Thursday, September 15, 2022

Meet the Candidates for VOC Road Improvement District Board


On the November ballot, residents of the Big Park Region will elect two board members for the Red Rock Road Enhancement Maintenance District (RRREMD). This is a special taxing district which was formed pursuant to Title 48 of the Arizona Revised Statutes to provide maintenance of the landscaping (including weed abatement), pedestrian lighting, sidewalks, benches, trash receptacles and banners along SR179. The boundaries of the RRREMD project are 1.63 miles along SR179 from the Coconino National Forest boundary in the south (approximately 890 feet south of Rojo Drive, milepost 305.45) to the Coconino National Forest boundary in the north (approximately 465 feet north of East Bell Rock Boulevard, milepost 307.08).

All properties within the district pay an ad valorem tax to RRREMD via their annual property tax assessment collected by Yavapai County. Oversight of the district is provided by five Board members who are elected by the residents of the district, with a chair and vice chair chosen from their ranks. The District contracts with independent third parties for landscaping maintenance service, pedestrian lighting maintenance and other miscellaneous duties. Administrative and board services are provided by Improvement District Services Inc. based in Prescott. The RRREMD website is

This election cycle, there are two vacancies with three candidates. The terms of three current board members, Dave Norton (chair), Joanne Johnson and Valna Wilson, do not expire until 2024.

The ballot will show "Red Rock Road E.M.D.", rather than "RRREMD".

Melina Fuhrman

I am a holistic health practitioner and homeowner, living and working in the Village of Oak Creek since the beginning of 2020. After 28 years of living in Europe, including the Netherlands, Italy, France and Germany, with 21 of those years in Switzerland, my Swiss husband and I decided that it was time to start a new life, and moved to the Village of Oak Creek with our teenage daughter, three cats and a dog.

Originally from Wellesley, Massachusetts, I moved to Europe for work and then graduate school. I received an M.A. from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) with a focus on European Studies and International Economics, as well as an MBA from the European Institute of Business Administration (INSEAD). After spending a decade in international banking, I changed the course of my personal and professional life by going to the Barbara Brennan School of Healing and started working as a holistic health practitioner. In the fall of 2021, we moved my elderly parents in with us, so we now have three generations living under one roof.

Why I am running for the RRREMD Board:  I have been a decades-long advocate of non-toxic solutions that protect human, animal and environmental health. As a Member of Parliament in Geneva, my husband was instrumental in eliminating glyphosate from local agriculture. His political engagement inspired me to run for the RRREMD Board when I learned Roundup was being used in the RRREMD. I am committed to ensuring we use effective, non-toxic solutions. With my financial background, I also have the financial acumen to represent residents’ concerns for fiscal responsibility.

Karen McClelland
In 1987, my son and I moved to the Village of Oak Creek.  He was three at that time and has since graduated from Sedona Red Rock High School and NAU.  We lived with my parents Joan and Clyde McClelland at first, and bought a house in VOC in 1989.  I worked for the USPS in Sedona for 25 years, for a savings and loan, and a small store uptown.  Before moving to Sedona, I worked in retail management for Kmart and for several banks in the US and Canada. 

In 2002 I ran for an elected position on the Sedona-Oak Creek governing board and am now running for re-election to a sixth term on that public board.  As a school board member, I have been recognized as a master of boardsmanship, chosen as an All-Arizona School Board Award recipient and Legislative Advocate of the Year.  I have experience as a member of a publicly elected board, and several statewide and local non-profit 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) boards.

Why I am running for the RRREMD Board:  I collected signatures to create the RRREMD.  My mother was very involved with the Big Park Regional Coordinating Council, VOCA, Yavapai County and the All American Road Committee.  I see my election to the RRREMD board as a continuation of my mother’s involvement in the preservation of our community for ourselves and future generations.  As a simple but important step, we must return to the use of a non-toxic weed control program.  I believe that we can accomplish this and also make the RRREMD Board better known and more responsive to the residents of VOC and Big Park.

Stephen Smith
While only being a Sedona (VOC) resident since early 2018, my wife and I have owned property here for 20 years.  I spent two years at NAU (1975-6) and graduated from ASU in 1978, so my roots and love for the area run deep.

Originally a Chicago area native, I returned to Chicago after ASU and worked for a national retailer as an Advertising Specialist for several years.  I then worked for the largest publicly-traded shopping center developer in several locations across the country, ultimately being recruited by another firm where I spent the rest of my career.  Although my background was advertising/marketing, I quickly developed an interest in all aspects of commercial property management.  Leasing, operations, financial planning, security and executing large capital projects, to name a few areas, became my areas of expertise.

Since moving to Sedona, I have been our HOA board president for three years and vice-president for one year, not to mention being a current RRREMD board member…it’s time to give back and serve my community and neighbors who make living here a gift my wife and I cherish each day.

Why I am running for the RRREMD Board:  When asked to fill an opening on the RRREMD board in 2021, I gladly accepted.  During that time, I have learned about, but certainly not all, the complicated organizational structure and governmental relationships.  A better understanding of our Agreements and trying to be an advocate for more efficient administration is of great interest to me, after all, I’m a resident tax payer as well.

As RRREMD manages what I have long considered the primary gateway into the Greater Sedona Market, I will strive to make that first impression a consistently great impression for our guests and residents alike.

The information in this this message was collected by the Big Park Regional Coordinating Council for the benefit of the our community. Candidate information and photos were provided by each candidate.