We deserve better

I know we are in the middle of a campaign about fire and emergency medical services, and it is to be expected that there could be some bending of the truth. However, those favoring a “NO” vote are attempting to transform the narrative from needed fire and safety protection into a referendum on a property tax in Carefree. While our fire and safety protection deteriorates, they are making and circulating deliberate and unfounded mis-statements. For example, the NO campaign people assert that:

Fire and emergency medical response times will remain under 4 minutes, which is not accurate. Rural Metro’s data submitted in compliance with their Carefree contract indicates that it has now grown to be well over 4 minutes, and has increased 35% since Rural Metro left Cave Creek.
Automatic Aid will provide less service than our one Carefree fire station. This is simply ridiculous for at least two reasons:

There are four Automatic Aid fire stations surrounding Carefree – two in Scottsdale, one in Phoenix and one in Cave Creek – geographically situated around Carefree and within minutes of reaching any part of our town. How can having FIVE fire stations immediately available to Carefree, and all the other fire stations throughout the Valley accessible in an emergency, be less service?

Two fire engines in the Carefree fire station is a temporary situation. One belongs to Carefree, but the other is only temporarily housed there. The second fire truck could be moved elsewhere at any time.

If levied, the property tax will only grow. Evidently the NO campaign people have not read or do not understand Carefree’s statutes. They state very clearly that any property tax cannot increase without a vote of the Carefree citizens.
I am all for a vigorous discussion of the benefits of Automatic Aid and the cost to support a decision to move Carefree in that direction, but I am disappointed that the campaign is clouded with misinformation and unfounded statements. We deserve better than that.

Les Peterson
Carefree Mayor 2015 – 2022