Letters to the Editor, Feb. 8, 2006
Socialized health care is not the answer
Congressman Lopez submitted his bill to socialize Arizona's health care system. In his promotion speech he said that it would cost no more than we are spending today.
"Those who need to will use the system," he said. "Those that don't will pay in for everyone else."
What world is he living in?
I'm retired but I would like to see my kids and grandkids have a decent medical system.
A couple of years ago I heard a popular radio show doctor/host say that, at any given time, half the people in a doctor's waiting room shouldn't be there.
Their maladies, real or imagined, don't require a doctor for a cure (old age, colds,etc).
If Lopez has any basic understanding of economics he should understand this. The cheaper a desired commodity is the scarcer it becomes. Make it free and you will find it unattainable. The system will draw the sick, lame and lazy like a magnet to Arizona. The only winners will be the other states.
Good medical care is a desired commodity.
Socializing the system is not the answer. Ask the British.
Does council answer to manager, or other way around?
Bill Lee is a tireless worker for the good of Camp Verde as he sees it. He doesn't know the public's needs nor does he respect public opinion. Pay attention, there could be a "slum and blighted area designation" coming to a neighborhood near you.
Bill is a salesman. Bill is a promoter. And Bill is a manipulator, not a town manager. Bill looks at the town council as an extension of his staff. He's got the poor folks running in six different directions to "help" him achieve his goals.
Council is held accountable by voters and the law. It seems pretty logical that council would ask for additional information and details before spending public funds. Sounds like Bill and cohorts are redefining "due diligence" as nit-picking or micro-managing.
Beyond "tourist-attractive events" with a poor record of profit and loss, Bill's job is to make and then keep agreements in the name of the Town; have an effective police department; enforce planning and zoning laws consistently -- not selectively; maintain town assets; avoid lawsuits; strengthen relationships with other communities, including the Yavapai Apache; and direct his departments to operate in accordance with town policy.
The town code and ordinances that council has set in place is the policy. The council expects and believes that Bill will follow policy, not cut deals. Silly council.
Elected officials are supposed to listen to the people who elected them, establish good, fair policy and make certain the town manager and staff are doing their jobs correctly. There's another old saying that may apply here: "When you're up to you're neck in alligators, it's hard to remember the original objective was to drain the swamp." Perhaps council hasn't noticed that Town Hall is out of control.
Secret "executive" sessions continue. The manager consulting with the town attorney recommends that "everything" be done in executive session to "obtain legal advice." Just how much legal advice does council need and how often on the same subject? What about conducting the public's business in public?
Every agenda has items requesting more money for "some" project, more consultants, more studies with most items unbudgeted. All decisions have to be made immediately because of "some" deadline. Why waste time doing an annual budget when "projects approved" are unbudgeted, over-run or never get done.
Is anyone out there keeping score? Been to the new Marshal's office lately? What's the status of the library? Isn't this the same architect who advised Bill on the cop shop? How did the architect write bid documents on a remodel without inspecting the building, with or without council direction.
Are Heritage Funds for Regional Park Improvements, GADA money for a road at Out of Africa, and Federal funding for Main Street still available? Now grants for sidewalks. Do the grants cover condemnation costs for the private property needed for these 6-foot sidewalks?
There is not timeframe or cost for acquisition of the "regional park" at the old airport site. "Kids who were going to play on those fields now have kids of their own.
Collect at the gym? Why not! Pssst: "Hey buddy Wanna buy a jeep?"
When will we wake up see Bush for what he is?
I see that the warmonger Bush has started his campaign for war with Iran. What in the world is he trying to do? He must want to set a record as being the president who had more wars than anyone.
Watch for Bush's point men, as they will be out making speeches about the necessities of going to war with Iran. I am sure their point will be the "bomb." They might even include the fact that the oil price might go to $20 plus a barrel if Iran doesn't knuckle under.
My God, what is it going to take to wake up the American people?
Follow the money, follow the money
I don't get into town politics and this is certainly the first time I've written to the newspaper. But being in my own business 10 years in Camp Verde and consider this home (I've been in Arizona almost 20 years), I must now write.
I've been reading about the trials and tribulations of Bill Lee and wonder why with all the things I've read, the jeep fiasco, the Marshal's Office problems etc., that not one word was mentioned about $20,000 extra dollars for our town Ramada. When I first read about this project, $5000 donated from the town with donated labor and materials, I thought great. I was a Boy Scout and am all for Scouting.
But about a month or so later I read that Bill Lee was giving $20,000 more for that Boy Scout Project. I had to think this must be a councilman's son. Of course, it wasn't. It was Bill Lee's own son.
