Mayor Limits Public Input at Council Meeting
by Ron Aungst
as reported on KBSZ-AM radio
All the Extra Wickenburg news you need to know !
( Letters to the editor may not necessarily express the views of WickenburgNews.com)
Wickenburg library :
There is a
lot of misinformation and rumors circulating about the issue of
the Town Library and the Maricopa County Library District. As
you may have heard, the town is reviewing an Intergovernmental
Agreement (IGA) with the district to take over management of the
Wickenburg Library. Many of the questions related to this
issue are addressed on the Town’s website. The address is
The library information is on the home page.
One of the
rumors is that there has been no transparency in this matter.
The fact is, nothing could be discussed publicly until it was
even known if the District wanted to talk with the town. It was
only recently learned that the County Library District was
willing to discuss this matter. When this happened, steps were
immediately taken to set up a series of meetings with the people
interested in the Town library. Meeting were held with the
Friends of the Library and the Library Board this week. Also in
attendance were officials with the County Library District and
the Town Council. On July 19th at it’s regular
meeting, the Town Council will decide when to hold a full public
rumor is that the decision to agree on a IGA with the library
district has already been made. Nothing can be further from the
truth. The Town Council will not make a decision until they
have completed the public meeting process. Again, that meeting
date is not yet set. As pointed out above, only this week, they
met with two local library groups. It is not known what
position the Council will take. If the Council decides to move
forward, then the County Library Board must vote to accept the
IGA. The final decision of these two groups is unknown.
rumor is that if managed by the District, the Wickenburg library
will lose its local flavor and become a cookie cutter facility.
At the recent meetings with the library groups, it was pointed
out by the county library district that the local library
personality would not only be maintained, but they would look
for ways to enhance it with a western flavor. Local decision
making also would be encouraged, according to the District.
initial reason the Town was interested in pursuing a partnership
with the Library District is to give some relief to the budget.
Citizens in Wickenburg, in Arizona and across the nation are
demanding smaller government and more efficiency while receiving
better service from their Towns and Cities. At the end of the
local discussions on this matter, it will be determined if those
goals will be met if the town partners with the County Library
convenience, you may want to access more information with
questions and answers about the library issue at
A Parents Recommendation for The School Board:
So whose decision was it to show President Obama's speech to the elementary school kids without informing the parents? Was it the School Board, the Superintendent, the Principle or the teachers? Didn't you develop a notification system last year to be able to inform parents of events? Do you not send out emails to parents and notes home with the students? Yet at no time were any of these three ways of notifying parents used to tell me, a parent, so I could make the choice for MY child.
The State School Superintendent Tom Horne "raised questions about a White House effort to have students in schools watch a speech on the web" according to a press release on Thursday, September 3rd from the Arizona Department of Education. I saw only one mention on the news and it said that schools had the option, some were asking parents to not bring their children in until after the speech if they didn't want them to hear it (yet that would be against the law in ARS 15-803), others were providing a separate room for children of parents that wanted to opt out and others taped the speech to be shown later after being reviewed. The news said the schools would decide and let the parents know. Well I guess that was for every school but Wickenburg. In Wickenburg we are just supposed to trust that the school knows what is best for our children without informing the parents.
Now, I did read the speech posted
on the White House website and it has nothing offensive or
anything that most parents don't already tell their kids.
However, most people that I have seen give a speech do not
give it word for word, they adlib. So how much did
President Obama follow the speech? In the Hassayampa
Handbook it says "We ask for your support and we ask that
you will be an active participant in your child's
education." So how can I be an active participant if you
don't inform me of the activity? There needs to be trust
when I send my child to school that you are looking out for
the best interest of my child. If you know something is
controversial, I did trust that you would use one of the
three ways you have of communicating with parents to let us
make the decision that affects our children. Please let us
parent our children by making decisions like this for them
instead of you.
The speech was not shown to the high school or middle school kids, only the elementary kids.
CAP AND TRADE
Letter to the editor:
Peoria Unified School District
Letter to the
TO THE WICKENBURG SUN:
Why in the world did you headline the front page story this week(11/5) as you did? "Kardinal leaves Museum SUDDENLY" This immediately struck me as trying to cast a shadow on Royce and/or on the Museum, so what were you trying to say here? In my opinion, as a local hometown newspaper you could have done a little better job of being part of our community in this instance, and just give us the facts without your spin on things. So, her physical departure may have been a surprise to us, and she will be missed, but you go on to say in the last part of the story that she isn't really gone yet, as she will be doing consulting for the museum on some projects. That does put a different perspective on things, in my humble opinion.
Perhaps your goal is to be in a category with the Arizona Republic, which is a statewide newspaper, but we really need our unbiased, fair and balanced, hometown newspaper not to appear to be mean spirited toward an individual who is as 'homegrown' as Royce Kardinal nor a historical entity such as our great Desert Caballeros Western Museum. You are usually so fair to the community, this just caught some of us as being a little out of character.
