Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Forward Progress in the Time of COVID

May this find you discovering healthy, new avenues to stay physically, socially and spiritually strong.

Like most organizations, the Council has encountered complicated questions as to how to effectively operate in this landscape of restrictions and uncertainty.  I assure you that your Executive Board has been relentlessly seeking solutions that are workable, affordable and aligned with the needs of our community and the bylaws of our organization.

Some thorny questions have arisen, notably “how do we productively accomplish our business without face to face meetings that allow discussion and voting”?  Our bylaws don’t include provisions for our current scenario and pre-date tools like Zoom and ElectionBuddy.

Where bylaws are silent, consensus is often elusive, so it became necessary to seek answers from professional experts.  Through our informal pro-bono professional advisors, Parliamentarian Al Gage (CPP, PRP), and the Aspey Watkins & Diesel Law Group, it was discovered that electronic voting is permitted by Arizona law and that neither our Articles of Incorporation or Bylaws prohibit this.  The letter from AWD Law Group can be found on our website (under BPRCC Organizing Documents). Thanks to a generous private donation covering the legal expense, the Executive Board was able to quickly and carefully resolve this conundrum at no cost to the Council.

Resumption of Public Meetings
We are disappointed that the COVID situation has us at a standstill, and there will not be a regular public meeting in July and possibly August.  Further complicating resumption of live gatherings, the fire station where we normally meet is unlikely to be available for many months, and possible not this year.  Other options are under investigation. The legal opinion we received on June 15th suggests that electronic meetings may be possible if we can: (1) find a method that satisfies AZ law; and (2) get approval from the Council of Representatives.  On the advice of counsel, this possibility is being seriously looked into.

New Website Goes LIVE in June!
Our new website ( was made possible through the generous volunteerism of Darcy Hitchcock, Alternate Rep for The Ridge HOA.  Local photographer and philanthropist Bev Copen kindly contributed some of her award-winning images to beautify the site.  We are grateful to both of these community supporters for making the new site possible.

The format is very different, but you will find the same information: Latest news, roster of Member Organizations and reps, calendar, meeting minutes, bylaws and organizing documents, and email signup.

Secretary Elect Phil Feiner, committee member Nancy Maple and I are trained administrators and will be collaborating to keep the site up to date with Council and community information. Also, Nancy Maple and Representative Mary Pope (La Barranca II) are now trained to use our bulk email system which will help with timely electronic communication. We welcome your suggestions and comments.

Planning & Zoning Committee
The P&Z Committee meets via Zoom on the 4th Friday of each month.  If you’d like to witness the meeting, you’ll find information on the Council’s online calendar.

Currently the committee is working with Yavapai County on an improved BPRCC review methodology that will successfully support collaboration with applicants and provide the County with meaningful, applicable community input. This is a work in process.

The committee is closely following the progress of updates to the Yavapai County Comprehensive Plan and the Verde Valley Regional Land Use Plan. These can be found on the Council website.  The state of Arizona mandates an update to the Comprehensive Plan every 10 years, and Supervisor Garrison stated that he recommends that the Regional Plan and all community plans be updated as well.

The bylaws of the BPRCC make significant reference to the Big Park Community Plan, which was last revised in 1998.  Two quotations from these bylaws follow:

“BIG PARK REGIONAL COMMUNITY shall mean residents, property owners, business owners and investors within the boundaries of the Big Park Community Plan adopted by the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors on June 15, 1998, including subsequent amendments thereto ("Community Plan"), and with such other adjacent areas as may be approved by the Corporation for inclusion from time to time.

The powers and responsibility of the Council of Representatives shall include, without limitation, approval or disapproval of the following:

a. Implementation of the goals of the Community Plan;”

“The purpose of the Planning & Zoning Committee is to help coordinate all matters concerning planning and zoning issues in the Big Park Regional Community. The goals of the Planning & Zoning Committee are: a) To identify the planning and zoning issues affecting the Big Park Regional Community, primarily those issues identified in the Land Use Guidelines of the Community Plan; b) To make recommendations for action to the Council of Representatives based upon the Committee's research and discussion of the issues involved.”

The committee will be providing the Council with information on the process for updating these plans, the importance they play, and suggestions for how the BPRCC might most effectively work with the community to update the Big Park Community Plan. They will also provide guidance on how BPRCC might provide the County with community input on the updates to the Comprehensive and Regional Land Use Plans.

We invite your ideas and encourage everyone to visit the new website and subscribe to the Big Park Council email list.

Camille Cox, President  (