Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Our Village Needs YOU Now #mybackyardVOC

President’s Report January 2021 
Our Village Needs YOU Now #mybackyardVOC 

The first years after becoming a VOC resident, I couldn’t resist taking photos of… just about everything. Like most who migrate here, the exotic beauty of this area mesmerized me. I bombarded family and friends with streams of images – captioned #mybackyardVOC. Sound familiar? 

Indeed, this charming village and the surrounding landscape do constitute our shared backyard. As we are blessed to partake, we residents are also the incumbent stewards of this place we call HOME. 

Mapping Our Future: Community Plan 2021 Is Underway 

Pursuant to Arizona state law, Yavapai County must periodically update its Comprehensive Plan. In December the County conducted three orientation sessions for communities that intend to author a Community Vision statement for inclusion in the 2021 Yavapai County Comprehensive Plan. In connection therewith, the County seeks specifically a document that expresses the unique character of our community, our values and “sense of place”. 

Members of your BPRCC Community Plan Committee participated in those sessions, and are now embarking on the work of collecting community input to create said Vision Statement and plan. This is a singular opportunity that will not present itself again for another 10 years. If we wish to play a role in mapping the future of our community – the time to participate is NOW. 

Historical Perspective – How Did We Get Here? 

The last Big Park Region Community Vision Statement and plan was adopted in 1998. (link to the plan document: https://tinyurl.com/BPCommunityPlan) To our detriment, since roughly 2008, that document gathered dust on the shelf ~ and the inevitable realities of growth and change had significant impacts – some positive and some heartbreaking. 

Here are some excerpts from that 1998 plan that I find both insightful and provocative: 
• The natural beauty and scenic vistas are a vital asset that benefits residents and visitors alike. This natural environment helps to define the quality of life enjoyed by its citizens and the protection of this natural environment is critical to continuing that lifestyle and the economic well-being of this area. 
 • The purpose of the Big Park community plan is to provide a future view of the area based upon known issues, growth trends and projected development patterns. The intent of the community plan is to offer guidance in the decision-making for future development of the area. The plan is not an ordinance or law, and is, therefore, not retroactive to existing land uses. Its policies and implementation options serve only as guidelines for future development. 
• This revision builds on the concepts of the original small rural town atmosphere of the 1988 plan and retains much of its flavor and goals. 
• The resident population in 1988 was 2,690 and today, in 1998, the population is 4,291 with an estimated increase to 6,317 by the year 2010. (Author’s note: current population ~8,300) The character of this population has changed from mainly retired residents to a more family-oriented community. At the present time, there are approximately 460 students residing in the Big Park community plan area who are enrolled in grades 1-12. 
• The character of commercial development is very different from 1988 to 1998. There has been a 13-fold increase in motel/hotel/timeshare tourist accommodation units during this period. • Kind of community: 
    Retain a sense of community 
    Retain the small town atmosphere 
    Preserve the natural beauty o Retain present overall rural density. 
• Community needs: 
    Maintain existing National Forest lands. o Specify architectural codes that lead to an aesthetically compatible core area. 
    Develop a community center, especially for young people with recreation facilities and fields. 
    Provide sidewalks-paths along SR 179 as a safe route for non-motorized users. 
    Provide public transportation (shuttle) to connect the Big Park area with the greater Sedona Area. 
    Ensure an adequate water supply and appropriate wastewater facilities for present and anticipated future growth. 
    Explore possibilities for additional route into the city of Sedona. 
    Plan for development that is responsible to the community goals, especially in regard to environmental standards, open space and parks. 

It is reaffirming that many of these statements, made 22 years ago, seem to still be true of our community’s values. On the other hand, you can see that the absence of a current and dynamic Community Plan, actively defended by the Village, led to diminished standing with the County and some outcomes that are contrary to the stated values and needs. 

If we want a voice in mapping the future of our shared “backyard”, is essential that we work together to create and adopt a plan that reflects our collective interests and values. 

The Time is Now, and the Mapping Assignment Belongs to Us 

Unlike incorporated areas such as Sedona, Camp Verde or Cottonwood – we do not have funding or staff to undertake the work necessary to complete our Community Vision statement and plan. But we do have time, treasure, and extraordinarily capable and directly relevant talent in this community. Our community needs you----NOW. 

The Big Park Council has a strong core team in the Community Planning Committee, but we need additional volunteers immediately and in the coming months to a) survey the community; b) compose the plan; and c) vet the final plan such that it can be adopted and incorporated into the 2021 County Comprehensive Plan. 

This task is a unique opportunity for Village residents and business owners to play an important role in the future of our village, and to gain a greater appreciation for how vibrant communities come into being. It’s not by accident! 

A few skill sets sought for the committee: Survey strategy/creation, professional writing/editing, website creation and administration, graphic design/illustration, statistician, community planning, built area development, transportation/traffic expertise, urban planning, administration/records management. Send an email to info@bigparkcouncil.org if you’d like to learn more about how you can participate. 

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. 

