Carefree’s Future Matters

Friends of Carefree, there was an Executive Session of the Town Council March 1 at 3:30 p.m.  The regular monthly Council meeting followed at 5 p.m.

Town Council Meeting, March 1, 2016 at 5 p.m.
The meeting Tuesday evening was a rather efficient one, lasting just about 1 hour.

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

Item 8, Call to the Public:
  Remy (could not hear her last name) lodged a complaint about her treatment at Town Hall.  She said she was treated rudely when seeking information related to a garage sale.  She recounted the events and her contacts with various staff.  In the end, Councilman Farrar asked if she spoke with the town administrator and if she was satisfied with the outcome.  She said she did speak with him and, no, she was not.

Jim Van Allen spoke next, thanking the staff for making the council information packet available on Friday.  He said he had been told by the town clerk that making the packet available is done so as a courtesy.  He stated he wished it had been made a requirement in the town code.  He went on to say it had traditionally been available on Fridays for the past 15 years until recently.  Before concluding Jim explained his long-standing belief that zero-based budgeting is much better than the present method of starting with current year actual expenses and building on them.  He hoped the town would adopt a zero-based budgeting philosophy.

Item 9 Current Events:  None noted.

Item 10, Open House Signs: Since the time the moratorium on required permits was approved last year there have been no resident complaints regarding temporary Open House signs.  Staff has requested a 90 day extension of that moratorium to facilitate the ordinance change which was the second part of this agenda item.  With the first reading of the Ordinance change addressed, the council approved the 90 day extension, 7 – 0.  The Mayor then thanked the Realtors for their cooperation.

Item 11, Eastwood Subdivision Final Plat:  Staff reviewed the groundwork on the subdivision which was now pending council approval, and then briefly discussed the Final Plat which had been submitted.  Councilwoman Price questioned wording in two sections of the material the council was being asked to approve; explanations followed from the town administrator.

John Traynor requested to speak.  I asked two questions.  The first related to the home density within the subdivision.  Several prior public meetings led one to believe that although the recently revised zoning would permit higher density (up to 7 homes per acre, I believe) within the subdivision, the plan was for 4 homes per acre.  The Final plat clearly shows the total buildable area to be 5.3 acres; yet 39 homes are planned yielding an actual density of 8 homes per acre.  I was advised by staff that estimated lot density is based on gross land area within a subdivision, in this case 9.5 acres.  I responded that the visual perception of 4 homes per acre vs. 8 homes per acre would be quite different from what we were led to believe.

The 2nd question related to build plans.  I asked if the 39 homes would be built as ‘spec’ homes (pre-sale units) or would they be constructed based on actual lot sales.  The Mayor asked the builder if he would like to address that question.  Jeff King (Keystone VP & General Manager) responded that they might put up 4 to 6 units as spec homes, which could be sold to anyone wishing immediate occupancy, but the remainder would be based on lot sales.  When asked when the project would begin, Jeff responded that they were essentially ready to go, pending approvals from Liberty/Black Mountain Sewer.  Council approved the Eastwood Final Plat, 7 – 0.

Item 12, Town Staff Retirement Plan:  The resolution to amend, restate, and authorize the town clerk to execute the documents required by the IRS was approved, 7 - 0.

Item 13, Amending Town Code, Chapters 2, 3, and 4:  This was the 2nd reading of the chapters in question.  Councilwoman Price requested additional wording be added to section 2.1.11 dealing with Code of Conduct sanctions.  She read her prepared wording which the town attorney found agreeable.  No copies were in the packet, but the wording seemed to provide for appeals or mediation in cases of verifiable complaints.  This appears to be covered in the Code of Conduct document itself, but the Council agreed to the additional wording and went on to approve the Amendments to Chapters 2, 3, and 4, by a vote of  7 – 0.

Item 14, Code of Conduct for Elected & Appointed Officials:  There was no further discussion on the Code of Conduct which was quickly adopted by a vote of 7 – 0.

Item 15, Contract for Installation of 26 Additional Town Lamps:  There were approximately 7 bids reviewed by the town ranging from $115,000 to $58,000.  The low bidder was selected after examination of his Registrar of Contractors file, references, and satisfying bonding requirements.  Councilman Orrico asked why there was such a big difference between the high and low bids.  Councilman Miller said the bids were spread throughout that range and we caught this contractor at just the right time in his work scheduling.  The installation cost per lamp will be about $2,300.  Councilman Farrar asked how that compared to the last time additional lamps were installed.   Councilman Miller didn’t recall the exact number but said it was above $3,000 when 7 additional lamps were installed just over 3 years ago.

