VOL. 17 ISSUE NO. 13   |   MARCH 30 – APRIL 5, 2011


Cost cutting measures create strange bed fellows


CAREFREE/CAVE CREEK – An announcement was made today that caused consternation among both residents and those governing the towns of Carefree and Cave Creek.

Two agencies have been meeting to identify cost cutting strategies for implementation over the next few months – the Association of Arizona Towns and the Budget Conformity Alliance of Arizona. Whether or not those strategies implemented will be reversed when the economy rebounds has not yet been decided.

david schwan
Carefree Mayor David Schwan
Although the efforts of the two groups are to be recognized, implementation of the local strategy for Carefree and Cave Creek seems on face value, impossible.

These are the basics of their plan and potentially un-resolvable issues:
Strategy: Cave Creek and Carefree will merge, forming one town. Issue: What do we name this new entity? Will Creekers still be Creekers?

Strategy: Co-mayors and a joint council will temporarily operate the new entity. Issue: It is apparent the recommending bodies are unfamiliar with the diverse forms and styles of government (town manager vs. mayoral).

Vincent Francia
Cave Creek Mayor Vince Francia
Strategy: Run-off elections will be held in November for mayor and council of the newly formed entity. Issue: Cost of holding another election.

Strategy: Determination would be made as to location and staff of services which will be discontinued to eliminate duplication. Issue: The expense of replacing existing staff, office space and equipment would be prohibitive after the economy rebounds.

When asked about the issue, Cave Creek Mayor Vincent Francia said, “I’m certain that with a positive approach and our citizens in mind we can formulate a government that will serve everyone.”

Mayor David Schwan expressed his point of view by saying, “There will be no problems with creating a new joint governing body as long as I am the CEO.”

Citizens from both Carefree and Cave Creek who were upset by the announcement left the Tuesday night meeting in droves after hearing the recommendations for merger.

Several spoke suggesting there would be a mass exodus of residents from both towns and referendums by those who choose to remain if this implementation is pushed forward.