I want to pass on some information regarding the water company struggles between the town of Carefree and our neighboring town of Cave Creek. You may have already seen a letter related to this topic in the October 21st edition of Sonoran News. I did not want to steal that thunder before their print edition was published, but I will follow up now.
I was asked to share some information regarding a petition, and I am happy to do so. From my perspective, this entire water project has been cloaked in far too much secrecy. The timing of the project announcement in June of 2018 most certainly helped the struggling reelection campaign of the mayor. Subsequently, Carefree refused to disclose any information I had requested in a Public Records Request, hiding behind an attorney’s favorite trump card (no current political pun intended), ‘confidentiality’. We, the customers, pay the freight for the water company but are not permitted to see cost estimates and the related expenses to date, including legal fees. We needed to be kept in the dark, and apparently that is still the case. The veil of secrecy is pulled back a wee bit when it serves the town’s purpose, but never far enough to allow Carefree water customers to see what should have been disclosed many months ago, and what may be coming at them.
To obtain updated information regarding Carefree’s lawsuit against Cave Creek, I searched Court filings and discovered that a second lawsuit had been filed, this one against Carefree by a third party. The documents show that trial is to begin in January. The Carefree vs. Cave Creek legal action entered Arbitration on Monday, October 26th. Time will tell how all these legal battles shake out.
To date, 80% of Carefree residents and businesses who currently comprise 100% of Carefree Water Company customers have had no voice in this matter. The voices emanate almost exclusively from those who will directly benefit from the project moving forward, and of course the mayor’s team (several will benefit). That has changed. A group of concerned Carefree residents, who identify themselves as Carefree Citizens for Affordable and Sustainable Water, have begun alerting Carefree Water customers to the impact of this project absent any substantive information from the Water Company or the Town Council. They started a petition to communicate to the Carefree Town Council that, while they agree everyone deserves clean water, there are other options to achieve that without incurring huge expenses, raising our water rates, or destroying protected Sonoran Desert.
If you have not already done so, read their letter in The October 21st issue of Sonoran News for informative background material. The petition is worthy of your consideration and can be found at http://chng.it/8xFTs8cCB6
Thanks for your time.
John Traynor, Carefree Resident
P.S. For those suspecting, No, I have not been involved but I am certainly getting more curious and interested!