Possible discrimination by the safety and zoning dept. :
Ours is a new business we opened the day after Thanksgiving. We have spent a considerable amount in advertising to let the residents know about our small but unique gift shop. We also had put out a small open sign mounted on a Childs colorful sawhorse. On April 16th Rick DeStefano from the building safety/zoning enforcement dept. came in our shop and informed us that our little sign was in violation of city ordinances. I asked if there were any areas in front of our store we could put it and he said nowhere. I immediately brought it in. Later that evening, driving through town I saw that several other sandwich signs were still up. We requested a copy of the town ordinances and regulations pertaining to signage, from Steve Boyle and he promptly e-mailed it back to us, and had said there was to be a meeting at town hall regarding this issue on 4/24/08 to discuss changing the sign ordinances. I Requested by e-mail twice an explanation why others were allowed to have their signs out and we were singled out about ours. To date we haven't received an answer. We went to the town hall meeting and found that this issue wasn't even on the agenda. At the beginning of the meeting when other subjects other than what was scheduled could be addressed, Pat VanPelt and I took turns at the podium and asked for an explanation. Bill Cowel who chaired the meeting not only didn't offer any explanation but summarily dismissed us with "we will look into it". When asked if we could put our sign back out as long as everyone else was allowed to, we were told "no" again without explanation to the obviously glaring bias against us. We have not checked to see if signs were still out since the meeting, but this has gone beyond the issue of the signs, and we will find out what action to take until we get an acceptable explanation and who initiated this against us.
Pat VanPelt, and Jacqueline Parent, Owners of Trail West Merchants.
Ask for Prop13Arizona...find
Prop13Arizona ...and sign it as quickly as you can . We only have a few more
months to make it happen.
=============================Letter To The Editor : Amnesty...alive and thriving! Here's an update.
Behind closed doors in Washington they are still trying to push an amnesty package thru the Congress. With 80% or more of the voting populous against amnesty, they keep at it. As we speak they are putting together a 5-yr. Amnesty Plan.
Their objective is to crush our American work force by importing millions of cheap labor bodies. In so doing, they also crush our population with family members by the millions. They stretch our tax burden beyond belief.
Then they create instant citizenship for this huge mass of bodies that finally destroys what's left of our American values and traditions. We are suddenly a United States of Foreign Nationalities, in gigantic debt The is, however, some good news .There are several bills being presented to the Congress right now that would straighten out part of the mess immediately, For example, HR 938 would end Chain Migration. No longer could foreigners be able to call in any and all members of their families. HR 1430 would end the Visa Lottery program. that each year allows about 50,000 foreigners of any description to enter this country with no criminal checks or time limits, ala 9/11 types. HR 4065 is another bill to end the Visa Lottery.
HR 133 is a long overdue bill to reform the birthright citizenship granted to any baby born in this country, despite it's parental heritage, criminal or foreign.
Three other bills are trying for the same reform , HR 1940, HR 4192 and S1269. So, we still have a few Patriots left in Washington who are trying to do the right thing. It seems, however, that for every Patriot there are at least 2 in the Congress that oppose their efforts....our efforts.
Cliff Cowles, President
N.W. Valley Taxpayers Assn., Inc
623 / 977 - 8769
STOP PAYING LOBBYISTS :
Letter To The Editor:
Lobbyists on parade ! Right now as we speak. Demanding to use OUR taxpayer dollars to pay for their lobbying costs. What say we? And, there are some of our elected officials that say that's OK and perfectly proper because we elected them and that confers a right to them to make any weird decision that they wish. .
Witness Meg Cahill, from Tempe, who commented to that affect. Or Bob Blendu of Goodyear who is afraid the flow of information will stop if we stop paying for the lobbyists input.
How about the flow from your constituents, Bobby?
What say you, taxpayers? Linda Gray has introduced SCR 1009 to stop paying lobbyists to do their dirty deeds. And dirty they are! They literally bombard the legislature each January with bills they write, (1274 and counting this year) most of them representing the wish lists of small in number minority groups. The result is a huge pile of manure facing the legislators. Most of the stuff unneeded and unwanted by the electorate that have to pay for it. ( Imagine this multiplied a thousand times in Washington)
Can you imagine the thousands of wasted hours trying to sort thru the muddle to find just one worthwhile writing and then, the thousands of wasted hours of subsequent committee work trying to justify the manure. SCR 1009 would help do away witha lot of that. Of course, it would also deflate the egos of many in the Legislature that think their work is a devine order. A second unexpected reward would be that the legislators would have to actually think up the manure themselves and that could be embarrassing..
Is it time to jump aboard the SCR 1009 express and help Linda win this one ?
Cliff Cowles, President
North West Valley Taxpayers Assn., Inc
623 / 977 - 8769
PROP 13 Additional Information:
Marc Goldstone, Chairman of Arizona Tax Revolt, continues making unfounded statements about Prop 13 Arizona’s initiative language. I can assure your readers that Senator Jack Harper’s proposed change to the Arizona Constitution follows our Prop 13 Arizona initiative language and that it has not been “reworded” as Goldstone says. Comparing SCR1003 subsection (4) with Prop 13 Arizona’s proposal demonstrates that there were no changes made.
