<CENTER><B>Letters to the Editor</B></CENTER>

Treat us all the same, apply the law equally in Camp Verde

Editor:

Last week was an interesting one. I was threatened twice regarding my writings related to the sand and gravel issue in Camp Verde.

The first threat came from the spouse of a Camp Verde council member. The second came directly from Mayor Barbara Miller at the end of the council meeting of May 17.

In summary, both threats basically intimated that if I didn’t back off in my writings about them, they were going to take personal legal action against me. Didn’t some other person recently say they were threatened by the mayor over an issue that was brought before the council? Is there a pattern of threats here.

We are thankful to have John Roberts as our new community development director. However, prior to Mr. Roberts coming to Camp Verde, the town council let the prior P&Z department run out of control in spite of numerous citizen complaints. Apparently to get back at me for my writings, they cited me for a building violation that I beat on appeal. They also gave my neighbor a zoning violation for an awning over her picnic table. When she refused to take it down, they gave her 30 days to appear in court.

If I sound angry, well, you can take that to the bank. What angers me the most is that the town would take someone to court over a picnic table awning but will not deal with the same ferocity against a sand and gravel operation that is blatantly violating our town ordinances. Good authority has already shown that the violators have no sovereign rights on non-trust lands and must obey our zoning ordinances. Does an awning over a picnic table pose much greater harm to the community than the noise, dust, heavy traffic and danger to nearby children from a sand and gravel operation.

I say to the council I want equal treatment applied to the sand and gravel zoning violators. Stop trying to get around the public’s 4-to-1 opposition to this sand and gravel operation. Stop hiding behind closed doors in executive sessions negotiating some new cockamamie IGA. Treat these zoning violators the same as you did my friend. Cite them for the zoning violation and give them 30 days to appear in court.

Then and only then will I shut-up. Sorry folks. I don’t take well to threats. You want to go against the will of the people Guess what? You are going to hear from the people. It is called First Amendment rights.

Leon Raper

Camp Verde

Something smells in Camp Verde and it is not the roses

Editor:

Wake up people of Camp Verde and don’t smell the roses. Smell your town council.

There seems to be a foul odor emanating from behind closed doors in secretive council sessions (called executive sessions).

Has anyone noticed that there is less public input allowed on council agenda items and that no public input is allowed at council work sessions? Other towns allow public input at council work sessions. Why not Camp Verde? Why does the mayor refuse to allow public input on many items? Was she not elected to represent and implement the wishes of the people of Camp Verde?

Does anyone care that certain members of the council are ignoring our zoning regulations and are in the process of negotiating a secret Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) between the town and the Yavapai-Apache Nation?

Scheduled to be acted upon in early June, this agreement may not only allow for continuation of an illegal, non-permitted mining operation, but may also endorse the fee-simple land owned by the Nation to be placed into trust status.

This is over 600 acres of land presently governed by town ordinances and on the tax rolls of the Town of Camp Verde.

What the heck do we care if the Nation puts more land into trust status? If you don’t know the ramifications of Indian trust lands and sovereignty, then you need to learn something about the devastating zoning and financial effects it can have on a town.

Where do you think the town is going to get the tax base it needs to pay for our schools and town services, if there is no tax revenue from the homes and businesses located on the Nation’s trust lands within town boundaries? Guess where the money is going to come from? Out of your pocket in the form of increased taxes and/or fees.

This scenario has already been demonstrated in other parts of the country. Do we need to follow these communities down this dead end? Or do we lead from their experiences and build a better community?

Do the mayor and certain council members really understand the long-term implications of their present agendas? Why do they ignore the town’s General Plan, implemented to improve the community while maintaining Camp Verde’s present lifestyle?

Their recent endorsement of a Forest Service land trade with a developer/rancher from the Prescott area, without public input or a thorough review of the impact on our community, is an example of governing by the seat of their pants. Are they going to sell out our community to any business or developer that comes to the door?

A representative for the Nation offered to cover any legal expenses incurred by the town from litigation from private citizens demanding the town’s ordinances be enforced. Is the promotion of special interest “buying into” our community going be tolerated by the citizens?

Now, if someone knows the answer to this one, please respond with your Letter to the Editor. Folks, this is not roses you are smelling here.

Does anyone really care? If anyone does care, then I suggest they turn off their TV set, pull the Walkman out of their ears, and start paying attention to what is happening in Camp Verde government. It is critical, if you want to protect your way of life. Stand up and speak up before the devastation of our town is beyond repair. Or, go ahead and wait for special interest to do it for you, but don’t complain about the major lifestyle change that will take place. Folks there is no turning back once you are there, it is gone.

Chuck Peterson

Camp Verde Property Owner

Flagstaff

Cemetery vandalism is senseless and sad

Editor:

I’d like to call to the attention of the reading public the offensive action of unknown persons who helped themselves to the mound of earth on the Anthony grave at the Clear Creek Cemetery this past week.

Earth is mounded up on a new grave so as to allow for settling with the passage of time. For the information of that person (or those persons), there is a large pile of earth at the eastern end of the entry road, from which people are welcome to help themselves.

A couple of months ago, other vandalism occurred on a certain Friday night. The arching metal entranceway, “Clear Creek Cemetery” lettered on it, was pulled down. Pulled right off the block columns to left and right breaking out some of the block. This has not yet been repaired because we have no one to repair it. It is hard for us to recover from those actions that despoil our Pioneer Cemetery.

Now we have come to Memorial Day again, and as always, the Veterans will hold a service of recognition there on May 30. I want to take this opportunity to thank the Veterans for all they do for us .... emptying the trash barrels is only one example.

I also want to thank the many, many families and individuals who plant and water and weed and make neat borders around their plots. And I also want to thank persons who phone in to tell us when something is wrong out there: water lines, sunken graves, and vandalism. Yes, I am sorry to say we have some of that.

It is a volunteer board that runs the cemetery and we do a fair job. It is a public place and a public concern. Thanks for listening to me.

Bea Richmond

President

Clear Creek Cemetery Association

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