bil canfield editorial cartoon

“Restitution” anyone?

I read with horror the article in Sonoran News “Living high on the hog at taxpayer expense,” that detailed the outright abuse, and theft of our hard earned taxpayer money, by our Interim Town Manager, one Rodney Glassman.

Let me get to the point quickly before I get sick to my stomach. The citizens of Cave Creek, who have paid to wine and dine Mr. Glassman, and pay him his daily gas money to SOMETIMES show up at Town Hall, must demand restitution. In my heart and soul, I believe every penny he spent/wasted, must be paid back. His extravagance at our expense borders on insanity. It is downright theft.

Such callous behavior right in front of our eyes, empowered by Adam Trenk and an equally incompetent, uncaring, and self serving town council, while our ineffective (blow with the wind) Mayor Francia is getting in touch with snakes and scorpions….I swear I read this somewhere recently, turns a blind eye and a deaf ear to the whole circus at Town Hall.

Citizens of Cave Creek, please wake up. Please rise up. We not only must recall this incompetent bunch but we must demand our money back as well. When the recall petitions are circulating in your neighborhoods soon, support the effort. Sign the petitions, and flood Town Hall with your phone calls and demand a stop to the insanity. If we let this continue until the recall election takes place, our beautiful Cave Creek will be damaged and broken beyond repair.

Hani Saba
Cave Creek Caring Citizens


Where has Open Space gone?

I have served on the Open Space Citizens Advisory Group since its inception. A dedicated group of Cave Creek Citizens have worked very, very hard to raise funds and make plans. Mike Rigney organized the bicycle festival that has become the Cactus Classic. Korina Riggin organized a Trail Run that is ongoing today. Both have raised thousands of dollars and multiple other activities have brought in money as well. The Desert Foothills Land Trust acted (and still does) as the fiduciary agent for those funds since they are a 501c3. As administrations at the state level changed, the cost of the land changed as well.

During the last election the new candidates made a great deal about the fact that two years had gone by and nothing had been done about open space. This was not true and now I have to question the new councilmen about just what they have been doing about Open Space. Since the day they were sworn in, they have managed to spend a huge amount of money on frivolous things while nothing was said about Open Space. Nothing has been done to establish a trail maintenance program either.

An $80,000 computer program for road maintenance was purchased. My own experience with road repair showed they did not need the computer program but needed more staff. A trench was dug across the street by my house and it took 5 weeks for the town to fill it back in. I was told the problem was not that they had forgotten, but they were terribly shorthanded.

Then a big contest was held to purchase sculptures for the town. I do not argue the work chosen is beautiful and art is a very important part of our community. But do we need to be spending $20,000 on horse sculptures at this time? The Boy Scouts put up a lovely sign for our town and it certainly didn’t cost that much.

Then there are the glossy colored newsletters that have been sent out. Newsletters are wonderful, but what is wrong with simple black and white? And then the unnecessary pay raise for our interim town manager, his open ended gas privilege and his open ended credit card. He couldn’t even do the one big job he was given and that was to find a new town manager because didn’t even start the process for four months. He was far too busy spending thousands of taxpayer dollars on himself and his friends.

Another major issue during the past election was the magic buzz word – transparency. The council met with the current State Land Commissioner behind closed doors in an executive session. Not one word of what was said has been made public. It is very difficult to talk to town residents about Open Space, when we have no idea what is happening.

Money should be put into a fund for Open Space instead of being spent on luxuries the town does not need and Glassman’s extravagant spending. The more money that is put aside the easier it will be to purchase the land when the time comes. Money also needs to be budgeted for trail maintenance. Volunteers have done an incredible job of building and trying to maintain trails. But the reality is that the town needs to have a budget item for trail maintenance.
Volunteers will still willingly do the job, but the town must help.

Melanie Williams
Cave Creek


About Mr. Trenk’s delusions

This is my response to Vice Mayor Trenk’s recent editorial which was in part about me. This is my rebuttal to his assumptions, half-truths, outright fabrications and insinuations. It appears the old saying “no good deed goes unpunished,” is true, especially when the “good deed” is directed to Mr. Trenk!

Recently, Mr. Trenk called me and asked to meet for coffee where we would discuss various historical matters related to Cave Creek government. I agreed, and during that conversation insisted the matters being discussed would remain confidential, an arrangement Mr. Trenk agreed to. In that meeting we discussed a number of issues about Cave Creek’s recent history including matters related to the firing of the town manager and the misplacement of the Neary site water tank. My purpose in meeting with Mr. Trenk was to help him better understand certain events in order for him to do a better job as a Cave Creek Councilman. Unfortunately, Mr. Trenk violated his commitment to confidence and common decency standards by publicly stating his interpretation of what transpired during that meeting consisting of misquotes and outright fabrications.

