Monday, December 16, 2013

VDP Resident Letter to City Council Representatives

Writer, Ken Becht
Community Interest / News

This letter was sent via email November 26, 2013* to the City of Phoenix's District 5 Councilmen: Daniel Valenzuela, but this statement is not just for one member of the City Council. Information contained herein needs to be read by all members representing the people of Phoenix, AZ.

Mr. Valenzuela,

I am a resident of Villa de Paz.

First of all, I was NEVER notified by mail of Mr. Walter G. Chomichuk's attempt to buy the VIlla de Paz golf course. Once I did learn of it, I began knocking on doors in our neighborhood and found that every 3rd person had not been notified by mail, either. The statements by Mr. Welker and Lazarus are just not true. Mr. Welker told me in an email that he sent out over 1,000 flyers. When questioned further, he said he did not do it himself and couldn't guarantee that. Mr. Lazarus has vacillated about the number sent out from 1,000 to 1,300 etc. He stated in an email that "ALL the residents of the one square area of Villa de Paz had been notified" which is just not true. He didn't know how many homes were impacted by this attempted purchase, as of the Maryvale Village Planning Committee 12-1 decision in OUR FAVOR, at the Hope Center. We had to advise him of the correct number.

I am a graduate of San Diego State University where I graduated with Honors & Distinction in Political Science in 1975. I spent 4 years in the USAF, held a Top Secret Clearance, volunteered and did one tour in Vietnam (69/70). Every member of my family has served their country. My father was in the 10th Mountain Division in WWII. My oldest brother was in the 82nd Airborne Division. My 2nd oldest was a Marine. My younger brother was in Army Intelligence. I was a Phoenix Police Officer for 8 years. I have written and published two books. I am a licensed Realtor in the state of Arizona and have been, going on 12 years.

Could you please answer the following questions for me.

1. When and where were you FIRST informed that the Villa de Paz golf course was under contract? When did it go under contract and for how much?

2. When did you have your first meeting and/or communication with the applicant and/or his representatives concerning the purchase of this golf course?

3. When did you first learn that Mr. Chomichuk was intending to put 350 homes and develop 200 condominiums on the Villa de Paz golf course? (This golf course HAS BEEN A GOLF COURSE FOR 48 YEARS. A golf course that will be an official HISTORICAL SITE in two years when it turns 50 years old.)

4. When and where were the first small meetings that you had with the community where this issue came up? Who was present at those meetings? Mr. Lazarus? Mr. Welker? Mr. Mattox? Who from your office was present?

5. Why have you not come to any of the officially scheduled meetings where the applicant and the residents of Villa de Paz were both scheduled to make their case? The Mall meeting at 75th Ave & Thomas, October 9th, 2013 and the following scheduled Block Watch meeting.

6. Why did you originally decide to attend a meeting that Mr. Lazarus had scheduled after Mr. Lazarus REFUSED to show up for his scheduled presentation at the Block Watch Meeting 10/10/13? He did not "officially" (by first class mail), notify the Villa de Paz neighborhood. Yet you refused to attend any other earlier meetings sponsored by sanctioned groups? You decided to show up for the applicant's controlled meeting but not the others? Why?

7. Knowing that have now known the desires of the Canadian Investor, Mr. Chomichuk and his team, for quite a long time now, why have you not come out against this? You have known both sides arguments on this issue. You are the City Councilman for District 5, not for Manitoba, Canada. You are the City Councilman for District 5, not Mr. Welker who does not even live in Phoenix. You are not the City Councilman for former Vice Mayor and former District 5 City Councilman Claude Mattox. Mr. Mattox has moved out of Villa de Paz. Mr Mattox bought his home on the Villa de Paz golf course with his wife Sherri Fagan Mattox in 1986. He lived on that golf course for 27 years! Mattox sold his house on August 5, 2013!!!!

The first inklings of the golf course being under contract came out in September but only because a resident learned of it and began to make it known throughout our neighborhood. He began knocking on doors and gathered HUNDREDS of signatures on a petition. I too have gathered more signatures. I too now have HUNDREDS of names, addresses, emails and phone numbers of our friends and neighbors who are OUTRAGED about what is happening. I and we, are gaining more phone numbers, addresses, and emails everyday.( We are also getting people from outside Villa de Paz to help us and join our fight.) They are asking WHY you are not out there protecting them. They are asking how come you have not LED this fight to save the golf course. They are asking how come you aren't trying to stop the introduction of 1,100 more cars in a one mile square neighborhood? They are asking how come you ostensibly don't care about the HUGE losses they will take on their homes. Many of these folks have all their money in their homes.

8. They are asking why you are not supporting the folks that helped get you elected. Everyone knows what the developer wants to do to our community. They have said unless they can build out 350 homes with many 2 story up to 30 feet tall on this golf course, they will pull out. There is no compromise. This is a golf course. It has been a golf course for 48years. The buyer knew when he bought it he had to keep it a golf course. It must be sold as a golf course. No one is against private property rights but his agreement when he bought it was it was a golf course. When they built it they built it as a golf course, not a subdivision. Build around it as you may but you can't destroy the golf course because you are allegedly losing money. I say allegedly because no proof has been presented to validate their claims. Most businesses lose money over the first few years. We have a responsible source that says they in fact made money for 5 years. Regardless, they bought it as a golf course and need to sell it as a golf course. I in fact have a VERY INTERESTED party interested in buying the golf course and keeping it a golf course.

