BY LINDA BENTLEY | FEBRUARY 4, 2015
Recalled slate campaigning against newspaper
Photo by Linda Bentley
CAVE CREEK – The job of this watchdog newspaper is to get news and information to our readers.
We’ve been covering council meetings, planning commission meetings and the goings on at town hall for two decades.
Our editorial pages are chock full of opinions via letters to the editor, a weekly editorial by Publisher/Editor Don Sorchych as well as two guest editorials.
Because Vice Mayor Adam Trenk is either too thin skinned or too immature to let an editor’s unfavorable opinion roll off his back, he and his fellow recalled slate council members, Mike Durkin, Reg Monachino and Charles Spitzer, have decided to wage war against Sonoran News and cut it off from being able to disseminate valuable information to the public.
Sara Vannucci, who is behind the Conservative Creekers for Fiscal Responsibility Political Action Committee, has now joined Trenk, et al in waging war against the newspaper under the deluded notion that being kept informed about things going on in Cave Creek somehow gave Sorchych control of the town.
That’s actually in Vannucci’s bright yellow mailer.
It says, “The recall is an attempt to return control of Cave Creek to the publisher of the local tabloid.”
Name-calling is also something Trenk and his recalled cohorts have resorted to.
Trenk calls Sonoran News “Sonoran Lies” in his latest mailer, while Durkin makes sure he calls the local newspaper a “tabloid” during public meetings as he praises the “good work” Trenk does.
According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, tabloid is defined as: “a newspaper that has pages about half the size of an ordinary newspaper and that typically contains many photographs and stories about famous people and other less serious news items,” or “a newspaper that has pages about half the size of an ordinary newspaper and that typically contains news in condensed form and much photographic matter.”
So, by definition, Sonoran News is not a tabloid.
City Sun Times, for example, meets the definition of tabloid. It’s mostly photos and fluff pieces – a “shopper” that does not report news.
Trenk and his slate’s campaign is a campaign against Sonoran News.
Sonoran News didn’t promise the recall, or as Trenk calls it a “re-do,” citizens told the newspaper they were going to recall Trenk, Durkin, Monachino and Spitzer because they learned the slate lied to get elected by duping the public into believing something nefarious was going on at town hall.
There wasn’t and there’s been nothing but clean audits.
Nonetheless, the slate followed Trenk’s lead and conspired to fire former Town Manager Usama Abujbarah, while also conspiring to hire Trenk’s inexperienced and unqualified friend Rodney Glassman as interim town manager.
Why? Because Abujbarah and Sorchych, who are polar opposites politically, became friends over the years and Abujbarah kept the newspaper informed about what was going on at town hall.
Claiming fiscal responsibility, this council hired Glassman, who couldn’t perform the job he was hired to do within the period of time he was given to complete it, so they voted to not only give him a raise but extend his contract so he could eventually get the job done.
This cost the town approximately $90,000.
Sadly, the town didn’t even need to hire an interim town manager because the town clerk, by law, is designated to perform the duties of the town manager in the town manager’s absence.
So, Town Clerk Carrie Dyrek could have initiated the process for finding candidates to apply for the job of permanent town manager without spending $90,000.
Under Glassman, this council voted to spend $20,000 on the stainless steel horse monuments on each end of town.
This council also voted to buy street maintenance software for $80,000.
The $190,000 the town spent on just those three things could have gone a long way in making some desperately needed road repairs.
Trenk believes the town’s shunning of Sonoran News, which is still the official newspaper of Cave Creek, will somehow deed him control of the town without having the transparency of what he’s doing being reported in the local newspaper.
It’s like his “Office Hours with the Mayor and Vice Mayor,” on Thursday mornings between 8 and 9 a.m.
Sure, it’s open to the public, but only for those who don’t have to go to work in the morning.
If there are issues of public concern, citizens always have the ability to speak during Call to the Public at regularly scheduled council meetings, held during hours when most citizens are able to attend.
And, that’s what Call to Public is for – addressing items not on the agenda, which may then result in either directing an appropriate member of staff to meet with citizens, placing items on a future agenda or doing nothing.
But it is done in an open meeting before the entire council, as opposed to just two out of seven members of council directing the use of town staff resources.
So, as Trenk, Durkin, Monachino, Spitzer and now Vannucci wage war against Sonoran News, and make the recall election about the newspaper instead of the candidates being recalled, the recall election is still scheduled for March 12, with ballots in the all-mail election going out on Feb. 10.