valentine cartoon

A personal message from Bob Coady

In the 12 years I have served on the Town Council, my priority has always been you, the citizen. Whether it was infringement of personal privacy rights, health and safety, or just helping to deal with a problem on a personal level, you came first. This position has put me in conflict with numerous past and sitting council members. But, never has my position been so at odds as with this council’s leadership. The new addition to the Town Code requiring a council member to copy all e-mails received from constituents exposing their names and e-mail addresses, I consider a major invasion of privacy. During this administration a court order, as well as the intervention of the Goldwater Institute, were required to protect citizens’ rights. These abuses are a rather sad and pathetic commentary for Carefree.
I have worked side by side with Doug Stavoe and I have come to respect his positions. While we may not agree on all issues, I have full confidence Doug will represent all the people and not just special interest groups. And most importantly, he will respect and protect citizen rights – something that has not and never will be done by David Schwan. Along with Sheriff Joe Arpaio, State Legislator David Smith and Barry Goldwater Jr., I fully support and endorse Doug Stavoe for mayor.

When voting for council members I can only ask you to vote your conscience, and that means “bullet voting.” Contact the candidates directly, read up on their positions on issues that are important to you. You do not have to vote for 6, vote only for those that will support your interests. If there is only one, that is fine. Make your vote count.
You will also be voting on three propositions; two on a property tax and one on term limits for council members. All three have merit and benefit citizens and their right to participate in their local government. I strongly urge you to support all three. David Schwan has publicly stated his opposition to all three of these citizen friendly propositions.

Councilman Bob Coady | Carefree


What could possibly go wrong?

After reading Bob Moore's excellent online letter regarding the emergency meeting to discuss the imposition of a property tax for fire coverage, I thought I would add my two cents.

The Town Manager claims that the urgency with which the meeting was convened was a direct result of a petition from concerned Creekers. What you might not know is it was a petition was instigated by – drum roll – the Town Manager himself. As I said at the meeting, amongst my circle of friends and neighbors the issue of fire coverage has not been even a blip on the radar. Why the sudden rush? Well, the deadline for getting the property tax proposal on the ballot was the following day!

Town Manager was asked by several council members why this issue had to be addressed now. His long, rambling and, at times, incoherent and repetitive responses almost made me feel sorry for him. Almost. All he did was repeat, ad nauseum, the technical and logistical hurdles that needed to be leapt in order to get it on the ballot; never addressing the real issue of why it was such a dire and urgent need.

As the meeting wore on, and as his responses became increasingly more convoluted and tortuous, it became quite clear that Mr. Abujbarah was hopelessly, and embarrassingly, out of his depth. At one point, he tried to hand off a question to either Town Attorney Marlene Pontrelli, or Town Accountant Marian Groeneveld, and when neither would take it, an awkward silence coupled with furtive glances, ensued. Not very confidence inspiring.

Mr. Abujbarah persisted with the fiction of only 40 percent subscriptions even after being assailed with the reality of 59 percent coverage from Messrs. Bunch, Trenk, Esser and Mozillo. After floundering pathetically for so much of the meeting, Rural/Metro Fire Chief John Kraetz finally took to the podium to throw Usama under the bus and state that the town manager had outdated figures. That he had provided!

So the entire basis of the petition, that dwindling subscriptions were causing rates to sky-rocket was demonstratably a lie. In fact, subs had risen by 50 percent (from 40 percent up to 59 percent). In the coming weeks, look out for the new and improved Enron-style revisionism. We will be told that the 40 percent number was based on a faulty model and that even though 60 percent is higher than 40 percent, subs are really down because the 40 percent was an error in the first place. Don't believe me? Just watch and see.

We also heard a harrowing tale of a fire that went unattended when Rural/Metro could not find the burning home. Let that sink in a moment. Three subsequent phone calls to management to request an explanation were unreturned!

Much was made of the EMS services provided by Rural/Metro, which frankly is the bulk of their business. They provide it – and they don't. If they transport you to a hospital, you will receive a bill for the cost not covered by your insurance (if you have any). Whether you subscribe or not! Again, this is roughly 85 percent of their business. Still want to partner up with these people?

Add in the fact that the proposed $1.3M budget was an unsubstantiated number plucked from the clear blue sky, and certainly did not take into account an allegedly essential additional fire house, and the whole affair was shockingly dishonest.

Remember, Mr. Abujbarah also stated there would be no public meetings on this proposal. After that night's performance I can see why.

The make-up of the town council will likely change in the next election making the probability of this issue getting on the ballot more likely. Citizens themselves may also attempt to do the same. I have no problem with that whatsoever. This is how the system works. However, there is a lot of information and many secret agendas conspiring to bamboozle the voters. Separate the wheat from the chaff.

Remember, these are the guys who managed to negotiate a $4M water company for a paltry $18M (or thereabouts). What could possibly go wrong?

Gary Kiernan | Cave Creek


Cave Creek Town Council

Shelley Anderson has been my friend and neighbor for several years in Cave Creek. She is an excellent horsewoman, frequents our restaurants and shops, actively engages in town issues (she is presently serving on the Planning Commission) and is very supportive of the lifestyle we enjoy in Cave Creek.

Shelley has worked with Bambi Muller to promote the Trails System; she has even worked on the trails with her own hands. She supports businesses and events in the town core; she understands the bottom line. She has owned her own insurance business for over 30 years.
She makes thoughtful decisions, based on what she thinks is best for the whole. She is careful and responsible in money matters, and had served on several boards for the City of Scottsdale before moving here. She brings not only a great personality and sense of humor to the job, but experience as well.

