Gemmill, Stavoe out of Marketing Committee

By Curtis Riggs | July 1, 2009

Says Gemmil: ‘I can’t work with him’
CAREFREE – Disagreements over a marketing strategy for the town led to a reshuffling of council members serving on the town marketing committee.

Bob GemmillMayor David Schwan reacted to Councilman Bob Gemmill’s reluctance to serve on the marketing committee with Councilman Doug Stavoe by removing both from the committee. He intends to replace them with Councilman Peter Koteas and Councilwoman Susan Vanik.

Central to the disagreements between Gemmill and Stavoe is Gemmill’s ardent support of the Carefree-Cave Creek Chamber of Commerce, which has handled much of the town’s marketing in the past, and Stavoe’s desire to form a new Economic Security Advisory Committee.

Gemmill bristled when Stavoe began floating ideas about forming the new economic advisory committee. He sought to draw Stavoe into an argument about the Thunderbird Art Festivals in Stavoe’s first council meeting.

Schwan’s decision to shift areas of responsibility happened after Gemmill told him he could not work with Stavoe.

Schwan said he removed Gemmill and Stavoe from the Marketing Committee, “to make sure there are no real, or perceived, conflicts of interest.”

“It seems like we will make better progress if we have two new people with fresh ideas,” he said.

Doug StavoeStavoe owns the Blue Sky Coffeehouse in downtown Carefree.

Gemmill owns property in downtown Carefree and his wife, Jo, owns the English Rose Tea Room.

Schwan said he intends to place the matter on the agenda for the July 7 council meeting.

“Both Susan Vanik and Peter Koteas said having the committee is a good idea and we have people from the community already volunteering for it. I’m sure we will have the committee,” Schwan said.

The mayor stated the council needs to move forward on marketing issues. Gemmill proposed having fewer Town Center concerts this year and trying to attract better-known entertainment for the concerts. He said the town needs to move forward with planning for Carefree’s 25th anniversary celebration in October and the Christmas Festival in December.

“I look at this as a minor shuffling of responsibilities,” Schwan said about the committee changes.

Stavoe takes no offense at being removed from the committee.

“I didn’t ask for the special assignment. The mayor asked for my help on marketing and I told him I would be happy to do so,” he said.

“At first I thought it was kind of weird,” he said after being removed from the committee. “But I am happy to help the town in any way I can.”