survival.
It is well known Agent Orange Dioxin, an herbicide used in Vietnam from 1962 to 1973, is cause for many life threatening diseases for those who served.
Congress and the VA are well aware of this fact. Even though this is well known in Congress, they continue to fail our veterans who fought the battle. Without proper funding, the VA can not help many suffering veterans of the Vietnam War. The backlog of submitted claims is overwhelming. It can take a year or more for the VA to review a claim.
Often is the case, the veteran is asked to provide more evidence in support of a claim. Many veterans do not know how or where to find additional supporting evidence. Veteran Service Officers are trained by the VA to help; even they are overwhelmed with inquiries. They can only provide so much time; therefore placing the responsibility upon the veteran to locate evidence. There are resources for veterans if those resources where published. Many veterans just give up not knowing how and where to find required evidence relative to their branch of service.
The VA should provide these resources to help the veteran.
Legislative bills if passed would cut red tape. The backlog can be significantly reduced for those who did not have boots on ground, just the same are sick. It is about the dollars and politics, not about the veteran. What price is a veteran worth? The American people must step forward urging the Congress to do what is right for our nation's veterans.
John J. Bury, US Navy, retired
Vietnam war veteran