BY STEVE LAMAR | APRIL 16, 2014
Then and now
Went to The Horny Toad for lunch last week. It has never taken more than five minutes to get there. Twenty minutes later I found myself stopping, crawling, stopping along the one narrowly passable alley that had once been Cave Creek Road. No luck turning into the Toad because its business access lane was blocked. So it was up another quarter mile....stop, crawl, stop, u-turn, and back again. Finally safely into the Toad parking lot which was nearly empty. No wait for service as it was a very quiet sparse lunch crowd for the usually busy iconic Cave Creek restaurant. Funny I didn’t see any of the Trenk/Thortsenson slate there.
On the way to my table I overheard the manager on the phone saying, “Your crowd control has my business blocked; you are killing me here again!” In fact the iconic Horny Toad isn’t the only small business suffering under the Trenk/Thortsenson regime. But the residents are suffering most of all.
We used to have special events from time to time; they were limited. The limit was the promoters of the events had to have adequate parking. The Trenk/Thortsenson slate (Trenk, Monachino, Durkin, and Spitzer) has taken care of that little problem by giving our public roads to a handful of bars for parking lots.
There used to be a limit on the out of town vendors, you had to have a business permit and the numbers were limited. Now there are swap meet tents going up on nearly every square foot of this town nearly every day. I guess the Trenk/ Thortsenson slate thinks the brick and mortar small shops in the historic Town Core needed the competition. And mighty competition it is.....just throw up a tent and you are now a Cave Creek historic Town Core shop. Gee, doesn’t that sound fair? Makes me want to run out, sign a lease, hire some help, pay my taxes, and work 12/7 running a nice small business in Cave Creek. I will make it real tasteful so when the folks who want to do something other than park in the street and wade through the sea of plastic signs, they will know I care about the image of the town.
This town is historically a small mining camp/town that stuck it out when the mining panned out. Our general plan requires that we respect those roots and preserve that quiet, quaint, small town. Cave Creek not so long ago was moving closer and closer to being the quaint, beautiful, yes eclectic and fun loving, but classy town it could be. Then the great recession hit. Then Trenk and Thortsenson hit.
Now, with every passing week this town is losing its charm, its history, and is fast becoming a tacky little tourist trap. If you have a home in this town and realize you may want to sell it one day, you better take a long hard look at what is going on because before long any one who wants to do more than get drunk, be attacked in a bar, pawn some jewelry, or park “the hog” in the street, is going to be investing six or seven figures in a home some where else.
Dark skies, quiet....peaceful country quiet evenings. Open space and trails to get out and see the wonders of the great Sonoran Desert all around us. That is what has always made this town special. That and citizen representatives on town council who served the best interest of the town, not themselves and a handful of big box businesses.
Two people have changed the course of this town: Adam Trenk, and TC Thortsenson. Trenk planted here from New Jersey ready to buy his first political office with east coast money, and TC Thortsenson flush with money he may not have earned looking for a willing politician to help him turn a profit on the back of Cave Creek and its citizens. It was a match, but not made in heaven.
We are rapidly becoming a tacky bar town crawling with people we moved away from when we moved here. The attraction isn’t our shops and restaurants, our open space, or our trails. Rather, it is big box bars, pawn shops, swap meets, tent junk, and phony western side shows. Trenk lives in Scottsdale and drinks here on the weekends with TC and the boys, no skin off his nose. The only way folks like Durkin, Monachino, and Spitzer find themselves elected is being the coat tails of the Trenk/Thortsenson machine.
They have gathered a core following of anonymous operatives who threaten and slander anyone who stands in the way of the Trenk/Thortsenson bar town vision. When these cowards are challenged to reveal themselves they cower in the shadows, small, hateful, evil, little people who have found an unholy allegiance in Trenk/Thortsenson and their slate. Finally, these cowardly misfits have found a council willing to lie to get elected, who don’t care about anything but getting ahead, and paying back the operatives who want to help keep them in office.
You have a chance to bring the normal election cycle back to the two year term the people of Cave Creek have demanded. The people have signed the petitions; there will be a recall election so the will of the people can be heard. Just in time. Cave Creek is off the rails and needs that every two year voice of the residents who live here to make sure there is balance, integrity, and service of the town’s best interests returned to its council.
Exercise your will in the recall election. Get involved for the Love of Cave Creek