The true enemy of America is the Republican Party surprisingly. The Democrats will always complain, grift, cheat, and gleefully ignore the law. Who will stop then? In a real two-party system it would be Republicans, but they are weak, milquetoast losers who do nothing but talk. -James Woods
Here is one Republican that's fighting.
"The Fountain Hills Unified School District (FHUSD) is entertaining a $25 million bond — locking taxpayers into an expensive, long-term debt. This bond is not the right direction for our community during times of economic uncertainty. The bond is a tax increase on local residents. While many families are already struggling to afford rising living expenses and housing costs, this bond adds another burden many can’t afford.
Bonds do not guarantee our taxes will be efficiently spent. Read the fine print — the district left themselves incredible leeway to spend the funds in nearly any manner they wish. At $12,700 per student, FHUSD outspends the majority of school districts. Only 47% of that spending makes its way to the classroom. Meanwhile, FHUSD's average math scores are 12% points lower than their peers and 7% points lower for English scores.
Before asking voters for a tax increase, FHUSD should prove they can increase academic achievement, decrease administrative spending, and spend in the classroom! I urge voters to vote NO on the FHUSD bond. Arizona has fully funded ALL repairs and renewal projects for classroom space. FHUSD must refocus on the classroom and its teachers, not raise taxes or increase government spending." - Republican State Representative, Joseph Chaplik
For beginners, the Left is a relentless attack machine, that never gives up and keeps coming again and again, no matter what the location is. Everywhere. Here in FH, how many zoning battles have citizens fought, how many ballot initiatives had to be launched to stop bad concepts? How many times have citizens had to gather outside Town Hall demanding open government? If it had not been for the dozens of stalwart neighbors and associates, our beautiful residential neighborhoods today would be littered with residential detox (misnamed sober living homes). Last week's WSJ has a front page article on the corruption in these facilities in the Phoenix area. Then under Reclaim Our Town's banner, citizens fought hard to elect a Conservative majority to the Town Council. Since their election these warriors have been vilified almost daily by the Left. And now we are facing a massive grab for money by the school the likes never seen before. And who are the public schools? THE LEFT! They ruined those long ago.
So; who is it we are fighting? They exist both in and out of Government, some behind the scenes but some are former elected officials, others are still in seats of decision making. Some are in businesses that profit from unfettered growth and bad projects. Some are even embedded in the institutions that supposedly exist to support business but rarely live up to that lofty goal. And some exist in our political organizations.
Last Saturday when the Republicans met for their "forum" on the latest atrocity to descend upon us, the massive $25,000,000 Fountain Hills School District Bond heist, you got a peek at who the Leftist are. After years of observing the antics in Fountain Hills, I know the players, especially within the club. Standing on the stage at 9:00 am at the community center on the 16th and making the snake oil pitch was the affable Dr. J, the Superintendent of schools who was supposed to be the "unbiased" speaker. While over on the Pro side you can catch former Town Councilman Art Tolis, who sees this as his opportunity to get back into the limelight after a few years of invisibility, and seem like a real caring guy. After all, the twenty five million is "for the kids", right? The real truth burst forth when Larry Meyers took the microphone. He presented simple facts so everyone could make an unemotional business decision whether to obligate themselves for 15 years paying down the $25MM plus interest that will undoubtedly raise FH property taxes and do nothing to improve schools academics, which is an issue.
Everyone heard the sales pitches from Art Tolis and Dr. J, and their doomsday predictions for a Town without a school district. None of what they said had any truth to it but what about the public sector in America does these days? The FH demographic statistics where year over year according to the census the school age population in Town diminishes 10%. For the long term, at its current trajectory, it does not bode well for the life time of the school, UNLESS steps are taken right now. Not pouring more money into the broken system, but fixing what can be fixed with solid financial management practices put into place. So once again, fractured Republicans give 30 minutes to dreams and aspirations, and 15 minutes to reality, finance 101.
NO FACTS JUST ATTACKS
So back to the evil leftist; Here is just a sample of actions by the left in just the past few weeks connected to the school bond issue in an effort to silence the view opposing theirs. Clearly, if you cannot win in the arena of ideas, then just silence the message of the opposition. Sound familiar, it should it's right out of the Democrat playbook that is destroying our country from Washington D.C. to Fountain Hills, Arizona.
And then the lowest level of all exhibited by this band of crazies. A pro bond supporter bullies mayoral candidate Friedel's 91 year old, veteran father, who had been flying NO BOND flags on HIS flag poles above the intersection of Golden Eagle and Palisades, to take the flags down. They did this while the dad was caring for an extremely sick son in his house, in front of two of his daughters, and then the entire pro bond crew on social media bullies candidate Friedel to openly announce his vote on the bond. LOW. Can the left get any lower? The answer is, they always can, it seems.
It bears repeating, the Left is a relentless attack machine, that never gives up and keeps coming again and again, no matter what the location is. Add their claim that everyone else are the divisive ones, and there you have Fountain Hills in a nutshell.
For those of you reading this old enough to remember the Music Man, you are probably old enough to have been taught real history in school, devoid of todays social justice crap. No 1619 Projects, the founding fathers were not bad guys, Christopher Columbus was an explorer, and the segregationists, racists, were Democrats (George Wallace, Strom Thurman, Orval Faubus), not Republicans. Abraham Lincoln was a Republican and freed the slaves. And then there is the history of Arizona, we'll get into that shortly.
This reporter's intention was to leave the school performance and finances alone since Russell Kroger and E. Fang have done such a great job of educating readers as to the reality in which FH residents and the school reside, but the irony of it all was so sweet, it just cannot be left unsaid.
Life Imitates Art
First, The Music Man, a 1957 Broadway Musical, garnering multiple Tony's, Grammy's, along with its 1962 film adaptation winning multiple Oscar's. The plot concerns con man Harold Hill, who poses as a boys' band organizer and leader and sells band instruments and uniforms to naïve Midwestern townsfolk, promising to train the members of the new band. Harold is no musician, however, and plans to skip town without giving any music lessons. In the story Harold Hill goes around to all the important (influential) people in the town pitching his scam so they can get all the town folks on board with letting go of their money. Sound familiar? Indeed it does. Dr. Cain Jagodzinski is currently making the rounds pitching the $25MM Bond (up $5MM from last year) to all the service organizations (Kiwanis, Rotary, Chamber of Commerce, et. al.) so they can get the naïve FH town folks to let go of their money and approve a bond that will ultimately cost them $40-50 million over 15 years with the interest. Only this time it's not shiny trombones, its expensive planetariums and shiny new playgrounds, new electronic marquee signs, and new turf sports fields, to name a few.
History Repeats Itself
Who among us knows why Arizona was the last territory in the Continental United States to become a state, 1912? Every outlaw and flim-flam man was being run out of all the other states and they were coming to Arizona, that's why. Texas, New Mexico, Kansas, Colorado and more. While technically not the last shootout, the "Gunfight at the OK Corral", Tombstone, AZ, certainly shaped the perception of the wild west. Leaving the outlaws aside and focusing on the flim-flam artists that roamed Arizona as well during this time, as that is an apt description of Harold Hill in the Music Man. As the west was being settled, Traveling Medicine Shows offered a "Cure For What Ails You". https://curioushistorian.com/traveling-medicine-shows-of-the-old-west
Medicine shows usually promoted "miracle elixirs", sometimes referred to as "snake oil liniment", which made various claims such as being able to cure disease, smooth wrinkles, remove stains, prolong life or cure any number of common ailments. Of course, all of this was intended to get you to part with your hard earned money for a dream.
Fast forward to 2023 and the peaceful little town of Fountain Hills, Arizona. An outpost at the farthest northeastern part of the "Valley of the Sun" where "life imitates art" meets "history repeats itself". The medicine man is roaming the town trying to separate the hard working folks from their money, $25 million which is actually $40+ million after interest via a school bond. Bonds are taxes and citizens are the taxpayers. What he is selling is the elixir to cure all the ills of the town. More families, more children, more commerce, smarter kids, shiny new buildings, why this elixir may cure the common cold so why not fork over the money one works hard for. He promises.....just like the wild west medicine man. And then there is Professor Harold Hill, he was planning on disappearing leaving the town folks holding the bag for all those shiny trombones that not one kid would know how to play. Sound familiar? Does anyone think Dr. J will be here 15 years from now as taxpayers are still paying for the bond on their property tax bill? How about 2 years when his contract is up? Will there be enough children to need an additional expense on top of the yearly property tax that already goes to the school?
Russell Kroger's report of 7/20 (scroll down if you forgot) outlines all you need to know about what happened the last time residents were conned into giving $8MM in a bond. This reporter is not going to rehash that, reread it if you must. But with all of that being bad, can it get any worse? Of course it can. The Arizona Auditor General in a report dated May 24, 2023, " Fountain Hills Unified School District —Not in Compliance with the Uniform System of Financial Records for Arizona School Districts (USFR) " That's the lead picture in this article, click on it and it will take you to the home page where you can easily access reports back to 2004. You'll also see that it isn't the first time FHUSD is "not in compliance". Once you are there, click on the not in compliance link and from there you'll be whisked away to 8 pages of deficiencies. Lastly, would you invest $25MM plus substantial interest in an organization that has no financial controls in place. That is what this reporter has discovered. In house, absolutely no one, anywhere, with even entry level accounting skills, a junior or staff accountant, let alone a CPA. FHUSD contracts out to this group https://www.trueprofessionalsllc.com but nowhere on the website does it state any personnel with even entry level accounting education. Perhaps a budget analyst or financial analyst might be in order. Maybe these are the reasons the school cannot seem to live within its budget.
While "THE MUSIC MAN" had a happy ending as most theater and movies of that era did, the Alternative reporters armed with all this information fail to see any way for a happy ending here in Fountain Hills, more like the elixir that promises cures to everything and does nothing.
If you want the happy ending click here, watch and sing along. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODu888i14-I&ab_channel=BravoDivine
And to all those willing to be conned, and all the con artists out there, this ones for you, Hold on Tight-Electric Light Orchestra https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKQsv1Q3ZNY&ab_channel=Kobis11
This past week, was an excellent example of how taxpayers' hard earned money is spent by FHUSD. A glossy flier was mailed to nearly every resident of Fountain Hills encouraging school registration and touting excellence, even naming the "EXCELLENT" programs used within the school system. This is diametrically opposed to the 40% reading and 32% math proficiencies revealed by Russell Kroger in his report. In light of the global wokeness discovered when looking further into "ASU Next Generation Workforce Model", this flier encouraged a deeper look at the details within the flashy pages. Let' get the party started.