Although Goldstone holds himself out as a “tax expert,” I challenge his credentials since he was professionally an engineer. I know tax experts, and they have various degrees in accounting and law, most have a CPA, and have spent their careers in the field of taxation. Goldstone has not experienced any of these precursors to being properly labeled a “tax expert.”
How ironic that Goldstone has such grave concerns that the Prop 13 Arizona volunteers are wasting their time. In 2006, Goldstone attempted to get a property tax initiative on the ballot. He filed C-04-2006, Arizona Tax Revolt, with the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office on February 16, 2006. After Arizona Tax Revolt volunteers spent time and donors spent money on the initiative effort, Goldstone had to scrap everything and start over with C-05-2006 filed on April 11, 2006. Turns out Goldstone wrote the initiative himself and it had 10+ pages of legal problems as outlined by a tax organization’s attorney. The Stop Taxing Our Property Committee, of which I was a member, tried working with Goldstone for a matter of weeks and severed the relationship. We have all chosen not to work with Goldstone again.
Goldstone does have something right however;
Prop 13 Arizona has no provision for the taxpayers to approve tax increases or
indebtedness. His Arizona Tax Revolt does contain such and therefore allows for
increased taxation and more money to be borrowed.
Rebuttal to "Legislator Joins Support of Prop13"
Senator Jack Harper is a good man. He recognizes that citizen initiatives dealing with the “hot button” issue of property taxation should at least be considered by the legislature.
In response to Weaver’s political spin, should her measure survive committee review the legislature will be considering a modified version of the Prop 13 measure which the legislature reworded to correct several of the legal language problems previously identified and disclosed to Weaver by this property tax expert. These very same problems remain uncorrected in the petitions Weaver is asking you to circulate. For proof, compare the wording of SCR1003 subsection (4) and Weaver’s measure. How can Weaver ask you to waste your time and effort gathering signatures on measures that will never be allowed onto the ballot? Is it arrogance, blissful ignorance, a desire for fame and fortune, or are they doing this intentionally to scuttle needed property tax reform?
What saddens me most is that there are a lot of good folks counting on property tax reform who are or will soon be in danger of losing their homes. They deserve real property tax reform not window dressing or a system that will be ruled unconstitutional due to taxing two properties of equal value at different tax rates as weaver proposes. Sure Prop 13 California has been deemed constitutional, that is because among other things they had only one tax cap for all. They also had provisions for increasing revenue with a 2/3 vote. Two tax caps are a very different story. Weaver proposes to implement a system in violation of the equal protection provision of the US Constitution, in addition it also has no provision for the taxpayers to approve when desired tax increases or indebtedness.
So if you want property tax reform, the time is now to join the Arizona Tax Revolt by filling out the “volunteer form” at http://www.ArizonaTaxRevolt.ORG then do your part to gather signatures assuring our levy and valuation rollback measures their rightful place on the November ballot.
Marc Goldstone, Chairman and Chief Architect
Arizona Tax Revolt
4090 Yucca St.
Bullhead City, AZ 86429
Citizens must stop out-of-control property taxes
By Lynne Weaver
Opening your property tax bill has become an anger-provoking experience of late, thanks to speculators who drove property values to record highs before leaving town.
Adding to the misery, most taxing districts didn’t adjust their tax rates in order to keep your bill from going sky high. They just smiled and kept the windfall tax revenues.
The end result and the impact on ordinary people’s lives is nothing short of distressing. An 82 -year-old man whose property tax bill went from $500 to $3,500 in one year.
Another man who paid $6,000 in sales tax on his mobile home followed by a $2,000 property tax bill. Vacant land with a $135,000 assessed value suddenly shot up to $2.1 million with no adjustment after going through both steps of the appeals process. A teacher’s aid with a one-year tax increase equal to 100 hours of her pay.
Our property tax system is broken. It always was, but the speculators made us look at it and study it and decide to get rid of it.
Your neighbor sells to a foolish buyer at an unrealistically high price, then you and everyone else in the neighborhood have to pay higher taxes.
When the sale was made and that home turned over, the cost of providing government services did not increase even one cent. But you were all penalized with higher taxes.
Now that the speculators are gone and prices are falling, you’re still paying those higher taxes.
Adding to the pain, your valuation lags two years behind reality so while foreclosures are popping up in your neighborhood, you just learned the assessor thinks your house is worth more money.
Prop 13 Arizona, a citizen’s initiative, rolls back valuations to 2003 or purchase price after December 31, 2003, limits total tax to one-half of 1 percent of valuation for all residential property and 1% for all other real property, limits valuation increases to 2 percent per year, and eliminates exceptions to the tax cap.
It copies the tried and true principles of California’s famous Proposition 13 with its 29 year track record of success. Prop 13 Arizona simply establishes a fair and equitable system of valuation and limits taxation.
It still provides plenty of tax revenue to the government, just not unlimited tax revenue or unlimited increases. We each must live within our means and so must the government.
