canfield letters cartoon
Carefree’s Future Matters VI, E18, V1

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Friends of Carefree, we began another month with two meetings of the Town Council on September 1st.  The first was a Special Meeting to enter Executive Session [private] followed by the usual public monthly meeting.

Special Town Council Meeting, September 1, 2015, 3:30 p.m.

Item 1, Enter Executive Session:  The Council entered Executive Session.

Item 2, Adjournment:  Adjourned at 5PM.  As of this writing, no details were available.

Town Council Meeting, September 1, 2015, 5:00PM

Items 1 – 15, Consent Agenda:  All 15 items were related to routine town business (meeting minutes, bills, financial reports, liquor license(s), event permit(s), proclamation(s), and general agreement(s)).  Items #2, #6, and #15 were pulled for discussion.  All others were approved 7 – 0.

Councilwoman Price recommended a minor change/correction to the minutes (Item 2), which were accepted and approved, 7 – 0.  Councilman Farrar inquired about several recent payments on the check register, one for LED light conversion of faux Gas Lamps ($18,944.64 total), another for 50% of the Fireplace Furniture cost ($6,782.93), balance due upon delivery, and an additional payment of $20,000 to Villafane (total to date is $50,000) in connection with the fall Pumpkin Exhibit.  Item 6 was then approved 7 – 0.  Councilman Miller Raised several question about Item 15 regarding town responsibilities in connection with the Greater Phoenix Council.  Councilman Farrar and the Mayor answered all questions satisfactorily, and Item 15 was approved 7 – 0.

Item 16, Call to the Public:  There were several speakers.  Bob Swan, president of Kiwanis of Carefree, presented the Town with a check for $20,000 as the first installment of a $135,000, 7 year donation commitment to fund most costs associated with the Splash Pad.  Many thanks and applause followed.  Councilman Orrico (a Kiwanis Director and the current VP) added several comments, including mention that Carefree had the 7th largest chapter in the world.  Further, he stated that all 17 directors had voted in favor of the donation to Carefree.

Joe DeVito, intended to speak regarding the Gateway item, but he decided to wait until Item 20 was discussed.

Evelyn Johnson, Executive Director of the Cave Creek Museum, distributed copies of their annual report along with invitations for Council and staff to attend a preseason reception and review of exhibits before the public opening.

Jim Van Allen, recalled that as a member of the Posse he had worked numerous Christmas Festivals where 6 to 7 thousand people attended, as well as Thunderbird Art Festivals and other events which attracted large crowds, mostly visitors, not residents.  He said those visitors did not come to see Gateways and they seemed to find Carefree without them.

John Traynor, I was complimented by the Mayor for the printed labels used on my request to speak slips.  [I mentioned that I buy them in rolls of 5,000 – just kidding.]  In seriousness I praised the good works of our local Kiwanis organization, many of which go unnoticed by most people in the area.  Their donation was a very generous gift to the town, and very much appreciated.  I went on to discuss the Gateways and asked the Council, especially the new members, to carefully consider their vote on the project, to do so with integrity, and not be intimidated by anyone regarding their vote.

Item 17, Current Events:  Captain Kip Rustenberg of MCSO introduced the new Lieutenant, Ryan Baranyos of the local District 4.  Ryan has been with MCSO for 15 years and has worked his way up through the ranks.  He was one of the two Carefree Traffic car deputies for 5 years and knows Carefree very well.

Item 18, Fill the vacancy on the Planning and Zoning Commission.  The Council voted to appoint Dave Davee to the commission, 7 – 0.  He immediately took the oath.

Item 19, Purchase a tractor and mower attachment for the Public Works:  After a brief summary by Town Administrator Gary Neiss, the Council approved (7 – 0) the purchase of a John Deere Tractor, including various attachments for $72,000.  Since this had not been a budgeted item, it will be paid from the Contingency fund, which should leave a remaining balance of over $100,000.  Also approved tonight, in the Consent Agenda, was the purchase of a new Ford F150 pickup truck for $21,500, which had been included in the budget.

Item 20, Approve the number & locations of Primary Gateways into Town Center.  Even though the Council was split 3 – 3 over the number and locations of Primary Gateways at the special meeting this past Thursday (one member absent), this session ended with a reasonable, amiable accord.

