Something is rotten at Cave Creek Town Hall
Citizens all over Cave Creek are asking, what is going on at town hall? What is going on with purchasing our annexed land?
In a recent editorial I put that citizen concern to this Trenkster council in the form of a challenge to action.
Trenkster, in a shrill and hysterical posting to his Facebook friends, claimed to have been working on a feasibility study with staff since the council retreat. His jab that prior council hadn't done anything to purchase the annexed land can be dismissed out of hand since he was on one of those councils and knows we were in the worst recession in Arizona history. We now have a surplus of millions handed to this council through the work of those they continue to vilify at every turn.
Trenkster's claim to have developed a feasibility plan he was submitting to the council with staff was encouraging so I made a public records request so I could see what the Trenkster had done. Remember this is Trenkster; trust but verify.
Waited a week. Got no response. Followed up with a suggestion that my next stop may well be a special action seeking the records of this important work and explaining that this information is exactly what is covered by the Freedom of Information Act.
Next response from the town was an admission that there is no record of any work, discussion, communication, memoranda, or research generated by any staff, councilman, or Trenkster having anything to do with the purchase of the annexed open space in the last 60 days.
Folks, there is something rotten at Town Hall. Thank goodness it is starting to smell so we can do something about it.
So my challenge to this Trenkster Council on behalf of all the Citizens who have money in trust donated to purchase open space we have worked so hard to secure is to ensure it still stands.
As salt on a wound, we have the second taxpayer funded political flyer by the Mayor. Lot's of self love, day to day staff planning with Master Plan stuck on, and taking credit for reviving the Water Advisory committee which was done by unanimous vote of last council, and adopting a budget finished by last Council and Town Manger they fired.
So the last tax funded political flyer, as I recall, public records revealed cost us $1700-$2000. So now we have paid nearly $4000 to hear from the Mayor that the temporary town manager is a swell guy.
Just plain pathetic, period.
For the Love of Cave Creek get connected, stay connected, and ask what is this council doing to secure our open space heritage.
Cave Creek Horseman and Citizen
We have the Gang Who Can’t Shoot Straight right here in Cave Creek operating under the guise of the Town Council Slate. By way of introduction, the Gang leader is Adam Trenk supported by three Bobbleheads (Durkin, Spitzer and Monachino). Let’s look at their accomplishments in their first 60 days or so:
1. Their first action was to ambush and fire the best Town Manager Cave Creek ever had in an appalling public spectacle that trampled the Town Manager’s rights in so many ways that it is difficult to believe that it won’t come back to bite Cave Creek and us taxpayers in a very expensive way. That action will likely be their legacy and exposed the Gang in several ways:
• The Gang leader cannot tolerate anyone who has the audacity to disagree with him.
• The Gang leader evidently believes he can dictate who any person is allowed to talk to.
• The Gang surely met illegally in secret before that fateful council meeting to agree on the horrendously long and complicated motion to fire the town manager, anoint one of Trenk’s buddies as interim town manager, line up the speakers for the public session and so forth. The Bobbleheads had not one question nor any discussion on that complex motion.
• The Gang tried to hire Trenk’s buddy as interim town manager with no other candidates, no due diligence, no nothing.
• Eight separate parts, many legal and contract references, some 365 words or one full typed page at normal (#11) font and read very quickly.
2. Although they had a minor hiccup on hiring their interim town manager, they got the guy they wanted –Trenk’s buddy Rodney Glassman.
• When the dust settled, he was selected despite being the only candidate in the mix with absolutely no experience at all as town manager or anything close and enough background questions to disqualify him under any competent public sector hiring process. No private sector enterprise would have made that hire.
• They pay him the same salary as the experienced and competent manager they fired and are thusly wasting thousands of dollars each month.
• Within a month or so of his employment, the interim town manager published a poorly written letter (June 27) over the mayor’s signature that certainly established the fact that writing a simple letter is not his long suit.
3. The ‘transparency’ the Gang sells doesn’t apply to its leader, Trenk, who continues to hide all of his public emails behind his law firm employer’s secrecy privilege.
