Guest Editorial


Volunteer or politician?

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peter koteasI write this open letter to the citizens, and in particular the voters, of Carefree, for two reasons. The first being that my many years as a resident of the town left an indelible mark on my heart and the second is to advise you to be very wary of people who want to control the destiny of Carefree by expanding their power. The Propositions before you (488 & 489) have little redeeming value to the citizens of Carefree, and that is all that matters. These propositions would not even be on a ballot if those in charge had any respect for your voice in town matters, as YOU have already told them you do not want four year terms of office. (March, 2009 84.29 percent OPPOSED 15.71 percent in favor).

I consider myself to have been among the fortunate to live in Carefree for 19+ years. For most of that time I was just like you; not involved, non-political and going along minding my own affairs. After a period of time I began to pay attention to the makeup of the town council and the decisions they were making. I didn’t agree with many of them. One appointed council member and your current mayor, challenged me to try to win a seat by running for election.
Out of pure frustration I chose to run in 2009 and apparently the voters agreed with me because they rewarded me with a 4th place finish in the March Primary, just 12 votes shy of a first ballot win, while the same person who dared me to run finished dead last, 10th of 10. Due to unforeseen circumstances where the sitting mayor and two incumbent council members withdrew from the general election, basically quitting on YOU, leaving the remaining candidates to be elected pretty much by default.

In spite of the odd start, I felt humbled and honored to have the opportunity to serve the Town of Carefree as a member of its town council. Little did I know at the time that serving wasn’t necessarily the motivation of every member. The makeup of the new council had three previous members, including a new mayor. All three of these council members were on the record as being in favor of 4 year staggered terms of office. Fast forward to 2014 and using a new surrogate, a proposition to OVERTURN YOUR WISHES once again appears on the ballot. What I learned by attempting to serve the town is that there were, and in my opinion remain, individuals less interested in searching for ways to improve Carefree than to simply lord over it, and defame anyone that disagrees with their chosen course of action. Having to work in a persistently negative environment convinced me not to ask the voters for another term. In 2013, my wife and I sold our house in Carefree and relocated to Prescott.

There is abundant evidence that a two year term for volunteers provides ample time to execute a viable plan of action. If one were to follow the ongoing dialog regarding the dilemma of what to do to revive the town, you will find people who simply will not, or cannot, make a decision. Hired consultants have no stake in Carefree, or its future. They will provide a service and certainly not a guarantee of success.

The administration, meaning the mayor (who for all practical purposes is the CEO) and close advisors, have proven over the course of history that they lack any vision and appear to be very comfortable with one provided by other people, including the aforementioned non-resident consultants.

The entire point of my plea is to remind YOU that YOU deserve a voice in the direction of Carefree. I will not comment on the lack of progress in securing new revenue, or the long-term negative financial impact of past, supposed well-intentioned decisions.

The residents deserve more from those expected to make decisions than a continual outpouring of resources to consultant after consultant.

I beg of you, please consider the consequences of apathy and defeat these propositions. And do not allow the self-serving to turn the lights out in Carefree!

Take this opportunity to demand accountability from those in service.

Please vote NO on Propositions 488 & 489.