We are a volunteer organization working smarter to get our initiative on the ballot. It’s hard to find places where volunteers are allowed to collect signatures so we put our petition on our Web site at www.Prop13Arizona.com.
You can print your own petition, have your family sign it, maybe a few neighbors, and mail it to us. Or, you can get the ordering instructions from our Web site, and have Kinko’s print your petitions for pick up at their closest location anywhere in the state.
When California voters passed Prop 13, it kicked off 10 years of government fiscal responsibility and unprecedented economic growth. Prop 13 Arizona will help our economy too, by attracting businesses and their workers to our new and improved tax friendly climate.
Lynne Weaver is Chairman of Prop 13 Arizona. She can be reached at Chairman@Prop13Arizona.com via e-mail.
Wickenburg volunteers, please contact Paula Hartwell at 928-684-9018.
AIRPORT & HERMOSA RANCH
In response to an allegation by
Maria Langer in an e-mail to you dated 23
THANKS FROM IRAQ :
Thanks for putting the facts out
there, I'm tired of the biased junk that the wickenburg gossip....er I mean the
wickenburg sun puts out. Being in Iraq, it's hard to hear about the important
stuff goin on back home. Thanks.
THE WALL :
Would like to
personally thank you for your support of The Wall!
HARD WORKERS WANTED
"Without immigrant workers, your life costs you more" This is concerning the decline of immigrant workers due to the strengthening of our borders. I read your article on the issue, however my opinion is one that I haven't seen touched on as of yet. I think that the our rising cost of living isn't what we should really be upset about; but rather the fact that since we have become so accustomed to letting migrant workers have the menial jobs, we ourselves have gotten lazy. There was once a day when everyone did their own fair share of work. I was not part of that generation, though I do envy them. I have worked in factories, on construction crews, in maintenance, retail, and low end mechanics. In those situations there would ordinarily be one out of ten people that held their own in the workplace. Fifteen years ago I do remember the cry of the blue collar saying that "They're takin' all our jobs!" The drive to work and be proud of a good job has depleted in such a manner that instead of supporting your family in every way possible they instead take an easier way out with well fare, or unwillingly give their job to a migrant worker that will work three times as hard as they would. We as Americans have gotten so caught up with other people doing our dirty work that we have become so materialistic we wouldn't know what to do if we had to work in our own chicken factories or pick our own peaches. I fear that folks will not change concerning their work habits. It's going to take something as socially disastrous as the depression to straighten the degradation. Cut down immigrant workers and see what happens. Those who can't afford will get a second job, work harder to keep the one that they have, and learn that food on the table is more important than a new ipod or the newest video game. It would do my generation good.
THE PRINTED MEDIA AND FACTS :
Informed or uninformed by who's standards is that determined ? In a world of only printed media you are limited as to what facts you can find out yourself. The facts that the printed media wants you to know are printed. Their interests or friends interest will be presented as informed knowledge. They will inform you of what they want you to know.
If your views are different and regardless are based on a fact, that the printed media ignores. You therefore are uninformed.
With the internet media, if you want further information just Google Search the topic and become more informed. Check public records yourself. More are available every day. Don't rely on only one source of a weekly publication.
Wickenburg facts : 1)Many citizens talked to the City Town Planner, Planning and Zoning Commission, Mayor and the City Council members and were ignored. examples : (Wickenburg Ranch, Country Club, etc, etc,).
2) A short time limit for the public to talk was set at meetings to prevent debate. (3 minute)
3) Referendums were ignored , even after they were passed by a majority of voters. (Democratic Rule )
4) The right to vote on some referendums has been denied at all costs through technicalities, even though soldiers died for the right for you to vote. Thus avoiding Democratic Rule.
5) Developments have been approved before deciding the road infrastructure to handle the upcoming traffic. (highway 93).
6) Citizens voted in record numbers for three new council members. The status quo has been unacceptable. The Fox has been guarding the Hen House.
It is our opinion, based on the above facts that the citizens of Wickenburg have every reason to be wary of the changes that the City has approved or are considering for approval.
People in Wickenburg do not want to live in Surprise. We have informed you to facts. For further information you can Google Search right HERE.
WickenburgNews Editorial Board
HERMOSA RANCH CONSIDERATIONS
THE MAYOR'S CONFLICT :
Why don't you just ask what the "substantial"
conflict is? Here is the
Dean S. White
WHAT A GREAT IDEA !
What a great idea for a Wickenburg News Blog. This is one way people can express themselves to others on topics that might concern or affect them. Hopefully people will join in the discussion and an annual Wickenburg Common Cause Conference will result.
Thanks for another good idea.
