Carefree Council Candidates
Name: Bob Coady
Occupation: Retired/NY Telephone Co.
Education: Some College
Birthplace: Brooklyn, NY
Carefree resident: 15 years
Experience: Carefree Town Council -10 years
1. For the past ten years I have worked to represent all the citizens of Carefree, not just special interest groups. I have always made myself available to all citizens. My monthly e-newsletter, Carefree Matters, keeps citizens informed on town issues.
2. a. As with every town and city today the economy has drastically affected us all. Spending for emergencies or infrastructure repair should be the only expenditures until the economy improves.
b. The failure of the council to actively seek businesses that would support both our residents and those living in adjoining communities. We are too dependent on tourism. The CEO’s of this council should admit that they are not qualified to deal with this issue. Carefree needs a professional economic advisor, even if on a part time basis.
c. Failure to provide citizens/residents with a forum to allow more citizen participation in our government. To start, an annual Open House where citizens (not just HOAs) can come to personally address council members or staff on issues that concern them and receive immediate answers.
3. Of course I support it. Our citizens should not have to settle for less than other citizens. 401 registered voters stepped up to voice their support and sign this initiative.
4. I believe that we should continue two year terms. It provides a built in job performance assessment of incumbents. Four years is too long for a poorly performing elected official. Cost to the individual candidate should not be a factor; this is a personal choice for a non-paying elected position
5. We must prioritize town spending. All large expenditures must be placed on the back burner until the economy improves. To assure that we are meeting the needs of our residents, we must hold more open discussions on large purchases.
Name: Bob Gemmill
Occupation: Retired insurance executive, part-time property management
Education: 26 years in family business
Birthplace: Seattle, Wash.
Carefree resident: 8 Years
Experience: Currently serving on Carefree Town Council; Committee Member, Carefree 501c (3) Donations; Committee Member, Carefree Town Marketing; Committee Member, Governor’s Economic Conference
1. As a fiscal conservative, I will work to protect and help guide Carefree through this most difficult economic period. I am trustworthy, hardworking and passionate about protecting and serving the citizens of Carefree.
2. a. Carefree like many municipalities will face declining income as state revenue sharing, local sales tax and developers building fees subside during this economic downturn. It is imperative that adequate services for our citizens remain a priority and coincide with prudent and efficient expense cutting measures.
b. As the town’s Marketing Liaison, one of my responsibilities is finding practical methods that can help maintain the local sales tax revenues during these tough times. Sales tax income for the fiscal year 2008 contributed 58 percent of the town’s total revenue. It is critical the town works with landlords and merchants to develop synergies to help promote increased sales.
c. I will continue to protect our residential neighborhoods from commercial developers who wish to “upzone” and challenge our zoning ordinances.
3. I do not support the direct election of our Mayor. Our Mayor should be chosen based on qualifications, not a popularity contest. It could open the door to deep pocket candidates who could finance their way into the mayor’s seat and potentially invite individuals who may have ulterior motives rather than Carefree’s best interests in mind. Presently, 21 cities and town’s in Arizona elect their Mayor the way Carefree has for decades.
4. I support four year “staggered terms.” Currently, 86 cities and towns in Arizona have adopted staggered terms with only four towns using the present antiquated system. It provides stability and reduces radical swings in council composition and Carefree citizens retain the ability to vote every two years.
5. Utilize aggressive promotional programs through town websites, Chamber of Commerce events, non-profits, charities and working with local merchants and landlords to encourage marketing opportunities.
6. Adhere to and defend our planning and zoning ordinances. Protect Carefree residents from the potential commercialization along the Carefree Highway and enforce light pollution ordinances.
Name: Wayne Fulcher
Occupation: Retired corporate executive and business owner
Birthplace: New York
Carefree Resident: 17 years
Experience: Planning Commission, one term; Councilman, three terms; Vice Mayor, one term; Mayor, one term
1. I have a record of strongly encouraging the critical programs in public safety, water quality and economic vitality that will support our citizens quality of life and property values. Importantly, I have done this in a fiscally responsible manner. As mayor, I have worked and will continue to work to build a consensus on the council with open, common sense governing.
2. a. Ensuring economic vitality: We must continue to support and work with our merchant organizations to promote their businesses and the town. We must continue to enhance the physical environment in our downtown to attract shoppers and businesses. We must generate new and innovative ways to attract the right businesses to Carefree.
b. Balancing our revenues and expenditures: We must continue to maintain a strong level of financial reserves and clear spending priorities while making critical expenditures that protect our quality of life.
c. The efficient management of our water company: Balancing revenue and ongoing infrastructure upkeep to continue to provide excellent water quality and reliability. Our property values depend on it.
