Carefree’s Future Matters

Friends of Carefree, fortunately the weather cooperated for this past weekend’s art festival.  Now we hope you can withstand the sudden, undesirable cold snap for a few more days.  Spring is just around the corner.  The Council held another Executive Session on Tuesday afternoon which ran just past 5 p.m. so the regular monthly Town Council meeting got off to a late start.

Town Council Meeting, February 2, 2016, 5:10 p.m.?

The council packet was not available until just before noon on Monday.  Although it was 122 pages in length it did not contain the minutes of the January meeting.  A revised edition was made available later in the day containing only 117 pages.

[It seems that each month information for the Council meeting appears later and later, affording the public little time to review the material.  In some instances, even Council members seem not to have had time to review that material. For more than a decade, the preparation of the Council packet was done manually, by hand with a simple (slow) copy machine.  There were always at least 6 copies available early (9AM) on the Friday morning prior to the council meeting.  In recent months, even with the aid of numerous automated devices and software, the electronic version of the material is not available until Mondays, and late on Mondays at that.  My personal scanner handles 15 – 20 pages per minute and my personal printer puts out 30 pages per minute.  One would assume that the town’s commercial devices could do at least as well.  Of course, it is no longer necessary ‘print’ the information for residents because it is simply created or scanned and then uploaded electronically to the town website.]

Items 1 – 9, Consent Agenda:  All items were related to routine town business (meeting minutes, bills, financial reports, event permits, etc.), approved 7 – 0.

Item 10, Call to the Public:  Jim Van Allen thanked Vice Mayor Crane and Councilman Gearhart for their volunteer participation at the Chamber of Commerce gate entrance during the art festival last weekend.  He mentioned that in the past few years Councilman Farrar had done so as well but was unable to participate this time.

Tom Rawls, who participated as a member of the Town Code update committee, mentioned that he did work on Chapter 2 of that code but he had not seen or contributed to the other chapters which were also being presented later in the meeting.

Ron Mye commented on what he called a dangerous condition at the intersection of Tom Darlington and Stagecoach pass.  Turning into his driveway is perilous due to fast moving vehicles and lane constriction.  Gary Neiss agreed to meet with Ron to see what could be done.

Item 11 Current Events:  Vice Mayor Crane mentioned that Cave Creek is soliciting applicants to serve on their water board.  Since more than 600 Carefree customers on the west side of town are serviced by Cave Creek water, he suggested interested parties on the Cave Creek water system consider applying for board membership to facilitate giving those west side residents another voice in Cave Creek water matters.

Councilwoman Price mentioned that she would like to postpone the agenda discussion (#15) of Gateways until sometime after February 12th when final cost details will become available.  The Council decided to hold a Special meeting on 2/12 at 3PM for a discussion of the Gateway project and costs.  Mr. Van Allen spoke and was assured that all of the costs associated with the project would be presented, including those paid over the past months.

Item 12, Presentation on the Greater Phoenix Economic Council:  Councilman Farrar gave a brief introduction for Chris Camacho, President & CEO of the GPEC, who then spoke regarding Carefree’s involvement in the organization.  His presentation was crisp and loaded with information pertaining to the mission and type of assistance the organization can provide to its 23 member communities.  The council’s reach is nationwide as well as international, facilitating mutually beneficial economic development and partnerships between municipalities and companies.  He cited a recent decision by Farmers Insurance to bring 1,100 jobs to North Phoenix.

There are approximately 4.5M people living in the Greater Phoenix area.  That number is expected to reach 20M in 20 years.  He explained that of the 300,000+ jobs lost here during the last recession about 95% have been regained.  Unfortunately many of those jobs are consumer based, lower wage positions.  Positive growth opportunities are forecast for the Heath Care and Technology (software development and Information Technology) sectors which typically are higher wage positions.

Item 13, Carefree’s Pumpkin Festival:  The discussion concerned a proposal for future involvement in Carefree by Ray Villafane.  Gina Kaegi, Town Marketing & Communications Director made a very well-received presentation on the recent Pumpkin Festival.  She highlighted many of the great successes involved; the fantastic event itself which highlighted the creative talent and vision of Ray Villafane, the tremendous number of people who witnessed the 16 day event(s), the commitment of the volunteers/helpers, and the terrific response from the media.  The event received local, nationwide, and international coverage giving Carefree a tremendous amount of exposure and “free” publicity.

