Vol. 15 Issue No. 4 | January 28 – February 3, 2009

Coady attacked again for his audacity to vote NO

By Curtis Riggs | January 28, 2009

Only 9 times in last term

CAREFREE – With just over six weeks left before the March 10 municipal elections Town Councilman Bob Coady is under attack for going against the grain, voting no on items other councilmen supported in the 10 years he has been in office.

A recently formed political-action committee (PAC), Caring About Carefree, which was formed with the mission of removing Coady from office, posted a document called the Coady Record that refers to six alleged times Coady has voted against important items during his tenure in office.

The fact of the matter is Coady does not actually cast that many no votes. Carefree Town Clerk Betsy Wise said Coady voted no nine times out of 255 votes cast in his most recent term (2007-08), only 3.5 percent.

“I don’t understand why they all have to be 7-0 votes in Carefree,” he said about the criticism he takes for being the odd man out a small percentage of the time.

Caring About Carefree, which has Ron A. Nelson as its chairman and Chuck Hoch as its treasurer, included a vote, which was cast even before Coady took office, in its Coady Record vote examination.

The PAC accuses him of voting against the development of the Carefree Town Center. The irony of the accusation is this vote was cast in his first year in office when he still voting with the rest of the council on virtually everything.

“I voted against dumb ideas like fake roundabouts and putting water features in the desert,” he said about subsequent Town Center votes he opposed.

The PAC accuses him of voting no on the purchase of the Carefree Water Company. This vote took place before he took office in June of 1999.

Coady admits he voted against Carefree adopting a master contact for fire service because of its initial start-up cost.

“The total cost the first year was $5 million,” he said.

Carefree now pays Rural Metro Fire department $105,000 a month for fire service. There have been few fires since the master contract went into effect.

The PAC correctly accuses Coady of voting against securing a long-term location for the Carefree Municipal Court, and possibly a future town hall. He said he voted against the purchase of the Dennis Lyon property at Eight Sundial Circle because he has been told by real-estate professionals the local market has not “bottomed out” yet. The council approved the purchase of the property in December 2008, with Coady casting the only no vote.

“It’s possible the property could be secured for less than $800,000,” he said. “It would have been more prudent to wait another six months.”

The PAC accuses Coady of voting against four-year staggered terms for town council members.

He admits that while he voted against putting the matter on the ballot of the upcoming March 10 election, “The people of Carefree will vote on increasing and staggering the terms.”

He calls the March 2007 elections the “dirtiest election in the history of Carefree” because of the way other PACs went after him and a couple of other council candidates.

“It will be bad again,” he said about the March election. “The die-hards are dead set against any change in Carefree.

Courtesy Photo: Bob Coady