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Don Sorchych

The hype western town

In keeping with their hype about “the west’s most western town” the Cave Creek mayor and council slate, which is everyone except Councilmen Ernie Bunch and Thomas McGuire, journeyed to a Scottsdale council meeting. They tried to get a slot to speak but were denied that so they got mouthy during call to the public. I have said before, and I’ll say again, this is about camouflaging themselves and creating a distraction from the disasters they have created.

In an Arizona Republic article about the event there were quotes by two Scottsdale councilmen worth noting: “Scottsdale Councilman Guy Phillips said the city should be dealing with more pressing issues facing Scottsdale, ones that affect residents directly. If this group is doing what the residents of Cave Creek voted for, then more power to them,” Phillips said. “Speaking for myself, I'm not going to waste my constituents’ time and tax dollars on this ridiculous media marketing scheme.

canfield cartoon 10-16
Amen Guy, I would vote for you in a heartbeat if I lived in Scottsdale.

I met Councilman Bob Littlefield years ago when he was active in John Hoeppner’s Quiet Skies. Bob is a conservative all the way and I wish he lived here so he could run in the upcoming recall.

Bob said he agreed with Cave Creek but rather than giving the registered motto away he suggested Scottsdale auction the registered trademark to the highest bidder. He cautioned however, that towns like Tombstone and Wickenburg might be willing to pay more than Cave Creek. Splendid idea, although the slate driven council including the mayor have no regard for saving money despite the fact they harped on it during the election.

The same is true for their promised transparency. We made requests for records on July 13 and have yet to receive them. Wouldn’t you think when the appointed town manager ignores statutes about FOIA requests by the press and the public, the mayor would do something? I suspect the voters will in the upcoming recalls.

Then there is politics. Interim Town Manager Rodney Glassman cancelled a $750 ad with Sonoran News for the Taste of Cave Creek and gave it to a competitor after a visit from their publisher. Maybe they go to same church or something, but Sonoran News is the community newspaper, not a monthly shopper. Glassman sacrificed many possible attendees by ignoring our well-known circulation.

I have mentioned the town wasted money by paying $80,000 for a road maintenance plan. Our engineering department is responsible for road maintenance and has done a good job.

Mayor Francia stated the expenditure would remove road maintenance from politics. Both Councilmen Charles Spitzer and Mike Durkin pushed for the “investment.” So mayor, where is the proof of your assertion? Because the slate says so?

One example I am familiar with since I drive it four to five days a week is Morning Star Road which connects Spur Cross Road to Old Stage Road. Why is this road a bumpy mess? As much as I dislike paving, this road desperately needs to be paved. Why hasn’t the town paved it?
When the town was seeking to save Spur Cross Ranch (SCR) from development it was crucial to bring SCR from the county into the town. In order to get the annexation vote various accommodations were given to county voters. Then and now people were concerned about traffic coming from the west. When the Cahava Ranch development was approved, the developer gave an 80 acre non-vehicular parcel to Cave Creek. It is not possible for vehicles to come from the west but certain people continue to circulate that rumor.

The annexation agreement included language that the road could not be widened or paved for 20 years and current residents along Morning Star Road demand the town not pave it. The first wash from Spur Cross Road had steep banks and is undercut with potholed caliche. The town offered to bridge the hazard but residents refused.

There was grading and surfacing work a few weeks ago along with dust retardant. The road is already a washboard. Although they covered the caliche slope with dirt, the next hard rainfall will wash it out. If the town really cared about cost they would pave it, which would save much money over the long term and be a major benefit to people who regularly drive it.

The town could have bridged and paved the road under dust control regulations (particulate matter, PM-10, specifically, to comply with air quality standards). They measured the traffic to assure it met PM10 standards and it did, even though residents kept moving the measurement apparatus.

In the background is the lawsuit brought by Gerald Freeman seeking a temporary restraining order (TRO) since his and my private road is an extension of Morning Star Road. The town completed a trail connection from Spur Cross Road to Old Stage Road and according to the town’s plan there was to be a horse trail to parallel my easement. Freeman filed a TRO lawsuit.
The trail plan has been in the General Plan for years. The town’s position is defended by their insurance carrier and Cahava Springs, which owns most of the underlying property, is defended by their attorney. There have been several extensions of the suit. Although the town has held an executive session and the matter was supposed to be continued to the first meeting in October, nothing has been placed on the agenda yet, which leads me to believe the slate doesn’t want to be against horses nor do they want to vote against their friend Freeman. Maybe they are going to let the judge decide.

But there is more. I have heard Freeman’s settlement discussions not only demand the horse trail is eliminated but also that the town not allow development on the Cahava Springs property to the south of me. The town would have no choice but to provide access which would mean a public road rather than a private one. That suits me just fine.

The manager of the Cahava Springs property, Mark Stapp, has asked Planning Director Ian Cordwell to arrange a meeting with Morning Star Road residents to answer questions and dispel traffic rumors. It appears the town is dragging its feet on the agreement to host the meeting. It is time to dispel the west traffic nonsense.