Carefree’s Future Matters

Friends of Carefree, there were a meeting of the Carefree Planning & Zoning Commission Tuesday evening, March 14 at 5 p.m.

Commissioners Krahe and Sperl were absent. Public participation consisted of Jim Van Allen and John Traynor.

Item 1, Approval of Minutes: The January 11 minutes were approved, 5 – 0.

Item 2, Work Session-Discussion: Per the agenda, “The intent of this work session is to conclude the conversation concerning definitions and requirements regarding building heights for residential and commercial structures.” In contrast to the 3 prior “workshops” neither form based code nor substantially taller building heights were considered. However, “The current proposal is designed to simplify how residential building height will be measured and returns commercial building heights to the original maximum building height of thirty feet.” [It should be noted that, in 2004, the P&Z set the height limit to 24 feet.]

Town Planner, Stacy Bridge-Denzak discussed a draft of the proposed Zoning Text Amendment, explaining the rationale for clarifying how Residential and Commercial building height will be measured. In reference to raising commercial building height to 30 feet (from the current 24 foot limit) she said there was ‘support’ for the 30 foot standard. Apparently the change is intended to provide designers/developers more flexibility in planning new structures. The Galleria was cited as an example of the type of building design that would be possible with a 30 foot height standard. Other than the desire for more height by developers, and the current recommendation by the town administrator and town planner, we didn’t hear any other support for the 30 foot height.

When discussion was opened to the public Jim Van Allen addressed the Commission. He thanked staff for making the meeting packet available well in advance and said he hoped the practice would continue. He commented that some things seem to disappear from meeting to meeting, noting that the staff proposals of the 70 foot height presented in October and the 50 foot height presented in January are gone. He suggested that maybe there is a "Houdini" in Town Hall that makes things disappear. Jim advised the commissioners that a successful hotel could be constructed at 30 feet as long as the parking was below ground. He then thanked the Commissioners for their due diligence and determination to not destroy our town. He also took issue with the language used in a recent blog suggesting we stirred folks into an "emotional tizzy". [Both Jim and I want to thank all of you who attended the January meeting in order to express your opinion of those staff proposals. Although ‘change’ is important to some, maintaining the character and charm of Carefree is far more important to residents than appeasing developers.]

The final draft of the currently proposed text amendment will be presented at the next P&Z meeting and, if then approved by the commissioners, it will be forwarded to the Town Council for action (possibly in May).

“All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward.” – Ellen Glasgow

Item 3, Announcements: Once the proposed Zoning Text Amendment discussion was completed

I submitted a request to speak slip, explaining I had a question not directly related to the current Text Amendment. I recounted that on several occasions, and at different public meetings, the height associated with the prior Text Amendment (approved in 2006 or 2007) was never clearly specified. No staff member, council member, or commissioner could recall if the height was 46 or 48 feet. I searched the town codes and zoning regulations without success in locating the actual height approved. Town Administrator Neiss explained that the height was included in the development plan submitted by the developer last year. I remarked that the developer had originally submitted a plan when the prior text amendment was originally approved but he did not proceed. Mr. Neiss explained that a revised plan was submitted and approved last year. When I asked again what the height was in that plan, Mr. Neiss said he didn’t remember but it was in the plan. I asked if the development plan was subject to a Public Records request and was told that is was; I’ll file a request and try to locate the approved building height for the Easy Street Condo project. Stay tuned. [Once a proposed Text Amendment is reviewed & approved by the P&Z it is forwarded to the Council for action. If approved by the Council only the staff reviews the Development plan; the P&Z is no longer involved. I find it distressing that the original Text Amendment, granted years ago, allows a developer to determine building height. By contrast, the currently proposed Text Amendment contains very clear specifications as to height limits and other grading factors associated with height.]

Item 4, Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at approximately 5:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Jim Van Allen and John Traynor

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Dear Commissioner Tobin,

As residents of Arizona, former elected officials, candidates for the Arizona Corporation Commission and, most importantly, customers of Arizona’s utilities, we’re calling for your resignation from the Arizona Corporation Commission. The consumers of Arizona are struggling with ever-increasing utility bills and deserve commissioners who are free of undue influence.