Ad hoc Bylaws Committee: Nancy Maple and Mary Pope, Co-chairs 
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

Dark Skies Committee Meeting, Jan 7th 3pm

AGENDA

January 7th, 3pm via Zoom

Supervisor Dr. Donna Michaels will attend the first part of our meeting. (20 minutes) to discuss :

  1. Improving county enforcement of our current lighting ordinance. A brief review of recent failures.  Open discussion on steps we can take to improve adherence.
  2. Reasons for updating our current ordinance and determining next steps.
  3. A brief review of the weaknesses of our lighting ordinance. Open discussion on  steps the county requires/recommends to modify the lighting ordinance

Committee Discussion:

  1. Old business
    • Status on signage
    • Partnering efforts with other communities
  2. Discussion of our purpose and goals
  3. Discussion on lighting ordinance modifications
  4. Discussion of “Got Dark? 2021” campaign

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Highlights of the November 12th Meeting

Highlights of the November 12th Meeting

President’s Report – Camille Cox announced that Mike Ryan has volunteered to be chairman of the standing Dark-Skies Committee that the Council created last month. Phil Feiner and Dave Norton are also members of the committee, and other interested VOC residents are invited to join (send and email to: info@bigparkcouncil.org).

Vice President Carolyn Fisher was congratulated for being awarded the prestigious Spirit of Sedona award by the Arizona Community Foundation of Sedona. Camille summarized Carolyn’s accomplishments and contributions to the community over the years and led a round of applause.

Secretary’s Report - Phil Feiner welcomed the following new appointees: KC Kinsey, Representative for Cathedral View 2; Vanessa Trujillo-Tenbrink, Representative for Verde Valley School; Dave Blauert, Alternate Rep for Sun Dance HOA; Terry Adair, Representative for La Barranca I.

Treasurer’s Report – Neil Pope presented the current financial standing, which is in good order. Regarding the 2021 Budget, he recommended changes including a reduction in the expense for meeting room rental and an increase for more ElectionBuddy online balloting. A updated budget will be presented for approval at the December meeting.


2021 Officers
– Three position had a single candidate and were elected by acclamation: Camille Cox, president; Mike Ryan, treasurer; and Mary Pope, secretary. Dave Norton was elected vice president by majority via electronic ballot.


Revised Bylaws Review Session – Co-Chair Nancy Maple presented and led discussion. Each month the Council is reviewing a section of the bylaws to recommend changes towards improving the organization's alignment with its Mission. These incremental changes are being aggregated to be approved as a complete revision in 2021. A straw voting system is used to determine consensus. This month's review session was on Membership:

Proposed Bylaws 3.2 recommends increasing the voting requirement for new Member acceptance to 2/3. After discussion it was agreed to retain the Current Bylaws majority vote requirement, providing a quorum is present at the meeting at which the vote is taken. The Council also agreed not to require Members to “continually meet criteria” without a process in place to accomplish this. The method of audit will be a Policy document, not a bylaw requirement.

Proposed Bylaws 3.3a eliminates the possibility of subdivisions (neighborhoods) already represented from becoming members. Although there was agreement to keep the Current requirement that these groups should have the opportunity to become Member Organizations, there was much discussion on how this would be accomplished. The recommended wording for a sub-group to join on its own was unanimously accepted with the description changed from “Subdivision” to “Neighborhood". This accommodates parent Residential Member Organizations such as VOCA and Las Piedras, and also allows organizations like the Sedona Golf Resort (who have differing types of neighborhoods within their RMO) to increase their representation.

Proposed Bylaws 3.4 limits Business Member Organizations to a single umbrella association. The value of businesses as investors in the community was discussed in detail. Carolyn Fisher reminded the Council of rationale behind the Current three member limit, including concerns that too great a number could skew the organization into more of a “Chamber of Commerce”, rather than a balanced organization representing the entire community. It was unanimously agreed to keep the Current limit of three Business Association Member Organizations.

Requirements for the three Membership categories (residential, business and education) were presented in a chart format. In the interest of time, after this meeting Representatives will receive a survey to express their views of various criteria. Results will be presented and discussed in December.

Proposed Bylaws 3.5 – Termination of a Member Organization   

The Proposed Bylaws recommendation to reduce the Termination of a Member vote from ¾ to 2/3 touched upon several key concerns. It was agreed that this article will be rewritten to require a discussion at a Regular meeting prior to a vote of the entire Membership. ¾ of all eligible voters remains the standard.

Termination of Membership for non-payment of dues. It was felt that the proposed deadline of March 1st was not ideal. It was decided to retain the Current requirements, removing the word “written” from “written notice” to allow for electronic communication of latency.

Planning & Zoning Committee – Chairman Mary Morris explained the committee’s recommendations on the proposed revision to the Zoning Ordinance on Towers (phone, internet etc.) It was agreed that these changes are a good step forward, but concerns were raised regarding notice of new/revised towers to the surrounding residents and property owners. It was felt that current County notice requirements are not sufficiently wide, as tall towers may visually impact a large expanse of view scape. The Council voted to accept the P&Z Committee’s recommendation to approve the County’s proposed modifications with a recommendation to require notification to property owners within one (1) mile from the site (not the tower itself) in all directions.

Art/Craft Tent Show Use Permit Renewal – County Development Services denied the renewal on the basis of objections brought forth by the BPRCC in addition to major concerns from the Fire Department and ADOT. The promoter has the option to apply for a new Use Permit.