Best High Schools US News National 2022
This award is a bit misleading. Let’s take a look at "Best High Schools US News National Report" rankings of other schools Fountain Hills families could possibly chose:
and then there is Fountain Hills - #52 in Arizona, #3,115 in National Rankings. For a full list of all Arizona rankings, follow this link: https://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/arizona/rankings
It’s also interesting to see how Best High Schools US News National scores schools across the United States. Following the link will show how US News Best Schools scores contain relationships to ethnicity and not a large weight on academic achievement. Once again showing how to get a top 100 ranking while having a 40% reading and 32% math proficiency for the students. https://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/articles/how-us-news-calculated-the-rankings.
To view the full details of Fountain Hills rankings. https://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/arizona/districts/fountain-hills-unified-district/fountain-hills-high-school-961
This award is provided to schools by the Arizona Educational Foundation. Arizona Education Foundation has a nice website (https://www.azedfoundation.org/a-schools) with a large list of board members, all with interesting bios to be sure.
The founder was of course a democrat, synonymous with public education, Carolyn Warner. The AEA (Arizona Education Association) and the AEA Foundation for Teaching and Learning both are $20,000 sponsors of the A+ School of Excellence Foundation. Last year, The Alternative did an article on the bond schemes. When looking at the donor list, we see some of those same names appearing yet again as donors to the AZ Ed Foundation. FOLLOW THE MONEY.
How does a school actually achieve an A+ School of Excellence Award? According to the website, “Schools that ultimately earn the A+ School of Excellence designation consistently share the following traits:
Seems yet again, the awards aren’t given based on ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE as one would think; but, on equity, social emotional needs, and going above the norm in providing “services.” WHAT KIND OF SERVICES? Alternative readers are sure to know where that is leading.
For the 2023-2024 school year, an A+ School of Excellence does not need to achieve an A or B letter grade from the Arizona Department of Education. As a side note be sure to not confuse the Department of Education letter grades with the A+ School of Excellence ratings. It seems the A+ School of Excellence isn’t really about academics; but, about EQUITY and PROVIDING “SERVICES.” In other words, the AZ ED Foundation is giving school districts an ESG score. In investing, an ESG rating is a comprehensive score made to measure a company's commitment to environmental, social, and governance. Clearly with no regard for return for the shareholders, in this case shareholders being the students.
On the surface, College Board aka AP Capstone, has done a good job of camouflaging their stance on diversity and equity. Until one digs a bit deeper and sifts through the publications on their website, where it becomes a glaring part of their program. One such document, “Broadening Access to Advanced Placement,” proudly displays their Equity and Access Policy Statement, follow this link to read all about their equity policy: https://secure-media.collegeboard.org/apc/broadening-access-to-ap.pdf.
Take a moment or two and scroll through for data worksheets which include non-binary as a gender choice. This is a blatant giveaway.
The AP Annual Conference was just held in Seattle, Washington, this month. One can learn a lot about a company by the speakers they chose to hire, once again a clear indication of their agenda. Review the 2023 presenters and their biographies here: https://eventreg.collegeboard.org/event/966308f0-6ce4-4cf5-a807-bbf142a9c4c5/websitePage:1b39966f-b14e-4c6f-8751-690fa150f5ceIt
It seems the conference was more about social justice and providing equity than it was about academic achievement. Who really is College Board, the company behind AP Capstone? Their leadership all takes turns pledging their allegiance to diversity, equity, and inclusion in their biographies. Take a look for yourself in this link: https://about.collegeboard.org/leadership
AP Capstone is certainly incorporating CRT early in preparation for the ongoing indoctrination in college.
https://explore.avid.org/initiative/digital-citizenship/The Alternative took a deep dive into AVID in a prior issue in relation to the bond request just one year ago.
Spend two minutes on the AVID website and it’s plagued with equity and equitable classrooms along with digital citizenship (part of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals).
And finally we arrive at something useful for students who may wish to go straight into the workforce as opposed to college. Practical application as it were.
EVIT is a technical trade school for juniors and seniors. It’s a great opportunity for students. EVIT programs are tuition-free to high school students who live in 11 East Valley Districts: Scottsdale, Fountain Hills, Apache Junction, Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert, Higley, Queen Creek, J.O. Combs, and Mesa.
But then after further research, Scottsdale also had available the EXACT same Signature Programs that were highlighted in the glossy flier. Leaving me to ask the question, what signature programs does FHUSD offer that Scottsdale does not? What's the attraction for Fountain Hills?
AIA State Championships
With almost half of the page dedicated to AIA State Championships with flashy rings, a quick search found FHUSD actually had 25 state championships. That is quite an accomplishment for a district the size of FHUSD; but, isn’t the main purpose of school to provide a quality education. With only 2% of high school students nationwide receiving athletic scholarships, it seems a higher focus should be on academics.
The rest of the flier was flashy pictures of items not yet installed, new honors and gifted programs with little explanation of what they contain, and mentions of free “daycare” for students, I wonder how the district is planning to pay for that?
With each new piece of information received, the amount of indoctrination being thrown at the students in Fountain Hills Unified becomes more and more front and center. It is clear, FHUSD needs to focus on a quality education and actual academic excellence versus chasing the transformational education train to keep kids here in the Hills.
The Bond Is Back! Not James Bond, but the Failed School Bond from the 2022 election. This Bond is massive ($5MM more than the previous request) and amortized over a 15 year lifetime with interest, the total the taxpayers of Fountain Hills will be asked to pay is approximately $48 MILLION @ 10% interest up to the maximum 12% costing $54 MILLION. This price tag has been exacerbated by the higher interest rate financial environment of today's times. But to be certain, these numbers are fact.
After being turned down by voters last year in the general election by a 14% margin for $20 million, the School District is spending more than $30,000 to hold a special election this NOVEMBER, a bit over four months from now, requesting even more money, $25 MILLION. But now they have cleverly crafted a STAND ALONE BOND ELECTION, which will be MAIL IN BALLOTS ONLY, where it is more likely that only the most loyal of bond lovers will likely show up, thus the proponents can sneak the election past those who are not paying attention. This was the strategy used in 2014 when voters gave the school $8 million in a bond that taxpayers are still paying for.
As to the cost per property owner in FH per year in taxes, no one can tell yet. Taxes are based on assessed value and those come out in August of each year. So they may rise or fall depending on the assessed value of ones property on a year to year basis. Readers can look to their current tax bills for direction, however. Use these parameters:
All things being equal, but realizing interest rates on the $25MM bond will be higher than the $8MM bond, the tax bill will be at least $175 x 3 = $525 and probably higher for the same property every year for 15 years. These numbers are rounded and approximate, but close, except for the current interest rate component which could be dramatic.
What if for some reason the school would close or consolidate during the 15 years? Consolidation is actually currently underway and additional consolidation may be necessary given population demographics. As for closing, that too may be dictated by population demographics over the next 15 years. That does not relieve FH property owners, the taxpayers, of the tax responsibility. If the Bond passes, taxpayers will continue to pay every year for the life of that Bond regardless of the size or existence of the school.
So the bottom line is registered FH voters are able to vote on this Bond.
Proponents have a history of making an emotional plea and typically resort to name calling of those who see it otherwise. "It's for the kids". "You hate children". As is with any investment, emotion does not generally yield positive results be it stocks, bonds, real estate, etc.
The Bond's November election will be a mail-in ballot only. So, if you are not in FH to receive your mail-in ballot in mid October when they are mailed out, the Ballots will NOT be forwarded to you at another address. UNLESS you have contacted the County and asked that your mail-in ballot for this November's Bond election be mailed to you at another address. Many property owners are out of town in early fall, and so unless you take steps to insure your ballot gets to you, you will not be able to vote. Proponents of the Bond count on the electorate not paying attention thus the off-year special election.
HERE IS HOW TO MAKE CERTAIN YOUR BALLOT REACHES YOU: CALL MARICOPA COUNTY ELECTIONS AT 602-506-1511 AND REQUEST YOUR BALLOT BE SENT TO YOU AT AN ADDRESS WHERE YOU WILL BE IN MID OCTOBER. BOTH YOU AND OTHERS IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD MUST EACH REQUEST THEIR BALLOTS BE MAILED TO AN ALTERNATIVE ADDRESS. AGAIN, IF YOU HAVE A MAIL FORWARDING ON FILE FOR YOUR MAIL, THIS IS NOT SUFFICIENT FOR YOU TO RECEIVE YOUR BALLOTS.
The Alternative will continue its efforts to educate readers in the weeks to come as applicable information becomes available. Continue reading on in this article as well as fellow journalist E. Fang's article for additional pertinent information.
Educated people make educated financial decisions.
The reality of FH population numbers is something the school district has no control over but has to be a consideration for taxpayers when making an investment decision of the magnitude of $50 MILLION over 15 years.
The decade of the 90's, when the school district was built and grew, saw a doubling of the FH population. Since the year 2000, the population has only minimally grown, leveled off and actually declined. But it's the makeup of those numbers which present an unhealthy future for the schools.
Based on 2022 census data:
68% of the Fountain Hills population beyond child producing years. Only 10% student age and 3% of the age to become a student.
This is further exacerbated by:
There is always a continual outcry from the left for more affordable housing (translation-apartments) in FH but the sad reality is that the more apartments that are constructed, the more the aging population downsizes into them or more part time residents take them up. Apartments as affordable housing in FH to attract families is a fallacy that is proven with each new high density project.
And there you have it, the reality of Fountain Hills and the Fountain Hills Unified School District No. 98.
One last curious fact. There are potentially 2949 students for the district and yet the enrollment ended the 2022-2023 school year at 1254, or 42% of the total possible. Why? Read on for what may be the reason.
Since the year 2010 Fountain Hills Unified School District has been trending down in testing rank among the 610 state school districts. Granted there have been some years where the ranking has gone up, but overall the trend is lower which is troubling and may explain why only 42% of the potential students are sent by parents to FHUSD for their children's education.
