With the 2016 election season in full swing, those vying for seats on the Sedona City Council were asked a variety of questions pertaining to issues facing the city — both today and in the future.
Q: What made you decide to run for City Council?
I would not be running if I would not have been asked by concerned citizen to please run, we need someone with common sense on the council.
I know that my campaign and two-year term as councilor will have an impact on my family and business. The importance to bring a change to the current council was the strong decisive motive.
Not listening to the will of the majority of the citizens and to continue driving an agenda at the cost of $75,000 to the end is a blatant disservice to our community. I will be a great listener and common sense councilor with plenty of experience, values, integrity and leadership qualities you can trust.
Q: What specific ideas do you have to address the traffic issue?
You have to look at the big picture but don’t forget little steps can also contribute to relieve some traffic problems. The big one is obviously an alternative route along the Verde Valley School Road, maybe the bridge downstream from Red Rock Crossing can be utilized. This would make it more convenient for VOC residents, students, emergency vehicles to get to Sedona, but it does not help the resident living in Back O’ Beyond, Chapel area, Sky Mountain and who live in neighborhoods along State Route 89A all the way to the bridge at Tlaquepaque.
Most of the backed-up traffic on State Route 179 is during holidays, weekends. A traffic alert sign before the turnoff from Interstate 17 to State Route 260 which indicates how long it takes to reach Sedona, take SR 260 to SR 89A instead. Same should be at the roundabout up on SR 89A near Fort Tuthill. The traffic from Flagstaff heading to Sedona meets the traffic from the campers and hikers who are returning through the canyon to Phoenix, it’s awful. Most Sedona residents avoid the canyon on weekends and holidays.
Now to the commuter traffic from Cottonwood and other Verde Valley communities to Sedona. I counted 250 cars from 6 to 8 a.m., then another 250 or more between 8:30 and 9:30 a.m. all single drivers and they have to get back home also, we do have rush hours in Sedona. Employers should encourage their employees to see if they can find someone to carpool with.
Another solution would be if the city makes an arrangement with the city of Cottonwood or church parking lot at Bridgeport or the owner of a large vacant lot to establish a park-and-ride location and explain the benefits of not having to drive their own car every day to Sedona and back. We all should contribute to ease the traffic congestion, make one trip to take care of grocery shopping, post office, etc.
More frequently-run transit buses to accommodate the schedule of the employees. Would be great if the people who work here also could live here. Housing affordable enough to make a move closer to their workplace.
Q: Often, the vocal minority is the loudest voice when it comes to a topic in the city. How do you balance not only their concerns but the remaining majority of the community as well?
I would not be swayed by a vocal minority which has happened quite often. The apathy of most of our citizens is a problem, so I will do my research and weigh the pros and cons before deciding, always for the benefit of the entire community.
Q: What do you see as the top issues facing Sedona these days and why?
All of the above, the irresponsible spending of the taxpayers’ money, the budget which has grown every year, while the population remained about the same.
I see a city property tax in the near future levied on us. Yes to growth but not at all cost. Smart growth will provide the same quality of life for future generations we all cherish.
Q: The city owns 200 acres across from the wastewater treatment plant on State Route 89A. How would you like to see that land used?
I was a member of the Dells Land Use group it took us 1½ years to develop a master plan based on the results of the outreach program for the Community Update Plan 2020 and beyond.
Consider only future uses that are environmentally sensitive, that retain an open-space character. The community expectations are also stated in the Sedona Community Plan that development of the Dells area should contribute to Sedona’s environmental and economic sustainability. The proposed land uses were: An amphitheater and festival grounds, a community cultural facility need, botanical garden and horticultural/restoration institute, vineyards, winery, research/education center, orchards and agricultural greenhouses on about 50 acres of a total 200 acres. Reuse treated wastewater for irrigation, providing jobs, recruiting new businesses that diversify Sedona’s economic base while maintaining the lowest-density uses adjacent to the National Forest.