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Just as soon as residents selected new Sedona City Council members, it’s on to the Sedona Fire District Governing Board recall election.

There are seven candidates who filed paperwork to run for three seats.

While we can hope the recall campaigns run as smoothly as the recent City Council race, we aren’t likely to get our wish given the circumstances that brought the vote to the public. District residents unhappy with the actions of three board members gathered enough signatures to challenge their right to serve on the board, so we’re not talking about a simple end-of-term race.

Sedona Red Rock News Managing Editor Trista Steers MacVittieThe very word “recall” excites emotion in both camps, and our job isn’t going to be to play referee between candidates and supporters.

Our election coverage will be the same as it has been for any other election.

Each candidate will be given the opportunity to submit a personal essay, and reporter Patrick Whitehurst will interview candidates for a profile. We will extend the invitation to everyone to be fair. However, if someone chooses not to participate, we will not halt coverage of the other candidates.

Whitehurst will also attend community forums, but only those all candidates are invited to be a part of.

We realize it’s an election by mail, so we will be sure to wrap up our coverage in advance of the Tuesday, May 15, deadline. We will not, however, be finished when ballots go out the week of Monday, April 23. That would mean coverage would have started today, more than a month and a half before the ballot deadline.

As has been our practice in the past, two candidate profiles and corresponding essays will appear in Wednesday editions for up to four weeks, depending on participation. Candidates will be featured in alphabetical order to avoid accusations of bias based on when one candidate appears and another does not.

There are many passionate people involved in this process, and we understand they are simply trying to help. However, our editorial department will deal directly with the candidates and not a third-party representative not running for the board, and all of our coverage will not be consumed by this election.

Our policy, which I implemented more than three years ago, has worked thus far, so we’re sticking with it.

We wish good luck to the candidates and good behavior to all of those involved.

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