Meet your Big Park Council representative Kathryn Stillman
Who do you represent on Big Park Council and what kind of member is it: RAM (Residential), BOA (Business Owner) or EIM Educational Institution)? Briefly describe its character or anything that makes it unique.
Stillman: Technically, I represent Wild Horse Mesa Residential Associated Member(WHM RAM), that ‘technical’ aspect is to say that I represent those who choose to show interest and/or participate.
We are very much a volunteer participation - those who donate towards the annual fee to have a representing-seat on the BPRCC would have a ‘vote’ should our neighborhood ever have local need for same, but ALL our residents are welcome to be included in info share(email list) and neighborhood activities(gatherings, etc) regardless.
I’ve made every effort to reach out to all those in our WHM RAM area, but as our neighborhood is as fluid as the VOC is in general when it comes to full-time residents, I may not have been able to note correctly everyone’s mailing addresses to announce my taking over the helm back in August ‘18.
I really appreciate this opportunity to make another shout-out to all who may be interested in getting on our RAM email list at a minimum, and/or be more involved/interactive - that is our goal! Hey Neighbors on Wild Horse Mesa Dr., Hutson Ln, Wild Horse Mesa Circle, Rainbow Trail, East/West Tonto Rim Dr., Casitas Ct, and Vista Mesa Dr. - please contact me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org
Current/Past Officers and Committee/Project Chairs, describe your title and responsibilities. What have been your most interesting challenges and successes with the Council?
Stillman: I am very fortunate to have former Rep. Jan Montgomery whose 10-plus years of experience and skills to inform and guide me with historical matters and concerns about our RAM - I couldn’t do it without her graciousness in answering the phone anytime.
Keeping my ear to the ground and forwarding the info of interest and concern to the neighborhood is my primary goal - if I can keep everyone’s pants high and dry or at least informed as well as possible, I feel like I have accomplished the basic tasking as a RAM Representative.
With all the hot-button property zoning and waivers, etc., that have been brought before the BPRCC over the last 8 months, my learning curve has gone from 0-60 mph - as many can attest, the nuances of same can be very complex and fluid - I’m truly enjoying the learning experience and look forward to at a minimum having the know-how to find the correct answers for interpretation for our neighborhood and VOC community at large.
I’m not specifically on a committee as of yet, but I do enjoy volunteering to assist with our various official gatherings - I look forward to continued and even more participation in the future.
Do you work full time, part time, retired or retired part time?
Stillman: I am retired, but as my business card states ‘I will work for fun’! I started my working life in the medical field, but eventually switched to my true heart’s desire - retired from US Capitol Police Officer after 24 years, and privileged to return as a security consultant contractor for another 6 years with the US Senate Sergeant at Arms Office. And on the side/in between, I accumulated another 24 year retirement from the US Air Force Reserves.
How many years have you lived in the Big Park/Village of Oak Creek area and from where did you come? What do you like best and least about living here?
Stillman: I’ve lived full-time here in the VOC on Wild Horse Mesa for 3-plus years -- we bought approximately seven years ago in anticipation of retirement. I know many will express a side-ways glance as to ‘what could she possibly know about the VOC?’ in such a short span, but I know my fresh perspective and non-been there/done that attitude will assist me in serving my community.
Despite spending 40-plus years in the DC area, I grew up on the west coast, to include a couple years in Scottsdale - so Sedona wasn’t a stretch for me to come back to to roost, and having family in the area is a big plus as well. I was so ready for more temperate and dry weather (so the snow can move on out, now!) and I love to hike - Sedona’s beauty was a no-brainer for me.
But who knew that allergy triggers can run high here...that I’m working on, slowly...and open to suggestions for my newly developed nasal and ocular sensitivities.
What are your favorite pastimes, interests and/or community involvements?
Stillman: Upon moving here I was immediately introduced to the Rotary Club of Sedona Red Rocks, but didn’t get involved until a couple years ago - our Club is very active in community support and fundraising for youth-oriented concerns, and the member interaction is terrific fun - along with collaborative assistance between the other two local Rotary Clubs, we are a very positive force in the community.
Besides the beautiful settings to hike day or night, I’m not beyond being found in costume from Mrs Santa Clause to the Easter Bunny. But I’d have to say the most wonderful thing about Sedona is that it is a very attractive location to encourage family and friends to visit from all points of the world - from Australia to Ireland to DC to Seattle to South Carolina and Oklahoma and Texas in the middle - our house is rarely quiet, and that is exactly how we like it - Come one, come all.
What is one of your proudest accomplishments and/or one of your most memorable experiences?
Stillman: My work career -- starting as a medical assistant and certified Dialysis Technician to my 30 year security positions on Capitol Hill and being a Veteran of the US Military brings me alot of pride and satisfaction.
I retired as a Lieutenant from US Capitol Police and was in charge of the Special Events Unit for my last five years. In addition to seeing history up front and personal, there were so many people from all over the world that I got to share our government with -- everyday access to the confines and nooks and crannies of the Legislative body and facility was thrilling to say the least, and being able to see it thru the eyes of constituents as well as Heads of States provided for the ‘shine’ to never wear off for me.
Tough and tedious work at times, but I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat! No matter your political leanings, no matter your personal celebrity crush, all came before Congress - POTUS to State & Local Officials to Heads of State, Kings and Queens - 99% of their visit logistics came thru my Unit’s management.
The other biggee accommodation my office processed and managed was the First Amendment free speech rally/protest/demonstration applications - from abortion themed marches to LGBT rights concerns to opposition to infant circumcision and everything in between - if there is a need/desire to raise a voice and need a stage, many take it to Congress - after they saw me first.
What has been your favorite or most valued work experience? Has the Council provided an opportunity for you to use your expertise?
Stillman: My work experience on Capitol Hill and the US Air Force provided the broadest interactions with nearly every culture, lifestyle, religion, and ethnic background you can imagine - I hope the WHM and VOC community at large will expect and require that knowledge base, sensitivity and consideration from me as I serve on the BPRCC.