Big Park Council Meeting Highlights from Feb. 9

Guest Speakers: Tom Binnings and James Curry of the Greater Sedona Broadband Initiative. Please see Tom’s article on the Broadband Initiative elsewhere in the Villager

Guest Speaker: Duane Thompson of the Big Park Council APS Transmission Line Subcommittee presented results of a survey of power outages within the VOC/Big Park area over the last three years.

President’s Report: John Wichert noted that the primary goals this year are to make the Big Park Council self-sustaining and to foster growth. He expressed his thanks to Rick Harroun for accepting the position of liaison to the USFS and thanked Paul Sullivan for his service in this role over the years. John affirmed P&Z Standing Committee members as Bob Marriott, Chair Pro-tem, Nancy Maple, Phil Feiner, David Gill, Michael McGaughey and Dave Norton with advisors Paul Cooley, Duane Thompson and Mary Morris. He affirmed the Dark-Sky Standing Committee members as Curt Schneider, Co-Chair, Dave Norton, Co-Chair, Phil Feiner, Kirk Smith and Curt Czarsty.

Art in the Roundabouts (AiR): Camille Cox acknowledged Rolf Funk and Steve Fiedler as co-chairs expressing the Mission of the committee as “To display the story of our community with inspiring public art”. Rolf then summarized the progress the committee has made. Next steps include a plan to issue a public survey and a call for entries.

Emergency Preparedness (EPPiC): Gwen Hanna noted that information has been gathered for the creation of a disaster resource repository to provide the information needed in a Big Park Community emergency. The repository would reside within the newly planned BPC website. In addition, the committee is considering hosting a Community Forum, including frontline agencies.

Audit Report: Colleen Hinds complimented Treasurer Patty Reski on the thoroughness and orderliness of the BPC financial records, making the audit quick and easy to complete for the audit committee.

501(c)6 vs 501(c)3: Colleen noted that after studying the differences between the BPC current IRS designation of 501(c)6 and potentially changing it to 501(c)3. She explained that the perspective of the Council has evolved over the past several years to include educational outreach programs as an additional way to meet the organization’s purpose of seeking solutions to issues affecting the community. This continuing educational emphasis is more in line with an IRS 501(c)3 designation and the tax consequences of that designation would facilitate fund raising. It was agreed that a letter explaining the pros/cons of the change would be sent to Representatives to review with their member organizations, before voting on the recommendation at the March meeting.

Notice of Bylaw Revision: Mary Pope reported that in accordance with the expansion of educational efforts she recommended a change to Article I, Section 1 Purpose to include the words “education as well as.” A vote on this recommended change will take place at the March meeting.

Reactivation of the Membership Committee: John Wichert noted that the purpose and scope of this committee was now envisioned as including recruitment and that Nancy Maple was appointed as Co-chair along with Peggy Hutson and Garey Schmidt. Colleen Hinds will be the Council Alternate Representative heading this committee. The committee will meet and prepare a revised Purpose and Scope for Council approval at the March meeting.

Website Task Force: John Wichert explained that the task-force purpose is to explore a professionally developed and maintained website for the BPC, including Emergency Preparedness (EPPiC) and Dark-Sky information as well as other BPC committees, local information and Council documents. John asked the Council whether to proceed with the project and received an enthusiastic “go for it” response. He then named a task force of himself, Phil Feiner, Pat Robles, Dave Norton and Mary Pope to outline the Purpose and Scope of a new committee to achieve this.

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