4. What do the Bobbleheads do, you ask? They sit there with that thousand yard stare and vote as instructed.
This Gang reminds me of the brief tenure of former Arizona Governor Evan Mecham who replaced staff professionals with his incompetent buddies and almost overnight generally screwed up Arizona government big time. Governor Mecham was impeached.
I read with great sorrow that the Cave Creek Town Manager, Usama Abujbarah has been relieved of his duties by the newly elected city council. Your council has made a grave mistake. Mr. Abujbarah has served the citizens of Cave Creek well and unselfishly for 17 years, 14 ad town manager. Under his watch, the town has accomplished significant things, while maintaining the town ambiance and appeal. A few of the things the town has accomplished while he has been in office include the acquisition of Spur Cross and the addition of so many activities that draw visitors from the other metro communities as well as statewide and out-of-state visitors, (e.g. “the running of the bulls”) that continue to bring business and tax revenues to Cave Creek. The addition of a Walmart store – outside the town proper, but still within the tax revenue producing town limits – was an exceptional concept that will benefit the town for decades to come. As will the new water plant which replaces the brown contaminated water received by residents from the previous water suppliers – yes plural. The current system, owned and operated by the town, instead of a private for-profit corporation with a primary purpose of increasing the bottom line profit, will also significantly benefit residents for decades to come; unless, as has been rumored, the current council in its incompetency decides to sell it off to another profit-making corporation. It does not generate much confidence in the new council members that they would vote to dismiss this dedicated public servant so swiftly after election and without adequate research into the “what and why” of decisions he promoted and supported. Remember, the previous council supported and voted for all those wise decisions as well. I, along with many friends, are not residents of Cave Creek but in the past have been frequent visitors and patrons of your town. Along with Mr. Abujbarah’s term of office, that has also ended.
With as much sunshine as we enjoy here in Arizona, solar power can and should have a bright and long future in our state. I’m reminded of this every day, as I see solar panels being installed on the rooftops of homes and businesses across the valley.
The Town of Cave Creek, for example, has 500 solar installations, generating 2.6 megawatts of clean energy and thousands of gallons of hot water.
As a resident of Cave Creek, this makes me proud. We live in a town that recognizes the benefits of having the choice to turn a home or business into a small generating plant. And as an employee of Arizona Public Service, I couldn’t be happier to know that my neighbors are as committed to solar energy as we are.
Recently, the Cave Creek Town Council passed a resolution, which in essence gave a resounding vote of support for solar, a position with which APS is in total agreement. Where we disagree, is how you go about supporting this important source of energy.
All customers rely on the electricity grid for energy whenever they need it – day or night, cloudy or sunny, even in the most extreme heat. As more people install solar on their homes it becomes more important that everyone who uses the grid helps cover their fair share of costs to keep it operating at all times.
After a series of public meetings, APS submitted a recommendation to the Arizona Corporation Commission that would update the current policy so that future customers who choose rooftop solar get compensated at a fair rate for the power they generate and pay a fair price for their use of the grid.
APS has offered two potential approaches for the ACC to consider:
One, called the “Net Metering” option, continues the current practice of net metering and asks future rooftop solar customers to pay a fair price for their continued use of the grid, based on how much power they use.
The second, called the “Bill Credit” option, gives future solar rooftop customers a bill credit for the electricity they generate at a price set by the ACC and based on the rate APS pays other generators for power.
With either approach, customers who have already made the choice to install rooftop solar will not see any change to their current rate and will essentially be “grandfathered” for 20 years (the typical life of a solar installation or lease).
At the same time, we support increasing the cash payment (incentives) for future customers who can continue to make the choice to add rooftop solar to their home or business. Incentives decrease the cost of an installation, or allow lower lease payments. The incentives can significantly offset what solar customers pay for the use of the grid. These incentives are the most effective way to make solar an affordable option for more customers.
