City News

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 decided it was time to give back to Sedona. I had benefited from other Sedona councils in the past and saw that there were not as many candidates running. I wanted to give the people of Sedona a good choice of candidates. Also, as a recent councilman appointed to council, I had committed to run again when the time came and wanted to live up to my pledge.

Q: What specific ideas do you have to address the traffic issue?

The first thing to do is to begin reviewing the previous studies for similarities in them as to suggested solutions. The other is to form a traffic group to consider solutions working with city staff and the current study vendor. When the most recent study is completed, we should incorporate those findings with the past. A list should then be constructed from easy solutions to the most difficult, rated by time and cost. The budget should be expanded to begin completing those actions that make the most sense and within the constraints of the budget. All of this should be shared with the public and work should begin to implement what we can within the city’s limits. Relationships should also now be formed to include the Arizona Department of Transportation, the county and the U.S. Forest Service.

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?

First, I listen to what some may consider the vocal minority, but I believe it is a mix of the minority and the middle. The silent majority is tougher to hear from, which is why I seek them out. I talk to everyone I meet and go to differing neighborhoods for input. I believe I hit a fairly good cross section of the community in this way and then weigh the overall feedback I have received.

Q: What do you see as the top issues facing Sedona these days and why?

I believe the top issue is fiscal responsibility. I want to be sure the budget is frugal yet leaves room for grants and additional capital projects as needed. We need to be sure that the current deficit spending is eliminated and ensure future councils have a solid financial footing of sustainable revenue. Traffic is also an issue due to increasing tourism and growth. We must work with the tourism bureau to ensure the needs of the residents are not sacrificed for the wants of the tourist yet provide enough so the tourists return and businesses and lifestyles are maintained for the residents.

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?

There are many things it could be used for, but input from the residents of Sedona is needed. I have heard requests for a community garden and recently it was discussed to make it a center for sustainability which was not approved. Perhaps now is the time to reconsider affordable housing for the many employees needed to work in the businesses of Sedona. A joint partnership between a developer and other governments in the Verde Valley might make sense, or a grant for a project that starts small and grows once proven. A commuter lot with shuttles for employees and tourists might also make sense. It deserves much more thought than can be expressed here.


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