Mayor Peterson’s Communication to BHOA President Pistillo

Admin: Subsequent to the October 29 BHOA Board meeting, Mayor Les Peterson emailed the letter below to BHOA President Bernie Pistillo.  He informs President Pistillo that he is also forwarding it to Carefree Unity with the intent that we distribute to our subscribers.A

In the letter, the Mayor:

  • Thanks the President and the BHOA Board for withdrawing “personal and incorrect statements” made by a BHOA Director about Town officials and a family member.
  • Takes issue with the Association’s refusal to take responsibility for the statements made by one of its Board members and posted to its website.
  • Requests the re-posting of a letter apparently removed at the same time as the Director’s statements.  The letter was from former BHOA President Phil Clement.
  • Informed President Pistillo that the Town stated in its most recent Court filing it would likely seek a bond and ultimately reimbursement from the BHOA for lost revenues and increased project costs incurred as a result of BHOA appellate actions, including its request for a stay of construction, should the Town ultimately prevail.
  • Addressed comments that he heard in the October Board meeting implying, he believed, that eventual commercialization of the west side of the Boulders might someday be initiated by the Town:
    • The Mayor asserted the Town “has absolutely no intention of initiating, promoting, or accepting additional commercial development” along Tom Darlington between Bloody Basin Road and the Carefree / Scottsdale border (just south of the “Welcome to Carefree” sign).
    • He also detailed the obstacles to commercial development of this property by any party at any point in the future, writing “the roadblocks to doing so would be enormous.”

We have emailed President Pistillo and BHOA attorney Mulcahy, and will inform our subscribers if they have any factual disputes with the content of the email, which is reproduced in full below:

Les Peterson Saturday, Oct.30 4:11 PM

  To: Bernie Pistillo

  cc: Steve Prokopek, Stacy Bridge-Denzak, Gary Neiss, Greg Crossman, Carefree Unity

Mr. Bernie Pistillo, President, Boulders Homeowners Association 10/3

Dear Mr. Pistillo,

Thank you for your service as President to the north Boulders Homeowners. Having spent three years in this same position, and six years on the Board, I readily recognize the conflicts and personal tolls that go along with the office. Your first six month have been very full.

I would like to comment upon some of the comments made by you and others in the BHOA’s Membership meeting of Friday, 10/29. I did not think it appropriate to interrupt your meeting, but I think that we need to set the record straight rather than let some statements made stand unchallenged on three of the major areas. To that objective, 

Withdrawing incorrect statements: First, thanks to you and all of the BHOA Board for withdrawing the personal and incorrect statements about me and a family member made by BHOA Director Don Schwarzkopf. His insinuations that I and my son may have been or maybe are personally involved in some of the development activities for the NW corner of Tom Darlington and Carefree Highway, and that we may possibly personally benefit from those activities, are totally untrue and totally unfounded.

But, related to this subject although not addressed in the Membership meeting, I thought that the response from the BHOA’s attorney, Beth Mulcahy, to the Town’s insistence that Mr. Schwarzkopf’s mis-statements be taken down was not appropriate. It is standard practice for a professional organization to verify the accuracy of anything it communicates to others under the umbrella of its organizational name. But, to quote Ms. Mulcahy in her response to the Town’s attorneys objections to what your organization published, “. . . the Association denies that it has any responsibility for the statement posted by Don Schwarzkopf . . .”. I think that it is generally accepted practice in professional organizations that if an organization sends out a communication to their membership using their mailing list, and/or posts a statement on their official website, the organization is responsible for verifying the the accuracy of the facts underpinning the statement, and, once published, the organization owns that statement as much as if they made it directly and personally.

I also think that Phil Clement’s letter should be reposted on the BHOA website.  After fact checking, either publish all of the letters from residents received, or publish none of them. Censorship does not belong in our community. 

I would also appreciate a reduction in the emotional rhetoric being used in communications being issued by the BHOA. Statements such as “The Town in its complaint has attempted to deceive even the Court . . “, have no place in professional communications, particularly when a Judge has review the very facts called into question and accepted them.

