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Don Sorchych

Politics in road maintenance

Sonoran News wishes you and yours a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and a prosperous 2014!

The upcoming year will be exciting and voters will have the opportunity to reestablish a council like the previous, competent and honest council and mayor. A recall to recall the slate is in motion and a second PAC has been formed by a supporter of the slate to recall councilmen Ernie Bunch and Thomas McGuire. At present, everyone on council has been listed for recall except the mayor. He is as deserving of retirement as his buddy Adam Trenk.

Since about 1,800 voted in the last election, a large percentage of them could be able candidates against Mayor Vincent Francia. I have talked to a few who are more than able but just didn’t want the job. So I would like to talk to anyone with a serious interest. Believe me, he is beatable.

bil canfieled editorial cartoon
One small example is a chuckling statement made to me by a person who has been a council member in Cave Creek. This person said “I have never understood why a person would claim to be a devout Buddhist yet makes his living at a race track.” His mayor position is currency to the owners of Turf Paradise who need him as a front man for Phoenix and the state legislature. It is doubtful, with their backgrounds, they could get an audience with the power players in Phoenix or the state legislature.

Francia has actively written nonsense using taxpayer’s money to brag about trivia and lie about accomplishments of his slate gang – or should I say he is singing their praises. How could anyone, for example brag about a know nothing and do nothing interim town manager? And what mayor would let Vice Mayor Adam Trenk run the town through his buddy Rodney Glassman? Remember, the mayor is voted separately from members of council and the expectation of voters is Francia will be the mayor. Trenk was voted in to the vice mayor position by his subservient slate friends. The mayor is shirking his duties to the citizens who voted for him in the first place.

Francia thinks the public is so enamored with his words that he mails a letter once a month at our expense. He carried a slate lie to his propaganda letter writing the waste of $80,000 for software to guide road maintenance would take politics out of road maintenance.

Let me tell you how about the recent history of Morning Star Road (MSR) which connects to Spur Cross Road.

When I moved here in 1990, the developer of what is now Red Dog Ranch was having a heated battle with my neighbors on both sides of MSR.

At that time, MSR was in Maricopa County and was in the area the town was trying to annex. The purpose was to get the Spur Cross Ranch (SCR) property into the town as a first step toward creating the open space that now exists.

Carolyn Fabrici owns a large ranch on the south side of Honda Bow, which is the first road north of MSR and her lawyer drafted documents guiding the annexation. At that time I was recently retired and actively supporting the annexation and the purchase of SCR. Activists were concerned the county would find a way to open traffic from the west and MSR was the obvious connection the county wanted. In order to thwart that possibility the annexation covenant stated that for 20 years MSR could not be widened or paved.

Over the years since, most all of my neighbors moved and I know only few along MSR even though I drive over it daily. The town’s approval of the Cahava Springs development west of MSR denies any vehicular traffic from the west because the development gave an 80 acre parcel to Cave Creek which doesn’t allow vehicular access.

I have emails from idiots who live on MSR who continue to say the road has to be protected from a western automobile invasion. The group of town dissidents seems to be led by my neighbor, Gerald Freeman. That group invited former Town Manger Usama Abujbarah to a meeting to complain about the state of MSR. Abujbarah explained the worst crossing could be bridged with county financial support and they could pave it so it wouldn’t be a continuous washboard or a dust generator.

Abujbarah also said that in spite of the agreement the enactment of dust control legislation regarding PM-10 changed the rules, whereas certain population guidelines and daily traffic could allow paving. The town put traffic counting hoses on the road but people kept throwing them off the road. Eventually they got numbers which allowed paving. However, the group told Abujbarah they would sue the town if he paved it. So Abujbarah, to avoid a lawsuit against the town, said okay then we will continue our twice yearly grading and dust control.

Less than three months ago a group from MSR asked for road work. The town immediately brought in dirt, water trucks and graders and spent a couple of days working on the road.
Within days, even without a rain, it was again pot holed and a wash board. Last week they did it again the day before it rained and again the road is bumpy and wash boarded. Francia said the expenditure of $80,000 was necessary to take politics our of road maintenance, except politics are now, although not before, guiding road maintenance.

We are seeking information about the costs of these two adventures in road maintenance. I do know paving would have substantially reduced total costs over a fairly short period of time.

This is just the beginning of exposing the dark side of Francia and in no way am I criticizing our road crew. They do a superb job and have no need for the $80,000 waste.