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my viewOpen Cave Creek Road and leave it open • Town advertising

The season is about to lapse into summer doldrums so we probably needn’t be concerned about the town giving our roads to a few select businesses, at least not now. But they have been doing it for years and it is time to address the issue.

I have presented this before but the past council had a deaf ear, regardless of what I said.

However, we have new council members now, and holdovers, who resonate with what citizens want – that is six out of seven votes, excluding the mayor, of course, who weeps because he lost his friend(s).

My recollection is Mayor Francia claims he will abide by what the council wants on the agenda, but that isn’t true. He wouldn’t put an item on the agenda to approve Sonoran News as an advertising source. More on that later.

In the dim past applicants who wanted to expand their businesses or wanted to close the road had to convince the council. Council reviewed special event applications and kept in mind white tents were not good for local businesses because those vendors often gave discounts for cash that didn’t include sales tax. So council generally kept in mind that brick and mortar family businesses were the fiber of the town and should be supported.

bil canfield editorial cartoon
Right now we have the worst of all possible worlds. The town’s methods benefit the east side of town, except for the Town Dump, Horny Toad and Frank Imel’s business. Specifically, the biggest beneficiaries are the Hideaway, The Tap Haus, Harold’s and the Buffalo Chip.

To add insult, because these businesses know they get to park in the road, they fill their parking lots with vendors and tents. And everyone in town suffers delays and frustration. And let’s not forget Cave Creek Road is the only way in and out of town.

1) Cave Creek should stop all road closures with the possible exception of Fiesta Days Parade, CCUSD Homecoming Parade and possibly the Wild West Days Parade, although that event seems to be dying anyway.
2) Any business which exceeds its parking lot capacity is required to transport customers from rented or leased property and that requirement must be strictly enforced.
3) White tents should be restricted from town unless their use is part of a grandfathering agreement. Magic Bird should stay a Carefree doodad; they seem fond of them in spite of their negative history in Cave Creek.
4) Although Cave Creek’s taxes are high at three percent, there should be active town audits.
5) Town government should stop trying to market the town and let businesses do their own marketing or let Cave Creek Merchants & Events Association (CCMEA) do it.
See how easy that was?

In our case the town stopped advertising in Sonoran News as soon as the slate hired Rodney Glassman. Obviously Glassman worked at the will of the slate and we are still stuck with the hangover from his actions. We also suffered in news gathering because news is now, not next month or later. Glassman had all requests funneled to Town Attorney Fredda Bisman from Dickinson Wright (formerly Mariscal Weeks), in what we suspect was a deliberate ploy to hamper our news gathering abilities.

A new council member asked why we are not the town’s advertising choice in view of the fact we are the community newspaper.

Town Manager Peter Jankowski claims we are not qualified because we are no longer a weekly, are not a subscription newspaper and are too expensive.

Somewhere in the town archives there is a legal case where the town brought in a judge pro tem to rule on the first two issues. To make ourselves legal we hire Gila Bend Sun which is a weekly subscription newspaper and we jointly print ads. Their publication makes our printing legal because it meets all the county requirements. Even if requirement is to print back to back weekly ads, they can and we will print the ad every other week.

Some idiots on the dark side of local politics ask who reads Gila Bend Sun ads, surely not Creekers. That is totally irrelevant. Gila Bend Sun supplies the requisite paper work and proof of printing and we supply it to the advertiser. That fulfills the statutory requirements.

As far as the cost goes, Glassman asked Town Clerk to find the cheapest ad and she found a special Arizona Republic edition and they use that, although they have no idea who or how many people actually see the ads. Jankowski apparently places cost above getting information to citizens. He doesn’t seem to mind spending tax payers’ money to distribute what the town wants voters to see in town-delivered mail.

Sonoran News uses the most expensive form of delivery which is the United States Post Office but we are sure everyone in town who has a mailing address gets Sonoran News. So it is saturation delivery in chosen zip codes.