Wild West Days becomes a town-sponsored event

‘We can’t do a repeat of last year’
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paul daleCAVE CREEK – Paradise Valley Community College at Black Mountain President Paul Dale (l) and Loretta Mondragon, site manager, provided council with a brief presentation about the campus and the new 20,000 square-foot science building under construction.

Dale said the campus expansion was made possible by voters who supported $10 million in bonds.

According to Mondragon, the expansion, expected to open in the spring of 2016, will allow students to obtain AA degrees at the Black Mountain campus.

During Call to the Public, Vice Mayor Adam Trenk said there will be a public forum at town hall for the recalled candidates, which includes Trenk, Mike Durkin, Reg Monachino and Charles Spitzer, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 12.

Trenk said he was re-inviting the challengers, who all declined to participate.

Council voted unanimously to pass the second reading of an ordinance regarding yielding on trails and restrictions on paving across trail easements, with Councilman Ernie Bunch commenting, “I’m going to support this but don’t know how we’re going to enforce it.”

Council also voted unanimously to pass a resolution declaring Wild West Days an official town-sponsored event.

peter jankowskiTown Manager Peter Jankowski (r), who stated the last Wild West Days didn’t go off with a “bang” as it had in previous years, said he didn’t see this as expending town resources in the same manner as the Taste of Cave Creek event.

Mike Durkin wanted assurances that this wasn’t obligating the town to any financial commitments or “committing X number of dollars.”

Town Attorney Fredda Bisman said the town, as a sponsor, could be subject to increased exposure but it would depend on the incident.

Jankowski said event organizers can get better insurance rates with the town as an official sponsor.

Mayor Vincent Francia said since he asked to place the item on the agenda, he would make the motion to pass it.

Francia said the town has an interest in this event because it draws people to town, but stated it has to be done well.

He said to look at the event as a wheel with all the spaces between the spokes as events with the town as the hub.

Francia said he didn’t want the event to fail as it has brought a lot of people into town in the past.

He said, “We can’t do a repeat of last year.”

Bunch said the residual effect of these events is always a good thing.

Council voted unanimously to have a citizen group perform a comprehensive review of the town code and bring recommendations forward to council.

Trenk said he placed the item on the agenda and it was a culmination of several suggestions made during “Office Hours with the Mayor and Vice Mayor.”

Trenk said there were enforceability issues in the town code and stated the way the town code currently reads land in the annexation area that is not open space does not allow horse privileges.

Trenk asked staff to “publish a notice” in the next water bill to find citizens who may have the time and desire to review the town code.

Durkin stated it was an “excellent idea.”

Spitzer said there were multiple places in the town code that say different things addressing the same issue.

Reg suggested that perhaps a member of council should be part of the review committee.

Francia said, “I think the mayor and council should stay out,” and stated it should be purely a citizens committee.

He said, “If we pare it down to two golden rules – Respect your neighbor, respect the desert – I’m all for it.”

Council voted unanimously in favor of mentoring program for high school students brought forward by Spitzer.

Carefree – Cave Creek Chamber of Commerce Executive director Patty Villeneuve said the chamber has contributed over $13,000 to a scholarship program over the past five years and their goal was to raise $4,000 for an endowment.

During public comment, David Smith said there’s a nationwide effort now for teaching civics in school. He said this program is a practical application where they can learn what really happens.

Councilman Thomas McGuire said they needed to be careful about how the students are mentored in the program.

Spitzer said he believed it has a short time period.

Bunch joked, “I wish my high school had done this. Maybe I wouldn’t be sitting here.”

Monachino asked who would be administering the program.

Spitzer responded, “Hopefully someone on town staff.”

Trenk recused himself from the next agenda item, which was a development agreement prepared by the Rose Law Group, his employer, between the town and companies held by Lou Spelts.

The agreement would allow Spelts to meet fire sprinkler requirements, while the town would complete some infrastructure improvements that are listed in its capital improvement plan (CIP).

Spelts said he will provide temporary water tanks and a pump until three homes are completed so as to provide adequate water pressure for fire sprinklers to operate and stated it was approved by the fire marshal.

During public comment, Anna Marsolo asked why the town would want to be a partner with a developer speculator with no capital that can’t sell his overpriced lots.

Kerry Smith questioned explanations provided with regard to water pressure and how it would affect surrounding properties, including his own.

Spelts said the existing water line was approved by Arizona Department of Environmental Quality for all 15 homes.

Bunch moved to approve the agreement and said the issue was both moral and technical, stating, “We require sprinklers but don’t have the infrastructure to support sprinklers.”

Durkin, who seconded the motion said, “We’re never going to come up with an ideal solution. It’s on the CIP anyways.”

Council approved the motion by a vote of 4-2, with Monachino and Spitzer dissenting.

Council voted unanimously to authorize an expenditure of $12,400 to repair one of the town’s two backhoes.

Monachino asked if both were ever used at the same time.

Prinzhorn said they were, stating one is used by utilities while the other is used by the road crew.

He said, “It’s broke, we need to get it fixed.”

Before adjourning, the mayor announced there is a second budget meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 9.

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