The overall level of testing scores in the public school education system has also been going down over the years, so one could say FHUSD is just part of the overall lower trend statewide. But does it have to be that way? The school will tell you it is for lack of money, but the state is continually increasing the amount of the budget each year allocated to education. The teacher unions will tell you it's teacher's pay and certainly FHUSD is not one of the school districts with the highest pay in the state. Perhaps it is the overall allocation of those funds to administrators, counselors and staff, as opposed to pay for teachers. Others will point to the school curriculum. Perhaps that may be a window into why the entire United States has been dumbing down. All of these things are worthy of research and discussion, but this article is focused on this bond as an investment by taxpayers in FHUSD and whether it is a good investment or a bad one. Read on as 2015 seems to be a watershed year with regard to money and FHUSD performance.
Money is one thing, debt and tax burden another, but the real horror of the Fountain Hills Unified School District bond story is this startling fact: the last Bond that was OK'd in 2014 for $8 Million did not have a positive affect. As the chart above shows there was a fall off the cliff, drop in the outcomes of students in
READING & LANGUAGE ARTS PROFICIENCY following the passage of the BOND!
In 2014 FHUSD scores were just below 80% well above the state's 60%. In 2015 FHUSD fell to just above 40%. Reading proficiency of 40% after an $8MM bond! In all fairness the statewide average fell off the cliff as well to just below 40%. Neither has recovered and now both have established a new lower norm. There is no doubt that if one cannot read, one most likely will not succeed. There are other coincidental events of 2015 for consideration that may have also contributed. Click on the chart above for a link to the website supplying this data and many more interesting facts surrounding FHUSD.
Read on to find out if Math proficiency fared any better.
Math is even worse and FHUSD has now joined the state at 32% proficiency.
Click on the chart above for a link to the website supplying this data and many more interesting facts surrounding FHUSD.
For our readers out there that managed to get an education when reading/language arts and math were actually taught, critical thinking skills would suggest a couple of overriding (no pun intended) questions.
How many FHUSD graduates are heading to college? How do they get in with such poor reading and math skills? What becomes of the students that don't go to college? Are they successful in the work environment or trades? One still needs reading and math no mater what one pursues.
There are many theories surrounding this, but that is an entire article unto itself on the decay of today's education system in general. Keep in mind, everything mentioned in this article goes for the state of Arizona as well.
As for FHUSD and enrollment, all of this data may suggest a reason why even with all the other population characteristics of the Town of Fountain Hills, THE SCHOOL ONLY MANAGES TO ENROLL 42% OF THE POSSIBLE CHILDREN.
Journalist E. Fang has some research which may shed some light on the plight of FHUSD and their future in the next article.
Click on the chart above for a link to the website supplying this data and many more interesting facts surrounding FHUSD.
In one of the Alternative's rare moments, we give thanks to the “Fountain Hills Times” for George Zeliff’s article "More class time and opportunities built into new schedule", on July 12, 2023, where George introduces the town to the "ASU Next Education Workforce Model." Granted, George did not spend much, if any, time telling the readers what this new model actually entails. In light of a large donor recently taking his donations and leaving ASU due to the censorship of free speech, my interest was piqued and I decided to explore what is this "Next Education Workforce Model" all about. The Alternative strives to achieve some depth as opposed to brushing the surface and moving on. The FHUSD YouTube recording of the board meeting referenced spoke very little about the model. I also reviewed the school newsletter that was posted by Board President Jill Reed on numerous Facebook pages. Under the newsletter section, "ASU Next Generation Workforce Team Teaching Model", the last sentence stated, “Below is a brief description of what each one of these experiences will look like for our students.” I tried to find the brief descriptions below; but, they were nowhere to be found. It would have been informative to know what the district has to say for themselves about this "ASU Next Generation Workforce Team Teaching Model". No worries though, that information is hiding in plain sight for those who wish to look.
This model is part of the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College whose dean is Carole Basile. Dean Basile was on the steering committee of the “Education Commission.” The Education Commission is also known as the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity. One of this commission’s main initiatives is dedicated to attaining the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #4. Also, on this “Education Commission” is Lucy Lake – Camfed (an organization that promotes social justice) and Gordon Brown – UN Special Envoy for Global Education. Ms. Lake is quoted, “We invest in their activism…” Mr. Brown is on record stating, “We don’t just have a climate emergency, we have an education emergency.”
The homepage of the Next Education Workforce banner states, “Redesigning education for learners and educators…to deliver meaningful and equitable learning outcomes, we need to redesign the profession, the workplace, and how we prepare people for both.” The stated challenges focus on teachers switching careers and quality learning outcomes, both challenges, I think everyone can rally behind; but, NOT with the guidelines from ASU’s Next Education Workforce model.
School Spotlights https://azreportcards.azed.gov/
Let’s take a look at the schools the program spotlights. Kyrene de las Manitas Innovation Academy, Stevenson Elementary, Westwood High School, Spark Institute, Sousa Elementary, Creighton Academy, Whittier Elementary, and Smith Junior High School. Most of these schools are found in Arizona’s largest school district Mesa Public Schools and they are ALL in Maricopa County. Heading on over to Arizona School Report Cards (azreportcards.azed.gov) and pulling each school’s report card since the 2019-2020 school year as most of the schools implemented the Workforce Model in the fall of 2020 yielded interesting results:
*The Creighton School was closed in the 2019-2020 school year so there was no letter grade and enrollment comparison to be made.
Impact on FHUSD Middle School
Fountain Hills Middle School was able to retain the same letter grade in 2021-2022 of a B that it had in 2019-2020. It doesn't seem as if ASU Next Education Workforce is meeting the mark in increasing a school’s letter grade. Fountain Hills Middle School is also having difficulties retaining experienced teachers, as the Middle school dropped 8% in teacher experience in just three years. It’s not looking like the ASU Next Education Workforce is going to help in that category either based on the results above. Finally, let’s look at enrollment here in Fountain Hills. In 2019-2020 FHUSD Middle School had 508 students, in the 2021-2022 school year, the middle school reported 422 students. It seems again, based on the school spotlight information, ASU Next Education Workforce won’t be helping in the enrollment category either. So, what exactly WILL ASU Next Education Workforce be doing?
Elements of Next Education Workforce
Taken directly from their website, the program is, “grounded in values of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion…. provide services that address the needs of the whole child…. tailor learning to each student’s social identity….” Scrolling thru page after page of “resources,” I am seeing very little to do with academics, but a lot to do with activism.
For educators, they are creating new ways to enter the profession, “leading to a more diverse and equitable education workforce.” In addition, the Next Education Workforce is creating new ways for educators to specialize, “provide more equity in who accesses and benefits from professional learning.” One of the Next Education Workforce resources speaks on, “reflecting on and sharing the personal connections you make between race, class and education,” in order to build empathy and trust.
It seems Fountain Hills Unified School District needs to get serious about test scores, academic achievement, and student retention. FHUSD shouldn’t be requesting any assistance from Dean Basile and her Next Education Workforce, as it appears they actually HARM districts who follow their principles. Perhaps this helps to explain why Russell Kroger found that only 42% of the possible FH student population is actually enrolled in FHUSD. As is the Alternative policy, the links are always provided and encouraged for additional education and fact checking of information.
Stepping a little out of the direct news of the town but still staying in the realm of investigative journalism the Alternative is accustomed to delivering, we looked into where some of the towns money is going. Large sums or small sums, all sums add up and of course it is your money. This was an interesting small sum of money, MAG dues and contributions which total between $10K-20K per year. One of the "benefits" of being a member of MAG is that FH citizens are treated to regular updates on homelessness in the county from MAG experts. One of the benefits the FH citizens don't get is anyone coming to FH to pick up our homeless folks and taking them somewhere for rehabilitation and shelter. FH has received money from MAG to add a lane to Shea Blvd. from Technology to FH Blvd. Not sure there has ever been a traffic jam reported there but FH did receive money for that and the town has been promised MAG money for the repaving of Palisades over the next 20 years. Remember though, while it sounds free, in reality, it is some taxpayer's dollars, even some of yours. So it's not free, as nothing really is.
Now that the benefits portion of FH involvement in MAG has been established, on to the meat of our story. " The Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) hosted a race-based training discussing the evils of whiteness, and how only white-skinned people can be racist." EVILS OF WHITENESS, ONLY WHITE-SKINNED PEOPLE CAN BE RACIST. The training was done by a company named "Racial Equity Partners" with its presenters being Donald Whitehead, Jr. (co-founder) and Mayté Antelo-Ovando . In case readers haven't guessed it, they are people of color and of course victims of the evil white man even though from their biographies they seem to be quite successful.
This group, and these presenters would provide the Alternative an opportunity to go on for thousands of words, tens of thousands as the nonsense goes on and on. So we're going to pull out just a few gems and provide the links for further reading.
The real reason for this report, is do FH residents really want to send our towns money to pay for such drivel? Remember when Grady Miller, probably at the direction of Mayor Dickey, approved a $10K contract with Social Prosperity Partners to "facilitate" the FH Council retreat just this past February? The current council majority found out about it and it was cancelled but of course the contract had a no cancel clause in it and the $10K was gone, wasted. The social justice, equity, and basically the "RACE/VICTIM" industry is thriving in America. Big business, but it's really not new. The Reverends Sharpton and Jackson have been at it for decades but now others are catching on and who might the main customers be? Of course, government and other taxpayer funded organizations, woke corporate boardrooms and the like. It's a hustle, shakedown as it were. It would appear that to sum up the message in a few words, success does not arise from hard work, and those that did work hard to achieve success, owe it to those who don't.
This messaging is a plague in America as has been said, but bringing this all back to local, according to the 2022 census, 92.6% of the population of Fountain Hills is white. This reporter is certain that they and the other 7.4% are hard working (or retired formally hard working), successful residents.....and not racist. That being said, the residents and taxpayers of FH continue to send money to MAG, an organization who hires people to lecture and train them on how we, in Fountain Hills, are all racist. That would appear to be completely insane but we here at the Alternative are standing by to now be called racist by the true "gaslighters" out there for pointing this out.
