My View

By Don Sorchych | February 25, 2009

Don SorchychCarefree publisher’s picks

Sonoran News’ eighth forum was held at the Carefree Resort and Villas on Feb. 16. We apologize for holding the event on President’s Day but it was the only choice available.

Nonetheless, we appreciate the crowd of about 75 and the challenging questions asked.

Thanks to the space and beverages provided by Carefree Resort and Villas was a real tribute to good citizenship of Carefree.

Carefree Architect Shelby Wilson presided with his usual humor but with a little bit of bite since he is a Carefree citizen.

In all such forums I only act as time keeper so no one can complain that the forum is any way rigged. All of the written non-redundant questions were asked by Wilson.

According to Scottsdale Republic Editor Robert Ledger, Mayor Wayne Fulcher asked for a Republic forum.

So why did Fulcher seek out the Scottsdale Republic and ask for a forum when the Republic only delivers 750 papers to Carefree while Sonoran News delivers 2500?

When Ledger was asked why he wanted to do a forum in Cave Creek, his memory failed and he couldn’t remember who sought a forum. Maricopa County realtor activist Anna Marsolo’s urgent e-mails to sycophants urging attendance at the Cave Creek forum may explain who pulled strings at the Republic. More about that next week.

This newspaper has for several years supported Bob Coady for Carefree council. We still do.
Coady has survived assaults from the mayor and his five cohorts. Their supportive PACs, led by Hugh Stevens and Ralph Pipp dig for every morsel of dirt they can find. You will read about their most current attempt in this edition. Somehow Kiwanis Secretary Gary Hayward has become a vocal opponent. Remember that he physically threatened Coady and the entire council showed up for his defense in court, except Fulcher, who was working.

This council, not Coady, want four-year staggered terms. What have they done to earn that privilege?

The fact that all incumbents, except Coady, sing from the same song sheet is disturbing. They all praise their minor accomplishments and hide their failures and problems. They come to council meetings with their minds made up and stick together like they are glued.
We published inside proof years ago that Carefree officials had private meetings with a majority of councilmen. Although I have no proof they still do, their current lack of meaningful debate on issues at council meetings speaks for itself.

All is not sweetness and light at town hall as Fulcher would have you believe. The council, absent Coady who is not an insider, are withholding financial necessities until the election is over.

Can the town afford their elite and expensive contract for fire protection? There are private concerns, hidden from the public.

Did Fulcher fire long time Town Administrator Jon Pearson to make room and a cost saving for insider Gary Neiss to replace Pearson? Was Fulcher angered by Pearson’s cogent advice to not organize a public lynching of Coady by Fulcher’s five buddies about Coady’s initiative for a public vote of Fulcher’s own position of mayor?

Isn’t that a conflict of interest on Fulcher’s part?

If the slate of six think they can rise above a dirty election by use of two venomous PACs they are mistaken. These people take no prisoners and their use of propaganda is obvious. I would like to see the slate deny a connection to the Hugh Stevens of the world and prove it.

The PAC, Get Out & Vote ’09, takes credit for recycling while persecuting the driver of recycling, Bob Coady.

They brag about water at a “reasonable price” when they floated a seven percent bond, while Cave Creek pays less than four percent. They don’t mention the sweetheart insider deal with the Desert Forest Golf Club, which assures the golf club a water supply and guarantees continued draining of the aquifer. Cave Creek is off the aquifer except for legal wells of homeowners.

When Ledger asked what stupid votes they made most council members demurred, except Fulcher and Meyer who both damned their contribution to “Quiet Skies.” I warned former Mayor Ed Morgan to audit the Desert Advocate. Years later they did and it cost Carefree $73,000.

After abuse of Coady for having the temerity to file an initiative for direct election of the mayor, the slate now claims someone can be voted into office with less than a majority.
How about ARS 9-821.01(A)?

“Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a city or town may by ordinance provide that at the primary election any candidate who receives a majority of all votes cast at such election shall be declared elected to the office for which he is a candidate, effective as of the date of the general election. And no further election shall be held as to such candidate, provided that nothing on the ballot shall be indicative of the source of the candidacy or of the support of the candidacy.”

Let the voters decide who they want to lead the town.

There are three candidates to begin to create a council with competence and no good old boy togetherness. Issues should be debated in public by public minded council members.
Peter Koteas and Doug Stavoe care about the town, understand the need for public debate and know what needs to be done to right the ship.

Susan Vanic is anointed by a PAC as an obvious replacement for Coady. The PACs and slate clearly want the good old days when all votes were 7-0. Vanic is also a Kiwanian, supporters of the slate.

When trying to decide which of the six should be sidelined, does it matter? They all drink through the same straw.

But perhaps the best course is to cut off the head of the snake. If Fulcher and Lloyd Meyer were voted out, the council would be on a path to future success, above board, establishing the town with transparent government.

So if I lived in Carefree, I would vote for Coady, Koteras and Stavoe. I would not vote for Fulcher or Meyer. I would vote in favor of citizen’s being able to elect the mayor and to retain the two year terms.