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Opinion

Villawatkins: Diversity is progress, why does Skillicorn want to go backwards?

I am writing this letter before the April 16 Town Council meeting wherein anti-DEI is on the agenda. Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is not political. It is progress. Yet, this is getting …
Opinion

Cap: Opposed to proposed anti-Diversity, Equity and Inclusion policy

Why a DEI policy? Coming from Councilmember Skillicorn? Therein lies the rub. It’s not. It’s an anti-DEI policy. Why the bait and switch? Because it’s Allen Skillicorn. Nothing …
Opinion

Dompe: Vote for the best candidate, not a political party

I want to thank the Fountain Hills Times Independent for introducing its readers to the 11 candidates running for Town Council and mayor. What I was especially gratified to see is that there was …
Opinion

Gildersleeve: The candidates I’m supporting in the upcoming election

I am grateful that many Fountain Hills residents have thrown their hats in the ring for the upcoming local election. Regardless of your politics or vision for our town, I recognize that running for …
Opinion

Esposito: History is being made. Will you be a part of it?

A nine-year journey, starting with the three-year effort to get Fountain Hills designated as an International Dark Sky Community, has finally led to the April 8 groundbreaking ceremony for the …
Opinion

Bill: ASU support for Discovery Center

As the construction of International Dark Sky Discovery Center develops, so does the interest in collaborative opportunities with Arizona State University. Although ASU President Michael Crow …
Opinion

Culp: Ethics claims against Councilmember Kalivianakis lack merit

Last month, after he was sanctioned for violating the Town’s Code of Ethics, Councilmember Skillicorn appeared in a video titled “Something Stinks in Fountain Hills.” In the video, …
Opinion

Couture: Working toward a smart, yet conservative budget

I watched the April 9 town budget study session with interest, as there are people on the dais who are up for re-election. It’s important. Kudos to incoming Finance Director Paul …
Opinion

Somo: Peggy McMahon has a proven leadership record

When my husband and I moved to Fountain Hills four years ago, I was pleased to find a well-run small town due to visionary, responsible leadership from our mayor and Town Council. While Mayor …
Opinion

Thomas: Concerning statistics tied to recent petitions

At the April 2 Town Council meeting, during public comment on regular agenda item 9A, Resolution 2024-15, directing the Town Attorney to not oppose Maricopa County Superior Court Action No. …
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Civility Checklist

How to engage in respectful, honest & civil dialogue about public issues.

Checkmark Take the high road.  Respond to the topic — not the person. Refrain from demonizing others for their opinions. Assume those you disagree with are, like you, genuinely interested in improving the community.

Checkmark Be respectful. Bullying, public humiliation, insults, name-calling, harassment, and threats directed at another person — or that person's race, gender, religion, ethnicity, etc. — have no place in civil discussions. Find ways to respectfully disagree without questioning someone's character or motives.

Checkmark Be truthful. Base your opinions/arguments on facts. Value honesty. Make only accurate statements when making your point and avoid exaggeration and stereotypes. When appropriate, cite your sources of information that others may question. 

Checkmark Don't misrepresent. Always identify your opinions as opinions (not stating opinions as facts). Never misrepresent the views of others or falsely claim your opinions represent someone else. If quoting the words of others, identify and credit the source.

Checkmark Listen  & learn. It's both polite and respectful to listen to those we disagree with (as well as those we support) and be genuine in our attempts to understand their point of view. Expand your mind by thoughtfully seeking out views that don't agree with your own.

CheckmarkLook for common ground. When disagreeing with others, look for even small areas of agreement — which can be the gateway to working together for the greater good.

Checkmark Respect privacy. Keep private things private — whether it involves your own information or those with whom you disagree. Revealing private information about someone else is rude, unethical, potentially harmful and, in many cases, illegal.

Checkmark Set a good example. Practice civil behavior online as well as in public and in your interaction with others. Encourage others to practice these civil behaviors. And it's OK to challenge disrespectful behavior — but be courteous, respectful and helpful in your approach.

