The upcoming Sedona election ballot has a proposition on it asking the Sedona voters to repeal the direct election of mayor.

Contrary to what some people are saying, the city did not deliberately stack the deck against voting for the mayor.

The simple fact that there are seven arguments for the proposal and only one against is that no other people took the time to send their views to the city prior to release of the pamphlet.

There are some very good arguments for not directly electing our mayor and a couple pushing for the election of mayor by the general voting public.

The main argument for direct election is that it allows the people to determine who their mayor is. That is a good point; however, we have a council-manager type of government in Sedona. We do not have a strong mayor form of government for our city.

This was done when we incorporated, in order to have seven people representing various views throughout the community. It was not done to stop anybody from directly electing a mayor.

The main arguments against directly electing the mayor are many and are well explained in the pamphlet.

We could choose seven qualified residents to serve on our council and from that seven, one is chosen as mayor and another as vice mayor. This eliminates many costs of getting elected and would expand our pool of people willing to serve on our council. When more people run for council it enhances the input we receive from the potential candidates and gives a better balance of power and ideas from our elected council.

This would allow the mayor to be an advocate for all the various opinions of the council members. It would eliminate the conflicts that have come up between the mayor and various council members when they have differing viewpoints.

This would also eliminate the need for a council person to resign in order to run for mayor, such as John Bradshaw just did. He then decided not to run for mayor and a huge controversy arose over how to replace him on the council. It would actually help keep people on the council and a replacement would not have to be found.

This dropping of the direct election of the mayor could help heal Sedona and get it back to the wonderful city that Sedona should be. Having lived here as long as I have, it amazes me how there is so much constant bickering among the opposing sides.

Where is the sense of community that our mission statement for the city of Sedona intended for us to have? Where is the level of respect that all Sedonans deserve?

When are we, as residents of the most beautiful place in the world, going to understand that everyone has a right to their opinions and deserves to be heard?

These people don’t deserve to be shouted down, have lies spread about them or have business “boycotted” for supporting certain candidates. These are all tactics being used today and I see no use for any of them.

So, I urge you to vote yes on Proposition 400 to help all of us get back to a place of consensus and equality among all council members.