Although this was a long segment, it was a very worthwhile presentation and introduction for Ray.  Ray is a character, and I say that meaning it in the best possible way.  He spoke at length.  His passion, commitment, creativity, and love of the Carefree Gardens was obvious.  He outlined his vision(s) for future events in addition to the Pumpkin Festival.  It would be nearly impossible for me to recount the extent of his discussion.  It was wide ranging and his ideas just seemed to flow unimpeded.  Here are a few capsules: Sand sculptures in the Garden, Bronze sculptures to be added incrementally over time, the “best ever” Scarecrows, an ‘Artist Invitational’ in the Amphitheater, and one of my favorite Rayisms, Scarefree Nights!

In conclusion Gina proposed a $150,000 commitment to Ray, for the Pumpkin festival as well as yet to be determined additions.  Funding would be included in the 2016-17 Budget year starting in July.  After discussion the Council approved the proposed commitment by a vote of 7 – 0.

Item 14, Maricopa County Department of Public Health Agreement:  The town will again enter an agreement with the County for distributing medications, other medical materials, and information to the Town of Carefree for dispensing to Town employees and their families in the event of a public health emergency.  Chief Kratz mentioned that this is an annual agreement.  There is no cost to Town and it's for the continuation of government's functions in the event of an emergency. Approved 7 – 0.

Item 15, Carefree Gateway Construction Project:  Discussion was postponed until the Special meeting on February 12th at 3PM.

Item 16, Amending the Carefree Town Code:  Chapters 2, 3 and 4 of the Town Code have been updated.  These chapters deal with procedures, personnel, and duties relating to the Council, Administration (staff), and the Court.  This is ‘the 1st reading’ meaning the first public notification of the changes; there will be a second reading before the changes are adopted.  Vice Mayor Crane provided some background for the changes, which were necessitated due to inconsistencies and/or incoherence between sections.  Some of the issues arose after voter initiatives were passed including direct election of the mayor and term limits (twice).  Mayor Peterson mentioned that municipalities are required to adhere to State Statutes.  [While that statement is essentially correct, there is no prohibition limiting the ability of a local municipality from implementing enhanced conditions or special circumstances within their jurisdiction.]

As the Mayor moved on to the next topic, Jim Van Allen reminded him that he had requested to speak on Item 16.  Jim cited 3 sections he felt were in need of change.  Section 2-4-6 did not address having the Council packet available for the public [or in a timely fashion].  Next, the wording in Section 2-5-1 seems to suggest that the Planning & Zoning Commission may enact ordinances without going before the Council.  This point was contested.  The Town Administrator (a staff representative to the P&Z), said that was not the case.

Jim continued by commenting that Section 3-2-1 (Chapter 3 deals with Town Administration) was a major rewrite, which he attributed to the Town Administrator.  The Mayor interrupted him saying that he himself had written much of that section, not Gary Neiss.  Jim went on to say that the Mayor of Carefree has always been the CEO of the town and the Town Administrator was merely that, an administrator, not a Town Manager which is a totally different form of government.  Jim pointed out a number of instances where the new language afforded the Administrator far too much authority, much of which belonged to the Mayor or Council.  He advised the Council to consider modifying it and the other sections he mentioned.

Lyn Hitchon, a member of the P&Z, spoke next to say it was not their practice to approve anything without referring their recommendations to the Council.

I submitted a late speaker request slip to address a legal point.  While it might not be the intent to change the common practice of the P&Z referring items to the council for approval, there is a big distinction between intent and actual Town Code wording.  This is true in contract law as well as government statutes.  [The devil is in the details.]  As it now stands the actual wording is: “With the exception of ordinances reviewed by the planning and zoning commission no other town ordinance shall be passed and become effective until it has been before the council on two occasions.”  The questionable wording here is “With the exception of...”  [If the practice is indeed for the P&Z to forward recommendations, and not to approve, then the ‘practice’ should by clearly codified in the Town Code, not as a common practice but as a Code requirement.]

Item 17, Adopting a Code of Conduct for Elected and Appointed Officials:  According to the Resolution wording Carefree had not previously enacted a Code of Conduct.  The Council now feels it is necessary to do so.  No explanation was given as to why this was necessary now, even though it is a prudent measure.  There was discussion related to why the resolution was on the agenda when the Town Code which refers to it has not yet been approved.  The Administrator explained that the Code of Conduct was like any other Resolution that comes before the Council and could be approved on its own merits before the Town Code which merely refers to it.  Council members Price and Miller wanted approval to wait until revisions of the Town Code were adopted.  After further discussion, Council members felt that Carefree had already waited 30 years to implement a Code of Conduct so it could wait another month.  The motion to continue this item until March was approved 7 – 0.

