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OCTOBER 13, 2010

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Word on the street is Mayor David Schwan is opposed to the two Carefree property tax initiatives – (a) five votes rather than four for council to enact a property tax and (b) a requirement for voters to also pass the property tax if council passes it – because he wants to issue a bond and needs a property tax behind the bonds. No word yet on what the bond might be used for.

The Carefree council does everything it can to discourage public attendance at its monthly meetings, especially beginning at 5 p.m. Despite that obstacle there was an excellent turnout in October. Why doesn't Mayor Schwan put important agenda items near the start so the public wouldn't have to wait and listen to council members bickering about minutia on agenda items only the council is concerned about? Mayor Schwan makes my hair hurt.

Since when is asking critical questions and looking at all of the options, even if unpopular with the CCUSD administration, NOT a criteria for school board members! Kudos to Susan Clancy, who was repeatedly dissed by the obviously unqualified candidate, Mrs. Workman at Tuesday evening's candidate forum. The CCUSD administration would love to add two more board members to the existing three who have time and again failed to ask the tough questions and worse, accepted the administration's evasive or non answers. Intelligent voters see this plainly and will stand behind Mrs. Clancy. She represents integrity, honesty, open communication and yes, she questions, questions and questions this administration. Thankfully someone does!

The attitude toward July 4th sparklers of the olde pharts running Carefree and Cave Creek reminds me of the creaky old men standing in Red Square in Moscow as military equipment paraded by and Russian teens were trading for pirated Beatles' tunes. Who is supposed to police the use of a sparkler anyway? What is the penalty going to be? 100 hours of community service for an eight year old who gets ratted out by an 80-year old nosy neighbor?

How can Carefree Lowe's compete in selling high ticket items like appliances with a 10.3 percent sales tax rate? The slightly lower 10.25 percent Chicago rate drives buyers to the suburbs for cars and appliances. Good thinking, town council.

Recently I received a survey form about "community-wide trash collection" from the town of Carefree. The form claims "many Carefree residents have expressed interest in a community-wide contract with a private solid waste company for weekly trash pick-up." It sounds to me like Mayor Schwan is looking for a way to get a foot in the door for a property tax by getting a slightly lower initial rate for individuals' municipal trash collection and then selling the idea of a property tax by making the trash collection payments tax-deductible for those who itemize tax deductions. If the council hadn't run town finances into the ground, the town could just pay for trash pick-up. It is just another hare-brained scheme cooked up by the same group that installed electric "gas" lights in the town center.

Former Carefree Mayor Huber Stevens insisted the town issue 7 percent non-callable bonds in connection with the purchase of the Carefree Water Co. Interest rates have fallen dramatically but citizens are stuck paying an absurd interest rate and sky-high prices for water. Thanks, Huber!

It would appear that with the upcoming inception of Obama Care, Dr. Herbie Hitchon is looking to supplement his income by following his wife around as her personal photographer. I hope Obama Care is repealed.

Good for you Don for turning those slugs into State agencies on Open Meeting violations. Not only did Meyer, Fulcher, and Gardner run with their "tails between their legs" at the last election, they are the ones that have made backroom deals a byword in Carefree. We need some muck raking done to clean out the lice that have infested this town. Schwan, Miller and Gemmill are a good place to start.

Looking for a haunted house to visit this Halloween? Try the free Carefree Town Center after dark. It's deserted and pretty scary.

Oh, swell ... Carefree has just opened a new overpriced restaurant. Just what we need. When will the town and merchants figure out that Carefree is no longer a tourist destination and residents aren't going to pay twice the amount for a meal they can get down the road? Wake up people!

As I was signing the two Carefree property tax initiatives, I spoke to the gentleman gathering signatures. He mentioned the public response has been highly favorable and a majority of members of the town council has signed both sheets. However, he said Mayor Schwan is strongly opposed to both requiring a supermajority vote on the council for a property tax and letting the public have the power to approve any Carefree property tax. Maybe the mayor isn't planning to run in the March 2011 primary?