Guest Editorial


Breaking News in Carefree

In the race for council and mayor in Carefree, Vice Mayor Glenn Miller seems to be calling the shots. That isn’t hard to do when the likes of Mayor David Schwan is your “boss.” Schwan even told confidants Miller was his biggest problem.

Last week Sheriff Joe Arpaio was livid when he was told by a MCSO officer that mayoral candidate Doug Stavoe was talking to Scottsdale about providing law enforcement service to Carefree. Where did the officer hear this information? From Miller!

It is a matter of record in our forum and the one by the Arizona Republic, Schwan admitted he had approached Scottsdale but found them to be more than three times as expensive as MCSO.

Stavoe, who is endorsed by Arpaio, talked to Arpaio and said he had not talked to Scottsdale, but Schwan had. Write-in council candidate Jim Van Allen, a posse member for seven and one half years, was hopping mad about the planted rumor as well.

Schwan mentioned in our forum he had laid off five people and would rather lay off than reduce town employees’ work weeks. He didn’t mention a high value employee in the water company that was laid off in January because he was making too much money and his insurance payments were too high.

However, this employee had told Miller last November, Carefree should have a volunteer fire department like they had where he previously lived. Miller immediately went to Stan Francom and demanded the employee be fired.

When we discovered the secret meeting of three current council members and the three who walked out rather than face a runoff and published pictures, the town began a search for who blew the whistle. Francom got copies of employee phone records and took them to his office, no doubt seeking connections which could lead to Sonoran News.

Although the whistle blower didn’t use his town cell phone to call about the pending meeting of six, he did call Councilman Bob Coady on another matter on the town cell phone. That and Miller’s demand to fire him lead to his dismissal.

At this point the terminated employee is in serious talks with labor attorneys and I would think Miller, Francom and Schwan have some explaining to do about why they fired an employee on what amounts to age related issues who also happened to be a whistle blower. I am sure investigative officials will be interested in the frantic search to find out who blew the whistle and why the meeting was so secret.

In a forum, Miller took it upon himself to explain he was trying to get Councilman Bob Gimmel fired up and wanted to learn marketing from the group that had walked off from the town. Hello? What did Wayne Fulcher, Lloyd Meyer and Greg Gardner know about marketing? Also, at that point Peter Koteas had resigned from the marketing committee while Susan Vanik was the remaining council member with marketing responsibility and she wasn’t in the meeting. If they piped her in telephonically it was a clear open records violation.

There is a statue which makes it clear that less than a majority of council members can still constitute a violation if the meeting is held to circumvent open meetings laws. The secret nature of this meeting falls under that statute as does the search to find out who blew the whistle and the termination of the believed to be whistle blower.

The OMLET group of the Attorney General Office is evaluating complaints on these issues. It will be interesting to learn what the six secret attendees and Francom have to say when under oath and alone with investigators.

As if that isn’t enough about Miller, he was seen carrying away all but one Sonoran News from a local restaurant. When asked why he said they were for friends. Later, the proprietor told him the newspapers were for customers and not to do it again. One Sonoran News is free, any more than one is theft.

The Carefree Rural/Metro Fire Department union employees are showing up at the Carefree Post Office pimping for Schwan. This is wrong and I believe illegal, but not new. These Chicago style thugs (like Miller) did it for Adam Trenk in Cave Creek too. Trenk used his two year council term as a stepping stone, as I predicted.