Council withdrawals made Traynor decision easy

By Curtis Riggs | April 1, 2009

Running as write-in candidate on May 19
CAREFREE – Town council write-in candidate John Traynor’s decision to seek a seat on the council was made easier by the withdrawal of three top council incumbents last month.

John TraynorTraynor, an eight-year Carefree resident who created a water rate calculator when he saw the size of the Carefree Water Company’s recent rate increase, received the go ahead from his wife to run for office when she saw the negative campaigns run by two political-action committees in the March election. He received her full support when Mayor Wayne Fulcher, Vice Mayor Lloyd Meyer and six-term Councilman Greg Gardner bowed out.

He received the message the “Three Musketeers” were calling it quits during a New York Knicks basketball game at Madison Square Garden, while on a recent Spring Break trip.
“I thought the crowd was cheering for the message,” he said.

“It was a substantial letdown to Carefree voters considering the rhetoric about continuity and extending council terms to four years. To try and get their terms extended and then drop out when they don’t get their way is poor civic responsibility.”

Traynor first ran for town council in 2007. Many Carefree residents did not know him at the time. Then he developed the water rate calculator, which gave him name recognition with others opposing the rate increase.

“People started paying more attention to my ideas then,” he said. “They saw I was not a psycho and made good points.”

He intends to update the water rate calculator this month to reflect Cave Creek’s new water rates.

Should he win one of the four open council seats on May 19, he would work to ensure Carefree citizens receive a “good value” for services provided such as water delivery and fire protection.

He said one thing he would like to change on council is having Carefree negotiate contracts and prices for services.

“Renegotiating contracts will be high on the list,” the former information technology professional said. “Competitive bidders will have to get competitive.”

He stated Carefree Town Councilmen need to have a better understanding of where sales-tax proceeds, Carefree’s primary revenue source, come from and the status of Arizona shared revenue, which is paid back to the town.

“We have heard much about a bottom-up budget this year. I would like to see that come to fruition,” he said.

“My mind is open. My door is open,” he says. With respect to how Carefree can survive its present financial crisis, he added, “If someone has a good idea, they should present it. We can’t just rely on seven people on the town council. Carefree residents in general need to get involved.”

Photo: Town council write-in candidate John Traynor asks voters to consider his election on May 19 even though his name won’t be on the ballot.
Photo by Curtis Riggs