Please join me in voting for Shelley on March 8. She is intelligent, thoughtful, considerate and very responsive to solving problems. She is an excellent choice to be a member of the town council.

Susie Bradstock | Cave Creek


Dear Sheriff Arpaio

My friend and fellow Carefree Councilman Bob Coady called last night. He informed me that disinformation has been circulated to your department claiming I had been in contact/discussion with the Scottsdale Police Department to replace MCSO for service in Carefree. Apparently this incorrect information was reported to you. Nothing could be further from the truth!

In order to be perfectly clear, I support MCSO 100 percent. Our community is very satisfied with the service your department has provided Carefree for many years. I have never contacted Scottsdale or any other Police Department about anything!

In fact, my opponent David Schwan publicly disclosed at two recent candidate forums (on Feb. 2 and Feb. 8) that he had initiated contact with the Scottsdale Police Department to explore replacing the MCSO contract with Carefree. It appears either David Schwan or his supporters are attempting to politically play MCSO personnel. This is a sad commentary on some elements of our Carefree community in our first ever citizen election of our Mayor.

I value your trust and endorsement, and know you don't give it lightly. Please know you will find your confidence in me to be well placed, and I will do a good job for the Carefree community.

Very truly yours,

Douglas Stavoe | Carefree Mayoral Candidate and Carefree Councilman


Obama coin

If coinage is ever struck to honor our current chief executive it will require two heads. This administration’s two-faced approach to foreign policy dictates it. The President snubbed repeatedly our staunchest ally, Great Britain, then in an unimaginable show of pomp and circumstance sucked up to and granted a twenty-one gun salute to a Communist Chinese dictator. (After all they do own our mortgaged future).

When Iranian pro-democracy protesters filled the streets of Baghdad demanding free elections, our President called for calm and restraint on their part, but no call for civility or admonishment for Ahmadinejad – just a silence that could be read as endorsement of the little dictator’s actions. Not so today, with America's purchased, embattled, friendly dictator Hosni Mubarak. The streets fill again, this time with Egyptian protesters, agitated and urged on by the radical Muslim Brotherhood; the encouragement from the White House for Mubarak is "step down."

Legions of Tea Partiers peacefully marched in Washington, D.C. to protest governmental abuses of our Constitution; yet we heard no foreign demands for Obama to "step down."

Nor do we hear any offer of a peaceful transition easing him out of office.

A toss of our Obama coin, heads we lose.

Randy Edwards | Cave Creek


Shelley Anderson for Cave Creek Town Council

All of us are now receiving our mail in ballots for the March 8th election and I ask that you join me in voting for Shelley Anderson for Cave Creek Town Council.

I first met Ms. Anderson several years ago when we served on the town committee to select the design/build contractor for the new wastewater treatment plant. This process involved weeks of homework, preparing the Request for Proposals, reading and evaluating submitted proposals, technical meetings, interviews, discussion and recommendations. I learned very quickly that Ms. Anderson did not cut corners, was a very savvy business woman who had served on the Scottsdale Parks Board and could therefore deal comfortably with bureaucracy and was not afraid to ask the hard questions. Her contributions were instrumental in the success of the project. Later, I had the opportunity to serve with her on the Town Planning Commission and confirmed all that I knew of her – a quick study, does her homework, dedicated to the task at hand, excellent judgment and professional in all respects. Beyond all of that, she is personable, an avid horse owner/rider and absolutely dedicated to Cave Creek.

She considered the decision to run for Town Council very deliberately and I was delighted that she made the decision to run. Town Council needs her, or a clone, and I am confident that she will be the same positive force on Council that she has been in past positions. Please vote for Shelley Anderson for Town Council.

Bob Williams | Cave Creek


Will lightning strike in Carefree??

As the lone candidate for Carefree Town Council, running as a Write-in Candidate, I was told this week, by a citizen supporter: Jim, a write-in candidate has the same chance as if lightning was to strike Town Hall ... but, good luck and I am voting for you."

But, after spending many days at the Carefree Post Office, talking to voters and handing out flyers, I am greatly encouraged that the folks in Carefree want a choice as to who serves them on the Council.

A challenge facing a Write-in Candidate is the apparent rule in the election laws (per Betsy Wise, Town Clerk) that says, in part: A Write-in Candidate MUST get 50 percent of the votes cast, Plus One in the Primary Election to be elected. However, it goes on to say if that level of votes is not achieved in the Primary, the Write-in Candidate cannot participate in the May run off for the general election (if required). Clearly this means the March 8 Primary is our one shot to win the right to serve.

I estimate I will need about 525 votes by citizens taking the time to write in my name. I feel every bit as qualified as the other candidates and would appreciate the opportunity to offer Carefree a choice and will work hard to deserve their trust and vote.

Let us see if we can make lightning strike.

Jim Van Allen | Carefree Town Council Candidate


The little red fire truck

It is unlikely the fire truck is going away. This multi-million dollar enterprise, designed to protect all, is being supported by 59 percent while 41 percent enjoy a free ride.

Agreed, there are situations in society where capitalism and socialism collide; this may be one such time.

But to mandate that all pay for fire protections is only fair.

Ed Harris | Cave Creek

Editor note: Reminiscent of mandating that everyone buy health insurance.


Apologies on

I got an e-mail today from a family member I have not heard from in a while and wanted to see the picture they supposedly posted. In reality I ended up signing up for a service called Much to my dismay they have sent invitations to join to people in my contact list.

If you receive an invite from ignore it. If you want a picture from me I will gladly send one.

I have filed a complaint with both shoppybag and yahoo and immediately canceled my membership with shoppybag. Hopefully you will get this before signing up yourself.

Name withheld upon request | Scottsdale