If you want to read more on this subject follow the links but beware, the more you read, the angrier you may get.
Unless you were paying attention to the local, state, and yes the national news, FH residents would never know of this crazy detox development as the story was completely ignored by the FH local paper. Crickets. Probably because this story sheds a true light on the inept mayor and her Democrat compatriots. Even the left wing rag, AZ Republic, had to report it.
The town narrowly escaped total disgrace as the FBI and the State of AZ, in an ongoing investigation have uncovered hundreds of millions of dollars in ACCHS fraud and human trafficking of Native Americans in this industry. Multiple parties of the hundreds caught up in the investigation were all set to open up shop here in FH, smack dab between two Native American communities.
The Back Story:
Dragging their feet for years trying to prevent ordinances protecting the residents of FH from the detox industry, was a short list of the malcontents opposing the citizenry.
Just as FH finally passed it's commercial detox ordinance on 2/21/2023, directed by patriots Friedel, newly elected Kalivianakis, Toth and Skillicorn, restricting the industry to locations least likely to impact residents, something strange occurred. This came against the wishes of the Mayor and her followers along with the town attorney. Resident watchdogs, became aware through a tip that Angel Heart Health Services, LLC https://npino.com/behavioral-health/1326653312-angel-heart-health-services-llc/ had purchased 16927 E. Saguaro (behind Denny's) for $2MM fully intending to open an outpatient treatment center disguised as behavioral health counselling as the remodeling had already begun. The sale of the property zoned C-O, commercial office, the lightest commercial zoning in FH was not eligible for behavioral health uses. The transaction had actually closed on 11/1/22.
A group of residents dedicated to preserving the character of FH began to investigate immediately. Over time they have become perhaps the preeminent investigators of the detox industry in the state, certainly a thorn in the side of Dickey, McMahon and company that want this industry in FH, and turned up a massive amount of information in a short period of time, including, among other things, Angel Heart's open 7 state citations along with all the proof the town needed to deny the issuance of a business license to operate this business at that location. The Alternative received a copy and was told this information was turned over to the Town Services Director, John Wesley, and within a week, miraculously, Angel Heart corrected all 7 citations. Curious that this would happen, and an indication that FH intended to issue a license in violation of their own ordinances?
All this was occurring during March of 2023 in the closing days of Town Manager Grady Miller, who also had presided over the years of foot dragging on this issue. Did he direct John Wesley to issue the license at the request of the Mayor? We'll probably never know as he "retired" officially 3/31/23 giving way to the new town manager, Rachael Goodwin. After a pathetic display at Call to the Public during the April 4th council meeting by the realtor who sold the property to Angel Heart, in which he drug 5 "adopted" children in front of everyone to make an impassioned plea for the business license. It was eventually denied, as it should have been instantaneously and without fanfare or an uprising by residents.
So what is so strange about this? One is an isolated instance. Two is a trend. On 3/9/23 Parcel No. 1, Lot1, of Redrock Business Center and Parcel No. 2, Lot 5, of Redrock Business Center Three, 17100 E. Shea Blvd. was purchased by Imani Wellness LLC. Imani Mental Health Services – We care (imanimhservices.com) from Arizona Holdings VIII, LLC. Maricopa County Assessors office lists the sale date of the properties as 1/1/2023 for $2.2MM but the Maricopa County Recorder has paperwork signed by Barjinda Whala, a principal of the seller with a 3/9/2023 date. This information came to the same citizen watchdog group as a tip. This center is zoned C-1 and not available to behavioral health uses so the group reported the land purchase to the town staff and that's really where the story gets interesting. Continued......
The story broke on 5/16/2023 but it is unknown how long ago the investigation began and how long the ongoing investigation will continue. Two of the businesses currently with the state payments suspended fully intended to operate here in FH. In all fairness, some of the hundreds on the list are TERMINATED, while these two are SUSPENDED. The Alternative will continue to monitor this situation.
Our readers can google Arizona AHCCS fraud and it will come up everywhere. Here is a link to local Fox 10 which is an excellent, in depth report. https://www.fox10phoenix.com/news/arizona-cracks-down-on-medicaid-sober-living-home-fraud-targeting-native-americans-this-is-tragic
Two of the players are part of the list:
Angel Heart as mentioned and Imani Wellness both purchased multiple buildings in the front part of FH . Angel Heart, owned by Johnny and Latasha Hangston, for their part was only only targeted as a business, Imani Wellness, LLC and Imani Mental Health Services owned by Joanne and Zac Rop were targeted as businesses and individuals.
The short version of the story is companies and individuals from the detox industry were scamming the Arizona taxpayers out of hundreds of millions of dollars, and upwards, collecting payments from ACCHS claiming to help addicted Native Americans when actually supporting their habits and in some cases KILLING them. Further, they were actually collecting Native Americans from their communities which makes this a scheme of human trafficking and healthcare fraud.
"I believe the state of Arizona owes our tribal nations an apology," says AG Kris Mayes. "I don’t think it is too much to say that this is one of the biggest scandals in the history of the state of Arizona when it comes to our government. Our office estimates that is in the hundreds of millions of dollars, it could go higher."
Now the Alternative has not uncovered any definitive information as of this report, but this reporter didn't fall off the proverbial turnip wagon yesterday. 17100 E. Shea Blvd and 16927 E. Saguaro Blvd with easy access to SR87, smack dab between two different tribal nations sounds a bit like LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION.
Wrapping up the "bringing disgrace to Fountain Hills" aspect, does anyone remember the AZ Republic story back in August of 2022 about the PAC, Reclaim Our Town (ROT) bringing disgrace to the FH elections while overturning the Democrat majority on the town council? How about the woman, Dianne Price, who read parts of the absurd article in a call to public? And who got the Republic to even notice FH enough to write the article? Let's talk about the disgrace this story could have been without a new majority protecting residents from the detox industry. Perhaps those supporting Reclaim Our Town are not the disgraceful ones but are saving the town from being disgraced by those criticizing them. Let the readers think about that as a Democrat governor and attorney general admit to this dark day in Arizona history and the fact that Fountain Hills could have had these facilities operating right here, smack dab in the middle of 2 Native Nations.
This story is ongoing and the Alternative will be following it closely especially since the other publication won't.
Read on for a brief history of the DETOX ASSAULT on FH, who supports residents, and who doesn't in town government.
In November of 2020 something strange began to happen in the beautiful and peaceful Town of Fountain Hills. Investors began buying up large houses and renting them to addiction recovery businesses. Read about it under the "More" tab, archives drop down .
This was a story that this publication followed at its inception. Nothing neighborly about it, no regard for the neighborhood, pure greed under the guise of helping those of misfortune. The realtors began sucking in out of state buyers (LLC's) at inflated prices while lining their pockets with bloated commissions. The detox businesses convening investor gatherings promising inflated rents because they could afford anything when charging upwards of $20K/month/patient and putting 10-20 people in a house. Of course these were called "sober homes" so they could hide behind the "Obama Care" ADA classification of addicted people as a protected class, "disabled". In reality they were OTC's, outpatient treatment centers as the residents were all being giving drugs to wean them off of whatever they were addicted to. It was all great except if you had one in your neighborhood and your property value, safety, and peace of mind all went down as is the case.
After 15 months of trying to leave FH residents completely unprotected from, and at the mercy of this vial industry, the council succumbed to overwhelming pressure from not only residents near these places, but almost everyone, knowing they could too be victimized. And remember also, this is just the residential portion of the industry. Work still needed to be done to minimize the effects of the worst part, inpatient and outpatient commercial facilities, the feeder system for the houses. Let's look back at what your representatives had to say and what they ultimately did.
Councilman Spelich, the protector. Having spent his whole life in law enforcement, "to serve and protect", of course was in favor of the ordinance as written by P&Z but had to vote "Y ES " for the stripped down version just to get something. He was marginalized by the circus his entire term.
Councilman Friedel, the thoughtful. Always analytical, certainly logical stood with Spelich but in the end, as a fellow marginalized member, voted "YES " for the stripped down version just to get something. Remember that when voting for Mayor next year as he has announced his candidacy.
The Mayor, ever the politician. She drug her feet in trying to do nothing until, you guessed it, an election cycle rolled around and she knew she had to give the residents something in order to be reelected. So she voted "YES " for the ordinance, but for removing all the enforcement provisions.
Councilwoman McMahon, the virtue signaler. Voted "YES " reluctantly after a long diatribe of the town needs these services that help our residents and these are just poor unfortunate people who need our help. One problem, no one in these facilities is from FH and why would they seek treatment in the same location as caused their problem?
Councilwoman Grzybowski, the dumb. A businesswoman herself, proclaiming that this business didn't need any business insurance and that the town could not force them to have it and no one could inspect the facilities to ensure compliance. Brilliant. And thus the ordinance was gutted but got her "YES " vote.
Councilman Magazine, the deaf. A three-time ethics violator voted "YES " to go along with the trio, but was caught on an open mic saying, "I can't sit by and listen to these people anymore." Let's just leave it at that.
Councilman Scharnow, the grifter. What better way to wrap up this important vote than with a "NO" vote from this man. He took a perfectly honorable endeavor of running the youth drug coalition, a prevention activity, and conflated it with neighborhood facilities for rehabilitation of addicts. Absurd. He fought any measure at all and advocated that having 10 addicts in a single residence would receive the same care as 5. Even though he is no longer on the council, you can still read his out of touch opinions in print from time to time.
At the center of this misguided process was the advice from the town attorney, who, through the entire process, proclaimed that the town could do nothing and would be sued. He even brought in an "expert" from his law firm to tell us everything we could not do. Of course, neither bothered to research all the circuit court rulings as some diligent residents had done, as well as P&Z. As a side note, he remains as town attorney to this day.
Once again, collectively, the most intelligent organization in the Town of Fountain Hills, Planning & Zoning, writes a comprehensive commercial zoning ordinance confining the detox industry to the least offensive, most protective of residents, area of town. Some say it took them that long because of its comprehensive nature, some say they bided their time in anticipation of some measure of intelligence to return to the Town Council via the seating of a new majority.
