BY DON SORCHYCH | FEBRUARY 5, 2014
Cave Creek politics
Like clockwork Mayor Vincent Francia mailed his monthly propaganda missive to the voters of Cave Creek. Francia is the master of the glass is always full, irrespective of the clear writing here and on the rest of our editorial page. Because of the acclamation of the rest of the slate, he is allowing slate leader, Vice Mayor Adam Trenk, to run the town and he is careful to support their non performance. After the last council meeting it seemed he had once again swung to the mayor of old by stating he couldn't support the court settlement before him. The settlement after all benefited only Gerald Freeman versus all the citizens who long ago voted the trail system into our general plan.
Unfortunately, his step forward in the last meeting has expired and he is again singing the praises of a council gone wrong.
He correctly sent happy trails to Utilities Manager Jessica Marlowe, who recently left, but incorrectly stated Rodney Glassman's non-performance as contributions. For example, the consolidation of our court with Carefree was a huge mistake, not an accomplishment. Unfortunately the future will show how ridiculous the change is. Francia implies the silly fight with Scottsdale about their registered trademark helped to have record results for Wild West Days. If anything, Wild West Days could have been better if they kept their mouths shut. What their sophomoric attempts at advertising did is make the town look stupid, which can't be fixed, but can be voted out.
Francia blandly mentioned Glassman's assignment to recruit a new town manager. The committee of an out of town mayor, know-nothing Glassman, Francia and out-of-town Trenk made it difficult for council members on the good guy list to see what they were doing. Their apparent plan to install the only Arizona candidate was defeated by a Good Samaritan who outed that candidate online. It remains to be seen if the chosen candidate decided to come here with the knowledge six of seven council members are subject to recall, with the seventh likely. Furthermore, the candidate hails from Massachusetts, which is an unlikely background for an Arizona town manager. And of course the dim bulbs on the slate, led by Adam Trenk, voted out the best town manager ever in this town which resulted in a three million dollar lawsuit and associated costs after Trenk wrote Abujbarah would never sue. Smart embryo attorney isn't he?
Now Trenk has done it again. Not only does his recent email splash likely violate open meetings laws, but also a recent statement he made from the dais. He stated in the Jan. 27 council meeting he was told in executive session they might lose the TRO lawsuit filed by Gerald Freeman. Executive sessions are confidential. I believe both mistakes have been forwarded to the Attorney General's Office.
The nasty 2,000 word "essay" by Trenk was published on a web page believed to be hosted by someone joined at the hip with Freeman.
Glassman was portrayed as the fair haired town manager and the blog asserted he should be hired permanently until he did the one good thing he did while employed, which was to tell Freeman his lawsuit against the town was ridiculous. The very next day a largely ignored blog threw Glassman to the wolves and excoriated him. Rumors are the author is either Bruce Arlen (who often sits with Trenk's dad at council meetings) or Arek Fressadi. Both are Freeman worshippers as proven by emails in my possession.
At the Feb. 3 council meeting, after hours of legal education by Gary Birnbaum, the council voted unanimously to scuttle the proposed settlement of Freeman's TRO lawsuit against the town, Cahava Ranch and me.
In the previous council meeting the settlement had been continued to get a legal opinion about the effect of the 1997 agreement to annex former Maricopa County properties, including Spur Cross Ranch. In that meeting, based on comments by council members it looked like a 4-3 vote to settle.
Birnbaum, along with other important issues, dispelled the myth by the slate that the lawsuit was costly to the town. According to Birnbaum the defense of the horse trail is fully paid by the insurance risk pool and only if the town lost would it cost anything. Thus the 7-0 vote against settling.
The meeting was standing room only and speakers were dominantly against the settlement. Many attendees wore cowboy boots and ten gallon hats. Ex-Councilman Terry Smith, who is a consummate cowboy and realtor, passionately represented the promise of the horse trail and the vagaries of Freeman. Ex-Councilman Steve LaMar eloquently supported the town's promises to provide a network of trails for hikers, bikers and horse riders. He also, as did others, argued that Freeman is the biggest threat to our trail system.
Only Bruce Arlen foolishly got up to defend Freeman. All Arlen has to do is go to MCSO and ask for documents describing the events discussed. I responded to a call and met the riders who suffered a mule downed by Freeman's truck. MCSO responded and tried to interview Freeman. Freeman, after downing the mule, was waving trespass papers although it was on my property; the riders had permission and therefore there was no trespass.
The assertions about him threatening a woman, once again on my property and with my permission, are also true. The woman, a guest of a neighbor on Old Stage Road, lost a horse with bridle and saddle. She found it and when she entered my property, Freeman threatened to knock her off her horse with a shovel. Frightened, she raced down the road with Freeman following her on his tractor, screaming at her. Apparently Freeman called MCSO and they were waiting at her friend's house. Freeman tried to get MCSO to arrest her for trespass. Again, no trespass as proven by our recent victory in the appeals court, where he claimed to have an exclusive easement on my property.