APS’s support of solar is unwavering. By providing a fair rate for the power solar customers generate, and setting a fair price for their use of the grid, reliable electrical service will be protected and solar will continue to flourish for all of our customers.
Manager of APS Renewable Energy Programs
If you look for the word "corruption" in a Thesaurus, one of the choices you get is the "Cave Creek Town Council slate of Trenk, Durkin, Monachino and Spitzer." Not really! What you really get are choices like "dishonesty" and "fraud," which, come to think of it, pretty much describes what we have with our new town council.
The latest example? How about the goofy mayor's letter of June 27 (that I promptly shredded), which was emailed in the water bills, also mailed to an unspecified audience. Maybe I should say the letter signed by the "entire Mayor," because that was the way it was written in the letter. I happen to be one of the chosen who received it with my water bill.
First, there was the question of who authored that poorly written piece of work. From the first sentence, I knew it was NOT written by the mayor. After the requisite amount of finger pointing, the dime landed on our new interim Town Manager, Mr. Glassman. That makes sense because a full 60 percent of the letter touted what a great guy he is, how lucky Cave Creek is to have him, his education and so forth, but somehow fails to mention his total lack of experience as a town manager or anything even close or his political mentor, Democrat Congressman Raul (boycott Arizona) Grijalva.
Then one had to try to decide what the purpose of the letter was. Given the lengthy and positively glowing diatribe on how lucky we are to have Mr. Glassman in our midst, and the remaining substantive void, I am going to guess that was the purpose of the letter – but that is only my guess.
Town resources and money were used to promote the most bizarre hire in memory, because let us never forget how Mr. Abujbarah, the former town manager, was removed from his position after 17 years of dedicated service, and the job being handed to Mr. Glassman, on the spot! No due process. No announcing the vacancy, no applicants, no interviews, no seeking the most qualified candidate. Even McDonald’s goes through an interview process. I guess our superior town council is too good for that.
The letter likely cost a couple of thousand dollars not including staff time that could have been invested far more productively. Poorly written, no obvious purpose, corrupt, the shameless use of taxpayer resources in a desperate attempt to assuage the slate's second big mistake-and all in their first month! The first big mistake was, of course, the reason they had to hire Glassman at all.
These guys will probably continue to be exciting, in a perverse sort of way.
What’s more secret than the NSA, JFK’s assassination, and Nicolas Cage’s secret map on the back of the Declaration of Independence?
U.S. Senators begging for tax breaks are so afraid of the public’s wrath they want the favors they ask for to be kept secret until after they’re dead.
The Senate’s top tax writers, Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and ranking Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah), have promised lawmakers that any requests they make for tax breaks on behalf of special interests will be kept under lock and key in the National Archives until the end of 2064.
One can assume the crony capitalists’ wish list will be given the same level of security as the investigation into the Kennedy assassination, and the coded map on the back of the Declaration of Independence discovered by Nicolas Cage.
“The Fair Tax® Plan requires no secrecy, no begging, no tax breaks and doesn't need the National Archives to provide a cloak of darkness for cowardly Senators who do the bidding of special interests while pretending to represent the hard working people who elected them,” said Yale Wishnick, Arizona State Director for the FairTax
“It’s ironic that our elected representatives have the right to know everyone we call and email, but they won’t tell us what public servants are doing with tax payer dollars.”
In the carefully choreographed Washington two-step called “tax reform,” Sen. Baucus and Rep. Camp start by saying they will do away with all tax breaks. It’s followed immediately by step two, where partners come forward presenting carve-outs they want to save. This part takes place behind a veil, putting the lie to the promise on Baucus/Camp website to write “bills in an open and transparent fashion. No cutting deals behind closed doors.”
Of course, if lawmakers can’t defend the current system of preferences and favors, they don’t need a dungeon-master to hide their secrets: they could support the alternative.
FairTax For All is a nonprofit, nonpartisan grassroots organization solely dedicated to replacing income tax with a progressive national consumption tax and repealing the 16th Amendment, which established income tax.
Dr. Yale S. Wishnick
Arizona State Director for the FairTax