There’s a fun tune titled All God’s Creatures Have A Place in the Choir. Even if you’re not familiar with it, or particularly religious, you catch the drift. The great paradox is that what seems so intuitive, may well be the ultimate challenge for us humans. The process of arriving at a group consensus is not easy, and it is never fast… harmonizing takes Work.
With a whisper on April 8th, the Council unanimously passed two major bylaws updates to enable expanded citizen participation on the Council. Unanimously ?!? Yes – two years of work, including surveys, research, committee meetings, and hours of Council reflection and discussion to arrive at a formula that every Member felt would ensure fuller and fairer inclusion of voices on the Council.
Not a miracle, these decisions were the result of mission-focused commitment and diligent work by our Members and community volunteers. The three categories of membership are:
* Residential Member Organizations (homeowner associations, property owner associations and residential neighborhood associations);
* Business Member Associations;
* Educational Institution Member Organizations.
Details for each are outlined on the membership applications located on the website home page. The mission at the Big Park Council is to “promote the best interests of the Community by making public the consensus of its Member Organizations’ views on issues affecting them”. If you are not already represented by a member organization of the Council, there is now a clear path to adding your voice to the choir.
County Moves Comprehensive Plan Update Forward
On April 15th the County conducted the inaugural CPAC (Community Plan Advisory Committee) meeting, which was broadcast on WebEx for public viewing. (You can watch the recording on the County’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFCaGQP2Qoo.) The Verde Valley and the VOC are well represented on the CPAC by Supervisor Donna Michaels, Sedona resident John Black and VVREO Executive Director/ Beaver Creek resident Mary Chicoine – all with rich experience to contribute. Although much of the meeting was administrative, when substantial discussion got underway, some important information was shared. Most importantly, Development Services Director David Williams reported that they are relaxing due dates for the community plans. The intention is to allow communities more time to organize and gather resources, placing the emphasis on wide community participation and producing a solid plan. He reported that although the state does specify a due date for the Comprehensive Plan Update, there is no penalty for missing the deadline. The county will therefore stay focused on developing a plan that will serve us well through 2032, rather than rushing the process.