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President's Message: There’s a Lot Happening at the Big Park Council

John Wichert

John Wichert

Once again, I’ve been totally blown away by the residents of the Big Park/Village of Oak Creek Community.

Last month I wrote about the amazing Sedona Village Partnership’s incredibly generous donation of up to $5,000 of matching funds to encourage all of you to donate to our campaign to have Earthrise Law Center research our next steps, if necessary, to oppose the proposed above-ground transmission line.

In less than a month we reached our fundraising goal of $10,000 and Earthrise has already begun their research. On behalf of the Big Park Council and your neighbors, I want to thank you for contributing to this important work. You know who you are. To those of you who contributed using Venmo or Zelle, unfortunately, we received only your name, but no email address. Therefore, we were unable to send you a personal thank you note for your donation. Please know that we deeply appreciate your generosity.

I also want to thank Pastor Jim Cunningham and the congregation of the VOC Church of the Nazarene for allowing us to host our community forum on the proposed above-ground transmission line at the church. I have learned that Pastor Jim has been a long-time supporter of the Big Park Council, and we are grateful for his support.

The Council has been so pleased to meet and/or converse with so many VOC residents that are new to the Council and have stepped forward to assist the council in a variety of ways. New folks have volunteered to help maintain our website, to share their expertise with some of our committees, or have brought new concerns to the attention of the Council. One of those concerns brought a unanimous vote of support from the Council at our July meeting and led to a productive meeting with District 3 Supervisor Donna Michaels.

The Big Park Council has also re-instituted a practice that was lost when the Council had to move from in-person to Zoom meetings with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Once again, the Council is hosting guest speakers for 10-minute presentations at the beginning of our monthly meetings. Our guest speakers include Supervisor Michaels, Sedona Oak Creek Unified School District President Randy Hawley, and Chief Dori Booth of the Sedona Fire District.

The newest presenter is Sgt. Anthony Horn of the Eastern Area Command of the Yavapai County Sheriff Department. Sgt. Horn recently transferred from Prescott to the VOC to staff the Sheriff’s Office on Castle Rock Road across from the Chevron Station. Sgt. Horn announced that an administrative assistant has been hired so that the office can be open during business hours. From what I hear, this resumption of a YCSO presence in the Village is much appreciated.

I am also pleased to share that Dr. Ben Lee, the new Verde Valley School Head of School, will begin presenting beginning at our October meeting. I believe this will do much to strengthen the connection between Verde Valley School and the Big Park/VOC Community. At the Sept. 14 BPC meeting Rolf Funk reported that VVS art students will be participating with the Art in the Roundabouts project and some may even submit sculpture proposals. How cool is that?

Finally, our Membership Committee developed a brochure for Realtors to provide to clients who are either considering buying a home in the VOC or have already done so. The brochure was very well received by the Realtors.

So, as you can see, there is a lot happening at the Big Park Council. Check out our website and attend a meeting. We’re here for you.

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