Christmas and New Years have come and gone but organizers of the fourth annual Holiday Central Sedona are already thinking of ways to improve 2017’s event.

More than 30 events stretching from Uptown to Sedona Red Rock High School fell under the umbrella of Holiday Central. This time a few locations changed, most notably Tinsel Town from Posse Grounds Park to Tlaquepaque. And, last year’s festivities saw the return of Red Rock Fantasy but in a modified format compared to what it once was.

In recent years, members of the Sedona City Council have suggested the need to see if the city is getting the biggest bang for its buck in regard to promoting Sedona as a tourist destination.

One of the biggest proponents of seeking a request for proposal or request for quote has been Vice Mayor John Martinez. He and the rest of the council will discuss this possibility during a Wednesday, Jan. 11, City Council meeting. There, they will give direction to city staff on how the council wants to proceed regarding a contract for destination marketing and tourism promotion for the next fiscal year and beyond.

Arizona is one of the few states that does not have a statewide ban on cell phone use and texting by motorists. Yet, there are cities and counties — including Sedona — that ban this practice.

That’s where problems can arise, officials have said. When motorists, especially visitors to the state, drive through Arizona, in some areas it’s legal and others it’s not.

It’s shaping up to be a pretty good Christmas for one member of the Sedona Fire District family.

On Oct. 27, SFD Capt. Matt Fleece was transported by helicopter to Maricopa County Burn Center for treatment of second-degree burns to about 15 percent of his torso. The burns occurred after a propane tank mishap at Station 5 in Oak Creek Canyon.

As a result of two new state laws, the Sedona City Council voted to do away with an ordinance dealing with accessory dwelling units. But not before it took advantage of a
seldom-used option.

During the Dec. 13 meeting, council went into executive session during the item to discuss the matter with City Attorney Robert Pickels. When this happens, the council and staff adjourn to the Vultee Room at City Hall away from the public and media.

It was 14 minutes into the discussion of the item when Councilman Jon Thompson made a motion to meet behind closed doors.

After concern from the public as well as push back from a legal watchdog, the city’s ordinance on short-term vacation rentals is already being modified.

By a unanimous vote, the Sedona City Council approved on Tuesday, Dec. 13, the amending of its new short-term rental regulations.

The city of Sedona’s annual small grants program hit a snag this summer, which led City Council to decide it was time to revamp and simplify the process for everyone involved.

Council spent an hour going over the current requirements of those nonprofits seeking grants during its Tuesday, Dec. 13, meeting. The purpose was to give staff direction as to whether or not the application and screening process could simply be tweaked or a complete overhaul was needed.

The Sedona Police Department has a pair of improvement projects in the works designed to help with officer training and safety.

The projects include improvements to the department’s shooting range near the wastewater treatment plant and expansion of the armory at city hall. There, the department’s additional weapons and ammunition are stored.

According to SPD’s Lt. Lucas Wilcoxson, range improvements will provide running water and restrooms for the people using the range as well as additional space for training and debriefing.

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