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don sorchychNext council election
Buffalo Chip • Bicycles

Next council election
Well, the mystery candidate for mayor has been revealed! Ex-Town Manager Usama Abujbarah spilled the beans to town staff members and at least one business owner. No question the town owes him a lot. He was fired for political reasons by the subsequently recalled slate council after 14 years of diligent service.

From good sources it appears the Dark Side (DS) is mobilizing to retake control of the council. So far, rumor channels have disclosed the identities of potential candidates. Reg Monachino wants to make another power grab. If you ever went to a council meeting and heard Monachino you wouldn’t go there.

Eileen Wright still seeks a power seat, which escaped her when the slate ran. After receiving the lowest council vote the slate council voted her onto the planning commission and the current council dumped her. She started a silly newsletter and was called by the bicycle shop owner who demanded his money back for the ad he placed after he saw the first edition. Wright paid him back.

David Smith who sits on three town commissions, speaks DS philosophy. I hear Smith is Town Manager Jankowski’s sounding board, not a good source for what Cave Creek is and should be.
Then there is Adam Trenk who was the leader of the slate. We hear he is going to run for mayor. That will be an interesting election if Abujbarah and Councilman Ernie Bunch also run for mayor, since Vincent Francia says he will be done after this term.
We also hear DS meetings are being held at slate homes. Any observers, give me a ring, please.

Things won’t really get hot until August when politics heat up.

Buffalo Chip
Creekers are impatient to get official confirmation of rumors surrounding arson at the Chip or maybe information other than what is rumored. Right now Chip owner Larry Wendt is arm wrestling with the Health Department to get authorization to use the huge mobile kitchen he has on his property. Health claims the dust from the burned building is hazardous to the health of people.

Most of Cave Creek and town hall have done everything they can to help the Chip and it’s employees but now comes the bureaucrats who don’t have the heart this town does. Call and complain to the county health department at 602-506-6900.

The burning of the Chip is the most evil thing ever done here since the slate.

People in Cave Creek and Carefree have awakened to the disasters created by the Maricopa County driven bike paths. For a typical response read Carefree’s Jim Van Allen’s Letter to the Editor. The treatment of the median in Cave Creek will forever change the look of the town. Mature vegetation is being stripped from the ground and medians are being so shortened in width they look out of place. Curb cuts are being made which will increase automobile accidents.

Why the hell did three councils pass this monstrosity? And to underline the unthinking nature of this project, the roads have become single lane at 25 mph right in the middle of the season which keeps businesses alive. Good luck to those who believe bicycle traffic is going to ring cash registers. It won’t.

If you read the agenda for the Monday, Jan. 4 council meeting it was stunning to see the Roadhouse seeking permission to rebuild the patio they were required to remove after constructing it on town property and without a permit.

They even hired Attorney Noel Hebets to help gain approval of the proposed project. Many Creekers will remember Hebets and many not fondly.

Can you imagine the chutzpah?

When Vice Mayor Steve LaMar pressed the issue a few months ago, only Francia and Bunch voted to take no action while the remaining five councilmen voted to sanction them and order the patio removed.

In addition, the town had already given them permission to place a water tank on town property. That is an accident waiting to happen and the town will be liable. Approval should be negated and the water tank should be removed.

When Hebets and his employer Jim O’Toole went to Jankowski for permission, he told them it had to go to council. The Roadhouse was asking council to give permission to town staff to negotiate an acceptable agreement to reconstruct the patio on town property.

The Monday council meeting dealt with the Roadhouse issue. For more detail check Linda Bentley’s article, but the request to recreate the previous patio that was illegal became it wasn’t permitted and was on town property was hotly contested by council. LaMar led the discussion as he did when the Roadhouse constructed the patio. However, LaMar was joined by Mark Lipsky, Susan Clancy and Dick Esser. The fact that the Roadhouse had illegally tried before was a topic and Hebets calling the illegal construction a “trial period” was held to be offensive as was the Roadhouse’s attempt to lease town property for $25 per month.

It was a delight to see the council coming together and calling a spade what it is.
Interestingly, the vote was 6-1 against the attempt to hijack the town. Bunch was the soul supporter. He also voted in support of the Roadhouse during the earlier attempt to legalize the patio. If Bunch thinks that will help his mayoral campaign this year he is sadly mistaken. That vote will cost him election votes.

Previously, Francia voted against the town and for the Roadhouse. The issue of town policy earned his support this time. Now council should put on the agenda an action item to rescind its permission for the Roadhouse to use town property for its tank. Town liability is at risk!