Sun, Aug. 18

Letter: Let's make Verde Valley 'America the Beautiful'


Dear Verde Valley and Arizona mayors,

"Many hands with one goal yields results, just like team sports." As mayors, you have the opportunity to do and participate in an effort of significance. Can any of you indicate another example where multiple mayors have come together, to promote the many benefits of an empowered community on the topic of "anti-highway litter efforts" that includes their entire community? Will the mayors of Jerome, Clarkdale, Cottonwood, Sedona and Camp Verde recognize and honor their local Adopt-A-Highway groups and implement the following four opportunities?

Over the years and for the past several months, we have been working with Sedona Mayor Rob Adams (now retired) and the current mayors of Camp Verde Mayor Charlie German and Sedona Mayor Sandy Moriarty in an effort to unite all of the mayors of the Valley for the purposes of:

• Uniting the communities of the Verde Valley four times per year to promote and participate in four repeating litter events on the third Saturday of February, May, August and November. This effort could result in attracting visitor and participants to see what happens when communities and residents work together. We previously promoted one of these events and Keep Sedona Beautiful (KSB) partnered with us. This effort resulted in over 300 participants and 404 bags of trash being picked up in one day.

• Inviting all of the ADOT Adopt-A-Highway groups in the area to their town-city council meetings at the end of each year and thanking these Adopt-A-Highway groups and providing them with a certificate for their individual group efforts based on ADOT's Adopt-A-Highway "Activity Reports". The "Activity Reports" will be the basis for their cleanup frequency and certificate (Gold 4X, Silver 3X, Bronze 2X and Lead 1X) per year. ADOT Risk Management will provide these reports to our local mayors or anyone requesting them and all you have to do is define the MP (mile post) numbers for the groups you wish to recognize.

• Suggesting that local businesses encourage their local youth groups to use the "America the Beautiful & BagReadyJobs" opportunity to earn their funding needs or perform a community service requirement. These youth groups, of legal age, will work directly with the local ADOT Adopt-A-Highway group and under their supervision to earn their funding or perform their community service as the Cottonwood Boys & Girls Club, Cottonwood LDS Boy Scout Troop, American Heritage Academy, Verde Valley School and Sedona AZ Footy Soccer have done. Two of these groups have earned approximately $2,000 per year by picking up litter four times per year.

• Encouraging the members of all Verde Valley town councils to either participate in one or all of the scheduled ADOT Adopt-A-Highway events and/or adopt one of the one-mile ADOT Adopt-A-highway sections as is being done by the town council of Camp Verde. Lead from the front!

Mayors, please let us know if you are willing to honor our local ADOT Adopt-A-Highway groups. Thank you Mayor Moriarty for your recent request for information about what the City of Sedona and your office may do to improve the image and economy of the Verde Valley and Arizona.

Gary Chamberlain