Now that you've read the checklist, take the Civility Pledge. 

Your Community Your Voice

Hall: Dickey is the best person for the job

Not only should you re-elect Mayor Ginny Dickey based on her outstanding performance record as mayor, which you can review on her website, but also because she is here for everyone in our lovely town …

James: Keep an eye out for invasive weeds

There is an unwelcome newcomer in Fountain Hills. Disguising itself as a spring wildflower and producing those pretty little yellow balls, it won't be quite so pretty after it completely takes …

Nelson: Let’s celebrate the greatest nation in the world

The Diplomatic Corps on Nations (39 countries) will have the privilege to hold the annual Ambassador’s Ball in honor of the United States of America this November in Phoenix. Each year, …

Yin: I’m blessed to be part of Shepherd of the Hills

I am blessed to be a member of Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Fountain Hills.  The mission of the church is "To know Christ and to make Him known." Our pastor, Jeff Teeples, …

Slechta: We need Peggy McMahon on the Town Council

Re-elect Peggy McMahon! Peggy is known throughout our community as a dedicated public servant. The fact is that Peggy is so much more. Peggy knows that any successful local government requires …

Cap: Ginny Dickey is the best candidate for mayor

Remember back when we were kids and Sesame Street would teach us about obvious differences in things? That old game of one is not like the others? We have a glaring example of that with our mayoral …

Villawatkins: Enough is enough

We are not renegades and outlaws in Fountain Hills. To those who collected signatures, yes, it is your right to sue as you deem it necessary. But do not try to block our town’s lawyer from …

Ward: Let’s move forward as a town

The censure of Councilman #7 should not be considered a partisan dispute. It’s about The Ruling Class v The Plebes. In this power hierarchy, the council is the Ruling Class, and us constituents …

Bill: History in the making at Discovery Center groundbreaking

A nine-year journey, starting with the three-year effort to get Fountain Hills designated as an International Dark Sky Community, has finally led to the groundbreaking of the International Dark Sky …
Allen Skillicorn, TOFH councilmember (Submitted photo)

Skillicorn: The ethics code is being weaponized

The weaponization of the ethics code should alarm every honest citizen in Fountain Hills. I understand that there are those in this community who do not like the fact that I consistently stand …

James: Skillicorn is serving himself, not Fountain Hills

Allen Skillicorn is not doing his job or upholding his oath of office. He spends time at the legislature making connections with other “chaos agents” to try to insert himself into …

Plencner: My thoughts on Skillicorn’s censure

Three Democratic council members have clearly adopted the tactics employed by the Biden administration –   censorship, shut down and destruction of their opponents. I was out of …

Yeargain: Remember to vote this summer

This July, Fountain Hills has a hugely important event: the election of our mayor and our council. History tells that most residents won’t vote. Many residents will be gone for the …

Culp: We can’t do it without Mayor Dickey

On July 30, the residents of Fountain Hills will be called upon to make a decision that will chart the course of our town for decades to come. We can choose to follow the course charted by Mayor …

James: Congratulations to local teachers

There was a nice write-up last week about high school teacher Alison Mecom and middle school teacher Chris Peterson both being the winner in their respective category of the VFW Post 7507 Teacher of …

Scott: What does ‘Fountain Hills First’ really mean?

There's been plenty of talk with code words here in Fountain Hills. One that bothers me is the word “first.” Its origins are worrisome. Originally it was used by President Woodrow …

Gay: Councilman Skillicorn acts with disdain toward town staff

Before you complain that Councilman Skillicorn was treated “unfairly” by his councilmates, let’s look at his behavior ahead of and even after the censure and sanctions. The …

Fanguen: Schweikert pioneered same legislation as anti-abortion groups in front of Supreme Court

As the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments that could “pave the way toward a national abortion ban” by severely restricting access to the medication mifepristone, David Schweikert and …

