By Tommy Acosta
Sedona, AZ — Holy Mackerel Batman! While everybody talks about how being the mayor of Sedona is like being a glorified council member with the ability to direct meetings, etc., there are powers that can be allotted to the mayor that can almost be perceived as frightening.
Did you know that Sedona’s mayor, can, by proclamation, declare a local emergency to exist due to fire, conflagration, flood, earthquake, explosion, war, bombing or any other natural or manmade calamity or disaster, as well in the event of the threat or occurrence of riot, rout or other acts of civil disobedience which in the mayor’s opinion endanger life or property within the city?
And after the declaration of such emergency, the mayor can govern indefinitely by mandates and impose all necessary regulations to preserve the peace and order of the city, including but not limited to:
- Imposition of a curfew in all or any portion of the city;
- Ordering the closing of any business;
- Closing to public access any public building, street or other public place;
- Calling upon regular or auxiliary law enforcement agencies and organizations within or without the political subdivision for assistance.
Who would have thought the mayor could have such power, including the ability to close businesses if they believe it best to do so, without council consent or approval?
Rather than listening to promises that may or not be kept, shouldn’t we be paying attention to what our future mayor would to do in an emergency without the approval of the council like the mask mandate imposed during the height of the pandemic?
This is serious business. We need to know how our future mayor would act facing any of the aforementioned emergencies.
With the economy tanking and the possibility of cities running out of food and sustenance, one can envision people heading north to find food, coming into Sedona and disrupting our way of life.
So how far would any of the mayoral candidates be willing to go?
Do they have plans on how to deal with such emergencies as the sole leader and decision maker on how to handle them?
I’ll bet no one has considered this yet. We need to know how “Draconian” each candidate may be willing to go. We need to understand the character of the candidates and not just the platforms they are running under.
These are the most important questions to answer.
Will they rule by proclamation without seeking council input or support? Remember, it’s not the council’s privilege to vote to declare a state of emergency. This is all the mayor’s right and domain.
Will they consider the council, and work as a team to thwart peril?
When deciding whom to elect the people need to know how each of the candidates would act. This is the most important issue of all to consider in this coming mayoral election. Which one is the true leader?
Tommy wernt you around during the pandemic?..you saw exactly what the mayor can do with closing businesses…..My guess mayor sandy doesn’t have to answer your ridicules question or she would still be mayor….Right? So you want the mayor to run on doom and gloom? I understand you write to get responses, but your articles seam to be getting stranger and more negative than ever before?
The mayor is a figurehead……PERIOD!
Are you a fan of Mayor Sandy? Did you forget she imposed a mask mandate on us? I remember that council meeting where the naive counselors thought they had a voice in the decision only to realize stupidly that the mayor already had made up her mind and whatever they said did not matter. No one has looked at it since and it was Steve Segner in a comment that brought it to light. So glad Tommy picked up on that. We don’t want a dictator for mayor. The power to shut down businesses and declare curfews is there. This is dangerous in the wrong hands.
Totally untrue. I did listen to both the councilors and the public. All councilors agreed, and of the 400 emails I received, 80% were in favor of the mask mandate. Was the proclamation drafted? Yes, but had I heard significant opposition, I certainly could have chosen not to do it. I understand you didn’t like it, but the majority did.
Sorry. I was here during the pandemic. I saw what happened. I believed Dr. Fauci when he said masks are useless against Covid.
Yes, the mayor is mostly a figurehead unless they declare an emergency. Then everything changes and their power is manifest.
I feel before a mayor can take drastic action there must be council consensus. Given today’s climate and the possibility of real emergencies, those powers allotted to the mayor must be taken into account and I would like to know whether they would rule by mandate or vote.
And thank you for your regular commentaries. They add so much to our publication.
Thank you Tommy for uncovering this can of worms no one else has looked at. When the mayor proclaimed her mask mandate during the pandemic, I was shocked. Until that moment I supported her but after she did that, I will never support her again. I made sure never to wear a mask no matter where I was. Thank God the Governor eliminated her ability to continue it because if he had not we would still be wearing masks today. I choose not to live in fear. And wake up Sedona Dave. The mayor should not have such powers if they declare an emergency. In that case the mayor is not just a figure head. They become dictators.
Candace is totally correct.
Also , if the Mayor brow beats the Council to vote for what she/he wishes, such as handing over several millions of City dollars per year to a so-called chamber of Commerce to advertise for more crushing visitor traffic and STR, etc. is totally abusive, damaging to the City residents and wrong. A simple look at history should show everyone if this is or has been the case. Everyone should review Home Rule and vote against it, or we will continue to have a Council that goes and votes against the wishes of the residents of Sedona without any control.
I never knew the mayor had such power. I always thought they were just rubber stampers on the council. I did not even believe Tommy when he noted all those powers in his editorial so I looked it up myself and it’s true. The powers of a Sedona mayor in an emergency are unbelievable. They can do whatever pretty much they want without the council being involved. Here is the link for those who do not believe me.
You bet I want to know where the candidates stand on this one.
It is crucial that the City prepares for all potential emergencies as best it can.
The Mayor’s job is to be prepared to lead. I will call upon the professionals’ knowledge base who are best equipped to provide the information necessary to handle the unique emergency. As Mayor I would assess the information, listen to Council members and residents. I would not hesitate to make informed decisions.