Community Plan Committee – Chairman Camille Cox reported that the County has scheduled a series of three virtual meetings to educate communities on the requirements and process for submission of Community Plans to be indexed in the updated Yavapai County Comprehensive Plan. Nov 19 and 21 are “Introduction to the Community Vision”, Dec 3 and 5 are Discussion on the 8 Elements, and Dec 17th is for General Questions and Clarifications. In addition to the Community Plan, the County’s Comprehensive Plan is being revised, and there are openings for citizens to join an Advisory Committee. Interested individuals should send an email to info@bigparkcouncil.org for meeting information.


From your 2020 Executive Board - We wish you all a beautiful Thanksgiving Season.
Camille, Carolyn, Phil, Neil and Mary

Saturday, November 7, 2020

November Meeting Agenda

BPRCC Regular Meeting
November 12th, 9am

The agenda for the meeting this coming Thursday is loaded with important decision-making that will shape the Council's future work. We will elect the 2020 officers, approve the 2021 budget, and address proposed bylaws changes regarding the composition of the Council and membership qualifications.
Background information on the candidates is at the end of this message and can be viewed on the Council website.

Zoom Meeting Information - If you would like to join the meeting, send an email to info@bigparkcouncil.org with your name and email address. You will be added to the meeting attendee list. We welcome you!

The meeting waiting room opens at 8:30.


Friday, October 30, 2020

Council Votes to Deny 5-year Renewal of Use Permit for Tent Shows at Sedona Vista Village

The Big Park Regional Coordinating Council’s Planning & Zoning Committee reviewed the application for 5-year Renewal of Art/Craft Tent Shows at Sedona Vista Village. The regularly scheduled meeting was conducted via Zoom and open to the public (10-23-2020).

The committee's recommendations were provided to the Council of Representatives via email and subsequent electronic ballot. 

The result of the vote was to deny the Use Permit Renewal. The areas of concern are outlined in the Assessment below.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Who Doesn't Love a Parade?

There's a Halloween Parade Happening in the Village ! 

Saturday Oct 31 10a-12p 
Location: Big Park Community School


What an idea!! A pet parade in the Village of Oak Creek hosted by the Sedona Village Partnership and Sedona Village Learning Center to give families – big people and little people – a bit of Halloween festivity in a safe setting.

This is a no fee community event! All are welcome, with or without a pet!  Calling everyone - young and old, pet owners and wanna-be pet owners... don a funny, or frightening costumer, l
eash up your little monster, and come out and let's enjoy some community fun together.

What's the deal ? 

Registration for parade entrants is 9:30am.

Prizes for Best Dressed Pet / Best Dressed Pet with Owner / Best Dressed Group Combo, Pet Who Has Come the Farthest, and others. There will be JUDGES and Halloween goodies for all participants!  (Even more surprises are being developed.)

All families around the Verde Valley, Sedona, Cottonwood, Clarkdale and the Village of Oak Creek are welcome to participate.

Parade route - short & safe!

The start will be at the East entrance of the Big Park Community School. “Observers” can stand and hand out treats along the entire route, past the preschool playground into the wide entrance to the back playground. The parade will continue along the perimeter of the border fence and twice around the large brick circle, concluding on the concrete sidewalk in front of the old Administration Office, where the cash prizes and other awards will be distributed.

Physical distancing will be observed, and of course, masks are encouraged. 

It's free.... the best kind of fun!

There is no fee to enter and participate. If you would like to donate to support scholarships for 3-4-5-year-olds at the Sedona Village Learning Center PreK school, there will be easy ways to do that. https://sedonavillage.org/2020/09/16/pet-parade/




Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Candidates for 2021 Executive Board

Big Park Regional Coordinating Council
Officer Candidates for 2021 Executive Board

The following individuals were presented by Mike Ryan, chairman of the Nominating Committee.  There is a single candidate for president, secretary and treasurer.  We have two candidates vying for the seat of vice president, listed here alphabetically.

The election will be held November 12th at the regular meeting of the Council.

📌  President, Camille Cox

Camille is currently president of the Council and served on the 2019 Executive Board as secretary.  She is chair of the newly formed Big Park/Village of Oak Creek Community Plan Committee.  In 2019 she served as co-chair of the Council’s ad hoc Parliamentary Training Committee. She is an alternate rep and communication secretary for the Pine Valley Property Owners Association, one of the Council’s largest Member Organizations.

Last year Camille served on the core team that produced the 2019 Town Hall Forum on the topic Verde Valley Land Use: Making Collaborative Decisions. This forum brought together 103 thought leaders from across the region.  She is a Partner of the Sedona Village Partnership and previously served on the marketing and awards committees for Keep Sedona Beautiful.

Professionally, she is active as a strategic marketing consultant specializing in high tech and industrial markets.  Her firm, OnRamp Communications, works with executive teams on assignments with significant business impact and high confidentiality. During her 40-year career, she has helped many companies with public offerings, divestitures and launches, including startups to Fortune 500.

