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Elections 2016 with Eddie Maddock

SedonaEye.com columnist Eddie Maddock

SedonaEye.com columnist Eddie Maddock

Sedona AZ (April 23, 2016) – As the national election continues to heat up, it’s almost overwhelming. Even attempting to escape the ongoing rhetoric becomes next to impossible, and the most we can hope for is the outcome to be in accord with the will of the people and not special interests when such decisions do not adhere to the policy of serving the public at large.

The population’s unrest and discontent appears to be at an all time high, and that is largely due to questionable decisions and lack of cooperation by our elected officials. When personal agendas and egos take precedence the public frequently is forced to take a back seat, and the result is what we now witness with the unpopular ratings of Congressional leaders and the direction of our country in general.

Not to be forgotten, Sedona will also be having an election. When the State of Arizona changed the voting dates a couple of years ago, from the Primary in March and the General vote in May to August and November, respectively, it created somewhat of a snag for Sedona registered voters considering many residents vacation during the summer months, leaving them out of touch with local issues and potential input for important changes to our future. It also affords an opportunity for presently seated council members to slip through and approve controversial issues during the absence of so many citizens.

Sedona City Councilor Mark DiNunzio

Sedona City Councilor Mark DiNunzio

Along with the two-year term for Mayor, four city council positions are also up for grabs: the slot for the two remaining years vacated by Angela LeFevre, and four year terms of John Martinez, Mark DiNunzio, and Jessica Williamson will be decided.

Reports of a recent health issue pertaining to Vice Mayor Mark DiNunzio raises questions of his potential to enter the race again after having served for seven years. He is presently recovering at home after undergoing bypass surgery.

Via a “Sedona City Talk” column that’s shared with all local media sources, in February of this year, it was Mr. DiNunzio’s turn to express his personal opinions and thoughts. The following are some excerpts from his article:

I volunteered to be of service to a community of people that I had come to love. I dedicated myself to participate in municipal government as a servant and guardian, not as a governor or ruler. I pledged to listen; to study; to engage and to make decisions based not on what I thought or what I wanted but rather on facts, information and the will of the people.”

More often than not there was more than one way evident to proceed. Always the questions were asked ‘What do the people want?’ and ‘What is the will of the people?’ When the peoples position clearly favored a particular conclusion, for me that was the course of action to be taken.”

Over the seven years, there have been topics that had broad implications for the majority of us that stirred the citizenry to action. Taking ownership of Highway 89A in West Sedona was one. More recently, asking the federal government to declare greater Sedona a national monument was another. Based on citizen reaction to Council’s action, your City Council got the first one wrong and got the second one right.”

Now we are confronted with the idea that turning our household trash collection and recycling effort over to the city and a chosen single company is better for us collectively.

As word of the issue became public knowledge, literally hundreds of residents, if not more, have written and called the city with direct feedback on the idea. The overwhelming majority of respondents to date have expressed opposition to the city government expanding its reach into trash collection service. Most write that they want to retain the choice of how and by whom their trash is collected and disposed of. For them, it is not a matter of personal benefit. They are against increased government rule.”

As expressed, the position of limiting government and protecting individual freedom of choice seems consistent with the principles of our Community (General) Plan. It also reminds me that as a new city (incorporated in 1988), our community and many of our community services existed long before there was a central government here. Our public library, animal humane society, adult community center and food bank are a few examples. All continue to serve us privately without government management.”

Sedona AZ

Sedona AZ

Mark DiNunzio stood tall in recognizing and acknowledging the “will of the people” and proved it by speaking against moving forward at the recent city council meeting when the remaining six supported approving an additional approximate amount of $40,000 to obtain bids from garbage haulers for the city contract.

Of the seven, only Mark DiNunzio was willing to put aside his own agenda or beliefs in what he might have personally preferred and thought was best for the community. He had the courage to remove himself from denying the reality of the vast opposition to this proposal. It will remain appreciated that at least one of our elected officials acknowledged the “literally hundreds of residents, if not more” that “want to retain the choice of how and by whom their trash is collected and disposed of.”

imagine sedona community plan

Has Mr. DiNunzio always made favorable decisions to suit the residents? Of course not. But by reflecting on at least one past decision that had a resounding reaction via ballot measures – Referendum & Initiative – he is astute and aware of potential repercussions. However, because of the timing of this critically unpopular issue, it’s apparent it allows the remaining council members perhaps a solid opportunity to approve the deal with chances being slim to none for repercussion, considering the decision will be made during the summer vacation months when an effort to undo the unpopular action would be difficult to obtain signatures.

We will see what they are made of very quickly. They will either serve themselves because they can or embrace the opportunity to uphold the Oath of Office they swore to when they agreed to represent us.







I, (name of candidate)

do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution and laws of the State of Arizona, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same and defend them against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge the duties of the office of Councilor, according to the best of my ability, so help me God (or so I do affirm).

/signatures and date

Yes, those are the very words they promised and, as of this writing, Vice Mayor DiNunzio appears to be the only one that took them seriously since he has admitted and recognized the will of the people as being to drop the city garbage collection issue and disapprove of spending even more money for the contract bids. But it’s happening anyway.

Thank you, Mr. D. May you live a long, healthy, and happy life and remain proud of your honorable service to Sedona.

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Read www.SedonaEye.com for daily news and interactive views!


  1. HW says:

    Oh no, it’s perfectly legal for the city to control trash. Many other cities and towns do so. The problem here is this city council and staff refuse to accept the 700 or 800 people that expressed objection (emails, phone calls and petitions). They believe they don’t understand the issue and represent just a vocal minority . Of course based on the silent majority, that may or may not be true but those that speak up shouldn’t be ignored. We spend 4 to 6 months out of Sedona and do not think it will be fair to be stuck with year-round service. This is also discriminating against garbage companies for them to be the only service that is scrutinized. As others mentioned, what about pest control companies. This is just not right. Sedona residents are doing just fine with their choice of garbage haulers. Butt out, City Hall. Spend your time socializing with your pets at the Chamber.

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