By Linda Bentley | october 7, 2015

Council takes another look at banner program, agrees to move horse

LaMar said he wasn’t sure where the money goes and he had concerns
with the town taking over events and subsidizing CCMEA
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CAVE CREEK – Mayor Vincent Francia opened Monday night’s meeting by reminding everyone about the Taste of Cave Creek event next Wednesday and Thursday at Stagecoach Village.

During Call to the Public, Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Ryan Branios introduced himself to council and said after a four-year stint in District I, he’s returned to District IV in Cave Creek where he previously served for 13 years.

Branios told council about Public Safety Day this coming Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Desert View Church, located at 105 W. Carefree Highway.

He said MCSO has partnered with Daisy Mountain Fire to put on the free event where people can come to “shake hands and get to know the first responders.”

Branios said SWAT, K9, bomb squad and other MCSO representatives, including Sheriff Joe Arpaio, MCSO’s new helicopter and more will be there.

Daisy Mountain Fire Department will conduct live fire demonstrations, mock accident extrications and have fire trucks and ladder trucks on display.

Honor Health will also be there with an Air-Evac helicopter and present first aid and injury prevention education.

Arizona Herpetological Society will have live animals and reptiles on display.

Kathy Jones told council she’s lived on Hidden Valley Drive for the past 15 years and is right next door to the Foothills Food Bank, which she said is planning to build a two-story building.

Jones said the food bank has caused “nothing but problems” since they’ve been there, including vagrants, homeless people, rodents, public urination.

And, she said, for the past two years it’s been one thing after another.

Jones asked council, before it decides to give any thumbs up to the food bank’s planned two-story building, to remember what she has told them.

Paul Diefenderfer quoted Johnny Ringo from a previous council meeting where he stated, “The council has lost the trust of Cave Creek residents, one by one,” and was the reason they no longer showed up at council meetings.

He then invited council to the museum on Saturday when they will be running the stamp mill.

Jim Welsh, a west side resident, said he was curious as to how the water line was coming along on 26th Street. He said he didn’t know where it stands since he learned former Utilities Manager David Prinzhorn is gone.

He also asked if the town could bring the speed trailer over to 26th Street to help people monitor their speed along that stretch of road.

Town Manager Peter Jankowski updated council on the Surry Road Trail, the expired agreement with Spur Cross Stables and said the town was working with the Sonoran Arts League on a program to display art at town facilities.

Jankowski also said he met with county representatives to start a process to determine a capital improvements and operational budget, per the intergovernmental agreement.
Jankowski said auditors were currently conducting their on-site review this week of Fiscal Year 2015.

Council voted unanimously, absent Councilman Mark Lipsky, who dropped off from appearing telephonically because he couldn’t hear enough of what was being said, to approve the second readings of three ordinances, which included the land exchange with The Horny Toad, an increase to the expenditure limitations, and housekeeping amendments to various sections of the town code to shift the authority and oversight of all personnel to the town manager from the utility manager.

Jankowski said it brings that section of the town code in line with the rest of it.

Vice Mayor Steve LaMar asked that the Cave Creek Merchants and Events Association’s (CCMEA) banner program be brought to council, stating there had been concerns from the beginning that the program was troubled.

Although CCMEA has partially rectified the issue of the town not having been paid, LaMar also said if something is going to be in the town’s median it should be attractive.

LaMar said he finds them to be a distraction and thought they were supposed to promote town events but stated some of the banners are advertising subdivisions in Phoenix.

LaMar said he wasn’t sure where the money goes and he had concerns with the town taking over events and subsidizing CCMEA.

Jankowski stated the town would receive 50 percent of the proceeds until the balance was paid and then the town would receive 20 percent of the proceeds.

LaMar stated the agreement does not include any safeguards that ensure the structures and banners remain in good repair and asked how long the town was committed to the project.
Councilman Thomas McGuire noted the change in leadership at CCMEA has been dramatic.
Councilman Ernie Bunch said he supported the program when it first came around because the town kept writing a check to CCMEA for $10,000. He said this program was supposed to raise revenue for them to keep them from coming back for more money.

Councilwoman Susan Clancy questioned why the agreement only allowed for two different companies to make the banners and said businesses might want to use another company.
During public comment, Diefenderfer offered to redo the brackets on the posts to make them more attractive at no cost to the town.

However, the mayor stated later if he were to provide any services to the town, he would be paid.

Kerry Smith stated the program was controversial when it first came up and all the issues were supposed to have been worked out.

He said there are areas where the medians are going to be narrower due to the bike path and said this may be a good time to reevaluate.

Jankowski stated the traffic engineers working on the bike lane project said the banners were not a hazard.

Francia said there needs to be a way to address the aesthetics, maintenance, restrictions on advertisers and other issues and asked for two council members to volunteer to work with staff to go over the agreement and bring an agreement back to council that addresses the concerns he brought up.

Town Attorney Bill Sims said a Gilbert case could be a problem for the town if it wanted to restrict advertisers.

LaMar and Councilman Dick Esser volunteered to work with staff to revise the agreement.
There’s been some discussion about whether the town should move the horse monument on the south entrance to town and, if so, where it should go.

McGuire prepared a presentation for council and said council needed first to determine what the purpose of the monument is and factors they should consider for its placement.

McGuire believed the monument should be highly visible before cars get to the town core and said placement in the median or along a road shoulder or curve could accomplish that.
One of McGuire’s suggestions was to move it to a location where people could safely pull over to perhaps take a family photo.

LaMar said he met with Mark Carroll, the sculptor, whom had no say whatsoever in where the horse monuments were located.

While the purpose of the monuments was to mark the town’s boundaries, LaMar said the current location looks like it fell off a landscaping truck into a ditch.

LaMar suggested the monument be kept at the southern boundary of the town in relatively the same location but be placed in the median, which Carroll agreed with.

McGuire noted people coming into town from Carefree Highway will never see the monument.
However, he also pointed out, the two-mile stretch immediately north of Carefree Highway was in Carefree.

The agenda item was for council to give staff direction. After discussion, council seemed to be in agreement and Francia asked staff to proceed with moving the monument to the location recommended by LaMar, so long as that location didn’t pose a safety hazard.

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