BY LINDA BENTLEY | NOVEMBER 20, 2013
Cave Creek Community Survey indicates voter remorse
CAVE CREEK – During the primary and general elections in March and May 2013 for mayor and six council members, a considerable amount of money, the majority of which originated from out of state and out of town, was spent to sway voters.
Electoral dissatisfaction among a significant group of long-term Cave Creek citizens prompted having a survey conducted by a nationally recognized research firm.
Respondents were all Cave Creek registered male (59.6 percent) and female (40.4 percent) voters, 18+ years old, who consider themselves politically informed, with one third non-slate candidate supporters, one third slate supporters and one third neutral.
Key findings from the survey, using a Likert 5-point scale, indicated 96 percent agree Cave Creek is a good place to live, with 73 percent responding they strongly agree.
Sixty-seven percent agreed there were good schools with only 29 percent saying they strongly agree.
Only 45 percent of respondents agreed the economy is strong with just 10 percent saying they strongly agree.
When it came to questions about town council, a mere 16 percent believe town council is doing a good job with only 10 percent saying they strongly agree.
Questions specific to the mayor, vice mayor and interim town manager indicated the most dissatisfaction.
When asked if they thought Mayor Vincent Francia was a good leader, only 16 percent agreed, including 6 percent who strongly agreed.
When asked if they thought Vice Mayor Adam Trenk is truthful, only 14 percent agreed, including 8 percent who strongly agreed.
A scant 4 percent agreed, none of which said they strongly agreed, Interim Town Manager Rodney Glassman should become the permanent town manager and 80 percent agreed – 65 percent strongly agreed – $10,000 per month is too much to pay Glassman.
Forty-eight percent, 38 percent of which said they strongly agree, say spending is out of control.
Respondents agreed (71 percent, including 54 percent who strongly agreed) $20,000 for stainless steel horse monuments is a waste.
The $80,000 road maintenance software was also deemed a waste by 61 percent of respondents.
When it came to spending $144,000 on a bicycle lane, 44 percent found that to be wasteful spending.
The respondents were divided on other issues as well with 43 percent saying Cave Creek’s $17-million budget is too much and 52 percent saying the town has too much debt.
When asked if they thought their water bill was too high, 42 percent agreed with 25 percent saying they strongly agreed.
Thirty-four percent think the town has too many special events.
Only 36 percent of respondents believe Carefree’s takeover of the consolidated courts is a bad idea.
Sixty-nine percent thought challenging Scottsdale for its slogan the “West’s Most Western Town,” was a waste of town resources.
Using A through F to grade the mayor, each council member, and the interim town manager, respondents gave Francia a grade of 2.6, with 28 percent giving him an F.
Trenk received a grade of 2.00, the lowest of all council members, with 55 percent giving him an F.
Councilman Charles Spitzer came just above Trenk with a grade of 2.15 and 47 percent giving him an F.
Councilman Reg Monachino received a 2.21 grade with 43 percent giving him an F.
Councilman Mike Durkin received a 2.36 grade with 40 percent giving him an F.
Councilman Ernie Bunch appears more in-touch with voters who gave him a grade of 3.34, the highest of all council members.
Councilman Thomas McGuire received a 3.21 grade.
Glassman got the worst marks of all with a grade of 1.96 and 57 percent grading him with an F.
When asked where they get their local news, 58 percent said Sonoran News, with the Arizona/Scottsdale Republic coming in a distant second at 29 percent.
Foothills Focus came in third with only 7 percent while City Sun Times and SonoranTruth.org came in last with zero readership.
Click here for a link to the complete survey, demographics of respondents and their open-ended comments concerning the town’s governance.