to a police report, on July 3 or 4, a person or persons unknown
did damage to heavy equipment parked on the worksite of the Hyatt
project at the “Wye.” It is almost a certainty that this vandalism
is associated with the removal of trees from the property. Only
a day or two earlier an unnamed elderly man had a confrontation
on the site with workers over the removal of trees.
Among the damaged equipment were rock trenchers, rock
crushers, bulldozers, backhoes and other large items. All were
extensively damaged by drilled holes in hydraulic lines, cut electrical
lines in and near the engines, and very large and expensive tires
were slashed. According to Dana Schmidt, of the Sedona Police
Department, whoever did this, spent considerable time on the site
and had to have knowledge of how to cause the most damage to this
equipment. There are four different contractors working on the
In talking with the applicant for this project, he felt
that the damage was in the thousands of dollars, but did not have
a figure yet. He said this action would not stop this project,
but would increase the cost and slow it down from completion.
This applicant has been working with the city of Sedona
for several years and has an approved plan, including a developmental
agreement, which includes current impact fees. He has bent over
backwards to work within the city guidelines. They have removed
and boxed all the trees that the city wanted. Like all boxed native
trees, some of them have since died.
According to the landscape plans, the completed project
will have over 100 more trees than were removed. Roger Eastman,
of the city’s Community Planning Department, has stated that the
plans for the “Wye” area, including the roadway by the Post Office,
is one of the finest plans the city has approved, and after it
is finished it will be beautiful.
Terrorism - violent acts meant to intimidate or coerce,
especially for political reasons. Does it work?
In November, the watchdog group for Public Employees
for Environmental Responsibility issued a report that “beatings,
bombings, shots fired, property vandalized, death threats and
other incidents against federal resource employees, largely in
the West, have been steadily increasing since 1995.” In 1998,
there were almost 100 incidents in which personnel or buildings
of the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and other
agencies were targets of physical attack, destruction or a direct
threat of violence.
THE PERSON OR PERSONS THAT DAMAGED THIS EQUIPMENT COULD
DIRECT IT AT A HUMAN BEING NEXT. This kind of incident is not
new in Sedona. A few years back we had a very similar incident
at a project on Soldier Pass Road. Before that, there was a fire
started in a sewer contractor’s equipment on 89A. Let’s hope that
this is the end of this violence and this project can be finalized.
Almost every bit of damage done up at this construction
site was outlined in a book called The Monkey Wrench Gang (basically,
a how-to booklet on environmental vandalism). I sure hope we don’t
have anyone in town named “Hayduke.”
Economically, the Hyatt project will have a very positive
effect on income to the city. Remember, we operate on sales taxes
only - no property taxes come to the city, and with the economic
slowdown that is happening in the U.S., we need to do everything
possible to protect our future income.
The newly seated City Council absolutely must set the
tone and, with their leadership, bring this community together.
This kind of action cannot be tolerated. We should demand strong
words from all of them against anyone taking the law into their
The three newly-elected city council persons all seemed
to run for the office on the basis of more communications, open
meetings, and public business conducted in front of the public.
One of the first meetings attended by the Honorable
Mayor Dick Ellis, was a meeting apparently called by Yavapai County
Supervisor Arlo Davis regarding highway 179. When I called to
ask why the Mayor attended a meeting that was closed to the public,
it was stated that Mr. Davis requested it closed. Another person
said that the Arizona Department of Transportation wanted it closed!!!
I was also told that no decisions were made at that
meeting. But it doesn’t make any difference - public business
that affects all of us was discussed.
One of the other city
council persons attending this meeting was Steve Nahmanson. Do
you remember, a year or so ago when he tried to crash an ADOT
meeting in Phoenix and he was told it was closed and a local paper
printed his picture trying to go through the closed door. Nahmanson
still wants the state to turn back Highway 179 to the city. A
study two years ago determined that this in no way was economically
feasible. Matt Ryan, Coconino County Supervisor representing
Sedona said they didn’t want Hwy 179 back and Arlo Davis also
said Yavapai County doesn’t want it.
They said they did not have a choice but to attend this
I SAY THEY DID, THEY COULD HAVE STAYED HOME, but they
wanted to go to see if they could influence ADOT further toward