Mayor Limits Public Input at Council Meeting
by Ron Aungst
as reported on KBSZ-AM radio
The beginning of last night’s Common Council meeting was not as rambunctious as one might have anticipated. Mayor Ron Badowski saw to that. He made an announcement at the beginning of the “Call to the Public” which comes near the beginning of the meeting. The “Call to the Public” is a period set aside during which members can address the Council. The Council has put the two limitations on comments made during this period:
Badowski added what is probably a temporary new rule last night. That announcement was that he would not allow any political speeches during the “Call to the Public.” Only one person tried to speak — and he was immediately shut down by the Mayor. Ray Johns wanted to speak about his continuing legal struggle with the town over his proposed referendum. Johns’ concern was probably not what the Mayor was trying to prevent. He was shut down anyway.
Concerns about the school
" POLITICS AS USUAL "
by CHRIS BAND
CANDIDATE FOR WICKENBURG TOWN COUNCIL
I now know what is wrong with the public discussion this election season; there wasn't any, except for the November surprise by Mr. Fletcher and Mr. Richardson with an unsubstantiated fact attack on 3 candidates. Mr. Fletcher was allowed the publication of statements founded on error, misinformation and exaggeration and Mr. Richardson distributed a flyer founded on error, misinformation and exaggeration. There are perhaps 100 explanations, most political, but it boils down to this; ATTACK ADS SEEM TO WORK!!!! They are an act of desperation!!! They want you to believe that you can't trust anyone anymore and they try to present untrue statements as a good reason.
The most recent attack on me and my associates is shameful, and an act of desperation on Mr. Fletcher’s and Mr. Richardson’s part in an attempt to persuade residents to vote for the candidates they support. Those candidates are also supported by the Chamber of Commerce, which in most if not all cities takes a stand of neutral, non-endorsement.
I am old enough and self confident enough to accept true criticism, but this is an act of desperation that cannot go unchallenged. I will not lend credence to Mr. Fletcher’s and Mr. Richardson’s statements, except to defend myself by saying their allegations are untrue. I stand behind my career and accomplishments as I presented them to the public and I will not stoop to their level of POLITICS AS USUAL!!!!! This is one of the very reasons I decided to run for office.
The Wickenburg Sun has presented shallow, skewed and untrue comments as presented by Mr. Fletcher. The Wickenburg Sun has fallen into the habit of treating the public as if they are unable to make moral and factual decisions without the paper and its’ biased content. All candidates should be given moral and factual parity!!! Perhaps the newspaper staff in the future (as they should) will become arbiters of public discussion. Maybe they will pick up the obligation of the 1st amendment to try and determine the truth of a matter; perhaps then, Wickenburg politics will return to small town values. A newspaper has one obligation and one only; to print the truth as far as humanly possible and comment on the truth as candidly as humanly possible.
All we want as candidates is to have simple accounting of political promises un-kept by the present administration and the promise of a better future without uncontrolled growth and feared condemnation. There is an old saying, "Those who control the numbers control the town". It is time for a change!!!
I pledge again to the voters and citizens of Wickenburg that if elected on November 7th, I will support the public in a fair unbiased manner and present truthfulness on all matters. I will represent your views and I will never stoop to desperation politics.
I place my faith in that you as informed citizens can determine which candidates are worthy of your TRUST!!!!!" Please vote for Chris Band, Jim Ferman and George Wilkinson.
Candidate for Wickenburg Town Council
Thanks for being there....
I am SOOOO pleased to find an alternative for news from Wickenburg! I cancelled my subscription to the Sun today after reading this weeks propaganda rag....I will support all the businesses listed on your site and will avoid to the point of boycotting those who support the Sun. Thanks again..
A LETTER TO THE EDITOR THAT THE WICKENBURG SUN REFUSED TO PUBLISH*
(SO IT WAS RUN AS A PAID AD IN THE WICKENBURG SUN )
The plethora of letters in the Wickenburg Sun newspaper last week, disparaging all candidates for town council who don’t have long records of public service, and Wickenburg Sun publisher Kevin Cloe’s royal loosening of editorial restrictions on letter writers, hint at a closing of Establishment ranks in this town against outsiders. Conveniently just before the elections!
As someone who feels after nine years of residence still an “outsider” amid this group, this disappoints me.
Although it’s my own fault in that I don’t have the surplus energy to build even a short record of public service, the implied exclusion is upsetting.
Why must Wickenburg’s town council be occupied only by people with long records of local public service (aka local business owners)?
Don’t the Jim Fermans and other “outsiders” (he’s lived here only 17 years) have a right to be heard as council members representing others of their kind?
If Wickenburg’s illustrious Establishment of people with long records of local public service could be counted, I’d bet they wouldn’t add up to more than 100. The rest of us belong in the silent majority of this town’s 6,000-plus population.
Why don’t we, like Jim Ferman, have a right to be represented on council? The implication of the letter writers is that we don’t, and that council members need a public service “pedigree” that the Establishment could support before they may run undisparaged for their lack of a record of public service.
Well, to quote Patrick Henry, “give me liberty or give me death!” I will vote for Jim Ferman, Chris Band and George Wilkinson (all of whom I’ve never met or even spoken with) and anyone else who might help balance the council membership. Wickenburg doesn’t need a pedigreed, “royal” Establishment as its council. It should represent the majority, in addition.
