New hybrid live/virtual forums provide chance for citizen engagement
The fourth item in the Big Park Community Council’s mission statement is: To provide a forum for residents, property owners, business owners, educational institutions and investors within the community to resolve problems and advance the interests of the community.
This summer your council is conducting forums on a number of topics of interest to our community. And, for the first time, some of these will have the option of attending a real meeting (live) or Zoom (virtual) participation.
The Community Plan committee has been experimenting with the format all year, and in the Fall the council plans to change the regular monthly meetings to this hybrid format.
The first live/virtual community forum June 21 introduced a new Verde Valley regional broadband initiative. Mary Chicoine, executive director of the Verde Valley Regional Economic Organization, provided an overview of what is in the works to bring improved, high-quality internet capability to the Village. One of the top mentions in recent resident surveys was the need for improved internet in our community – this initiative is a solution path.
The second forum is your opportunity to meet and chat with our county supervisor. Tuesday, July 6, 2 p.m., Yavapai County D3 Supervisor Donna Michaels will provide us with an update on issues and activities in our district and across the county. Attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions.
To attend the meeting in-person: RSVP at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/meet-our-county-supervisor-tickets-159278709909. In person seating is limited, reservations are required.
To attend via Zoom (unlimited): send an email with your full name and email address to: email@example.com.
We are limited on the number of seats available for the live meeting, simply because of the room size. There are few affordable options in the Village that offer the Internet and conference room basics needed for the hybrid format.
We are a team of volunteers experimenting with new tools to produce these forums. Please be patient with us when the inevitable bumps in the road show up. If you or someone you know is skilled with A/V technologies and might be willing to help us with these productions – please pop me a message. In particular we’d be grateful for a camera operator at the forums.
If you have a topic that you feel would be well-served by a community discussion forum, send us your concept for consideration. firstname.lastname@example.org.
APS Powerline Project: The U.S. Forest Service informed us that the Environmental Assessment should be released in August. The council will submit our statement at that time. In the meantime, the subcommittee is working on communication with elected officials to inform them of the community’s position.
Congratulations, Big Park community: The daunting, two-year process of updating the bylaws of the council to better serve the community was completed at the June meeting. We had a full-house, and all 20 member organizations present voted to approve the final set of Articles and 19-1 vote to approve the new policies. This is a remarkable, community-driven feat that attests to what can be achieved through hard work and respectful, mission-centric discussion.
You can take pride in our community for doing this important work. As problems and opportunities arise, we have a solid framework to explore and act on solutions.
June 11 meeting highlights
Public Agency Report: Fire Marshal Jon Davis informed the council Sedona Fire District moved into Stage II fire restrictions. These restrictions prohibit all solid-fueled open fires, fire pits, and campfires. He emphasized using extreme caution and expressed hope that an earlier, wetter monsoon season would alleviate the danger.
Davis explained that “Firewise” landscaping does not mean removing all trees and shrubbery; rather that it involves creating more of a park-like setting with islands of vegetation. Unbroken lines of plants leading up to a dwelling should be avoided and he stressed the need for horizonal and vertical separation; so as not to encourage ladder fuels.
President’s Report: Camille Cox presented Steve Fiedler as liaison to VVTPO (Verde Valley Transportation Project Organization); he was approved by acclamation.
Secretary’s Report: Mary Pope welcomed Jan Groves, new Representative for the Sedona Village Learning Center and Rose O’Donnell new Representative for Pinon Woods II East, noting that Pinon Woods II East has two new Alternates as well (Cindy Hay and Stephen Howard). Mary expressed appreciation to Joanna McPherson and Steve Suter for their service and their continuation as Alternate Representatives.
Community Plan Committee: Committee member Jan Groves presented the draft Vision Statement. She encouraged the council to distribute the one question survey to their members to vote and provide feedback (villageplan2022.org).
Dark-Sky Committee: The committee’s continued work on an International Dark-Sky Community sign for the Village was reported. Marty Aronson, proprietor of Sedona Vista Village, and the Sedona Village Partnership have provided funding. Potential locations at the gateway to the Village are being investigated.
Verde Valley Transportation Project Organization Steve Fiedler reported that he attended the May 26 meeting and the following programs are active: Cornville Road widening and center rumble strip; Intersection of Beaverhead Flat and SR179; and Sedona parking garage. He noted that money for projects is available for the Regional Priority Projects list and if there are transportation projects in the Village, the VVTPO will consider adding them to the list. Camille Cox suggested that if Member Organizations identified needs to be addressed, they should send them directly to Steve or to email@example.com.
COVID Vaccination Clinics: Clinics were held in May and June at the VOCA clubhouse and now Spectrum offers in-home vaccinations. Information has been included with the June meeting highlights email and posted on the council website.
Next Regular Meeting: Thursday, July 8, 9 a.m., via Zoom