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Proposition 411 states: “A measure to amend the Sedona City Code to require that the Sedona City Council refer any offer by the state of Arizona for the transfer of a state route within the Sedona city limits to the qualified electors at a special or general election for approval and acceptance,” according to Yavapai County’s election website.

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.

Council, with help from city staff, would outline a deal with the Arizona Department of Transportation prior to the election. The deal would include mileage of the route to be transferred, improvements to made prior, agreements for future services and the amount of money to exchange hands.

Then, voters would decide if they want the city to take ownership based on the deal offered.

The negotiations are actually a very important part of Proposition 411.

Without an idea of what is being offered, residents could not possibly make informed, knowledgeable decisions when it came time to vote.

Whether ADOT is willing to pay, for example, $30 million versus $15 million for indefinite takeover of a state highway is going to make a big difference when voters check their ballots.

Basically, the proposition forces council to listen to the majority of voters.

Unfortunately, democracy doesn’t often work as it should.

We elect representatives to carry out the will of the majority, and they fail to do so. Instead, they carry out their own will and that of their friends or financial backers.

Even in Sedona, we can’t always count on elected officials to listen to us, which is what Proposition 411 ensures. It forces council to pay attention and gives residents the right to protect the financial interests of their city.

An election, conducted by the county, is the most accurate way to determine the sentiment of the population.

Vote “yes” on Proposition 411 to protect the current and future interests of Sedona residents.

This is the official position of Larson Newspapers.

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  • M Schroeder

    Fortunately we do not live in a democracy. We live in a representative republic. Citizens do not have the power to make or create ordinances or create or approve contracts. There is already a method in place to challenge a legislative decision. That’s called a referendum which has been done on the 89A issue. And if the citizens do not like their elected representatives, they can recall them. If 411 passes, the city will have no choice but to challenge it which costs $10s of thousands of dollars of city resources. 411 is misguided and continues to show that there are people in this city that are more concerned about their little power base than the good of the community.

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