Letters to the Editor, Feb. 10, 2006

There has to be more to it than pray, pay and obey

Editor:

I received the information that Bishop Olmsted in Phoenix was not allowing the organization, Call to Action to have a meeting about Democracy in the Catholic Church, at the St. John Vianney Church in Sedona.

PRAY, PAY, AND OBEY must be Bishop Olmsted's mantra.

What is happening with the Catholic Church is so sad. However, I see lots of cracks occurring in the walls of the fortress the somewhat feudal hierarchy has erected around themselves over the centuries, and, it would appear, reinforced when the recent sexual abuse scandal broke.

I have always felt that major change within the Church will come from within. And there are signs that this is happening with a few priests and even bishops speaking up around the world.

Actions like Bishop Olmsted's toward this simple Call to Action meeting involving democracy only hastens the day when that change will come.

Rob Bell

West Sedona

Encouragement is the kindling that warms a community

Editor:

I was disappointed in the recent article you choose to print memorializing the feud between our mayor and town manager. There are always two sides to every issue and I fail to see the value printing one side. In 17 years under a number of mayors and town managers, we never needed to lock our town maintenance yard. I can hardly express what a blessing that is.

The tragedy is not that this town manager failed to lock the maintenance yard, the tragedy is that our town has reached the place that we can not trust our neighbors. The current situation is sad at best.

As a planning and zoning commissioner and a director of the Chamber of Commerce I desire to withhold criticism of our town council and town staff. I support both groups and realize that they are trying. As a town citizen, I am sorrowed by the way that individuals are being treated. I dream that Camp Verde can be a place where everyone is treated with dignity and respect, where the town government works to serve the needs of all of the citizens equally, a great place to be born, grow, work, play and rest.

That dream is black and white now, a mere shadow of its potential. We seem to be filled with selfishness and petty cynicism. Our word as a community seems to have very little value and we appear to be willing to slander others because we don't like their opinion or ideas. I cringed seeing elected officials criticize paid staff members in the paper. I was appalled by an anonymous petition to discredit the town manager. I was heartbroken at a recent town council meeting when individuals slandered and hurled insults at others because they had opposing opinions.

Town staff is afraid to make decisions for fear of reprisal from the council, as a result of this town business grinds to a halt. Citizens need to be able to come to town and get answers that can be relied upon. Managers need to empower the staff to serve the public and the council needs to empower the managers to support the staff. When someone makes an error we need to forgive, forget and move on. Each of us has made plenty of errors and I am grateful that no one has an accounting of the errors I have personally made in my life.

Firing town managers and recalling elected officials is not productive. The cycle hurts everyone involved. I plead for everyone to step back and count our blessings. We need to find some hardworking underpaid town worker and thank them for their contribution, find something positive a council member has done and let them know we appreciate it. A few examples are Jackie Baker and Brenda Hauser. thank you for volunteering for absolutely everything. Tony, thanks for spending every available second of your life to know about what is happening in town; it would be impossible for anyone to put in more hours. Bill thanks for being such a great promoter of our community and for so many creative ideas about how to improve. I can't imagine more committed people. Keep up the great work. Encouragement is the kindling that builds warm fires to sit by, and criticism is like the water that puts them out. Let's build a fire together worth sharing with our grandchildren, our best days were not yesterday, but tomorrow. Let's invest in each other, share a bright future and celebrate a rich past.

Rob Witt

Camp Verde

Does 'beautiful' still apply to the Verde Valley?

Editor:

Camp Verde really needs an update on their post cards being sold at the Cottonwood Tourist Center. The cards state: "Camp Verde in the Beautiful Verde Valley."

I recently purchased a few to send to friends in hopes it would entice them to visit our wonderful town and surrounding areas. The more I thought about it, I realized I would be sending a very false statement.

With the Millwood Estates subdivision looking like it will start to become a part of Camp Verde, the new and updated post card will have roof-tops of homes in it instead of the picturesque scattering of farms and rural area. If this post card is replaced with another aerial shot, please instruct the photographer to aim carefully to avoid more homes in the surrounding areas.

Better yet, why not a shot of Main Street? At least it would be honest and not so misleading.