Item 18, Procedures for access to Town owned and leased properties:  This Resolution addresses administrative procedures for access to the Town owned and leased properties.  Once again, there had been no previous rules or procedures governing such access. However the Mayor mentioned that since December things had gone missing, so better security procedures were needed.  Approved 7 – 0.

Item 19, Town Council Updates: Mayor Peterson reported that all parties involved in the Liberty/BMSC situation were in agreement and that the agreement and Rate Case would go before the Arizona Corporation Commission for approval at their April meeting.  Implementation could begin as early as June or July.

Councilwoman Price advised that the Splash Pad Scorpion would have its head and pincers repainted so that they would be more noticeable.  She provided a cost recap for the Splash Pad project, showing a total cost of $169,992.  After the significant donation by Kiwanis, the cost to the town was $27,992 for non-operational expenses.  Opening day will be May 1st, unless warm weather permits an earlier start.

Item 20, Adjournment:  The meeting was adjourned at approximately 7:27 PM.

Don’t forget to visit and forward this to your friends and neighbors so that they may subscribe for themselves.

Respectfully submitted by Jim Van Allen and John Traynor


Your February 3, 2016 issue

Editor, Sonoran News:
Re: That new study by John Lott

I DESPISE the IslamoMarxist currently occupying our White House, but I must give him credit for being the Guns and Ammo Salesman of the Year for 2015.

J-P. A. Maldonado
Lafayette, Colorado 


Send a conservative fighter to Congress

My family has called Wyoming home for four generations, and as a proud wife and mother, I'm pleased to be raising the fifth generation ... right here.

Beyond those deep roots, I believe deeply in the values on which our great state was built – grit, courage, self-reliance. The values of faith, family and freedom are ingrained in each of us.

Wyoming is a state with limitless potential – but to unleash it, we must begin reversing the devastation brought on by seven years of President Obama's policies.

As our country's largest coal producer, Obama's war on coal is devastating Wyoming communities and destroying the livelihoods of our neighbors.

Our farmers and ranchers are being ruined by excessive regulations from Washington bureaucrats. The EPA is subjecting them to outrageous fines and the BLM is intent on removing human activity from public lands.

If that's not enough, our freedom of speech and religion – even our right to bear arms – are under attack.

It is past time to stand and fight against the abuses of the worst president in American history... we can restore our fundamental liberties and constitutional rights.

Friend, will you stand and fight with me?

It's not enough for Wyoming to just send a Republican to Washington. We need a proven conservative, who will defend the Constitution.

We need a fighter with a record of standing up against the liberal establishment.

That is why I am running to represent our state in Congress. At this perilous moment, we must have a strong, conservative, voice representing us.

I am asking for your support because I will be that voice.

When our freedom and liberty are at stake, I will not compromise. When our way of life is under attack, I will fight. As a constitutional conservative, I will stand up for liberty.

And together we will draw the line and take back our freedom, our state and our country. Please join me today!


Cheney for Congress
Liz Cheney


Are BOTH Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama guilty of mis-handling emails?

The current state departments actions regarding the mis-handled ,sometimes top secret emails of "presidential" candidate Hillary Clinton is very suspect. 37 pages of emails will not be seen by  "We the People." Department Spokesman John Kirby said  that 18 emails were exchanged between President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton will NOT be released! The  word "Exchanged" seems to infer that   emails went both ways! Did not Obama know that he was sending emails to a non-secured server?  Would Obama be just as "GUILTY" as Hillary regarding those emails?  What other emails has Obama sent to other non-secured servers?

After 7 years of unbelievable and seemingly treasonous actions by the Obama administration and its long track record of ignoring such scandals as IRS gate, Fast and Furious, it is important that members of congress have access to these 37 pages of  Hillary Clinton's emails which "We the People" are not allowed to see.  I  suggest that the same people who spoke out about  Saudi Arabia's involvement in the 9/11/2001 attack , mentioned in the secret 28 Pages of the 9/11 commission report ( U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), U.S. Representatives Walter Jones (R-NC), Stephen Lynch (D-MA), and Thomas Massie (R-KY) ) and the chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff  get to view these emails.

In a world where secret trade agreements, which even our elected officials are not privy to,   we can not be careful enough in terms of finding out who is working for the USA and who is working against "We the People." It is becoming more and more obvious to more and more people that America's best interests are not the highest priority of this and several previous administrations.