She and her husband Philip moved to the Village of Oak Creek in late 2015 from Thousand Oaks, CA.  They have four adult children, seven grandchildren, a pond full of koi fish and a loyal dog named Jackie.

📌  Vice President, Phil Feiner

Phil is currently serves on the 2020 Executive Board as secretary, on the APS Transmission Line subcommittee, and the Ad Hoc Bylaws Committee.

Highlights of his career at Pacific Title & Art in 1977, and his first Optical Vfx shot on "Star Wars" removing the mirror below the land speeder cut in the movie (commonly referred to as a Vaseline shot) and being nominated for an Emmy for best Visual Effects on the Warner Bros. TV show "V". Other projects like American Sniper, Mystic River, Saving Private Ryan, Schindler's List, Empire of the Sun, Eraser,Striptease, Birdcage, Executive Decision, Primal Fear, Mission Impossible, Twister, Batman & Robin, Men In Black, Titanic, ET – Extraterrestrial, Star Wars 1977, Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, Robin Hood Prince of Thieves are a few of the 1,000+ projects on the long list of television and feature films that Phil has worked on during his 40 year career. Preservation projects for Warner Bros. include 2001 A Space Oddessy, Around the World in 80 Days, Cheyenne Autumn, Mutiny on the Bounty, Battle of the Bulge, Ice Station Zebra and Ben-Hur.  Feiner's most prestigious and daunting project was George Lucas's restoration of the Star Wars trilogy in 1997. For this massive project, Feiner and Pacific Title mapped out an extensive cost-effective alternative to more expensive digital effects using new intermediate elements from the original camera negatives plus selected digital composting of the "Blaster" sequence.

Professional affiliations include membership in the 600 Photographers Union as a Director of Photography; SMPTE; ACVL; affiliate member of ACE; associate member of ASC on their Technology and Steering Committees and Co-Chair for Advanced Digital Intermediate. The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Science Sci-Tech Committee, the newly formed Academy Technology Committee, Chair of the Academy Digital Archival Initiative, and involvement in the DCI – StEm tests. 

Credited with co-developing the lucrative "Gemini Process," a high-quality D1 video-to-film process, Feiner was also instrumental in the development, planning and execution of Pacific Title Digital Studio, in 1989. In 2002, Feiner began development work on a B&W Archival System to Archive Digital files onto analogue B&W 35mm Polyester film through Laser Film Recording. The process that was born from this development is called “Rosetta” and its lifespan can be up towards 1,500 years, if properly stored. In February 2007, Feiner and members of his development team were awarded a Scientific and Technical Award “Academy Plaque” for developing this process.

📌  Vice President, Dave Norton

📌  Treasurer, Mike Ryan

Mike is a retired “techie” from Austin, Texas.  He and his wife, Sandy, moved to the Village in 2018 to find a slower pace of life. He represents the Las Piedras HOA on the Council.

His professional career involved finding ways to use technology to make businesses more competitive.  At Charles Schwab and Dell Computer he led teams responsible for data networks, data centers, telemarketing centers and application software for customer service and sales. After his tech career, he spent several years teaching high school and working for Habitat for Humanity as a construction volunteer and house leader. After a few years of framing houses, hanging sheetrock, installing cabinetry, before he switched to the electrical crew wiring houses (easier on the back!).

Mike sees his involvement in the BPRCC as an opportunity to contribute to the Village. His personal passion is our Dark-Skies Community designation, an area where his engineering perspective on lighting provides insight.  Front and center are new developments and re-development projects, which raise the issue of LED lighting to the community.  He is hopeful that with education and community involvement we can bring in a new era of collaboration.

📌  Secretary, Mary Pope

I would be honored to serve as the secretary for the Big Park Regional Coordinating Council, as I am encouraged to see the direction it has been heading this past year, and would welcome the opportunity to further support our efforts to become a more open discussion forum; giving expression to the thoughts and opinions of our Community in a positive way.  

As for my qualifications, I served as Co-Chair of the Parliamentary Procedure/Code of Conduct Committee, currently am Co-Chair of the Bylaws Committee and am the Representative for La Barranca II.  I have been trained on MailChimp and the BPRCC website, currently doing some of the BPRCC emails and assisting with website content uploads.  

I’ve served on the Boards of a number of Sedona non-profits.  

Going further back, I retired in 2004 as Director of Worldwide Graphics & Trademark for the Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies.  I’ve been admitted to the NJ Bar (retired from practice).  I’m a PADI open-water diver, miniaturist, avid gardener and recreational horseback rider. Although my hiking days are behind me, I count Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim as one of my proudest achievements.  I am happily married to Neil Pope, and together we have 3 beautiful children and 3 amazing grandchildren (of course!).  

Lastly, I love life here in the Village where we have lived full time since 2004.

Warmest Regards, Mary Pope.


Wednesday, October 14, 2020

BPRCC Vice President Honored by AZ Community Foundation

Carolyn Fisher Honored with Spirit of Sedona Award

The Arizona Community Foundation of Sedona announced their 2020 Spirit of Sedona Awards today. Among the Philanthropists of the Year honorees is Carolyn Fisher, vice president of the Big Park Regional Coordinating Council. Carolyn has represented her neighborhood on the Council since its beginning in 1997, and served as president, vice president, secretary and treasurer as well as many committees.

