Hitchon still running high on ‘fantasy’

By Linda Bentley | November 4, 2009

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Lyn HitchonCAREFREE – Planning Commissioner Lyn Hitchon has decided to take on history and Rod de Szendeffy with her Oct. 31 edition of “Carefree Truth,” Issue #19 of her e-mail newsletter, by countering Channel 3 TV’s statement on Oct. 26 that de Szendeffy was one of the founders of Carefree 25 years ago.

Hitchon stated, “I have the original list of volunteers who selflessly put in incalculable hours to accomplish our incorporation. This sheet also lists the members of the first Carefree Council. The names with the asterisks were the most heavily involved but all on the list donated much time and energy … Please note that Mr. de Szendeffy’s name does not appear, and in fact, he was no way involved.”

De Szendeffy responded by saying Hitchon “never seems to run low on fantasy,” and offered a little history about Carefree’s incorporation that predates Hitchon’s arrival by eight to 10 years.

“Our effort began when the next building and store owner Earl Hutchings asked me to let the incorporation folks use empty space in the Warren Building for offices and meetings,” said de Szendeffy, which eventually led to using his facility to collect signatures for the actual incorporation petition.

rod de szendeffyAnd, after the town was successfully incorporated, de Szendeffy donated space in the Warren Building to serve as Carefree’s first town hall.

He said, “Those are just a couple of the dozens of times I've donated to more local organizations than I can count,” which continues to this day with his involvement in Boy Scout Troop 603 and by providing the venue for Councilman Bob Coady’s drug drop off and recycling programs.

Following incorporation, de Szendeffy served as president of the chamber of commerce for four years, while his wife Attorney Carol Lynn de Szendeffy was appointed Carefree's first judge.

He said, “The town awarded at least one plaque with our names on it and, unless it was removed during the recent remodeling, it was on the wall in the council chambers.”

It wasn’t that long ago Hitchon waved a document in the air at a council meeting insisting Chris Mellon and Company was duly licensed when the town awarded him the tenant improvement contract for the 8 Sundial building. However, as she waived away, the Arizona Registrar of Contractors (ROC) had already sent Mellon a letter stating he was in violation of a number of laws and could not contract under that name, while demanding he cease contracting under that name or submit a name change to the ROC.

Hitchon also had to do some back peddling and a few tap dances about her claims that anyone could drop off their prescription drugs for disposal at the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office substation next door to Cave Creek Town Hall any time they wanted.

Apparently, when Council-man Coady incorporated the safe drug drop-off event into his recycling programs twice a year (April and November) it was done in coordination with MCSO’s illegal drug incineration program.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio spent about three hours at the first drug drop-off event in Carefree approximately two years ago and said, as part of the agreement to allow the semi-annual event he didn’t want District 4 to become a repository for drugs, except during the events.

In her Oct. 16 edition of “Carefree Truth,” Hitchon said she was surprised at Coady’s insistence her assertion was incorrect about being able to drop off drugs at the MCSO substation and stated, “I have been dropping off prescription drugs there for quite some time. I have even done this for neighbors. This afternoon, I dropped off an outdated prescription at the substation, where it was accepted graciously, as always.”

She declared Coady was mistaken and insisted, “MCSO will accept and safely dispose of your old drugs at any time during their normal business hours. This is a wonderful service they provide, as it is not always convenient to wait for, or to attend, a recycling event.”

On Oct. 17, Hitchon sent out another “Carefree Truth,” stating she had since spoken to Lt. Pete Metzler, and said, since there is a drug recycling program sponsored by the town on Nov. 21, “we are encouraged to drop them off there.”

Hitchon, who signed an oath of office as a member of the Carefree Planning and Zoning Commission, has basically admitted to being in violation of the law by collecting prescription drugs, possibly even narcotics, from her neighbors.

Photo by Linda Bentley