James G. Dickinson
* This letter was submitted by email to the editor of the Wickenburg Sun at 8:54 p.m. on Thursday, October 12, after the Sun’s official deadline earlier that day had passed. It comments on the newspaper’s extraordinary spread that week of one-sided letters favoring the current council – a spread that bumped Mr. Dickinson’s letter to editor on annexation and an unknown number of others which would normally have appeared that week, to the following week.
The editor replied by email, saying she rejected it because a letter on another topic by Mr. Dickinson had already been positioned in the newspaper that was to go to press the following week, and the Sun’s policy of one letter per writer per month would mean that the new letter would have to wait until after the election.
Mr. Dickinson asked that his new letter replace the old one. The Sun’s editor refused, saying it was too late since the page had already closed.
As a publisher himself, Mr. Dickinson saw this as nonsense, since modern software allows last-minute changes of this kind with great ease. The editor did not respond to this argument, making it apparent to Mr. Dickinson that the above letter had been censored in its entirety be-cause it could influence the election in favor of those who oppose the current council, which apparently is supported by the Sun.
Footnote: This ad in the Wickenburg Sun was paid for by Mr. Dickinson in protest at his letter being censored. Since the letter was written, he has talked with Mr. Ferman for the first time.
YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS SCREW YOUR
RIGHT TO VOTE
SENT TO :Honorable Jan Brewer
Secretary of State
1700 W. Washington
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Reference: Referendum documents and ARS 19-101A
Dear Secretary Brewer,
We in Wickenburg have just experienced a most unfortunate event. To resolve our problem requires your help. The problem has to do with ARS section 19-101A. We need your help to clarify what is required to meet the legal requirement of (“Insert a description of no more than one hundred words of the principal provisions of the measure sought to be referred.”) that is given in the ARS. The key word is “insert,” and what legal definition this connotes. Here is what happened:
Would you please have one of your very senior staff comment on this matter. One of us contacted the Secretary of State’s office to investigate. He was rudely treated and could find no one in a position of knowledge who could help clarify this situation. Because of this unsuccessful attempt, we are writing directly to you in the hope that someone can give us specific information.
In addition, to avoid a repetition of this very unfortunate situation, we request that the relevant language of ARS 19-101.A be revised to say what is actually meant.
We ask if there is any record of other submissions to Maricopa County, or to other counties, or to the State of Arizona that used a description stapled to the referendum document? If so, was the petition legal?
Is there any reason why stapling is not legal? It would appear that there is latitude for municipalities and counties to modify the State form to accommodate needs.
One would have thought that if “insert” is required to be legal then the ARS language would have read that the description shall by typed and inserted into the document by retyping the entire document to accommodate this. Or to provide on the document space for 100 words to be typed. Or alternatively, words to the effect that stapling the description to the document is prohibited.
Those of us in Wickenburg who have been disfranchised by our Town officials would be very grateful if this problem could be addressed as soon as possible and an answer provided. As I shall be out of town for an extended time, would you please have the answer sent to me by email and to Mr. Westerman by the U.S. Postal Service.
Adrian Richards Raymond Westerman
Wickenburg, AZ 85358
Cc: Wickenburg Town Clerk
Mr. Ray Johns
Mr. J. Ferman
Secretary of State
State of Arizona
Dear Adrian & Raymond:
Thank you for your letter regarding the Town of Wickenburg referendum that you are involved with. Secretary of State Jan Brewer has asked me to respond to your letter
Your letter asks several questions regarding legality of the Town of Wickenburg’s decision to reject the referendum petitions filed. Our office has no jurisdiction over city and town election matters and therefore is not in a position to comment on the issues you raise in ;your letter. Moreover, the information you ask involves legal questions that we are unable to answer. You may wish to contact you own legal counsel regarding you specific questions.
I deeply apologize if someone of my staff did not treat you with courtesy and respect. If you know whom you spoke with, please let me know. With respect to you suggestion for amending the statutes, ;you may wish to bring that to the attention of you legislators.
Thanks you again for taking the time to write.
Joseph Kanefield, State Election Director
WICKENBURG SUN TELLS IT THEIR WAY :
I recently read an article on the Web site of the Wickenburg Sun from October 4 regarding a zoning change for Hermosa Ranch. I was shocked by the information it contained and the failure of the Wickenburg Sun to provide all of the facts.
The Sun reported that the Town Council, including Mayor Ron Badowski and Councilman Phil Richardson, voted to approve a zoning change that would allow more than two houses per acre on land previously zoned for one house per acre. It did not report that Jerry Diddy, the developer, contributed money to both Badowski's and Richardson's campaigns.
Can someone explain to me why Badowski and Richardson are voting on a zoning change that would benefit one of their campaign supporters? This is a clear conflict of interest. Yet the records show that Badowski and Richardson have consistently voted in favor of zoning changes that benefit their campaign supporters. Further, it is a conflict of interest for Richardson to vote on ANY rezoning issue. As a real estate professional, he stands to benefit from any zoning decision that increases Wickenburg's roof count, as this rezoning so obviously does.
