Your View | February 10 - 16, 2010

?Is Glen Miller really that dumb, or is it a smoke screen so he can have something in common with Hugh Stevens and Gary Hayward?

After spending much of an hour discussing agenda item 5 ("Discussion and possible action regarding a motion to reconsider approval of the December 2009 paid bills check register") at the February Carefree council meeting, the council bizarrely voted 5-2 to withdraw item 5 from the agenda and pretend it never existed. The mayor oddly instructed the town clerk to include the non-existent item in the meeting minutes. The legality of the action seemed left in the air.

At the Carefree February town council meeting Councilwoman Vanik attempted to justify the mayor's unilateral financial donation to one of his pet charities by insisting the council's unanimous agreement not to make any charitable donations this year did not count because no formal vote was recorded on the subject. Just when it appeared she was edging away from hard-line support of the good old boy crowd, she did an about-face.

At the February Carefree town council meeting Vice Mayor Miller appeared even more agitated than usual while denouncing other council members. I submit he does not have legislative leadership temperament and should be removed as vice mayor when the new mayor is selected in March.

Toward the end of the "call to the public" segment of the February council meeting, Carefree Mayor David Schwan abruptly departed the dais, ordering the vice mayor to take charge. The mayor then appeared at the audience podium and announced he was now speaking as a citizen. Soon after beginning his self-directed comments, he paused briefly to let back of the room snickers die down.

Former Carefree Councilman Greg Gardner, who dropped out of the 2009 general election after being unable to be elected in the primary, spoke at the February monthly council meeting to try to put a positive spin on the town's dismal financial position. A highlight of the evening occurred when a sitting councilman urged Mr. Gardner to get involved in town politics.

The "usual suspects" of the good old boy/girl club were much in evidence in the audience at the February Carefree town council meeting. They appeared at the podium to rant at length. Targets included Sonoran News, the editor and a staff member of the newspaper, three councilmen, and even one Carefree resident who doesn't support the GOB mob. Several of the speakers appeared disheartened, apparently resigned to seeing town control turned over to its citizens only when the mayor is recalled by a wide margin in March.

A recent article in the Scottsdale Republic said that drama in the Northeast Valley is ripping through the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, and that conflict, vital to great drama, is best viewed on the stage. Coincidentally, drama also is rolling into the board meetings of a local country club community. Some of the residents said their input wasn't being heard regarding a recently completed solar structure erected to provide a source of "green" energy to heat the club's pool. They feel it is a "monstrosity” and that it has turned their "4-star resort community into an industrial site." Fortunately, a large majority of residents think it looks fine and are proud to be one of the first gated communities in this area to have adopted a source of solar energy to heat the club's pool. Sadly, this appears to be the outcome of a board trying to do the right thing with the powers delegated to them when elected. The Board had responded in writing to all the questions presented to them by the complaining group who detailed their grievances in writing ONLY after the project was almost completed. If quarreling continues, the entire community will be the loser. The amazing thing is that it took this long to erupt, since the project has been talked about and planned for several years. Vehement and impassioned people need to take a deep breath and give the now completed solar system time to prove its worthiness.

I can’t help but notice the similarities between our past president’s administration and this Carefree Mayor’s; both president and mayor rule with sublime incompetence and their ‘seconds in command’ bully and snarl at any who disagree.

It’s ironic Mayor Schawn sent out a statement touting his fiscal responsibility when he actually voted for the wasteful spending of: an $800K fire truck, a multi-million dollar fire house, $330K worth of fake gas lamps and an $800K overpriced, in need of repair, town hall. It was about as good as getting an account statement from Bernie Madoff.

Too bad you didn't let Mayor Schwan know you were publishing his letter. You could have saved us all from having to listen to him whine from the podium. It was ugly to behold.