My View

By Don Sorchych | February 4, 2009

Don SorchychCarefree elections

Carefree has come alive politically and the target is Bob Coady. Coady is competing for his sixth two-year term.

Much of the contention is driven by Coady’s initiative, which would provide for voter choice for a mayor. Currently the good old boy council chooses one of their own.

If you don’t think the immediate past mayor, Ed Morgan, chose Wayne Fulcher as his successor, then you believe in Carefree fables.

Carefree is “run” by a few activists that have connections with the various power structures of Carefree.

First among those is Carefree Kiwanis. All of the PAC leaders who support the current council (less Coady) are Kiwanis members and they conduct their chicanery, on site at Harold’s, every Wednesday.

Last election, a candidate for council wrote the head of Kiwanis twice and complained about the politization of Kiwanis. He didn’t even get the dignity of response.

I have observed Kiwanians breaking the rules (they are a tax-free organization and IRS denies political speak and action) a number of times, where members stood up and promoted one candidate or another.

I wrote about former Mayor Ed Morgan standing at the Kiwanis podium praising and supporting all on council but Coady before an election.

I wrote about Kiwanis choosing Mayor Morgan to introduce Attorney General Terry Goddard while Morgan was under investigation for polling. The AG’s office had said they would pursue an aggressive investigation, but dropped the case after Morgan’s introduction.

I have challenged two past Kiwanis presidents about this behavior, and got embarrassment but no action.

While only Greg Gardner and Lloyd Myer are members of Kiwanis, past council members are abundant.

Susan Vanik’s candidacy for the council springs from her long time Kiwanis associations. Now the PAC, “Carefree: Get Out & Vote 09” welcomes Carefree registered voters with a script I will summarize. The bottom line is the current candidates are promoted, absent Coady. Coady was replaced by whom but Susan Vanik.

The PAC organizers are Kiwanian Ralph Pipp and Everett Anderson. Pipp was active for the slate of six during the last election.

The script was generally out of a sixth grade handbook. They must have copied a politically correct political activist.

Here’s one: “Work for the good of the community without political agendas.” A great goal and never practiced by this administration.

Here is another: “Take personal attacks from the local press in stride.” Aw, we didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Nothing false has been written about Carefree, or the people who run it.

The rest gag even more.

I remain a member, but seldom attend Kiwanis meetings because Carefree good old boy activists are climbing the ladder toward president. It may be time to resign. Thankfully, sources remain.

Read the letter from CCUSD Watch on the letters page.

Did Kiwanis play a role in the school board selecting Debbi Burdick as the new superintendent?

Gary Hayward ex-council member and defeated in the last election, is now secretary of Kiwanis. He sent this email to the Kiwanis membership on Jan. 30, “The attachment is from Debbie (sic) Burdick thank (sic) our Club for supporting her to the permanent head of the CCUSD.”

Is one to believe that all of this politicking happened at home with no cross fertilization? Burdick wrote an effusive e-mail to Kiwanians, thanking them for their support.

And why should Kiwanis, as a group, be involved in the choice of a school superintendent?
Other connections are plentiful. I have mentioned Home Owner Associations (HOAs). David Schwan has HOAs as his council responsibility. There are about 30 HOAs, which form a formidable political force in Carefree. It is doubtful Schwan can manipulate them all and although we are told his own HOA is not fond of him, his impact on elections is unknown.

It is a delight to see Reverend Bob Hutson of Christ the Lord Lutheran Church dribble holy water on Peter Koteas who is running for council. It is uncommon to see outright endorsements by the clergy, but it is welcomed, at least in this case. Koteas is no member of any slate, clique or group. His vote will be from the heart and mind, much like Coady.

How much impact the churches have is unknown. I don’t believe anyone preaches politics like Kiwanis does.

Then there are clubs. Lots of influential people populate the Desert Forest Golf Club, for instance. The Carefree Resort and Villas is cooperative, but pretty much apolitical. Other clubs serve good purposes and vary in how politically active they are.

Carefree is littered with corpses of candidates for office. Many were good men, such as David Smith, Steve Warsaw, John Traynor. Aaron Grenley, Al Swanson. Jim Pierce and Larry Cremeens. Tell them that, as the PAC says, the powers that be “have respect for everyone, (have) the ability to work with others, agree without being disagreeable, and find success in the face of differing opinions.”

Hello? Has anyone with the PAC ever talked with Hugh Stevens? How about Ralph Pipp who signed for the PAC? People such as these two carry out the election nastiness for the slate of seven, which now includes Susan Vanik of Kiwanis.

Those statements are a crock and the so-called activists violate their claims daily.
Although the council assaulted Bob Coady about his initiative for direct election of the mayor, they are quiet about their unbelievable reach to double their terms in office.

With six who sing from the same song sheet. who would object in a council meeting?

Two year elections suit the U.S. Congress, but they are too expensive for the yokels of Carefree?

The current council has complained about Coady spending too much.
Not true.

Last election, 2007, Fulcher spent $1,128.53. Bob Gemmill spent $4371.44. Greg Gardner spent $599.56. Gary Hayward spent $914.54, and lost. Lloyd Meyer spent $4,032.82.
Glenn Miller is interesting. He spent $3635.05. Donations include: Gilbert Firefighters $370.00, Mesa Firefighters $370.00, Primary Consultants $1,354.85, Kiwanis Club of Carefree Foundation $114.43, and Chase Bank, Scottsdale $5.05.

In 2007 Coady spent $20.00.

I can hope that the election is clean. It can only be professional if the incumbents dump the PACs and their founders and insist on an election based on issues, not people.