Mayor & Town Council
Get to know the Mayor and Carefree Town Council members:
Les Peterson, Mayor
Les Peterson is a valley native and earned BA and MA degrees from ASU in 1965 and 1967. His early business career was in promotion and marketing with Procter and Gamble and Pillsbury, followed by 30+ years in management consulting focused upon marketing and long-range business planning. he has worked with over 180 different companies, on over 1000 brands and service areas, in business development and related areas.
Les is a past president of the Boulders Homeowners Association, and a member of the Paradise Valley Community College President's Adsvisory Board. Les served for 14 years as one of two outside "judges" in the MBA entrepreneurial studies program at Cornell University. he is a guest lecturer at ASU in marketing in international markets.
Les is a 21-year Carefree resident and served on the Carefree Planning and Zoning Commission. He was elected to the Carefree Town Council in 2013 and was elected by the Council to become Vice Mayor in June 2013. He became Mayor in 2015.
The primary areas of focus for Les include economic development and marketing for the Town of Carefree. Les is a fiscal conservative who will help strengthen our community by handling our town's finances responsibly.
John Crane, Vice Mayor
John Crane is a 32-year resident of Carefre 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 Vice 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 Villanove 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 costomers 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.
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. Proud AZ native: graduated from Camelback High, attended SCC and PVCC, graduated from ASU, and received a Master's Degree in Education from NAU. Vince and his famimly 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, javalina, 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.
A 20-year resident of Carefree, Tony has experience in finance, budgeting, engineering, marketing and magagement. His 35-year career had him working for major manufacturers of equipment used in water and sewer infrastructure, including 11 years in an executive management position. Tony started and sold two, small marketing companies serving the infrastructure market in Arizona. He has volunteered thousands of hours working on Carefree water and sewer infrastructure issues since 2013.
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 the 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 Assiciate 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.
Cheryl Kroyer is currently serving her third term on the Town Council. Her cheif area of concentration has been in the Town's marketing and communications. She is passionate about Carefree and is dedicated to maintaining the character and spirit of the Town (the things that brought us all here in the first place). She is most proud of her efforts towards:
- 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, Porshe 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 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.