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Let the Games Begin? Wrong!

Eddie S. Maddock, Contributing Writer Sedona Eye

Yes, I was in attendance the afternoon of March 23, 2011, at the unprecedented event for activation, by submission of approximately 1,399 Sedona residents’ signatures, for a Referendum to challenge the already much publicized approval by the Sedona City Council to accept the ADOT route transfer of the remainder of SR89A within the city limits.

Coincidentally it was on May 25, 2010, a similar victory party was celebrated at City Hall when four newly elected members of the Sedona City Council, Barbara Litrell, Mike Ward, Dan McIlroy, and Dennis Rayner, along with re-elected Mayor Rob Adams, took their oath of office.

Now, less than one year after that memorable evening, with the exception of Mayor Adams and Dan McIlroy, the other three are being questioned and challenged over their persistence and determination for the city to acquire an Arizona State Highway which, obviously, many feel is not in the paramount interest of Sedona. The other determining vote was cast by Councilman Cliff Hamilton whose term of office at the time of the referenced election had two years remaining.

The best part for me at the surrendering of the signatures was the opportunity to re-associate with a few long time Sedona residents who engaged in conversation about how horrible incorporation was for Sedona and how this action relating to owning a State Highway is equally as disastrous, if not worse.

Sheri Graham, Chair of “Let the People Vote on 89A,” tearfully spoke a few words of gratitude for the response, cooperation, enthusiasm, and overwhelming display of approval and encouragement expressed by the collective participation that led this endeavor to a successful juncture in the attempt to exercise citizens’ constitutional rights. Had this group of enthusiasts been allowed an additional two weeks to gather signatures, a legal matter disputed by  Sedona City Attorney Mike Goimaric, it’s quite possible the signatures would have exceeded the total number of votes cast in the last election of city council members.

Ms. Graham explained that the collection of signatures will continue for the Initiative portion of the efforts of the LPV89A because submission for that project is unrelated to the Referendum issue insofar as procedure and timeframe. Considering all that’s been accomplished the past two weeks, volunteers are taking a short respite; but the store front campaign headquarters will reopen this Saturday, March 26th, in order to allow concerned Sedona registered voters to stop by and sign the Initiative petitions. Thereafter more information will, no doubt, be forthcoming relating to progress on the Initiative.

There was a good deal of speculation about why four members of a city council would prefer to make a decision of the magnitude entailed in acquiring the route transfer of an Arizona State Highway. One faction defines our government as a representative democracy, thereby suggesting we turn over our rights, decisions, thinking processes and even, potentially, worldly possessions to the discretion of our elected officials. Regardless of why, the fearless four dismissed the citizens of Sedona as being no more than two-year olds, unable to think for themselves as in “Mommy knows best.” Thus we are fortunate to have the opportunity to prevail upon constitutional provisions allowing intervention when questionable choices have been made by our elected officials.

Enough is enough. It’s time to cut to the chase. Let the games stop, cease, and desist. The people deserve to vote. Clearly, isn’t that what should have happened in the first place?


  1. Nate says:

    you write well but unsure that this “referendum” is in pursuit of such lofty ideals when this “referendum” seems to be about the unempowered neutering the empowered of the last election

  2. Eddie Maddock says:

    Hi Nate:

    Don’t know whether or not this is appropriate but FYI it’s a fact that I contributed financially to the Responsive Sedona Leadership 2010 and the candidates they endorsed at the last election.Therefore, it stands to reason I also voted for them . . . all five!

    If you don’t believe me, public records are available at the office of the Sedona City Clerk.

    Therefore, to express my disappointment at this turn of events within less than one year’s time is impossible.


    Eddie Maddock

  3. Jeremiah Perez says:

    Nate nailed it. After being in power for over a decade these people are freaking out. They cant stand allowing people who represent over 60 percent of the voters (per the last election) represent the community legitimately. Power, or lack of it, brings out the worst in people.

  4. sheri says:

    Nate, this “referendum” and “initiative” actually are about the citizens, who are the empowered (non neutered) and ultimatly have the final say… or so says our constitution. And from what I have seen – the citzens are not happy. Yep, there was an election – yet our abillity to challange and counter major policy decissions is just what “Let The People Vote on 89A”, and it’s supporters, stand for. Just because a person is elected does not mean there are no checks and balances to their votes….the citizens retain the lofty and constitutional rights to question and take necessary actions. Please remember that as a citizen – you are never “unempowered” and the elected are never above question.

  5. Paul says:

    there are three kinds of lies, said mark twain: lies, more lies and statistics

  6. JP says:

    Of all the faces of betrayal is there a worse one than lying by omission? Were the candidates endorsed by Responsive Sedona Leadership 2010, with the exception of Rob Adams and Dan McIlroy who upheld the pledge to reflect the will of the people, up front with that organized group in telling them their goal was to take back a State Highway in order to avoid the continuous lighting no matter what the cost? I think not. Of course, they wouldn’t have been elected if they had admitted their intentions. That has been proven by the response to the Referendum. Read the signatures Oh Mighty Four. Oh no, that might pop your bubble and disintegrate your halos.

  7. Lawrence says:

    good write / continuous lighting not good for Sedona / like sewage system the money will appear for road upkeep

    second send !

    (SedonaEye.com Editor: Thank you, Lawrence, for the comment(s). We appreciate the “second send” and our writers appreciate reader feedback.)

  8. Dan Cothran says:

    Has anything further happened with regard to the ILX seven acre property on Brewer Road that Eddie Maddock thought should become city property. I agree completely with her–although I live in VOC, not Sedona. But Sedona does need a “center.” It also needs a walkway along the creek from Tlaquepaque to uptown. In general, Oak Creek should be integrated into the life of Sedona far more than it is.

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