BY LINDA BENTLEY | APRIL 30, 2014
Trenk lobbies to eliminate permit requirements and scrutiny
Trenk also seems to have a habit of not recusing himself when he has a direct relationship with the matters at hand
CAVE CREEK – On Nov. 7, 2013, S. Kerr obtained a $250 fence permit for a property on Highland Road owned by Broadway Cody, LLC that appears to be owned by Vice Mayor Trenk’s in-laws and where Trenk (l) and his wife appear to have moved, at least part time.
On Feb. 4, Building Inspector Richard Esposito left a notice addressed to “Kerr or current resident” that read: “Please post your permit number at the front drive. This is a requirement based on Town and International codes. A simple sign with the current permit number 13R302.
“Be advised that the records show that we have not had a request for any inspections as yet.
“Also be advised that flat work (concrete) does not require a permit but structures over 120 square feet require a building permit while anything under 120 square feet requires a clearance from the Planning and Zoning Department.”
On Feb. 10, Associate Planner Luke Kautzman noted on an inspection record that the permitted project failed the zoning inspection, while on the same date, Esposito noted the project failed both the final building and engineering inspections.
On his inspection report, Kautzman noted: “No site plan approved by the town which depicts the scope of the fence permit was included with paperwork at the door” and “Slab poured and structure has been placed on site. Building setbacks not indicated – New structure was not approved by the permit.”
In checking off that the project failed both the final building and engineering inspections, Esposito commented: “Provide all approved plans to include site plan.
“Provide a zoning clearance and/or approval for this permit and for the placement of the accessory building 16 X 10.”
The apparent follow-up to this was Trenk going to both Planning Director Ian Cordwell and Building Official Mike Baxley to amend the town’s building codes and ordinances to eliminate certain projects from requiring permits, including the type of fencing installed on the Highland Road property.
If no permit were required for the fencing, there would be no need for an inspection and, therefore, possibly no scrutiny over the 160 square-foot accessory building being bootlegged in.
Meanwhile, despite Cave Creek having a town manager form of government, whereas council provides guidance and direction to the town manager who carries out those duties and management of the town and staff, Trenk seems to be overstepping those boundaries by going to staff directly.
Trenk also seems to have a habit of not recusing himself when he has a direct relationship with the matters at hand.
Readers may recall him discussing and voting on an agenda item that served to benefit his client T.C. Thorstenson.
As a result, Trenk was subsequently pressured into resigning as Thorstenson’s statutory agent, although resignation does not eliminate that relationship or a need for recusal.
Additionally, Trenk not only failed to recuse himself, he introduced a resolution demonizing APS in support of solar industry subsidies, which would serve to benefit his employer, Rose Law Group, which has numerous solar industry clients.