Mayor & Town Council
Get to know the Mayor and Carefree Town Council members:
John Crane, Mayor
John Crane is a 32-year resident of Carefree and has enjoyed actively serving the community in various roles. He was appointed to the Carefree Town Council in 2012 and elected to the Town Council in 2013. John currently serves as Mayor. Previously, John was appointed to the Carefree Subdivision Committee and was the Vice Chairman of the Carefree Planning and Zoning Commission. John, having served 12 years as president and board member of the Carefree Foothills Homeowners' Association, continues as a board member.
John is the Desert Foothills Land Trust Vice Chair and is an Arizona Site Steward monitoring Native American archeological sites in the Cave Creek/Carefree area. Additionally, John sits on the Maricopa County Association of Government Economic Development Committee and the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission.
"I firmly believe local government, as the level of government closest to the people, must be transparent and responsive to the Town's needs to be effective. While successful economic development is key to the Town's future, a balance must be struck between citizen and commercial interests and fiscal restraint."
John earned a BS degree in Mathematics from Villanova University in 1978 and a MS degree in Systems Management from the University of Southern California in 1985. He then served seven years as a nuclear submarine officer. For the past 27 years, as a business owner, he has been a sales representative for Asian, European, and US semiconductor material and equipment suppliers to customers in North America. In 2021 he was recognized by the Black Mountain Foothills Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) with the Medal of Honor, the most prestigious honor awarded by the DAR. John and his partner, Betsy, can frequently be seen strolling through Carefree enjoying all the Town has to offer.
- Making Carefree a destination - getting people into Town and then once here, helping them find their way around
- Contributing to economic development efforts in order to find a reliable source of revenue to fund basic Town services (roads, fire protection, and police).
- Making our streets safer for pedestrians: working with traffic engineers to get new crosswalks and safe havens for pedestrians when crossing our busy streets.
- Developing and executing Town branding.
- Participating in efforts to incorporate all of the Town's homes and businesses into the Carefree Water Company.
- Through her efforts, these things are becoming a reality.
Cheryl fell in love with Carefree in 1988 and has been a full-time resident since 1998. As a resident she is dedicated to keeping the community a great place to live, work, and play. Before retiring, Cheryl spent 30+ years in the advertising business on a wide range of national consumer goods. She was on the team that introduced American Honda's Acura brand and worked on businesses as varied as Hunt Wesson Foods, Polaroid, Gallo Wines, Porsche Cars and the 'Got Milk' campaign among others.
Since moving here, she has been involved in several volunteer organizations. She served on the auxiliary board of Scottsdale Healthcare for three years and published and edited the hospital's first electronic newsletter. She has also served on the board of The Arizona Institute for Breast Health as treasurer and public relations manager. For the last three years, Cheryl has worked Wednesdays at the Foothills Food Bank. In her free time, she enjoys golf, yoga, bridge, movies, and can be seen walking her golden retriever, Biff, through Town most mornings. Cheryl graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Journalism degree.
Sheila retired as the Director of the Municipal Bond Department at Franklin Templeton Investments in July of 2020 and moved to Carefree. She has 34 years of experience investing in public infrastructure and was the leader of over 30 investment professionals providing investment opportunities for individual and institutional investors.
Sheila brings a deep understanding of all aspects of government budgets, services, tax policy and public policy. Throughout her career she has seen the best, the mediocre and the worst government practices. She knows what works, what does not and knows practices to avoid.
Sheila chose to move to Carefree because she wanted to live in a small community where she could get involved and make a difference. She was a participant on the Carefree Public Safety Advisory Committee from April 2021 through March of 2022, which sparked her interest in running for town council. Sheila’s goals for her term on town council are:
- Work in respectful collaboration with the mayor, town council members and community members.
- Strengthen and increase community engagement to make sure we hear all voices in decision making.
- Maintain our strong history of fiscal stability as it is the foundation of good governance. Support the completion of the water consolidation project as all residents deserve high quality water and service.
- Work with community members to determine the best fit for fire and emergency services and determine the most responsible way to pay for it.
- Help the town and community members come together to determine the best path forward for growth.
Vincenzo "Vince" D'Aliesio was born in Waterbury, CT, moving to Phoenix, AZ in July 1972 at seven months of age. Grew up in Phoenix, was an altar boy, boy scout, high school and college athlete (football), started mowing lawns in the neighborhood at age 10 and has had a job ever since.
A proud AZ native, Vince graduated from Camelback High, attended SCC and PVCC, graduated from ASU, and received a Master's Degree in Education from NAU. Vince and his family moved to Carefree in 2016, vowing to never move again after finding paradise in the Desert Foothills.
Over a 25-year span, worked as a high school and college football coach, credits his late coaches Pete Kellen (Camelback High) and Bruce Snyder (ASU), who both preached on the importance of always doing what's right. Greatest influences are his parents, Pasquale and Anna D'Aliesio, "work hard, take care of your family, help others, and know that you did your best today."
