My View

BY DON SORCHYCH  |  MAY 27, 2015

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don sorchych GREED!
Council attendance
Bikers

In the distant past our council had nerve and was willing to make sometimes unpopular decisions. In other words they had guts.

But when a large percentage of the population has a certain attitude about anything it should be easy for a council majority to do their will.

Such is not the case. A survey by a national firm found that a large percentage of voters do not want road closures, period. They did agree with half day closures for the Fiesta Days Parade and Wild West Days.

Even Councilman Mark Lipsky lamented that nine days of lane closures (for Bike Week) was too long. But council was muted because the Buffalo Chip, Hideaway and Tap Haus, represented by Mark Bradshaw and Jim O’Toole, spoke. Bill Vail, owner of Harold’s, was there but didn’t speak.
One dark-sider, namely Kim Brennan, spoke and said it only took her two minutes to get through the regulated stops by MCSO. I have been through those stops and the traffic backups numerous times and never got through in anything like two minutes; ten minutes is more like it.

bil canfield editorial cartoon
I spoke to council twice in previous years about the Hideaway, which was approved by a council because the owner lied they had adequate parking. The lie was that neighbor Jeff Price, owner of The Horny Toad, said they could use his vast parking lot. Price was furious and pays to keep non-customers out.

Later, Town Manager Usama Abujbarah and Town Marshal Adam Stein met with Harold’s, Buffalo Chip, Hideaway, Tap Haus and Horny Toad and hammered out an agreement, which they all agreed to.

The main part of the agreement was that if any were planning an event, which would require more parking than their property allowed, they would jointly seek a solution. I think it worked once for an event at Harold’s but then was mainly ignored. Horny Toad billed the Hideaway for security to protect its parking lot but I don’t believe Bradshaw ever paid the full amount.

When council got lax about allowing businesses to do whatever they wanted greed set in.

Businesses near the five mentioned above never failed for lack of revenue.

However, when the town began to allow road closures the five businesses, except for Horny Toad, decided to choke their parking lots with white tents and other vendors that were not local tax paying brick and mortar businesses, using our roads for their parking.

Pure greed!
We know some local businesses operate on a cash basis and it is doubtful the town ever sees taxes from them, based on ex-employees testifying. Many shoppers have experienced offers from the white tents that they charged no tax if cash was paid. Yet the town claims they can’t get outside auditors to deal with it. It is up to council to force the issue as well as eliminate road closures except for the two parades.

Of course, businesses should be forced to use their parking lots for parking only and if they need more parking the Kite property is still available for a nominal fee as are buses to bring them to an event or business.

Come to council meetings
I have seen attendance by citizens at council meetings affect council votes. Currently the good guys and girls stay home because their votes put council members they trust in place.

You can watch streaming video of council meetings from anywhere. Although the sound is sometimes faint because council members don’t always speak into the microphone, the council knows you are watching and listening.

Mayor Vincent Francia often presents audience numbers as a reason for his votes. In the last meeting you could count the dark side by their claps when one of theirs spoke. There were about six, which follow former planning member and town dissident Eileen Wright.

Only Janet Mohr spoke for the real Cave Creek, along with John Ford. The rest were what I would call anti-Cave Creek or old slate supporters.

There are many issues to be resolved in Cave Creek. Present your expectations to the new council members and the three standing members. They will appreciate it and they will more likely make proper votes.

Bikes
I am receiving more and more complaints about the new bike paths. This is the proud accomplishment of newly reminted councilman Dick Esser. He is proud that some of the payment for bike lanes will come from MAG.

But our automobile lanes will be narrower, as will be the separating median in some places.
The complaints range from bikers ignoring bike lanes and using vehicular lanes, bikers not stopping for stop signs and large groups of bikers hogging traffic lanes.

There are also many complaints about the fact that car owners are paying for the bike lanes through gas taxes and bikers aren’t. Free ride, anyone?

Watch for legislative action as these complaints increase.