With final results in, the Sedona City Council will have two new faces come November.

For the three four-year council seats, Vice Mayor John Martinez retained his seat while challengers Joe Vernier and John Currivan won the second and third seats, ahead of incumbent Councilwoman Jessica Williamson, who was not reelected. The race was a statistical dead heat, as only a few percentage points separated the top and bottom vote-getters.

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The Tuesday, Aug. 30, primary election over, but final results are still being tallied, so it’s still too close to call some races on the ballot.

However, looking toward November, there is one key election important to all Sedona area residents — the Sedona-Oak Creek School District Governing Board.

Current board members John D. Miller, Bobbie Surber and Tommy Stovall have all gracefully decided to step aside and not run for reelection, although the ever-loquacious Stovall did initially pull a campaign packet.

We thank these officials for their service on the board.

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On Aug. 23, our newsroom in Cottonwood was among several businesses at 830 S. Main Street evacuated due to a bomb threat.

The threat did not target our newsroom specifically, but rather the general complex, which includes several financial services offices, an insurance company, a medical marijuana certification center and a drug-testing facility.

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Election day is Tuesday, Aug. 30. The mayor’s and the two-year council seat will likely be decided then. With four candidates running for three four-year seats, under our current state laws, the highest statistical probability is that two candidates will be elected with the other two in a runoff for the third seat until Tuesday, Nov. 8. Slightly less statistically probable is that all three seats will be filled with one candidate left out.

All the candidates running for office, incumbents and challengers alike have said they want to tackle Sedona’s traffic problems, but are ambiguous about the details.
Part of this perennial ambivalence is what prompted us to draft and publish our two-page map spread “A Comprehensive List of Potential Improvements to Fix Sedona Traffic” in our Nov. 6 edition.

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The primary election is Tuesday, Aug. 30. Until 2014, Sedona City Council elections would kick off in March and conclude in May. The council election was also divorced from other ballots, meaning Sedona voters had one campaign on which to decide.

Two years ago, thanks to changes implemented by Arizona state legislators, all general elections moved to November, meaning local elections are on the same ballot as national races. Primary elections moved to August and because municipal council elections are nonpartisan, the Aug. 30 vote is the one that decides city and town elections with the November ballot reserved for runoffs, if applicable.

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The 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, wrap up on Sunday, Aug. 21. Some 11,551 athletes from 207 nations participated in 306 events in 28 sports.

In ancient Greece, athletes from the various kingdoms and city-states would meet at the Temple of Zeus in Olympia on the Peloponnese to compete in honor of the gods.

The so-called Olympic Truce did not halt wars between these states as many people believe — human warfare is perhaps our one unifying constant — but it did permit athletes and pilgrims to travel freely from their home cities to the games and back under the protection of Zeus.

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