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Cave Creek Council approves consulting contract


Tara Alatorre

CAVE CREEK – At the Oct. 19 meeting, the Cave Creek Town Council unanimously authorized a $5,000 a month consulting contract up to 12 months, which would move the town towards the goal of acquiring state-trust land, conserving more open space in Cave Creek, but not before recalled councilmen Reg Monachino and Adam Trenk took to the podium to criticize the current council.

The town council authorized a contract with Steve Betts, who worked pro-bono while lobbying and acquiring the state land that is now Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area and worked on state-trust land legislation for over thirty years, only after adding some stipulations for the consultant. Councilman Mark Lipsky added an amendment requiring Betts to meet in an executive session every two months to go over his performance, and the option to terminate his contract at any time.

“It has been a difficult process, I was volunteering my help again, and that is how we got here with this consulting agreement,” said Betts while addressing the council at the meeting. “I am sort of semi-retired now and I am not looking for a great deal of work.”

Recalled Vice Mayor Adam Trenk complained of hypocrisy, saying he and other recalled councilmen were criticized by them when they hired consultants for road maintenance and master water plans while serving on the town council.

“That’s the position you’re taking, now you’re eating your own words,” said Trenk while speaking during his call to the public. “Govern this town more responsibly.”

Councilman Lipsky responded after Trenk was done speaking, saying, “None of that is true, ladies and gentlemen.” Trenk responded by asking Councilman Lipsky if the rumors were true that he parks his car off the town hall property to conceal the fact that his car is registered out of state.

Lipsky responded, “No.”  (The Focus has not confirmed if the information about Lipsky’ s car registration is true or not.)

Vice Mayor Steve LaMar defended the council’s approval of a consulting contract with Betts, saying they have been working on this issue in executive sessions for the past six months before they concluded that a contract would be necessary.

“We wanted to keep it quiet until we saw the initial evaluation while Betts worked pro-bono,” said Vice Mayor LaMar. “If we get this accomplished, in my mind, it’s a historical step making Cave Creek what our general plan dictated it should be: Forever rural, forever wild, forever different.”   

The town council also unanimously authorized a $12,050 expenditure to pay for the parts needed to repair the wastewater pump at Rancho Manana.