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Big Park Council Meeting Highlights Oct. 12

President’s Report: John Wichert summarized correspondence with ADOT on the community’s concerns with safety at the intersection of I-17 and SR 179. With the help of David Gill and Mary Morris, John wrote another letter to the Director of ADOT. The letter requests interim mitigation to make the interchange safer.

Secretary’s Report: Mary Pope welcomed Larry Koonz as a new Alternate Representative for Village Estates. She then reviewed the logistics of the electronic voting process to amend the BPC Articles of Incorporation to follow IRS requirements and become a 501(c) 3 organization. Results were 21 votes in favor, none opposed, two abstentions.

Treasurer’s Report: Patty Reski reported that the IRS approved the Big Park Council as a 501(c) 3 non-profit public organization. She then reviewed the financials and explained the proposed budget for 2024 in detail, thanking Pat Robles, Joe Skidmore, and Dave Norton for serving on the budget committee. No increase in Member Organization annual assessments is proposed.

Committee Reports:

Nominating Committee: Mary Morris noted that she is cautiously optimistic that the committee will have candidates to present at the next meeting. She expressed appreciation to John Wichert for explaining his vision of a team format for the Executive Board. She noted that the absence of in-person meetings creates difficulties in developing relationships, which adds complexity to the nominating process. The committee recommends a Council mixer and John commended the idea. Ben Lee offered VVS as a venue.

APS Transmission Line Subcommittee: John reported that a successful educational forum was held with 35-40 in attendance, thanking Pastor Jim Cunningham for the use of his facility. He noted that the fund-raising goal for legal research has been met and Earthrise has begun that process. Duane Thompson is acting as point person for BPC. The request for information from the regional USFS under the Freedom of Information act is resulting in additional documentation.

Verde Valley Transportation Planning Organization (VVTPO): John presented Steve Fiedler’s report, noting that Steve has had to step down from his role as BPC liaison to VVTPO and calling for a volunteer to replace him.

Membership: Dennis Bauman reported the first community coffee event at Fire Creek coffee is October 24. The committee is looking for businesses to team up to be able to join BPC as a Member Organization. He also noted that the membership committee is seeking volunteers.

Planning & Zoning (P&Z): Nancy Maple welcomed David Mascone, as the newest member of the P&Z committee, noting that openings are available for additional volunteers to join. She reported that she’s had positive conversations with Stephanie Johnson, the new Yavapai County planning representative for our area. Stephanie lives in the Verde Valley and is very supportive. Stephanie agreed to send copies of local applications to BPC. Nancy also thanked Lenore Hemingway who has been keeping track of these applications on behalf of BPC.

Art in the Roundabouts (AiR): Rolf Funk has been in contact with the committee that managed the City of Sedona Artwork in Roundabouts project and received the guidelines they used. There have already been many responses to the committee’s call for artwork. Enthusiasm is high.


Farmer’s Market comes to VOC: Jessica Sweeney and Marianne Langridge are collaborating to begin a Fourth Friday event featuring local artisans, growers, and other specialty goods from 4-7 p.m., Nov. 24 and Dec. 22. Space is being provided within the Village Yoga facility in Vista Village.

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