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Posts Tagged ‘Flagstaff’

Is Coral Evans Misleading on Property Taxes?

November 4, 2016 1 comment

By Elisha Dorfsmith

Is Coral Evans misleading when it comes to property taxes? Check out the latest video by Stephen Pelligrini and let me know what you think:

 

Local Food Discussion On The Oracle Inn Podcast

October 1, 2016 Leave a comment

By Elisha Dorfsmith

I was happy to join the Oracle Inn Podcast tonight for a discussion on the many aspects of local food and urban farming. Topics covered included local rules and regulations, challenges to local food production, food education and competing with large corporations. You can watch the entire show here:

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.

My Choices For The November 8th, 2016 General Election (Cheat Sheet)

September 15, 2016 1 comment

By Elisha Dorfsmith

Someone recently asked me for a condensed version (or cheat sheet) of my November 8th, 2016 general election recommendations that can be easily printed and taken to the polls. While I encourage everyone to research the candidates and issues on their own and come to their own conclusions, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to post my cut and dry recommendations for easy reference.

You can view my detailed take on the candidates here:

https://flagliberty.wordpress.com/2016/09/06/authoritarians-vs-representatives-my-take-on-the-2016-general-election-candidates/

And my detailed take on the propositions here:

https://flagliberty.wordpress.com/2016/09/07/do-it-for-the-children-my-take-on-the-2016-general-election-ballot-initiatives/

Here’s the quick overview:

Flagstaff Mayor — Jerry Nabours

Flagstaff City Council — Jeff Oravits, Charlie Odegaard, Karla Brewster

Coconino County Board District 3 — Christine Gannon

Coconino County Board District 4 — Janis Crosman

FUSD Board — Danielle Lawrence, Carole Gilmore

Coconino County Recorder — Write in “None of The Above”

Coconino County Assessor — Write in “None of The Above”

Coconino County Superintendent Of SchoolsWrite in “None of The Above”

Coconino County Treasurer — Write in “None of The Above”

Coconino County Attorney — Write in “None of The Above”

Coconino County Sheriff — Jim Driscoll

Judges — Write in “None of The Above”

State Senator Legislative District 6Nikki Bagley

State Representative Legislative District 6 — Write in “None of The Above”

Corporation CommissionWilliam Mundell

Congressional District 1Write in “None of The Above”

United States Senate — Write in “None of The Above”

President of the United States — Anybody But Hillary

Proposition 205 — YES

Proposition 206 — NO

Proposition 410 — NO

Proposition 411 — NO

Proposition 412 — NO

Proposition 413 — NO

Proposition 414 — NO

i-voted

 

Parks For Special Interests, Collier For The People

August 9, 2016 1 comment

By Elisha Dorfsmith

As early voting begins in the August 30th primary, the difference between the two candidates vying for the Republican nomination for Coconino County Board of Supervisors District 4 is becoming abundantly clear. One is going all out for the lobbyists supporting his campaign and one is working hard to address local issues that local citizens are concerned about.

Here are some of the differences between the candidates that voters should keep in mind as they prepare to vote.

Jim Parks has thousands of dollars from outside special interest groups, including the mining industry, pouring money into the race on his behalf. When your campaign is funded by special interest groups, that means they own you. Josh Collier has, for the most part, only spent around $500 of his own money.

Jim Parks is not responding to any local candidate surveys. Josh Collier has responded to each and every local organization that reaches out to him. How you respond (or not respond) to your constituents during a campaign speaks volumes about how you will represent your constituents if you are elected.

While mailers from a mining industry PAC say Jim Parks is “fighting for Coconino County taxpayers”, Jim Parks supports raising County property taxes by the maximum allowed 2% each year. If Jim Parks is elected, his first priority is to build a taxpayer funded monument. Josh Collier is opposed to new tax increases and he will work hard to ensure the County approves a budget that spends taxpayer dollars in the most efficient and economical way possible.

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Jim Parks did not respond to the Flagstaff Liberty Alliance candidate survey and so far has not responded to several other local organizations including Coconino Coalition For Children & Youth.

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Josh Collier has laid out in clear detail his plan to represent and be accountable to the people of Coconino County.

Oravits Provides Facts To Prove Divided Council Myth Wrong

August 7, 2016 Leave a comment

By Elisha Dorfsmith

A big myth being perpetuated by critics of the Flagstaff City Council got some real push back in today’s edition of the Arizona Daily Sun. Is there a lack of consensus on council? Is the gridlock as bad as people say?