Joseph DuPont
Towanda, Pennsylvania


Healthcare Price Controls would turn U.S. into Venezuela

If you're outraged about prescription drug prices, what do you do? If you're Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders -- or if you work at the Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank -- you adopt the policies of that bastion of sound economic management: Venezuela.

Yes, that's right. To contain drug costs, the left is now advocating for the exact same measures the Latin American basket case has employed to control the price of toilet paper.

Ostensibly to prevent monopolies and price gouging, Venezuelan's socialist regime rigorously controls product pricing practices. The government audits the production, marketing, and development expenses for all companies and limits profit margins.

The regime claims prices and profits are negotiated to be fair to both consumers and producers. Companies found to be non-compliant are deemed to be a threat to the public well-being and face all sorts of sanctions, including a ban on engaging in economic activities for up to ten years.

The wonks over at the Center for American Progress and in the Clinton and Sanders campaigns are copying the Venezuelan authoritarian playbook with their respective healthcare reform proposals.

They call for the federal government to audit drug development costs and profits. Companies that set prices above a specific range would be banned from the market.

What's more, drug companies would be required to direct a minimum percentage of their revenue to research and development. Non-compliant firms would be subject to fines and possible federal prosecution.

A federal panel would decide which drugs are truly innovative and set prices accordingly. Any price that exceeds that ceiling by more than 20 percent would be presumed to be unreasonable. The government would be given the right to seize products and throw people in prison for pricing practices.

We've seen such policies in action in Venezuela. The results aren't pretty.

Take toilet paper. Venezuelan price controls have discouraged production, causing shortages. The ensuing scarcity has led to black markets and government property seizures. 

When announcing the "temporary occupation" of one of the Paper Manufacturing Company's plants, Vice President Jorge Arreaza explained that the state wanted to review the "production, marketing and distribution (of) toilet paper."

"There is no deficiency in production," Commerce Minister Alejandro Fleming claimed -- merely "an excessive demand" -- caused by consumers stocking up on a much needed product whenever they can find it.

Rather than lift price controls to incentivize companies to produce the toilet paper consumers demand, the regime installed 20,000 fingerprint scanners in supermarkets and department stores to monitor how much people were buying.

Evidently, Venezuelans aren't supposed to take economic realities like constant shortages into account when they go grocery shopping.

There is a lesson to be learned here. Companies stop making toilet paper if government price controls keep them from making a profit on it. The same will be true for medicines, if the American left succeeds in imposing price controls.

Robert Goldberg, Ph.D.
Center for Medicine in the Public Interest


Momentum builds for Article I supplemental 

On Feb. 3 on Capitol Hill, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) spearheaded a new effort in conjunction with Hillsdale College and several lawmakers dubbed the Article I Project.

The well-intentioned, well-timed project by Lee, who for long has urged the restoration of the constitutional separation of powers, comes in an era when $2.6 trillion out of the $3.9 trillion federal budget is spent automatically by agencies on so-called "mandatory" spending without any real vote in Congress.

At a time when Congress has long since delegated much of its law-making powers to unelected, unaccountable agencies that produce hundreds of thousands pages of rules nobody understands.

And when President Barack Obama issues arbitrary executive actions at whim and whose pen and phone are now legendary.

In other words, restoring Congress' Article I power of the purse is exactly what the doctor ordered to fix what ails Washington, D.C. Which is an out-of-control executive branch and its many agencies that have grown far beyond what the Framers of the Constitution intended or ever envisioned in 1787.

Lee is definitely on to something.

That is why Lee and other lawmakers should consider supporting legislation offered by U.S. Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.), the "Consolidated Appropriations Amendments of 2016" to begin the process of restoring Congress' rightful, constitutional powers — by defunding specific executive overreaches by the Obama administration.

The bill includes policy riders that have already passed House appropriations committees and that have passed the House of Representatives on the floor, such as an amendment that would stop a Department of Housing and Urban Development rule to rezone any city or county take accepts any part of the $3.3 billion of annual community development block grants.

These numerous provisions were unfortunately left on the table during the omnibus negotiations, but they represent policies that have already been vetted by House leadership. They have already been through the process.

The legislation would also put a ban on any midnight regulations by the Obama administration.

In short, Buck's Article I supplemental provides a real pathway to actually accomplishing something this year to bring a halt to the Obama agenda for the last 11 months of his presidency.

As Buck told Americans for Limited Government in a statement, "Article I is not a brand, a motto, or a Facebook graphic. It's a constitutional principle. We must rein in the executive branch right now with legislative initiatives in the House and Senate."

