April 13, 2016

Les Peterson announces he will run for Mayor of the Town of Carefree in 2016 Election

Carefree mayor and community leader Les Peterson has declared his candidacy to continue as the mayor of the Town. Les assumed the duties of Mayor in the early spring of 2015, when the previous mayor, David Schwan, resigned due to illness.

“We have made great progress in enhancing downtown Carefree for the enjoyment and utilization of our residents and visitors,” Mayor Peterson said. “We can’t stop now, and the next few years are critical to the Town’s future. Much remains to be accomplished.”

Key town priorities that need to be addressed in the near future include:
• Continuing the integrity of Carefree as a beautiful residential-friendly town without the heavy traffic and congestion of many nearby towns.
• Attracting a diverse demographic to the downtown area by continuing strategic marketing efforts with dramatic and high quality popular programs such as the Ray Villafane Enchanted Pumpkin Garden exhibit and the Carefree Christmas Festival.
• Enhancing and strengthening downtown businesses, including new restaurants and commercial businesses to generate excitement and activity, to fulfill the needs of our residents and visitors.
• Selectively encouraging the addition of smaller, high-quality residences close to downtown for Carefree residents who want to remain in Carefree, but feel the need to downsize from their current larger homes.
• Achieving the identified priorities within budget constraints while maintaining Carefree’s strong reserves.

“A renewed sense of spirit and momentum is evident throughout Carefree,” Peterson said. “I believe I can continue to effectively lead the town’s efforts to complete the remaining tasks in this revitalization. Our objective is to maintain an enjoyable quality of life for town residents while generating long-term economic sustainability for Carefree.”

“Other Carefree Council members, the town staff and numerous local volunteers and businesses have all worked together during my term to efficiently change the look and feel of the downtown area along Easy Street,” shares the Mayor. “Achieving this is absolutely critical to the long-term economic sustainability of Carefree. The downtown enhancement projects, implemented under my leadership, came from a variety of sources, and the town council worked hard and effectively to maximize the impact of each. Many of our local businesses and civic organizations also made substantial contributions towards implementing these projects, which helped to keep spending below the approved budgets.”

Mayor Peterson attended ASU, receiving B.A. and M.A. degrees.  He and his wife, Mary, have resided in Carefree for 20 years. They have been married since 1965, and have two children.

Les received his initial training in marketing and business management at Procter & Gamble. This was followed by working with leading marketing services firms which specialized in strategic planning and marketing program development. Following this initial experience, Les was one of the founders and served as president of a marketing services firm which grew to be the fifth largest in the country. Les worked with more than 180 client companies identifying their key problem areas, developing strategies and managing programs to address the problems identified. 

In addition to currently serving as mayor, Les is a director emeritus of New Pathways for Youth, an organization which provides mentoring and life-changing training to over 600 youths from dysfunctional families. He serves as a member of the Paradise Valley Community College Advisory Board, and is a guest lecturer in international marketing at ASU. For fourteen years, Les was one of three “judges” of business proposals submitted in the Cornell University MBA entrepreneurship program, evaluating over 4,000 such proposals. Prior to being elected to the Carefree Town Council in 2012, Les served on the Carefree Planning and Zoning Commission and was the president of the Boulders Homeowners Association.