It began with a few citizens standing outside Sedona Fire Station #1 at the end of a particularly disturbing Sedona Fire District Governing Board meeting in June of 2011. After witnessing what they believed to be the final straw, of a Governing Board running roughshod over members of the public and its own professional staff, they asked each other, “What are we going to do?”
What did they do? They organized a cohesive group that became the Committees to Recall Dave Blauert, Charles Christensen and Phyllis Erick. This group of hard-working, knowledgeable and dedicated volunteers had no personal or political agendas, no special interests or axes to grind.
Republicans and Democrats, Independents and Tea Partiers worked tirelessly, side-by-side, in complete cooperation, toward a common goal. They obtained over 2,500 signatures on each of three recall petitions – and later, mobilized the Sedona Fire District electorate for the Special Recall Election, an overwhelmingly successful recall effort.
Diane Schoen, Nazih Hazime and Corrie Cooperman, three Sedona Fire District residents, ran against David Blauert, Charles Christensen and Phyllis Erick and – on May 15, 2012 – the three challengers won the Special Recall Election by a landslide!
Schoen and Cooperman will serve the remaining two years of the recalled Board members terms but the seat held by Nazih Hazime – and one other seat – are open for election in November 2012.
Nazih Hazime and Sedona City Planning and Zoning Commissioner Scott Jablow filed the necessary documents with the Yavapai County Elections Department to launch campaigns for the two open SFD Governing Board seats and, even though soundly defeated in the May recall election, so too did former Board members, Dave Blauert and Phyllis Erick!
However, the August 8, 2012 deadline for submission of documents containing the number of registered voter signatures necessary for Blauert and Erick to appear on the November ballot, came and went. Nazih Hazime and Scott Jablow had obtained and submitted far more than the minimum number of signatures necessary for nomination, but Dave Blauert and Phyllis Erick failed to do so – effectively terminating bids to regain their lost seats on the Sedona Fire District Governing Board.
There was a subsequent two-week window during which a citizen could file with the Yavapai County Elections Department to become an official write-in candidate for the SFD Governing Board election.
No one filed.
As there are two seats open and only two candidates who filed, there is NO NEED for a Sedona Fire District Governing Board election in November of 2012.
Hazime and Jablow will be appointed to the open seats on the SFD Governing Board, duly sworn, and both will begin four year terms in January of 2013, and the Sedona Fire District will put the budgeted allotment for the November election to much better use.
The Sedona Fire District Governing Board recall process is now over. It is expected that SFD taxes will remain dollar neutral, Station #6 appears slated to become a reality, and first response times will become equitable throughout the Sedona Fire District.
And last, but not least, the Sedona Fire District Governing Board will function in the transparent, fiscally responsible, respectful, professional and outstanding manner of which all SFD citizens may be proud.
In June of 2011, if those few citizens standing outside Sedona Fire Station #1 after a particularly disturbing Sedona Fire District Governing Board meeting could have envisioned the perfect ending, THIS would have been it!