BY MELANIE WILLIAMS | AUGUST 20, 2014
Cave Creek has lost its way
Our Cave Creek Town Council seems to be sadly out of touch with the community they are elected to represent. The new town manager is properly taking his lead from this town council. Unfortunately, the council seems to believe that Cave Creek is only for cowboy wannabes, booze, loud bars and motorcycles – the “character of Cave Creek” as defined by the vice mayor. And, the town manager doesn’t know any better. There is so much more to this town than that. Let’s start with the Desert Foothills Library.
The basis of the Desert Foothills Library goes back to the Cave Creek Mother’s Club. That group started the first kindergarten classes in Cave Creek because there was no other preschool available at that time. Then they realized our town needed a library so they organized the beginnings of that and it has evolved into the wonderful library we have now. Yes, it is a private library and depends on donations and memberships. The library receives no tax based funding. Look at what it offers our town. They have a few paid employees (most are part-time) and everything else done by a large, dedicated group of volunteers. They offer programs for our youth and adults year round. They offer a place for groups to have meetings and events. They have special programs for the Foothills Caring Corp. They have a used book store for everyone to take advantage of. Now our council does not feel it is worth supporting. One council member who never donates money, does not have a membership and has never supported it is seen using the library resources on frequent occasions. Apparently he thinks everyone else should pay his way. Another council member stated the library offers nothing to the community. Our library has become the community center by default, with no financial help from our town.
Now let’s look at the Sonoran Arts League. They organize the annual Hidden in the Hills studio tours. Maybe when our town manager has been here long enough, he will see the impact those two weekends have on our town. They also offer “incentive bags” filled with art supplies to students who have shown talent for arts. And now that they have more room, they will be offering classes and workshops. They cannot do all this without community support. The impact of the art community on Cave Creek is enormous.
Then there is the Desert Awareness Committee (DAC). They work hard to educate residents about the desert we live in. The more people learn about our upland desert the more they will appreciate it and be willing to protect it. They present programs in the schools and in the community. The DAC has been an important part of this community for years.
Don’t forget the Desert Foothills Land Trust. They have a paid staff of three and have a core of volunteers who help watch over the 685 acres they own or oversee through partnerships. These volunteers also lead hikes so the community can see and appreciate our upland desert. They have 23 preserves, conservation easements and partnership areas. They manage to get all that done with loyal donors and volunteers. The years of close cooperation with the town sadly seem to be at an end with this council.
And let’s look at our trail system which is a fundamental component of what makes Cave Creek, Cave Creek. It is the result of Bambi Muller, her predecessors and her dedicated volunteers. They have created trails all through our community that are enjoyed by horse riders, bike riders, and hikers. They do that with precious little financial support from the town and no recognition. They don’t ask for recognition but funding is vital. Cave Creek has one council member who stated that trails and parks have no value. He simply does not understand what is important to our community. Our trails are an essential part of what makes our community special.
We have had a bicycle festival for several years that has drawn bigger crowds every year. The town no longer supports that. But the dedicated volunteers still make it happen. We have several trail runs put on by volunteers. We have a theater group that puts on shows for all to enjoy. The council isn’t interested.
Thankfully, the council is still willing to support our wonderful museum. Once again a special place built by the hard work of volunteers and community donations. The museum is such a special place. We can only hope that this council does not turn their back on that as well.
I know I have probably left out some important organizations, but I think you get my point. This wonderful variety of interests and activities is what makes Cave Creek so special. There was a time when the town supported these activities either financially or with cooperation.
Cave Creek has now lost its way. It is time for the council and town manager to wake up and start giving support and cooperation to the things that make our community special. Cave Creek is so much more than cowboy wannabe’s, drinking, loud bars, and motorcycles.