And How Anthem's Grass Slayer is Trying to Redeem Himself
It's election season again in Anthem, this time for seats on the Anthem Community Council. In case you were wondering how ACC Board President and Deacon Of St. Rose's Church Bill Clower wants you to vote, he sent the following email:
----- Original Message -----
From: William Clower <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Adeline Driscoll <mailto:email@example.com> ; Alanna Bush <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> ; alex navarro <mailto:email@example.com> ; Amy Newby <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> ; Angie McGinn <mailto:email@example.com> ; Annette Dobbins <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> ; Jack and Jody <mailto:email@example.com> ; Joan & Charlie Anson <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> ; Joseph A. Boni <mailto:email@example.com> ; karen angleo <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> ; Karen Adler <mailto:email@example.com> ; Meena Pandya <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> ; Mary Gilstrap <mailto:email@example.com> ; MaryAnn Ahmann <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> ; William (Mike) and Dianna Bloom <mailto:email@example.com> ; russell and jessica holmes <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> ; Bob Copen <mailto:email@example.com> ; Kristen Buckel <mailto:Bxxxxy@yahoo.com> ; Patrick Brutto <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> ; Ted Baird <mailto:email@example.com> ; Sarah Badalamenti <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> ; Rick Beichler <mailto:email@example.com> ; cathy devine <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> ; terri cline <mailto:email@example.com> ; chad ellis <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> ; chad ellis <mailto:email@example.com> ; Chris Flood <mailto:DxxxxN@aol.com> ; D FLEMING <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> ; Danielle Hartigan <mailto:email@example.com> ; denise maas <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> ; Michael DeMore <mailto:email@example.com> ; Maura dean <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> ; kevin driscoll <mailto:Kxxxxl@swifttrans.com> ; Jon DeMore <mailto:email@example.com> ; Mark Diment <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> ; Jill Ellis <mailto:email@example.com> ; Jackson Fonder <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> ; Mary Friedrich <mailto:email@example.com> ; Scott Foreman <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> ; Ron French <mailto:email@example.com> ; Gary Boll <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> ; Tom Riley <mailto:email@example.com> ; Mike Scheuring <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> ; Carl Hoffman <mailto:email@example.com> ; Cindy Howard <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> ; Heather <mailto:email@example.com> ; Maher H <mailto:Uxxxxp@eqwest.net> ; russell and jessica holmes <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> ; Monica (home) Karanik <mailto:email@example.com> ; Jamie Nollette <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> ; Jeff Howard <mailto:email@example.com> ; John Carter - Ryan Companies <mailto:Jxxxxr@RyanCompanies.com> ; Vicky R. Jensen <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> ; vickey jensen <mailto:Vxxxxn@sagepeaks.com> ; tom johnson <mailto:email@example.com> ; Marie Jackson <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> ; Donna Komos <mailto:email@example.com> ; Karen O\'shaugnhessy <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> ; kristen Kristen rensmeyer <mailto:email@example.com> ; Steve Komos <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> ; Jill Linden <mailto:email@example.com> ; Lisa Nicholson <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> ; Liz Quinn <mailto:email@example.com> ; Marti Haney <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> ; Nancy Regan <mailto:Nxxxx4@aol.com> ; Nick & Tessie Bello <mailto:email@example.com> ; Mike O\'Shaughnessy <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> ; Rebecca Okray-Murphy <mailto:email@example.com> ; firstname.lastname@example.org; pat ferreira <mailto:email@example.com> ; Scott Quinn <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> ; Diann Muzyka <mailto:email@example.com> ; Lucy Salazar <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> ; Shannon Murphy <mailto:email@example.com> ; sherri michaelson <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> ; Shawn Masterson <mailto:email@example.com> ; Susan Mule <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> ; Steve Komos <mailto:email@example.com> ; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; Carol Stelter & Tracey Miriam <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> ; carol stelter <mailto:email@example.com> ; Terry McGrew <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> ; Tess Mansano <mailto:email@example.com> ; Tess Manzano <mailto:Txxxxs@cox.net> ; alan Villandre <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> ; David J. Weiler <mailto:dxxxxr@ProtectionOne.com> ; Donna & Jim Winkleman <mailto:email@example.com> ; Jill Weiler <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> ; Webers <mailto:email@example.com> ; Janet Zeek <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> ; Formation <mailto:email@example.com> ; Katie Smith <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> ; Fr. John Coleman <mailto:email@example.com> ; Scott Foreman <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> ; mark harrington <mailto:email@example.com> ; Robert Hoopes <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> ; Tom Riley <mailto:email@example.com> ; Scott Smith <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> ; Sherman Smith <mailto:email@example.com> ; Fr. Pawel <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> ; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Sent: Monday, February 22, 2010 11:25 AM
Subject: Council election
All Parkside property owners received a ballot for the current Anthem Community Council election, within the last couple of days. Roxanna and I have voted for Randy Schmille and encourage you to do the same.
