Carefree’s Peterson and Crane Appointed to MAG Committees in June

L-R: Carefree Mayor Les Peterson; Carefree Vice Mayor Jim Crane

The Town of Carefree announced in late June that, “in an effort to strengthen its working relationship with other municipalities and more effectively represent the interests of Carefree residents in important regional matters,” it has increased its representation within in the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) organization.

At the June 24 meeting of the MAG Regional Council, Carefree Mayor Les Peterson was appointed by the membership to the Executive Committee of the Council. In addition, Carefree Vice Mayor John Crane was appointed by the membership to the MAG Economic Development Committee.

MAG is a council of municipal governments and tribal entities that serves as the regional planning agency for Maricopa County, including the neighboring urbanized areas in Pinal County. MAG provides regional planning and policy decisions in areas of transportation, air quality, water quality, economic development and human services. A separate Committee is assigned to each of these areas, under the overall leadership of the MAG Regional Council.

The MAG bylaws summarize the purpose of the organization: “The Maricopa Association of Governments is based on the principle that cities, towns, counties, and Indian Communities, which are closest to the people, should exercise the basic initiative and leadership and should have the primary responsibility for addressing those local problems and needs which require action on an area-wide or regional basis.”

For additional information about the role and purpose of MAG, visit

Mayors Proclaim March 2 ‘Dr. Seuss Day’ at the Library

Cave Creek Mayor Ernie Bunch and Carefree Mayor Les Peterson at the Proclamation signing.

‘Storytime’ events to be held throughout the month

Carefree Mayor Les Peterson and Cave Creek Mayor Ernie Bunch signed a joint proclamation declaring Desert Foothills Library’s commitment to children’s literacy and promoting reading in our community in honor of Dr. Seuss’s Birthday.

March 2 is Dr. Seuss’s 115th birthday, and Desert Foothills Library will celebrate throughout March with a full month of Dr. Seuss themed programs. Programs will include the March 2 Birthday Party at 2pm and Saturday morning “storytime” each Saturday March 9–30 at 10:30am. These storytime events will each feature a special guest, such as the Phoenix Herpetological Society, Cave Creek Firefighters, green eggs and ham breakfast with Carefree Mayor Les Peterson, and Mother Goose Reads Dr. Seuss. All events are free and take place at Desert Foothills Library, 38443 North Schoolhouse Road, Cave Creek.

In addition to support of Carefree and Cave Creek mayors, March’s programs are sponsored by Arizona nonprofit First Things First and local family Diana and Richard Deely.

For additional information, call 480.488.2286 or visit

Carefree Mayor Peterson Writes… JUNE 2018

Why a Change of Strategy and “Economic Development” are so Important to Carefree

In the 30-plus years after Carefree was incorporated, the Town’s annual revenues have been higher because of sales taxes on construction materials for all of the new homes that were built. In total, this amounted to some $40 million to $50 million. The Town government during those years used these incremental funds wisely, making capital purchases to benefit all of Carefree’s residents. But the building of new housing stock is slowing as Carefree approaches build-out, so this historically strong, supplemental revenue stream generated by construction related sales taxes will be decreasing in the future.

In addition, all municipalities draw a significant portion of their annual revenues from the state. The state collects taxes and then re-distributes a portion of these to the municipalities throughout the state on the basis of population. These revenues to Carefree have been steadily declining.

The combination of these two annual income reducing factors for Carefree, combined with inflationary driven higher costs for the Town to deliver the services our residents would like to receive, creates a new and different financial reality for Carefree. It required a new strategy for the Town to face the anticipated revenue shortfall in the future.

After an exhaustive review of all of the available options, the primary option that remained was to facilitate the renovation of downtown properties and to allow commercial development on a selective basis at high traffic intersections to generate additional sales tax dollars.

We refer to this option as “economic development.” The first step in this process was renovations to existing business structures, and we are pleased to note that the renovations at Bashas’, Civana and Spanish Village are the initial examples of the Town working with the owners of these properties. And, more renovations and new construction projects are in the pipeline.

Achieving this economic development is both complex and lengthy. Private ownership of appropriate properties, legal restrictions upon municipalities and a host of other factors make achieving success in economic development an extended process. We are making excellent progress on many fronts, and we are confident of bringing a number of these projects to closure in the years to come.

To learn more about the Town of Carefree, call 480.488.3686 or visit

Carefree Mayor Peterson Writes… MAY 2018

Carefree ‘Block Party’ Event Proves To Be A Winner!

Literally everyone, including Foothills residents, Carefree businesses and all of the local major not-for-profits, were winners at the first annual “Block Party” celebration Saturday, April 7.

“This event met and even exceeded even our most optimistic goals and has established itself as a cornerstone of Carefree’s event calendar in future years,” said Carefree Councilwoman Cheryl Kroyer.

Residents enjoyed the opportunity to see and socialize with their neighbors, participate in the many activities available and discover new businesses and their owners. The Block Party was an excellent venue to end the winter/spring season on a high note and launch into the summer season. An estimated 2,500 people enjoyed strolling Easy Street and through the Carefree Desert Gardens, conversing with their neighbors and participating in this neighborhood event.