Downing: Fountain Hills Theater puts out another triumph

Our local Fountain Hills Theater is often amazing. The world premiere production of “The Great Gatsby – The Musical,” is its latest triumph. This musical adaptation of F. Scott …

Dime: Unconstitutional edicts are redefining America

Federal government manipulations have been confusing and confounding since 2021. In 2022 David Mamet wrote this elucidation: “My question, watching my beloved American democracy and culture …

Ronca: Mayor Dickey is right, we’re at a crossroads

Mayor Dickey is right. After I watched the Council proceedings March 19, 2024, I recalled what Mayor Dickey said in her State of the Town address not even two months ago; “Fountain Hills …

Bosnos: Skillicorn’s sanctions humiliated our town

What a sad spectacle we saw at the March 19 town council meeting, with the continuation of what appears to be a quest to drive Councilman Skillicorn from the council. First, various speakers …

Wolborsky: Town Council’s treatment of Skillicorn was excessive

I was sick on March 5 and had to miss the Town Council meeting, but I did go on March 19. I wish I hadn’t. I have been an expert witness at several murder trials. I have heard the judge …

Villawatkins: Move on and govern

After the town council voted for sanctions during the March 19 meeting, Allen Skillicorn still doubled down during his interview with Channel 12. He called it “a partisan, political hit …

Dime: When hate turns evil

Hate-filled bureaucrats spinning disinformation is an amoral political strategy – lying is evil. The media regurgitating misinformation is deceitful – collusion is evil. Watching evil in …

Melendez: Join the Diplomatic Corps of Arizona in celebrating our country

It is my honor and privilege to announce as Ambassador at Large of the Diplomatic Corps of Arizona (39 nations) that this November 16, our organization will dedicate our annual Ambassadors’ …

Goldberg: Artificial intelligence and parenting

Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) is here, but Real Intelligence (R.I.) is still here, too. Day by day, R.I. is learning more about A.I. Every contact we have with it is more exciting, interesting and …

Cap: Does Councilmember Friedel mean what he says?

The next council meeting will be a nail-biter. Especially when it comes to how Councilmember Friedel votes regarding Councilmember Skillicorn’s ethics violations. Back in December when I …

Rutkowski: ‘Rules matter’ topic at Tea Party meeting

Most of us were raised with the idea that there are rules and that rules matter. You follow them! If you don’t like them, you still follow them until you’re able to change …

Lundin: Ignore the noise and decide based on policy

Senator Sinema has dropped out of the Senate race. But we know American politics does not reward those who take a middle road. After the SOTU speech, it is clear that our main party …
Latest regional, state and national issues

Akerhielm: Responding to letter, "Climate panic movement not catching on"

Former Republican senator and physician Tom Patterson makes some good points in his letter. However, his true colors are revealed when he declares that going green will drive us into poverty based on …

No Owners. No Shareholders. Community journalism just for you!

Dear Valued Readers: Thank you for supporting us at Independent Newsmedia through your voluntary pay contributions. We hope you agree that our dedication to covering nonpartisan, community news is …
David Williams

Williams: FDA finally realizes that yogurt is healthful

To millions of Americans who gulp down daily spoonfuls of yogurt, the dairy product’s health benefits are a no-brainer.

Shinkoskey: Are you helping democracy?

What are some personal things folks are doing that impede democracy?
Karen Kerrigan

Kerrigan: Financial dangers grow with government overreach on 'junk fees'

Calls for government intervention in the economy are often promoted as a way to provide relief and fairness.

King: Protesters cause problems?

It is absolutely ridiculous that protesters feel they have the right to get in traffic and block people from getting to work, to stop emergency vehicles from possibly saving someone’s life or getting to someone to assist them.
Chris Woodward

Woodward: Some states push back on blocking low-cost drug program

Some states are pushing back on attempts by drug companies to roll back a discount program “safety net” health providers use to care for vulnerable, low-income Americans.

Schmidt: Seeing speeders in Sun City West

I am glad to see that they are monitoring the traffic, especially on R.H. Johnson.

