Your View | June 24 - 30, 2009

Funny how times have changed. Many years ago Jerry Whitmore put up a “Walmart is coming” sign during the construction of Fandango. Now one might actually be coming. Unbelievable.

The town of Carefree is in such a financial plight that all sorts of cash-saving measures are being considered. One proposal allegedly being considered by Mayor Schwan is to convert Cave Creek Road from Tom Darlington to the town's eastern limit to a gravel-on-tar roadway. The move would permit savings on road maintenance while slowing traffic to a crawl. Thus MCSO traffic patrol costs could also be slashed. An additional benefit is that the town could reject $588,000 in federal stimulus funds and "one-up" Cave Creek that is planning to accept government money. The plan also includes renaming the highway section as "Mayor Fulcher Memorial Drive.”

Walmart just opened Supermercado de Walmart in Phoenix. A study of Hispanic buying power by Oklahoma State University found that Hispanics spend a larger portion of their household incomes on food – $128.50 per week compared with $91 for non-Hispanics. I hope Cave Creek's Walmart will hire many Hispanics and post all signs in both Mexican and English.

Mayor David Schwan's administration hit a new low in tackiness when he publicly eliminated botanical garden specialist Jeanette Summer's position during the June 9 town council meeting. Normally terminations are handled discreetly behind closed doors at executive sessions. The mayor stated he would meet with her first thing the next morning; hopefully she didn't get a phone call with the news that night. I suspect Town Marshal Farmer, who sits in during council meetings, should be concerned if the town lists ‘termination’ on a future executive session meeting agenda. I hope council has enough cash left to keep the five-gallon water dispensers in town hall and bottled water from O Premium Waters in the budget.

The Cave Creek Cemetery is an official department listed on the Carefree town website. Space is available near the intersection of Cave Creek Road and Pima Road. Contact Betsy "town ghoul" Wise if you are terminally ill. The town pays for annual weed spraying, perhaps accounting for the cemetery's nuclear bomb wasteland appearance. Consider a memorial plot for your favorite former Carefree mayor!

The Carefree council is poised to pour huge amounts of cash into what the council euphemistically calls "marketing" expenses rather than the proper term "free advertising for failing town center businesses." Given the 3 percent local sales tax rate, for every $100,000 the town wastes on "marketing" the Titanic (aka "town center") they need to generate about $3.3 million in taxable revenue to break even. Unfortunately for local businesses it is illegal to give them cash directly that they could perhaps spend to attract customers. Instead the town will spend the cash ineffectively and accomplish little except make two council members with Easy Street businesses feel better.

How on Earth is it possible that illegal aliens are painting The Post Office, a federal building?

Curious, how many fire trucks will be at the fireworks show to chase down possible firework brush fires in the neighbor-hood? The answer hopefully is more that one. Every show I’ve been to at least one firework went off premature. I hope you are prepared or luck out. I would also consider cancelling if the wind is over 5 MPH. Sorry but this whole thing is BS. It is dangerous, risky and the wrong place to have it. I’m not sure what brain trust at the town approved it but I would put it under future review.

Carefree Councilman Doug "Blue Sky" Stavoe has proposed an Economic Security & Marketing Committee to help “stabilize, support and enhance” the town's sales-tax base. Unfortunately harebrained decisions of prior councils (construction of an ugly fire house, elimination of badly-needed town center parking, rezoning for the proposed Lewis project that may never occur, and goofy electrified gaslights) cannot be reversed. Local residents know the town center has almost nothing to offer or to do there other than pick up mail. Hopefully the two councilmen with businesses on Easy Street will not be allowed to continue bleeding the town treasury trying to prop up an area rapidly on its way to becoming a ghost town.

The fireworks on July 2 are being staged by the resort, not the town. Where in the heck are they going to fire them so the desert and surrounding houses are not in danger? Who is responsible for any damages that might be caused – the resort or the town? The resort is in bankruptcy – so I guess the town will ultimately have to foot the bill.

I smell a rat in Carefree’s purchase of the commercial building. Review the data points: 1. Experts were predicting the start of a huge decline in commercial property value. 2. The deal had to be rushed through in days. 3. The town failed to secure a long term lease before buying and lost the tenant. 4. The building needs a major renovation at a time where the coffers are draining and revenue is drying up. The good ole boys decision making is “seagull management” – fly in, crap on everything then leave.