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Sedona Voters Prevail in Court Against City

Sedona AZ (August 9, 2018) – The city of Sedona announces that the Permanent Base Adjustment initiative will be on its November 6 ballot. In a stunning legal setback, City Attorney Robert Pickels asked Arizona Liberty to withdraw its August 3, 2018 Yavapai County Superior Court lawsuit against the City after for illegally invalidating its citizens’ initiative to place a Permanent Base Adjustment on the November 6, 2018 ballot.

Arizona Liberty agreed to drop its lawsuit if the City agreed to restore signatures previously disqualified by the Sedona City Clerk. The Sedona City Clerk will restore an initiative to establish a Permanent Base Adjustment to the city’s expenditure authority to the November 6 ballot.

“Arizona Liberty is pleased with this resolution of this lawsuit,” said Dwight Kadar, party to the Arizona Liberty lawsuit.

Sedona City Attorney Robert Pickels admits he erred in advising city clerk Susan Levine that removing petition signatures was within her authority.

“The role of verifying validity of signatures belongs to the county recorders,” said Pickels.

The review process is established by the Arizona Legislature with guidance from the secretary of state, and the process for removing ineligible signatures is governed by A.R.S 19-121.01-04. Restoring the removed signatures will result in a total of 429 signatures, the precise number needed for the initiative to qualify for the ballot.

The proposal on the November 6 ballot would establish a permanent expenditure limit of approximately $25.2 million subsequent to the Home Rule vote scheduled for the August 28 primary ballot. If approved, it would effectively cap all future city spending to roughly half of the city’s annual expenditures for the past five years.

The city of Sedona will conduct its 2018 primary election Tuesday, August 28, and its general election Tuesday, November 6, 2018.

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4 Comments

  1. Mark says:

    Read in Facebook people in town are being told not to buy from folks voting no on home rule. Isn’t that illegal to do like threats? Shameful. Disgusting. I’ll vote no now.

  2. Sam Tardio says:

    This is not true; “The proposal on the November 6 ballot would establish a permanent expenditure limit of approximately $25.2 million subsequent to the Home Rule vote scheduled for the August 28 primary ballot. If approved, it would effectively cap all future city spending to roughly half of the city’s annual expenditures for the past five years.”

    The cap with PBA will be $36M and the budget has been inflated as usual and to also include construction projects. The $36M is $3M more than the last 5 years except for this year which had more expenses than ever. A new council will clean up the waste before PBA takes effect but even if not the State offers a yearly override that can cover everything even the construction if we wanted. That has to be approved by the citizens which gives us oversight on the council stopping irresponsible spending.

  3. Jules says:

    @SamTardio Good work finding that incorrect number, no excuses should be made for the city numbers.

  4. JeanJ says:

    I am outraged that mine was one of the 111 eligible signatures not counted on the $36 million PBA Petition filed with City Clerk Susan Irvine merely because I live in the Coconino County portion of Sedona instead of within Yavapai County. A resident’s county has nothing to do with his or her eligibility to sign a petition involving a city election.

    The City of Sedona violated State law ARS 19-121.01-04. In the August 10, 2018 RED ROCK NEWS “City Attorney Robert Pickels said he erred in advising City Clerk Susan Irvine that removing 35 non-residents from an initial review of petition signatures was within her authority….The role of verifying validity of signatures belongs to the county recorders.”

    No lawsuit would be required had the 111 valid signatures from Sedona residents of Coconino County been included among the count of eligible signatures. In my opinion, it was a crime that litigation was needed to get the City of Sedona to follow the law.

    Link: http://www.sedonaaz.gov/home/showdocument?id=35241
    Entered Under the “# of Signatures” column on the 2nd page is the “Less Signatures Removed for: Not County of Majority on Petition -111”.

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