Liquor license application under scrutiny

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CAVE CREEK – At the beginning of what would be another three-and-a-half-hour meeting, Mayor Vincent Francia announced he didn’t have all the details but heard Saturday’s Home Expo was a success.

During Call to the Public Anna Marsolo said she hadn’t had a chance yet to comment on the general plan but stated in 2005 it was taken to the voters and they approved it.

She said in April 2004, Planning Director Ian Cordwell announced the process.

Marsolo said, “Just recently this process was not followed,” and asked, “Is there any wonder why people are upset?”

C.W. Jensen said the town has special events from October through May and to alleviate traffic concerns he said he contacted a barricade company, which he said can erect a portable bridge.

Jensen said the Hideaway told him they were interested in utilizing one but were told it would be a code violation.

ray starkRay Stark (r) said this town is compared to other municipalities and stated Cordwell didn’t follow the law in rolling out the general plan.

He said the process was “corrupted from the very start.”

Stark also spoke about a later agenda item to say Vice Mayor Steve LaMar and Councilman Ernie Bunch want to remove Commissioner Wright from the planning commission.

He said, “Those who want her gone support the illegal process. I recommend you keep Ms. Wright on the commission.”

Jankowski announced the town was doing crosswalk striping this week and should be done with cleaning up the washout damage from Sunday night’s storm on Tuesday or Wednesday.

The Water Advisory Committee (WAC) made its Desert Gold presentation, which it made a couple of months earlier but wanted to show it again to bring the newly seated council members up to speed. WAC Chairman Bill Allen introduced each of the committee members and said he’s never had a chance to work with a better committee.

During public comment, Marsolo said if the sewer line came to her home she would gladly hook up.

Bob Morris, who serves on the committee, said the report was an impressive amount of work but stated the town needs to implement performance measurement standards, benchmarking and preventative maintenance programs.

He said the town lost five pumps last year to catastrophic failure at a cost of $200,000.

Francia praised the committee.

Councilman Thomas McGuire said the WAC has turned into a “very hardworking group.”

LaMar asked the committee to prioritize projects for the next budget cycle so the town can get the most bang for the buck.

Council voted unanimously to approve the first reading of an ordinance to annex land owned by Tractor Supply just south of Olesen Road along the west side of Cave Creek Road into the town.

joseph martiniIn response to the posting of a number 12 liquor license application submitted by Joseph Noyes Martini (r) for Wild West BBQ Co. dba Rango’s Smoke House Grill, Town Clerk Carrie Dyrek said the town marshal found irregularities in the application and suggested council recommend denial.

Dyrek said the denial would trigger a hearing with the state liquor board where Town Marshal Adam Stein would present his findings.

She said much of the information is confidential and if Stein were present he wouldn’t be able to reveal any more than what she was relaying to council.

Martini, who said he operates a mobile barbecue, said he found it a little disturbing and was already given a cease and desist order from where he was set up on Spur Cross.

Martini stated he was since given a lease from the Christophers at Wild West Pawn to set up and use the patio.

He said, “I’m not sure how to do business in this town.”

During public comment, C.W. Jensen, who said he was a retired police officer from Oregon said Oregon has food trucks all over the place.

Reg Monachino said he was a little concerned no one from town staff was present, specifically the town marshal.

Two residents from The Knolls spoke in support of the marshal’s recommendation.

Martini said he was also moving forward with another application at Bartlett Lake.

Town Manager Peter Jankowski said it was his understanding there were a number of concerns with Martini’s application.

Francia said he was troubled by a staff member not showing up when there’s a recommendation of denial.

Dyrek said this was the first time in her 17 years with the town that council was being asked to recommend denial of a liquor license application.

Councilman Mark Lipsky said, “I’m very uncomfortable with what we’re doing here. We don’t have enough information.”

Councilwoman Susan Clancy said there appeared to be a lack of transparency, over which people have concerns, and there was not enough information.

Francia said he was very uncomfortable with the situation.

Council voted 4-2 to recommend denial with Francia and Clancy dissenting and Lipsky abstaining.

LaMar introduced the last item on the agenda, which was to direct staff to provide council with a report prioritizing road work for budgeting purposes.

LaMar said repairing and maintaining the town’s roads is not discretionary because the town has liability.

During public comment, Stark said the problem is funding.

Stark said the pavement program road report indicated spending $800,000 per year would only delay the degradation but allocating $1 million per year will get the roads back to where they need to be.

Council voted unanimously in favor of directing staff to provide council with a report and agreed with LaMar that the town needs to make the safety of its roads a priority.

Because it is an issue of money, LaMar said, “That’s why I want this.”

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