My View


don sorchychPrelude to next year’s election

You may remember how the slate-dominated council started. The dark side voters played the card “OMG what a terrible development is sneaking in.” Everyone knew the development, Enchanted Canyon, wasn’t going anywhere but the dark side raised $40,000, reputably to fight the development but really to buy their way onto the council. So they were voted in with their four vote majority.

Citizens organized a recall and they were subsequently all voted out.

One dire consequence was the slate’s first order of business, the firing of Town Manager Usama Abujbarah. Abujbarah sued the town for $3 million with a separate First Amendment lawsuit against Adam Trenk, who became the vice mayor of the slate-run council.

The slate was beaten and a new council took over with the remaining three councilmen. The Abujbarah lawsuits were settled with a payment of $300,000.

So now the approach is to accuse council for not reining in the town staff on zoning issues.
Their choice of the bad guy is the famous professional golfer Tom Lehman who purchased Carolyn Fabrici’s estate. He had the audacity to improve his property by blading desert to build a putting green, another home and some guest houses.

Someone with money hired Attorney Tim La Sota to assail Cave Creek for claiming they are not properly administering zoning codes.

You may remember La Sota as Adam Trenk’s attorney, who went to court to get Councilman Dick Esser removed from the ballot as a council candidate and got Susan Clancy removed as a school board candidate.

Following a council meeting where Gerald Freeman felt he had been mistreated, La Sota sent letters to several people threatening them about saying bad things about Freeman. 

La Sota is representing “Treat Creekers Fairly,” an unnamed group of Cave Creek citizens. They have a skeleton web page that claims they are a nonprofit, are seeking donations and promise to flesh out the web site soon.

La Sota formed the corporation but it only has a pending status and states “COD needed” as the reason for it being returned.

If you don’t think this is a first shot concerning next year’s council election, you don’t know which of the dark side it is.

Before we get into La Sota’s claims, I suggest you Google Tom Lehman, a man that should be celebrated instead of attacked. The following statement precedes a discussion of Lehman’s Design Group:

“When one thinks of Tom Lehman the man, words like integrity, class, intelligence, emotion, work ethic and character stand out. As one of the most widely respected players in the world, the 1996 British Open champion plays the game with the highest passion, thought and heart. With Tom Lehman the designer, the same descriptive words apply.”

This concerns Lehman’s interest and contributions for charity

In 2001, Tom won the Charles Bartlett Award for his unselfish contributions to golf, with much of his goodwill aimed at the Children’s Cancer Research Fund, with his long-time charity golf tournament raising money for CCRF.

Tom currently serves on the Board of Elevate Phoenix, a civic program providing long-term, life-changing relationships with urban youth.

He is also involved with the following charities: Cortney’s Place, McKenzie Monks Foundation, Hopekids, Childrens Cancer Research Fund, Phoenix Crisis Pregnancy Center, The Changing Lives Center for Women and Children, Search Ministries, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Big Oak Ranch (Birmingham, AL).

I know a number of people who know or have communicated with Lehman, and “what a guy” has been the usual statement.

So he comes to Cave Creek and gets assaulted for minutiae, by a gang of dark siders now coalescing as Treat Creekers Fairly.

La Sota is all over the map as he makes assertions like the use of water on Lehman’s property. I have talked with a man who is acquainted with the property and the Lehman project. He said the property has three excellent underground water sources. He further said he advised Lehman it would be foolish to put in grass because of the hot summers. Lehman decided to use synthetic turf rather than grass. So their use of water will be nominal, especially since their wells are more than adequate.

This whole thing is making a mountain out a mole hill. It is simply giving a cause for next year’s election. But they are picking on a man that should be feted by Cave Creek instead of admonishing him for rumors and nonsense.

Also online they estimate his net worth at $83 million dollars so the dark side should think twice about using an attorney who is paid by a local friend against an obvious fighter and winner like Lehman.

This morning I looked out my bedroom window and saw Lehman’s workers had nearly completed his putting green with artificial turf. Not Bermuda grass, as dark side propagandists claim. To me it looks like a lovely sea of green.