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President's Column: Where to Find the Answers

John Wichert

John Wichert

While I am not a regular reader of NextDoor, I did read with interest the recent long discussion thread about a proposed above-ground power transmission line that could pass down the Kel Fox trail.

I was dismayed to read in the discussion the statement that, “Most people don’t know about anything until after it happens.” It is very unfortunate that people should feel that way when the answers are all around them.

The information about the activities of the Big Park Council (BPC) appear in every issue of The Villager. This information is also shared on FaceBook and on the BPC blog. All you have to do to receive this information in your inbox is go to and enter your name and email address on the ABOUT page.

Arizona Public Service (APS) initially proposed this transmission line in 2018. The BPC has been monitoring this proposal ever since and has been in discussion with APS and the United States Forest Service (USFS), which has to give final approval to this project. The Big Park Council has conducted two surveys, sponsored a community forum on this subject in April 2021, and in May 2021 the Big Park Council voted to officially oppose this project.

So please read the article in this issue of The Villager by Duane Thompson, chair of the APS Transmission Line Sub-committee of the BPC. Duane and the subcommittee have spent countless hours researching this issue, conducting the surveys, and in communication with both APS and the USFS.

You will also find in this issue of The Villager an update by David Gill on the Art in the Roundabouts project. This exciting endeavor is a joint project of the Big Park Council and The Sedona Village Partnership. Read Camille’s article and begin to imagine your pride when you drive through the Village on Hwy 179 past inspiring, locally meaningful sculptures in our roundabouts.

Also in this issue you will find an article by Tom Binnings of the Greater Sedona Broadband Initiative group on the findings of their recent survey of Internet speeds by Internet service providers in the Big Park area.

The Mission of the Big Park Council begins as follows:

The mission of the Corporation (Big Park Council) is to promote the best interests of the Big Park Regional Community by studying the problems affecting the Community and seeking solutions.

As I stated in last month’s Villager article, our missions for the Big Park Council this year are to increase public awareness of the work of the Big Park Council, to strengthen participation in Council activities, and to strengthen the financial resilience of the Council.

To those ends, we have a new task force working to launch an updated, informative, attractive, and professionally designed website. It is our hope that this website will serve as “an informational repository and dissemination vehicle” for residents of Big Park/VOC and visitors.

We are reactivating the Membership Committee to explore how to involve new people (LIKE YOU!) in the activities of the Big Park Council.

Finally, we are exploring the possibility of changing the tax status of the Council to a 501(c)3, that would allow the Council to apply for grants and allow tax deductible donations and endowments.

There is still very much to accomplish, and our “patient” (Big Park Council) remains in the intensive care unit, but there is now a care plan. We are hopeful that we’ll be able to report an improvement in the Council’s condition in the coming months.

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