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If you line up 15 random Sedona residents and ask them which local issue is most important to them, you’re bound to get many different answers.

Some residents are entrenched in the fight over streetlights and ownership of State Route 89A in West Sedona. If you ask residents on either side of the debate, this is the most important decision facing Sedona with regard to the city’s future.

Others feel development of the new Sedona Community Plan trumps all other news at this time. The plan will serve as a guide for the city for at least 10 years.

Regarding city of Sedona business, many are rallying around the Sedona Fire District. From a recall effort to arguing over where to cut spending and taxes to whether to build an additional fire station in the Chapel area, this one agency sponsors a host of issues to upset and divide the people.

Then, when it rains, the people in the Little Elf neighborhood are rightfully upset as their properties flood and they again clean up their yards.

Each one of these groups feels their issue towers above all others and deserves the most coverage.

I receive phone calls daily from people telling us we need more coverage of SFD, streetlights or the community plan.

I also receive just as many phone calls from people saying they are sick of hearing about decisions made by the SFD Governing Board — many of which result in nothing — they’re sick and tired of the streetlight debate, or they think the community plan is boring.

Some people prefer to read Lu Stitt’s feature stories about the talented individuals who live in our communities rather than stories detailing the controversies dividing us.

The point is, whatever issue you think we aren’t covering enough, there is an equal opposition begging for us to stop plastering the same faces across the front page in what they say is “week after week.”

We try to find new angles to cover old issues to keep streetlight and SFD folks satisfied while also looking for new stories to engage others.

Reporter Patrick Whitehurst, who is often stuck writing all the repetitive hard-news stories, was excited for the chance to do something different this week and write about Banned Books Week. Books are what is important to Whitehurst. That’s what he would like to see us cover more often.

The same goes for our letters to the editor page. We try to give everyone a chance to voice their opinion.

However, we are a newspaper and not a newsletter, which means our letters page is only one small part of our product as a whole. And in that small component, we try not to let any one issue or one person dominate the page. This, too, is the source of angry phone calls and letters from people insisting their opinion about their chosen cause is worthy of exception and should not be required to follow rules and requirements.

We understand almost everything happening in Sedona is important, but it’s our job to juggle all issues and find a balance in our coverage.

So when you call to either complain we are ignoring you or demand we stop covering the other issues, remember we’ve most likely already received a stern talking to or email from your counterpart.

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People in this conversation

  • Mary Cooke

    Yes, you do your best and more to fairly represent the issues.<br />There are no bad and good guys, just people who have different opinions.<br />To volunteer service in Sedona is a "Most Dangerous Game"<br />Thanks for all you do.

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