What will Carefree look like in 2030?

Carefree needs a change of leadership before we lose our charming town forever. We have a budget hotel in the middle of downtown. A 300,000 gallon water tank now welcomes visitors and residents into Carefree. Instead of updating the 2030 General Plan for a resident vote, as required by law, the Carefree Town Council rushed approval of a Special Planning Area amendment clearing the way for development of a 175 room resort on the busy intersection of Tom Darlington and Carefree Highway. Now the Council is looking at a 48 acre parcel between Sky Ranch Airport and Stagecoach Pass for even more “resort and lodging” development.

Never mind that resorts are considered some of the highest water users in the Valley. Carefree claims this extensive development is necessary to avoid a property tax but at the same time, they are hinting a property tax may be needed to address a long range budget deficit. After repeated warnings from Scottsdale, Rural Metro’s Mutual Aid agreement has been cancelled, leaving residents vulnerable and Carefree scrambling to finance the cost of Automatic Aid. Despite this looming challenge, the Town Council spent lavishly – over $2 Million with multiple law firms, new full time staff members, a 25% increase in the Town Administrator’s salary, and over $360,000 for two arches leading into Carefree – to name a few of the more extravagant examples over the last 5 years. And the controversial water transition – a $32 Million expenditure. You won’t see that $32 Million on the town budget because it comes directly out of Carefree resident’s pockets through our escalating water bills.

Town Council Members say they wish residents were more involved in town meetings. But this Council has intentionally and repeatedly denied residents a say on important issues. And if you offer a differing opinion, these same Council Members flood the media claiming “false and misleading statements” or disrespectfully labeling residents “the loud minority” and “privileged”. Is it any wonder most residents no longer bother to engage with this Council?

Carefree residents voted in 2011 for Term Limits by a 2/3rds majority. In 2018 Vice Mayor Crane did not respect our vote – instead he sued Carefree to overturn term limits. In this August’s election, 6 of the 13 candidates running for office are new. To protect Carefree, we need this change. Vote YES on Prop 473. Prop 473 will GUARANTEE Carefree never again breeds career politicians because it will establish well defined term limits. Vote NO on Prop 474. Prop 474 is being partly funded by our current Town Council Members because, if passed, it enables them to stay in office for another 8 years. If these current council members continue to hold office, it won’t be long before we won’t recognize Carefree.

YES to PROP 473, NO to PROP 474.

Cast your vote August 2, 2022 – Peter Sample for Mayor and some thoughtful new Town Council candidates; Kathlina Lai, Sven Maric, and Duke Vukotic.

Stephanie Barbour