Editorials and Opinions

The continuing discussion regarding the lighting on State Route 89A in West Sedona is truly amazing.

I can’t believe that after all the discussion this community has had on this issue, that there still are people out there that just don’t want lights no matter what.

It’s almost as if they don’t get their way, they are going to make it miserable for everyone and anyone standing in their way.

Here are some comments that have come out of the recent meetings.

Please choose the one you think is correct:

a) The Arizona Department of Transportation plans on taking out over 180 trees to put the lights in.

b) It’s all the Sedona City Council’s fault because it is the city’s highway.

c) Those pro-developers just want to ruin everything.

d) The city and ADOT don’t love us anymore.

e) None of the above.

Actually, that was too easy. The answer is of course E, none of the above.

Let’s look at each statement on its own:

a) ADOT has no intention to take out over 180 trees along the route. In fact, we currently have five times the number of trees in West Sedona today than there were 40 years ago. This is a fact supported by the Coconino County Office of Tree Management. Actually, this fact is determined by reviewing old photos of the area and local arborists’ input.

b) The City Council is not responsible for State Route 89A in West Sedona. They have only been trying to do the responsible thing and listen throughout the past two years to the various options available to Sedona residents.

c) The pro-developers may want to ruin everything. But I have seen many projects done throughout Sedona that are outstanding. After all, we do have one of the toughest planning and zoning codes in all Arizona. The developers probably don’t give a flip about lights that are on ADOT property going down our main highway.

d) The City Council and ADOT representatives have taken a lot of heat over this issue. They still love you. They also love their jobs and many realize they are only doing the best they can to solve and work through a very touchy subject for many residents.

The bottom line is this: We do need the lights on 89A and we need them paid for by someone else’s money, since we can’t afford to go it alone. The option that gives us the old-fashioned hometown lights is a very responsible use of lighting and will actually enhance the area for locals and visitors alike.

Finally, can we please use some civil dialogue in this town and stop attacking each other?

This has reached the point of absurdity. The attacks need to stop and the use of so-called facts needs to stop. Let’s deal with the real issue. Quit yelling at your mayor and council members; go to an ADOT board meeting if you really want to address this issue.

After all, we all live here and love it here. We would not live anywhere else unless forced to on a semi-weekly basis due to someone’s wife being allergic to the juniper trees. Yes, that’s me.