Good ol’ boy supporters rage

By Curtis Riggs | July 8, 2009

CAREFREE – On Tuesday evening, after hearing the disgust from many long-time residents about the Recall Mayor David Schwan effort and the best ways to skirt Arizona's Open Meetings Law, the Carefree Town Council took up an issue which has plagued it since late last year.

Eleven Carefree residents faulted recall organizers Ryan Ducharme and Rod de Szendeffy for taking out recall petitions against the new mayor. Much ire was directed at this newspaper for writing about the recall effort.

Resident Arthur Gimson said he was, “sad to see the town become involved in such pettiness.”

Former Councilman Gary Hayward sad the recall “could throw the town into turmoil” and pointed out citizens would begin directly electing their mayor in 2011 anyway.

Schwan was beaming from all his support in the packed council chambers. He told council it needs to "consider what it is going to do" with the now-vacant building because of the two month lead time to install Internet and telephone service and have an architect work on re-configuring it.

He is proposing the Carefree Town Hall move into the vacant building the council rushed to purchase in December of 2008.

"We need to move the town hall into the Eight Sundial Circle building and move the court into the present town hall location," Schwan said about his preferred option to avoid paying rent on two downtown properties.

Councilmen Peter Koteas, Doug Stavoe and Bob Coady questioned why Schwan is so anxious to spend more money on the court when it already has adequate quarters and the town loses approximately $165,000 on it annually.

Coady told Schwan he was "putting the cart before the horse" by not waiting to examine the best options for the court.

Schwan responded, "The reason to move is to save $4,000 by eliminating paying rent for the court in this building."

In the end council voted 5 - 2 to spend $7,000 to install phones and Internet and $5,000 for architectural work on the building to make it suitable for a future town hall or court. Coady and Stavoe voted no.

Stavoe maintained council has not taken enough time to properly research its options.
Coady agreed, adding, "There are too many loose ends and unanswered questions to make a decision." His research on court options won't be finished for another month.

Schwan's response was the council is going to have to "multitask" in coming months.

Citizen Aaron Grenley told council it should immediately begin trying to sell the new building.
"To me it doesn't make any sense when you have 10 years left on this building," he said.