Cohen: Not pleased with RCSC decisions

It is my understanding that Sun City Board Members represent the residents of Sun City. If you represent a group of citizens, you first seek their opinions prior to making decisions.
J. Christian Adams

Adams: Voter rolls, the key to Clean Elections

In this presidential election year, the question is whether we have made improvements to our election system to ensure an honest and clean election.

Goncalves: Trump accusations frightening?

I just read the two letters to the editor regarding Donald Trump and it is frightening to read the absolute hatred of this man.
Robin Ganzert

Ganzert: Congress should throw service dog programs a bone

Congress has averted another government shutdown. But often lost in the shuffle during these multi-trillion-dollar budget battles are appropriations for lifesaving veteran programs that employ wagging tails to heal invisible wounds of war.

Utke: Board should retain at least one branch

I am a resident of Sun City as of 2021 and have recently become aware of the potential loss of the current library branches as the governing board makes future plans.
John R. Schrock

Schrock: Why some bridges collapse

Only four months after completion in 1940, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington State collapsed.
Sally Pipes

Pipes/Winegarden: Global collaboration on reference models will further depersonalize healthcare

Question: What’s worse than government bureaucrats in Washington declaring the value of your medicine? Answer: Bureaucrats from Boston, London, Ottawa and Diemen establishing that value.

Backer: Has positive view of Trump

This is in response to Bill Windsor’s opinion piece found in the March 27, 2024 issue of the Independent.
Tom Patterson

Patterson: Climate panic movement not catching on

The Great Climate Change Revolution is headed for failure. You can tell that because it is already in big trouble before the ultimate heavy lifting has even started.

Erskine: Enjoys tranquility of PV

I agree that there has to be some rules for pickleball courts in residential areas as the sounds coming from the games are very loud and intrusive.
Dan Leonard

Leonard: Protect American patients by eliminating the pill penalty

Life-science researchers are thrilled about the advances made with “small-molecule” medicines.

Unkefer: The Paradise Valley sound ordinance is sufficient

I own a pickleball court. It is for our personal use with friends and family. We do not play after 10 p.m. Our court is far from neighboring homes. We don't hold any "leagues or tournaments." …

Nussbaum: Legislation strips away petitioning power

I recently learned of a complaint filed to Secretary of State Adrian Fontes by Third Way, a national think tank that champions modern center-left ideas.

Shinkoskey: Figuring out meaning of MAGA

Court proceedings of late have helped me figure out the meaning of MAGA.
Chandler City Councilmember Mark Stewart.

Stewart: Standing against human trafficking

Chandler has joined forces with other cities, police departments and nonprofits across the Valley to take a stand against human trafficking. We’re using state funding that equips police …

Williams: Banning TikTok not the answer

The House recently passed a ban on TikTok and now the decision will rest in the hands of Senator Kyrsten Sinema, Mark Kelly, and the rest of the U.S. Senate.

Telepak: Backyard casitas make multigenerational living possible

A few years ago, we read Marie Kondo's book, "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up," and watched her show and others, like "The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning" and "Queer Eye" — all …
Jeff Ferry

Ferry: U.S. faces a solar panel apocalypse

America’s solar manufacturing industry is heading for disaster, even though installations of solar panels are growing.

Evander: Will law have an effect?

There is a lot of angst in the news about Texas’s SB 4 law that would allow law enforcers in Texas to arrest suspected migrants on a misdemeanor charge if they are in the U.S. illegally.
Adam Brake

Brake: Long-term care staffing mandate not the answer

Long term care is an essential part of our health care system, but access to this care is in jeopardy because of a proposal from the Biden administration to impose a federal staffing mandate on nursing homes.

Daniels: FIND Act will help patients

There are not many issues in Congress that are as important as life or death, but there is one that might be.
Mia Vega

Vega: Helping bright futures shine during spring state assessments

As Arizonans welcome the Spring sunshine, we also usher in the season of standardized testing for our schoolchildren.