Carefree weighs in on blog ‘pissing matches’

Mayor Les Peterson (from left), Councilman Gene Orrico, Councilwoman Cheryl Kroyer and Councilman Michael Krahe
Gary Neiss

CAREFREE – During Current Events at the July 11 meeting, Councilman Mike Farrar announced the upcoming first meeting of the Carefree Italian-American Club at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 20 at Carrado’s Cucina Italiana Restaurant and said one need not be Italian to attend.

Mayor Les Peterson stated he’s been reading some blogs lately and, while he didn’t want to impede anyone’s freedom of speech, said, “There’s no one on this council angry at one another.”

He said this council does not vote 7-0 and may have disagreements or different ideas on how to address issues.

Peterson encouraged anyone with a different point of view to share it with others but asked that they not make it personal.

Councilwoman Cheryl Kroyer stated, “We may not all agree but we’re not angry at each other.”

She said it makes her uncomfortable when people get into these “pissing matches.”

Councilman Michael Krahe said they all work very hard and he respects everyone on council’s opinion.

Farrar said he appreciated the mayor bringing the subject up and stated, “We’re all very passionate about our community. That’s why we volunteer.”

He encouraged civil discourse while discussing issues.

Councilman Gene Orrico stated, “Council is not a group of Stepford people. We’re not going to all agree but that doesn’t mean we hate each other.”

Peterson said when he’s angry at someone it is easier to express anger in writing than by speaking to them face-to-face.

Councilman Jim Van Allen said he wanted to change the subject and pointed out the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant in the back of the room and said it was someone he worked with in the old days.

He said MCSO was bringing back a lot of guys that have previously worked in the area and know every street in town.

Town Administrator Gary Neiss described the improvements put out to bid for the new council chambers at 33 Easy Street.

He said they held a pre-bid meeting in June and closed bidding June 30.

Neiss stated they received six bids, which ranged from a high of $660,509 (T’s Construction) down to $366,700 (Kroll Contracting).

However, he noted five of the six bids were within $23,000 of each other.

Neiss said Kroll was the lowest responsible bidder and the project should be completed in time for the November or December council meeting.

In addition to awarding the $366,700 contract to Kroll, Neiss also asked council to approve a 10 percent contingency.

Although he doesn’t anticipate using the contingency, Neiss said if there were to be any unforeseen circumstances it would prevent delays in completing the project by not having to go back to council for approval.

Peterson asked if there was any penalty for not completing the project within the specified time period.

Neiss said the end result of such penalties really only penalizes the town.

A representative from Kroll stated, “Ninety day is doable, aggressive but doable.”

With Vice Mayor John Crane absent, council voted unanimously to award the contract to Kroll plus a 10 percent contingency .

Council also voted unanimously to authorize an intergovernmental reciprocal agreement between the State Forestry Division and the town.

Rural/Metro Fire Chief John Kraetz said the agreement is a revision of a document that has been in place since around 2006.

He said it allows the state to come into Carefree to assist with fires and sets reimbursement rates.

Kraetz said the state could also call on Carefree to assist.

However, he said if the state did call on Carefree to assist Carefree could decline if it would leave the town unprotected.

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