The upcoming Sedona election ballot has a proposition on it asking the Sedona voters to repeal the direct election of mayor.

Contrary to what some people are saying, the city did not deliberately stack the deck against voting for the mayor.

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Our city of Sedona finances are a matter of public record and in my many years of reviewing the city budget, Sedona is very good at making public records available to all Sedona residents.

All the financial information residents want to know, and then some, is available for inspection on the Web at www.SedonaAz.gov. Residents can also retrieve all the city financial information they can handle from the Sedona city clerk.

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The Sedona election has already turned ugly.

In a “he said/no, he said,” controversy during the recently held forum at the Keep Sedona Beautiful encampment, both

candidates for mayor presented different stories on how a possible open meetings law violation caused one of the

candidates not to attend the forum.

Apparently, City Councilman Jerry Frey was told it would be a violation if he, current Mayor Rob Adams and two current City Council members attended the same forum this past Thursday night.

This is a fact. It is an open meetings violation if four or more council members attend any function together.

What makes this truly interesting is that former KSB President Barbara Litrell filed a violation notice with the state’s attorney general, claiming that four council members had dinner together this past year when decisions were made regarding the lights on State Route 89A in West Sedona.

Ironically, it’s those very lights and the lack of light or the so-called Vegas night lights that have made this an election that looks like it could be the dirtiest of all time here in Sedona.

SedonaElection.com has been created to supposedly give the “facts” regarding all candidates running for council and mayor.

However, they are all members of a group fighting the possibility of lights on State Route 89A.

There is also a political action committee being promoted by Adams’ wife to make sure Adams gets the right people in office to support his agenda.

However, they did not interview all the candidates running.

Funny, I thought the mayor’s agenda should represent all Sedonans.

Oh, that’s right, a so-called “majority” of Sedona residents oppose the lights and support the proposed National Scenic Area legislation. Again, who says so?

They do. Who are “they,” you ask?

Apparently these are people who think they have answers to all the issues facing Sedona.

Why can’t they just let the residents of Sedona make informed, intelligent decisions based on facts rather than all this

propaganda being thrown around out there?

Why is it that the “side out of power” always complains when they don’t get their way, even if they are in the minority.

Why is it that the president of KSB basically handed an open microphone to the current mayor of Sedona and encouraged him to promote himself? This just doesn’t seem fair to me.

Who is Steve DeVol, current KSB president, and what has he done for Sedona, other than spout off about the proposed NSA legislation?

When are we going to learn that everyone has different

viewpoints and opinions on a variety of issues and that each of us has the responsibility to keep the facts straight? We should tell the truth when we speak and keep these biased, uninformed opinions out of city politics.

I encourage everyone to listen to all the campaign messages out there. Please make your own good, informed decision on the type of people we want to represent us and don’t buy into the nonsense that many naysayers are trying to cram down our throats.

 

Many people today are totally consumed by lobbyists in Washington, D.C., who actually seem to be running our country.

For some folks, the word “lobbyist” conjures up negative images and back room deals.

We can still remember how Jack Abramoff joked about how he ripped off the Native American tribes.

Imagine the country following the Civil War, dealing with carpetbaggers who were waving stacks of checks and flooding committee meeting rooms at the Capitol, while pressuring congressional representatives to vote their way.

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Many people throughout our community had another rough year in 2009.

Many thought that 2008 was as bad as it could get.

Well, sometimes things don’t quite turn around better than we hope for. It is just a fact of nature and in this case economic cause and effect has taken hold of our entire economy.

It did not help our local merchants along State Route 179 to have the construction in their front yards all year again, but that should change in 2010. Hopefully, it will end in early 2010.

I personally have had many challenges this past year, including taking on the duties of managing editor for these past 3 three months.

Thank God I had the support of a very good editorial staff, headed by Trista Steers. She has been a very strong news editor for the Sedona Red Rock News and will be a very good managing editor for all three of our newspapers once she has another few months under her belt.

It also has helped that I have moved Greg Ruland to Cottonwood. He has hit the streets running down there as the Cottonwood Journal Extra’s news editor, and it has relieved a lot of stress up here on the rest of us.

On a personal level, I was given another gift of life with the birth of my second grandson, Adam, born to Kyle and Stacy Larson. Kyle is currently working his way up the system and hopefully will be running this entire operation within the next five years.

It was a wonderful time at Christmas as Vicki and I shared time with Adam, 3 months old, and our older grandson, William, who is now a whopping 19 months old. Family is really an awesome thing to share and we are so blessed with all our family members.

There are still many things facing Sedona and our country right now. These things are going to take some time to fix.

But, the good news is that all those things can be fixed, and I feel we have some very competent people on our Sedona Fire District Governing Board and our City Council. These people take a lot of heat and yet they continue to move forward and try to accomplish what they all think is the right thing for Sedona.

Hopefully, 2010 is going to be the year that our state legislature and Congress make some moves to help get our economy back on track. The current forecast is for a 2.5 percent growth rate. I hope we get all of that and possibly just a little more.

We all need to do our part. Whether it be shopping at our local merchants to help them and Sedona’s economy or making that much needed donation to your favorite local charity. They all need our help right now.

It is through community that we can all get through these times and only a community can keep us strong and hopeful as we move forward into the unknown of another year full of questions.

Please, be kind to one another, treat each other with respect and last but not least, take care of yourself.

We hope to keep you informed throughout all of 2010 with the news in our community that you need to make the best decisions possible to enrich your lives.

 

To say the community of Sedona has an interesting mix of people would be an understatement.

This town has more than its share of so-called professionals. Ironically, living here for more than 45 years, it never ceases to amaze me how the “new guy” in town has all the answers that will fix Sedona’s myriad problems.

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