Webmaster Note: We’re reprinting this letter to the editor by Jim Ferman as a service to the community, particularly for those residents and visitors who do not read The Wickenburg Sun, where it originally appeared. This reprint is with the permission of the author. – Maria
This letter is in response to Councilman John Zerby’s Feb. 28th letter to the editor, in which he states that none of the “Loud Minority” was in attendance at the recent Town Council Retreat. I, for one, was out of town working and was unable to attend. Of all people, Mr. Zerby should understand what work-related conflict is about as he has the highest rate of absenteeism of any councilman at recent council meetings.
Even if I had been able to attend this retreat, what would have spurred my interest enough to do so, when our Town Council has demonstrated a dismal record of completely ignoring citizen input which conflicts with their ideas? There have been a number of concerned individuals who have taken the time and effort to address both Planning and Zoning and Town Council. From the start though, their ability to stand up and speak has been severely throttled by a prominent clock ticking away in front of them. After a severed input, they return home even more disillusioned by unanimous votes proving their attendance and participation was just a waste of time.
Then, when a citizen has dared to challenge the council vote by approaching the town staff with the intention of filing a referendum, they have received assistance and advice which subsequently proves to be technically incorrect. Even worse, the town’s attorney (whose salary is paid for through our taxes) repeatedly picks these referendums apart, getting them thrown out on inconsequential, very minor technicalities. Who has the town supported here — their citizens or the developers? The citizens who do venture out and dedicate a large amount of time collecting signatures, are left feeling completely frustrated as well. At no time has the council, elected to represent these citizens, come back and tried to help by readdressing any of these issues.
Mr. Zerby also noted that some developers were in attendance. These are individuals who contributed to the campaigns of several presently seated council members, and who are now attempting to change the rules which would allow expedited handling of any future development requests. Why wouldn’t they be there?
In the recent fall election, voters supported (through almost 50% of their vote) candidates and ideas that should be listened to. Irresponsible development, threatening Wickenburg’s character, was noted as one of the most pressing issues of voter concern. Every council vote dealing with development in the last few years has sidestepped this electorate concern, and has been completely unanimous in support of the developers. This biased track record sadly leaves no reasonable expectation of change, severely threatening the critical checks and balances of public participation.
Our citizens should indeed be proactive, and they will be. But the town council and mayor first need a stern reminder of their public vows made during the election process, about who they proclaim to represent, and in fact do represent-the town’s citizens. It is their civic responsibility, and the only means to true growth in our community!
Last 5 posts by Jim Ferman
- Sun Continues to Edit Letters to Editor to Suit its Candidate's Needs - October 17th, 2008
- Concern about September 2 Elections - August 25th, 2008
- Citizen Concerned about Hermosa Ranch Safety and Liability - January 12th, 2007
- Candidate Harassment Part of Wickenburg's Political Process - October 30th, 2006
- Thanks for Voting...but You're Not Done Yet - September 29th, 2006