The article also made it clear that the town council was not sufficiently addressing valid concerns put forward by Wickenburg residents -- something that didn't surprise me in the least. One of these concerns, stated by council candidate George Wilkinson, pointed out the proximity of Hermosa Ranch to the Wickenburg Airport. Doesn't the Town Council know that its Airport Sponsor agreement with the FAA requires it to limit airport-area zoning to "compatible" uses? That approving zoning for houses close to the airport can cause the town to lose airport funding -- including the millions of dollars the FAA is supposed to pay for recent airport improvements? I don't think Wickenburg taxpayers want to foot that bill if the FAA pulls funding due to Wickenburg's violation of its agreement.
And there are people out there who think Wickenburg doesn't need an Ethics Policy? The press is reporting again and again that campaign contributions and lobbying payoffs are corrupting politicians. Yet when it happens right here in Wickenburg, the Sun neglects to report it.
Importance of an Editorial might be misleading :
aka: Newspapers don't float
Newspapers tend to write their editorial page based on an opinion from an individual, or a group of individuals ( an Editorial Board). These sections of paper tend to make their opinion the largest sized article in their publication, as if to give them more weight and importance. In their eyes you should think their way. Question not.
They can tell you the world is flat and that snail mail is faster than E-mail. Even that printed newspaper is the way of the future. Question not.
They have had a captive audience for 73 years. Those days are over and also remember, " Preaching is for Sunday".
Question them. Question us. Question all.
Wet Newspaper Always Sinks
Wickenburgnews.com Editorial Board
THANK YOU !
You have a very nice publication ... I am very impressed!
RESPECT REFERENDUM RESULTS ;
ETHICS PROGRAM NEEDED FOR WICKENBURG
On May 2, 2006, the Scottsdale City Council approved a comprehensive Public Service Ethics Program, which establishes ethical standards for city officials and employees. Highlights of the program include:
1. A policy statement that "honesty, integrity, fairness...are hallmarks of public service. Use of one's office or position for personal gain or inappropriate influence will not be tolerated."
2. Creation of conflict of interest standards and procedures.
3. Creation of standards for accepting gifts.
4. A section on Open Government and Open Meeting laws.
5. A section on preserving public documents.
6. A section pertaining to undue influence on subordinates, and
7. A comprehensive complaint procedure for any person who believes a city official has violated the code of ethical behavior.
Under the Code of Ethical Behavior, the Mayor and council must take ethics training within 30 days of being sworn into office and annually thereafter. Additionally, they are required to sign a "Code of Ethical Behavior" document and fill out a "Personal Interest Disclosure Form" to reveal conflicts of interest. Violation of conflict of interest laws may result in various sanctions, including criminal penalties, personal financial liability, cancellation of contracts, public embarrassment and removal from office.
On May 15, 2006, I presented this ublic Service Ethics Program to Wickenburg's Town Council and asked them to place this on a future agenda as a consideration for Wickenburg. They Mayor responded that the council would place it on an agenda if they agreed it should be addressed.
Residents of Wickenburg should demand implementation of an ethics program similar to Scottsdale's program, to avoid ethical issues of preferential treatment, conflict of interest and favoritism by our Town Council. Many large employers have such programs in place, considered as the cost of doing business. Implementing a strong ethics program may also help prevent lawsuits against the town because a complaint procedure is built into the program.
The future of Wickenburg is at stake. It is not acceptable for our Town Council to continue making decisions based on their own personal interests. Interested citizens can access the Scottsdale ethics information at www.scottsdaleaz.gov. Click on Mayor, Council and Government under Browse by Topic. Click on Agenda and Documents (City Council). Click on May 2, 2006, the last item.
ALSO, Submitted to the Wickenburg Sun May 22, 2006
CHRONOLOGY OF THE RAY JOHNS PETITIONS FOR A REFERENDUM WITH QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS by Adrian Richards
Sequence of Events
Questions and Comments
A. Since the Wickenburg Town Attorney had advised the Town Clerk that stapling the referendum description to the official form would not invalidate the petitions, why did the Mayor apparently only react to the information contained in letters from the developer's attorney rather than information obtained from the Town's attorney?
B. Why was the Mayor so anxious to avoid any possibility of a lawsuit from the developer, when no written threat of a lawsuit evidently has been made? According to the Town Manager, he has not heard of any threat of a lawsuit by the developer.
C. Why did the Mayor so speedily instruct the Town Clerk to invalidate the petition after receiving the letters from the Developer's attorney and after talking with the Town's attorney?
D. Town officials have refused to say what information was obtained from the Town's attorney that caused the Mayor to act so hastily; however, we understand that the Town’s attorney only advises the Town and does not make recommendations.
E. What is the incentive for the Mayor to support continuously the developer and not consider the desires of the voters? After the vote on referendum 421, he said that one should listen to the voters. Later he indicated that he favored a second referendum that would clarify the voter’s wishes. Now he has squelched this opportunity. Is he afraid that the voters would reject the Council’s action?