In less than 150 words Councilmember Jeff Oravits broke down the votes over the past year and showed that out out of 239 votes, only a handful of votes were split. Here are the facts that destroy the myth:

“To say Council has “seen many recent 4-3 votes” is inaccurate.

Of the 239 votes cast this year, ONLY 6%(18 votes) were 4-3, five being multiple reads of the same ordinance. 81% unanimous votes and 94% 5-2 or greater is a LOT of consensus.

The 13 4-3 items voted on: Eliminate specialty appointments, removing CUP requirement for student housing (unanimous vote later reversed this), recess into executive session, carbon tax resolution, request to rearrange agenda order, request to end lobbying efforts to change a state law, 1 board of adjustment appointment, HUB, Water rates, Budget & tax levy.

And it’s not the same three on the opposing side each time. Detailed info@ www.Jeff4Flagstaff.com.

I strive for consensus and collaboration and argue these numbers show a great deal of consensus amongst Council. We represent a constituency of nearly 70,000. Surely 70,000 people do not agree on everything.”

If the Daily Sun cared about accurate reporting they would write an editorial apologizing for helping perpetuate a myth with the wording of this week’s question…but I won’t hold my breath for that.

You can read the other candidate responses here:

http://azdailysun.com/news/opinion/columnists/candidate-question-should-there-more-consensus-on-the-city-council/article_7086da61-5c75-512f-acb6-9be117ee2034.html

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My son and I getting ready to canvass a neighborhood for Councilman Jeff Oravits, Mayor Jerry Nabours, Councilmemeber Karla Brewster and City Council Candidate Charlie Odegaard. Oravits, Nabours, Brewster and Odegaard have my full support in this election.

 

Flag PD Has Double Standard On Body Camera Footage

July 15, 2016 2 comments

By Elisha Dorfsmith

THIS STORY HAS BEEN UPDATED AT THE END

When Flagstaff Police officer Tyler Stewart was tragically shot and killed last year, some in the public raised concerns that the graphic body camera footage had been released and a Phoenix news station had put the unedited video on YouTube. The Los Angels Times explained that Arizona law requires the footage to be public:

“We have to abide by the Arizona state law when it comes to releasing public records information,” said Flagstaff Deputy Chief Walter Miller, who said officials sought legal advice before determining that they had to release the video under Arizona law.”

What a difference a year makes.

Last Wednesday’s shooting of an unarmed (although reportedly seen with a gun) suspect had the Flagstaff Police Department taking a different direction on the only body camera that actually worked during the incident. From today’s press release:

“Due to the graphic nature of the video and the privacy rights of the suspect and his family the complete video will not be released.”

So which is it? Arizona state law requires police to release the footage or police can pick and choose which footage they want the public to have access to? Body cameras work great to protect the public and the police if they are used properly but what happens when the police police their own footage and decide what we are allowed to see and what we are not? How do we know we are getting the whole story?

Arizona Central has a great article on the topic of public records and they say:

“A court case, meanwhile, has held that a record may only be withheld if a countervailing privacy or confidentiality interest or the “best interests of the state” outweigh the public’s right to know – and the burden is on the party trying to withhold documents to prove the harm that would follow release.”

The Flagstaff Police Department needs to tell us what the harm would be.

As for the other body cameras mentioned above that were at the scene of the shooting, they all failed to work properly. The same Flag PD press release stated:

“Due to technical issues no footage was recorded of the initial contact at the car; Ofc Syers’ camera malfunctioned due to a battery issue and Ofc Seay’s connector cable became detached prior to the incident. Due to the intensity of the moment, Cpl. Lavelle did not activate his camera prior to the shooting. After he fired his weapon, he realized his camera was not operating and immediately activated the camera.”

Really? for those of us who advocated for body cameras for Flagstaff’s police department this is a huge disappointment. We expect them to not only work but be used on the job…especially during high profile cases such as police shootings that leave suspects dead.

Even while taking Flag PD at their word, which many don’t in this case, this whole situation is an embarrassment that fosters distrust and a lack of faith in our local law enforcement.

UPDATE:

About 45 minutes ago The Flagstaff Police Department responded to concerns from citizens including some of the concerns posted in this blog. That response can be found here:

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