BY DON SORCHYCH | AUGUST 6, 2014
Lawsuits • Cave Creek Coyote • Zoning
• Petitions • Buffalo
Thanks to the many Sonoran News readers who noticed my absence and inquired as to where in the hell I was. I would like to say I was in northern Arizona enjoying cool weather. However, after years of seeking a non-invasive fix for my heart I decided to have an angiogram which revealed three blockages requiring stents. Current technology dictates the use of medicated stents, but the accompanying medication is hostile – Plavix which replaces low dose aspirin I have used for years. So I have been learning to live with these new drugs and will soon start cardiac rehab. In the meanwhile I am back on My View schedule.
Not much has happened while I was laid up with regard to the many lawsuits flying around except Mariscal Weeks, now Dickinson Wright, which is enjoying an additional tax paid town expenditure of about $10,000 every month. So far, thanks to Vice Mayor Adam Trenk and his minions’ actions, we continue to face huge expenditures - over $100,000, so far, in legal fees, and a possible $3 million award to former Town Manager Usama Abujbarah. Trenk is also facing a federal lawsuit claiming he violated Abujbarah's First Amendment rights.
Cave Creek Coyote
Bad boy Trenk also criticized us in the town publication, the Cave Creek Coyote, a taxpayer-funded publication. We wrote about it but nothing happened until Mark Lipsky complained about it in Call to the Public during the last council meeting. Lipsky who lived here about seven years ago, said although he normally didn't agree with me he did on this matter. There is a fundamental reason Lipsky and I rarely agree; he is a liberal and I am a conservative. I am glad he saw just how wrong Trenk's "toxic" insert was in a taxpayer-funded publication. I heard Mayor Vincent Francia asked to see Lipsky after the council meeting so I called Francia to find out what happened.
Francia said they were going to change the format so only staff members contribute. If a councilmember wants to write a column, it has to be cleared through legal and therein lies a problem. I would not trust Fredda Bisman to decide; she has demonstrated a propensity to agree with anything Trenk wants and would probably be the same with any of his bobbleheads. Furthermore, there seems to be no interest in taking town action against Trenk's assault on us in a tax paid publication, although there should be, especially since he is an attorney, is vice mayor, and should know better. It should be more than a slap on the wrist.
Mayor? Council? Town Manager? Gary Birnbaum?
The entire council has lost its marbles. Past council members had a good feel for tax revenues and were willing to take political risks to keep the town alive even with heavy debt. Good examples are Walmart and McDonald’s. Both faced referendums by town and Carefree misfits and both were soundly defeated. Walmart alone pays the interest on town debt. McDonald’s suffered a referendum and won but this council unanimously agreed to general plan amendments and a Specific Area Plan, perhaps to keep votes from two subdivisions who bought cheap because they are near Carefree Highway and want protection from big bad commercial tax payers. So the council UNANIMOUSLY agreed. Although, as of this writing there will be a request to reconsider that action during the Aug. 4 council meeting. As it stands, the Specific Area Plan, as approved, reduces the town’s potential for taxes substantially over what the revenues would be if the entire area along Carefree Highway were General Commercial. Arranging zoning to get votes is despicable when it should be left to businesses to produce revenues of sufficiency to support the town. Hopefully, the council seated after the recall will reverse this misguided Specific Area Plan.
Petitions are going through a second cycle due to court actions which obviated enough signatures that they fell below the required number. Petition gatherers learned a great deal during the court hearings; that knowledge should make new petitions safe from court actions. To be sure however the new batch will be backed by an attorney. There is a front page article to tell you how to get petitions signed, where, who and how.
We are receiving record numbers of inquiries wanting to know how the two buffaloes from Hogs N’ Horses died. Originally the assumption was one of them fell from atop a trailer where they feed, apparently to advertise the business. Hogs N’ Horses owner T.C. Thorstenson's friend Adam Trenk wrote on his Facebook page that two buffalo were poisoned and then removed the post, indicating he had inside knowledge the tests on the dead animals revealed they had not been poisoned. We received emails that the findings at the University of Arizona supported the cause of death to be a respiratory infection.
Linda Bentley called Thorstenson and asked if that was the cause of death. Thorstenson said he still believed they were poisoned. Bentley asked him what U of A revealed and he asked her to call him back in an hour. She has called him but he didn’t answer and didn’t return the call after a message was left.
Apparently, U of A treats this investigation as a medical matter and only Thorstenson can receive the information from the report or he must authorize them to give it out to other parties. We haven't given up and we are speaking to other organizations who claimed they were investigating.