Call for new blood on P&Z thwarted by town hall recount

By Curtis Riggs | August 5, 2009

Planning and Zoning Commission applicant Joe Pleggenkuhle addresses the Carefree Town Council at a selection meeting held Monday.
Joe Pleggenkuhle

Hitchon survives confusion
CAREFREE – For the briefest of moments it appeared the town council had ushered in real change on Monday evening by appointing four new Planning and Zoning Commissioners.

Wise explained a mistake was made during the first count on Monday. After a Florida-style recount on Tuesday morning Town Clerk Betsy Wise announced town hall insider Lyn Hitchon had retained the seat she has held for two years. The recount gave Hitchon four votes and allowed her to edge out newcomer Thomas Cross who had applied for both P&Z and the Subdivision Committee.

Shortly after the Monday meeting Hitchon sent out a letter thanking citizens for allowing her to serve them for the past two years.

Councilman Bob Coady, who voted for Cross, was surprised the tallying mistake was made. He added the "tape speaks for itself" in assessing how Hitchon, a strong supporter of Mayor David Schwan, was able to stay on the commission.

Incumbent P&Z Vice Chairman Ron Clark and incumbent commissioners Al Mascha, Lyn Hitchon and Martin Salzman were selected to serve for another two years. John Crane is making the move up from the Subdivision Committee, with newcomers Scott Sperl and Daniel Wainwright, joining them.

Clark, Crane, Mascha, Saltzman and Wainwright each received five votes.

The new commissioners will be sworn into office at a special P&Z meeting on Monday, Aug. 10.

The confusion also affected the vote for the Subdivision Committee.

On Monday, it appeared current Subdivision Committee member Ray Arnold and builder Martin Holmes had been appointed.

Because Cross did not retain a P&Z seat after the recount, he will be considered for one of the vacancies on the Subdivision Committee. Wise said council will revote to fill the two seats on the committee at its Sept. 9 meeting.