How I Voted 8/26/13

Key Votes
Amended 2009 Energy Code
Animal Feeding Ordinance

Item 4
Approval of past minutes

Item 7A
2 Appointments were made to the Parks and Recreation Commission
Passed 7-0

Item 7B
2 appointments were made to the Commission on Diversity Awareness.
Passed 7-0

Item 7C
3 appointments were made to the Industrial Development Authority.
Passed 7-0

Item 7D
1 appointment was made to the Transportation Advisory Committee.
Passed 7-0

Item 8, Liquor License
Council recommended to the State the approval of 3 liquor licenses, “Majerle’sSports Grill”, 102 E. Route 66, “Sitto’s”, 117S. San Francisco St. and “SenorPickles”, 7 N. San Francisco St.
All three Passed 7-0

Item 9A
George Nackard v. the City of Flagstaff, Authorize payments not to exceed $30,000 to settle all claims relating to this litigation.
Passed 7-0

Item 10A
An agreement between the City of Flagstaff (City) and Coconino County (County) for the purposes of providing security and screening services to the Municipal Court in the form of Superior Court Bailiffs.

As part of Councils budget process last year, we asked how we can save money. This takes 2 sworn positions and civilianized them thus reducing expenses by about $40,000 per year.
Passed 7-0

Item 10B
This repeals conflicting Ordinance language in the City Code so that the new language in our new Procurement Manual is not in conflict.
Passed 7-0

Item 14A
Consideration and Adoption of Resolution No. 2013-19: A resolution of the Council of the City ofFlagstaff, Arizona, repealing resolution Nos. 1422, 1534, and 1674 adopted by the Flagstaff City Council respectively on September 17, 1985, February 16, 1988, and June 19, 1990, regarding the Real Estate

The prior resolutions allowed for interest earnings to be used for real estate purchases. This resolution will allow principal, interest, and any other deposits made to the Real Estate Proceeds Fund to be budgeted and expended per Council direction.
Passed 6-1 with Vice Mayor Evans Opposing

Item 14B
Consideration of Ordinance No. 2013-20: An Ordinance adopting the prohibition of intentionally, knowingly or recklessly feeding wildlife.

Passed 5-2 with myself and Vice Mayor Evans against.

Item 14C
Energy Code, Amended (4th time! I’ll write about this more soon)
Read into the record by a vote of 5-2 with Vice Mayor Evans and Councilmember Barotz against. Ultimately adopted by a 7-0 vote.

In June Council voted 4-3 in favor of adopting the 2012 Energy Code. On the second read the 2012 code was rejected by a 6-1 vote. In July Council voted 4-3 to adopt the 2009 energy code with Mayor Nabours, Councilmember Brewster and myself voting against due to its increased upfront costs to Flagstaff Residents and Businesses.

At tonights meeting the Mayor and I floated an amendment to the 2009 code that eliminated the requirement and burden for businesses of having to go to the City with regard to interior lighting when a change of use/occupancy occurs. The current process can be burdensome and expensive.

It’s been a long road. With the amendments to the 2009 code, there was finally a document and a code that not only corrected some issues with the 2006 code but also offered up enough amendments that in reality what was adopted is not very different from the 2006 code.

I consider this a huge victory for those wanting to lower the upfront cost for housing and cost for businesses in Flagstaff due to onerous regulations.

Item 15A
Review and discuss the 2013 Resident Survey Questions.
This is a $20,000 survey that is supposed to go out to 1,500 Flagstaff Residents to get feedback on several issues. Those of you who follow my blog know I value and push for constituent input and feedback. However, I did not see this as an effective way to do so and I pushed to use the $20,000 elsewhere but was in the minority.

My request for a future agenda item on A RESOLUTION RECOGNIZING THE RIGHTS OF INDIVIDUALS AND GROUPS TO GROW AND CONSUME THEIR OWN FOOD was approved with myself, Mayor Nabours and Councilwoman Brewster pushing it forward.

Last month a Resolution was presented to the City Council RECOGNIZING THE RIGHTS OF INDIVIDUALS AND GROUPS TO GROW AND CONSUME THEIR OWN FOOD. I asked that the Council support putting this on a future agenda for consideration.

Like many of Flagstaff’s residents, every year around May I venture outside and begin my yearly gardening experiment. Every year I get a little better and someday I hope my $10 tomatoes will be $5 tomatoes. Many of Flagstaff’s residents fair a lot better than I do and gardening and small scale local agriculture is an important part of a self sufficient and self reliant community.

This Resolution simply reaffirms rights of individuals to raise food on their own land, subject to zoning and land use laws.

Many of our constituents would love to hear from the Flagstaff City Council, through a resolution, that the Council supports, endorses, and encourages the recognizes the right and freedom of people to raise their own food.

Over 300 people have signed a petition encouraging this. The Flagstaff Sustainability Commission unanimously supported it. Despite all this support, I was very surprised to receive stiff opposition from Councilwoman Celia Barotz in moving this to a future agenda item. She firmly stated she did not support this moving forward which I found very out of character to her past actions and statements.

This will be on the agenda in October.

Got an issue you want to discuss?
Please contact Jeff as follows:
Office of Flagstaff City Councilman Jeff Oravits
211 W. Aspen Ave.
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Phone: (928) 213-2015

5 thoughts on “How I Voted 8/26/13

  1. Re: The growing of your own food on your land. You wrote “This Resolution simply reaffirms rights of individuals to raise food on their own land, subject to zoning and land use laws.” I think it should be read a little different as this is a right of independence and sustenance. I think it should be looked at like this “This Resolution simply reaffirms rights of individuals to raise food on their own land, REGARDLESS OF zoning and land use laws.

    1. I strongly encourage everyone who wants more freedom to raise food on their property to contact the Flagstaff City Council and let them know. This resolution may lead to a great opportunity to discuss and explore the easing of certain zoning restrictions in the future. There is also talk by City staff about easing the animal keeping part of the City Code. The original ordinance that Flagstaff Liberty Alliance was supporting would have addressed much of that but it faced near impossible challenges. Now that we’re looking at a non-binding resolution (and even that is facing some opposition) we’re hoping the Flagstaff City Council can at least bring awareness and encourage people to raise and grow their own food. It doesn’t have the teeth that we had hoped for but it is a step in the right direction.

  2. Dear Jeff, I am impressed by you. You make believe that we can improve some things. Sorry that temporarily I cannot be active, but I send to you my sincere “Thank you”

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