Of course those on the left choose to blame the evil ROT group, sowing divisiveness within the community, by helping to change the makeup of the council. Facts show that voters made this decision while the left wails on as usual with discord. Friedel rising from the ashes of the marginalized, adding new friends with a sense of intelligence, a lot of ears listening to the residents, and definitely not a left wing agenda for FH, went to work.
The three newly marginalized tried to strip the ordinance of all the important provisions. It was obvious they had been coached by the town attorney. All the usual fear of repercussions injected into the discussion. We even heard from the attorney for the detox company operating in town with some obligatory threats.
But in the end, the vote, 5 for the P&Z version, 2 against. Guess who? Councilwoman "we need these services in town", McMahon, and Mayor, " I' d also like to point out that while I know that it seems like it' s been going on a long time, this is the first time this council or any council has seen this item", Dickey. Where have you been for the last 2 years? We surmise perhaps cutting ribbons, but definitely not listening to residents.
But wait, where did that 5th vote for come from? Who took over Grzybowski' s brain? She was the front person for the gutting but voted with the majority. The residents would like to thank whoever was responsible for the successful brain transplant and hope the organ is not rejected by the patient in the future.
Not a moment too soon to save the town from total disgrace at the hands of the left.
First, thank you to the Alternative for allowing me to report. There is no way this can be expressed in 300 words and contrary to the other publication’s assertion that material found here is misleading, I assure you, this report is not. That is why I took a witness with me to the meeting to confirm accuracy. We do lend our own certain perspective, everyone does.
As the “Republican of the Year”, a title I neither sought nor tout, I had the opportunity to visit the Fountain Hills Democratic Club meeting and the Republican Club last week within two days of each other. So, I thought, this is the perfect time to comment on my observations, especially since the Dems chose to proclaim my attendance as some sort of monumental achievement in a post that is here for your reading pleasure. I’m not on social media so I rely on screenshots sent to me by those who are, and perhaps it’s not the entire message, but enough to get the drift. I’ll admit in this post they presumed correctly that we “were there to learn about the complex issue of homelessness.” And that’s where it ends.
The ladies at the door were friendly enough and greeted my friend and me with smiles and the usual recruitment effort but once inside the Democrat Club meeting room, it seemed mostly filled with people full of rage and anger, unhappy people. I’ll get back to that in just a bit. We thought the presenter on the homeless was going to be an employee from the organization and I did have a few questions that I was prepared to ask, but I was quick to learn that they were just an intern, not that there is anything wrong with that. I did not think they would have answers at my level. The more the presentation progressed it became apparent that it was basically a sales pitch for donations to support the New Leaf and some warm and fuzzy success stories which the bobbleheads in the room really enjoyed. That’s OK too.
The presenter herself left much to be desired, a vapid skull full of mush filled by our very own FH education system. In the introduction we learned, as a graduate of Fountain Hills High School, she was responsible for inviting the Phoenix BLM (Black Lives Matter) to the town for a march in January of 2021. BLM, a known criminal organization responsible for death and destruction within communities during the riots, and embezzlement of millions of dollars of donations to purchase real estate for their leaders. This organization is actually responsible for racial division in our society, not unity. “Myself and Alicia in particular are trained organizers. We are trained Marxists.”-Patrisse Cullors, 2015, speaking of herself and fellow BLM leader, Alicia Garza. The organization more or less extorts huge sums of money from corporations seeking “woke approval” including but not limited to the now mismanaged and defunct Silicon Valley Bank ($74MM), which we taxpayers bailed out. Further, she went on to achieve a degree in social something or other from our esteemed state university, ASU. In my opinion a worthless and non-productive degree ultimately ending in a career on the taxpayer dole, government work, or maybe in a corporation’s diversity department, producing nothing nor providing any service actually advancing society or in demand by consumers. Topping it all off, I found out later she is one of the chairs of our Leadership Academy here in FH. This is who we chose as a leader? And then I remembered who was leading the country and that solved that puzzle.
So, with that as the backdrop, I kept my question in my pocket, which was, what is New Leaf’s primary function? Of course, never ask a question you don’t already know the answer to is a legal credo and I am sure no one in the room did any background research. Here is your answer. Licensing Facilities and Providers (azdhs.gov) State licensing of New Leaf, Inc. shows that 5 of the 9 facilities are outpatient treatment centers, with 3 more child behavioral health facilities. I don’t find any of this troubling but wouldn’t that be an important part of any presentation about this organization and lead to a more in-depth discussions of why society is so addicted. Could it be from all the drugs pouring across our open southern border? And who might be responsible for that? And how big a problem is this in FH?
I had another question, or narrative as it may be, that I thought would possibly stir a debate. If you are a FH resident and something bad happens to you or your family, medical bills, job loss, something financially catastrophic, would you go from resident of FH straight to homeless in FH? I doubt it, smart people downsize their lives until they get things turned around. Maybe they move to a more affordable town, Mesa, Gilbert, somewhere less expensive until they get things going again. That’s what is known as a hand up. This prompts a couple more questions, where are these homeless people coming from that are in FH? How did they get here and why? Are they looking for a job to get back on their feet? We don’t really have a lot of job opportunities here compared to other places in the valley with larger populations. All this begs the question are they looking for a hand out rather than a hand up?
I’m not sure as the meeting never got there. Absolutely no rational discussion ensued. Instead, anger and rage. The second speaker of the night was to be Captain Kratzer of MCSO to give a report on the homeless situation in FH dovetailing with the New Leaf presentation (homeless shelters). As in we need a homeless shelter in FH? But alas a council person requested that Kratzer refrain from presenting reports to any political organizations where the information could be twisted to fit a narrative, left or right. And so, the rage began. Stirred up by defeated council candidate Couture, speaker after speaker grabbed the mic and railed on the council bullies, of course ROT (Reclaim Our Town), and in general, anyone who disagrees with their narrative. “I saw a few from the ROT PAC in the back table near entrance…I think between 3-5.” – Rory Wilson. That would be me sitting with some Dems. Math is not a strong requirement in the pursuit of a social something or other degree from ASU. At one point one woman demanded names and pictures of the council people responsible so they could confront and attack them in the supermarkets. Can you say Maxine Waters when she urged Democrats to target Trump supporters in “stores and gas stations?” To his credit, the MC and I believe the president of the club curtailed the lunacy after this as the night was getting long in the tooth and really nothing had been accomplished save the virtue signaling and name calling. We’re all good people and they are not (Republicans)! Then I wondered why, when looking around the room at all these good and virtuous people and thought, there’s probably enough people in this room to each take in one homeless person in FH in their back bedroom and all of them would be off the street and there would be homes to spare.
I left with my friend, both of us realizing the narrative was probably to build a homeless shelter in FH. “If you build it, he (they) will come” – Field of Dreams, 1989. Just as the detox issue before, if you don’t have a problem, import it and ruin the great town that we have. Import addicts, homeless, crime and we’ll be…..well, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, Chicago, NYC, Philadelphia, Baltimore. Need I go on? All once great cities turned blue and ruined.
On to the Republican Club meeting. People were laughing, joking, generally happy. Not happy with the state of our once great country, but looking for solutions to turn things around. This, generally is how every Republican Club meeting goes. This one Sheriff Mark Lamb of Pinal County, running for Senate in 2024 spoke about the moral decay which is leading to the societal issues that we face. Much of the same ones that were not spoken about at the Democrat meeting. border, drugs, education, nuclear family, crime, inflation. But why would they? All this has increased under Democrat control. And through all this, no audience member grabbed the mic and demanded names and pictures to attack anyone in the supermarket here in town. All in all, much less entertaining than watching the divisive rage at the other meeting.
Now, if it goes as it usually does, after reading this, I'll be viciously attacked for reporting what I saw and heard. I don't know most of the Democrat club members, but I'll enjoy learning when someone sends me a screenshot of their social media post .
The Alternative welcomes a new contributor, Louise Sawyer. A lot of fact with a witty splash of commentary. Louise will remain front page news before moving to the commentary tab under additional content.
The most recent meeting of the Fountain Hills Democratic Club focused on education. It was a doozy. In attendance were lunatics from the Save Our Schools “nonpartisan” group as well as Fountain Hills’ newest school board member, Lillian Acker.
Here’s a recap of the highlights:
As you can imagine, the Liberals are still bemoaning the fact that the Fountain Hills voters had the audacity to question the actions and spending habits of the last school board and school administrators and decided to reject the newest bond and override boondoggle. They’re still apoplectic about it and never stop with their shame game. “We’re failing our kids!!” they wail. Of course, now every school budget discussion starts and ends with this familiar phrase: “We can’t afford (insert item here) because the mean and selfish Fountain Hills residents voted against the bond and override.” Never mind that Fountain Hills Unified School District has a budget of $15M for 1200 students. During their bash-fest meeting, In addition to disparaging voters, they also bashed any parent who had the audacity to support school choice. Because how could anyone not adore public school education? Especially when we saw how parents were demonized during COVID for daring to question masks, question curriculum, and question classroom materials while their children were stuck during lockdowns? If COVID had one positive benefit it was that parents woke up to how their children were being indoctrinated by public schools. Democratic Club members have awfully short memories.
Then Democratic Lunatic and school board member, Lillian Acker, bashed anyone who opposed public education and even joined in the bashing of the new Scottsdale School Board where several fed-up parents campaigned and won school board seats during the last election. Of course, everyone in the room, including Ms. Acker, is a huge fan of Scottsdale School Board Superintendent, Scott Menzel, who made some outrageous and divisive comments about white students. Totally fine, right? Obnoxiously woke Menzel is the poster child for who the Liberals want running your schools and indoctrinating your children. And they wonder why the bond and override failed? And they wonder why parents don’t trust public schools and seek out other educational options for their children? Look in the mirror, Liberals. There’s your answer.
Bonus info: Fountain Hills Superintendent Dr. J. has apparently found the remaining monies needed for the football field replacement. While the fundraisers (ahem, thanks to the generosity of those mean and hateful Fountain Hills voters) raised about half the money needed, Dr. J. was able to find approximately $200K. We think. But we at The Alternative would love to know from where he found this money stash in the (supposedly) already stretched budget. Wouldn’t you? Hopefully with his new push for transparency and “high expectations,” we’ll find that out one day soon. At least before they push for another bond/override.
