Mayor Explains Town Process

Mayor Peterson has submitted a letter explaining recent Town processes for addressing public policy issues of concernWe find his description to be timely and in the public interest.

Carefree Unity

Community Involvement and Input Keys to Carefree Success

Carefree’s success on significant projects and initiatives over the years has been directly tied to the involvement and input of Carefree residents starting early in the solution development process. 

Once a problem area is identified for resolution, either through communications from residents or members of the Town Council or Staff identifying it, the approach successfully utilized is for a fact-finding Team to be assigned to analyze all pertinent aspects and recommend a solution. This Team typically consists of Council members, Town Staff and Carefree residents with relevant experience who respond to a call for volunteers. In addition, outside experts may also be brought into the Team to provide expertise in specific areas. 

Key aspects of the development process as the Team analyzes and organizes pertinent information is to make the learning they are developing available to all Carefree residents for their review and input. This typically takes the form of well publicized public meetings which can draw upwards of hundreds of Carefree residents. With the input of Carefree residents, the Team then synthesizes all of the information and input into their recommendation to the Town Council for their review and potential approval.

Examples of how this approach has worked successfully in the past include:

  • Decommissioning and removal of the wastewater treatment plant in the Boulders – Following years of north Boulders residents suffering from odors and noises emanating from the plant, a Team was assembled which worked with Liberty/Black Mountain, the Arizona Corporation Commission and a number of additional regulatory agencies to shepherd this project through a 10+ year process reaching all of the way to the Arizona Supreme Court to secure the removal of the plant in 2018.
  • Integration of all Carefree residents into the Carefree Water Company System – Carefree residents on the South and West portions of Carefree have had their water supplied by the Cave Creek Water Company. Carefree is fortunate to have a more robust water supply than Cave Creek, and with the forecasted water cutbacks, Carefree residents from those areas were requesting that they obtain their water service directly from Carefree. A Team was assembled in 2015 and, following strong requests from residents in a series of Town Hall meetings attended by hundreds, a commitment was made by the Town to integrate these residents into the Carefree Water Company system. This complex project is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2022. 

In addition, a major review of the fire protection and emergency medical services is currently underway. Important changes are now taking place in how these services are being managed and provided throughout Maricopa County, potentially forcing a change in Carefree from how these services have been handled in the past. A Team has been working on this important project for over a year, with frequent public meetings to share learning and gain resident input. Plans call for sharing what has been learned in additional open house meetings with residents starting this Fall. As with the previous referenced efforts, community involvement has to shape the solution. Please look for these open house announcements this fall and help shape the future of Carefree’s fire and emergency services. 

Resident involvement is the cornerstone to help cultivate solutions. There are endless opportunities to become involved, informed on community issues and help design solutions. If you would like to participate, please sign up for the Town’s digital newsletter ( so you may receive regular updates on Carefree related issues, opportunities for your input and participate in your community public meetings.  We look forward to working together to find solutions that move this community forward. That is what community and public service is about.

Les Peterson, Carefree Mayor

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