14 September Meeting Highlights & Community News



With unanimous approval of the Big Park Council, a team has met with Yavapai County Supervisor Michaels, Planning Director Jeremy Dye and Assistant Planning Director Mark Lusson to begin the process of amending the Yavapai County Planning & Zoning Ordinance to include Noise.   To assist in this process, you are asked to help by forwarding any noise issues in your neighborhood as well as any related audiovisual files or sound level meter readings to bigparkcouncil.inquiry@gmail.com so that we may compile these as evidence that we need a Yavapai County  Noise Ordinance.An amendment to the Yavapai County Planning and Zoning Ordinance and implemented as shown in the attached document would require the complainant to provide evidence of an alleged violation, preferably providing an app (NIOSH SLM) sound level meter reading or at least audio evidence.Details of Noise Ordinance Meeting & Proposed Enforcement Process

Thank you.

REMINDER:  The NOVEL NIGHT Fundraiser for our local library is 30 September 2023There are 9 Themed dinners, some of which are already sold out!Dinner – Cocktails – CostumesTICKETS are on SALE nowHere’s the latest email (PDF) from the Library – Are you a Harry Potter Fan?Find out more at the Sedona Public Library website

REMINDER:  The BPC website can be accessed at www.bigparkcouncil.org . 

Sedona Chamber of Commerce

Click HERE to view or download the PDF Local News from September 15th. Click HERE to view or download the PDF Business News from September 18th.

SEDONA WINEFEST – September 23 & 24Click HERE to view or download the PDF of the event flierGo to Sedonawinefest.com to purchase tickets directly.

2023-2024 Concert SeasonTickets now Available1st Concert is October 15 at the Sedona Performing Arts Center. Click HERE to view or download a PDF of the Concert Season

BIG PARK REGIONAL COORDINATING COUNCILMEETING HIGHLIGHTSSEPTEMBER 14, 2023A video recording of this meeting is available. 