John Traynor requested to speak.  I asked for clarification on the bonding issue.  When I examined the contractor’s Registrar file I noted the business is located in Payson and his existing bond of $2,500 seemed low for a project in the $60,000 range.  Councilman Miller had mentioned bonding earlier in the discussion so he clarified that the contractor agreed to a performance bond which would cover the total project cost.

Work can begin later in in March.  The Council approved $58,456 (+ 5% contingency) by a vote of 7 – 0.

Item 16, Town Council Updates:  There was nothing major.  When the Mayor said we can remove Council Chambers from the list, Councilwoman Price asked what he meant.  The Mayor said “we bought 33 Easy Street.”  She followed up with the town’s lease expires soon and 33 Easy Street is unavailable [after being leased to Ed Lewis.]  The Mayor asked Gary Neiss to provide an update on temporary space.

The indication is that an arrangement with the Lutheran Retreat Center either has been or is nearly complete.  The rental rate will be low or free.  The only fly in the ointment is they may need the space during their busy times, so the fire station will be the backup location.  The current town lease for the Chambers (etc.) expires in July.

Item 17, Adjournment:  The meeting was adjourned at approximately 5:56 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Jim Van Allen and John Traynor



I'm voting YES on Prop 123

I'm voting YES on Prop 123 on May 17 because it's vital to ensuring Arizona's teachers and students have the resources they need to succeed in the classroom.

This initiative puts $3.5 billion into Arizona's public K-12 schools over the next ten years WITHOUT raising taxes.

When it comes to public education, Arizona has some great stories to tell. Voting YES on Prop 123 means future Arizona students can keep writing those Arizona success stories.

WATCH the video above to learn more about why I'm supporting Prop 123 and join me in voting YES on May 17.


Doug Ducey
Governor of Arizona

P.S. Learn more about Yes on Prop123 and how you can support it at


Dear Mr. [Clay] Thompson:

Through corruption of the concept because of Americans' abysmal ignorance in the fields of sociology, geography anthropology and linguistics, both "Hispanic" and "Latino" have become synonyms for mixed-blood Spanish-surnamed people whose principal language is Spanish (or corruptions thereof, such as the abominable "Spanglish").

Here in the USA, we see baseball players, boxers and musicians from the Caribbean, México and Central America, most of whom bear Spanish surnames, and almost invariably are mestizo, mulato, zambo, indio or tente en aire.

Calling the typical White Spaniard, Argentine or Uruguayan a Latino or Hispanic has a corollary: Are people whose surnames and language originate in the British Isles "Anglic," then? If so, the typical American, Jamaican, Bahamian, etc. falls into a common denominator, regardless of ethnic origin. All speak English, right? 

(I can hardly wait for the howls of disapproval, and the charges of racism!) 

J-P. A. Maldonado
Spanish-surnamed White multilingual US citizen!
Lafayette, Colorado 


New life

We’ve had some new life find its way into AZ COS from a week ago Thursday. As you know, Sen Biggs will be running for Congress next year and that has resulted in some Capitol antics with legislators jockeying for position with a variety of bills. We’ve turned the pressure up in the last couple of weeks by meeting with legislators in both parties and finding some acceptance and softening, but also resistance. Our resolution, HCR2010, is sitting on Senator Biggs’ desk. Which means we should continue with our efforts to push for our day in ‘legislative court’. Here are some ways you can help.

Federal Overreach

Rep. Bob Thorpe has written and marshalled HB2201 through the House and it’s now in the Senate. To paraphrase, the bill would outlaw any action or commandeering by any of the three federal branches to force Arizona to do something unconstitutional. You can read the bill here:, enter HB2201 in the upper right corner, click on versions, then HTML or PDF.

Here’s a request from AZ COS’s Political Strategy Director, Sky McCorkle asking for help in softening the path for our application to the Senate Federalism Committee.

“If several of us show up to speak in support of this bill next week our point could be made. First why is this type of State law even needed? It is (needed) because of the illegal Federal Overreach which has deteriorated States rights. This is exactly the type of law which a Convention to Amend the Constitution would tackle for us by passing amendments to reigning in the size and overreach of the Federal Government. It’s in Senate room SHR 3 at 9 AM on Tue March 8.”

We’re going to put on a show of support at the Committee meeting, ALIS, and AZ Voices (see below) and would like your help. If you’re not aware, Rep. Thorpe is a supporter of Article V, his own BBA application and the COS movement. We should all try to make it and sign in on ALIS to comment before the committee. The comment period before the committee is usually brief, maybe two minutes. Your comment can be a short ‘please support’.