Let me be specific. In his recent writings, Mr. Trenk wrote “I had coffee with former councilman Dick Esser, and he confirmed that Abujbarah’s firing was long overdue for a litany of reasons (too bad he never had the courage to say it publicly).” This statement is only one of his major stretches of imagination and or faulty hearing, I’m not sure which. What I actually said was “Usama Abujbarah’s tenure as town manager exceeded the average tenure of town managers, that he and I had disagreements but that he was an effective manager and accomplished much for the town.” How Mr. Trenk twisted that into “long overdue firing” is beyond me. Could it be Trenk was looking for justification for his un-agendized motion to fire Abujbarah? The courts will decide.

Trenk then went on to further malign me by writing “The old guard also worked to sweep the previous town manager’s mistakes under the rug, forking over millions of taxpayer dollars to Herb Thompson (who was friends with Councilman Esser) when Abjubarah decided to ……” In fact, it was just over $1 million involved in a property purchase, not millions as Trenk wrote. And, I do not consider Herb Thompson a friend. He is an air conditioning installer who has done work on my house. That is how I know him.

I served the Town of Cave Creek for fifteen years as both a volunteer and as an elected official. During all those years, I never felt the need nor did I ever stoop to impugn the reputations of other officials or volunteers. In his few short years of both residence and service in Cave Creek, Mr. Trenk appears to be choosing a different tack.

To say I am disappointed in Mr. Trenk is an understatement. Cave Creek can and should receive better from its elected representatives.

Dick Esser
Cave Creek


Show me the money

In 1850 James Kirke Paulding, a colleague of Washington Irving observed, "When love of self becomes the ruling passion," he wrote, "and the golden calf the only divinity...then will the majestic fabric of Freedom...crumble to pieces, and from its ruin will rise a hideous monster with Liberty in its mouth and Despotism in its heart." American politics 2013 style?

In recent interviews Arizona's senior Senator John S. McCain by choice or chance, reveled the true reason for the push on immigration reform. MONEY! And, money is power, power equals control. We need only follow the money or the pursuit there of to reveal the motivation of this bi-partisan effort. The Dem's desperately want new voters to maintain control of the government and her treasury, Republican represented business wants cheap labor; cut costs, higher profit.

To a degree both sides are currently getting their way with the administration’s "Open Sesame" border control attitude and the "We'll leave the light on for you" policy in San Diego for all who claim to seek political asylum. But, this is not vast enough for the political elite who lust to accept all comers, said to be 11 million already here, (just what happened to the other 9 million earlier estimated, making it 20 + million).

Since Rowe v Wade, millions of potential taxpayers have been eliminated from the tax rolls through abortion, depriving the federal government of untold billions of tax dollars. America's birthrate fails to replace the aging taxpayer population at a great enough rate to fund the government in the fashion to which it has become accustomed.

Behind the scenes the gears of government grind away camouflaged by news of Iran, Obamacare, debt ceilings, continuing resolution, budget deals and ever present trumped up racial tensions. When immigration discussions do reach media outlets they consist of tugs at the heart strings involving split families, dreamers, rescuing those in the shadows and fairness; knowing full well Washington's true reason just won't sell – Show Me the Money!

Randy Edwards
Cave Creek


A head scratcher

The ever changing Obamacare law and regulations is at the convenience the White House’s political agenda. The President is bending over backwards to make the law work in order to leave a socialist legacy of his presidency. Never mind there will be unfortunate causalities. Young Americans paying for healthcare insurance they do not want or need and millions of people seeing their healthcare premiums rise. Let us not forget the business owners that offer company-sponsored insurance plans, they will be victimized too.

The healthcare industry is the largest, fastest growing, and most complex industry in the world. In the U.S., the industry accounts for more than $2.5 trillion in annual expenditures. By the way, it is almost 20 percent of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The head scratcher then, is why the industry Titans are allowing President Obama to manipulate the healthcare system. Could it be they capitulated early on in the drafting of Obamacare?

The other head scratcher is that the President has continuously breached his executive powers as written in the U.S. Constitution. Is not the ongoing changing and amending of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act a Congressional power? Republican Senators and House Representatives in Congress, including conservative ones, seem to have sidelined their principles, and have yet to entertain the idea of impeaching the President. Why is not President Obama held to account to abide by the law of the land? Where is the outrage?

Ray Torres


An existential threat

The liberal media loves to report on the so-called "Republican Civil War." They claim this battle is a fight to the political death between supposedly "responsible" GOP leaders and crazed Tea Party fanatics.

However, you and I know that is far from the truth. And a new report about who is funding the anti-Tea Party attacks coming from the Republican Party's ruling class proves it.

You see, The Republican Main Street Partnership, a "moderate," pro-big business group led by former Ohio Congressman Steven LaTourette, is being funded by left-wing labor unions.