Sandi Ashton

Camp Verde

I mourn the loss of a way of life

Editor:

About 20 years ago, the master plan for Verde Santa Fe and the section across Cornville Road from Verde Santa Fe was approved by the county P&Z.

Just prior to the approval, a very small group of Cornville residents, including me, went before the P&Z to ask the very same questions that Ms. Ordean recently posited in her letter.

Republic Companies, the landowners at the time, sent representatives to meet with Cornville residents on a number of occasions to "answer questions and respond to concerns." It's ironic that the same issues that were addressed then in very general and non-specific terms are still the questions that folks have now. Is there enough water? What will the impact be on the road system? What about schools? What about the rural quality of the community?

The county approved the master plan as they no doubt were obliged to do, according to the county ordinances. Nonetheless, it is heartbreaking to consider the future.

For the record, the county roads department estimates 8,000 cars per day go through Cornville at an average speed of 40 mph (in a 25 mph zone). I shudder to think of trying to cross the street to get to the post office now. What will it be like with an additional 6,600 cars per day?

Cornville has become the default conduit to VOC, to I-17. I mourn the loss of a way of life. I wonder what the future holds?

Janet Loy

Cornville

Toys For Tots produced a lot of smiling faces

Editor:

Verde Valley Detachment, Marine Corps League, wants to thank the Verde Valley community for your generous support of our 2005 Toys For Tots campaign. It is your generosity that gave us the opportunity to provide toys to about 500 children.

We would especially like to thank Bruce's Auto Repair, Financial Concepts, Red Rock Properties, Olsen's Grain, Dr. Parrella, Nails by Vicki Bardwell, Stephen Schwartz, Anne Mills, Michael Keim, Bill Eckenrod, Lloyd Thorndyke, Professional Realty Group, Cottonwood Real Estate, The Willows, Schrader-Martinez Construction, Basha's, Cobles Stained Glass, Reese's Tire, The Barber Shop, Carpet One, the American Legion Post #25, Check Advance, Arizona Department of Public Safety, Sedona Police Department, and Cliff Castle Casino.

Thank you!

Keith Vogler

Verde Valley Detachment

Marine Corps League

Kudos to Tim Costello for putting citizens first

Editor:

Mr. Tim Costello of the City of Cottonwood has earned a big thank you for quick and accurate work in response to citizen requests. As of Feb. 8, Mr. Costello is the second public employee in Yavapai County to have filed a current, accurate, user-friendly street map of the territory in the vicinity of a public airport.

Cottonwood now complies with Arizona law ARS 28-8486. Residents, developers, council members, and realtors now have quick and easy reference for planning land use that will protect the public collectively and individually.

You may view Mr. Costello's work at the County Recorder's office, state Real Estate Department, or online at http://www.re.state.az.us/Bulletin/airports/cottonwoodairport.pdf.

Good job!

Michael P. Muetzel

Camp Verde

Responsible and sustainable growth

Editor:

Ho hum, the urban sprawl folks are always complaining and threatening to sue. They cry "We are losing our private property rights" or some other rights while neglecting the rules and standards society uses to keep us safe and secure.

Seems Camp Verde's mayor and council have made a responsible decision concerning the proposed Millwood Estates development. They listened to the evidence, examined a letter from Yavapai County Flood Control, and rightfully sent the Millwood development back to the drawing board because it had not met standards.

I recently examined the engineering report for the proposed development and observed several technical errors. Our town's engineering consultant apparently discussed some of the deficiencies with the developer's engineer. However, concerns remained especially in regard to the local floodwater crossing the small irrigation ditch along the north side of the proposed development.

From my perspective, I thought the engineering problems and related concerns were clearly discussed at the recent regular council meeting. Basic drainage, floodwater and possibly water quality issues had not been met or addressed.

Our town has recently experienced costly and/or bothersome issues that seem to be related to poor engineering, inadequate inspection of construction and/or lack of town management. The marshal's new facility is an example where an incomplete inspection of how the building was constructed resulted in costing the town big bucks.

Another example is the new part of the Cliffs subdivision where there are drainage issues and sewage lines not built to standards. Yet another bothersome issue is the lousy access to Hwy. 260 north from McDonalds and other businesses near I-17.

Thanks to our mayor and council for supporting responsible and sustainable growth.

Win Hjalmarson

Camp Verde

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