We generally base solutions for future emergencies on past emergencies, learning from the successes, as well as the repercussions of poor decisions and failures.
Having experienced first hand the draconian will of ineffective and obtrusive regulations in Los Angeles California during the “pandemic” at the whim of totalitarian leadership, I moved home to Sedona to seek relief in freedom for myself and my son.
I was appalled to discover upon our arrival home, that Mayor Moriarty had mandated that everyone wear masks. Not only did she not confer with the Council, which is her right, she did not even bother to provide the Council members with a copy of her declaration at the meeting, June 23, 2020.
Though he had no say in the matter, Scott Jablow agreed to and likened the decision of a mask mandate to the critical measures taken after 9/11. Clear and critical thinking is imperative, not overreactive comparisons.
Behavior such as that of the Mayor and Vice Mayor makes it painfully clear why it is imperative to elect someone who values common sense and your Constitutional rights. I am that person.
Upon being elected, even prior to stepping into office in January 2023, I will begin the process of examining critical emergency measures currently in place throughout the City experience.
Our Fire Emergency preparations are well practiced due to the unfortunate fact that fires are common in our area.
Other aspects to consider are:
• Police readiness including training, equipment and protocols for active shooter incidents.
• School safety measures.
• Water supply, reliability and shortage preparation.
• Understand and prepare for food sustainability, Sedona specific supply chains, and support of local and community growers. Determine the actual needs of the local, permanent population, regular workforce, and ancillary food needs. How many days supply do we currently have on hand? What is needed beyond the three day periods?
• Black Swan events – There is truly no way to plan for those. Instead, I hope to help build a community of confident, capable adults and children who are “anti-fragile” and are able to thrive regardless of the circumstances.
Thank you Samaire for having the guts to address this issue. You are the only candidate for mayor to make their position clear on this. I was going to vote for someone else but now I changed my mind and I am going to vote for you. And I am going to tell all my friends they should vote for you too.
Just make sure the election is actually free and fair. The best person will win. In my opinion the person who left that comment above. Be rational, do your honework.
The mayor Controls the narrative at council meetings. Seen it many many times. Rather important even though the mayor has only one vote.
Leadership in emergencies is one thing, writing edicts like we’re a bunch of third graders is another. Providing choices for people to make is leadership. We saw that from the governor of S. Dakota and other states that treated their populations like responsible adults during COVID.
I totally disagree that our mayor is a figurehead. So many things that need to happen require the leadership, orgaizational skill and personality to bring the other players in the Verde Valley together. The different city and county Governments, NFS and state agencies like ADOT, Attorney General office and other state departments. Without this organizational and personal leadership things in the valley don’t happen.
Sedona is one of the main driving economic forces in the Valley.
The entire Valley prosperous on our tourism, and so does the state. That has to be leveraged in negotiations. That’s has not been happening.
That is way up there on the responsibility list for the Mayor.
Sandy must go! Her only interests are helping resorts take over the town. These resorts do little to help Sedona. They are unable to pay a livable wage, even if home prices were slashed in half. They routinely break Sedona sound ordinances, they litter, they are nuisance to neighbors, and do next to nothing to control their drunk and rowdy guests. Their parking spills into neighborhoods and yet, more and more are going up, rather than actual workforce housing.
Sandy has no plans for workforce housing. She rather place blame on Airbnb, and wipe her hands clean because she “can’t do anything about it.” She can. There are empty lots up and down 89a. Why is the city not working with developers on actual workforce housing? Million dollars mansions, tucked up in the Red Rocks, in one of the most expensive markets in the country, is NOT workforce housing. Sedona needs a few substantial apartment buildings to solve the workforce issue.
Sedona could have responsible tourism, with resorts, and short-term rentals, that appease all types of travelers, AND plenty of workforce housing… but we are failing to integrate ideas.
Sandy is careless and shows a severe lack of concern for the residences of Sedona. She is not willing to compromise or search for solutions that benefit all. She is stuck in her ways.
Hi Jenna, It is my understanding the City of Sedona/Mayor and City Council is currently working with a developer to develop 46 affordable workforce housing units (called Sunset Lofts) on the east side of Sunset Drive behind Walgreens. There would be 20, one-bedroom units and 26, two-bedroom units.
Here are the key provisions of the proposed Development Agreement that is being considered. You can learn more about the Sunset Lofts project by going on the City of Sedona website.
Development Agreement – Key Provisions
• City contribution will not exceed $4.2 million in the form of a loan secured by Deed
of Trust and Promissory Note. Total project budget $13.3 million.
• 46 apartment units with rents set to serve income qualified tenants at 80, 90 and
100% of area median income (AMI).
• City will share in net revenue, which will be reinvested into affordable housing fund.
• 5% management fee to Owner
• 1% of outstanding loan balance to City
• Remainder 50/50 between Owner and City
• Reserved for those working full-time within the City.
• Affordability and workforce requirements ensured by a 50-year Land Use Restriction
An Emergency Proclamation does give power to the Mayor, but only justifiably related to the actual emergency, not when it comes to regular city business, a meaningful difference. If the Mayor tries to exceed that authority, the City Attorney would definitely advise against it, and actions taken to the contrary could be invalidated.