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The people of Sedona spoke, and they said, “Don’t take back State Route 89A!”

Results from a scientific survey released by the city indicate the residents are not ready to commit the city of Sedona to the financial burden of maintaining a state highway simply to avoid the Arizona Department of Transportation’s roadway lighting plan.

According to the survey conducted by Behavior Research Center Inc., 56 percent of residents surveyed said ADOT should retain control of the highway and 30 percent believe the city should take back the road. The other 14 percent were unsure.

On the business side, which was also surveyed, 62 percent of business owners said “no takeback” while 30 percent supported city ownership. Another 8 percent were unsure.

The survey’s margin of error is 5 percent, which means it couldn’t possibly be clearer what the people of Sedona want.

They don’t want the city to take on a financial burden with unknown repercussions.
Residents voted no even before seeing a draft of the contract the city would sign with ADOT, which was not released to the public prior to the survey.

Even self-proclaimed anti-street light advocates, who have said they personally support the takeback, are now urging the Sedona City Council not to because it is not the will of the people.

Visits by city staff to community service groups also indicate the majority of residents do not support a takeback, and we have received numerous letters at our office indicating they don’t.

Despite blatant lack of support, it is rumored some City Council members’ minds have been made up, and they plan to vote for the minority 30 percent of residents and 30 percent of business owners.

Opponents of the takeback are already calling for a recall of any council members who defy the will of the people with a promise to circulate petitions immediately.

Council needs to remember it’s not about what it wants, it’s about what the people want.
All of the newly elected council members — Mike Ward, Dennis Rayner, Barbara Litrell and Dan McIlroy — ran on the platform of leading the city where the majority of the people want it to go.

When they were elected, they all felt the majority opposed installation of street lights, although without scientific evidence.

Now, the question has become whether the city should take back the road to avoid the street lights, and a scientific survey indicates the majority of residents don’t want the liability.

Will council keep its promise and follow the will of the people? We will find out Tuesday, Feb. 22, when council members cast their votes.


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  • Marianna Hartsong

    I am disappointed to see that the RRN is inciting dissidence by running yet another poll. The readers of RRN are the 'peoples' vote'. It is not an unbiased readership, nor editorial staff. <br /><br />The vote was taken as per agreement. The vote is totally congruent with the Sedona City Vision statement. <br /><br />Let's move forward, live and let go, not backward.

  • mark griffon

    I will be in favor of a recall by those council members who voted in favor of the takeback

  • k keller

    Because your paper says there is a blatant lack of support, does not make it so. You have adamantly ignored the support for the take bake. There were other polls, numerous speakers and letters supporting the take over. You're driving home your view of the will of the people. I offer another: Democracy as validated by the vote. Council was elected on several issues, primary to many of us, NO to ADOT lights. The will of the people should always be considered, but not take precedence over safety. Should we slow down at school crossings, even if the will of the people doesn't want to? Many of us respect the sanctity of life 24 hrs of the day, as enabled by the fiscally sound contract with ADOT.

  • Marianna Hartsong

    FYI: I have just successfully voted a second time -- that means anyone can vote more than once, thus rendering the results of this survey meaningless, ie. null and void.

  • Chuck Davis--Uptown

    The state of AZ is out to kill us. The twenty year old incorporate and Sewer or we will stop building permits. Now to get lights per "My way or the highway" or do it yourself. We have a City Govt. out of control.

  • Gene Buchanan

    How can my wife vote on this computer since the survey as set up will only allow 1 vote per computer

  • Mary E Roberts

    In regards to the article in the Red Rock News on March 3, 2011. Mr Frey, I'm with you on this. I have been a citizen of Sedona for 23 years. Myself and several of my friends that have lived in this community for a very long time are hoping to help you with your recall efforts. It is insane for four Council Members to vote yes to take over 89A. They are totally not listening to our voices. The City of Sedona has not shown that they are able to take care of the streets that are owned by the City, how do they expect to take care of a major highway.

  • Pat McBride

    By the way as one of Sedona's "first" citizens from 1877 till 2011 I might have a little more to ponder in keeping Sedona beautiful. In building this community it was done in a friendship and neighborly focused effort. Roads, bridges and by-ways were built with the sweat and effort of all the community. As a business man, friend, and long-time friend of those in this community my ancestors are rolling in their graves by what you have done by acting without our following. I am with you on helping to recall these members.<br />Sincerely,<br />Patrick McBride<br />McBridexcavating@peoplepc.com

  • Maureen Nealon

    When I first came to Sedona I was stunned at the complaining about incorporation. At that time the RRN was certain that the people were not in favor of incorporation. They even printed an article later saying that they were wrong. <br /><br />It is more than 20 years later and people are still complaining still often led by the RRN. The city council members did what they were supposed to do; follow what their constituents suggested mellowed by the information they received from the city and ADOT.<br /><br />Now it is our turn to voice input as to how we wish the center of town to look. Let's do it positively.

  • T. Lock

    Whatever stops ADOT from putting in 78 street lights we need to do. If it means taking over 89A, so be it! You had a fair vote for city council members, if you don't like them now, vote them out next time! Enough is enough already!

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