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Mayor Overstepping His Authority?

Does Wickenburg’s Mayor have the authority to reject a properly submitted referendum because the attachment was made with a staple rather than a paper clip?

This is the big question on the minds of many Wickenburg residents these days as word of the Mayor’s most recent unpopular decision spreads throughout town.

The referendum is another attempt by town voters to stop construction of high density housing at the Wickenburg Country Club. This is almost the same issue that went to vote in Proposition 421 back in 2004. (Read commentary about the proposition in “The Reality behind Proposition 421.”) The fight got ugly, with lots of nasty comments about the opponents — I actually heard a proponent of the proposition accuse an opponent of being a child molester — certainly a slanderous statement! Vote No posters disappeared nightly until I wrote “Politics in Wickenburg Gets Dirty in a Childish Way.”

But the voters spoke with their votes in a true democratic way — and they voted down the proposition (read “Prop 421 Fails — Now Let’s Get Down to Business“). The high density housing project would be rejected.

But only for a while, it seems. As the recent article, “Do Wickenburg Voters Votes Count?” summarizes, the Mayor and Town Council recently approved, without voter input, a similar project on the same site. So although voters said they didn’t want the project, the Town Council approved it. Now we have a bigger problem in Wickenburg — the failure of the Mayor and Council to act in accordance with voter wishes — the same voters that put them in their positions.

Well, Wickenburg voters aren’t giving up. Another referendum was put together with the necessary voter signatures. It was submitted to the Town Clerk, who received it before the deadline.

But when the referendum was examined before approval, it was noted that an attachment had been made with a staple rather than a paper clip — just as it had been for the original referrendum for Prop 421. The Mayor instructed the Town Clerk not to accept it.

So that’s the question: Does Wickenburg’s Mayor have the authority to reject a properly submitted referrendum because the attachment was made with a staple rather than a paper clip?

Correction: The Mayor now claims that although the form instructions say the description must be “attached” it really needs to be “inserted” on the form. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough room to insert a 100-word statement on the form without it becoming illegible. So you can stop sending paper clips.

Last 5 posts by Maria Langer

10 comments to Mayor Overstepping His Authority?

  • Tom Fucili

    That’s a pretty arrogant way to conduct town business!! I think every voter should send the Honorable(?)Mayor a box of paper clips!!

  • I’m all for that idea.

    Anyone wanting to send the Mayor some paper clips should send them to:

    Mayor Ron Badowski
    Wickenburg Town Hall
    155 N. Tegner, Suite A
    Wickenburg, AZ 85390

    I figure you can get about 40 standard sized paper clips in an envelope and mail it for the current 1-oz First Class rate of 39 cents.

    Or just go to Town Hall and drop off a box or two for the Mayor.

  • You townspeople need to get a lawyer & force this mayor to resign. He is an arrogant SOB, & I’m wondering if this mayor is getting payoffs from the developers.

    Your mayor will never listen to the people of Wickenburg, he has proven this twice. Do you need a third time (or more)? It is obvious he cannot be worked with, so get rid of him. Why wait?

  • Ron Badowski-Mayor

    Hi boys & girls: Someone is giving you some very incorrect iformation. Paper clips & staples have nothing to do with the referendum problem. The AZ State Statute specifically demands that the 100 word or less explanation be inserted(ie:typed or written) on the face of the petition. The Legislature was concerned about possible fraud if an explanation was attached and then replaced with a different version before it was turned in. Look up the Statute. You will see I’m telling you the truth.
    I’d also like to comment on your incorrect belief that I supported the BBB tax of 3.5%.
    I spoke strongly against it and voted no. I also argued against any addtl sales tax that is being proposed. I ask at each year’s budget worksession to eliminate the homeowners property taxes as I promised when I ran for office. I could certainly use some support on the Council. Why don’t you find a few people to run for the Fall election who support those goals? We won’t agree on the Country Club density issues but we probably would on many others. I hope you have the courage to print my response. Ron (the SOB as you so lovingly call me)

  • Tom Fucili

    Thank you for your response. Sunlight, as they say, is the best anti-septic.

    As a potential resident, though, how does council propose to preserve the small town charm, and laid back lifestyle that people value so dearly? It has been my experience,here in the People’s Republic of New Jersey,that once you disregard the general plan and allow ONE developer in,the flood gates are opened in perpetuity, and the rural beauty will be decimated by shopping malls and tract developments full of people with ZERO regard for anything except that it costs less than where they came from. This then leads to the vicious cycle of schools/infrastructure/services=TAXES+TAXES+TAXES+TAXES. How do you propose to avoid this cycle?


  • Michael Chilingerian

    “Follow the money”

    We all know that the town wants to increase its revenue base. But overruling Proposition 421 which the residents already voted on and then overruling the current referendum seems pretty extreme.

    I was wondering, since town residents have said no to the high density housing not once but twice why the town has not focused on doing something that I’m sure the residents would appreciate like developing a strong retail or commercial sector for the town. Make Wickenburg a destination. There are towns that do not have big box stores that are a destination. There are a dozen towns in the vicinity of Wickenburg whose residents would add to the town’s revenues. Bring commercial business into town, like a call center, adding business to the town would be great for the tax base for the town.

    Mr. Mayor could please explain why we need to have this high density housing development? I think the residents of Wickenburg deserve an explanation.

  • Destiny

    Now I wouldn’t stoop to callin’ anyone a SOB. However, Mr. Buddinski has always reminded me of the villain from the old westerns. He wears his white hat in disguise.

    Watch him closely and never let him feel as if he is trusted. Trust and respect is what Mr. Buddinski craves, yet does not deserve. All this fact finding really gets under his skin.

    More vittles for ponderin’…

    This cowgirl wonders how much Mr. Buddinski’s daughter stands to profit from peddling mortgages to new property owners at the new Wickenburg Ant Hill…er Country Club.

    Y’all take care now. Watch yer backs. Ol’ Buddinski’s a serpent.

  • Joe

    I get a picture in my mind of Snidely Whiplash from the old Dudley Do-Right cartoon.

  • Tom Fucili

    Michael’s got it right. The only way to positive tax revenue growth is diligently working toward attracting business and industry. It is important to note that this does not include mega-malls and big-box retailers which are parasitic. Make the most of the industrial park. Capitalize on the fact that you have a nice airport in town. You don’t need a degree in municipal planning to know that residential development is a negative tax generator when all costs are considered. Been there, done that…trying to leave it behind.

  • To Wondering: It appears the mayor took great offense to you calling him an S.O.B. here. He mentioned it at least three times during last night’s council meeting. He also appears to think that this Web site exists to bash the council. Just shows you the limits of his ability to see the truth when it’s right in front of his face.