The Town Administrator made a presentation on the subject, providing the year+ historical background, containing input from the Urban Land Institute (ULI) as well as from the Baker Group study.  Mayor Peterson then opened up the meeting for Council discussion.  Councilwoman Price proceeded to outline her Vision and the reasons for her support of the ‘Fencing’ Proposal - the four Gateway approach.  Councilman Crane spoke next and delivered a very well-reasoned and detailed explanation of his support for the ‘Core’ proposal - just two Primary Gateways, one each on Tom Darlington Drive and Cave Creek Road.

Mayor Peterson then displayed a concise chart depicting the various estimated costs associated with each of the proposals under consideration.  [Although admittedly not the final cut, the numbers were very compelling.  I’m only going to provide a brief recap here; a facsimile is available in our Archives under the Slides, Charts, Attachments column.]  The ‘Core’ proposal would cost approximately $260,000 and would not require any additional Roundabouts to be constructed.  The ‘Fencing’ proposal would cost approximately $1,508,000, which includes several new Roundabouts yielding a difference of $1,248,000.  Both proposals included substantial costs for underground electrical.  Councilman Miller challenged the inclusion of additional Roundabouts in the comparison, but Councilwoman Price included them in her ‘Fencing’ proposal, so the comparison was indeed valid.  There is absolutely no doubt that the ‘Fencing’ proposal would be both far more expensive and far more disruptive to our major roadways.

Councilman Farrar offered carefully considered and relevant comments regarding the rationale for supporting the ‘Core’ proposal.  He outlined the positions offered by ULI and Baker (citing specifics from their Master Plan for Carefree) and reminded the Council that Steve Betz was hired to provide the town with expert insight into and assistance with Economic development.  Mr. Betz had apparently advised the conservative approach to Gateways and suggested the town focus more on business partnerships and actual development.  Councilman Miller commented that Councilman Farrar had just made the most passionate presentation he had heard from him.  [It was unclear if that remark was intended as a compliment.]

It should be noted that Manship Builders made a very generous offer to donate masonry materials, construction, and project oversight for Gateways at the meeting last Thursday.  Many thanks and applause was offered to Jim ManShip for his generosity and commitment to Carefree.

Mayor Peterson suggested that the Council should hear from the public considering he had several requests to speak.  [I’ll simply provide a brief summary here because many comments were similar and all speakers favored the ‘Core’ proposal. Once the recording of the meeting is made available, I’ll update this Newsletter on our website and provide a link to the Town recording so you can listen to the thoughtful comments from everyone]

Joe DeVito - mentioned that he spoke not only for himself but also for others who speak with him and exchange email.  The ‘Core’ approach was the best choice.

John Traynor – mentioned that Gateways are not magnets and, of themselves, do not attract anyone.  You have to give people a reason to come to Carefree and more Gateways are not a reason.  Desirable businesses and real attractions draw people - not just once, but repeatedly because they have good reasons to come back.

Jackie McDermott – as a realtor [and delightfully entertaining] described the various ways visitors can gain access to Town Center and then potentially end up in locations other than the core business area or Gardens.  Gateways at the locations suggested in the ‘Core’ proposal would provide the best means to direct visitors to the right places.

Jim Van Allen - suggested that the best looking building and broad streets make Hum Road a better site for a Gateway on Cave Creek Road than the location at Carefree Drive.  He mentioned that more work would be necessary at Carefree Drive and that he did not believe a Roundabout would be necessary at Hum Road.

Tony Geiger - suggested the Council follow a conservative approach.  He suggested the Council should let ‘private development’ decide if future Gateways are constructed and let private development fund them.

Jerry Wetta – also favored a conservative approach to save a few bucks in this year’s $1.4M budgeted Economic Development fund.  He went on to say Carefree would have other proposals to consider and that we’d need the money for them.

Lyn Hitchon, in terms of appreciation and impact, compared the gateways to an elegant ring worn on a single finger.  Adding more rings to that hand would not enhance its beauty or appeal but would likely detract from the overall elegance.

When all speakers from the public had been heard, the Mayor asked if there was any additional discussion from the Council.  Hearing none, a motion needed to be made.  [It was clear to all present that the ‘Core’ proposal was by far the most cost effective and desirable approach for Carefree’s character.]  Councilwoman Price spoke first, this time making a motion for the Council to approve the ‘Core’ proposal, which was quickly seconded by Councilman Miller.  All 7 members of the Council, by roll call vote, approved the ‘Core’ proposal.  [Small Miracles are often unexpected.]