The International Union of Operating Engineers and the Laborers' International Union of North America are dumping cash into this Republican establishment group's bank accounts in order to help it bash grassroots freedom lovers like you and me.

The ruling classes of both political parties see our grassroots Tea Party rebellion as an existential threat to their hold on power. Whether these lovers of big-government call themselves "Republicans" or "Democrats" no longer really matters. They adore the political status quo and are prepared to fight to the political death to preserve it.

That's why Washington, DC is such a mess. It's not that there isn't enough "bipartisanship" or "compromise." It's that there is too much of both. And the American people get the short end of the stick each and every time.

For the past decade or so, leaders from both political parties have been sneaking off to back rooms and cutting deals to raise the debt ceiling, hike taxes, and spend America into oblivion.
That's why ordinary Americans banded together in 2009 and formed the Tea Party movement. No one in Washington was fighting for us. So we took matters into our own hands.

And now the Ruling Class is striking back.

Thanks to the leftist labor unions, the Republican Main Street Partnership will be able to spend millions and millions of dollars attacking Tea Party candidates in GOP primaries this year. They will unleash wave after wave of attack ads against good conservative candidates.

It doesn't matter to them if a liberal Democrat or a "moderate" Republican wins an election. All they care about is making sure there are no more Rand Paul or Ted Cruz types elected to Congress to shake things up.

No, there is no "GOP Civil War." Instead there's a battle between grassroots Americans and the cronies who are destroying this country.

And it's a battle you and I must win.


Jenny Beth Martin
National Coordinator, Tea Party Patriots


Don't put cruelty on your shopping list

Thousands of puppies are bought and sold every year during the holiday season, which means thousands of consumers end up unknowingly supporting cruel puppy mills.

Puppy mills are inhumane, commercial breeding facilities that place an emphasis on profits over the health of the dogs. The breeding dogs at puppy mills live their entire lives in cages, typically in deplorable conditions. As a result, their puppies are often unhealthy and can carry infectious and genetic diseases. When you buy from a pet store or an online ad, you are likely contributing to this problem.

Last month, The Humane Society of the United States released the results of a hidden-camera investigation which traced the sources of puppies sold in pet stores and flea markets. The investigation showed many pet stores obtained puppies from puppy mills, including some of the worst facilities in the United States. This investigation was the latest to demonstrate the wide-spread consumer fraud and abuse occurring throughout this industry. Over and over again in these investigations, stores claimed they did not buy their puppies from puppy mills when, in fact, they did.

These investigations show why people should adopt a dog from a shelter or rescue or buy from a responsible breeder this holiday season. When you buy a dog online, from a pet store or flea market you just do not know what you are going to get and you are likely supporting a cruel puppy mill.

Andrea Chilcote
Cave Creek


It's got to be NOW

It's got to be now that you tell Congress No on this bad budget!

Email or call your representative at 877-340-0186. Let's make sure that Congress knows that we won't stand for any more broken promises to rein in spending.

Make no mistake AFP does not support the Ryan-Murray budget and will be key voting against
it. Increased government revenue through taxes or fees and increased spending, is against everything that fiscally conservative Americans stand for.

Tell Congress NO new spending!

Tim Phillips
Americans for Prosperity


My dad saved Christmas (idiom)

Santa got lost one Christmas day
His compass had broken and he didn’t know the way.
Rudolph’s nose was on high
But Santa’s sled still couldn’t fly.
I heard jingle bells and a ho, ho, ho
Stomping to get off the snow.
I was scared to open the door.
Picked my teddy bear up off the floor.
Knock, knock, is anybody home?
My little body felt like stone.
I was but six years old.
I cracked open the door.
I saw a big bright glow.
And then I saw him say ho, ho, ho.
It was Santa Claus; he wanted to see my dad.
I told Santa if I try to wake him he might get mad.
Dad knew the imagination that I have.
He wouldn’t believe the story that I had.
Santa knew my dad was an engineer and such.
He needed dad to fix his compass.
I told Santa to sit in Dad’s chair
While teddy and I went upstairs.
I shook pop with my little hands.
Told him Santa Claus wanted to see him.
Me, teddy and my dad went down stairs.
Santa was sleeping in pops chair.
My dad woke him up and said “Hello, Mr. Claus.
How’s the missus and the little elves?”
“Just fine,” he said, “but I need your help.
“Won’t be any Christmas,
If I don’t get these presents dealt.”
Dad put a new compass in Santa’s sled.
Santa shook his bells and his rain deer awoke from their rest.
No more sleeping; we’re on our way.
This little boy’s father saved Christmas day.
Pop and I went to bed.
That day I’ll never forget.
And the lesson in Sunday school
About Jesus born in a manger and dying for me and you.

Lyle Anderson
Apache Junction

PS: For the orthodox folks and the folklore believers of the jolly old man in the red suit Santa Claus.