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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : the villager : the villager July 27, 2015

1/30/2012 2:51:00 PM
Council strength directly tied to community involvement
By Carolyn Fisher
President, Big Park Regional Coordinating Council

I take great satisfaction and pride in the many accomplishments of our Big Park/Little Park community, also known as the Village of Oak Creek. We’re a community of people who get involved in a wide range of activities.

We’re also known far and wide for our efforts to “reduce, reuse and recycle." But I’m wondering if it’s in the best interests of our community that this year we had to “recycle” one of our past Big Park Council Presidents (myself) to get a candidate. For a council like ours to truly represent the entire population, I believe we need to have fresh faces and ideas, as well as some “old heads."

So, I would like to continue the work that my able predecessor, Mel Copen, began with the Big Park Vision and ask: What do we want the Big Park Regional Coordinating Council to be and do for us?

From the beginnings in 1996 (and yes, I was around for that), I’ve seen us as the voice of the community in decisions made by county and state organizations without adding another layer of government by either incorporating or annexing to Sedona. That requires commitment, though, of a large number of people.

And when it’s the same people year after year, I worry that our opinions become those of this small group only. Of course, when a community wants to have the input, without volunteers providing it, there is the possibility of making it a formal organization, such as a city or town.

At least twice in our Council’s history we’ve considered the question of incorporation as a separate city/town or becoming annexed to the city of Sedona. Both times, it seemed clear that the majority of the community wished to remain unincorporated.

While there are some people in this area who would opt for no representation at all, there are many others who do like having an entity, like the Big Park Council, speaking as their voice.

So, I’m asking each of you to think about what you want and then communicate with the Council – either directly or through your representative, if you have one. Come to a meeting (every 2nd Thursday of the month – the location may change but currently at the Village Fire station - at 9 a.m.), write to us (POB 20248, Sedona AZ 86341), ask your Council representative to bring your desires forward or email us at (

In the meantime, we need some volunteers to help with our communications as well as serve on some of the committees. On a monthly basis, we need to distribute various items about previous meeting (including the draft minutes), the treasurer’s report, information for upcoming decisions, and the meeting agendas.

From time to time, we need to send out notices about safety issues, alerts for criminal activity, etc. We need someone who can do this from an existing Access database, or create one for the software they already own.

We would also like someone who can organize the various files and slides we project at our monthly Council meetings. Please contact us (using any of the methods listed above) if you would like to get involved in these ways.

I look forward to taking our Big Park Council through the next year in a direction the community wants it to go. I hope to meet and talk with many new and old friends in accomplishing this goal.

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