By Donna Joy Varney, Sedona Resident
(January 31, 2014)
Dear Mayor Rob Adams & [City of Sedona] Councilors,
I have lived in Sedona for over 20 years, lived in Kachina Subdivision for 18-19 of them. Our city was just a few years old when my family moved here. When the Sedona Marathon was created 8 years ago by Four Winds Adventures, LLC. I supported it. In fact I have supported it all along. Four Winds Adventures, LLC are still the legal owners according to our Secretary of State today, I understand that Jennifer Wesselholf, the Chamber took over the running of the event.
My reason for writing you has nothing to do with an event. I want to ask you when did the City of Sedona changed their policy on road closures? Since I understand City Council sets the policy and then the City Manager is responsible to implement those polices that are set by City Council. Please correct me if I wrong.
Every year since I lived here I have been promptly given notice from the City of Sedona on any road closures. I recall being given notice every year way ahead of the Marathon that the entrance of my subdivision would be semi block during the day of the Marathon. This notice came from the City.
Was blocking the entrance an inconvenience for family? Yes, but I happily reorganized my family, planning, who had to be where and made plans to do so. Do we all want Sedona to prosper? Yes. Do I volunteer, sponsor and put on special events to promote Sedona without any funds from the City? Yes.
A very wise long term Sedona resident made me calm down last night, and asked me some questions. I will follow her lead and ask you some of those questions she asked me and a few more as I truly would like to understand.
- Since the Sedona Marathon has been going by our neighbor for 8 years why did the routes get changed to enter into a subdivision?
- Why was the policy changed in regards to the City not being responsible to send out notice or information on our road access as they have every other year?
- When did the City change the policy to permit Public Events in Subdivisions? No other special event has ever been held in a subdivision, one access. If the City approved the closure of a road or complete subdivision why would the City not send out notices?
- Did the Marathon add additional runs and more people?
- Why was the subdivision route though Thunder Mountain aborted?
I do have several more but will stop with these for now. Citizens Engagement, as you all know I support. I endorse it, embrace it, well I love it. Total Quality Management creates transparency, accountability, measurements for successes and failures, makes improvements, creates teamwork and involvement. LOVE it beyond words. That is why I preach it, and have taught it.
So I will end it will this. No one likes to be discarded. Nor do they like to be considered an “inconvenience”.
Can you please enable, endorse and embrace Citizens engagement for any and all special events that would close off a subdivision? Would you please set a policy that no special event would be approved without the City of Sedona contacting the residents letting them know about the intentions? If you like the special event to pay for the mailing then please vote to charge them as part of the event permit process.
By doing this I know from experience everyone will work together for a better Sedona.