Residents have seen the usual uptick in traffic this spring, with seasonal monumental delays.

The traffic adjustments in Uptown — jaywalking barriers, the temporary median and police officers controlling the lights — have helped, but there is little anyone can do to speed up traffic on State Route 179. West Sedona has seen clogs at the lights and slowgoing from Soldier Pass Road to Arroyo Piñon Drive.

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Imagine the only voice from Congress that Americans heard from was the Speaker of the House. Members of the House of Representatives would not speak to their constituents and every question proffered to them, whether in their local offices, at public events, or before or after major votes was answered with, “I am unable to speak on the matter. Please direct your question to the Speaker of the House, the only person who can speak on behalf of Congress.”

Insanity, right? Undemocratic? Illogical for an elected body?

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While many of Sedona’s events strive to bring tourists to the city, the St. Patrick’s Parade is one of the few big ones aimed primarily at locals, though visitors are obviously more than welcome to attend.

Schoolchildren, businesses, clubs and nonprofits from around Sedona and the Verde Valley will be joined by public officials and municipal staff and representatives of Sedona, Cottonwood, Camp Verde, both Yavapai and Coconino counties, the U.S. Forest Service and the Yavapai-Apache Nation. Entrants come from as far away as Chino Valley and Flagstaff.

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As the weather warms and people begin to get out more, we are sharing common spaces we had avoided when it was colder, snowing or raining over the winter.

It also means we are exposing ourselves to more viruses and infections that have had time to incubate in relative isolation. Heading to work and sending children back to school means those viruses find new incubators — humans — spending hours together in confined spaces.

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On the surface, an Arizona state senator from Chandler and Gilbert may be responsible for raising your sewer fees by 7 percent, should his Senate Bill 1430 pass. The bill would negate Sedona’s ordinance charging sewer fees on vacant parcels not connected to the city’s sewer system.

Sen. Warren Petersen [R-District 12] drafted the bill and the only member of the public to speak is a retired Maricopa County judge who, by sheer coincidence, also owns land in Sedona, which by sheer coincidence, is the only one of Arizona’s 91 municipalities that charges such a fee.

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When elected officials declare they will not speak to the media or only to certain members and not others, it raises red flags in our republic.

There is no law requiring elected officials to speak to the press. Legally speaking, officials could hide behind closed doors, only coming out to debate and vote in public meetings.

But officials need the public to support their decisions after enactment and, if so attempted, to get re-elected when their terms end.

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