I was of the impression that some kind of vote was to be taken by Town Council for that kind of expenditure. I had to chuckle months later when then Mayor Mitch Dickinson said what a good deal the town got and the Ramada was worth $90,000. It's only 4x4s with a roof and dirt floor. Come on. How could it be worth so much, especially when the town already owned the land.
Well Bill Lee, I would like to think that if it were my son's project would you give him $20,000 extra to finish? I kind of doubt it.
Listen carefully: Where will we get the water?
The front-page headlines read, "Get ready for more growth" regarding the DaVinci project of 81 homes on 164 acres and "New subdivision plan unveiled for Old Town area" regarding 99 homes on 22 acres. And so it goes, day after day, everywhere in this valley.
Have we lost all common sense?
Where is all the water coming from? Randy Garrison (Cottonwood Water) told me, "There is a little water left for a little development."
"They will have to bring it in," he replied.
Who is they? And from where?
"From heaven," he replied.
Well, you can forget that. We are experiencing the worst drought in 500 years.
Towns CAN control development through density. It is sickening to watch greed drive even our old timer's sons to pinch every dime they can out of every speck of dirt. They can take their millions and move to Hawaii or some other land of flowing water while we here are left high and dry.
Other towns have shown us it is good planning to have 5-, or 10-acre zoning, even 40- or 160-acre limit per unit, as in Oregon's forest.
Water is described as "Precious" like gold in Project Wet. Game and Fish material call water "ribbons of life."
Try drinking gold, guys.
Erosion of personal property rights in Camp Verde
I write today speaking to an important basic principle of American citizenship, private property rights. When the Camp Verde Town Council denied the Millwood Estates subdivision, all citizens in Camp Verde who own land suffered an unseen erosion of their basic rights.
Whether you own 1 acre or 58 acres, as is the Millwood parcel, are you not entitled to your basic right to do with it as you best discern, as long as you confirm to the existing zoning and pose no new conditional use purpose?
If you provided certified professional engineering (complete with much coveted general liability insurance) to meet the requirements of Yavapai County and State of Arizona in regards to septic system construction, base flood floor elevations, and domestic well construction, wouldn't you expect that if you did all these things, you would be allowed to do with your land what you believed to be best for you and your family. Especially if it was developing in the same way and style that all the neighboring properties were developed, except with upgraded and very expensive professional engineering, and additionally expensive modern construction methods that much surpass the regulations of a few short years ago.
The bureaucratic scrutiny of regulation has already hindered people and eroded their personal rights in ways that go much too far.
After all, America is a country that was founded on the principle of personal rights. Like the right to move an elderly parent onto your property in a separate structure for awhile so that your family will live well. Like the right to decide whether to sell your property or not. Land, for many people, was and is an investment that was made for financial security at retirement, like the Millwood property.
It's true that in times past, this property was farmed by a lessee. That was the owner's choice at that time. Now well into retirement, it's the owner's choice to sell it. After providing and meeting all county and state requirements, why would the mayor and his three council supporters feel justified in denying a property owner (maybe you) the basic right to use your property as you see best. Is this really the kind of government that this town wants? Do you need government's intrusion into your life to such an extreme?
As I began, this issue is about personal property rights. Any government that goes beyond the point of approval, when all of the existing laws, rules and stipulations have been met, is government gone haywire. It's not right, it's not fair, but it's happening in Camp Verde now. It smells like this new mayor and his three council supporters are just getting started. Give them an inch, and they'll take a mile of your personal property rights, right along with them. If you believe in your own personal property rights, then be obliged to let them know that you think not allowing an elderly widow the right to sell her property is an injustice. One that should be corrected. Otherwise it could be you next.
Apparently, it will be heard at council again. In his haste to deny personal property rights, Mr. Gioia made the motion using incorrect ordinance numbering. Thus the 4-3 vote to deny is null and void. The opportunity for the council to make the right choice will come again when the Millwood issue comes back. Let's hope at least one of them who voted against our personal property rights will reconsider.
Connie, you are right; please accept my apology
In response to Connie Bunten-Haynie's letter in the Bugle on Sunday, Feb. 5:
I could not find a definition for "impropriety" as "rudeness" in my dictionary. Instead, the meaning I have (and intended) for the word is "The quality or condition of being improper. An improper act. An improper or unacceptable usage in speech or writing."
I do, however, acknowledge that my attempt at being tongue-in-cheek in an otherwise serious letter was rude and offensive. I apologize to Connie and all members of the fairer gender since my humor came at your expense.