3. I oppose the initiative for direct election of the mayor because it can result in the mayor being elected with less than a majority vote.
4. I support the staggered terms initiative because it will promote continuity of council and institutional knowledge.
5. Declining sales tax revenue and fees are temporary and a result of the national economic meltdown. Our sales tax model is sound and the actions that we have taken to broaden our tax base with Lowe’s and eventually the Lewis, mixed-use project in our town core, will serve us well. We must continue to support existing businesses and efficiently use the talents and resources within our community to help identify ways to continue to attract businesses to Carefree.
6. Our lifestyle will be protected by adhering to our General Plan, Zoning and Town Codes. Our night skies will be protected by following and enforcing the lighting requirements in our Town Codes.
Name: Greg Gardner
Occupation: Financial Planner
Education: BS, MBA, CPA
Birthplace: Peoria IL
Carefree Resident for 22 years
1. I have been involved with the Town of Carefree since 1988, first serving on Planning and Zoning Commission, then as chairperson of the commission. I have served on the town council since 1999. I have the understanding, the history of our town, knowledge and experience to help guide our town in the current economic crises.
2.a. All communities in Arizona face reduced revenues this fiscal year and the next fiscal year. Carefree has prepared for this with conservative revenues projections and expenditures over the past years. Carefree will continue to provide the necessary services for our citizens. In the past ten years, Carefree has added to our cash reserves nine out of ten years. Carefree has the third highest reserves per capita for communities in Arizona with populations less than 5,000. I work with town staff on the preparation of the town budget; this will be very critical for the rest of this fiscal year and next fiscal year.
b. Our town must continue to support our retailers in our commercial core. Carefree does not have a property tax and over one half of our revenues come from sales tax. We need to maintain a vital economy.
c. Carefree will continue to enforce our zoning ordinances. The enforcement of zoning ordinances enhances our property values.
3. I oppose the direct election of the mayor. The direct election has the potential to be a contentious election. Our community is small, less than 4,000. Current members of the council or candidates would have to pick sides and this could have an effect on the future council.
4. I support staggered four year terms for council members. I can’t predict the future, but this would assure continuity on the council.
5 & 6 see answer to question 2.
Name: Peter Koteas
Occupation: Business practice consultant, entrepreneur
Education: Louisiana State University
Birthplace: Bridgeport, Conn.
Carefree resident: 14 years
Experience: No prior public sector experience
1. If you feel as I do, then you too have had enough of being fed half truths. I have no conflicting issues and no agenda except to represent ALL the people. I am beholden to no one and every decision I make will be made with the best interests of our community in mind. I will consistently do the right thing for the right reason.
2.a. Lack of oversight of the Carefree Water Company. With over $6 million of long term debt and a reduced revenue stream, it is time to alter the makeup of the Board of Directors to include the mayor, three council members that receive the highest number of votes, and three outside directors to insure accountability and objective oversight.
b. Securing a consistent income stream. To aggressively promote “Carefree” to visitors and tourists.
c. Potential upward spiraling cost of government. Limit the size and scope of our government, maintain a balanced budget, limit capital expenditures, and avoid new unsustainable overhead.
3. I am in favor of the direct election of the mayor. Apparently I view the Carefree voter being on a higher plane than many of the incumbents do, and believe that the voters possess the intelligence to decide who should be the face of their town.
4. I support two year terms to not only maintain accountability in individual performance, but to afford the opportunity for other capable people to serve. Public service should be more about “service to the town” than “control of the town,” which is how I view the push for extended terms.
5. I would establish a standing landlord/tenant/citizen committee to determine viable options and alternatives for income growth.
6. I would work tirelessly to promote a feeling of “we’re in this together” by opening government and the issues it faces to ALL residents. At the end of the day, we either do this together or will suffer the consequences. I will continue to discourage, and resist, street lights in all residential areas.
Name: Lloyd Meyer
Occupation: Owner & CEO of Renner USA Company
Education: Graduate Harvard Business School AMP.
Birthplace: Los Angeles, Calif.
Carefree resident: 8 years
Experience: Town council vacancy, 2004; two full council terms; Vice Mayor, 2007. Subdivision Committee, P&Z Commission, chair, Law Enforcement Advisory Committee, co-chair, Noise Enforcement Advisory Committee, chair, P&Z Commission Nominating Committees. Currently serve on water, budget, and marketing committees. Developed COINS. Produce the Carefree Cares Newsletter.
