My View

BY DON SORCHYCH  |  September 30, 2015

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don sorchychRoadhouse excesses and road closures

In the September 23 issue Linda Bentley explained the outcome of the Hideaway Roadhouse’s (previously Tap Haus) citations for building its “porch” without town approval and for extending the porch onto town property.

Few people know what kind of arrangement building owner Jim O’Toole and Mark Bradshaw have in their partnership in the Roadhouse. However, O’Toole and O’Toole Land Company, which owns the building, proposed a licensing agreement to the town for $25 per month to encroach on the town’s property. I wonder how stupid O’Toole thought town officials were.

An underlying issue here is the town would have liability if someone was hurt on town property. But not only that – if one looks at intent, someone at the Roadhouse bought and stockpiled material to build the unpermitted patio and then built it in the dark of night. Did they think the town wouldn’t see their handiwork? There is an old statement and belief that it is smarter to ask for forgiveness instead of permission.

Toby Payne’s discussion with council was also covered by Bentley last week. Payne did what the town should do and that is to investigate the financial situation resulting from closed roads. He talked to white tent owners which flooded east side businesses during bike week.

“Payne said he learned from Town Marshal Adam Stein that the Tap Haus, which is now the Hideaway Roadhouse, pays the town $500 for the lane closures and $100 for the special event permit, but pays for the barricades and law enforcement directly.

“Payne said in return for the $600 paid to the town, Tap Haus was able to charge vendors for the use of its parking lot, estimating the Tap Haus made between $50,000 and $80,000, while the citizens got ‘nothing but headaches.’

”Payne asked council where the equality was for closing down one lane of traffic in town when bikers could park in the Tap Haus parking lot along with other business’ parking lots in town.”

For some reason the town believes road closures and other benefits result in money to the town and maybe votes too. I have many times reminded council that is citizen votes not business votes that put them in office. And as far as town tax revenues go, many people in town believe some businesses cheat.

One example is the local Walmart leads the entire state’s Walmart stores in liquor sales. Is that because it is cheaper, but illegal, to not buy liquor board stamped liquor for resale?

Employees of the Hideaway spoke of the cash based business there and doubted they were paying their taxes, but admitted it was above their pay grade to know. Unfortunately, state law denies access to their books, but the town receives information they can’t share with the public.

For some reason the town denies using forensic audits to determine the legality of business tax based revenue. One claim is that it is too expensive. I believe it will only increase our tax revenue and the audit will more than pay for its self. It is a risk worth taking. Their current argument that road closures and other gifts to businesses increase sales taxes is bogus.

So once again the council is lagging on promises. All of the current members that replaced the slate were adamant they would not allow road closures except for Fiesta Days, Wild West Days and Cactus Shadows High School Homecoming. It is time to put that to bed and stop closing the road for the benefit of a few, giving an even break to all of the businesses. Only three road closures!

An ugly rumor is circulating. Vice Mayor Steve LaMar introduced a very specific motion to council on Sept. 21. His motion asked staff to take immediate action to cite the Roadhouse for adding the patio without a permit, building on town property and an order for them to immediately cease and desist use of the patio. His motion, which also denied the proposed licensing agreement, passed 5-2 with Mayor Vincent Francia and Councilman Ernie Bunch dissenting.

The patio was removed the following day but pavers remain on each end and sand remains on town property, in defiance of the council order. Now we are hearing that the Roadhouse is seeking to have the charges dropped in exchange for removing the remainder.


And they are asking for council approval to allow them to have planters on the town property. The chutzpah!

Because the citation includes criminal charges, it seems someone in town is worried the Roadhouse might lose its liquor license. It would be justified if they were found guilty on the criminal counts. If they lose their license to sell liquor they deserve it.

Council had recently given the Roadhouse permission to have its water tank monument sign encroach on town property and that act may have given Roadhouse management the idea they could do as they please.

Sources tell me the Roadhouse got the pavers and material they needed to build the porch, but installed it overnight as if it would be invisible to passers-by.

Court actions should be taken now as should complete cleanup of their illegal actions.

National scene

This will be old news by the time you read this but Speaker of the House John Boehner has resigned. Good riddance. He seems to have been an errand boy for Obama and there are rumors Obama held some dirt over his head. Other rumors suggest he had an intern problem like Bill Clinton did.

Who knows?

But he and Senate leader Mitch McConnell are RINOs at best. Both had shots at Obama that could have resulted in impeachment but they didn’t have the cojones to do it.

Do you think any one of the Washington criminals, like Hillary Clinton, will be prosecuted? Doubtful, unless Trump is elected. I believe he would.

Obama’s recent agreement to bring in more than 17,000 refugees from Syria will seriously damage our country. It is part of Obamas’s strategy to increase Islamic presence, leading to a future caliphate.

Only Trump will stop such imports as he kicks out the 20,000,000 or more illegals now present here. I get a quarterly magazine from my alma mater titled “Resonance” which is all about the engineering school. Ten of fourteen 2014 PhD graduates were from outside the United States. You will find even higher percentages in theses written by foreigners.

What’s the point? People with this kind of intelligence seeking higher education are unlikely to be part of the welfare load that our uneducated illegals present.

However, what Obama is doing is allowing immigrants who will live on welfare rolls as taxpayer’s “guests.”