Randy has been deeply involved for many years with Anthem on the Parkside HOA Board, its committees, and on ACC committees. Randy knows how Anthem works and has done the hard work needed to prepare himself for this leadership position. Randy has demonstrated that he leads by non-combative consensus building.
Randy has been completely positive in all his service to Anthem, and throughout his campaign. Randy's platform calls for improving and the building up of Anthem, while keeping cost contained. Last year, Randy found a way to improve Parkside maintenance, while cutting cost by well over $50,000.
Randy's past effective hard work to support the families, churches, schools, children, seniors and amenities of Anthem proves he is the right person to now be elected to the Anthem Community Council.
Please vote for Randy Schmille and ask your neighbors and friends to do the same. Thank you.
We don't object to President Clower endorsing a candidate--it's a politician's prerogative to make endorsements. But this letter goes far beyond simply a public statement by Clower in his role as president. For one, it's addressed to Karen Angelo, the editor of the ACC's Freedom Way magazine. So President Clower is telling his own employee and the producer of the ACC's main communication organ which candidate she should support. Ms. Angelo recently came under some deserved criticism for telling the Arizona Republic that Donna Gloshen was the only candidate for the ACC board, which the Republic ran as a story. If that was truly an honest mistake, you would think that President Clower would try to prove it by being a little more scrupulous about not informing Ms. Angelo who the board-approved Parkside candidate is.
But that's not the worst of it. Included in the list of addressees are virtually everyone holding a leadership position at one of Anthem's churches. Clower isn't speaking to them as President Clower, he's speaking to them as Deacon Clower. And that isn't right.
Not only does sending a message to his church colleagues make the tacit argument that Randy Schmille is somehow the Christian choice, but when added to Deacon Clower's recent activities with the ACC, it greatly devalues your vote as an Anthem resident. A few months ago, Clower's ACC removed the board seat reserved for a representative of Anthem's business community. That means that owners of commercial or other non-residential land now vote to fill the same Parkside seat that the homeowners vote for. But non-residential landholders get a disproportionate number of votes, based on the size of their lots. And nobody holds as much non-residential land in this town as the churches do (even WalMart, who we wouldn't expect to vote anyway, has less land than St. Rose).
Clower isn't speaking to churchgoers, mind you, which would be fine. He's speaking to the various church leaders, who personally control a bunch of votes and get to dump them all on Schmille. Here's how many each church gets (all of them are represented in Clower's email). Note that the recent HOA board election received about 700 votes in total.
St. Rose 37 votes
Cross of Christ 17 votes
Canyon Church 13 votes
LDS Church 9 votes
Fellowship 7 votes
Total 83 votes
So with Clower's help, Schmille starts out with about 10% of the final vote total before the first homeowner gets counted.
Surprisingly, standing up for Anthem homeowners in this process is Parskside HOA Board President Jon Corey. Dr. Doctor Jon is refusing to count any ballots he receives from commercial property holders. As he writes in a letter to the ACC Board:
Allowing entities or organizations that are not Parkside HOA members to vote in a Parkside HOA election minimizes, if not jeopardizes, the voices and options of Parkside HOA homeowners. Any ACC seats in question are for Parkside HOA residents--and they should be the only group that has a vote.
The good doctor is correct, of course. To count these votes is to rob Anthem residents of any realistic chance to decide who gets on the ACC. What's remarkable is that Corey is saying it. For one thing, he's on his way out of office, having been defeated in his bid for reelection to the Parkside HOA, so he's not protecting any power he'll be able to use himself. For another, his principled position will hurt Schmille, and Schmille is the only person at the candidate's debate on February 11th who actually defended Corey's obnoxious policy of using paid compliance officers to conduct nighttime fine-assessing missions against homeowners.
It's also interesting that Corey's letter mentions that the HOA is refusing to count ballots on the advice of legal counsel. The HOA and the ACC employ the same lawyers, Carpenter Hazelwood. So Anthem's high-priced attorneys advise the ACC to distribute ballots to the commercial property holders and then help Corey draft a letter telling the ACC that those votes won't be counted. We wonder who they'll represent in the lawsuit--and why we pay for them at all.