After over two years of discussion on the issue, Council passed the ordinance outlining the parameters in which a commercial detox facility could be located in FH to serve members of the this community. Councilwoman Grzybowski joined Friedel and the 3 new members, Kalivianakis, Toth, and Skillicorn voting yes to adopt P&Z's ordinance as written with the exception of the insurance provision. Passed 5-2 with McMahon dissenting after a long and rambling diatribe on the virtues of having no regulation of the town's land use and the Mayor claiming no knowledge on the subject after years of debate. All three Democrats wanted more time to talk it to death while the Republican majority had heard enough after years of talking and trusted the town's Planning and Zoning commissioners and town staff to have done their homework and produced a well thought out ordinance.
Council heard from the numerous citizens who have been researching and following this issue since February of 2021 as well as the attorney for Fountain Hills Recovery, a business already operating as a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) within commercial zoning in town along with housing addicts receiving treatment in residential houses. The attorney stated the usual accusations of ADA discrimination violations (which do not govern commercial businesses) along with discriminatory language exhibited by town residents against addicts, "a protected class". This tired argument was heard during the debate over the governance of community residential where FH Recovery houses the addicts. This is all to set up legal action against the town. The Alternative is unsure as to the reasoning behind this as FH Recovery already operates here in town as stated.
The roundabout and concreting over of the grass hill in the park directly across Saguaro at the Avenue was finally, and mercifully laid to rest. A favorite and ultimately wasteful use of limited town funds was a pet project of Mayor Dickey. She fought tooth and nail to keep the termination from reaching the agenda fearing it would be killed, and on 2/21/23 it was put out of its misery by the new council majority.
The debate from Dickey, Grzybowski and McMahon on this one was complete alternate universe, theater of the absurd material. Arguments for this waste:
Something both left and right agree on is streets repair so why would the town waste money on a design and millions ultimately to build these absurdities while we are short on funds for town streets? By- by roundabout 4-3 with Dickey, Grzybowski, and McMahon supporting the boondoggle and Friedel along with the new trio giving it the boot.
This resolution Amending the Council Rules of Procedure, Section 4.2, Agenda Preparation Article B 2. was necessary because the current mayor has been stonewalling the wishes of the current council members in getting the things they wanted onto agendas in a timely fashion. A loophole existed in the current system. If three council persons request the mayor and town manager to place something on the agenda they are required to do just that, place it on the agenda. It just does not say when the mayor has to do it. Now it does as the modification states the "next available" agenda.
Why did it need to be changed in writing? This mayor, Dickey, would not place items wanted by at least 3 of the 4 in majority on the agenda using the excuse of just being too busy. In reality it turned out to be only items she and her left minority oppose.
This change came about with the efforts of councilwoman Toth for seeing the loophole. Councilwoman McMahon took nearly 4 minutes to tell us how busy the council and staff is and how little time is available to deal with town matters. The clear example of mayoral abuse of the loophole was agenda item #1 of the evening, commercial detox. That cleared P&Z on January 9th. It then languished as several council members along with residents kept requesting it to be on the agenda. The mayor claimed that it needed to be discussed at the council retreat 2/28 even though it has been in the public eye for years. That would have delayed the issue to the end of March.
The vote once again was 4-3 with the mayor and her 2 cohorts, McMahon and Grzybowski voting no in an attempt to keep staff and the mayor's delaying power in tact. It's a simple change that keeps abuse of power out of town government. Why oppose it? Residents know the answer.
For the most part, and on the surface, the plan seemed reasonable enough. But as with everything the left promotes, the devil is in the details. Remember when Nancy Pelosi famously said "we have to pass it to know what's in it", when speaking of Obamacare? The American healthcare system has never been more expensive with declining quality since that went into effect. So with that in mind the Alternative encourages the readers to see the environmental plan for themselves.
Buried in the document is essentially the left's "Green New Deal".
And so much more. As this reporter reads it, FH town government will dictate how to travel, how much to travel, how to cool and heat your home, how to care for your yard, all with no regard as to how much it will cost the average resident. That may be a simplistic summation but residents should be very wary of all forms of government control. The entire meeting can be seen at (59) February 21, 2023 Town Council Meeting - YouTube with the environmental debate from 3:10:50 to 3:42:05.
Councilwoman Kalivianakis recognized how much of the leftist agenda was in the FH Environmental Plan and managed a few good amendments to take some of the dictates out of it and leave it more as a vision rather than a mandate but one can tell what the intent was when the mayor is quoted as saying it really doesn't mean much, and it's really part of the general plan except for the biophilic stuff and was voted on by the public (who actually read it in depth when they voted?). This is how the agenda creeps in when one isn't watching. Other evidence of what was really intended is shown by the voracity with which Dickey, McMahon, and Grzybowski fought to keep Kaliviankis' amendments out.
One final point. This is Mayor Dickey's second pass at banning gas powered leaf blowers in town to save the environment . She gave this a whirl back as a councilwoman 2006-2014. The Alternative is not sure how the over 500 acres of parks and medians in town would be cleaned up by the contracted landscaping crews without them. It would take a whole lot of batteries.
After a debate intended to nullify the amendments, the Environmental Plan passed with the amendments taking a little sting out of the FH Green New Deal, 4-3. Guess who the dissenting votes were? Right again, Dickey, McMahon, and Grzybowski.
Once again the other town publication fell off the cliff, as usual. Two things of note. One, Alan Magazine talks in a letter to the editor about how could this council get rid of Grady Miller? Hold on a second, front page, above the fold headline, "Town Manager Grady Miller Plans to retire". Does Magazine know something the rest of us don't know? Retirement is.....well, retirement. Termination would take place in an executive session. Did someone leak something from the executive session designed to harm the new majority? Perhaps the mayor? Or did the other publication just print some unsubstantiated BS from Magazine. This calls for a very small amount of examination. First off who handles all ethics violations for the town? Grady Miller! Who has 3, yes 3 ethics violations, and has had no consequences for any of them? None other than Alan Magazine. Cynicism abounds, but why wouldn't this guy love Grady Miller? This smacks of another conflict between the town manager and a council member.
The second letter written by Mike Scharnow, who goes on a name calling tirade against the new majority as if he was the most enlightened homo sapien to ever grace the town of Fountain Hills and claims to be shocked by the retirement of Grady Miller. Let's give Mr. Scharnow the same examination as was done for Magazine. First, is it really any of your business? Not in the least. This is the same Scharnow that took thousands of dollars from local realtors for his council campaign and then voted against them with the sign ordinance. This is the same guy that works with the drug coalition in town to fight teenage addiction and then votes for the importation of more addicts into Fountain Hills with higher occupancy in residential detox facilities. Hypocrisy at its finest right on display by these two pontificators.
And to Dave Long, the head of the Democratic Party in town, so much for your quip about Councilman Skillicorn photobombing the stellar students picture. The other publication did you the favor by cropping out both Skillicorn and Toth in this edition of stellar students, probably on purpose. A casualty of war in the left leaning nonsense, Mayor Dickey. She got wacked from the picture as well.
Talk about a corrupt publication, and former councilman who are questionable at best, all working with the democrats in town to continue to obstruct and undermine the process for our Town after leaving office.
Even after voters decide to change direction, no matter the level of government, Democrats never relent. When Republicans follow the will if the voter, they are contentious. They are partisan. They have a personality conflict. They are always the problem. "Council chambers is also nonpartisan"-Councilwoman McMahon just last meeting. It's always nonpartisan as the left pushes their agenda. Remember this as you read the following report.
It's almost February and time for another Town Council Retreat. February 28th and open to the public. That seems innocuous enough, hearing from the various departments within the town and the projects that our tax dollars (sales tax) are paying for. This is not a new event. It predates this mayor and council. It has always been facilitated by the town manager. Until now. Fountain Hills is paying nearly $10,000 to Social Prosperity Partners to facilitate the upcoming retreat. Why? Who are they, what is their role, and who decided the town needed them?
Let's begin with who they are. Their name really tells you all you need to know. Woke agenda advocates. Their website tells you the rest as most do, if one takes the time to do the research. "We're collaboration and strategic planning experts". That sounds reasonable and innocuous enough, until you read from the website (buried deep inside and much more sinister):
So do words. So does listening. So does acknowledging that best intentions don’t make up for past insufficiencies. So does learning. So does recognizing injustice. So does accepting responsibility. So does taking action.
We named our firm Social Prosperity Partners to describe how we help people in communities, organizations, and companies address their challenges and opportunities in ways that are widely-inclusive, deeply-thoughtful, extraordinarily-creative, and profoundly-purposeful.
Leading “courageous conversations” is the work we do, but today we recognize that conversations are not enough.
The great ideals of our nation are stained by a 400-year history of oppression and injustice. We voice our shared sadness and outrage with people who are disenfranchised, marginalized, and victims of disrespect and violence. We believe #BlackLivesMatter. We recognize our personal and professional responsibility to do the hard work of correcting systemic racism. (italics added for emphasis by reporter)
Courageous conversations are a good start, but they’re just a step toward achieving actual social prosperity.
We’ve got work to do. We’ve all got work to do. Let's get to work."
So now we know the WHO, obvious enough. Moving on to the WHY. "FROM CONFLICT TO CONVERSATION"-Matt Lehrman, the facilitator. In August the voters of FH chose a new path by electing a more conservative majority to the council. The mayor escaped by just 200 votes but now resides in the minority. Of course there was no conflict when her liberal majority bullied and marginalized the two conservatives, Spelich and Friedel for 4 years. Now since Dickey, McMahon, and Grzybowski are the minority, she sees the agenda of the majority as conflict, personality conflict more specifically, which of course needs resolution. The resolution the left always seeks is do as we say when we are in power, and work with us to do as we say when we are not. This occurs top down, every level, national, state, or local. Pushback is prohibited and of course it is your personality that needs the modification.
WHO HIRED THIS GROUP? The mayor did for the obvious reasons. How did she find out about these people? The Alternative reached out and found they find employ by other communities with this same environment. The mayor reached out, spent the town's $10,000 to try and continue pushing her agenda under the umbrella of an uncooperative and contentious majority at a council retreat which generally no citizen pays attention to.
