Carefree selects new magistrate for consolidated court

Staff complimented for clean audit opinion with no auditor adjustments
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CAREFREE – Wednesday night’s council meeting, moved from Tuesday due to elections, brought John Traynor to the podium to thank Carefree voters.

Although he didn’t say expressly what he was thanking them for, Traynor was a very vocal opponent of the two ballot propositions that proposed to extend council terms for the mayor and council from two to four years, both of which failed by a vote of approximately two to one.

Jim Van Allen also spoke first, to thank Town Accountant Jim Keen for the clean audit and second, to say the landscaping and weeds in the public right of way in front of Lowe’s and CVS was an embarrassment.

During Current Events, John Crane reminded citizens of the annual Veterans Day event from 3-5 p.m. on Tuesday at the amphitheater, which he said has awning this year.

Mayor David Schwan announced there would be a special council meeting at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 12 for the sole purpose of canvassing the election.

On Wednesday morning, the town sent out an e-mail cancelling the special meeting because Maricopa County had not yet finalized the vote count and stated it would schedule another meeting to canvass the election next week.

Before council voted unanimously to approve the annual audit, Keen stated there were no auditor adjustment entries and said, “We had a great audit.”

A representative from the audit firm Hinton Burdick CPAs & Advisors said the town had great staff and they were able to issue a “clean opinion.”

Town Administrator Gary Neiss told council that after 14 years of service, Judge K.C. Scull resigned effective with the end of his contract at the end of the month.

stephanie olohanHe introduced Stephanie Olohan (r), the candidate selected for Scull’s replacement.

Neiss explained the process the committee used, which whittled down an initial field of candidates from 31 to 14, then to six and finally to their recommendation of Olohan to council.

He explained some of the requirements, which included a minimum of 10 years experience in law and someone willing to make a long-term commitment.

Scull was thanked for his years of service and for guiding the court through the consolidation process with Cave Creek.

Scull thanked the town and said he loves the court as well as the two towns involved and will be happy to serve as a judge pro tem, an advisor or whatever the town needs.

Olohan stated she was very excited and said her legal career began over 12 years ago with most of her experience at the municipal level.

Council voted unanimously to allow the mayor to enter into an employment agreement with Olohan, commenting he was very confident in the recommendation.

Council also voted unanimously to recommend approval for a liquor license for Guido Garcia, a new restaurant in Spanish Village, and to approve a mutual aid compact, which Rural/Metro Fire Chief John Kraetz explained was a boiler plate agreement to provide the town with the ability to gather resources they don’t have in the event of a large-scale emergency.

Council then voted to convene an executive session to discuss personnel matters.

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