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Flagstaff Regional Plan Raises Concerns

March 31, 2013 12 comments

By Elisha Dorfsmith

Last Thursday the long awaited draft version of the Flagstaff Regional Plan was released to the public. The plan now has a 60 day public comment period before it goes to the Flagstaff City Council and Coconino County Board of Supervisors for their approval. Once the City and County approve the plan, it will go to voters in a special election scheduled for May 20, 2014.

Before the plan was released, Flagstaff City Council member Jeff Oravits and many others raised concerns that the Regional Plan Citizens Advisory Committee was not balanced and was stacked with members of groups like F3 and other organizations with an extreme agenda.

Oravits fought to get more balance on the Committee during several council sessions but the majority of the Council said no and so the Committee remained one sided.

Now that the draft version of the plan has been released, I am receiving emails from concerned residents who say wording in the plan tramples individual liberty and private property rights. Of particular concern are the comments in the plan about social sustainability.

“Environmental, economic, cultural and social sustainability ensure that present actions are the basis for future health and prosperity.”

People are taking this to mean behavior control and the possibility of a Bloomberg style nanny state coming to the Flagstaff area.

Other concerned residents say that Smart Growth Principles which the plan is based on could hurt private property rights and even affect your right to build on property in the more rural parts of the region.

I have just started reading the plan and will be going through all 338 pages with a microscope. I strongly encourage everyone affected by this plan to read through it and provide feedback in the comments section of my blog below. I want to know your concerns and what you may like about it. I’m interested in hearing from a variety of viewpoints and opinions.

You can read the draft version of the Regional Plan HERE and provide feedback and comments through the plan website through May 31, 2013. This plan will affect every aspect of your life in the Flagstaff Area and residents need to be very familiar with it before they vote on May 20, 2014.

Draft Flagstaff Regional Plan Website:

http://www.flagstaffmatters.com

Draft Flagstaff Regional Plan Facebook Page:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Flagstaff-Regional-Plan-2030-Place-Matters/51455710825?ref=ts&fref=ts

On Thursday, April 18 Flagstaff Liberty Alliance will be hosting a presentation on the Regional plan by Kim Sharp from the City of Flagstaff. This meeting is open to the public and will be held at the 4th Street Professional Building on 2501 N. 4th Street starting at 6:30 pm.

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How will the 338 page Regional Plan affect you?

flagindiepress.com

flagstafflibertyalliance.com

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Coconino County Republican Party Illegally Appoints New Treasurer

March 23, 2013 8 comments

By Elisha Dorfsmith

UPDATE: Due to a cease and desist letter from the lawyer of Joy Staveley, I have posted updates, clarifications and retractions as requested. Those are in bold.

After receiving a tip from a reader this evening, I discovered that on March 6, 2013 the Arizona Secretary of State website was amended to remove CCRC Treasurer Ray Jordan and replace him with a PC named Daniel Edel. As I posted in previous blogs, removing Ray Jordan without the consent of the majority of elected Precinct Committeemen is illegal. Appointing Daniel Edel as the new treasurer is just as illegal. CCRC bylaws clearly say:

“Section 6: In the case of any vacancy in any elective office of the County Committee, other than that of County Chair, such vacancy shall be filled by a majority vote of the members present or proxies at a regularly scheduled meeting at which a quorum is present.”

It’s also worth pointing out that in a letter dated March 4, 2013 the CCRC gave Mr. Jordan until March 11th to resign or be removed from office. Daniel Edel was added to the Secretary of State website as the new treasurer on March 6th, a full 5 days before the deadline the CCRC officers gave Ray Jordan to resign.

*CCRC Chair Joy Staveley has hired an attorney to defend the CCRC in case Ray Jordan decides to pursue legal action. *Staveley says she has evidence that Mr. Jordan took trips using CCRC funds and that’s why she and the other board members were forced to remove him. So far she has not provided this “evidence” to the body of the CCRC.