The Alternative had not yet come into existence when the council retreat of February 2021 took place. A little review of history shows that in the 7th hour of a long 8 hour day, the detox industry agenda of overrunning the residential neighborhoods with housing for addicts of one form or another was quietly revealed. The mayor, Ginny Dickey. One small group of citizens took note and began the fight. For nearly 18 months Dickey and the liberal council majority fought to allow this to happen to FH, finally acquiescing to the will of the people but with a watered down ordinance regulating the industry and somewhat protecting residents. Some say she gave in knowing the election was upcoming. Others say it was the issue which changed the majority on the council. It is history. Mayor Dickey and her two Democrat compatriots are the minority and they don't like it. But wait, they scream nonpartisan. Of course they do, that's what they do:
Not so nonpartisan as one can see. Social Prosperity Partners, supporters of Black Lives Matter, self professed Marxist organization with criminal inclinations (misappropriations of millions) one partner a former town manager of Scottsdale dismissed for questionable ethical activities, hired by Mayor Dickey to further her woke agenda in FH. BIRDS OF A FEATHER, FLOCK TOGETHER.
Click the picture to see the entire Social Prosperity Partners website and see where your $10K is going.
Well there definitely is a new "sheriff" in Town! In fact there are three of them. They are the recently elected and newly installed Fountain Hills Councilmembers . Their first Council meeting was Tuesday, January 4th and you can watch it on Channel 11, or the You Tube stream, (830) January 3, 2023 Town Council Meeting - YouTube , it's truly something to behold.
This new team comprised of Brenda Kalivianakis an attorney and successful business owner, Hannah Toth who brings a new generation of Fountain Hills citizens to the Council, and Allen Skillicorn a skilled, experienced former State Legislator from the mid west along with their "quarterback", the seasoned Councilman Gerry Friedel, of the banking industry, brought their A Game this past week. Frankly the most entertainment you can enjoy for FREE in Fountain Hills is attending the first and third Tuesday's 5:30 PM Council Meetings, sit in the front row so you can really enjoy the reactions on the faces as the Mayor and her two liberal members on the Council continue to see that it's no fun being in the minority.
Take this week's gathering. Skillicorn, skillfully (sorry it was just too tempting doing a play on words!) maneuvered the Agenda to his benefit, as well as the packed chamber of onlookers, and drove the Town's Rent An Attorney crazy with his parliamentary expertise moving the matter of reinstating an Invocation instead of a moment of silence to the top of the Agenda. Mayor Dickey had quietly replaced the Prayer with a moment of silence in her quest for equity, inclusiveness and not to offend a single living soul. She did this when luxuriating in her woke majority not bothering to get a Council vote on switching the Prayer for the Moment of Silence . Now I'm not interested in anyone's religious beliefs, that's personal, but replacing a Prayer with a Moment of Silence? Way different. A moment of silence is not communing with your higher power, praying for wisdom or asking for guidance. Nope, most observing the Moment of Silence are mentally reviewing their grocery list, wondering if they will get home in time to watch their favorite show, or dreaming of a beautiful glass of wine.
But as Tuesday letters the Mayor had rounded up from the Democrat Club and her fellow members over at the Liberal Ladies decrying the evil of prayer poured in, the call for Prayer vote was made and the score.....Prayer 4 Moment of Silence 3! That was just the beginning of the jam packed Agenda; approval for an upscale indoor shooting range, it too passed....the toxic topic of commercial detox ventures in residential neighborhoods was set for further review, and on and on the evening went as reality began to set in.
Fountain Hills has, well I should say HAD, a very onerous sign ordinance especially burdensome on small businesses. Within the Ordinance was a clearly unconstitutional restriction on political sign placement along major thoroughfares. It was aptly tagged the Mayor's Incumbent Protection Act. As an incumbent she had the advantage of name ID and exposure while her challenger was dramatically restricted where his signs could be placed. The ordinance was so convoluted it opened the door to selective enforcement. Dickey unleashed Town Code Enforcement to demand candidate signs be taken down, even removing them without notice, garage sale signs were snatched off corners and town businesses suffered. The majority Councilmembers fearlessly came to the rescue and voted to totally rescinded the Sign Ordinance. It was as if it were the 4th of July all over and a solid vote for Free Speech.
Frankly, Tuesday's meeting was just a warm up for the next couple of years, as the new Council commits to dismantling much of what had been implemented over the past few years of liberal leadership. Mayor Dickey rightfully must be uneasy as the calendar rolls by and she has to stand for reelection in 2024. Yes she is hearing footsteps behind her of those interested in taking her seat.
The only improvement in the entertaining evening at the Town Council meeting would be if popcorn and gummy bears were sold in the Town Hall's lobby!
Sometimes the left will tell you who they really are, if you're paying attention
The long cold winter of liberal rule at long last ended with the swearing in of 3 new conservative council members. In a brief but telling meeting to a packed house, remarks from the outgoing members, Magazine, Scharnow, and Spelich were followed by remarks from those remaining behind, McMahon, Dickey, and Grzybowski before swearing in the new council. Councilman Magazine who has been serving the town in one capacity or another for nearly two decades lead off with a respectful goodbye. Councilman Scharnow closed out his service with a quote from Teddy Roosevelt, long known for his "rugged American individualism". Councilman Spelich, campaigned on the massive MCSO contract fraud perpetrated on the town of FH during Penzone's tenure as sheriff and worked to uncover but unsuccessfully collect the large sum for FH the entirety of his 4 year term. Finance staff have reported the sum may exceed a million dollars. Spelich as well as Friedel have been stymied and marginalized for all 4 years by Mayor Dickey, a friend of Penzone , and the left wing Democrat majority on the council. With the help of town manager, Grady Miller, nothing ever became of the discovery. But Councilman Spelich delivered a parting gift to Mayor Dickey asking one last time that she collect the money owed to the town by MCSO and her friend Paul Penzone.
Then everyone was treated to an attack of the PAC, Reclaim Our Town, by Grzybowski proclaiming that leftists don't ruin towns, as the PAC signs read, rather," individualism ruins towns". Then the tears began to flow as she was overcome by emotion perhaps realizing that her dream of turning FH into a collective was over since a majority of conservative individuals had been elected replacing the lefties. The mayor shed a tear as well perhaps realizing that what goes around comes around as she completes her next two years on the receiving end of the marginalization that she and her left wing cabal had dished out to Spelich and Friedel.
And without delay, the mayor's greatest fears were confirmed as newly sworn in Councilman Skillicorn sat right down in David Spelich's seat, said hello, and made a motion to request that the invocation be brought back and the discriminatory sign ordinance be placed on the January agenda for review. Just like that, the door was shown to the left to end 2022. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and the Happiest of New Year.
Dori Wittrig, founding member of the Fountain Hills Leadership Academy, welcomed the 6th such class having been founded in 2016. FHLA, as it is known, is ultimately a good idea and excellent teaching tool for citizens to get involved in town affairs and occupy seats on commissions, committees, and even the town government. Absent any politics, FHLA would be a real asset for the town. Unfortunately, FHLA was infiltrated by one of the most partisan councilmembers, Peggy McMahon, as she became the Chair of Admissions. True to her form, she began a policy of rejecting conservative applicants. More on that in a moment.
Nonpartisan is a word most used by the Democrats when they want to distract from the truth. Case in point is the most recent FH town elections where 4 candidates ran openly as conservatives in order to regain control of the council from the liberals. The mayor and her handpicked candidate ran as nonpartisan and moderate. The Alternative uncovered and made available radical and damning social media posts from candidate Couture, reported on the mayor leading a BLM march in town, which ultimately defeated Couture while Dickey barely beat Arpaio for mayor with a conservative majority having been restored. This means the mayor, McMahon, and Grzybowski, all Democrats, are marginalized for at least 2 years when it comes to the town agenda just as Republicans have been for the last 4.
This reporter has taken a look at this academy and their choice for candidates and has uncovered some interesting information. It has been revealed that Democrat Peggy McMahon campaigned harder to become chair of admissions committee than she did for her council seat. In so doing she had considerable influence over just who gets in and who doesn’t. Initially 4, yes 4 conservative candidates, were rejected and received notifications to that effect. Clearly political bias was in play, why? Probably to stack and pack this class with people that the Democrats could promote to future boards. commissions, council or even the mayor’s seat. Under the leadership of current Chairman and President, Larry Cole, and founder Dori Wittrig, there appears to be discrimination against conservatives applying for the program. Of course, this would be the logical outcome when having a person of McMahon's persuasion as the Chair of Admissions. To the credit of the 4 rejected conservatives, they were not silent on this and were eventually accepted for admission. On the opening night of introducing the new class cofounder Dori Wittrig made a statement about how no political bias would be accepted or allowed in these classes. This vocalization from the 4 apparently prompted Wittrig to declare that the Academy is a "politics free zone". This reporters experience has been that if something has to be denied, it is usually taking place, leaving Wittrig's statement somewhat in question.
This encounter begs the question then, how long has this been going on at FHLA since it is a relatively young organization? From inception? Without profiling everyone, the Alternative dug up the list of all the graduates of the Academy since 2016 and found quite a list of notable lefties. It includes the likes of Clayton Corey (2016, current P&Z commissioner chosen by mayor Dickey a Liberal Lady, LD3 Democrat Precinct committee person herself), Cynthia Magazine (2017, founder of the Liberal Ladies organization), Amy Arnold (2017, Liberal Lady and infamous left-wing lunatic on social media), Sharon Grzybowski (2019, Liberal Lady, LD3 Democrat Precinct committee, current councilwoman), Peggy McMahon (2020, Liberal Lady, Democrat Club Secretary, current councilwoman). Another question would be, why would Peggy McMahon be chosen as the Admissions Chair if the intent was not to stack and pack the town government, commissions, boards and committees with left leaning individuals?
Our information revealed that there is to be a review of all applicants by the entire current class. Under McMahon they would not disclose who is reviewing the applications and what the qualifications are. Case in point, why would a decades long volunteer and supporter of FH conservative Republican Woman of the Hills, Gina Waldo, be rejected in favor of Rory Wilson, expecting to graduate ASU in public service and policy along with sociology? The Alternative would like to see what criteria are used to determine who makes the cut. Come clean come with transparency to the table.