And there is no doubt you have a conflict-of-interest. According to your own words published in the Arizona Capitol Times, the commission’s chief legal counsel said you weren’t, “even electable or appointable” when you began your appointment. Yet, you remain on the commission.

As if this weren’t shocking enough, you then asked your former Arizona Legislative colleagues and the Governor to reduce the standards for conflict of interest for Corporation Commissioners by way of HB2123. You have asked two branches of government to save your job – an unprecedented maneuver that we think the third branch of government (the judicial) may not view favorably.

The current conflict of interest laws exist to protect every single resident of Arizona. They exist to ensure commissioners are working on behalf of Arizonans across the state. These laws have protected Arizona families, without challenge, for decades.

Regardless of whether or not HB2123 is ultimately signed into law, we believe this path of legislative change you have chosen will be challenged – which will cost the taxpayers of Arizona tens of thousands of dollars to defend. As the old saying goes: just because it’s legal, doesn’t mean it’s right.

We request you vacate your appointment immediately. Your resignation, and the appointment of a conflict-free replacement, will be the best way you could serve the integrity of the commission and the people of Arizona.


Bill Mundell
Tom Chabin
ACC Candidates


Celebrating Spring

After another winter of severe snowstorms and floods, I look forward to spring days of balmy weather and blooming flowers.

Hundreds of communities welcome spring with an observance of Great American Meatout, asking neighbors to explore a healthy, compassionate diet of vegetables, fruits, legumes, and grains.

Indeed, 56 percent of respondents to a GlobalMeatNews poll said that they were or are reducing meat intake. U.S. per capita red meat consumption has dropped by more than 16 percent since 1999.

Mainstream publications like Parade, Better Homes and Gardens, and Eating Well are touting vegan recipes. Even the financial investment community is betting on plant-based meat start-ups, like Beyond Meat or Impossible Foods, while warning clients about the upcoming “death of meat.”

The reasons are ample. Last year, the World Health Organization found cancer to be associated with consumption of processed meats. The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee recommended reduced meat consumption. The media keeps exposing atrocities perpetrated on factory farms. And, animal agriculture remains chief contributor to climate change and water scarcity and pollution.

Each of us should celebrate our own advent of spring by checking out plant-based foods at our supermarkets and vegan recipes on the internet.


Carl Devlin
Cave Creek



Voters in no mood for a lame duck repeat of history

What can you expect from a lame duck session this year? If past is prologue, little good comes from them. Congress, already notorious for making the most odious sausage known to man, saves the worst things for last.

The thinking generally is that voters will forget eating the putrid scraps too disgusting to consume before an election. Pat Caddell, in his March 10 press briefing with Americans for Limited Government in Washington, D.C., stated otherwise.

"2014, after the lame duck session, I did a poll, and I said, My God! The Republican base is freaking out that their leadership has just voted, gone behind closed doors, and screwed them out of the very things they promised them," Caddell said. "From that moment on, this party, I announced at that time, could split like a boiled peanut."

Caddell was of course referring to the controversial Cromnibus bill of 2014, where Republicans notoriously failed to defund President Obama's Executive Amnesty overreach. 

During the event, Caddell said that the electorate still has food poisoning from the 2014 lame duck session, fueling the Donald Trump phenomenon.

Caddell stated previously during the event that Trump was not the impetus of this sentiment, but surely has benefitted from it. The aversion to the fetid lame duck sausage dish was not born from one sitting. Let's review:

*1974: under the guise of "trade reform", Congress approved the Trade Act of 1974, the genesis of the current Trade Promotion Authority, North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership and other trade deal controversies, gutting the treaty power justly held by the Senate.

*1982: Congress raised its own pay 15 percent, reigniting the ratification of the 27th Amendment that disallows such a practice, and leading to 30 states ratifying the amendment after being dormant for centuries. Wyoming did so in 1978, but the majority of states did so after 1983.

*1994: GATT, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade Uruguay Round, was passed in spite of the repudiation of the voters of the same Congress that enacted NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement.

*2004: Congress raised the debt ceiling during this lame duck. Ultimately, the Bush era of "compassionate conservatism" and war spending that ultimately led to the 2006 repudiation by voters.

