Our Village Needs YOU Now #mybackyardVOC
Mapping Our Future: Community Plan 2021 Is Underway
Historical Perspective – How Did We Get Here?
The Time is Now, and the Mapping Assignment Belongs to Us
Highlights from the December Meeting
Supervisor-elect Donna Michaels Addresses the Council Dr. Michaels emphasized her priority to actively engage with the public, listening to our concerns. She noted that her vision emphasizes diligent stewardship including Community Plans and protection of our Dark Sky and All-American Byway designations. She is a proponent of working towards a more “self-reliant Verde Valley”, creating a robust economy while maintaining our rural lifestyle and open spaces.
Committees & Committee Members The president expressed appreciation to the 35+ Council officers, committee chairs and special contributors who worked together to serve the Big Park community in 2020. The recommendations for 2021 committee chairs and members were unanimously approved.
Audit Committee: Dave Norton
Budget Committee: Mike Ryan
Community Plan Committee: Camille Cox
Dark Sky Committee: Mike Ryan
Planning & Zoning Committee: Mary Morris
APS Transmission Line Sub-Committee: Duane Thompson
Treasurer’s Report Treasurer Neil Pope presented the report for spending through November 23rd and a revised 2021 budget. He noted that our ZOOM account was paid for privately in 2020 and should become a recognized Council expenditure. To accommodate that expense, line items for donations and miscellaneous were removed. The president emphasized that the expansion of committees has created a level of meeting activity that cannot be managed by a single “scheduler”. It is reasonable to assume that we will need to carry on with electronic meetings well into 2021, and we will be best served to distribute responsibility for scheduling and communication. The budget was passed unanimously.
Membership Survey Committee Co-Chair Mary Pope presented the results of the survey on Membership Requirements. The responses and commentary changed the way the bylaws will describe qualifications for a Member Organization. The concept of Neighborhood has been evolving and is felt to better describe what the Council is seeking in terms of a residential organization. The change was received favorably by the Council. Mary noted that this is a work-in-progress involving the bylaws and policies, and thanked the Council for their help and guidance.
Bylaws Review Progress to Date Co-chair Nancy Maple showed a slide illustrating how the Council's agreed-upon revisions to date more closely align with the Current Bylaws document than with the Proposed Bylaws. It was suggested that updating the Current Bylaws with agreed-upon changes would be a more efficient process versus waiting until all changes are completed and reviewing the entire marked-up document later in the year. A motion was made that the review method be changed: Going forward, as the review of each section is completed, changes will be integrated into the Current Bylaws. Revision/Notice will be executed, with discussion and voting at the subsequent monthly meeting. Motion passed unanimously.
P&Z Committee Chairman Mary Morris introduced Duane Thompson, chairman of the APS sub-committee. Duane presented the sub-committee’s draft Purpose and Scope to be reviewed by the Council after the P&Z Committee approves at their next meeting. He then provided a progress report. The committee was disappointed that their request to APS to share comparison data on alternatives for the new high-voltage power line (15 miles above ground, underground, battery backup) was not fulfilled. Committee research estimates that burying power lines would cost about $5 million per mile. Duane is now working with the US Forest Service, and the committee is creating a community survey to gather input and raise public awareness of the project. There was discussion regarding the safety and efficiency of battery backup, and it was noted that buried lines require maintenance access roads. Duane noted that APS has three objectives for the new power lines: Reduce power outages; more voltage stability; future needs. APS is not convinced that battery backup, although less costly, address all three. Mary Morris thanked Duane and noted that the December P&Z regular meeting (3rd Friday 10am) would likely be cancelled as there are no applications pending.
The next meeting of the Council will be January 14th 9:00am via Zoom. Please join us!
Camille Cox, President