Item 21, Town Council updates: Councilman Farrar advised that the Town would close on the 33 Easy Street property on September 11th.

Item 22, Adjournment:  The meeting was adjourned at approximately 6:40PM.

Don’t forget to visit

Respectfully submitted by Jim Van Allen and John Traynor

How to save $3.9 million. Forget the bike lanes.

I occasionally cycle through Carefree and Cave Creek. I ride on Pima, Scottsdale Road, Lone Mountain, Cave Creek Road, and many others. Some roads have bike lanes and some don’t.
I’ve come to the conclusion that bike lanes adjacent to travel lanes can be hazardous. 

Bike lanes have gravel, rocks, broken glass, limbs—all sorts of stuff that can ruin your ride. Unlike travel lanes, there are no cars to help sweep the debris from the surface of the bike lane. These hazards can compromise bike control and cause tire damage.

Bike lanes are often overgrown with overhanging (and usually thorned) plants that have to be avoided. That sometimes means moving into a travel lane. Drivers wouldn’t be aware of a problem that the cyclist may be experiencing and won’t be expecting the cyclist to leave the bike lane. The cyclist must be keenly aware of what is behind him before crossing that white line.

If the road has no bike lane, drivers are supposed to give the cyclist three feet of clearance. If there is a bike lane, drivers often don’t give any clearance other than staying out of the bike lane. If the cyclist has to avoid something in the bike lane that requires moving near the stripe, the resulting clearance between car and bike can be inches.

There are safe cycling strategies for roads with no bike lanes. For example, the cyclist rides perhaps two feet from the edge of the pavement. That forces the driver coming up from behind to move to the left to give the cyclist the necessary clearance to safely pass. At the same time, the cyclist moves to the right as far as possible without getting too close to the edge of the pavement (to allow for some maneuvering room). Usually the result is far more than three feet of clearance between car and bike. And perhaps the driver might even slow down a bit. 
I’m sure the bike lanes will be constructed. I just wonder if the safety advocates behind the effort ever asked cyclists what they think about it.

The speed limit through Cave Creek is only 30 mph. That slow speed makes for pretty safe mingling of bike and car anyway. 

G. Smith
Cave Creek


A tale of two towns on Sunday

It is a clear warm Sunday, Sept. 6 at 12:30 p.m.  No festivals or special events in either of our two towns.  SO, who is open for business and are they attracting any buyers of their merchandise or dining fun offerings?? Note some GOOD NEWS: two new retail shops opened in Carefree, this past week.

I will start with CAVE CREEK.

  A) They had 16 Food or Food/Bars open for business, from the huge operators to the smaller coffee houses. In total there seemed to be more then 500 cars in total, give or take a hundred.  (Yes, there was a football game on TV) Harold's is full with their Anniversary Party.

B) By my actual count there were 27 business units open (Plus Walmart) each of the stores had a couple of cars out front. Some had many. Stagecoach Village was like a Ghost Town, as usual...but had one business and one coffee shop open.

Overall business and activity climate in Cave Creek was very positive and inviting.

Now, for CAREFREE:

A) There were 3 Food Outlets open for business. One had NO cars the other two had a total of 13 cars. 9 of our food operations are either not open until dinner, or are closed for remodeling or for the summer.

B)  By actual count Carefree had 6 retail operators open (including the Basha's center ) PLUS one supermarket.  2 of the open business units are brand new this week. Easy Street Gallery and Belle Cove Fine puppy goods. There were no cars at either of the new stores and maybe 5 or 6 cars at the others, in total. Plus many cars at the Supermarket.

Overall business and activity climate in Carefree is dead and terrible to say the least.
You can not get to Downtown Cave Creek from any direction with out going thru a part of our Carefree streets.  Somehow the visitors and locals seeking Shopping or Food/Bar operations find Cave Creek even without huge Gateway signs. And if they do drive thru the Carefree town core...they see few if any reasons to stop. No ice cream or yogurt shops, no donut or coffee houses. No sports bars or any specialized food operations like Oregeno’s, El Encanto, Brian’s Bar B Q. or Horny Toad. All of which draw many hundreds of customers per week, year around.
Carefree has it's work cut out to try to re-build itself as a destination with lots of high energy food/bar and shops that cater to folks with product/price and stay open for business. A few of the 'town fathers' and town hall folks know what is needed, and are seeking answers and funding to jump start the process, in a sound conservative fashion.  It will not happen overnight, as the town didn't "die" over night. Nor will it ever happen if the town runs out of money pandering to the vision of a couple of "spend it 'til its gone" folks.  We want quality not carnival. And most importantly we want the citizens to be proud of the investments in their town and they want to be involved in what the end products are.  They don't want to go into competition with Cave Creek or Scottsdale.  That's not what brought them here in first place.  KEEP CAREFREE AS their battle cry.