Over 30 Carefree businesses set up informational booths, at no cost, to demo their goods and services and to introduce themselves to local residents who were unfamiliar with them. Many of these businesses reported meeting quite a few new residents and gained new customers.

The major nonprofits in the Foothills, including the Foothills Caring Corps, Desert Foothills YMCA, and the Foothills Food Bank, each created their own selected activity and reported donations for their organizations. The Carefree Water Company raised donations for the Desert Foothills Library for every throw initiated at their dunk tank. The Chamber of Commerce also contributed a professional Korn Hole Tournament company who managed their games.

All were extremely pleased with their participation, and many are already making plans to participate again next year. Many new inquiries to participate in next years’ Block Party were also noted by the Carefree staff.

A special “thank you” is in order for all of the event sponsors and volunteers. Of note, were the particularly generous donations from Bashas’ Grocery, CIVANA Carefree, Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs and 4C Medical, as well as the countless volunteer hours required to make the event a success.

Please accept the Town of Carefree’s sincerest thank you to all who sponsored and donated to help make this event fun and valuable for the community.

Stay healthy and have a wonderful summer.

To learn more about the Town of Carefree, call 480.488.3686 or visit

Mayor Peterson Writes… APRIL 2018

‘Residences at Sundial Circle’ Proposed For Downtown Carefree

Many of you are aware of the Azil Development project that was approved last fall for the property immediately adjacent to the Spirit in the Desert Retreat Center, located in the Downtown Carefree area. That project was proposed as luxury apartments, but it had to be terminated because of the lack of available financing for luxury apartments and no comparable developments in the nearby area.

Azil Development continued to be interested in doing business in Carefree and has revamped their plans to better meet current market conditions. Azil has now returned to Carefree and is looking to develop the property on Easy Street between the Sundial and the Post Office building, as a luxury condominium development. Just recently, on March 6, the Town Council approved Azil’s new proposed development called The Residences at Sundial Circle.

We are delighted to see continuing investment interest in the Downtown Carefree area, and that the market remains strong for these type of development projects. Many residents have expressed their desire to “downsize” from their current residences in the Desert Foothills, and this project may fulfill the desires expressed by many of them. The proposal compliments the area, and the developer is committed to a quality project offering architecture that compliments Downtown Carefree. People attract people, and we need sustainable activity in the downtown area to continue the revitalization of the entire area, including enhancing the shopping experience and restaurant visitations.

Contingent upon the finalization of the financing in progress, the architectural design for the building is committed to showcasing the Sundial and adding to the ambiance of the downtown area. The luxury building would contain 50 condominium units with high-end finishes, offering two to three bedrooms, at an average size of 3,000 square feet, and with each residential unit having its own parking space(s). Prices will range from below $1 million to $1.3 million. The building will focus upon the historic Sundial and feature a “walk under” waterfall at the entrance to the lobby that is similar to the waterfall in the Carefree Desert Gardens. Each unit will feature a spacious covered “outdoor living” area, offering residents privacy and unsurpassed views of either the downtown area or the surrounding mountains. Private parking will be underground, with some additional parking spaces available to residents.

I anticipate the next steps will be review of the architectural plans by the Development Review Board, followed by a review by the Carefree Town Council. If you desire more information, visit, or contact Town Hall at 480.488.3686 and I’d be happy to schedule a meeting with your respective HOA to discuss the future of our beautiful town.

To learn more about the Town of Carefree, call 480.488.3686 or visit

Mayor Peterson Writes… MARCH 2018

Carefree Announces Its First Community Block Party

It’s nearing that time of the year again when neighbors get together for a block party to celebrate the changing of the seasons and the joys of living among friends in a vibrant community. Soon, some of our residents will be departing for vacations or to return to their “other” home.

It is in this spirit of friendship and celebration that Carefree announces its first annual “Community Block Party.” This community-wide celebration is scheduled for Saturday, April 7 at 3–7pm. The party will be located in Downtown Carefree along Easy Street and the Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion.

Carefree residents, nearby neighbors in the Foothills area, businesses, nonprofit volunteers and all partners of the Town are invited to join in on the music, activities and fun for all ages. Highlights will include a dunk tank by the Carefree Water Company, games for the kids, grilled burgers and hot dogs, an official pie baking contest, hot dog eating contest, face painting, DJ, card games, beer and wine garden by Venues Café, kids lemonade stand run by the YMCA, raffle prizes and more! The cost is yet to be determined but it will be affordable for families and seniors.

This will be a good time to reminisce with your friends, meet new neighbors and enjoy our downtown district. This is a time for us to enjoy our neighbors and local businesses, get involved and just celebrate the beauty of our unique town. We hope this becomes an annual tradition. RSVP’s are suggested at or contact 480.488.3686. If you are a local business and want to attend or have the urge to volunteer, please contact

To learn more about the Town of Carefree, call 480.488.3686 or visit
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