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Eddie Maddock: Sedona Progress or Impediment

SedonaEye.com columnist Eddie Maddock looks at the city of Sedona and Village of Oak Creek impediments to local progress on quality of life issues.

Sedona AZ – Admittedly the convenience of modern technology has opened doors our ancestors would never have imagined. Of course, one needn’t go back THAT far – but has it really been all that long ago when we actually had conversations with people who weren’t constantly distracted with handheld gadgets dominating everything – except possibly the air they breathe?

How about waiting at a stop light for pedestrians to cross the busy highway? More often than not they are engrossed in looking down at the fascinating information factory consuming their undivided attention. That generally is the scenario in most places; doctors’ offices, grocery stores, restaurants – you name it. There’s very little one-on-one interaction anymore. A brief phone call to return a message, instead of texting or sending an e-mail, is quickly becoming yet another thing of the past. And actually even trying to make a phone call takes stamina and determination! After listening to the non-person’s voice relate options, none of which are applicable to your reason for calling, generally by hitting “O” multiple times eventually you might get a real person, but by all means don’t hold your breath.

Are children no longer being taught the “lost art” of having a one-on-one conversation? Do families ever sit down and have dinner together, discuss daily events, and engage in a meaningful exchange?

Smart Meter National Grid

And now smart home robots, such as Alexa, are available to grant our every wish, providing we have the time and patience to figure out how to give them proper instructions to facilitate their full potential. What will happen on the day the grid crashes and all systems shut down? Unthinkable crosses many minds. But isn’t it previously “unthinkable” products that surface on almost a daily basis? How about driverless cars? Are you scared yet?

Of course old stand-by surprises from Mother Nature or, in some cases, even a higher power always, always visit every so often – as a reminder to mere mortals who is really in charge. And it ain’t them humans!

Ask the folks in California who quite possibly and understandably remain in shock due to not one, but two earthquakes, magnitudes between 6 and 7 on the Richter scale. No intervention from modern technology could change the course or stop those events.

And let’s not overlook ongoing potential for seasonal hurricanes, tornadoes, monsoons and other “natural” disasters frequenting various worldwide geographical locations. In our own specific area, particularly due to the extremely wet winter and unusual abundance of new foliage presently still in the process of drying out, hotter temperatures and high winds are quickly producing ideal conditions for a potential inferno. Yes, it isn’t a matter of “IF” – it’s “WHEN.”

Will it actually take such a drastic wake up call to shock some sensibility in the thinking of those currently making more and more unpopular decisions? In the unincorporated Village of Oak Creek, also included in both the Sedona School and Fire Districts, Yavapai County has authority to make rezoning decisions of great concern.

Increased density in development has likewise been problematic in incorporated Sedona, although it’s our elected city officials instead of county authority who will vote the outcome. But, really, what’s the difference? Increased density, uncontrolled traffic, more waste of money for alleged “destination marketing” without benefit of Requests for Proposals and/or accountability of past value received (if any) from money spent, remain under control of the votes that count, our representatives, regardless of citizen disapproval.

Convenient, but lame, excuses relating to excessive funding to the much discussed and controversial regional “Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau” are now being used for convoluted reasons and justifications beyond destination marketing – and remain under question, lacking merit, as would be the case for allowing any non-profit member driven association to grasp control of a municipality. How so? Voters do not elect them!

City of Sedona Council chamber

Sometimes people will comment on the apparent lack of public interest in Sedona City Council meetings. Granted, years ago Council Chambers would frequently be standing room only. And why is that no longer the case? Surely it isn’t due to lack of citizen interest. Just ask your friends and neighbors. However, back-in-the-day city council meetings were not televised and we didn’t have the convenience of accessing the meetings by using the City website. (Sorry Alexa – you don’t get credit for that one.)

However and unfortunately, power and control lurks about in beautiful Sedona and misinformation frequently prevails. Too bad because and although “all’s fair in love and war” (don’t know how “love” fits into this) and, even with the convenience of new technology, bad decisions are sometimes made due to misrepresentation or worse yet just because “they” can.

Although the current budgeted amount for the SCC&TB has been reduced, it still reflects the amount of $2,492,500.

Yes, Folks, that’s TWO & ONE HALF MILLION DOLLARS of public revenue from an incorporated municipality of a questionable 10,000 population. How is it justified? Some remain stoically convinced THEY CANNOT.

However, there is one thing to keep in mind. Sedona City and Village of Oak Creek residents still have methods to maintain control and force your leaders to appropriately represent YOU – and NOT necessarily by means of just how THEY think!

If they fail to uphold oaths of office and ignore the values of constituents, work together and demand replacements. In the case of Sedona, a council recall election is possible as was demonstrated in 1992. Sedona Vice Mayor Anna Marie Hayes was recalled and Ivan Finley was elected to take her place.

In 2011, Sedona voters again spoke when it mattered. Both a ballot Referendum & Initiative were empowered by Sedona voters to overturn the city council’s decision for incorporated Sedona to take ownership of SR W89. Thanks to a united effort that highway still belongs to ADOT because of a successful rallying from voices that mattered.

Likewise residents in the VOC should consider coming together. Follow your own rules and disable unwanted action by removing those who insist on ignoring you who matter the most: VOC TAXPAYING and VOTING RESIDENTS.
Modern technology most assuredly has its place, but not as a “replacement” for person to person communication. Not happy? Then start talking to one another and make things happen the tried and true way.

Communicate. It’s been proven to work.

55 Comments

  1. Andy says:

    Friends in Sedona try NOT to go OUT on weekends but for the GovERNMENT to order us NOT TO is NOT RIGHT. WTF!!!!!?????What next like we CANT go to Sunday church services BECAUSE tourists cant get around? They’ll want to take $$$ from churches for causing CONGESTION????!!! WTF?!! What’s WRONG with you PEOPLE!!!!!!

  2. @Andy says:

    Tell your city officials to stay home. We wll all be going out to party. Then we will go to church.

  3. @andy says:

    Really Andy!!? Are you serious?
    If you are…..

  4. Jackie says:

    The quality of life has been degraded by the chamber, city and lodging. The cost of government and the restrictions in place on residents is way out of line. Restricting and controlling you.

    Mr. Segnut has a conflict of interests and want you taxpayers to pay to advertise his business.

    Only chance is to get the state to restrict them. Write your reps.
    WBlackman@azleg.gov,
    bthorpe@azleg.gov,
    sallen@azleg.gov,

    Do it now!

  5. @Jackie says:

    But of course …..but no one will.. we just keep going round and round and round. The only thing constant around here is the complaints of everything.. Then we complain about the way people complain. G grief

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