Samaire Armstrong promoted in the debates and via a full page ad in the RRN sponsored by a local resident a Sedona Request To Speak system to increase citizen input and participation in Sedona City council and staff decisions. The same system AZCDL and the State of Arizona uses to allow voter input on decisions, laws and regulations. Meaningful, measurable, community engagements that involve ALL residents, not just random conversations, or a 3 minute to speak limitation at council meetings where resident's must listen to hours of bloviating from council members. Resident's time is just as valuable as council's time. She values citizen input and that input must be easy.
She stated she will not vote out of "professional courtesy" with other council members if it is not in the best interest of our citizens, ever.
She will be a leader for ALL businesses and residents in Sedona, and will not let personal ideology be a factor in her decisions.
She stated she is not interested in supporting "in city" camping, and said she will support our current camping restrictions. California has shown the disastrous affects of lax camping ordinances.
She will address and work with our community to address the root causes and solutions of indigent homelessness, mental health issues and the increasing number of families and individuals who have become part of the "working homeless".
Sedona now has the reputation for being over-regulated which hinders business development. Just look at the sharp business license decline in the last 8 years. She will work to limit onerous regulations.
She will improve a balance and quality of life by utilizing sales tax revenue to foster integrity to our community.
Her stated objective is to repeal the .5% sales tax that was made permanent by the last city council and reduce the sales tax by another .5% for a total of 1% reduction. The burden that is put on our residents to fund ideological programs must end.
The City's Climate Action Plan is a fraud being implemented on our citizens. $100s of thousands of dollars being spent on programs that benefit no one. Her goal is to replace this program with a True Environmental Protection Plan that is regenerative, measurable and respectful of our sacred land and our citizens.
Her affordable housing presentation was on her candidate web site. Armstrong promoted the elimination of the Sedona building codes that prohibits the installation of a stove in an ADU (Alternate Dwelling Unit - also known as a Guest House or Casita) which can immediately open up opportunities for locals to earn extra income and work force housing opportunities.
In addition, she supported and encouraged the reinstatement of the 30 day minimum zoning ordinance in Sedona which Scott Jablow and the majority of the council voted to eliminate, causing an influx of up to 1400 Short Term Rentals and creating our housing crisis. Now grandfathering existing STRs would have to be done in order to reverse the decision. Outside professional legal council was NEVER demanded by council, yet they hire consultants at the drop of a hat. The most devastating action any council has ever taken in the history of Sedona.
Our small town feel for our residents, AND for our guests must be protected. Sedona is not Phoenix, or even Flagstaff. We do not need a "robust" transit system, ever increasing hardscape such as parking lots, additional sidewalks in our residential communities and high density 4 story apartment housing and parking garages.
We can utilize the city's 200+ acres 6 miles down the road on 89A, and other properties the city owns using long term land leases to partner with private developers where we control the type of housing that is built.
Our police officers need to make enough money to look at Sedona as a career, not a stepping stone to be a law enforcement officer in a bigger city. Major cities are offering $24,000 housing allowances, $30,000 singing bonuses and other perks.
There was an issue last April where it took an officer 30 minutes to respond to a call regarding a women with a weapon at a church. Unacceptable. Sedona does not have enough officers for a town that has 3 to 4 million tourists, and a traffic problem 3 to 4 days a week. SAFETY is the number one job of a city to provide its residents..
Armstrong has met with the new temporary head of NAH. Having affordable health care in Sedona, and at the VVMC is critical for our residents.
Sedona has a tendency to not pay as much attention to our children and elders as they should. Interesting parks, like a hydroponic food growing park, an activity that would be of interest and benefit to our youth, our elderly and our tourist guests., Creative ideas instead of the standard tourist fare is critical for a healthy city. Sedona is NOT growing like the rest of the state. Drawing on creative ideas from the community is one of her strong points.
Many of Sedona's challenges cannot be done by the City Council alone. It takes a communication skill set that she has acquired in her previous career to bring together the other local communities and the state. Together the Verde Valley Community should create the best possible environment for the benefit of our permanent citizens and guests.
When it comes to your children, your health and constitutional rights, nothing is more important than a city that stands behind its residents.
Samaire Armstrong grew up here and was in the first graduating class of the Sedona Red Rock High School. Her parents are still here. She cares deeply about about Sedona and will lead with grace and strong conviction. Her son, her family and our community's future depend on it.