9. They are asking why you are ostensibly supporting a Canadian Investor, who per the Manitoba Securities Commission of Canada has plead GUILTY to two charges of their Securities Act. (You can pull this information on the Manitoba Security Commission website. It is public information)

He was selling securities without a license: "acting as a salesman of or on behalf of Worldwide Golf Resources in connection with trading securities".....

He was: "trading in securities of Worldwide Golf Resources Inc in the course of a primary distribution to the public before receipt for both a preliminary prospectus and prospectus had been obtained from the Director of the Manitoba Securities Commission contrary to section 37(1) of the Act."

I have emails and have had personal conversations with the Senior Chief Investigator of the Manitoba Securities Commission. He has told me that unlike our clearly defined differences between civil and criminal law, Mr. Chomichuk "could have gone to jail" on these charges. Mr. Chomichuk plead guilty and paid two separate $5,000.00 fines, one for each charge.

10. Were you ever told about Mr. Chomichuk's pleadings of guilty to Manitoba Security Act charges?

I am asking you, as a resident of Villa de Paz, to JUST DO THE RIGHT THING and make a public statement that you officially support the residents of Villa de Paz. I have personally talked to elderly folks at their door that were weeping over this. Some have lived here for over 40 years. They moved here like all of us because of the special OASIS that is Villa de Paz. The golf course winds throughout this community and positively effects ALL that live here, not just those on the golf course. They all bought here because of that fact. People have recently put in thousands of dollars into their homes right before they learned of this foreign investor seeking to destroy a community. A community that you represent. How can you not be outraged? Where is your passion for these fine people whose lives will be forever ruined. Their quality of life will be wiped out. Their home values will plummet. I know that as a Realtor. This is a THEFT of your constituents life savings. None of these people will be compensated by this foreign investor for their losses....not one red cent.

The Wildlife will be destroyed. The Canadian Geese that fly in V formation are protected under the Migratory Bird Act of 1918. You should have already learned about that but if not I will happily give you that information. We also have HAWKS, TURTLES & many other species that nest and live on this golf course that impact everyone in this community. They too will be gone. And all this for what? So a multi-millionaire foreign developer can make millions off the backs of hard working American citizens and tax payers of Villa de Paz.

This is not about generating some tax revenue from 350 houses and 200 condominiums. This is EXPLOITATION of our neighbors and your constituents by Walter G. Chomichuk. Mr. Chomichuk just happens to be director and or partner of numerous LLPs & LLCs. One of which is an HOA company. They have said that the 350 homes will in fact have an HOA. The 200 Condominiums will also have an HOA. And who do you think will control that. At $100.00 a month for 550 homes is $55,000.00 a month or $650,000.00 a year. He also is involved with a Street Maintenance Company interestingly enough.

The fact there will be 1,100 more vehicles in a one mile square neighborhood called Villa de Paz alone should make you come out against this destruction of a neighborhood and a community. As a former police officer who has arrested men for rape, this is exactly is what is going on here....the rape of Villa de Paz! Good people don't stand by idly and let that happen.

This has been a golf course for 48 years. It was not built as a subdivision but a golf course. That was the original intent as is verified by all the marketing material available along with the Master Plan for Villa de Paz. The owner bought the course knowing this was to be a golf course and to remain a golf course. Their statements they are losing money is not backed up by any evidence. Most all businesses lose money the first few years. They have lied before so why are we to accept this as fact. We have responsible inside people that have stated this course didn't lose money for years while they were there. THIS WAS BUILT AS A GOLF COURSE & not a SUBDIVISION.

There are 1,445 people here that will remember if you step up and support them or if you don't support them. You talked about families, community and neighborhood in your campaign. Your chief of staff and others speaking for you in your office have told many of us that if you learned that the residents of Villa de Paz don't want this to happen to them you would be out front and support them, as you well should. Well, it is clear the residents don't want this. There were over 250 people at the Hope Center where the Maryvale Planning Commission Committee voted 12-1 in our favor. We filled the PHO hearing at the City Council and that was on a Wednesday at 10am when most people have to work. This is not about sticking a finger in the wind to see which way the wind blows. You represent the CITIZENS of DISTRICT 5 and VILLA de PAZ and should be leading this fight. To lay back and posture that you don't want to "influence the process?" Your job representing the people of District 5 & Villa de Paz is to "influence" the process for your constituents.

YOUR CONSTITUENTS don't want this! Let us know you have our back! You told us you are going to run for Council again in two years. 1445 people will not forget how you are dealing with this Mr. Valenzuela. You need to do the RIGHT THING and LEAD! If you do that, you will have this neighborhood and a VITAL, POLITICALLY ACTIVE community behind you...If not? The people out here are strong unit, please understand that. They will not forget that a foreign investor with guilty pleadings in the Manitoba Securities Commission, ripped out the HEART & SOULS of thousands of people who not only live here but enjoy playing the Villa de Paz golf course.

We are asking you to NOW make a public statement that you support us. We are waiting, watching and are expecting you to DO THE RIGHT THING.

*As of this publication, Mr. Daniel Valenzuela has neither responded to this letter nor made any public statement supporting the residents of Villa de Paz against a foreign developer.