1. We have many accomplishments of which to be proud. Our new fire and public safety facility and master contract with Rural/Metro are saving the average homeowner $800-$1,000 each year. We have saved our aquifer and have a safe and secure water supply in place. If the citizens like these kinds of achievements and the direction of Carefree, they will vote for me and the majority on our town council who have worked as a team to achieve these results.
2. Only 2 percent of our land is available for commercial development, so continuing to develop an effective town center, which will attract new businesses and helping existing merchants to become more effective is of paramount importance. Once the recession is over, effectively managing the growth and protecting our desert environment will continue to be a top priority.
3. I do not support lowering the standard for electing the mayor. The proposal as written, which according to its author was not reviewed by legal counsel, circumvents the current requirement of receiving a majority of all votes cast to be elected mayor. This sets a far lower standard and our legal counsel has advised against it.
4. I support staggered terms. Nearly every town and city in Arizona has staggered terms for their council members as do the boards of nearly every organization and corporation in America. It assures the enterprise of experience and continuity of management.
5. We are well positioned to deal with this because of our conservative fiscal management and good reserves. We’ve already made the necessary adjustments in our 2008-2009 budget to meet our financial requirements. Our major infrastructure investments are behind us, so our 2009-2010 budget will focus strictly on reducing operating expenses. We are using a zero based budgeting approach, and the budget will be balanced.
6. Our ability to maintain the quality of our lifestyle and enjoyment of our environment is assured through the strict enforcement of our general plan and very tough zoning requirements.
Name: Glenn R. Miller
Family: Married with two sons and three grandchildren
Occupation: Retired 24 year veteran with the Chicago Fire Department, part-time electrical consultant
Education: 4 years trade school, 2 years of college
Birthplace: Chicago, Ill.
Carefree resident: 8 years
Experience: Running for second council term, Co-chair of the Fire Protection Advisory Committee
1. If you are looking for a personal commitment, someone who loves this town and citizens then please vote for me. I vow to help maintain the Carefree lifestyle we all cherish, and will always base my decisions and council vote for all citizens and businesses of Carefree.
2.a. Carefree does not have any problems, only challenges. We need to maintain financial stability, fund balances, contingency reserves and service levels to ensure efficient operations of the town while also maintaining the quality of life and public safety in the community. The town council and staff have positioned the town to accomplish these tasks.
b. Maintaining the town roads and streets will be a major challenge over the next two to three years. Carefree has done a good job in maintaining the roads and streets and I feel confident that we can prolong any major improvements for at least two years.
c. As out community grows near the downtown area with condos and townhouses, we need sidewalks and safe cross walks installed for our citizens who enjoy walking over to the Town Center. Safety is a priority.
3. I am not in favor of direct election of the major. The present system has worked well. When the citizens elect seven councilmen you are giving them a vote of confidence in electing the mayor who has the leadership, knowledge and vision to be the best mayor.
4. I support four year staggered terms, mostly because I am not very keen on campaigning with all the nasty politics and negativity that goes on during an election. Carefree citizens retain the ability to vote every two years for three and four councilmen.
5. I could not have answered this any better than as quoted by our mayor: “Carefree is well prepared to meet the challenges through a combination of strong capital reserves, disciplined spending and conservative revenue budgets.”
6. Carefree is a unique residential community with only two percent of the land use designated commercial. My pledge to you, the citizens of Carefree, is that I will always maintain the Town General Plan and Zoning Laws.
Name: David Schwan
Occupation: Retired, large corporation and small business management
Education: BS, Drexel Institute of Technology; MBA, NYU
Carefree resident: 8 years
Experience: Carefree Long Range Financial Planning Group, 1 year; Carefree P&Z Commission, 2 years; Carefree Town Council, 4 years
1. I stand on my record of four years on town council. I am a fiscal conservative, I plan for the future and I respect everyone and their opinions. I have a record of service and good decisions.
2.a. Balanced Budget: Carefree and the Water Company must have a balanced budget for 2009-2010. Town Council must balance current spending to match income during the national economic downturn.
b. Preserve Carefree’s Unique Character: Carefree must continue with strong enforcement of our Zoning Ordinance. The policies of General Plan 2020 must be honored to protect Carefree’s unique character.
c. Continue Capital Improvements: Town Council must continue to invest in infrastructure for the water company and the town. As funds become available the fire hydrant program, roadway improvement effort and investment in Town Center need to continue.
3. I support staggered terms for council members. Staggered terms will promote continuity and long range planning. Staggered terms are the norm for town councils in Arizona and across the country.
