The call comes in. Fire crews rush to don their protective gear, board the firetruck and are on their way to the scene. But more and more frequently these days, the call is a result of a non-maintained or faulty alarm system.

This scenario played out more than a 150 times for the Sedona Fire District in the past year, and now the SFD Governing Board is looking to do something to reduce that number by way of an ordinance. Members discussed the matter at length on Wednesday, Jan. 17, and plan to bring it back in a month for possible approval.

Getting everyone on the same page — or at least in the same book — was the goal of a first-ever meeting of the minds between the Sedona City Council and the Sedona Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

The four-hour meeting took place on Jan. 17, with a round table discussion with nearly 20 members of the council and board present.

Year-round, Sedona allures newcomers to its core, and like a box of chocolates it offers assorted treats of picturesque views. Recognizing the value of Sedona to its residents and visitors, the Red Rock Ranger District is looking to preserve the natural treasures of the Coconino National Forest for future generations.

The district intends to do just that through the Oak Creek Watershed Project.

It’s a new year, and with it comes a new outlook for the organizers of the Sedona International Film Festival. That’s because 2017 is a year they’d rather forget.

“It was one of the most challenging years and most rewarding years all at the same time,” SIFF Executive Director Patrick Schweiss said. “At times, it seemed like the end of the world. But, we wrapped our heads around it, worked together and decided on a plan. The outpouring of love, gratitude and appreciation was overwhelming. It’s very humbling to know how much the community cares about us and doesn’t want to see us go away.”

Any time a person is elected or appointed to a governing board, their attendance at meetings is a high priority.

So it came as no surprise that that was a sticking point for the Sedona City Council on Jan. 9, when discussing proposed changes to the
Planning and Zoning Commission’s operating rules and procedures.

Council discussed the proposed changes and gave direction to staff on what it would like to see added or omitted. But there was no consensus on the number of unexcused meetings a commissioner could miss before he or she may be removed.

It can be difficult for city officials to know what its residents think about their town and how it’s run. The vocal minority on any given issue is usually the voice that’s heard the most.

That’s where a survey can even the playing field.

Recently, 505 Sedona residents answered an array of questions as part of the National Citizen Survey, which focused on the livability of Sedona. A survey report states that the phrase “livable community” is used to evoke a place that is not simply habitable, but that is desirable. It’s not only where people live, but where they want to live.

For more than 20 years, the practice of operating shortterm rentals within the Sedona city limits was against city code.

That all changed just over a year ago when Gov. Doug Ducey signed Senate Bill 1350, which allows short-term rentals throughout the state. While it had been going on here for years, the bill officially made it legal on Jan. 1, 2017.

Soon, those making purchases in Sedona will see a slightly higher amount on their bill. But if all goes as planned, it will be for a worthy cause.

On Tuesday, Jan. 9, the Sedona City Council voted 6-1 to approve a new half-cent sales tax. This money will be used to cover an estimated $35 million in traffic mitigation construction over the next decade. However, if the projects are completed before then, council has the right to eliminate the tax.

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