Jim Van Allen
A Carefree concerned citizen


Aug. 31 Council Meeting

Dear Council Members,

Well, we did it. We had another time consuming meeting with a few hundred very polite people, heard pro and con speeches on whether or not a certain class of Scottsdale residents may or may not have been, or ever will be discriminated against.  I would guarantee that not one person left the meeting with a point of view different than that with which they entered the chambers. Every citizen took personal time out of his personal schedule to once again go through exactly what we did a few months ago. And what was the outcome? Maybe everyone will be satisfied if we do a study, send it to committee, yada, yada. I guess you have heard the old adage, “doing the same thing and expecting different results is called insanity.”

Even each of you doesn’t hear what your fellow members are saying.  Our mayor gave out some info with pretty clear statistics. He also mentioned that if we put it on the ballot, it would not pass. If that is the case, why should seven of you determine our fate based on a split audience of a couple of hundred? I walked over to the two gentlemen burdened with this new assignment and asked them, “Who is paying for this?” They said there is no line item in the budget, but they would be working it into their regular job description.  So, while they are doing that, who does their regular job?

So now, we wait for a study to protect everyone’s rights. Don’t we already have rights? Courts? Laws for hate crimes? Laws for discrimination? Why are you exposing Scottsdale to frivolous lawsuits? Should my taxes go to defend Scottsdale against frivolous lawsuits? Absolutely not!
I try to get into each of your heads to figure out what is it you are doing and why. I wrote to you before the meeting and some of you had the courtesy to respond. I don’t understand prolonging all of this with a study with outcomes by which there will still be no consensus of the outcome. From what I hear you saying is that you want to be all things to all people. One of you said you had a belief “which may have resulted in the rights of some of our citizens being infringed,” (whatever that means). All day long wherever I go, some one is infringing on something of mine. I wouldn’t go “esoteric” just because I am a council member and feel it is my obligation to investigate a “belief” and then, feel it my obligation to make sure I am following the constitution. Don’t we have a state legislature, a federal government and laws infinitum? As I see it, only one of you doesn’t sit on a fence. Your response was very clear.

I do believe that council person Korte is the root of all of this unrest. She has an obvious personal agenda.  The time spent on all of this , in hours, should be translated into $ and put into the Scottsdale treasury by person Korte and perhaps person Korte needs a new career where she will be happier and not antagonize the rest of us.

Rose M. Sampieri



Will anyone from the Obama administration be contacting the families or attending the funerals of Alison Parker and Adam Ward who were murdered in a race fueled attack by a black man?
Will anyone be visiting with Vicki Gardner or her family who was fortunate enough to survive this race fueled murder attempt?

Will these white families be receiving anything like the $2.9 million dollars received by the black families upon the race fueled murder by a white man of their loved ones in Charleston, South Carolina?

Is this all of waste of time because Obama doesn't give one damn about the death of ANY white Americans?

Will Obama only use this tragedy to advance his agenda to disarm Americans so they are helpless against retards such as this murderer or the retards , himself included, from the federal "government"?

Tom Carbone


Phoenix City Councilman speaks out against Black Lives Matter movement

As the leader of a pro-law enforcement movement that got its start in Phoenix and is now nationwide, I thank Councilman DiCiccio for standing up in support of the police and speaking out against Black Lives Matter. Shame on Mayor Stanton for giving the floor to them so they can continue to spew their anti-cop venom and for trying to silence Councilman DiCiccio, who was trying to stand up for law enforcement.  More need to do it because the attacks on police officers need to stop. Already in the last two weeks 9 police officers in this country have been killed for doing their duty and the anti-cop movement is calling for more attacks on them. It’s despicable and it’s clear war has been declared on police officers. Rally For L.E. will continue to stand up for law enforcement and fight against the racist and terrorist anti-cop movement that wishes to do harm against our LEOs.

