By Tommy Acosta
(July 26, 2018)
Think of two words that encapsulate the premise of the American Revolution; two words that led to the penning of the Declaration of Independence; two words that gave our founding fathers the reason, the will, the strength and determination to turn their plows into guns and force the British overseers out of our country.
What are these two words for which the founding fathers fought and died for? Two words that inspired the brave men and women of America in 1776 to say no to “Mad” King George’s rule and unshackle themselves from the tyranny of the monarch and his army?
That’s right. HOME RULE! The Revolutionary War was all about Home Rule. We could no longer allow an outside authority to determine our fate and tax us without representation. So we picked up our weapons, left our families and went to war for the right to rule our homes; for the right to rule our country.
The ideal of home rule, of being able to determine our own fate, is ingrained in the fiber and psyche of America.
Fast-forward to today and the recent effort here in Sedona by individuals seeking to surrender our local government’s right to Home Rule.
Giving the state dominion over our city’s budget would be like giving the reigns of our country back to England.
Home Rule is as American as apple pie. Messing with it undermines the foundation our country stands upon.
If the anti-home rule candidates running in this election want to limit the budget to their specifications, then do so as representatives of the people rather than lap dogs of the state.
These candidates should have the confidence in themselves to control the budget rather than have to rely on the state to do it for them.
There are those who would argue that the state is simply imposing a budget ceiling and they are not controlling it. However, by setting a ceiling they also control how much we can spend on line items, forcing us to make painful choices between what we can fund and not, thereby controlling us in that manner.
Most of the anti-home rule candidates running for the Sedona city council this election hope to do what’s best for the city, no doubt. These candidates can better improve their chances by dropping their reliance on the state to limit the city’s budget and rely on them selves instead.
There are arguments that Home Rule allows the city government to spend money like drunken sailors and is the root cause of all our traffic problems.
There are arguments that Home Rule is the lifeline that keeps our city and its environment strong and healthy.
The arguments have been lucid and well presented by both sides.
Beyond the scope of these arguments is the fact that Home Rule is the very reason our country came into existence. We are free today because our forefathers gave their lives to guarantee no one from the outside can ever rule over us again.
Consider this when voting to keep the right of Home Rule alive or send it to its death.
I don’t know how I missed this. Mighty slick of you Tommy finding the one vulnerability with the anti-home rule campaign and going right in for the kill. Yup. Unfortunately, you are right. Who the hell is against ruling from the home. It’s a psychological thing and you’re exploiting it. Our side should have used the legal term rather than going against the catchy home rule phrase. I blame whoever is the political mind behind our effort for screwing it up. And the fight for home rule back in 1776 is not the same as the fight we are waging right now. Neither has anything to do with the other. And how come you fail to make any argument at all for voting for home rule other than the redundant one that it irks you because you don’t like the sound of vote “no” on home rule? Doesn’t it bother you the chamber and council are so cozy, along with the local paper, spending money like drunken rock stars? (I’m tired of the drunken sailors metaphor). I mean, doesn’t it bother you all this traffic, especially these days, clogging our streets from one end of our city to the other? Oh wait. You would rather hug a tree than drive. Our aim is to get rid of every incumbent except one, take over the council and shape this city into our vision of what it should be. We got money. We got support. We are done with the old guard. Vote No on Home Rule!
Home rule would be ideal with a frugal majority city council. There has not been a frugal city council for years.
Lets take a possible future city council. Returning will be John Martinez and John Currivan. Possible newly elected council persons, Jessica Williamson, Scott Jablow and Janice Howes Hudson. Pick any other two, in this case it won’t matter. If you then take the tax and spend majority group of Martinez, Williamson, Jablow and Hudson, along with the blank check of home rule, you can count on more of what we have had the past four years.
Are you willing to take that risk?
If you vote yes on home rule, you are taking that risk.
I can run the city with or without home rule. I can’t change things unless WE have a frugal majority on city council.
No to incumbents and past government employees. No to home rule, don’t give local government a blank check.
Same thing, NO to unnecessary spending and a bottomless coffer mentality.
The voters said NO to the Sedona Fire District multimillion dollar renovations request by a large margin.
Say NO again to the Home Rule and get those over spenders out on all levels starting at the top.
This article did nothing to tug at my patriotic heartstrings, quite the opposite. Did you think you were talking to a bunch of fools?
Actually Sandy, I have this tiny-little Bonsai tree I keep with me in the front passenger seat of my car when I have to drive anywhere in Sedona. I don’t hug it. I pet it. (:->
Like I said before, I think there have been good arguments from both sides of the table and I give kudos to those willing to run for office and devote their time to participating in the democratic process.
I would not go as far as calling myself a Conservative but it just bugs me putting another level of government between us and our money.
If we want to limit the budget then let the will of the people manifest trough the PBA (Permanent Base Adjustment) on the ballot or replace the council with people who want to limit the budget through their own efforts rather than relying on the state to cap it.