She is a retired Air Force Lt. Colonel and has lived in the VOC since 1994. After attending college in Virginia, she served in the Peace Corps in Southeast Asia. During her tenure in the Air Force she had assignments in Florida, Mississippi, Alaska, Alabama, Virginia, Illinois and California.

Carolyn is involved in many philanthropic activities in the Verde Valley, but among them, her greatest passion is education.  On that front she is a contributor on both the macro and micro level. She was a key player in the effort to save the Big Park Community School for the Village, and is both a Director and volunteer with the Sedona Literacy Center tutoring elementary students on reading, writing and math skills. She served on the Verde Valley Board Advisory Committee (VVBAC), which reported to the Yavapai College District Governing Board, works with OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute), is affiliated with Yavapai College, and has worked tirelessly for more than a decade to bring educational courses to the Village of Oak Creek and Rimrock area.  She serves on the Board of Trustees of the Verde Valley Sinfonietta, is a Partner of the Sedona Village Partnership, and was treasurer for the Verde Valley Forum for Public Affairs. 

All that, and on any given day you will find her giving a little lift to some Verde Valley cause not previously mentioned.

Congratulations, Carolyn - and thank you for all you do for the Village and Verde Valley Region!


Monday, October 12, 2020

VOC Ballot Box

In case you have not heard, we have a new ballot drop box located at the District 3 Fire Station: 125 Slide Rock Road.


Monday, October 5, 2020

Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office Announces Text to 9-1-1 Service

Prescott AZ (October 1, 2020) – The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office and our law enforcement partners throughout Yavapai County are excited to announce that Text-to-9-1-1 service is now available countywide. Partnering agencies include police departments in Clarkdale, Jerome, Prescott, Prescott Valley, Chino Valley, Cottonwood, Sedona, Yavapai Tribal-Prescott, Yavapai Tribal-Apache, Yavapai College along with the Camp Verde Marshal’s Office and Prescott National Forest Law Enforcement.

This new technology means all 9-1-1 Public Safety Dispatch Centers in Yavapai County are equipped to receive and respond to mobile phone Text-to-9-1-1 messages from our community. These texts will be routed to the appropriate 9-1-1 center, based on jurisdiction, when sent within Yavapai County. Please review all information thoroughly to understand how the system works and its limitations.

Individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing members of the community, or those in a situation where it is too dangerous to dial 9-1-1, will have another option to call for help in an emergency, Text-to-9-1-1. The benefits to our citizens are significant, especially in cases when the caller cannot communicate verbally. Examples include not only the hard of hearing, but also when a crime is in progress, the caller is facing domestic abuse, the caller is injured and cannot speak, or other similar scenarios.

Even where text-to-9-1-1 is available, if you can make a voice call to 9-1-1, please call instead of texting.

How to text 9-1-1 in an emergency:
  • Enter the numbers “911” in the “To” field;
  • The first text message to 9-1-1 should be brief and contain the location of the emergency and type of help needed;
  • Push the “Send” button.
  • Be prepared to answer questions and follow instructions from the 9-1-1 call taker.
  • Text in simple words – do not use abbreviations.
  • Keep text messages brief and concise.

The following guidelines are provided regarding Text to 9-1-1. If you use a wireless phone or other type of mobile device, make sure to do the following in an emergency:
  • If you can, always contact 9-1-1 by making a voice call, “Call if you can – text if you can’t.”
  • If you are deaf and hard of hearing and Text-to- 9-1-1 is not available, use a TTY or telecommunications relay service, if available.
  • If you text 9-1-1 and text is not available at that time or in your area, you will receive a bounce back message advising “text is not available please make a voice call to 9-1-1.”
  • Location accuracy varies by carrier and should not be relied upon. Be prepared to give your location.
  • Text-to-9-1-1 service will not be available if the wireless carrier cannot ascertain a location of the device sending the message.
  • Text-to-9-1-1 is not available if you are roaming.
  • A text or data plan is required to place a text to 9-1-1.
  • Photos and videos cannot be sent to 9-1-1. They cannot be received at the 9-1-1 center currently.
  • Text messages should be sent in plain language and not contain popular abbreviations (SMH, LOL, ICYMI) or emojis, which will not be recognized.
  • Text-to- 9-1-1 cannot be sent to more than one person. Do not send your emergency text to anyone other than 9-1-1.
  • Texts must be in English only. There currently is no language interpretation for text available. This is still in development.
If you have further questions about the Text-to-911 program, please contact the 9-1-1- Center.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Recording of D3 Supervisors Candidate Forum 9/30

Watch our two District 3 Supervisor candidates answer questions on local issues. Questions were submitted by resident voters, moderated by the Verde Valley League of Women Voters.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-F5WUyC9es&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR1bJF0guxLrJUwbDkBgqidiLz9aIGKE1lle4Pv2c_uTcw0augsHOwS5aoA

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Update to P&Z Committee Meeting Schedule for Nov and Dec

The committee chair has adjusted the dates of the regular monthly Planning & Zoning Committee meetings in November and December due to the holidays.

