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I didn’t want to write this editorial. I considered refusing to participate in its authorship, packing up my bags and heading home, leaving my staff to finish putting out the Sedona Red Rock News and sending it to press.

Sedona Mayor Rob AdamsBut this is my job. It’s why I was hired and why I get my name on the business cards. More than that, attempting to encapsulate the collective opinion of our readership and my community by writing editorials is my job, my duty and one I don’t take lightly.

Unfortunately, it would appear at least from a recent meeting, Mayor Rob Adams doesn’t feel the same way about his job.

At a Sedona City Council meeting on Aug. 14, council members discussed the impending sunset of several citizen commissions, whose end was set in motion by council earlier this summer. A portion of the community voiced their objection to the plan — most notably those in support of the Arts & Culture Commission — at a council listening session at the Sedona Public Library in July.

Councilman Dan McIlroy asked council to reconsider the issue and had it placed on the agenda. The vote itself was procedural as council had already decided to move forward with a new, as-yet-unestablished “citizen engagement model.”

Managing Editor Christopher Fox GrahamAll that, however, is immaterial. The takeaway was not the vote, but rather, Adams’ rather sudden decision to leave. He first attempted to recuse himself from any further discussion before the vote took place.

According to rules, council members are recommended to give a reason and aren’t allowed to abstain from votes. However, when asked by other council members for a reason for his recusal, Adams instead said, “Alright, then I refuse to participate in the meeting any further, how does that work for you?”

Adams then packed his briefcase and was off the podium within 30 seconds.

City reporter Ron Eland covered Adams’ departure in his

Aug. 16 story about the meeting. Eland contacted the mayor several times through various means, giving him multiple opportunities to explain his actions.

Two weeks later, we still have yet to receive a satisfactory answer. Perhaps he didn’t want to be seen voting on a measure that would fail. But now, we don’t have that vote on record. We expect council members to be a little partisan. They represent various factions in the city’s demographics and their sometimes conflicting views are balanced by each other. It’s why we elect seven people. I venture most of us would rather see a council member voting on the losing side every time but doing so with conviction and dedication.

Whether you voted for Adams or not, a majority of voters sent him to council to represent the city and residents’ interests as a whole. Refusing to participate shows a lack of accountability and a lack of leadership.

Declining to inform the public why he can’t or won’t perform his duty, one which earned him enough votes to sit at the dais and represent us, doesn’t say much for Adams as our city’s top leader. If he doesn’t want to participate in discussion and votes, even the ones he may lose, maybe it’s time to reconsider being on council. If he does want to remain, then he must stay and vote his conscience.

Christopher Fox Graham

Managing Editor


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