Liberty Teams

The Liberty Teams have been successful in their role of softening the opposition to HCR2010. Several Teams met with their legislators over the last several weeks and are hearing positive statements when leaving the meetings. Your district Captain & Deputies are assembling Liberty Teams to meet and encourage their senators to support the state’s rights that an amending convention can achieve.

For more information, contact your district leaders or Marty Brown at:

Contact Senate

Please email and phone your district senator and inform them that you’d like them to support HCR2010, the COS application for an amending convention to begin the healing of our country. To find your senators contact info, go to In the frame on the left, you can click on Find Your Legislator. Or if you already know, click on Senate, Members.

Governor Ducey Petition

If you haven’t signed the petition asking Governor Ducey to encourage Senator Biggs to allow all legislation, including the COS application, HCR2010, into committee, please do so. We’re not quite to our goal yet. You can either contact your district leaders or go to and sign there. Thank you.

Article V Groups

There are nine different Article V groups across the country all striving for a convention. Yes, nine of them. Which begs the question of Sen Biggs & other critics that “liberals will come into the convention and take out what they don’t want and insert what they do.” Well, Senator Biggs, why doesn’t the left wing group on this list, the Wolf Pack, just wait for COS to go to all the work to hold the convention? Because they know that their subject is different from ours. It wouldn’t be allowed. That’s how the conventions have always worked.

Convention History

For a summary of the history of the conventions, go to and see a list of 36 of the 40-50 conventions held over the last 325 years.

Arizona Voices

This is a tool that both citizens and legislators use. To sign up, go to, click on menu, Education and scroll to Arizona Voices and follow the instructions. Then please vote and add your comments on those pieces of legislation you have a passion one way or the other for.


To speak to or give a comment to a Committee about certain legislation, sign up for ALIS. It only works to influence committee members, not floor votes. Since HCR2010 and HB2201 have moved to the senate, we have to restate our positions.


We only have only a short time left for House bills to be heard in committee in the Senate and, with this new breath of life, we might just be able to pull this off. But, only if you and I make it happen. Please make those call and send emails. Thanks for your help in the fight for our country.

Mike Kapic
Arizona State Director


Election 2016: Rage against the voting machines

It's not news to anyone that American elections have become long, costly, complicated, time-consuming affairs. Each campaign begins the day after the previous election, swamping news cycles and distorting public dialog for two to four years.

Of all the activities involved in the ongoing drama of politics, one should be quite simple: The final, affirmative act of casting a vote. Instead, voting has become more and more difficult, more and more complicated, and more and more subject to counting error over the years.

Sarah Breitenbach of the Pew Charitable Trust's Stateline project reports on a developing backlash against the problems of fragile high-tech voting systems. After Florida's "hanging chad" debacle in 2000, most states and cities moved to new, theoretically easier to use, but technologically more complex, voting machines. Those machines came with their own problems, including very real fears that election results could be (and perhaps were) hacked and manipulated.

More than a decade later, after years of acrimonious debate, close elections turning on questionable vote counts, and concerns about close relationships between politicians and voting machine manufacturers, this generation of machines is on its last legs and the search is on for replacements.

In that search, election authorities seem to largely be looking to the past. "Optical mark recognition" technology – the hand-marked "fill in the circle next to your choice" ballot familiar to every public school student since the 1960s – turns out to still be cheaper, more reliable, easier for voters to figure out, and hopefully more secure and trustworthy.

In truth, voting could be made simpler still. Many countries, by no means all of them lagging the US tech-wise, still use their eyes to scan and their hands to count plain old-fashioned paper ballots. For that matter, it still happens that in parts of the US, as everyone who closely watched coverage of the Iowa caucuses on February 1 saw on their television screens.

In 1864, America conducted a presidential election in the midst of civil war. The polling places were crowded with soldiers furloughed so they could vote. The ballots weren't just hand-marked and hand-counted, but weren't even standardized or printed by the government. Voters could get ballots from their candidates or parties of choice, or hand-write their own. The results were reported by telegraph. And yet the results were known by midnight on Election Day.

Voting could, and should, be that simple again.

Thomas L. Knapp
William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism


RFS should be based on science, not politics

In the final polls, Ted Cruz was slated to place second in Iowa. Considering he loudly criticized the Renewable Fuel Standard – the Washington boondoggle that turns corn into ethanol gold for Iowa farmers – days before the Caucus, Cruz's victory was particularly surprising.

You know a law is crazy when its biggest beneficiaries vote for someone who wants to end it.

Shockingly, the RFS will soon do even more damage. The Environmental Protection Agency recently mandated that even more ethanol – and other renewable fuels – be blended into gasoline in 2016. That's a big mistake: the RFS is bad for the environment and bad for the economy.