On September 26, Rally For L.E. will be rallying nationwide in support of the police including Phoenix. We hope many will join us including Councilman DiCiccio. Thanks again for speaking out in support of law enforcement. More need to do it.

Nohl Rosen
Rally For L.E.


Do Not Kill police officers, black people, white people or any people

I had never heard of Chicago suburb Fox Lake police officer Joe Gliniewicz. Recently, three men murdered him. Sadly I now know about what a great man and police officer he was.  

Could this be a good time to reinstate the sixth commandment? You might know it better as "Thou Shalt Not Kill," or "Thou Shalt Not Murder," "You Should Not Kill." The sixth commandment appears in a series of commandments remembered by some today as The Ten Commandments. These commandments can be found in the Old Testament of the Bible. Donald Trump was recently asked if he liked the Old Testament or New Testament the best and he replied that he liked it all affirming the Bible as his favorite book. I doubt if the majority of Americans can tell you for sure about where to find The Ten Commandments. Some would simply affirm them as being important while others would not.

Not every American may know that The Ten Commandments come from the Old Testament of the Bible. Honestly, most Americans may not care. I am old enough to remember when The Ten Commandments were a big deal everywhere. We had them in some of our classrooms where I grew up. I used to see them posted in state and federal buildings. Actually, I was speaking in a small Nevada town two years ago and The Ten Commandments were posted in front of the courthouse. I would tell you the name but I don't want someone fussing and fuming at those good people for keeping The Ten Commandments up front and public.  Actually there are still several state and county buildings where you can find The Ten Commandments posted or engraved even in granite.

The Ten Commandments has never kept this nation from doing anything wrong. People went right on killing; stealing, disrespecting their parents and doing all sorts of stuff that The Ten Commandments forbid us from doing.

I totally understand separation of church and state. I don't want to see something from the Koran on my local court or state house. However, I think this would be a good time to bring back the sixth commandment. We don't even have to refer to it as the sixth commandment. Let's just simply start reposting in our elementary, junior high and senior high schools these three words, "Do Not Kill." Or, "Do Not Murder."

The minds of little children are very impressionable and teachable. My father put the fear of God into me when it came to smoking. From the time I was a young child he successfully made me afraid of smoking or drinking alcohol. This kind of teaching and impressing is harder when children become teenagers. Teenagers start becoming smarter than their parents so they think.
I realize hanging "Do Not Kill" on every wall and home in America will not eliminate the murder of black people, white people, Hispanics or police officers. However, how could it hurt? 

Glenn Mollette
American Syndicated Columnist and Author


Politicians are failing us on the economy

A couple of months ago, the Congressional Budget Office issued a sobering report on the U.S. economy’s long-term prospects. Not to put too fine a point on it, we’re headed for the fiscal rocks.

Federal spending accounts for about 20 percent of the nation’s GDP, the budget analysts note; if current trends continue, that will rise to fully 25 percent by 2040. Revenues will not keep up — they’ll amount to only 19 percent of GDP. This will ultimately raise federal debt, the CBO said, “to a percentage of GDP seen at only one previous time in U.S. history — the final year of World War II and the following year.” We face a fiscal crisis of historic proportions.

Our presidential candidates can talk all they want about American prosperity and world leadership, but without a firm fiscal base it’s just hot air. Unless we can stabilize the debt and put the country on a path of sustainable economic growth with prosperity evenly shared, we’ll have no firm economic base for all those lofty goals to rest upon.

This means tackling a host of complex problems. We have to get long-term debt under control. We have to preserve Social Security yet find a solution to rising entitlement spending. We have to deal with health-care costs. We have to invest in skills, education, and infrastructure without breaking the bank. We have to craft a less intrusive tax policy that is conducive to long-term growth.

All issues will have to be on the table, because the pain needs to be shared broadly. And progress will require bipartisan participation, since neither cutting spending nor boosting revenues alone will solve our problems.

Political leaders should grasp these realities and act now. But they have not, so it’s up to the American people to demand action. We have to create the political will that drives our leaders to deal with these difficult economic problems — that leads them to tackle entitlements, health costs, investing in the future, and tax reform. The question is whether our political leaders are up to the task before our economy runs out of time.

Lee Hamilton
Director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University