We normally meet on the 4th Friday of each month – instead we will meet on the THIRD Friday, 10am. Those dates are 11/20 and 12/18.  

The October meeting date is the standard fourth Friday - 10/23 10am via Zoom.

The new dates are posted on the website calendar.

Monday, September 28, 2020

P&Z Committee, Minutes of the Sept meeting

We had an impressive turnout at the meeting this month.  The next meeting is scheduled for Friday, October 23, 10am via Zoom.

The committee is seeking a volunteer to help with a few simple research tasks to keep our County permit ledger current.  It would require apx 1 hour/month.  Send an email to Chair Mary Morris to learn more: mary@morrismedia.com.

Download PDF of Sept P&Z meeting minutes


Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Announcement: Candidates Forum for Board of Supervisors District 3

We just learned that the League of Women Voters of Greater Verde Valley is hosting a Candidates Forum for County Board of Supervisors District 3 (includes the Village of Oak Creek and Sedona).

Moderators for the forum will compile and pose voters' questions to the candidates. You can submit questions by emailing: ycd3supervisor.forum@gmail.com by September 23.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the forums will be videotaped by Verde Valley TV and posted on YouTube, LWV GVV website: www.lwvverdevalley.com and other social media.

More information on how to watch and possibly participate in the forum will be provided when available.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

How sweet it is to meet again

Originally Published: September 3, 2020 1:54 p.m. Verde Independent

In August, the Big Park Council conducted its first electronic regular meeting via Zoom. It was wonderful to be together again, and aside from a little electronic clunkiness, a lot was accomplished.

• Welcomed a new officer, Secretary Phil Feiner, who was elected via our new electronic voting system.

• Mary Morris was announced as chair pro tem of the Planning & Zoning Committee, succeeding Mike Ryan, who resigned for personal reasons. There are currently no applications under review by the committee.

• Introduced the amendment to our bylaws to clarify BPRCC electronic meetings and voting preferences. Discussion and voting will happen in September.

• Formed an ad hoc Community Plan Committee to lead the Big Park Regional Community Plan update for the 2022 Yavapai County Comprehensive Plan.

• John Swingle, our liaison to the Verde Valley Transportation and Planning Organization, gave a run down on various transportation projects on the horizon that will impact the Village.

• A proposal for the Council to lead a community forum for the District 3 Supervisor candidates prior to the November election was met with enthusiasm, and volunteers will move this concept forward for the next meeting.

• The bylaws committee led the first of our review discussions on the Proposed Bylaws. Consensus on recommended changes was confirmed via a straw poll, and these changes are being incorporated in the document under review.

• A post-meeting survey indicated strong support for using the Zoom technology going forward – and so we shall. Join us for the meeting (Thursday, Sept. 10, 9 a.m.) from the comfort of your own home. Details will be provided with the meeting agenda the week prior.

• The results of the survey were published Aug. 24 as a website blog (bigparkcouncil.org).

• Public Agency Reports – In the Works

Our streamlined meeting agenda is evolving as we adjust to the limitations of the Zoom format.

For the sake of timing, we cannot include the highly popular public agency reports that many of us enjoy. The executive board is working on a concept to deliver this information and connection either in the form of an email news bulletin and website post, or a separate Zoom meeting dedicated to that content and possibly a Q&A opportunity. Stand by for more as we work on coordination with the agencies.

Community Plan Committee Launched

At the meeting I presented a historical review of the Big Park Community Plan, explaining the County’s 2010 moratorium that resulted in the elimination of traditional community plans from the County Comprehensive Plan. A draft Purpose and Scope for an ad hoc committee the formation of the committee was unanimously approved.

A Working Group has been formed of community volunteers, which I agreed to chair. This is a community-wide project, open to anyone who would like to participate. Watch our website, the Villager and other community portals for information in coming weeks.

BPRCC denounces vandalizing campaign signs

It was brought to our attention that political campaign signs posted in the Village were recently destroyed “in the dark of night." The Executive Board of the Council is dismayed by this activity. Elections are the sacred mechanism of a democracy, down to the microscale of our community Council. When any candidate is disrespected, our process is undermined. The Council’s Code of Conduct states that we will “serve as a model of leadership and civility to the community”. We urge our Members and the community at large to be watchful and abiding by these principles throughout the election process.

Your community – your council

The BPRCC has a number of impactful and exciting projects happening and we encourage all Village residents to become involved. Get to know us by subscribing to our email list and attending the open meeting on the second Thursday of each month. There are many ways for residents to participate, whether or not you belong to a member organization. Shoot us a message at info@bigparkcouncil.org and describe your area of interest.

The September agenda will include the second in a series of discussions on the proposed bylaws. You will find a timeline showing progress on the review process, a current DRAFT document, and background materials on the next section up for review in a new area called “BPRCC Bylaws Update - Latest Information” on our website.

Camille Cox, President (camille@onrampcomm.com)

Monday, August 31, 2020

Agenda for Sept 10th Council Meeting

The September meeting of the Council will be conducted via Zoom.  If you would like to join the meeting, simply RSVP with your full name and email address to info@bigparkcouncil.org.  (Representatives of the Council, Committee Chairs and Officers do not need to RSVP).

