Carefree continues struggle with traffic calming measures

‘The blinking yellow light isn’t stopping people’
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CAREFREE – With Councilman John Crane absent, council breezed through its agenda with unanimous approvals on all items.

bob gearhartCall to the public brought Bob Gearhart (l), who lives in the Montacino Carefree Condominiums, to the podium to express concerns over flashing yellow lights for the pedestrian crossing on Tom Darlington Drive.

He stated, “The blinking yellow light isn’t stopping people.”

Gearhart said it wasn’t just he and his wife who have experienced near misses with traffic but people crossing the road when there are festivals in town.

He shared an incident that happened to him recently during which he was involved in a near miss while crossing the road and pointed out the flashing yellow lights to the driver of the truck that almost hit him.

Gearhart said the driver of the truck turned around and got involved in a verbal altercation with him, saying he was a retired cop and Gearhart didn’t know what he was talking about.

When someone asked if he got the license number, Gearhart stated, “I’ve got it right here in my pocket.”

Gearhart suggested the town make a change to the flashing light and perhaps have a flashing red light instead of the yellow.

Mayor David Schwan told Gearhart to call town hall and make an appointment with Town Administrator Gary Neiss and said, “Bring that license number with you.”

During Current Events, Schwan said the Urban Land Institute would be appearing at the council chambers on Thursday Jan. 16 from 1-4 p.m. to provide advice to the town on how to promote economic development.

Although the meeting will be open to the public, Schwan stated there would be no public participation.

Council approved an expenditure not to exceed $60,000 of Cave Creek court enhancement fees to make tenant improvements to the consolidated court space in Cave Creek.

Neiss stated the expenditure had already been approved through the intergovernmental agreement (IGA) between the two towns but since Carefree has taken over the court operations, those funds have been transferred to Carefree and were being brought to council to authorize the expenditure.

Neiss said the improvements should take eight to 10 weeks and court operations should be at the Cave Creek Court location by spring.

Consolidated court operations, in the interim, are being held in the Carefree Council Chambers.

Council approved a resolution brought forward by Town Clerk Kandace French allowing for the establishment of a policy and fee structure for requests for inspection and reproduction of town records.

French explained the town currently has no policy or fee structure for records requests.

She said things that can be transmitted electronically would not have a fee, but records that need to be physically copied would.

French said placing things on the town’s website, such as agenda packets, will eliminate many of those requests.

Council approved an amendment to its (IGA) with Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office that will allow for the town to request any staff assigned to service within the town to be reassigned or otherwise removed from service within the town.

The request must be made in writing by the town manager and, when such a request is made, the sheriff’s office “shall comply as soon as reasonably practical, but in no case within no more than three weeks after such request is made.”

According to Schwan, this is a standard clause usually included in MCSO’s IGA that was inadvertently omitted. 

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