*Correction: CCRC Chair Joy Staveley did NOT hire an attorney to defend the CCRC. The attorney was hired by the CCRC executive committee.

*I was told by Ray Jordan that Joy Staveley accused him of using CCRC funds for trips. Since I have no material proof, I retract that statement.

The drama continues…

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Letter to Mr. Jordan saying he had until March 11th to resign (click to enlarge).

3-28-2013 UPDATE The Arizona Daily Sun has now picked up this story:

http://azdailysun.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/local-republicans-in-turmoil/article_6d4629bc-3795-5513-a528-9d420f629b11.html

flagstaffindependentpress.com

Coconino Republican Treasurer Files Police Report When Over $8,000 Goes Missing

March 20, 2013 23 comments

By Elisha Dorfsmith

UPDATE: Due to a cease and desist letter from the lawyer of Joy Staveley, I have posted updates, clarifications and retractions as requested. Those are in bold.

The ongoing saga of corruption and bizarre activity in the Coconino County Republican Party continued today when CCRC Treasurer Ray Jordon was forced to file a police report after he discovered that the bank account for the County organization had been drained of over $8,000.

This evening Mr. Jordan sent the following email to elected Republican Precinct Committeemen in Coconino County:

“Hello Coconino County Republicans,

Today all our money was taken out of our checking account. $8,326.33 was withdrawn from our checking account, leaving a zero balance.

In January I had added Joy Staveley as a co-signer to the account and she subsequently gave Compass bank a letter stating that I was no longer the treasurer and had my name removed from the account. I don’t know for certain who signed the check removing the money, but as far as I know Joy Staveley was the only person who could sign.

I have filed a report with the Flagstaff Police Dept.

Best Wishes,

Ray Jordan

Treasurer”

For those trying to keep up with the drama, here are the facts:

On December 15, 2012 Ray Jordan was re-elected Treasurer of the CCRC by a majority of Coconino County Precinct Committeemen.

On March 4, 2013 CCRC officers sent Ray Jordan a letter telling him to resign or they would remove him from office.

When Ray refused to resign, CCRC Chair Joy Staveley went to the bank with a letter saying that Mr. Jordan was no longer the treasurer of the CCRC. She also had his name removed from the Secretary of State records. *When she tried to tell the State GOP that Ray was no longer treasurer the state told her that she had overstepped her authority.

*Ray Jordan contacted me and told he that he had called the State GOP and they told him that Joy Staveley was told by State officials that she was overstepping her authority. Like most media, I report the information I am given by witnesses and credible sources. BUT, since I was not personally involved in this discussion and have no material proof, I will retract the above statement.

CCRC bylaws clearly say that the only way to remove an officer is through a vote by a quorum of elected Precinct Committeemen:

“Section 5: Removal of Officers: Any elective officer of the County Committee may be removed at any time by a vote to that affect by the membership of the County Committee, present or by proxy, at any meeting, provided that the total number of such votes cast constitutes a majority of the total membership of the County Committee.”

Since a vote by elected Precinct Committeemen never took place, Ray Jordan is still the legal treasurer of the CCRC. *It is against every procedure, bylaw and statute for Ms. Staveley or any other officer of the CCRC to transfer or remove the funds from the established CCRC bank account.

*Rose Law Group says CCRC Bylaws Art. VII, section 7a empowers Joy Staveley to transfer CCRC funds into a new CCRC account. Ms. Staveley did, in fact, make such a transfer of CCRC funds. I retract the statement saying she cannot remove funds without notifying the treasurer, as well as any statements that the funds were simply removed and not transferred to a new account.

As treasurer, Mr. Jordan is responsible for the funds in the bank account. When he found the money missing he filed a police report.

As of this post, the CCRC has not issued a statement explaining where these funds have gone. Every Precinct Committeeman that I have talked to is completely in the dark as to where the money is.

UPDATE: CCRC Chair Joy Staveley issued a statement this morning saying that the funds have been transferred to another account.  She still has not said why the funds were transferred to a new account or what bylaws and statutes give her the authority to go over the head of an elected treasurer and take charge of the money.