*2006: Congress, thoroughly repudiated, extended a bilateral trade agreement with Vietnam, as well as other underdeveloped countries.

*2010:  The Senate enacts the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), reducing nuclear offensive capability in the face of Russian aggression in South Ossetia.

*2014: Congress fails to defund Executive Amnesty and Obamacare, in spite of having spent millions on ads saying they would fight the President on these issues.

*2015: Congress passed another trillion-dollar omnibus that once again failed to defund executive amnesty, Obamacare and Planned Parenthood.

The last straw, in the teeth of the current Trump and Cruz uprisings, would be enacting a job killing Trans-Pacific Partnership that surrenders American sovereignty to foreign trade rivals. Obama is likely to sign the deal at a point in time when the mandatory 60-day approval or disapproval by Congress will only occur after the November elections, after lawmakers can no longer be held accountable for their votes.

Americans are hurting, angry, and reject these double-dealings. The surest way to keep them that way, is to have another lame duck trade deal that Americans just rejected at the ballot box. Congress makes this sausage at their own peril.

Dustin Howard
Americans for Limited Government


There is only one reason Trump is being attacked

It scares me that the last president who challenged the Federal Reserve and the Military Industrial Complex was assassinated with the record sealed for up to 70 years. I'm convinced that Mr. Trump knows the  real danger on his life for attempting to expose the real story on 9/11, Benghazi and the sinister Federal Reserve. There is only ONE reason the Republican Party would commit suicide by robbing the voters of their candidate. The reason is that if Trump does even 1/2 of what he has promised the Federal Reserve, Goldman Sachs, 70 percent of our elected members of congress, former presidents will be put to the fire. The stakes are so high it is a matter of self survival for these leaches of society. 

Just like Vladimir Putin, Trump is an enemy of Nazi collaborator George Soros, the Bush's New World Order and Globalists who want to take away our national identity and circumvent Congress with open-ended and oppressive trade deals. They want to raise the cost of electricity so we can compete industrially. This is it folks.  Put Trump over the top with delegates. We have nothing to lose.


Joe DuPont
Towanda, Pennsylvania


Donald Trump is not Barack Obama

Lots of comments are flying about Donald Trump's vocabulary. Some of the conversation has been about his lack of vocabulary. Others have pointed out that he is uncouth and crude in his speech. Others have noted that Trump tells it like it is, holding nothing back, saying whatever comes to his mind or speaking from his heart. Some on social media have commented they don't want a President who cannot communicate more articulately or smoother than what Trump does.

I have to note that we have a smooth President by the name of Barack Obama. I personally think that he uses the teleprompter as well as anybody I've ever seen. Or, when he has time to master his content he can release his words in a very convincing manner. I don't see that there is much debate on our current President's ability to deliver a high powered speech. On the other hand we've all heard the President at press conferences "hem and hah," searching for the right words to say when answering a question or speaking impromptu.

On July 27, 2004, then U.S. Senator Obama delivered the keynote speech at the Democratic convention in Boston. On that Tuesday evening he spoke masterfully. He delivered a rousing speech that was smooth, powerful, convincing which elevated his status as the new rising star in the Democratic convention. At that time I said to several people that Barack Obama was on his way to being President of the United States and I was right.

Almost twelve years later not as many Americans are overly impressed with our President. Many hate Obamacare. Some feel Obama loves Muslims more than Christians. Others see Obama leading the charge to take guns away from everyday Americans. Others feel that he has mistreated Israel and the list of course goes on and on. Some of these same people who dislike President Obama are now criticizing Trump for his inability to deliver the kind of speech that we would have heard from John Kennedy, Ronald Reagan or our current President.

Donald Trump is Donald Trump. If he makes it he will not be a slick podium orator. He will most likely say what he is thinking and probably do it without a teleprompter. Often when a speech is delivered unwritten or without the aid of a teleprompter it will come across as unprepared.

Whether we like it or not this is another reason why Trump has done so well. He is not the typical polished, political statesman and that chaffs some people, but millions more love it.

We will not get everything we want in one human being. Everybody is different. Obama is a suave, fit, articulate man who has done what few will ever accomplish. He became President of the United States. Trump is not Barack Obama or similar to anybody we've elected in recent years and because of that he may very well win.

Glenn Mollette