Why the need for the state to be our nanny? We are grown ups and could do it ourselves.
And Tony, it’s admirable you are running for office. It’s just that I think you would have stood a better chance of winning running on your own merits rather than dovetailing to the anti-home rule faction.
As a veteran news reporter and editor in the Bronx in New York City for more than 20 years I have covered some really nasty election battles where fist fights and physical intimidation were the norm.
It’s standard practice for incumbents to defend their records and challengers to attack them. What varies is the degree of animosity and contention.
This election process in Sedona is all warm and fuzzy compared to those in the Bronx. For the most part the factions have been courteous and respectful to each other.
I had hoped to stay out of this one but as a business owner and one supportive of tourism it’s important to me that we maintain a healthy economy and visitor numbers.
Also, I find the concept of anti-home rule detestable for the reasons stated in my article. We don’t need an outside entity limiting our budget. Home rule is sacrosanct in my book.
In the years I have known the present mayor I have found her to be honest, industrious and passionate about preserving and promoting Sedona. Never once have I suspected her of having anything less that the best intentions for our city.
As an investigative reporter for many years I have a very sensitive nose for nefarious activities in the realm of the elected. The mayor and present council are clean in my judgement.
I have known the chamber president for many years. In my opinion she too truly cares about Sedona and has done a marvelous job bringing people to our community and sharing the beauty of Sedona with the world.
The present editor of the Red Rock News and I have had our differences during my tenure as editor of the Sedona Times. We have bumped heads more than once on various issues. Still, I have nothing but total respect for him.
He is a gifted writer, an award-winning editor, honest and one whose pen people should not take too lightly. He is motivated by a passion for journalistic principles and he is ferocious in his quest for the truth. This is a dangerous combination of qualities to those who twist it.
In closing, not for a second do I think I am talking to a bunch of fools, Mr. or Ms. SFD. Those who come to Sedona.biz to read and participate in the discussions are anything but that. These are concerned and involved, intelligent citizens who want what’s best for Sedona.
The fact is the Revolutionary war was fought for home rule. Plain and simple. When you consider all the reasons for the war, those two words is what it all boils down to.
“The foundation of Liberty rests upon our ability to rule ourselves–and it begins at home.”
Ha! Ha! Hah Tommy Acosta. You are so funny. I hope your little Bonsai Tree dries up from lack of water next time you are stuck in Sedona traffic for 12 hours. We don’t need no tourists. We need No Home Rule to get rid of them. They don’t buy nothing, get in the way and mess up our trails. It’s time to get rid of them so we retirees can get back to living a normal life. Tourists are ruining Sedona. Our quality of life continues to go downhill. We need to put the brakes on the Chamber. It’s the only way.
Hay, if you want to know what Home Rule does for the people look at Cottonwood. Most of them make $200,000 and they want to rase city sales tax. Cost overrun on projects. That’s what you got to gain with Home Rule. State laws is to help people by restraining local government from running wild. I say no to Home Rule but some people don’t understand or vote.
No, the two words that encapsulate the premise of the American Revolution were not “Home Rule” but F.U.
Like the American Revolutionists, we against the Home Rule establishment are sick of their (mis)Rule and are raising a stalwart and defiant middle finger.
Very clever there Warren but F.U. are two letters, not two words. And by the “stalwart and defiant middle finger” do you mean the state of Arizona? LOL Just having fun with this. Nothing personal. Write on!
Having lived in Sedona for 25 years, I have seen many changes throughout those many years. I have voted for Home Rule everytime it was on the ballot but one of the many changes I have seen is a City Council and Mayor that are fiscally out of control and need to be stopped.
Spending by the existing and previous councils has to be reset and the only way to do that is to vote NO on Home Rule in August and then increase the Permenent Base Adjustment to $36 million (which was last year’s actual spending) by voting YES on Permenent Base Adjustment in the mid-term elections. This will raise the State’s Permenent Base to $36 mil from the $24 mil that everyone is afraid of. By raising the base, NO city services will be cut.
Mr. Acosta, I don’t know if you were ever in the military but as a Vietnam Veteran, I take your Revolution analogy as an insult. The lives lost in the Revolutionary War were sacraficed for our individual freedoms. Comparing that to Sedona’s citizens wanting to halt the runaway spending of our city council is not even close.
Vote NO on Home Rule then vote Yes on Permenent Base Adjustment and be sure to vote out all of the incumbants so we can get some council members and Mayor who will listen more closely to the citizens of Sedona instead of catering to the tourists.
With all due respect for your service I have friends who served in the same war you did and they are staunch supporters of home rule.
Local control trumps external control. If the voting public wants to elect officials who will be more frugal with the city’s budget, so be it.
If they desire a Permanent Base Adjustment, so be it.
But the concept of home rule has been defended through the centuries by those willing to die or kill for the freedoms home rule provides.
My apologies if you feel offended but offense was not my intention.