Purpose of the May Special Election

Vice Mayor Cheryl Kroyer has written the following article explaining the benefits and the costs of Automatic Aid Fire and Emergency Medical Services.  We believe publication is in the public interest.

Carefree Unity

From: Vice Mayor Cheryl Kroyer

Why would any elected official support a new tax? Certainly not a recipe for getting re-elected! But in a time when the Town of Carefree cannot ensure the fastest response for fire and emergency medical assistance without a new property tax, it is incumbent on your elected officials to worry more about the safety of our residents than getting re-elected!

A little background:  There is a very big election issue coming up in a special ballot in May. This issue deals with Emergency Services and a modest property tax to support these critical and sometimes life-saving services.

As many of our residents know, the Town has a master contract with Rural Metro for our emergency services. Rural Metro has served the community well over the years but as times have changed many neighboring communities have recently shifted away from Rural Metro. This shrinking Rural Metro service area has left Carefree more isolated when regional emergency cooperation is needed during simultaneous or large-scale emergency events.

The gold standard for emergency services is a regional emergency response program called automatic aid. This would mean if the Town’s first responders were out on other calls/responses the nearest available first responders regardless of jurisdictional boundaries would be dispatched without delay.

But this robust regional emergency response system comes with a cost. An annual cost increase of $1,000,000 in just the first year! A large pill for any small town to swallow and very big for Carefree. In order to pay for this, we need to ask residents if they want this gold standard of protection or if they are comfortable with the degraded protection of our current system.

Most of the calls to Rural Metro are for life-saving emergencies. So, a few minutes could make all the difference.

I urge everyone to watch for Council Members in the post office to answer your questions and decide if this is important to you or not and then vote accordingly.

Cheryl Kroyer Vice Mayor Carefree Town Council