Treasurer's Report (download PDF)

Notice of Bylaws Amendment for discussion and decision (download PDF)





Tuesday, August 25, 2020

New System for Public Comments to Yavapai County

From: Leah Brock <leah.brock@yavapai.us>

Date: August 24, 2020 at 4:34:14 PM MST

We are asking to public to make formal comments through the surveys below. This is brand new. This is the first time we have tried this. These links only became live today and will be posted to the website later this week, but in the meantime the public can access them through the links below.

These are the four hearing items that will be heard by the Planning and Zoning Commission on September 17th.

My understanding is that this data will be collected and forwarded to the Commission up until 24 hours prior to the hearing.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you,

Leah Brock

Senior Planner

Yavapai County Development Services

leah.brock@yavapai.us

Phone: (928) 649-6259


1. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SpringCreek  The developers of Spring Creek Ranch propose building 2,100 housing units/pads on land that straddles Spring Creek. This would result in the equivalent of a new small town larger than the combined populations of both Cornville and Page Springs. CLICK HERE for map.

The hearing will take place at 9:00 AM on Thurs Sept 17. Due to the pandemic, the hearing will be virtual, with citizens connecting via Zoom or a similar capability.  Check the County website for link to meeting to be posted by Sept 3.

2. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CordesLakes

3. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CornvilleRanch

4. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Wildworks



Sunday, August 23, 2020

Survey Results / Feedback on August Meeting via Zoom

The August meeting of the Council was conducted via Zoom for the first time.  The representatives strongly support continuing with electronic meetings until COVID restrictions are relaxed.

We surveyed all the meeting participants to collect inputs for improving the experience for the next meeting.  Twenty of the 22 attendees completed the survey.  Fifteen of the attendees were appointed Representatives.

Thursday, September 10th, 9am is the next regular meeting of the Council.  Mark you calendars! The agenda for that meeting will be set at the next Executive Board meeting scheduled for Monday, 8/31.  See the website calendar for details.  We will send the agenda via email the week prior with instructions for joining via Zoom. (Note the meeting is the Thursday of Labor Day week...)

A recap of the August meeting is covered in the previous blog post dated 8/14 on the website.








Friday, August 14, 2020

August Meeting Highlights


Thurs Aug 14th, Via Zoom

President Camille Cox welcomed new Representatives Carolyn Fisher (Oak Creek Country Club Estates I) and Steve Sutton (Sedona Golf Resort HOA).  She also announced that Phil Feiner was successfully elected secretary for the Council using the new electronic balloting system.

Quorum was met with 15 representatives present. There were seven others present.

Vice President Neil Pope gave the Audit Report complimenting the committee work of Carolyn Fisher and Marlene Macek. Current Treasurer's Report

 

The president and vice president expressed appreciation for Carla Williams’ excellent service during her 6-month tenure as treasurer.  VP Neil Pope is now the second authorized signer on the BPRCC bank account and Secretary Phil Feiner is in possession or the second mailbox key.  The president is also a signer and has a key.

 

The 2019 Nominating Committee was reconvened to search for a new treasurer, but has been unsuccessful to date.  The Council voted to confirm Vice President Neil Pope as treasurer pro-tem.

 

First Regular Meeting via Zoom   The president noted some of the new challenges and requested patience as we learn. A post-meeting survey will be sent to today's attendees to gather feedback to inform the Executive Board in adjusting future meeting protocols for improved efficiency and experience.

 

Bylaws Committee Co-Chair Mary Pope presented a summary of the Noticed Amendments to the current byLaws to add electronic voting and electronic meetings.  She answered questions on the two amendments that will be discussed and voted on at the September meeting.

 

Big Park Community Plan   The president presented a historical review of the community plan, explaining the County’s 2010 moratorium that resulted in the elimination of traditional community plans from the County Comprehensive Plan. A survey of 15 Reps who attended a Council Discussion Forum on July 14th unanimously recommended that the Council form an ad hoc committee to lead a community-wide effort to create a Vision Statement and updated Community Plan.  A draft Purpose and Scope for an ad hoc committee was presented, motion made and unanimously approved to establish the committee  The Purpose and Scope may be refined by the new committee and presented at the next meeting.  Dave Norton volunteered to join the committee which will include members of a Working Group of the P&Z Committee that was formed previously. Camille Cox agreed to chair the committee after a call for a volunteer went unanswered.

 

President Cox presented the concept of the Council producing a District 3 Supervisor Candidate Forum, which was enthusiastically supported by the representatives.  Some of the representatives shared recollections of how this had been done in the past.  It was suggested that both candidates should appear, possibly in a debate format, and answer questions specifically relevant to the Big Park Region.  Mike Ryan and Dave Norton will meet to explore options and create a proposed plan.

 

P&Z Committee  Camille Cox announced Mike Ryan’s resignation from the committee and congratulated Mary Morris as the new committee chair.  The Aug 28th regularly scheduled P&Z meeting will not take place unless an action item comes in from the County.

 

Membership Committee  Kathryn Stillman had resigned as chairman of the Membership Committee as well as committee member Lora Mazza.  Appreciation for their contribution, particularly for the completion of a draft Members Handbook that is now ready for review by the Council.  Lora added that a PowerPoint presentation was also produced.