Back to McMahon as Chair of Admissions. Accused by one of the rejected applicants, incoming councilwoman Toth, of ethics violations along with councilman Magazine when the two of them bullied a local business for allowing hers and another council candidates signature sheets to be made available at their counter. Formal complaints were filed and while the reviewing attorney found Magazine guilty on 3 counts, he determined that while McMahon's offense did not rise to the level of Magazines guilty findings, she certainly acted inappropriately as a sitting councilwoman. The Alternative has previously reported on this, and the article can be found in the archives. The alternative has had reporters witness her walking out on citizens she disagrees with at council meetings and continues to this day to put her head down and refuse to listen to a host of citizens who speak in opposition to her positions. This is obviously an arrogant and disrespectful woman who should not be near any leadership position, let alone Chair of Admissions. It was reported by another Republican Woman of the Hills that McMahon confronted conservatives at the "Know Your Government Class" saying, "You were not invited." Of course, Dickey, Grzybowski, Magazine and Scharnow were all invited dispelling all myth about nonpartisanship. They stayed for the meeting of course, as was their right.
The Alternative will be keeping a close watch over this group going forward.
In a long and on the surface, mostly boring September 6th council meeting, a common theme emerged. Toiling well into the night in a meeting that ended 4+ hours after beginning to a room void of Fountain Hills residents, it ended right where it began, with the mayor clinging to what is left of her control before a more conservative council is seated at the end of the year. In one evening, all her campaign claims were exposed as false regardless of her slim 200 vote mayoral victory.
The meeting began with what Dickey does so well, present awards, recognitions, and issue proclamations. She also excels at ribbon cutting. Next up, the economic development director's report where from the dais for the first time ever, outgoing conservative Councilman Spelich pressed Director Jacobs on recruiting a core light industry from a tax burdened state to set up shop in town. His list of suggestions was extensive but apparently not extensive enough for the mayor as she added her favorite, wellness, "and of course healthcare and the hospital and such". What hospital? Surely, she is not clinging to the idea of the publicly hated detox hospital. Or is she? There is no other standard hospital that would ever come here with Mayo right over the hill and Honor Shea 9 miles away and our population base so small. Tell #1 from Mayor Dickey.
On to the regular agenda which was a large list of expenditures necessary for needs. Millions of dollars.
(552) September 6, 2022, Town Council Meeting - YouTube . 1:42:00 into the recording is where the mayor begins her sales pitch. But first, the presentation by Justin Weldy, Public Works Director. The alternative assesses that no one else would put their name on this ridiculous recommendation for approval so Grady Miller pushed it past John Wesley down to Justin Weldy. The alternative cannot confirm this but several things in the report seem to indicate this to be true. In all fairness to Grady Miller, town manager, this abomination probably originated in the mayor's office. Agenda - View Meetings (destinyhosted.com) The Alternative encourages readers to click the link supplied here to read this truly idiotic waste of town money pushed by the mayor and her liberal followers. How do we know she is behind this lunacy? Climate impact is in the report. Here is a brief review and short rebuttal by the citizens who called out the craziness.
Items 1-6 reveal a complete fallacy. Why would cars not stopping be safer than cars that have to stop? Cars that are stopped are certainly calmer than cars moving around a roundabout. Pedestrians and handicapped individuals are safer crossing the area when cars are stopped as opposed to moving vehicles around a roundabout. The same is true for bicycles and what is safer for drivers than a stop sign. Then the item of traffic flow. Bart Shea, Park Place developer revealed a traffic study required by FH for the park Place development which he has provided to the town long ago, with updates, that the town manager failed to reveal to the council which shows that there is not enough traffic on the busiest day of the year to warrant a roundabout. Whoops! Item 7, what construction? This town council just for all intents and purposes cancelled the Park Place construction agreement and now is being sued by Shea. And last but not least on the ridiculous list, climate impact. Incoming councilwoman Kalavianakis put that absurdity to rest with an apt analogy to the impact of changing to a roundabout being equated with a nanoparticle.
What's the takeaway from all of this? The mayor and her liberal followers have not given up on this waste of money. The PAC, ROT, was correct pointing to this during the campaign and was called liars and mean. This council majority cannot go away fast enough to save us all from the usual liberal destruction here in Fountain Hills. In the mayor's words, this is postponed but not for too long. It will be back in November hoping to pass this farce before an incoming conservative majority is seated and kills it for good. You cannot make this stuff up.
Read the article and laugh unless you are who Rod Serling is talking about. It's just another reason to abandon the mainstream media and newspapers throughout the US. But first a little history for those who are new to Arizona. "Pulliam, who bought the two Gazettes as well as the Republic, ran all three newspapers until his death in 1975 at the age of 86. A strong period of growth came under Pulliam, who imprinted the newspaper with his conservative brand of politics and his drive for civic leadership. Pulliam was considered one of the influential business leaders who created the modern Phoenix area as it is known today." Keywords: conservative, leadership, influential.
Now owned by Gannett. "In local elections, it endorsed in recent years Democratic candidates such as former Arizona Governor, former Secretary of Homeland Security, and now President of the University of California Janet Napolitano; and former Arizona Congressman Harry Mitchell.
On September 27, 2016, the paper endorsed Hillary Clinton for the 2016 presidential election, marking the first time in the paper's 126-year history that it had endorsed a Democratic candidate for president. Previously, the paper had only withheld its endorsement from a Republican nominee/candidate twice in its history." Declining circulation, credibility, profitability, and content. Now that you know who they were, and who they are now, YOU KNOW WHY THEY WROTE WHAT THEY WROTE ABOUT THE RACE IN FOUNTAIN HILLS.
After interviewing a single conservative candidate, a select few conservative PAC members, lumping multiple PAC fundings together and getting all that wrong with misquotes from interviews, the candidate forum itself, and false numbers, they then interview the single candidate on the Democratic side that absolutely lied to the public about her beliefs, then reprinted her lies while making her a victim. Sprinkle in a few town staff stooges acting as the mouthpiece for the mayor, falsifying budget numbers and legal precedent and you have exactly what you expect from the AZ Republic and why no one serious reads it.
Journalist (term used loosely, you'll soon see why), Sam Kmack of the AZ Republic created a misleading headline and then missed the entire central core of the article, what was supposed to be nonpartisan, while calling the election "Dirty".
With that, the Alternative fact checked random pieces of the so-called nonpartisan Fountain Hills election campaign. and found at its very core to be partisan to the extreme and that the "Issues PAC", ROT was in fact issues oriented with verifiable numbers obtained from the town financial sources, MCSO crime stats and elsewhere. Four conservative candidates ran as conservatives, telling everyone who would listen to vote for them because they would govern as a conservative. On the other side of the coin, Ms. Couture scrubbed her Facebook page so no one would know her radical left-wing beliefs. The Alternative uncovered this months ago and reported on it in the April 23rd edition which can be viewed again under the articles tab.
This is the last breath The Alternative is going to spend on this lunacy. Slanting left can be done by leaving facts out as well as misquoting. So, without belaboring the point here are a couple of highlights:
The cameras were not pointed at the back of the room where the Couture supporters had all moved to but a little investigation into eye-witness accounts reveal the truth of who cleared the room. Over what? The truth of course. The Alternative reached out to Meyers, and he pointed out that he had provided Kmack with verifiable information on partisanship and that it was never printed:
Meyers also gave kudos to the Times who ran all of the "Dirty" ads saying that paper fact checked every word and message that was printed verifying truth. Consider this the correction to the rag. Understand that "Dirty" is used by the left to describe the process of exposing the truth. Know who is dividing this town and the country in general, beginning with Obama, Democrats. Finally, know that Democrats cannot win elections without hiding who they really are. The sin is not being who you are, the sin is in hiding who you are in order to deceive the electorate. On full display during the 2022 Fountain Hills elections. And that's the final word, January cannot come soon enough.
Current Mayor Dickey barely beat Joe Arpaio for the seat, 5420 to 5207, a margin of 213 votes. However, the council has taken a decidedly conservative turn with victories by Toth, Kalivianakis and Skillicorn, who eked out a victory by 44 votes over the far-left candidate, Couture. The PAC, Reclaim Our Town as well as The Alternative, exposed Couture from day one as her social media posts indicated her communist mindset. The mayor, councilwomen McMahon and Grzybowski, along with Couture are all Democrats and members of the Liberal Ladies. Remember that Allen Magazine, two-time ethics violator was her campaign manager, and his wife is the founder of the group.
Liberal Ladies organized a letter writing campaign to the other town publication with left wing supporters continually attacking both Joe and Skillicorn, while at the same time whining about truthful representations by the Reclaim Our Town PAC exposing the very nature of this group's intent and characterizing ROT's publication as unjust attacks. You can always count on lefties to be victims. These attacks by the left on Joe and Skillicorn were probably the reason for Joe's defeat and Skillicorn's narrow victory. Perhaps ROT's relentless exposure of Couture's true nature led to her downfall.
It appears that the election will not stop the left as before Councilwoman Elect Toth even takes office, the attacks have begun. The left will stop at nothing. We don't normally print material from the other publication but felt this necessary from a Jason Bolton letter entitled Ethics. "For a new Council member, Hanna Toth, to join the Chamber of Commerce is a conflict of interest. I call on her to do the right thing and resign. The Chamber's primary function is to lobby the Council on behalf of the town's businesses. Perhaps an investigation should be done into her ethics or lack thereof." This was published before the election results were even declared final and of course printed by the other publication. We know that if Ms. Toth resigned, who would be appointing the new councilperson? Of course, Mayor Dickey. And who would she appoint? You guessed it, Cindy Couture, once again flipping the council back to the left. This is a much-used tactic by this group. Toth was just trying to get a job and earn a living. The job she took was "event planner" and had nothing to do with lobbying the council. This same group has organized boycotts of FH businesses owned by conservatives as well as trying to have a FH resident who teaches in the SUSD fired for his conservative approach. The Alternative would like to hear from Bolton, with a picture of course, as our research reveals he is not a registered voter in the FH legislative district which indicates he may not be a real person but just another liberal lady phantom.
As is always the case, the left is never a gracious loser, and this reporter expects this is just the beginning. That's how they roll. Fountain Hills residents will have to wait until 2023 to judge the new councilmembers but losers of this election have already judged, and the smear campaign is in full swing.
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