City Council Candidates Address Major Issues Facing Sedona. Steve Williamson and Karen McClelland welcome Sedona City Council candidates, Brian Fultz and Pete Furman, to discuss their plans for the future of the city.
Beginning with the controversy over home rule, Furman says, “I find it useful to go back and talk about what this is all about and what’s the history of it. Cities across Arizona are subject to a state-imposed spending limit. It has nothing to do with the amount of money the city receives.
Fultz adds, “One of the key things that people who oppose home rule like to talk about is this belief that, oh, if we vote down home rule, then each year we can bring an override vote to the community. If we lost home rule, our cap would be around 29 million dollars that we would be able to spend and we have a 110-million-dollar budget that the city council is going to vote on tomorrow.”
The two note that the operating budget – police, sewer, etc. – is about $60 million of that 110. Without home rule, the city would be more than $30 million short of what’s needed to operate with no money for capital projects to make improvements. The city would have to go to the residents for an override every single year. And, since most capital improvements are multi-year projects, Furman explains, “We won’t get contractors to even bid on these multi-year projects because they don’t know whether they will get the money they need the next year for the job.”
The candidates go on to address other issues, such as the threat of losing emergency health care, workforce housing, population decline, climate change, traffic, and quality of life.