 

John Swingle, Council Liaison to the VVTPO (Verde Valley Transportation and Planning Organization), thanked Camille and the Council for a last minute agenda change to include his report on County transportation activities effecting the Big Park Region.  He noted that the County is working on the crosswalk by Clark’s (Verde Valley School Rd and Slide Rock Rd) which is very dangerous.  Also there would be seal coating on the roads by Fairways Oaks, and the Verde Connect has received funding approval and will proceed the Design Phase.

 

Bylaws Review: Co-chair Mary Pope presented Governing Documents 101 explaining how the Council’s various documents work together and the process we will use to review the bylaws revisions.

 

Co-chair Nancy Maple presented the first of the 30-minute bylaws reviews – “Purpose and Tax-Exempt Status”.  It was noted that the Parliamentarian recommended including the Purpose up front in the bylaws under “Definitions”. The committee recommended that the tax-exempt status be summarized as a Procedure rather than be included in the bylaws due to the possibility that this status could be changed by the IRS, requiring complex later revision.

 

A straw vote was taken and the Council agreed that the Purpose and Tax-Exempt (short) statements should be included as part of the bylaws Definitions going forward.  There was also discussion as to whether or not these changes could be included in the current bylaws as we go along or whether we needed to wait until all changes were reviewed before voting on the package in its entirety.  It was noted that the bylaws committee must abide by the Council motion on how the review takes place – and also that the reason to hold changes until the end was because they often interact with later changes.  It was also pointed out that only the Council could change this process.

 

Nancy Maple announced the topics to be discussed in September: V Financial Provisions, IX Conflict of Interest, X Indemnification and XI Amendments/Effective Date.


You can access all of the information regarding the current and proposed bylaws, committee records and more on the Council website - BPRCC Bylaws Update Latest Info.


The next regular meeting of the Council will be September 10th, presumably via Zoom.  

The Executive Board will meet September 1 - see website calendar for time and location.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

COVID-19 Blitz Testing in Cottonwood

Spectrum Health Care will be conducting a Blitz Testing every Saturday in August 8:00 – Noon. Location: 651 Mingus Avenue in Cottonwood.

Testing is free. The tests are the PCR test – the nasal swab, generally the most reliable tests. 

Pre-registration is required @ www.spectrumhealthcare-group.org.  

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Backpack/School Drive and Crisis Care Packing Event

CRISIS CARE KIT PACKING EVENT


Crisis Care Kits have become one of the biggest charitable opportunities of the year in the VOC. For the past six years the VOC Nazarene Church has facilitated the bulk purchase and packing of essential hygiene products for disaster victims.

The kit items are usually bagged and shipped in May, arriving in time to help people during the summer/fall disaster season. Recipients aren’t qualified by religion, nationality, economic status, race, or any other criteria, only need. This year we have been delayed by manufacturing and shipping shutdowns due to CV-19.

At last, the product is prepped and we’re ready to assemble the kits. They will be bagged and boxed this Saturday, July 25th from 8:30am – 12:30pm. A free lunch will be served when the packing is completed.


To volunteer, contact Pastor Jim at pastorjim@vocnaz.org or call 928-284-0015 and leave a message.


Monday, July 20, 2020

July P&Z Committee Meeting Cancelled

Due to lack of topics to address, there will not be a Planning & Zoning Committee meeting this month.  The next meeting will be on August 28th.  (Fourth Friday of the month)

Mike Ryan, Chairman Planning & Zoning Committee

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Verde Valley Water Issues: District 3 Supervisor Candidate Forum

Water resources are a hot topic in the Verde Valley - and here's an opportunity to learn what is driving our regional water crisis.  Our two 2020 candidates for District 3 Supervisor explain their views and plans to tackle these challenges in this recorded forum produced by Citizens Water Advocacy Group.

2020 CWAG Water Issues Candidate Forum: Board of Supervisors District 3 candidates Randy Garrison, Cottonwood (incumbent) and Dr. Donna Michaels, Village of Oak Creek. 

Watch: https://vimeo.com/436516940

About
In recognition of the fact that water is a limited resource, the Mission of the Citizens Water Advocacy Group (CWAG) is to promote a sustainable water future in the Upper Verde River Basin and the Prescott Active Management Area.
Company Overview
The Citizens Water Advocacy Group (CWAG) promotes a sustainable water future in the Upper Verde River Basin and the Prescott Active Management Area. We educate the public, encourage citizen action, and advocate for responsible governmental decision-making.


Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Yavapai County Board of Supervisors Candidate Forum

Tues, July 7th 5:30pm via Zoom.

Big Park/VOC is District 3, which will not be represented at this forum.

BOS decisions are made by the panel of five Supervisors representing different areas of our County. This forum will involve conversations that are very relevant to our community. Tune in!

Register for the forum ahead of time using this link:
https://yavapai.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJIrdOCrpjgqH9xEHdNIM1WDevYxYKOHchk5





The last day to register to vote in the August 4th 2020 Primary Election is Monday, July 6, 2020.

The last day to register to vote in the November 3rd 2020 General Election is Monday, October 5th, 020.