TRUSTED NEWS LEADER FOR COTTONWOOD, CAMP VERDE & THE VERDE VALLEY
Sun, Sept. 22

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

Corporate power taking over Verde Valley

Editor:

I started to get interested and active in community politics back in the 1970s — thinking changes have to come for the bottom up, hoping problems can be solved that way. I had no right to complain if I had not helped working on future problems.

Long time ago I realized when politicians talk about the prevention of a problem, the problem is already here. For the Verde Valley that problem is water shortage or the lack of quality drinking water.

But then I realized when a case is been publicized in newspapers or otherwise been made know to the public the decision about the case had already been made behind close doors. The rest is show business played by the roles.

CAN, the Clarkdale Association of Neighborhoods, did its homework very well, attended meetings, made suggestions, expressed concerns, in the hope to come to a compromise. We are being left in frustration and great disappointment.

Approving another big housing development is like approving a drug when the high risk factors are very well known. (In this case, water shortage).

Not sure how the name Cliffrose came about for a destruction of natural wildlife habitat. The irony is, that the Cliffrose is an endangered plant, threatened to go extinct when the current rapid growth destroys its specific soils it needs. What about if the Cliffrose development runs out of water?

Why do I get the strong impression that this country is more and more being run by corporations. Corporations that apply pressure and even threats to communities like — if you don't do this, we do that.

Does that explain why so many council members, mayors in neighboring towns and cities have a conflict of interest? If you can't beat them join them.

Not sure if that explains the lack of interest I noticed among some citizens because they know, "It is a done deal." Because those representing the citizens could not beat the corporate pressure — so they joined them? I guess it is a case of hen or egg, what came first? Corporate power secretly having made the decision? Or citizens' frustration that lead to the lack of interest and strong participation? And the decision was made not in citizens favor?

I want to express my great appreciation to the mayor of Clarkdale and most of the city council members being the least bias, in comparison to other cities. I'm thankful for the time the mayor, Mr. Brown and Pat Williams gave CAN .

But I can't help thinking there is and has been some negative pressure from somewhere. I'm not convinced that revenue is the reason for wanting more growth, when growth itself brings millions of problems and needs. And I see no problem if one developer doesn't like the conditions and another one applies.

It remains to been seen, once the damage of the habitat has been done, how the Cliffrose will develop? Will it die because of water shortage, or a severely slowing down of the economy along with increased interest rates coursing unsold houses.

A latest Real Estate Study revealed: "The buyers in the new Cottonwood Commons project may be over 50 percent investors!" I guess that also applies for Clarkdale. The burning question, then, is what affect will this have on the future market in terms of resale value for all homes and will the rental market become over-saturated thus promoting vacancies and lower values.

Anke Pitrella

Clarkdale

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