It's an election year and so statistics on crime and homeless population create an opportunity for some and a need to defend for others. This is true at any level of politics. This leaves the door open for manipulation of the numbers. It's done by both sides of the isle, but Democrats have perfected the technique. Case in point on a national level is the Biden administration changing the way inflation numbers are calculated and the definition of a recession. Everyone can see with their wallet that inflation is running hotter that 9% but yet that is what is reported. Recessions have been defined forever as two consecutive quarters of negative growth, something happening right now. Not anymore.
Here in Fountain Hills, it's no different. Our local incumbent democrat mayor, Dickey, has done a marvelous job of fudging the numbers on crime and homelessness to enhance her chances of being reelected. She got a head start on this process when the town paid a consultant to survey residents on critical issues. Key word here is PAID. This consultant received $20K to tell the council what they wanted to hear and of course for Dickey to use later in a mailing to get reelected. Add to this the fact that the mayor directs the town manager, and the town manager has spending power up to $50K without a public process. You see where this is going. Using a very small sample size, and without demonstrating who and where the questions were asked, they came up with 97.6% of residents feel very safe in their neighborhoods during the day and 91.3% at night. The question to ask is where were these samples taken? The front part of Fountain Hills? The back? Around the shopping districts? Further examination begs the question, what would motivate a consultant to tell the hand that fed them bad news? In all fairness to the consultant, they did find that most residents gave the town low grades for transparency. That statistic, however, went largely unnoticed and underreported. Does any of this surprise you?
So where are the detox houses and homeless concentrated? Answer, at the front part of Fountain Hills, out closer to Shea Blvd. Detox brings drugs which bring crime to buy drugs. Homeless bring crime to buy drugs, alcohol and food. The Alternative doubted that this area was surveyed in proportion, so we did our own. People in this section of FH overwhelmingly felt less safe, day or night, especially around the residential detox houses where MCSO has responded to assault, theft, criminal damage, unwanted guest, welfare check (possible overdose) as well as multiple thefts from garages. There have been 3 break-ins on Kingstree alone since July 1.
This section of FH also contains the highest numbers of homeless and transients. This population also increases incidence of crime and causes feelings of being less safe. The MCSO captain makes periodic reports to council and every report indicates an increase in smash and grabs in the shopping areas.
With the voting nearing the finish line, August 3rd, The Alternative is asking all FH residents to consider whether solutions to the issue might be a better direction for the town than denying the problem by fudging the numbers. Everyone has the right to feel safe and it is the primary job of public officials, nationally and locally.
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.
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.
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.
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.