Last night (8-11-09) I attended the Sedona City Council meeting where it was voted 6-1 to put the issue back to the voters: Should Sedona “elect” the Mayor or should the Council determine who will be Mayor by appointing someone from their numbers.
What are the issues?
- Miscommunication about the role of the elected Mayor
- Not explaining the role of the City Manager in depth
Last night the discussion included the information that should have gone out to voters years ago, but somehow, missed the mark or was forgotten along the way.
Sedona has always operated with a “strong City Manager” (someone educated and proficient at running a city) model. The role of the Mayor in either situation, appointed or elected, is to preside over meetings and to act as a representative of the Council at events that require Sedona’s “leader” to be present.
A “strong Mayor” model is where the City Manager is but an educated employee taking his/her direction from the Mayor. AZ has no cities with such a model. All 7 Council members agree we do not want this model.
The current Sedona city Council is responsible for the policies and the City Manager carries them out and runs the city in a fiscally responsible way. We are a “strong City Manager” model with an elected Mayor.
We drove off the road this last election when campaign promises were made and executed by the elected Mayor without full Council approval, and last night, our Mayor, Rob Adams, admitted that he understood his campaign promises could not be executed without the full backing of the Council.
What went wrong?
Egos. Yours, mine, and theirs.
The issue is about collaboration, not competition. Our last election showed us how low we could go. That’s not the Sedona we love.
Then there’s the price of running for office. Spending over $20,000 for a $650/month job?
Last night the Council members, one by one, discussed the problem of finding competent people to run for the Council with the cost of running for office so very expensive. Perhaps they should have said: “The cost of winning the office of Mayor”…
In their wisdom (and I do mean wisdom), they have decided to ask us, the electorate, to once again decide about “electing” a Mayor or allowing the Council to select one from their numbers.
Too many bad feelings carried over from the last election and the finger pointing continued long into the Mayor’s term. We, the voters, will be deciding if we want to go through this again.
Let’s think long and hard.
Have a great Sedona day!