BY LINDA BENTLEY | AUGUST 8, 2012
Carefree seeks interested parties to fill vacant council seat
Schwan proposed interested parties submit a one-page letter of interest to the town clerk no later than 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 24
Photos by Linda Bentley
CAREFREE – During Call to the Public on Tuesday, Cave Creek resident Charles Jensen said he was a retired police captain from Oregon and wanted to introduce his friend Paul Penzone who is running for Maricopa County Sheriff.
Paul Penzone (r), said he was a Phoenix police officer for 20 years and his candidacy was all about rebuilding relationships and bringing a higher level of integrity to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.
Penzone said he didn’t mean to discredit the current sheriff and stated, “We need to move forward.”
During Current Events, Councilman Arthur Gimson announced the Foothills Caring Corps (FCC) recently won two awards from MAG (Maricopa Association of Governments), including top program for transportation for the disabled.
Pastor Jayne Hubbard of FCC won a MAG award for coordinator of the year.
Gimson said if citizens want to contribute to a worthwhile organization, they should consider donating to the FCC.
Mayor David Schwan announced Town Clerk Betsy Wise “wants your blood.” He said Wise was making appointments for a town co-sponsored blood drive at the Carefree Fire Station between 8 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Aug. 18. People may contact Wise at 602-303-6625 or visit town hall to make an appointment to donate blood at this event.
With Vice Mayor Melissa Price absent as she recovers from surgery and former Councilman Jim Van Allen’s council seat resigned, council voted unanimously to approve the financial statements.
Town Accountant Jim Keen said the town paid off its debt on the Sundial building and only had to pull $12,229 from the general fund to become debt free.
Vern Braaksma of APS updated citizens on its recent four-year rate settlement with the Arizona Corporation Commission, which he said would result in a 0 percent base rate impact for residential customers.
Braaksma also updated the town on its renewable energy plans as well as the status of the 69-kV power line project.
According to Braaksma, those in the area affected by the proposed routes for the new lines should have received something in the mail and said the next open house will be held 6-8 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 15 at the Horseshoe Trails Elementary School Cafeteria, 5405 E. Pinnacle Vista Dr., Phoenix.
Currently, APS is considering five possible routes for the new power lines.
When Councilman Marty Saltzman asked if APS considered burying the lines, Braaksma stated, “We’ll pay for overhead lines,” and said it would be up to the affected communities if they want to provide the funding mechanism for the difference to bury the lines.
Council voted unanimously to approve road closures for three art festivals sponsored by Roberta Toombs in November, January and February.
Council also voted unanimously to approve road closures for the Sonoran Arts League (SAL) Festival.
Karen Smith-Lovejoy, SAL secretary and incoming president said she is a Carefree resident and wanted to bring the festival back to Carefree.
During public comment, Venues Café owner Catherine Marr asked if any consideration had been given to setting up booths in the gardens rather than the street.
Smith-Lovejoy said it would not be beneficial for the gardens, as their booths are larger than the booths used in other festivals, and 100 artists would not fit in the gardens.
She said they will work with local businesses so as not to interfere.
Marr said, “Don’t misunderstand, we do support this.”
Lyn Hitchon said she has a number of friends who are artists that haven’t participated since the festival moved and was excited it was coming back to Carefree.
Council unanimously approved awarding a bid to Regional Pavement Maintenance in the amount of $1,007,557.70, including a 5 percent contingency for the first project of the town’s 10-year Pavement Preventative Maintenance Plan.
The town budgeted $1.2 million for the project in FY 2012-2013.
Town Administrator Gary Neiss said staff walked all the streets, rated and prioritized them for scheduling work.
He said work is anticipated to begin the last week of August and will be completed in 60 days.
To fill the council seat vacated by Van Allen’s resignation, Schwan proposed interested parties submit a one-page letter of interest to the town clerk no later than 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 24.
If more than three citizens express interest, three members of council will interview all interested parties and recommend three citizens to the entire council, which will vote to appoint a citizen to fill the unexpired term at its next meeting, which Schwan said is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 18, due to the Labor Day holiday and to allow the vice mayor more time to recover from surgery.
Saltzman looked to Town Attorney Michael Wright for guidance.
Wright noted there was nothing specific in the town code, which states, “The council shall fill by appointment for the unexpired term any vacancy that may occur for whatever reason.”
Council voted unanimously to adopt the process recommended by Schwan.