Congress created the RFS in 2005 and bumped it up in 2007. This latest jump in the standard requires over 18 billion gallons of biofuels be blended into the fuel supply for 2016.

The purpose of mandating the addition of ethanol to gasoline in the first place was to decrease our dependence on foreign oil sources and do less environmental damage. But since the RFS was created, the United States has overtaken both Saudi Arabia and Russia to become the world's largest oil and natural gas producer.

So, we're less dependent on foreign energy than ever, and the RFS has nothing to do with it.

Scientists have also questioned the supposed environmental benefits of ethanol. In 2014, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report acknowledging "biofuels indirect emissions -- including from land use change -- can lead to greater total emissions than when using petroleum products." The International Institute for Sustainable Development has concluded that after factoring in the energy demands from all the aspects of crop cultivation, there are no net environmental benefits.

Instead, the RFS is costing Americans. Each gallon of biofuel gets a code – known as a Renewable Identification Number – that allows it to be tracked through the supply chain and sold in a secondary market. The EPA ensures compliance with renewable fuel mandates by tracking how many RINs refineries purchase compared to their petroleum output.

But this secondary market has been anything but stable. In the past few years, RINs have fluctuated from one cent a gallon to over a dollar because of a drought-caused corn shortage. These added costs are passed on to the gas pump.

While we're currently enjoying record low gas prices, that's no thanks to the RFS. It has artificially created price instability in the fuel market and amounts to a massive hidden tax at the pump.

The RFS is also picking Americans' pockets at the grocery store. The RFS has expanded the market for corn greatly – 40 percent of all corn grown in America is used for ethanol. Consequently, more farmers are growing corn instead of other important foodstuffs. In fact, the RFS has increased costs for chain restaurants by up to $3.2 billion annually – likewise costs that get passed on to consumers.

The bottom line is that every reason underlying the establishment of the RFS has been proven wrong or outdated. The RFS doesn't contribute to energy independence, does nothing for the environment, and is harmful to agriculture.

The RFS has always been more about politics than practical concerns. Even Iowans recognize it's time to end it.

Michael James Barton
Energy Advisor at ARTIS Research


What’s missing from our political discourse is love

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
— 1 Cor 13:4-7

OK, so you are asking what on earth does love have to do with politics. And that’s probably because those two words — love and politics — don’t seem to belong together these days. Or do they?

Well the answer has as much to do with what’s wrong with our political system and our culture as it does with what’s right. OK, let me explain before I start sounding like a politician with vague answers and obfuscating language.

We don’t think of politics being a field where love rears its lovely head because so many of our politicians over the last couple of decades have become dividers using the language of hate, fear, envy or anger to gain support.

But though that may have worked politically in the short term, it has not resulted in the kind of mandate for our leaders we would like. We live in a politically divided country on many fronts. But it’s our leaders who are to blame for creating that division.

Therein lies the true problem, but also the beautiful opportunity for a blessed solution.

Try not to dismiss what I say next as pie in the sky thinking because I am about to make a pretty bold request; if you think about it, it’s also logical, practical and possible.

What if we decided to elect a leader based on the tenets of love as espoused in the Bible? Wasn’t Christ such a leader? And wouldn’t we trust Christ to lead us?

Oh gosh now I am just being crazy, right? But wait, think about it, and take a good hard look at the words at the start of this column. To synopsize the biblical quote above, and condense it into the preferred qualities one might come up with, consider the possibility of a “patient, kind leader who does not boast, is not proud, does not dishonor others, is not self-seeking, or easily angered. But one who is also always protecting, hoping and always perseveres.”

I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a pretty solid character.

Now I have never told anyone who to vote for in this column, and I am not going to start now. Heck, I don’t even know who I am going to vote for yet. But as the political horse race kicks into gear over the next nine months, there is one thing I am going to tell you and something I want you to do.

Love is powerful, people will die for love, people will live for it, and people’s lives are changed by it. They will endure far greater challenges for it, and they will enjoy far greater prosperity and jubilation because of it than any material good, any power, or selfish pleasure, entitlement or privilege. And in the end, it is the one thing we all want.

But sometimes we can be led astray and away from that desire to love and be loved by those false prophets in the world who try to convince there is something greater in anger, in greed, in envy of others who may have more than we do, or in the selfish desire to possess money or to defeat others to make ourselves better.

But none of that will ever make us happy as individuals or as a culture and a nation. All I ask is you think about it when you decide who to vote for.

And if I have written this column effectively, hopefully you already are.

Chris Benguhe
Writer for Catholic Sun


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Thank you for your continued support of Arizona Military members and their families.


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Thank you again for your time and support!!

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