Buck continued, "The Article I Consolidated Appropriations Amendments Act includes several provisions to rein in overreach on environmental, labor, and other issues. Passing 12 appropriations bills instead of one omnibus will leverage the congressional power of the purse. And placing a sunset on all federal programs gives Congress the chance to assess whether programs really serve their purpose and the American public."

The legislation has already gained real momentum in the House of Representatives, with cosponsors as diverse as conservative stalwart U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) and House Rules Committee Chairman U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), indicating that Article I is something that can bring Congressional Republicans together.

Also backing the bill are Reps. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.), Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.), Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.), Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.) and Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.).

With mounting support, the bill would be a great way to usher the Article I Project into the U.S. Senate. The Buck bill and Lee would be perfect together.

Robert Romano, Senior Editor
Americans for Limited Government


How to tell if Congress is working again

There have been encouraging signs that the Republican leadership on Capitol Hill wants to make Congress function again. They’ve talked about a series of changes to make the process more open for rank-and-file members, and insist they want to restore a healthy legislative process.

This is heartening, but how can we tell if Congress is actually fixing itself? Here’s what you should keep your eye on:

First, differences in emphasis separate the leaders of the two houses, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan. Ryan wants a bold Republican legislative agenda; McConnell seems to be focused on maintaining his Senate majority, which makes boldness a risk. This difference could lead to slim production.

The second big indicator is whether Congress has the political will to fix itself. Most members say publicly that they are dedicated to making the institution function smoothly. The key measure of whether they really mean it is the attitude they take toward their political adversaries. If what you hear on Capitol Hill is nothing but distrust, then they’re not serious. If they’re willing to negotiate and compromise with one another, then there’s hope.

Third is what you might think of as the rolled-up-sleeves test. How hard are members of Congress willing to work at addressing the key issues facing the country? So far, the evidence is disappointing. The legislative schedule put out by the congressional leadership is, to be blunt, lax. You cannot run a government that is not in session. The best we can hope for is an obvious sense of urgency when members of Congress are in Washington. Look for it. If you don’t see it, little will get done on Capitol Hill.

Not all the responsibility for restoring Congress rests at the federal level. The states, too, have a key role to play. Will they get serious about how they draw congressional districts, so that politicians no longer have the luxury of picking their voters rather than the other way around? Will some states continue to pursue efforts to make voting harder — which, like gerrymandering, has the effect of shoring up the extremes in Congress?

In the end, good intentions and fine rhetoric don’t accomplish much. I hope you’ll keep an eye on Congress and cheer for its members to act in accord with their own advice. If they do, Congress will take a giant stride toward improved performance.

Lee Hamilton

Indiana University School of Global and International Studies; and a Professor of Practice, IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs.


Tennessee has become the 5th state to officially apply for a convention of states!

Here in Arizona we are working to get it done as well.  HCR2010 (Arizona's application for a convention of states), has passed the Federalism Committee, and on Monday 2/8/16 is going to the Rules Committee.  The members of this committee are: Gowan, Hale, Livingston, Robson, Thorpe, Valasquez, Wheeler, Montenegro, and Stevens.  Each one needs to be called and encouraged to vote YES on HCR2010, Convention of States.  You can find a complete list of House Members at  If it is after hours or the weekend, it's ok, leave a short message.

Continue to get signatures on the Governor Ducey Petition (go to, upper right hand corner click "sign the petition"), and send them to me before February 13.  Andy Ericson 2352 N Parama Ln Chino Valley, AZ 86323.  They will be gathered from the entire state and hand delivered to the governor.

If you are in the southern part of Legislative District 1, come to the COS Public Meeting, Saturday February 13, 1-3pm, at North Valley Assembly of God Church.-we will have a COS presentation and talk about our strategy. We will also fill out postcards to send to the Senators, so try and make the meeting!

North Valley Assembly of God 28660 N Black Canyon HWY, Phoenix, AZ. The church is on west side of Interstate 17. Take 17 (North or South) to JoMax, take the frontage road, on the east side of 17, north to Dixieletta; come back across 17, to the frontage road on the west side of 17, and go south. The church will be on the right side about 3/4 of a mile. Go to google maps for clarification.

Our regular monthly meeting will be Sunday February 21, at 4pm at Lifepointe Church in Prescott Valley.  Details for both these meetings can be found at

Tennessee did it, and with your help, Arizona can too.  Washington D.C., we want to have a word with you!

Thank you,

Andy Ericson
AZLD1 Captain
Convention of States

E. Pluribus Unum, Liberty, In God We Trust