This year, once again, I’m urging Wickenburg residents to come out and vote…for a change.
As many people who know me well understand, I’ve had a love-hate relationship with Wickenburg for many years. It’s bothered me that the petty politics of the good old boys (and girls) takes precedence over decisions that can benefit the town. The question these people face on a daily basis is: Why do the right thing when you can make a decision that’ll put money in the pockets of your political cronies or family members? In my opinion, these people pick the wrong answer. But they’re not in local politics to help the people. They’re in it for their own agendas.
But after years of fighting for what’s right and often being the only one who seems to care enough to fight for it, I’ve decided to step back and let Wickenburg reap what it sows.
If you want a mayor who voted in favor of a housing development in land clearly zoned for public trails/connectors that his daughter and son-in-law own 5-6% of, by all means, keep voting for him. If anyone in the town really cared, they would have taken steps to bring him to justice for that blatant conflict of interest — rather than letting him get away with a re-vote on the development issue. The fact that he won a recall election against a woman in her eighties by such a slim margin should say something about him. I guess what it says is that he’s got more friends willing to come to the polls on election day.
And sure — it’s easier for the Mayor and Council and Chamber of Commerce to promote annexation and residential development as a way to raise tax revenues than to attract businesses and employers. Getting new businesses to town is hard work! It means working with them, compromising, offering them incentives to bring jobs to town. But aren’t businesses and jobs overrated? We can always drive down to Surprise to shop and eat in restaurants there. And who needs a job?
Wickenburg’s a top retirement place, right? That’s the ticket. Get ’em in from the midwest for half the year. They won’t spend much money in town while they’re here, but they’ll keep the 55-and-older trailer parks hopping from December through March.
After all, do we really want young people with families to move into town? Obviously not — we vote down school bonds regularly. (Retirees don’t care about education.) But if there were more employers and good jobs in town, more young people with families to support might move in. That might increase our property values and help more new businesses to survive. But we don’t want that, do we?
No, we want more development, more houses to sell! That’s why so many of our townspeople have gone into real estate as a profession. There are more Realtors per capita in Wickenburg than any town I know. Hair dressers, receptionists, UPS drivers — they’ve all become Realtors! There are certainly enough houses for sale in town to go around. Too bad there aren’t enough buyers.
And what about that highway they’re putting right next to the town! Good stuff, huh? Pity about the Community Center’s parking lot. But we want the drive through traffic to keep driving through town, right? After all, if they can negotiate the roundabout without taking out too many Buicks from Minnesota, they might just stop in and buy a Coke at the Circle-K. That’s revenue for the town, right? Good thing the Mayor and Chamber of Commerce fought so hard to keep the “bypass” in town for us. We’d sure miss that traffic and noise.
Or maybe the truth is this: The majority of Wickenburg’s voters simply don’t care about the future of the town enough to get involved and help make a change.
Prove me wrong. Vote for a change.
As for me, I really don’t care anymore. My business and future lies elsewhere.