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Don Sorchych

Trenk resolution to avoid RECALL

Cave Creek Vice Mayor Adam Trenk is a worried rookie lawyer. His fear is not anti-Semitism as he and his stooge Arizona Republic Reporter Pill (not a misprint) Haldiman proclaim, it is RECALL.

In the meeting on Nov. 4 Trenk presented resolution No. R2013-25 titled: “A resolution of the Mayor and Town Council of the Town of Cave Creek, Arizona promoting civil public discourse urging the same from citizens, community leaders, media outlets, and commentators.”
canfield edit cartoon
If this is truly a Western town, people, voters, will ask who in the hell does he think he is. He already has sucked the town into a legal battle that stands to cost over $3,000,000. It has already been alleged he demanded that in order to keep his job, now ex-Town Manager Usama Abujbarah drop his friendship or communications with me and Sonoran News and not be involved in recalls. In other words drop his First Amendment rights to stay employed. And Trenk is civil?

So his resolution is suggesting citizens not act as he has. He wrote six “Whereas” paragraphs, followed by four “Therefore be it resolved,” all self serving statements to NOT recall councilmen. It is best summarized by the third “Be it further resolved that based on previous experiences within the community, The Mayor and Town Council of the Town of Cave Creek, Arizona hereby take a united front to respect the will of the citizens of the town as expressed in the last municipal election and formally denounce cries for a recall of any member of the sitting town council because of personal or political differences, as such action would be destructive to the community, and recognize that a recall election is a tool of last resort that should be reserved only in extreme cases of ethically reprehensible behavior or illegal conduct perpetrated by an elected official.”

Well, actually as you will see in the Constitution and Arizona statutes all that is required is a not more than 200-word statement about why you are recalling an individual.

1. Officers subject to recall; petitioners (ARIZONA CONSTITUTION)
Section 1. Every public officer in the state of Arizona, holding an elective office, either by election or appointment, is subject to recall from such office by the qualified electors of the electoral district from which candidates are elected to such office. Such electoral district may include the whole state. Such number of said electors as shall equal twenty-five per centum of the number of votes cast at the last preceding general election for all of the candidates for the office held by such officer, may by petition, which shall be known as a recall petition, demand his recall.

19-203. Recall petition; contents; submission for verification; nonacceptance (ARIZONA STATUTES)

(L96, Ch. 271, sec. 30)

A. A recall petition shall contain a general statement of not more than two hundred words stating the grounds of the demand for the recall. The petition shall be submitted for verification of signatures to the office of the secretary of state if for a state officer, including a member of the legislature or a member of Congress, with the county officer in charge of elections if for a county or district officer or superior court judge, with the city or town clerk if for a city or town officer and with the county school superintendent if for a governing board member of a school district. No recall petition is considered filed for purposes of this chapter until the verification process is complete and the petition is filed pursuant to section 19-208.03, subsection A, paragraph 1.

The underline is mine.
So you see, you don’t need Trenk’s advice and demands but now that the council voted it in, he has opened the door for yet another lawsuit because what he is asking for is clearly unconstitutional. Furthermore, the state Constitution and state law already covers recalls in great detail.

Enough time has passed to tell us what the council vote produced. They promised transparency, which we had during Abujbarah’s administration. We asked for records on July 13, and again on August 14 and we are yet to see the records. John Hoeppner made a request for records. He dropped his request because he was told it was going through legal review and therefore would be costly to the town. Ex-councilman Steve LaMar made a request and he too has received nothing.

Then there is a matter of spending. Their platform was to spend less money. They passed Abujbarah’s budget without changes. They gave their friend Rodney Glassman a raise. They spent an unbudgeted $80,000 for an unneeded 10 year road maintenance plan. They spent $20,000 for unneeded town rearing horse monuments. We don’t yet know what they spent for Taste of Cave Creek because records are withheld. I mentioned that the town, thanks to Trenk’s “leadership,” is being sued for $3,000,000. There are ongoing legal costs to review records that are never sent to open records seekers. There are legal costs to defend against Abujbarah’s lawsuit.

Mayor Francia’s obsession for writing what Trenk wants him to write has cost the town an estimated $25,000. Each letter he mails for $.46, Sonoran News would insert for $.065. But his subordinate Glassman and buddy Trenk don’t allow ads in the most widely read newspaper in town.

It is not necessary to be a criminal to be recalled. An office holder can be recalled for no reason at all. But if you read the information above as reasons for recall it would be more than President Nixon trying to cover up the Watergate burglary.

After all the above explanation, with Mike Durkin absent, the council, ignoring the state Constitution, voted 4-2 for Trenk’s self-serving resolution. Of course patriots Ernie Bunch and Thomas McGuire voted NO, while the slate, including Mayor Vincent Francia, voted against the Constitution. I believe these votes are good fodder for the upcoming recalls.

The plotting and scheming that the slate, their supporters and backers involved themselves in will be disclosed by subpoena power and it won’t be pretty. But the idea of American elections is to vote for individuals, not slates. And this group of four (and often five) has proved over and over why slates are obnoxious.