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don sorchych

• Cave Creek Chamber of nonsense

•Slate Election

I served on the Black Mountain Merchants Association for years before the Cave Creek Council asked us to become the Cave Creek Merchants Chamber of Commerce. The town often asked us to take a stipend of $25,000 annually. I always voted NO, but was always outvoted. I didn't then, and I don't now think, the council should be recycling tax money. There was time when more and more non-profits waited patiently with their palms up waiting for tax dollars.

To his credit, then Councilman Ralph Mozilo spoke during a council meeting; he said it was wrong to be using tax dollars to support non-profits. He got out his wallet and said he was writing a check for a worthy organization that should be supported by town citizens. He then suggested other council members do the same. As far as I know they never did and nonprofits were not given money for a long time.

One of the things Black Mountain Merchants did, which was carried on by the Cave Creek Chamber, was host several fundraising events, usually at Harold's. And those events were fun. There were bachelor and bachelorette auctions that usually paid for fireworks. The Gong Show was a riot, and broke even or made a little money. Wild West Days was invented there when Marla McGee was president.

The organizer who put all those shows together was Dina Piaquidio and, although other members helped her, she was a roaring success. She was then employed at Harold's but is no longer there. She was also a long tenured member of both the Merchants and Chamber organizations.

bil canfield editorial
Why the recollections?

The Cave Creek Merchants and Events Association  (CCMEA) has given the town notice that this will be the last year for Wild West Days unless the town gives them financial support. This chamber has also been the supporter of the self-serving and unsightly banner signs attached to rusting poles in the median along Cave Creek Road. The signs have been ignored, or vilified, so the chamber has dropped its support.

In terms of financial support one councilman did the math. He said if CCMEA added $70 to the current $100 cost of membership for its 100 members they wouldn’t need the town’s financial support. That would place the burden on local businesses, which the chamber claims it serves, rather than citizen tax payers. CCMEA also has the option to get sponsors.

The summer didn't help in re-collecting petition signatures. Now that Labor Day has passed, school is back in session and temperatures are dropping, people are returning and petition signing is picking up. Attend a council meeting and you will see why it is important to eliminate the slate of four. But you don't need to bore yourself with that approach. Have you noticed the use of lawyers in try after try to eliminate competition? Most people view council seats as a commitment to help the town progress. In this case the slate is helping Vice Mayor Adam Trenk to get on a stepping stone so he can advance to the next rung on the ladder, maybe to Washington.

To review, Trenk went to court on the subject of whether he lived here for a year before the election, which is a statutory requirement. The judge ruled that even if he didn't he intended to. Unfortunately, the political action committee guiding the challenge didn't have the funds to appeal so Trenk was placed on the ballot.

Then Trenk and his Attorney Tim LaSota filed a suit against Dick Esser who had waffled about running for council and was cleared by the town clerk and county elections, but the judge ruled Esser out. LaSota then went to court and got Trenk and Councilman Reg Monachino off the hook for recall based on petition problems and then did the same for councilmen Mike Durkin and Charles Spitzer. So Cave Creek Caring Citizens Committee decided to get new petitions which took into account the failures in the first try.

But the Trenk/LaSota wrecking crew weren’t done. They went after candidate Susan Clancy’s petitions for the school board and a court hearing showed she was 3 votes shy of the required number of petition signatures. Not dismayed, Clancy told Trenk she appreciated his efforts since she now has more time to concentrate on the Cave Creek Council election.

But how about the voters? Clancy has built the reputation of keeping the school administration in line, or trying to. Other candidates were going to join her approach but Trenk has broken that by sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong. So Trenk’s vindictiveness, which knows no bounds, is messing up CCUSD worse than even Debbi Burdick could.

So the two-man wrecking crew have had devastating effects on voters’ choice in both Cave Creek and CCUSD. These wins were not because of brilliance, it is because the PAC and candidates didn’t have the money for an opposing attorney. Had they countered, the result would likely be very different. I am assured this second effort will be backed by an attorney who will teach Trenk and company new lessons. Maybe both will go back to law school.

Voters, note Trenk and LaSota are afraid of your votes. It is extremely important that at least 400 petitions are signed by voters of record. We have petitions at Sonoran News, 6702 East Cave Creek Road, Suite 3 in the True West building. Dennis Driscoll is also collecting signatures. You can reach him at 480-595-1471. Dennis will arrange to meet you or come to your home.