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Flagstaff Climate Action Plan Meeting Notes And Commentary

June 13, 2017 2 comments

By Elisha Dorfsmith

Last night the Flagstaff Sustainability Department sent out an email to interested parties asking for applications to serve on the City’s proposed Climate Action Plan Steering Committee. This committee will help put together the goals and objectives for the CAP, working alongside a third party consultant that the City is in the process of hiring.

Those interested in joining the Climate Action Plan Steering Committee can find more information at the surveymonkey link here:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/8MBJVWD

Last week I posted on Twitter my concern that the public and local business community was being brought into the process a bit late. This was met with a critical response from the City, who said I was not adequately representing the public participation opportunities in the plan.

My concern stemmed from the fact that a private stakeholder meeting and two private scoping committee meetings had already been held. The scope of the plan, centered around “social justice”, has already been outlined.  I have been told by City staff that the scope of the plan can change with public input, but I would have liked to see that public input happen before the scope had been put in place.

Since the details of this plan will impact every resident and business within the City limits, I encourage my readers to pay close attention and make your voice heard at every opportunity.

For now, here are the meeting notes from the stakeholder and scoping committee meetings. This is an opportunity for you to read for yourself what has already been discussed and come to your own conclusions:

March 27th Stakeholder Meeting notes: stakeholder meeting

April 17th Scoping Committee notes: Meeting One

April 19th Scoping Committee notes: Meeting Two

I talked about this in a little more detail last week on the Jeff Oravits Show. You can listen to that entire show here:

https://jefforavits.wordpress.com/2017/06/08/wednesdays-show-is-up-drones-sleepy-politicians-is-a-local-paris-accord-coming/

DISCLAIMER: I currently serve on the Flagstaff Sustainability Commission but all of my opinions here are mine and mine alone.

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The Flagstaff Sustainability Commission discusses Flagstaff’s proposed Climate Action Plan at their May meeting.

(Audio) Guest Co-Hosting The April 19th, 2017 Jeff Oravits Show

April 19, 2017 Leave a comment

By Elisha Dorfsmith

I had a great time guest co-hosting the Jeff Oravits show on 97.1 FM, The Big Talker today. We discussed the roving Flagstaff City Council Meetings, taxes, the Federal Reserve, the 17th Amendment, downtown parking meters, war in Syria, concerns about North Korea and much much more. You can listen to the entire show here:

 

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Thanks to John Kistler for putting this picture together on “roving council meetings”.

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My son Adrian and I at a “No War With Syria” rally in 2013.

(Audio) Guest Co-Hosting The April 5th, 2017 Jeff Oravits Show

April 5, 2017 Leave a comment

By Elisha Dorfsmith

I had a great time guest co-hosting the Jeff Oravits show on 97.1 FM The Big Talker today. We discussed this week’s Flagstaff City Council Meeting, the border wall, robots in the workplace and much much more. Check out the full audio of the show here:

On the show it was mentioned that I live tweet the Flagstaff City Council meetings. You can follow those tweets at:

https://twitter.com/dorfsmith

Flag Council To Reconsider RV/Boat Parking Restrictions

September 22, 2016 2 comments

By Elisha Dorfsmith

On February 16, 2016 the Flagstaff City Council voted unanimously to approve ordinance 2016-07 which contained sweeping changes to the Flagstaff Zoning Code. Among those changes were new restrictions on RV, boat and trailer parking which put major limitations on where you could park on your own property.

Much like Flagstaff’s recently passed Party Ordinance and rejected Property Maintenance Ordinance, residents were told that citations would only be issued on a complaint driven basis and only gross offenders would be targeted. What the City conveniently left out is the busybody element that always goes along with these types of laws.

We have one guy going around our neighborhood complaining about everyone.” Writes Susan McCullough, founder of the facebook group Flagstaff RV/Boat/Trailer Code Breakers & Friends, a group dedicated to making changes to the ordinance.

“You can park in your backyard or interior side yard (between houses, but not on the street side of your house). The front of the rig must be behind the front of your house. Even if you have a paved driveway specifically for your rig, you are not allowed to park it there.”

McCullough joined with concerned neighbors and other Flagstaff residents and was successful in getting a FAIR (Future Agenda Item Request) on the October 4th City Council agenda. At the October 4th meeting, at least four council members will need to support moving this request forward in order for the City to revisit the RV/Boat parking part of the City Code.

If you have an opinion on this ordinance, you can contact the entire Flagstaff City Council at council@flagstaffaz.gov

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An illegally parked RV in Flagstaff.

Liberty Candidates Pull Papers In Coconino County

May 10, 2016 Leave a comment

By Elisha Dorfsmith

Many election cycles voters are forced to choose between the lesser of two evils or write in “None of the Above”. I am happy to say that this election year Coconino County residents will have some real liberty choices on the ballot that we can be proud to support. More liberty candidates may be announcing in the coming weeks but for now, in no particular order, here are some of the great choices you should see on your ballot in November:

Jonathan Apirion For Coconino County Attorney

Flagstaff Liberty Alliance member Jonathan Apirion has announced a run for Coconino County Attorney as a Libertarian. Today’s edition of the AZ Daily Sun has a great article covering his campaign HERE.