F. It is understood that there is only one piece of evidence that governs the potential legality of the Mayor's decision. That is the word "insert" regarding attachment of the referendum description to the referendum document. To have done what the Town Clerk advised the petitioner was not illegal. There is nothing in the Arizona Revised Statues indicating illegality. If the word "insert" is tested by an Arizona Court, the decision could be either legal or illegal. But to date this has not been done. One wonders why the developer was so anxious to have the referendum petitions invalidated at the cost of disfranchising the voters of Wickenburg out of their legal rights?
One of the primary functions of zoning is intended to be the preservation of existing neighborhoods according to the Wickenburg Town Planner. Preservation of the neighborhood that surrounds the Wickenburg Country Club Estates will be by keeping the existing R1-35 zoning, which is strongly supported by almost all owners of the surrounding properties and the town’s people by their vote on referendum 421.
The Developer has confirmed recently that he is a resident of Utah. His Utah Company, owner of the Wickenburg Country Club Estates, appears insensitive to the adverse affect on the spaciousness of the Wickenburg Lifestyle by having the property rezoned from the existing R1-35 to R1-12. Although the Wickenburg Town Council supported this project, we believe this was not appropriate because the process of approval by the Council made a mockery of participatory democracy.
MORE AND MORE READERS :
Just a quick note to tell you how much I enjoy reading Wickenburgnews.com. The Local News section is a welcome change from the Wickenburg Sun. I share Robert Hipman's concerns about the roundabouts and encourage everyone to voice your concerns to ADOT using the weblink provided in his article. Also, Jim Ferman's comments are especially relevant as they pertain to the Town Council's complete disregard for the wishes of the people.
This is evident in Mr. Zerby's recent letter to the Wickenburg Sun, where he states that anyone who doesn't provide a solution "is part of the problem". My, how his views have changed since his comments when he first took office!
This Town Council needs to go...watch for continued discussions regarding recall.
Just want to let you know we appreciate a new edgy source for news in the Wickenburg area. For too long, many events have just been painted over, or under reported. You differently have me as a reader. and I will tell many others. Keep up the good work.
Terms of Responsible Journalism:
Wickenburg has been so fortunate to have a newspaper for many years in the Wickenburg Sun. With so many different topics regarding the future of Wickenburg, it might be a great time to define the terminology used by the journalistic world, according to the dictionary.
1. Journalism: reporting news for media: the profession of gathering, editing, and publishing news reports and related articles for newspapers, magazines, television, or radio and the internet. Biased one-sided, self-severing information is that journalism?
2. Democracy: Free and equal representation of people: the free and equal right of every person to participate in a system of government, often practiced by electing representatives of the people by the majority of the people. Failure to represent the majority results in a Referendum.
3. Referendum: Vote by whole population on issue: a vote by the whole of an electorate on a specific question or questions put to it by a government or petition drive. Since when is there an “unfair referendum” process in a Democracy? When? When a small self-serving group wants to deny the Democratic process it is called “ unfair”. Their goal is to keep the majority rule out of the equation, thus serving the minority group.
4. Zoning: Separate area with particular function: an area regarded as separate or kept separate, especially one with a particular use or function. Protection of existing zoning is the responsibility of the government, the elected officials. Failure to represent the majority, results in Recall.
5. Recall: Dismissal from office by vote: the dismissal from office of an elected official by a popular vote, or the right of the electors to do this. Denial of this process is the dreams and wants of a closed society, not a Democracy.
So what does Recall and Referendum have to do with the zoning of property? EVERYTHING!
WE ARE STILL PRACTICING DEMOCRACY !!
It is the goal of the Wickenburgnews.com to be fair and balanced and represent all of the voters of our great area. WELCOME TO WICKENBURGNEWS.COM
A quiet town -Wickenburg was a town that represented the last remnants of a genuine to live simply, in a natural environment where there is more open space than people. This is what Wickenburg use to be.
But not anymore. Now people and developers are changing Wickenburg. They complain about low density. They want affordable housing, but the developers offer high end homes. They are the kind of people who love the star-filled desert evenings, but then put up a 20 foot high mercury vapor light in their driveways. These are the kind of people who actually decide to marry someone, so they can completely change them into something more suitable.
Many in the Wickenburg area don't want to live in cities with smoothly paved roads and light pollution spilling from every driveway and strip mall. They don't want to live in dense environments where getting from point A to B is a matter of speed.
Many of these people don't enjoy light pollution or car alarms. They don't follow the frenzied need to haul-ass up and down the roads.
Frankly, I don't want to hear all the whining about the rural country being, well, country. All the comforts and sensibilities of urban life are plentiful in urban areas, about 25 miles from Wickenburg.
I guess it is not enough for me to simply stand up and say "NO" without a need to win or be right. So to those people and developers who have arrived to set up camp in our community, the answer out my way is "NO". You can't have a strip mall on US 93. You can't pave Scenic Loop Drive. If you don't like the wat Wickenburg is, you can check out the urban wonderlands to the southeast of us.
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