I am very concerned about the Sept. 2nd Wickenburg Town Council and Mayoral election. I am concerned that my fellow citizens will avoid becoming involved in this very important contest.
I firmly believe that a strong Chamber of Commerce is not only beneficial to Wickenburg, but is very important to the careful future expansion of our town. But, when is the Chamber doing its job and when is it overly extending its boundaries and becoming too controlling? The Chamber has been way too involved in this election, in my humble opinion.
The Chamber receives a very healthy amount of money from the town through BBB Tax money which is diverted to them. Before the Candidate’s Forum, Julie Brooks, the Executive Director of the Chamber, was asked if the Chamber was going to again support certain candidates as they did in the election two years ago. Her answer, according to reliable sources, was “No, we’re not into politics.” I believe, as a direct result from answers the candidates gave at the forum, the Chamber used this forum as a way to canvass and choose who they wanted to support. Within the same week, the Chamber sent out a flyer demonstrating their support to Mayor Badowski, Darrell Stadel John Cook and Rui Pereira to all the Chamber members. Who paid for this flyer? I am very concerned that the chamber is funneling money received from the town to support political candidates of their choosing. It may not be legally wrong, but is it ethically acceptable for them to do so? Is this an appropriate way for them to utilize the money given to them?
It is my opinion that we need to elect some people who have no connection whatsoever to the Chamber. We already have 3 members closely aligned with the Chamber (Kristi Henson, Secretary of the Chamber, Ron Badowski- Ex-officio Director of the Chamber & Scott Stewart- who sat on the Board of Directors in recent years) and who have voted to support funding to their organization and who have been quite vocal and supportive of it. There is the potential now to have 4 or more of the 7 members of Council having very close ties to the chamber ( Candidate Rui Pereira is married to a former president of the Board of Directors).
The Wickenburg Sun has been very open in its support of Mr. Pereira and Mayor Badowski. Any attempt to balance out the support of other candidates through Letters to the Editor have been effectively stopped by the policies of Kevin Cloe, the publisher. Is it any wonder that Mr. Cloe is also on the Board of Directors of the Chamber?
I believe we need to have more members of the Council seated who represent the interests of the majority of our citizens, not just the interests of a single organization.
I was blessed to have received the support of many of my fellow citizens in the last election. I am asking that the people who supported me 2 years ago consider voting for Scott Colbath and Tim Zoebel for Council and Kelly Blunt for Mayor. We need an injection of fresh faces and new ideas on the Council that will dictate the future of our town.
Last 5 posts by Jim Ferman
- Sun Continues to Edit Letters to Editor to Suit its Candidate's Needs - October 17th, 2008
- Town Council Retreat an Excercise in Futility for Townspeople? - March 21st, 2007
- 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