Citizen calls for ‘dramatic action’

By Linda Bentley | March 3, 2010

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‘I don’t think this economy is going to repair itself any time soon’
CAREFREE – Jim Peirce took to the podium for Call to the Public during Tuesday’s council meeting and mentioned Carefree Resort’s and Basha’s bankruptcies as well as the 40 to 60 percent vacancy rate in the town center.

He said, “Dramatic action needs to be taken by this council.”

david schwan & glenn millerMary Husband agreed with Peirce and said she read somewhere that the town had enough reserves to last 25 years. She didn’t agree reserves would last anywhere near that long, adding, “I don’t think this economy is going to repair itself any time soon.”

Hugh Stevens refuted what Peirce had said, stating the resort was not in bankruptcy while touting recent well-attended events and some already booked into the future.

Mayor David Schwan announced there will be a special council meeting at 3 p.m. on March 16 to canvass the vote of the March 9 Recall Election.

During Current Events, Councilman Bob Coady asked to have a letter attached to the minutes, as Town Clerk Betsy Wise said she does when provided. He stated ex-Mayor Wayne Fulcher, as one of his last acts, accused Coady of misappropriating money in an attempt to discredit him in during the last election. Coady asked that the letter from the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office vindicating him be attached for the record.

Council unanimously approved a special event liquor license for Cooper’s Art Brokerage House, a letter in support of Arizona Department of Transportation 5310 Grant funds for the Foothills Caring Corps and renewal of its Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan.

After council unanimously approved the January financial reports presented by Town Accountant Jim Keen, Vice Mayor Glenn Miller said, “I want to go back to the cash receipts and cash disbursement sheet.”

Miller cited specific line items, including one for $690,000 he stated was budgeted from reserves, noting none of it had been spent.

He said there was at least $760,000 in the budget the town will not be spending.

“Jim’s been pretty much on the mark for the past three years,” said Miller, adding, “This is why I like to look at Jim’s cash flow projections every month.”

Schwan stated, “I’d just like to beat this dead horse a little more,” and said sales tax revenue was down by only 17.5 percent while the cash flow projection showed 20 percent.
Councilman Doug Stavoe asked what the -33.5 percent on the total revenues line meant.

Keen clarified it meant the town received 33.5 percent less in revenue from all sources in January compared to January of last year.

Photo: Vice Mayor Glenn Miller (r) pontificated about the town’s financial standing during Tuesday’s council meeting, while touting Town Accountant Jim Keen’s abilities to provide accurate cash flow projections. Mayor David Schwan said the town’s sales tax revenue, projected to be down 20 percent, was only down 17.5 percent.   Photo by Linda Bentley