Breaking News:

Close

Online Poll

Are local or national elections more important?

Sponsored By:

Tlaquepaque Village

Only four days remain for Sedona residents to cast their ballots in the Tuesday, Nov. 8, special election.

We strongly encourage voters to vote “no” on Proposition 410 and “yes” on Proposition 411.

We clearly stated the position of Larson Newspapers in two past editorials.

Starting with Proposition 410, a “no” vote indicates the city of Sedona should not attempt to renegotiate a deal with the Arizona Department of Transportation to take ownership of State Route 89A in West Sedona.

The city simply cannot afford to take on an unpredictable expense, especially after some Sedona City Council members approved over $2 million for wetlands at the Sedona wastewater treatment plant and suggested taxing residents to pay for storm drainage improvements.

As our readers saw on Wednesday, Nov. 2, in the guest perspective “Resident fed up and looking for a little help,” by Chris Gruneberg, residents in flood zones are becoming desperate and are at the mercy of the city. However, some residents and council members feel its more important to own a roadway than it is to protect residents’ health, safety and welfare.

Then add to the city’s bonded debt amounts already committed to or needed for infrastructure projects, and owning a state highway becomes even more ridiculous. According to an email from the city of Sedona dated Oct. 25, the total amount of bonded debt the city had on that date was $59,930,000, only $70,000 short of $60 million.

The idea Sedona can do as it pleases if it takes ownership of the road is also a lie if the city is interested in protecting itself from liability in the event of an accident.

City Manager Tim Ernster knows the city has obligations. He wrote in our newspaper Dec. 22 the city should install the minimum safety improvements recommended by CivTech. These include, again for the record: continuous medians from Soldier Pass Road to Mountain Shadows and Rodeo Road to Andante Drive; pedestrian barriers throughout the length of the medians; enhanced pedestrian crossings; median refuge areas for pedestrians; a traffic signal at Andante and marked bicycle lanes.

That doesn’t sound to us like the city will be able to do whatever it wants, and those are not a menu of options, they’re the minimum requirements collectively.

A city that ignores the warnings of ADOT and fails to implement minimum safety improvements recommended by an engineering firm of its choice won’t have much of a case the next time someone loses his or her life on the roadway.

When it comes to Proposition 411, we recommend a “yes” vote.

The proposition does not stop council from negotiating transfers of state highway property. The proposition only states the voters get the choice of whether or not to accept a transfer negotiated by the City Council.

In fact, any agreement would have to be negotiated prior to voter approval or voters wouldn’t know what their options were.

The only power taken away from council is the ability to sign and enter into the agreement without voter approval.

Elected officials nationally and locally demonstrate time and again they will only listen to the people if they absolutely have to. Our own council ignored its own survey, which the city paid for, that reported residents did not want to take ownership of the highway. Forcing future route transfers to go before the voters is the only way to ensure the will of the people will be carried out.

Since we published our position, opponents of our views attacked our opinions telling us and others in the community they are not right.

The beauty of an opinion is there isn’t a right or wrong answer, and some seem to be confused by the difference between an opinion and a fact. Rather than presenting our opinions as if they’re facts, we instead make it clear, by publishing editorials on the Opinion page, that these are indeed our opinions.

Facts can be found, however, within our opinions, such as the accurate amount of city debt and the minimum safety improvements that must be made to avoid future liability.


Leave your comments

0
terms and condition.
  • No comments found

Sedona Weather

Fair

52°F

Sedona, AZ

Humidity: 61%
Wind: N at 0 mph
Friday
Sunny
54°F / 83°F
Saturday
Mostly sunny
53°F / 82°F
Sunday
Mostly sunny
48°F / 75°F

Sedona Gas Prices

Lowest Gas Prices in Sedona
Sedona Gas Prices provided by GasBuddy.com