4. I oppose the referendum on direct election of the mayor. It contains a provision to remove majority rule in elections, conflicts with the U.S Constitution and Arizona law, and gives council unlimited power to appoint a replacement mayor. The referendum is poorly written and contains multiple provisions that will open the town to future lawsuits and unneeded legal expenses.
5. Carefree must have a balanced budget in 2009-2010. Town council must match expenses to available income. We must also work with our merchants and the Chamber of Commerce to support our tax base.
6. Strong enforcement of our zoning ordinances and following General Plan 2020 are how Carefree can protect our unique lifestyle and protect everyone’s investment in Carefree.
Name: Douglas Stavoe
Occupation: Carefree business owner (retired pilot)
Education: B. A. Accounting, Michigan State University, Airline Transport Pilot & Certified Flight Instructor
Family: Married 25 years to Monica (daughter Katherine 17, son Andrew 14)
Born: Detroit, Michigan 1961
Carefree resident: 16 years
1. I will: strive to preserve and enhance our Carefree lifestyle; bring a balanced perspective regarding the needs of our residents; protect and nurture Carefree’s reputation and image, within and outside of the local community; collaborate with citizens and others on all issues of importance, forward independent ideas for debate; offer well balanced and thoughtful judgment regarding future development; work to build a more citizen friendly community; assure transparency in government and citizen accessibility to town council and staff; ensure more effective communication between the town and the citizenry; support restraint in spending and sensible town expenditures; contribute a sound understanding of our current economic environment, proven business and financial experience (no property tax, ever); in all actions, consider the effect on our property values.
2. The same as the reasons above.
3. I have a great respect for the citizens of Carefree – who are very capable of selecting the mayor. Citizens should take pause anytime it is suggested it is not in their collective interest to have the right to vote. Direct election holds the mayor directly accountable to the electorate. The job of mayor has changed over the years, now much different than a councilman. Because of conflicting interests, Carefree voters are now best qualified to select the mayor.
4. I am in favor of a two-year election cycle and term for council. Every council I recall has had the majority of incumbents reelected. The primary argument of “continuity in government” does not seem appropriate.
5. We need more involved management of the town’s valuable image and reputation as a tool to generate revenue, more engaged oversight of the festivals and other town core events to help ensure sales taxes collections and more effective use of our town center park as an attraction and a facility. Lowe’s sales tax collections mask the erosion of our tax base. Further non-chain store revenue diversification is necessary.
6. Preservation of our night sky is extremely important in maintaining our desert lifestyle.
Name: Susan Vanik
Occupation: Retired national sales manager and small business owner
Education: Associate Degree Tobe’ Coburn School NYC
Birthplace: Wadsworth, Ohio
Carefree resident: 3 years
Experience: P&Z Commissioner 2007- Present; water conservation study, charitable contributions committee 2007, 2008; Mayor’s award committee 2007; Steering committee for YMCA Community Center Project
1. My community commitment includes serving as President of the Foothills Community Foundation (2004-2006) and President Elect of Kiwanis of Carefree (2008). My conservative fiscal responsibilities with non-profits would serve the town well. I am a volunteer and proven community leader. As P&Z Commissioner I have gained insight into the way our town government works and interacted with the town administrators and staff. I would actively encourage citizen participation in matters governing the town.
2.a. Pursue economic development without sacrificing the town’s unique character: Attract new businesses through sound marketing, support the needs of existing businesses, continue making it more pedestrian friendly, and see the Easy Street project completed.
b. Start planning now to put to the highest use the recently purchased building which will house town offices and the court.
c. Continue to assess the public transportation needs of our citizens and work with various providers for solutions.
3. The voters of Carefree deserve to be well informed about changing the way we elect our mayor with comprehensive facts, pro and con, and legal opinion on what this change would mean to the way our town is governed. I want mayor and council to work in a co-operative manner, free of personal agendas and to maintain non partisan elections in Carefree.
4. Staggering terms is a good idea to have continuity and experience and at the same time opportunity for new leaders to emerge.
5. Freeze expenditures that do not impact the safety or well being of Carefree’s citizens or interrupt the day to day operations of the town. Renegotiate/limit contracted services where feasible. Freeze hiring. Nine out of the past ten years we have added to our reserves, totaling nearly $4 million which will help sustain us through the current down cycle.
6. Our founding fathers and the leaders who followed should be revered. Our lifestyle and night skies are protected by a zoning ordinance that upholds the General Plan. It would be my honor to be among the leaders protecting our wonderful town.