Carefree convenes with emperor’s new flag and calls for civility

By Linda Bentley | October 14, 2009

hans thieleHans Thiele presented council with several copies of George Washington’s book, “Rules of Civility & Decent Behaviour” during Call to the Public, stating he didn’t know why there was such an adversarial atmosphere at the town council meetings nor did he care to know.
Photo by Linda Bentley

‘Leave your tempers and egos at home’
CAREFREE – The Carefree Town Council meeting began by rote with a call to order, roll call and then the Pledge of Allegiance. Although Mayor David Schwan noted with surprise the flag was missing, that didn’t stop council from standing and facing the absent flag and reciting the Pledge.

Thiele distributed several copies of George Washington’s book: “Rules of Civility & Decent Behaviour” to council and said, “Watching what I would call the ‘Carefree Town Council War,’” he questioned why there was such an adversarial atmosphere.

Thiele then said, “Frankly, I don’t know nor do I care to know. Those causes are in the past. I am more interested in where we go from here … Hopefully, you will enjoy reading them and will take George Washington’s advice. Also, please do not take it badly that the Sonoran News already received its copy last Friday.”

Margaret Stewart also spoke to civility, noting the last council meeting she attended involved councilmen calling each other liars. She asked council to “leave your tempers and egos at home.”

Ron Clark said he supported Vice Mayor Glenn Miller’s proposal for playground equipment and believed it would draw more visitors to the area. Due to budget constraints, he didn’t see the town being able to purchase that equipment this year or even next year and presented council with a donation toward that purchase, hoping others would pitch in.

Gary Hayward stated the Sept. 23 editorial in the Sonoran News reported someone mentioning information leaked from an executive session. He said it was against the law to mention anything discussed during an executive session, “even to your wife.” He asked which council member “is constantly praised in Sonoran News … Is Don Sorchych aiding and abetting …” and suggested “it should be investigated.”

Lt. Pete Metzer introduced himself as the new assistant division commander for the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.

Councilman Bob Coady said a citizen announced during a prior meeting that citizens could drop off drugs for disposal at MCSO any time. “That citizen misspoke,” said Coady, who stated it was against MCSO policy to accept drugs on that basis.

Coady also announced there would be a triple recycling event on Nov. 21 for drug collection, document shredding and E-waste (electronic equipment).

Town Accountant Jim Keen said the town has an audit coming up next month, explained the accrual method of accounting to council and said accruals of approximately $280,000 in intergovernmental receivables will be reversed.

Carefree/Cave Creek Chamber of Commerce director Ian Ellison provided council with his quarterly report.

Ellison said this was one of the worst summers in a very long while and landlords were unwilling to work with their tenants.

He stated, “We have one landlord more interested in recalling the mayor than having tenants,” which elicited a response from Coady, who said, “I think the chamber should stay out of politics.”

Coady asked Ellison what the chamber’s mission is and how many tenants he had brought to Carefree.

Ellison’s answer clarified the chamber’s mission did not include economic development, nor had he brought any tenants to Carefree.

Councilman Doug Stavoe asked Ellison about the effect of Carefree’s speed traps on visitors.

Ellison said residents complain on a regular basis that tickets are issued for going one or two miles over the limit. However, he said that was not the case and tickets were being issued for 15 miles over the limit. He said those weren’t the kind of people they wanted in town anyway.

Stavoe asked again, “So, you’re saying it has no effect on the town? The last time you were up here you said the level of enforcement made your job more difficult.”

Liquor licenses for various events were approved by council although Stavoe asked to continue licenses for events in January and beyond until the town made some progress on the sales tax issue.

Schwan stated it had already been looked into and said Arizona doesn’t tax wine from growers in Arizona.

According to Town Clerk Betsy Wise, the auditor was looking into it “just to make sure” tax was being paid through the Thunderbird Art Festival.

Stavoe said he wasn’t opposed to any of the festivals but just wanted to make sure the town was doing its fiduciary duty by collecting tax if it was due.

Schwan said the wine was not taxable but the glasses people purchased to taste the wine was taxable and the sale of bottles of wine was taxable, leading to confusion over whether or not wine was taxable. He said, “I’m afraid we’ve failed to communicate and I apologize for my deficiency.”