Lives in the first house built in Carefree by Gerry Jones. Has worked as an insurance broker, educator, coach, and student. Most importantly, a husband of 26 years to Cheryl and father of three: Noah, a 19-year old son attending ASU and two 16-year olds, Sophie and Matthew, all three educated in CCUSD schools from preschool. The D'Aliesio's also have a rescue Chi-Pin named Snoopy, are fostering a Golden-doodle named Toby, and two desert tortoises: Stanley and Sammy Hagar, in addition to the many beautiful coyotes, javelina, bobcats, mule deer, and other God's creatures that allow Vince and his family to reside on their land.
Hobbies include restoring pottery, announcing and broadcasting high school and college sports for ASU, is the play-by-play voice of Saguaro High School athletics, the Thursday Night High School Football Game of the Week, is a strong advocate of junior college athletics (a proud product of the Maricopa Community Colleges), as well as sports radio and television: co-host of the Varsity Sports Radio Show every Saturday morning. Member of the Arizona American Italian Club and Phoenix Union High School District Sports Hall of Fame Selection Committee, honoring past athletes and coaches, and raising money for scholarships. Vince is Past-President of the Board of Directors of the Cave Creek Museum and currently serves as a member of the Kiwanis Club of Carefree.
Stephen Hatcher has been a resident of Carefree since 2011 and moved to Cave Creek in 1992 from Scottsdale. Stephen earned his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Arizona State University and in 1980 started his first career with Lockheed Aerospace in military research and finished his engineering career as a concept engineer with Boeing Military Research.
Stephen taught graduate finance for fourteen years for University of Phoenix and investment theory for the School of Financial Planning. Stephen's graduate thesis was statistical modeling for the City of Scottsdale to facilitate forecasting efforts on construction activity, city tax base, and annual budgets.
Stephen is actively working against domestic violence through the Theresa's Fund and supporting the Marine Corps families through Operation Hero Project. Stephen's focus has been on the water systems for the town and developing effective drivers for economic development.
Michael (Mike) Johnson
Michael is a California Bay Area native who has lived in Carefree since 2005 and became a permanent resident in 2013. He is married with 5 children and 4 grandchildren. Mike holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration and Accounting from California State University Hayward and an Associate of Arts Degree from Chabot College Hayward. He is a Certified Public Accountant (inactive) who started his career in 1978.
The majority of his almost 40-year career was spent as a Chief Financial Officer and Controller working in technology startups, public and fortune 500 companies that created jobs and helped build the internet infrastructure. He managed fast growth, mergers and acquisitions, financial and SEC reporting, budgeting, forecasting, treasury, spending, systems and raised capital from Initial Public Offerings, Institutions and Venture Capital. Companies Mike worked with include Baron Data Systems, Ascend Communications (sold to Lucent), Cacheflow, Amber Networks (sold to Nokia), Trapeze Networks, and Innovalight (sold to DuPont). Although Mike says his first love is technology; he was able to take a break from "Silicon Valley '' and work for the Oakland Tribune as Chief Financial Officer and then Chief Accounting Officer for Itel Rail.
Mike was appointed to the Carefree Town Council in September of 2021 and has worked with the town on various projects since he became a permanent resident such as the rezoning of Carefree's Northeast Corner, The Carefree Water Consolidation Project, and Traffic Safety.
Clint's passion for architecture remains as strong today as it did four decades ago when he began his career as an intern. His current projects primarily revolve around contemporary residential architecture, often incorporating elements of Rural European influence. Through a cohesive and timeless design process, Clint brings together expertise in architectural illustration, historic architecture, interior design, and landscape architecture. His work reflects simplicity and a deep respect for the site.
While Clint previously managed groups responsible for large-scale commercial design projects, his transition into the residential sector occurred when he decided to create a dwelling for his own family. This endeavor resulted in the construction of an award-winning home in 1998, recognized by the Arizona Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Constructed with authentic, load-bearing adobe, this project paved the way for Clint to design numerous premier adobe homes across Arizona.
Throughout his career, Clint has fostered valuable relationships with top consultants in the valley, ranging from interior design to engineering and landscape architecture. For his projects, he often collaborates with consultants in home automation, lighting design, and energy modeling. Clint's architectural illustration skills have also made him a significant contributor to the development of architectural guidelines for large master-planned communities.
Clint's residential projects have been featured in AIA Home Tours, honored in AIA Homes of the Year competitions, and recognized in AIA Historical Preservation Exhibits. In 2010, Phoenix Home and Garden magazine acknowledged him as a Master of the Southwest, and his striking architecture has graced the cover of the publication. Clint was appointed to town council on July 11, 2023 and his term will run through December 2026.