The landslide election win that will seat three new members on the Sedona Fire District Governing Board of Directors ensures services to residents and tourists in the 168 square miles the District covers will not be cut, nor will the District have to borrow heavily in fiscal year 2013 in order to maintain the current level of service.
|Candidate||Winning Votes||xxxxx||Candidate||Losing Votes|
|Diane Schoen||2637||David Blauert||1696|
|Nazih Hazime||3004||Charles Christensen||1734|
|Corrie Cooperman||2900||Phyllis Erick||1783|
New District Chief Kris Kazian has stated publicly and repeatedly that he will work with any sitting Board of Directors. However, he also delivered a compelling PowerPoint presentation April 2, 2012 stressing that the District is at a breaking point. Without an increase in the mil rate (but not necessarily the total amount of property taxes paid), the District is projected to be $3.3 million in the hole by budget year 2013-2014.
This threat of indebtedness and/or reduced services is what compelled former District Chief Nazih Hazime and Sedona residents Diane Schoen and Corrie Cooperman to run for election to the Board against three sitting board members who were recalled by the public. Recalled Board Members Phyllis Erick, David Blauert and Charles Christensen ran on a platform of fiscal responsibility and cutting outrageous District spending. They were accused of micromanaging, not understanding District operations or their roles as board members, excessive spending on lawyers and running the District into a $14 million dollar deficit in the next three budget years.
No one in the District wants to pay higher property taxes for out-of-control spending by the Sedona Fire District. However, there is a limit to how much a budget can be cut without detriment. One is reminded of the mantra “Drill baby drill,” when hearing from the current Board “Cut, cut, cut.”
The newly-elected board members are expected to be seated quite soon. The date will be reported here when confirmed.