Guest Editorial

BY Steve LaMar  |  FEBRUARY 18, 2015

Rancho Watergate: Latest example of bad judgment at Town Hall

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steve lamarThe excellent investigative reporting that broke the Rancho Water Gate cover up provides great insight and a stark confirmation that Town Hall is in a downward spiral and is in desperate need of leadership that will bring Cave Creek back to the business of building a better community for all of us.

In moves disturbingly reminiscent of the 1970s Watergate cover-up, Cave Creek Town Hall offers fluff and deflection as they scramble to cover up and distance themselves from the leaked internal memo targeting Rancho Mañana Golf Course.

But it is impossible to run away from this email directive:

Internal Town Hall memo dated December 11, 2014 to utilities staff executing plan to attack Rancho Mañana Golf Course;

‘.....After January 1st we will no longer supply “CAP” water or water from Vermeersch Well to Rancho Mañana Golf Course......’
‘....We need to get this solution figured out in the next three weeks.

In response to public outcry Town Hall has sent out taxpayer funded political damage control pretending that the Prinzhorn memo, and the Trenk Slate’s mailer claiming that cutting off Water to Rancho Mañana was a ‘council accomplishment’ are mere figments of our imagination.
Rather than investigating to determine why this attack was launched and disclosing the details, they pretend it never happened.

Logic tells us this is a cover-up. It is a cover-up of gross incompetence by Prinzhorn, or a cover-up of a failed political attack on Rancho Mañana who’s big sin is being a good business citizen of Cave Creek rather than a blind supporter of the Trenk slate.
Here is the real tell ... what had to be done in three weeks according to Prinzhorn’s own written word isn’t being done at all. What the Trenk slate in writing claimed as a ‘council accomplishment’ to correct ‘failures of the prior administration’ has Town Hall scurrying to the shadows like rats in the basement when the light is turned on.

But this scandalous mess is just the latest episode in a saga that citizens will hopefully bring to an end on March 10, 2015. Here are just a few other examples:

1. Judge Gerlach of the Maricopa County Superior Court has ruled there is sufficient, relevant, admissible evidence that Trenk, Spitzer, Monachino, and Durkin violated open meeting laws, and public notice laws in denying their motions to dismiss, and motions for summary judgment in pending litigation against them which has cost the town $200,000 and counting in attorneys fees.

2. The Trenk Slate has had more closed door executive sessions than any council in the history of Cave Creek while he boasts of transparency. You all know that very little good comes of the business of government being conducted behind closed doors. Executive sessions are very difficult to penetrate without subpoena power.

3. Trenk is under criminal investigation by the County Attorney for his admitted (in open court on the record) forgery of a public document (a recall petition). He claims it is all a joke ... interestingly he took the 5th in Judge Gerlach's court and then was forced to answer by the judge. In 39 years of practice of law in Arizona I don't remember a lawyer taking the 5th in open court and then admitting forging a public document. That Trenk spins this misconduct as a joke is incomprehensible. Many have died defending the democratic process Mr. Trenk jokingly defiles to avoid the voters.

4. Spitzer and Trenk are directly linked to anonymous hate bloggers who have defamed and threatened any one who opposes or disagrees with them. The latest example occurred during recent forum negotiations. Responding for Spitzer, his hate bloggers threatened my wife and I with a violent video warning us that challenging Spitzer was challenging them, and that they would exact revenge. Spitzer won’t tell us who his anonymous blogger operatives are.

5. Spitzer has voted with Trenk 92 percent of the time while on council and has done little else.

6. Spitzer voted to sweep $800,000 of open space excess tax revenue to the general fund rather than earmarking it for use in the open space initiative the Trenk slate has utterly abandoned.

Since 1986 I have volunteered scores of hours in service to Cave Creek. I want to refocus Town Hall on the work of building a better community. It is my sincere hope the majority of citizens in Cave Creek agree that I have demonstrated over time the ability and determination to help in that process.

Steve LaMar is a Cave Creek Citizen and Horseman