Your View | February 24 - March 2, 2010

Using Winston Churchill’s assessment of Clement Attlee, Mayor Schwan is a very modest man with a great deal to be modest about.

I think it would be interesting if we held every man in the country up to the same moral scrutiny that we are holding are political figures and our sports icons to. But, of course, there aren’t any common men who are cheating on their wives, are there?

Becky Fenger, my brother-in-law is Dr. Ivan Fenger who migrated from Denmark to Chicago. I wonder if he was any relation – he was the personal physician for the King of Denmark. Curiosity killed the cat. I liked the Ten Most Wanted article you wrote.

We recently became aware of an edited video on YouTube that a private citizen chose to post which did not allow for the full details of a Carefree council meeting. We encourage the mayor and council members to make the entire tape of each and every council meeting available via Coins, allowing the public to see and hear the unedited meeting.

Remaining merchants in the Carefree town center must feel their businesses have a Sword of Damocles in the form of the Lewis Easy Street project hanging over them. Town council approved a zoning change allowing condos and retail shops in 2006. But the project hasn't even started. Local merchants must wait to see how the construction mess and new retail space will affect them. Is it any wonder so many have left town rather than endure continued uncertainty, not to mention a sales tax rate of almost 10 percent?

If Carefree is in "a solid financial condition" as Mayor Schwan claims, why is he charging council members a fee to listen to their own comments from prior meetings? Schwan can't have it both ways; either the town needs this added revenue ($7.50) or he is impeding elected officials in the performance of their duties.

Schwan, you and your cronies can stop harassing me at the post office and by phone. I have filled out my ballot and mailed it. And, I voted for Traynor!

Recently I bought a few items on sale at the Carefree Lowe's store. The sales tax rate turned out to be 9.33 percent and the actual tax I paid was higher than the price of the two items I purchased. Maybe Mayor Schwan would be so kind as to raise the rate another 0.67 percent to make the tax calculation easy at 10 percent. Is it any wonder merchants are fleeing Carefree and stores are closed?

According to the Maricopa County Assessor's Office, median full cash property values fell over 20 percent in zip 85377 from 2008 to 2009. To add insult to injury Mayor Schwan is considering a Carefree property tax. He won't get my vote.

For the first seven months of the fiscal year though Jan. 31, 2010 total revenues of Carefree Water Company fell 8.3 percent versus the targeted budget amount. Yet total water costs jumped 25.8 percent mainly due to higher Scottsdale CAP water use. The water operation is caught in a death spiral: as rates go up, less water is used and income falls faster than higher rates can offset. Is it any wonder Mayor Schwan wants a property tax?

In a rush to find revenue to fund grandiose spending schemes, first the Cave Creek town council played a weak hand of poker and got bluffed by Walmart's threat to locate in Phoenix. Next voters endorsed the sell-out of the soul of the town for a pittance. Based on a 3 percent sales tax rate it would take annual Walmart revenues of over $16 million to generate $0.5 million for the town. That works out to over $45,000 each day (or over 600 customers spending an average of $75 per visit). If that were to happen, traffic would be far worse than now. I submit town tax revenue and traffic congestion from Walmart are going to be highly disappointing. If citizens want a Scottsdale infrastructure standard, they should begin planning for a new property tax after the Spur Cross bonds are paid off.

PAC ID #2009-05 (no individual organizers' names included), apparently sensing imminent recall of their hero, Mayor David Schwan, recently mailed from Phoenix a flyer with alleged John Traynor quotes, two-four years old, that are conveniently impossible to verify. Unfortunately the PAC couldn't find anything positive to say about the mayor other than "Defeat the Recall.”

Those must have been some phone calls from Mr. Birnbaum, Cave Creek’s lawyer, to Councilmen Francia, Trenk, Mozilo and Esser to ensure their votes on extending the law firm’s contract despite the firm’s record of poor performance and exorbitant costs over the past four years. All four dutifully voted as instructed while gleefully extolling the virtues of ‘a large firm’ without any specific reasons whatsoever. It’s funny though – not a single one of them addressed the poor performance and high cost issues. Were photos with a goat involved?

If you missed the Feb. 16 Cave Creek Council meeting, you missed the political theater of the year (to date). Mayor Francia led his three lackey councilmen (Trenk, Mozilo and Esser) in a vote to continue the contract of the town’s current law firm; the firm quite openly referred to the past couple of years as the firm providing the $2 an hour lawyer and the $200 an hour billing. Maybe the Carefree GOBs (Good Old Boys) could learn something from these four!