Defiant family has water supply cut off 
By Dennis Godfrey
Article Courtesy of The Arizona Republic
Sept. 20, 2002

SURPRISE - A family who recently moved to the far north end of the Valley has lost its water because it refuses to join a homeowners association. 

The Saguaro View association shut off water to the Len Bayne family on Monday, a day of 106-degree heat. 

"I hated to do it," said Martin Rankin, president of the association. " . . . You have to protect the other association members. I don't know any other way to put it." 

It is not that the Baynes or the previous residents refused to pay for the water. The bills have been paid to the association for at least 20 years. The issue is that the Baynes and the Smiths, who lived there before, chose not to join the association. 

"I told them since Day 1, I'm not joining your association," Bayne said. "Now they are trying to strong arm me into joining their association. I'm not going to do that." 

Barbara Smith, who now lives in Salome, was a longtime resident of the 10-acre property, which is now annexed into Surprise. She lived there even before the association was formed. She has always gotten water from the well that the association eventually acquired. 

Some years ago, she split the lot into two five-acre pieces. Her daughter, Olivia Mays, owns one piece. Smith sold the other five acres to the Baynes earlier this year. 

Smith said she was never a member of the Saguaro View association. She does not believe the Baynes need to belong, either. 

"These nice people who bought our place should never have been harassed by that association.  . . . The turnoff was illegal," Smith said. 

Rankin said the Baynes and Mays had ample notice, as much as three months, that the water was going to be turned off. 

"We tried our best. We sent numerous notices to them to please contact us, so we could work this out. I haven't heard a word." 

Smith, Bayne and Mays all say they have tried to contact Rankin. Smith said she has copies of letters she sent him. Mays said he hangs up when she tries to call. 

Tammy Bayne, Len's wife, wrote to the association on Thursday. "I moved my family from the metro Phoenix area to get away from gangs and bullies.  . . . Little did I know that the gangs and the bullies are just a little older in Surprise," she wrote. 

Meanwhile, the family is buying drinking water in gallon jugs and taking showers from a watering can.