Treasurer, Patty Reski called the meeting to order at 9:00am explaining that President John Wichert had a serious dental emergency that needed to be taken care of this morning.   She then introduced Colleen Hinds, VP, to explain some new technology in use at today’s Zoom meeting.Colleen explained that close captioning is now included as is the chat function.  In addition to the close captioning appearing during the meeting, the recording of the meeting will include a downloadable transcript.  She also explained use of the chat function to ask questions and share information, cautioning that it is not to be used for personal side conversations.  She will be monitoring the chat throughout the meeting and emphasized that chat is visible to all meeting attendees.With no further questions on technology, Patty introduced the first guest speaker, Randy Hawley, Sedona Oak Creek Unified School District (SOCUSD) Board President.Sedona Oak Creek Unified School District (SOCUSD) ReportMr. Hawley divided his presentation into four areas, the School Board, School District and the primary and secondary schools.   The new superintendent of schools has begun, and the transition has been smooth.  At the September School Board meeting, a stipend was approved to improve the district’s ability to recruit new teachers in math, science, and special education.  In addition, the Board approved retention stipends for those teachers evaluated as effective or highly effective as well as those demonstrating success with low-achieving students.  School District news relates to the upcoming Budget Override public vote in November.   Mr. Hawley reminded the Council that an override was passed in 2018 and this year’s vote seeks to remain at that level for the next five years.  No tax increase is proposed.  He stressed that State funding cuts have required school districts to request budget overrides from the local community. In our District the override funds pay for such programs as full-day kindergarten, elementary school art, some A.P. Courses and music programs.   He then reviewed programs for the Red Rock High School and Middle School including athletics and clubs, noting that the Wildcat program in the West Sedona School is continuing with support from a private benefactor and that other clubs and organizations such as yoga club, chess, hiking, arts and crafts, and reading are also continuing.  Community support is an important part of Club activities.  At RRJS the Interact club visited the Sedona Winds to interact with residents and assisted with Meals on Wheels.   He then reported that the schools are participating in a nationwide program (WestEd) to help continue professional development in a variety of instructional areas.  Mr. Hawley also expressed appreciation for the many community volunteers who stepped up to assist in the classrooms.  Patty thanked Mr. Hawley and expressed the Council’s appreciation for his time and informative reports.   She then introduced Sergeant Anthony Horn of the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office as the next public agency speaker.Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office ReportSergeant Anthony Horn noted that he is newly assigned to the Village of Oak Creek Sheriff’s Office, next to the Chevron station. He has worked for the YCSO for eight (8) years and transferred to the Village from Prescott a month ago.  Sgt. Horn began his report by noting that there are speeding concerns along Jacks Canyon Road. He’s currently working with Governor’s Office of Highway Safety to get some grant money to be able to assign deputies outside of their regular shifts to primarily and specifically be for traffic enforcement along SR 179 and Jacks Canyon Road.  Enforcement focuses on areas where there have been complaints.  Sgt. Horn also noted that there is continuing activity with respect to trailhead burglaries; now also involving the criminal investigations bureau.  Several suspects have been identified and leads are being explored.  In addition, he announced that a new administrative assistant has been hired for the Village office and is currently being trained.  Having an administrative assistant will enable the office to remain open to support the community.  Hours of operation have not yet been finalized.  Sgt. Horn then reminded the Council that there are civilian volunteers who assist the Sheriff’s office and there is currently a new one in training.  These volunteers assist with non-criminal activities such as helping motorists in need and checking homes where the owners are on vacation.  They currently have three (3) trained volunteers in all of our Eastern area command which includes Cottonwood.   Sgt. Horn concluded by noting that there will be some scheduling changes in the Sheriff’s department, and aside from next month’s meeting, he hopes to be able to continue to report monthly to the Council. (UPDATE:  Sgt. Horn did get selected to remain the VOC Sergeant and he looks forward to continuing to build up our support and relationships in the community.) Patty thanked Sergeant Horn for his time and presentation. He noted that he’d put his email address within the Chat and welcomed anyone to contact him directly with questions.  At 9:14am, Mary Pope called the roll and confirmed 14 Member Organizations present along with 6 guests.  During the morning three additional Member Organization Representatives arrived (one replacing his Alternate and two additional). With respect to approval of the draft agenda, a question was raised regarding the President’s report, and it was agreed that if John Wichert did not arrive by the end of the meeting, Susan Barber would recap the Noise Ordinance meeting with the County and Patty Reski agreed to recap the fundraising status for possible legal action concerning the proposed APS Transmission line.  Patty then asked if there were any other changes and hearing none, a motion was made by Joe Skidmore, seconded by Carolyn Fisher to approve the agenda as amended.  Motion passed unanimously. President’s Report (Partial): Legal Research – Patty reported that $5425 has been raised to support researching a potential legal challenge to the McGuireville to VOC, APS transmission line proposal.  With the matching $5000 grant from the Sedona Village Partnership (SVP), the goal of $10,000 has been met.  Patty then reminded everyone that there will be an informational meeting on the proposed transmission line, Wednesday September 27th at 7pm at the Church of the Nazarene, 55 Rojo Drive in the Village.Secretary’s Report:  Mary Pope asked if there were any changes to the BPC Minutes from August 10th, hearing none, Pat Robles moved to approve the minutes as written and Carolyn Fisher seconded.  Motion passed unanimously.  She then announced a new first alternate for Pinion Woods III, Marianne Langridge, thanking Christine Sturgeon for her service and noting that Christine remains an alternate for Firecliff.  Marianne is currently a member of the Community Plan Committee.  Mary noted that the Policy on Committees has been updated to reflect the completion of the Website & Emergency Preparedness Committees’ work, calling for approval by acclamation.  The updated policy was approved.  Treasurer’s Report:  Patty Reski reminded the Council that they’d received a copy of the August treasurer’s report with their meeting zoom details, noting that last month in addition to normal monthly expenses, the D&O Policy was paid as well as an invoice for printing of the trifold brochures for realtors.  The bank balance is higher than normal due to the contributions for legal research.  