Redistricting Task Force supports Alt. C

A number of important community issues continue to move forward and I wanted to provide an up-date so all would be aware of the things taking place.

REDISTRICTING: At its July meeting the Council discussed, in detail, the four proposals that had been prepared to deal with the forthcoming “redistricting” of the County internal structure. Under Arizona law, given its new population numbers as identified in the 2010 census, Yavapai County will move from three districts and 3 Supervisors to 5.

After extensive efforts to obtain citizen input, the Supervisors will select one of the four in August.

Their choice will then go to the Department of Justice which, if approved, it will then be put into effect and will be the basis for elections in 2012.

The four alternatives can be viewed on the Yavapai County website: http://redistricting.co.yavapai.az.us/

After careful review, the Council’s Redistricting Task Force recommended that we indicate support for Alternative C. There were numerous reasons for this recommendation.

For one, it was felt that this proposal best matched the two top priorities of the criteria originally set by the County Supervisors (to include a mixture of rural and urban communities; and to preserve communities of interest and avoid unnecessarily dividing neighborhoods that have similar socio-economic, life-style or political interests).

Proposal C would also place the entire Verde River Watershed area under the supervision of two Supervisors who would be elected, in large part, by Verde Valley voters.

In a similar vein, it would provide the best opportunity to elect 2 Supervisors from the Verde Valley.

Each of the alternatives presents a series of trade-offs. Fortunately, all four keep the Yavapai County portions of the City of Sedona and the Village together – but some of the proposals divide Cornville, Cottonwood and other communities – which the Council felt would be unfortunate.

After much discussion, by unanimous vote of all present, the Council approved the recommendation of the Task Force and will convey its hopes in this matter to the Supervisors.

But Council action is not sufficient. If you have your own views, whether you agree with the Council’s position or not, it is important that the Supervisors hear them – before the decision is made.

Please review the alternatives (on the County web site) and submit your thoughts directly to the County.

WEED CONTROL: A second issue that was discussed related to the RFP that the County sent out to obtain a new landscaping firm to look after maintenance of the Red Rock Road Enhancement Maintenance District (RRREMD).

The RFP went out on June 30 and called for response by July 15, a date that will have long passed by the time this issue of the “Villager” comes out. The RFP permitted bidders to propose one of three different alternatives: traditional methods, non-traditional methods, or methods that would include the use of a weed barrier.

The Council passed a resolution recommending three points to the County. First, that there be as much citizen input as possible In the evaluation process; second, although it did not recommend the use of a weed barrier (particularly given the substantial cost, as well as concern over long-term effectiveness), if an award is made to a company that will use weed barriers a high standard should be applied to assure that maximum effectiveness is achieved; and, finally, that pre-emergent treatment should be considered as an important methodology in the award of the contract.

VISION EFFORT: The Council reviewed the current status and plans for moving forward with the Vision effort. You can find a copy of the most recent notes from the Vision Committee on the Council web site (along with the full details of the survey). The web site is www.BigParkCouncil.org. In particular, the notes identify a number of values that seemed to pervade the responses, the key issues that were identified by the respondents, and several areas for further definition. They also outline the process we plan to use – which will include a number of informal “donuts and dialog” sessions to be held towards the end of September and which will help sharpen focus, and then a major community get-together to explore the key elements and determine any future action steps. Please send your ideas and comments to me at President@BigParkCouncil.org.

POLICIES: Finally, the Task Force that has been working on developing several key policy statements submitted drafts for Council consideration. These will be discussed in detail at our August meeting. They dealt with Conflict of Interest, Communications, and Operating Procedures for the Council and its Committees.

Lots going on. Hope you will keep informed, but even better, that you will get involved.

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