Yavapai College officials say they’re making a concerted effort to improve the lines of communication between the college and the residents of the Verde Valley.

But it’s evident that there are still old wounds that have yet to heal. Many on this side of Mingus Mountains feel they’re not getting nearly enough bang for their tax buck in terms of the disproportionate amount of funding and resources that goes to the Prescott campus.

The four candidates running for three open seats on the Sedona-Oak Creek School District Governing Board agree on one thing: If elected, they would freeze SOCSD Superintendent David Lykins’ salary until district teachers’ earn a living wage.

“I think that’s the direction we should go,” candidate Heather Hermen said during the League of Women Voters Greater Verde Valley-hosted candidate forum held Wednesday, Sept. 28, at the Jewish Community of Sedona and the Verde Valley.

A month ago, Jeff Brumbaugh received something that came as quite a shock — an eviction notice taped to his door.

For the last year and a half, Brumbaugh and his wife have been living at the Royal Crest Apartments, a 16-unit complex [both one and two-bedroom units] on Sombart Lane off State Route 179. Compared to many who have been renting there for 10 years or more, the Brumbaughs were relative newcomers.

“In July we all had a letter taped to our front doors announcing that the complex had been sold,” he said. “We were the only ones who still had a lease contract — everyone else was already month to month. Then, on Aug. 29, we all got another letter stating that we had to be out by Oct. 31 because they were turning the complex into daily and weekly rentals.”

This summer, the city of Sedona made it clear that it was against Senate Bill 1350, which allows short-term vacation rentals throughout the state. And while the city may have a limited voice, it doesn’t mean it has to be completely silent.  

On May 12, Gov. Doug Ducey signed Senate Bill 1350 into law and it goes into effect Jan. 1. Because Sedona’s ban on short-term rentals is no longer valid, the city is developing policies around areas like licensing, registration of an emergency contact and collection of taxes on properties permitted to operate under the provisions of the law.

On Tuesday, Oct. 11, the Sedona City Council will see a proposed ordinance that better defines what the city is allowed to require of those seeking to rent their homes on a short-term basis.

Within the city limits of Sedona live a little more than 10,000 residents. But on almost any given day that population more than doubles as a result of the area’s No. 1 industry — tourism.

Hundreds of business owners, residents and invited guests filled the ballroom at the Poco Diablo Resort on Tuesday, Sept. 20, to get an update on tourism in the area and its impact on the local economy during the Sedona Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting.

The popular Red Rock Fantasy is returning — sort of.

For 22 years, Red Rock Fantasy was a must-see for residents and visitors. After a four-year hiatus, this community event will return to Sedona at its new home, Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village. Free to the community, this daily light festival — which is part of Holiday Central Sedona — is from dusk to 9 p.m. and a free trolley will be available every Friday and Saturday evening [except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day].

When it comes to future growth of wireless communications in Sedona, the city’s hands are pretty much tied — but with a little wiggle room.

That sentiment was shared during a joint work session of the Sedona City Council and Planning and Zoning Commission on Wednesday, Sept. 14. There, they received an update on the city’s proposed wireless master plan by Susan Rabold, a consultant with CityScape.

Since meeting with council in July, CityScape staff has completed assessments of the existing wireless infrastructure in Sedona and developed propagation maps from their recent assessments.

The city of Sedona is now on the clock to decide whether it will intervene on behalf of its residents regarding demand charges and net metering as proposed by Arizona Public Services.

The Sedona City Council spent about 90 minutes discussing the issue on Tuesday, Sept. 13, with at least one additional meeting proposed with representatives from APS. Both Mayor Sandy Moriarty and City Manager Justin Clifton asked the audience and guest speakers to keep the discussion polite and professional, since it had the potential to become a heated discussion. As a precautionary measure, there were three Sedona police officers assigned to the majority of the meeting.

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