Apirion’s website has a long list of issues with well thought out perspective in the context of libertarian minded policy. Check it out and support his campaign. His website address is: apirion.org

Josh Collier For Coconino County Supervisor District 4

Flagstaff Liberty Alliance treasurer Josh Collier has announced a run as a Republican for Coconino County Supervisor District 4 which will be vacated by Mandy Metzger at the end of the year. Collier is a true liberty candidate with a focus on transparency and fiscal responsibility. Getting more citizen involvement in County issues is a priority:

“I am running for Coconino County Board of Supervisors District 4. One of the main issues I see is lack of transparency within government, and I don’t feel as though the county has made any effort to increase transparency through video and audio recording of meetings. As County session meetings are often held midday on Tuesdays, many citizens are not able to attend. For this reason, I believe increasing access to that information may increase citizen participation. The Flagstaff City Council meetings, as well as the city commission meetings, are all video recorded and I see no reason why the county should not do the same.”

Collier’s facebook page can be found HERE. Check it out and support his campaign.

Christine Gannon For Coconino County Supervisor District 3

Former Flagstaff Liberty Alliance President Christine Gannon has announced a run as a Republican for Coconino County Supervisor District 3. She will be running against four term Democrat Matt Ryan. Gannon’s campaign is also focusing on transparency as well as getting back to the basic functions of government:

“I believe that it’s time for new faces and new ideas on the County Board of Supervisors. The County needs to refocus its efforts and get back to the roots of government – road maintenance, utilities & services improvement, and creating an atmosphere that allows for sustainable economic growth.”

Gannon’s website can be found HERE. Check it out and support her campaign.

Re-elect Jeff Oravits For Flagstaff City Council

Since he was elected to the Flagstaff City Council four years ago, Councilman Jeff Oravits has worked tirelessly to ensure that issues and concerns relating to liberty are addressed. His lone vote against Flagstaff’s overreaching party ordinance is just one example of the many times he has been the single liberty voice on council.

Regarding other issues that you have read about in my blog, Oravits was the driving force at the council level for changes to the Animal Keeping ordinance that encourage and legalize urban farming in Flagstaff. He also advocated for streaming and posting all public city meetings including budget and commission meetings.

Oravits is a strong proponent for government transparency and publishes all of his council votes on his blog so the public can see how he and other council members voted. You can find his blog HERE. Check it out and support his re-election campaign.

Meet The Candidates

The candidates mentioned above, along with other candidates for local and statewide races, will be in attendance at a legislative update event hosted by Flagstaff City Councilman Jeff Oravits.

When: Monday, May 16th from 5:30 PM -7:00 PM

Where: 2501 N. 4th Street in Flagstaff

Legislative RECAP from Speaker of the House David Gowan. City update from Mayor Jerry Nabours.

FREE event, includes pizza and soft drinks.

Legislative Recap: Speaker of the House David Gowan

City Update: Mayor Jerry Nabours

Brief introduction of City Council & County Board of Supervisors Candidates by Jeff Oravits.

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Flagstaff City Councilman Jeff Oravits (second from left) takes time for a picture with Flagstaff Liberty Alliance at the Coconino County Fair.

Party Ordinance Will Impact Council’s Nuisance Parties

April 13, 2016 Leave a comment

By Elisha Dorfsmith

Last night the Flagstaff City Council put up the final roadblock to nearly a year’s worth of work on a citizen driven effort to make changes to Flagstaff’s recently passed party ordinance. The Council work session was the last in a long line of hearings and meetings and council chose to keep the ordinance “as is” as the police department asked.

Councilman Jeff Oravits was the only member of council even interested in making any changes to the law and I want to thank him for being willing to look for a compromise that could make everyone happy. There were very reasonable changes that could have been made.

Even though we didn’t get our desired outcome, I am very impressed with the effort and work that went into this by so many people on so many levels. The fight is not over yet. We will be looking at other ways to push back against this ordinance and protect people’s right to assemble.

In the video below you can find my comments to council yesterday evening. I explain to them that they need to realize that this ordinance will impact the nuisance parties they throw.

November Election Date Turns Local Council Races Partisan

March 20, 2016 4 comments

By Elisha Dorfsmith

During last year’s City Charter campaign I strongly argued against the option to have the Flagstaff City Council election on the same date as the state and national general election. While the alternative was not perfect (spring of odd-numbered years) I felt it was better than having City Council races on the same ballot as the President of the United States.

My biggest fear at the time was that having the City election on the same cycle and same day as other high profile races would turn the local non-partisan contests into partisan battles. Local candidates would be competing against congressional and state races for air time and press with some advertising going to the highest bidder. The cost of campaigning would be much higher for Council candidates than in past years.

This would lead to local candidates being forced to raise more money and piggyback on volunteers who are working on large scale campaigns for Democrats and Republicans.  There would be a big incentive to turn what used to be local independent races that focused on local problems, into large scale campaigns that distract from the issues locals really care about. Additionally, political parties and outside dark money groups would certainly have a bigger influence in the City as they started pouring cash and resources into the local elections.

Unfortunately, the charter change to move the election date to November won by a landslide and it appears that my biggest concerns are now starting to come true. Last week former “independently minded” candidate Jim McCarthy announced he was running for City Council as a Democrat. His campaign signs even say “Democrat for Flagstaff Council”.

The days of local issues oriented, non-partisan Council races are no more and we are all worse off because of it. At a time when more and more voters are running away from the party system and shedding (R) and (D) labels, Flagstaff seems to be running in the opposite direction.

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The above post by McCarthy was posted on Facebook a couple days ago.

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