I’ll update this post as this story develops. For further reading please see:

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                                                                                                                                                                                     Treasurer

Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of My Business

March 19, 2013 1 comment

By Elisha Dorfsmith

Every once in a while the Supreme Court rules in a case that hits very close to home and every once in a while they actually get it right!

Such was the case today when the Supreme Court ruled that the ‘first sale’ doctrine applies to copies of a copyrighted work lawfully made abroad. Several months ago, I explained that if the Court sided with John Wiley & Sons and their copyright infringement lawsuit, my online business would be over.

Thankfully, at least for now, the Court has said secondhand dealers are safe to sell their used merchandise.

More information on this ruling can be found here:

Court Sides With Student In Case Over Textbooks

On a side note, today’s ruling could also make college textbooks much more affordable because it allows much cheaper international editions to be sold in the United States.

flagstafflibertyalliance.com

Flagstaff Farmer’s Market Cries Foul Over Median Extension

March 19, 2013 Leave a comment

By Elisha Dorfsmith

In the past I have written about the trouble Flagstaff Farmer’s Market has had with the City of Flagstaff continually harassing them. It seems the City is always looking for ways to make life harder for small business owners.

Today we find that Flagstaff Farmer’s Market has been hit with a whole new predicament that could potentially put them out of business. From the Flagstaff Farmer’s Market Facebook page:

“We apologize to our customers for the problems today trying to get into our parking lot. We were unaware of the construction. You won’t believe what they’re doing. They are extending the median 150 feet north!!!!!!! This means our customers will have little room in which to turn into the market. Which isn’t much!!!! This is another example of the city not caring about small business! This is to accommodate the new Walgreens, another big business!!!!! This city will do anything for big business and the tax dollars. They just keep making it harder and harder for us to survive. All they had to do was extend the median and create a turning lane. This would be safer for drivers turning into the market and would have worked. But that makes too much sense.”

It would have been nice if the City had at least contacted businesses in the area that would be affected by this situation and looked for a solution that could benefit all parties.

flagstafflibertyalliance.com

Meeting Notes Subject To Arizona Open Meeting Law

March 15, 2013 1 comment

By Elisha Dorfsmith

The other day I was surprised to learn that personal notes taken by elected and appointed officials at meetings where public business is conducted are subject to Arizona open meeting law. If a public records request is filed, those notes must be provided.

The Flagstaff City Clerk and Legal Department have confirmed this:

“Arizona courts have recognized three alternative definitions of a public record: 1. A record made by a public officer in pursuance of a duty, the immediate purpose of which is to disseminate information to the public , or to serve as a memorial of the official transaction for public reference; 2) a record required to be kept, or necessary to be kept in the discharge of a duty imposed by law or directed by law to serve as a memorial and evidence of something written, said or done; or 3) a written record of transaction of a public officer in his or her office, which is a convenient and appropriate method of discharging his or her duties and is kept by him or her as such, whether required by law or not.

These definitions encompass notes taken by a public officer at a meeting where public business is conducted.”

So the next time you see a public official jotting down notes or typing away on their iPad during a public meeting, you have a right to file a public records request for that information.

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flagstafflibertyalliance.com

Support Urban Chicken Farming In Flagstaff

March 13, 2013 1 comment

By Elisha Dorfsmith

In the coming months the Flagstaff City Council will be reviewing possible changes to the animal keeping section of the City code. There will be recommendations to make the code more friendly to urban farming including chickens and rabbits.

In September, 2011 my wife wrote an article for her blog that pointed out serious problems with the way the current City code is written. That article can be found HERE.

We’re very excited to see things starting to move in the right direction.

Stay tuned. I’ll be writing a lot more about this soon.

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Our newest chickens. A Dominique and Ameraucana we picked up from Olsen’s Grain this morning.

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Olsen’s Grain will be holding a chicken seminar covering the basics of chicken care on March 14th.

flagstafflibertyalliance.com

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