This month, the Treasurer appoints a three member Budget Committee and Patty called for volunteers.  Dave Norton and Pat Robles volunteered (Update: Joe Skidmore volunteered after the meeting).  The proposed budget for 2024 will be presented at the October Council meeting. Unfinished Business:  Nominating Committee – Patty noted that a third member of the committee was needed, and Mary Morris volunteered.  Carolyn Fisher noted that she’d also sent suggestions to Gay Chanler for committee members.  Mary will follow up with Gay on the additional names. The committee is currently comprised of Gay Chanler, Dave Norton and Mary Morris. New Business:  501(c) 3 application status – Patty reminded the Council that the application for 501(c) 3 was sent to the IRS in March and there’s a six-month timeframe for their response.   A response was received (5 ½ months) just after Labor Day, noting that our Articles of Incorporation need to be changed before approval could be granted.  The IRS expected that to be completed within 3 weeks, and that isn’t possible due to the notice and discussion requirements of our current Articles and Bylaws as well as the required re-filing with the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC).   Patty has applied for an extension of time, but we still must move quickly and have the changes reviewed and voted on by October 12th.  The two clauses that the IRS requires to be changed are the Purpose (Article V) and Dissolution (Article XII).   The current dissolution clause will be replaced by the IRS recommendation as the current one, although it includes the IRS recommendation, also has two sections that refer to the originating member organizations and would be difficult if not impossible to adhere to.  The simpler IRS recommendation is an improvement.   The Purpose clause is more complicated as it is in addition to our current requirements.   Patty has spoken to the IRS, the ACC and several local non-profit organizations regarding the required language.  She was advised to add it as is, without change.  She then noted that a 2/3 vote of all Council member organizations is required to pass an amendment to the Articles of Incorporation.  That’s 16 of 23 in favor.  Mary Pope then explained that an electronic vote will be taken.  The required notice of the change was sent out September 12th and today’s meeting is the first discussion of the proposal.  Final discussion and vote will be on October 12th.  Representatives are encouraged to involve their respective communities in this decision.  The electronic voting materials will be sent to Representatives soon and Representatives may vote any time between receipt of the materials and October 12th.  Absence of a vote by October 12th will be considered an abstention, but 16 positive votes will still be required to pass the amendments. It will also be possible to vote at the meeting, October 12th.   Mary asked that she be told asap if a Representative is unavailable, and the ballot should be sent to an Alternate.  Discussion followed, stressing the importance of 501(c) 3 status and the need to VOTE so that the process may be completed in a timely manner.   If we need to repeat the process at a later date there are significant cost implications for the Council.Committee Reports:Art in the Roundabouts – Rolf Funk reported that the timetable for reporting to the Council now coincides with Council meeting dates.  The call to artists has gone out and the committee has contacted ADOT to be sure all requirements are met for SR 179 roundabouts in the Village.  Rolf pointed out that the roundabouts in the Village are smaller than those on 89A in Sedona.  He then reported on the exciting meeting that they had with Todd Richardson and his art students at the Verde Valley School.  They’re very interested in participating in this project.  It will be a great experience whether or not their sculpture is selected.  There will be an article in the Villager about the students’ participation.Dark-Sky – Dave Norton reported that on October 5th he’ll be teaching the fifth-grade class at West Sedona School about solar viewing, followed by a Star Party that evening.  The committee has received the revised Dark-Sky Ordinance from Yavapai County and is reviewing it.  He reminded the Council that there will not be a “grandfather” clause and that all lighting must be in compliance by January 2027.  He also noted that there will be a solar eclipse the morning of October 12th.  We will only see a partial eclipse, but it should still be very dramatic.USFS Liaison – Mary Pope reported on behalf of Rick Harroun that Thursday afternoon (9/14) at 2pm Friends of the Forest were hosting a gathering at the Ranger Station on Brewer Road in Sedona.  If you’re interested in finding out more about what friends of the forest do, or volunteering to work with them this is a great opportunity.President’s Report (Continued) – Noise Ordinance:  Susan Barber reported on behalf of John Wichert that they’d met with Supervisor Michaels August 29th.   Michael Sepp, Jeremy Dye and Mark Lusson were also in attendance.   At the end of the discussion Supervisor Michaels said that she was not aware of a noise problem in the Village.  When John mentioned that this body had voted unanimously to send a recommendation to the supervisors that a noise ordinance be added to the planning and the planning ordinance, she acknowledged that indeed this community did want some help in addressing the excessive noise that we sometimes have.   Susan felt that some progress had been made and that it might be useful for us to reach out to our communities via our reps and gather more examples of excessive noise when it occurs. She recommended a free app to download that will record noise levels.  The app is called NIOSH SLM.  Measurements are easily saved, with date and time recorded.  In answer to Susan’s question on where measurements should be sent, Mary Pope suggested bigparkcouncil.inquiry@gmail.com because the whole Executive Board has access to it.   Sgt. Horn noted that it is best if the ordinance were from Yavapai County, because then law enforcement would then be able to enforce it.Announcements:Ben Lee of Verde Valley School thanked Rolf Funk for coming to the school and meeting with Todd Richardson’s art class and confirmed that the students were really excited about the project.  He then took the opportunity to thank all who have sent their condolences regarding the tragic death of Jeanne Howell who was a wonderful person, great life force and a great math teacher at VVS for 10 years.  The school and her family were delighted and overwhelmed with the good wishes that came in from the community.  He then noted that the school year had begun very well with 122 children in attendance. He reminded the Council that the AZ Tax Credit has been changed somewhat this year and people can use the credit to support the Verde Valley School.  He has brochures explaining the AZ Tax Credit and information is also available on their website.   https://vvsaz.myschoolapp.com/page/support-vvs/verde-valley-sto-arizona-tax-credit?siteId=1390&ssl=1Carolyn Fisher reminded the Council that some spaces are still available for the Novel Night dinners in support of the Village Library.  Carolyn also thanked the Verde Valley School for providing a venue so that Camilla Ross (Emerson Theatre Collaborative and Arts Academy of Sedona) has a place to hold her next production October 6th & 7th. The meeting was adjourned at 9:59am on a motion by Carolyn Fisher, seconded by Joe Skidmore.

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