Alarmists without COINS use general delivery
By Linda Bentley | March 4, 2009
The ‘breaking voter news’ no newspaper saw fit to print
CAREFREE – Gary Hayward, Ron Nelson and Chuck Hoch, who are behind the political action committee Caring About Carefree, apparently had little luck peddling what their “investigation” uncovered about Carefree Councilman Bob Coady, who is seeking reelection, to a Scottsdale newspaper.
So, the PAC prepared a mailer, emblazoned with, “Important Breaking Voter News,” addressed to every “Boxholder” in Carefree.
In all caps at the beginning of the flyer’s message, the PAC, which has a “General Delivery” mailing address, claims “… information was distributed about a secret personal bank account. This checking account was opened by Bob Coady in his and Grace Meeth’s (a Cave Creek Councilwoman) name. Funds intended for the town’s recycle programs were diverted and deposited in this account.”
The flyer carries on about what “an investigation found” about Coady’s supposed “secret account” and the “numerous thank you letters (with no carbon copy to the town) to local merchants, community charitable organizations and individuals for contributions to the recycle program. Each letter indicated a blank for the amount donated but no amount was shown.”
At the end it asks, “How much money was this and what happened to it?
“Ask yourself about Bob Coady’s record? Do you want him on your council?”
It states the PAC was formed to inform Carefree voters about Mr. Coady’s record, claiming,
“You will never read about it in Mr. Coady’s PAC … Sonoran News.”
While the flyer attempts to alarm by using all caps, boldfacing and underlining, the information it contains is all bogus.
Actually, the account was opened as a joint account between Carefree and Cave Creek for the Community Recycling Partnership in 2003 for the sole purpose of accepting funds and donations for recycling only. At the time, neither town had a means of for the monies to be kept separate from either town.
The once a month recycling program began about 10 years ago in Cave Creek under Brian Miller, who handled Cave Creek’s recycling.
Coady approached Miller to obtain information about his recycling program. However, Coady wasn’t appointed to oversee the recycling program by Carefree Town Council until his second council term and after the Community Recycling Partnership had already been formed.
The town of Carefree contributed $61,659 toward the recycling program between 2001 and 2009 and, due to the program’s popularity, council agreed to continue the program and a budget line item was established. The funds were disbursed by the town strictly for recycling expenditures or events.
So, the Community Recycling Partnership account was originally opened by Miller and Coady in 2003. In 2004, when Miller no longer worked for Cave Creek, Jeff Lowe became a signator on the account with Coady and in 2005, Meeth replaced Lowe.
The account was never a secret as account information has always been readily available at town hall.
Although there were also claims that grant money was deposited into the account, Coady says that too is incorrect, as he explains grants, by law, must be handled by a fiduciary party, not individuals.
In March 2007, right before a household hazardous waste event, the town attorney became concerned about town liability and suggested a special insurance policy be purchased.
Coady said the Community Recycling Partnership offered to pay for the policy.
This was also when the town of Carefree told Coady it had created a special line item for the Community Recycling Partnership in the budget that would not be co-mingled with town funds and could be carried over to the next year. Coady wrote a check for $4,500 to transfer the funds.
The only reason Coady’s PO Box in Carefree was used for the “secret account” that both towns knew about since day one, was because Miller was not a resident of Cave Creek.
And as far as his close association with Sonoran News Publisher/Editor Don Sorchych goes, Coady said that relationship exists due to Sorchych’s continued support and publicity for all the recycling events over the years.
Responding to the PAC’s question about whether he should continue to serve on Carefree Town Council, Coady said, “Quite honestly, who cares what Hayward, Nelson and Hoch think? It’s up to the citizens to decide.”
Just for the record, Sonoran News inspected that “secret” Bank of America account and found all the transactions properly associated with the recycling program.
And, nonprofits generally provide receipts for donated goods with the amount field left blank, as the donors will always know the value of their donation better than the recipient.