Letter from Town Officials

February 12,2022
The following letter was shared with Carefree Unity this week by Carefree Town Council Members Cheryl Kroyer, Tony Geiger, and Vice Mayor John Crane

This letter is a response to a ‘letter to the editor’ in the February 2 edition of the Sonoran News, and we agree with the authors that this document has relevance to the North Boulders Community.  Opinions expressed are obviously those of the authors, but Carefree Unity has reviewed the factual statements in this letter and believes them to be accurate.

We wish to thank these Carefree Town Officials for sharing the following response with us:


Fact based, reasoned discussions are always welcome and healthy.  But the letter to the editor that appeared in the February 2, 2022 edition of the Sonoran News from the Chair of Carefree Citizens for Responsible Government, Maureen “Mo” Benedetto, is laced with misinformation and baseless statements.  Let’s sort through what is fact and what is fiction.

First, who and what is Carefree Citizens for Responsible Government?  According to required election filings, it is a Delaware Corporation that has raised $19,250 from non-disclosed sources.  Ironically, this ‘dark money’ funded corporation calls for ‘responsible government”.  Responsible government starts with transparency.  To date, monies have been spent for a consultant / influencer ($6,250) who writes articles for the Foothills Focus, paid petition gatherers ($3,000) to get their Eminent Domain and Term Limits initiative on the ballot and legal fees ($3,750).  This is hardly what one would call a grass roots organization.  All this information is public record and can be found in the elections section of Carefree.org, our Town’s website.

Interestingly, this group was formed when the Town was trying to sell revenue bonds to fund the Water Consolidation Project. We believe this group was originally formed in the Boulders to oppose the Town burying a water reservoir along Tom Darlington Road.  It will not result in, as claimed in the February 2 letter, “industrialization of open desert space”.  Go to www.carefree.org and click on the Public Safety Update banner at the top.  Here you will find the simple facts of what was publicly vetted, why it is needed, what was the location criteria and why and what it will look like once completed and its impact on the surrounding area.

The second task is to figure out how to get the real facts. The documents that provide the real facts are in the public domain.  It is a question of finding them and reading them. The February 2 letter to the editor attacks Town officials and their motives, Economic Development plans that have been in the works for years, the need for the Water Consolidation Project and our Fire Protection program. 

For insight into the Town’s Economic Development plans go to www.carefree.org, click the government section and then click on the Economic Development tab. You will find actual facts on what the Town is trying to accomplish.  The Town’s economic development initiatives have been discussed in the open for many years at publicly advertised meetings.  The overriding goal of these economic development efforts has been to diversify the Town’s revenues to ensure a financially sustainable community with complement quality businesses.  Carefree’s identity has always been and will always be a high-quality residential community.  The Council has never sought to change that, but to find complementing parts which provide the required revenues to sustain the community.

We also suggest you go to www.carefreeunity.com  and read a recent post dated February 5, 2022.  It is a reprint of a letter sent to the Boulders HOA Board’s attorney from the Town’s attorney setting the record straight regarding potentially libelous claims the North Boulders HOA has made regarding the Town, its officials and the motives for their actions.  This will provide counterpoints to many of Ms. Benedetto’s false claims.

The February 2 letter also claims. “The Town faces an immediate fiscal crisis – the chronic underfunding of our essential fire protection and public safety”.  This statement ignores the fact that the Town, since the early 2000’s has invested millions of dollars in fire and emergency services starting with an award-winning state-of-the-art fire house with an emergency operation center and fire truck.  Recently a citizen committee, through a series of public meetings which can be viewed at the Town’s website, has been exploring how Carefree can join the regional dispatch system called Automatic Aid.  For the facts on the Town’s fire protection program, what challenges we face and how we can move forward, go to the Town’s web site: www.carefree.org and click on the Public Safety Update banner.  Here you can read the Public Safety Committee’s 40-page report which will provide the facts, backed up with real data.  It spells out the history of the Town’s fire protection efforts, the tens of millions of dollars spent to date, the current challenges we face in a changing environment and specific recommendations on how to move forward.  The committee will present their findings to the Town Council February 15.  This is a complex issue that cannot be understood in a sound bite.  

The Chair of the Carefree Citizens for Responsible Government then questions the need for the Water Consolidation Project, calling it “unnecessary infrastructure development”.   Carefree residents, served by Cave Creek have been complaining about their water service for the past 10 years. During the four quarters of 2019 the Arizona Department of Water Quality (ADEQ) issued warnings for elevated trihalomethane levels in the drinking water.  Furthermore, these 550 Carefree residences have had no voice in their water services as the Cave Creek Council oversaw the system, not their own Carefree Council.  Why will this dark money group which calls for “responsible government” not support 1/3 of Carefree’s population in seeking the same privilege as the remaining Carefree residents. The 1,000 residents currently served by Cave Creek Water have only wanted the exact same thing Ms. Benedetto and her allies enjoy – a reliable, long term water supply where they have a voice (vote) on those responsible for its oversight.

Carefree Citizens for Responsible Government offers no specific recommendations to address the issues they see facing our Town.  What policies are they for? We certainly know what they are against.  For insight, one should look at the two initiatives they have put forward and will appear on the August 2, 2022 ballot.

The first ballot initiative is regarding Desert Open Space/Eminent Domain.  You can read the document on the Town website.  If passed, this initiative will require that the buried water storage reservoir being built off of Tom Darlington in the Boulders open space be removed, the ground restored and the reservoir located to another, less optimal location in someone else’s backyard. This initiative, if passed, will cost the Carefree Water Company approximately $7-8 million.  This is money that will have to be borrowed and the additional costs paid by all customers of the Carefree Water Company through additional increases in water rates. This hardly sounds like “Responsible Government” but a lot like “unnecessary infrastructure development”.  Ironically, around the corner from this location, the Boulders community has a septic tank in the same track of land.  But most importantly in the seven lawsuits brought before the Appellate Courts by those opposed to the installation of this tank, all seven were decided in favor of the Town. 

The second ballot initiative calls for the implementation of term limits.  Specifically, this initiative would limit any candidate to a total of two terms, including retroactively counting any terms served in the past, at which point that individual would be banned for life from ever holding public office again as a member of the Carefree Town Council or Mayor. While reasonable people can certainly debate the pros and cons of term limits, this initiative would have the impact of eliminating anyone with any institutional knowledge from serving and could force complete turnover of the council every four years.  Currently we have elections every two years.  Why does this group believe Carefree needs the most draconian term limits in the state of Arizona, if not the entire country?  Is it all over the underground water reservoir?  Ask yourself, are you comfortable having your choices for representation taken away from you by lifetime bans of candidates who have experience and want to serve their community?  Good governance includes diversity of choice and thoughtful dialogue which yield sustainable solutions.

In today’s political environment it is easy to get caught up in the “throw the bums out mentality”.  In a prior letter to the editor published in the December 1, 2021 edition of the Sonoran News, Ms. Benedetto referred to the mayor and members of the council as “career politicians”.  There are no career politicians serving in Carefree.  History shows no mayors or council members who have gone on to higher office or some lucrative political consulting gig.  It is in fact Carefree Citizens for Responsible Government who have brought Washington D.C. style smash mouth politics to Carefree with dark money, paid consultants / influencers and paid petition gatherers.

Let’s have healthy, fact based, reasoned discussions to arrive at the best solutions for Carefree and leave the dark money funded misinformation and baseless statements at the Town boundary.


John Crane, Vice Mayor

Tony Geiger, Council Member

Cheryl Kroyer, Council Member

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