Incomplete discussion of the BHOA’s potential liability regarding your appeal of the Judge’s decision seeking, among other things, to stop construction of the water storage reservoir until all of the legal actions in this matter are completed: In your discussions of the BHOA;s filings contesting the Judge’s decision, you stated that you had not yet read the Town’s filings in response to the BHOA’s appeal. If you would have done so, you may have noticed that the Town indicated that should the BHOA prevail on its appeal of the Judge’s preliminary decision, the Town would very likely request of the Court that the BHOA be required to post a bond to reimburse the Town for lost revenues and increased costs should the Town prevail when the valuation portion of the overall legal action is concluded in 12 to 18 months. The amount bonded, among other things, would be to recover lost revenues to the Carefree Water Company from delays in bringing the new users into the Water Company’s system and increased construction costs that it might incur as a result of construction delays. If you have not yet had an opportunity to review the Town’s response to your recent filings addressing this point, I have attached it for your review.

Mis-statements about the Potential for Commercial Development along Tom Darlington Road adjacent to the Boulders: You mentioned that you, another Board member and a number of other north Boulders homeowners attended a preliminary meeting with Carefree Economic Development Director, Steve Propokep, and Planning Director, Stacey Bridge-Denzak, discussing some potential changes to the Carefree General Plan of Development which will be offered up for a vote to Carefree registered voters once the Town has incorporated residents input. 

When prompted by one of the other people who also attended this same Carefree meeting, the two of you offered your interpretation that Mr. Propokep had stated that at some point in the future Tom Darlington Road – all of the way south from the Downtown Carefree area along the west side of the Boulders/east side of Tom Darlington road up to the “Welcome to Carefree” sign (the Carefree border with Scottsdale for ownership of the road) – could be reduced to a two lane road. Then, you continued, at some future date the Town could condemn and develop additional property on the west side of the Boulders adjacent to the then unused portion of Tom Darlington Road and turn it into commercial property. 

If said, this was a mis-statement, for this was certainly not what was intended to be communicated. Also, it could be that what was stated was not crystal clear to those listening, or what was actually said may have been misinterpreted. Whatever way it was doesn’t matter, but we need to clear up any misconception that arose. 

The Town of Carefree has absolutely no intention of initiating, promoting or accepting additional commercial development along Tom Darlington Road south of where it currently exists in the Downtown Carefree area (which is just south of the Basha’s center). To suggest that the Town is considering, planning and/or seeking to facilitate such development is absolutely untrue!

The Town has discussed reducing a limited section of Tom Darlington Road to a two lane road only for that portion of this roadway immediately adjacent to the downtown Carefree area (extending only as far south as just to the south of the Basha’s Shopping Center). This area is already zoned commercial. The Town has never considered or discussed extending commercial zoning any further south that that just mentioned. The rationale for considering the reduction of Tom Darlington Road to a two lane roadway in that area would be for 1) help to slow down what has become excessive speeding in the Downtown Carefree area, 2) increased pedestrian safety for people walking across the road in that area to get from the apartments across the road in to and returning from the downtown area, 3) additional parking for activities in the downtown area and 4) to help create more of a sense of entry into the downtown Carefree area.

Please also keep in mind that the Town is prohibited by law from using its powers of eminent domain for commercial purposes – it can only use them for demonstrated public good. Additionally, the open space property in the west Boulders is not zoned for commercial usage. Since, in the instance under discussion, the property couldn’t be condemned for commercial purposes, the only way it would come before the Town for changes in zoning would be at the request of the owner – the Boulders Homeowners Association. Further any changes considered by the current or any future Town Council would first have to come before all Carefree registered voters for a vote on a major change to the General Plan, and then come before Planning and Zoning Commission and finally, to the Town Council. No one that I know has any desire to commercialize this land, and the roadblocks to doing so would be enormous.

Mr. Pistillo, I would appreciate your forwarding this letter to the other members of the board and north Boulders residents. I will also be forwarding it to Carefree Unity for distribution to their subscribers. 

I would appreciate the opportunity to sit down and talk through our differences in a reasonable and respectful manner. Thank you.

Les Peterson, BHOA resident, Carefree Mayor

%d bloggers like this: