Sedonans Cherish our Freedom



July 5, 2019


I hope you are enjoying the 4th of July weekend. It’s a chance to take a breather from our busy lives and reflect on our uniquely American freedoms.

Our freedom to act and to create is the envy of the world. In Sedona, our more than 830 Chamber partners bring energy and optimism to work every day, creating value, jobs, financial independence, security for family, even incredible works of art – all of it all based on nothing more than vision, determination and the freedom to act. Our City leaders strive just as hard to envision and take actions to continually better our community.

We have the freedom to make mistakes and learn. Every business owner knows mistakes lead to growth, painful though it may be. “Success ignores lessons because it thinks it has nothing to learn,” observed Phillipe Paul de Egure more than 200 years ago. “We improve ourselves only when misfortune strikes.”

This truism is at work in every successful business that has taken to heart its ‘lessons learned:” they don’t play the blame game; encourage openness in employees; effectively use trial and error; accept responsibility; balance prudence with speed; practice strict financial management – the list goes on. “There is no failure,” Paul Allen famously said. “Only feedback.” We are fortunate to be free to try, try, and try again.

Our civic life expresses an independent Sedona spirit born of freedom. Residents chose Home Rule last year, keeping the authority to raise and spend revenues at home with our trusted elected officials, who themselves honor freedom by always seeking public input. We rejected a Permanent Base Adjustment proposal last fall, though in the spirit of free choice, we did not reject the idea that a PBA may be best for Sedona in the future; a freely-chosen restriction subject to revision is no restriction at all. The freedom to make a choice – and debate it publicly and vigorously – is a freedom Sedonans cherish.

Today, citizenship requires understanding issues and working toward solutions together. Private citizens can change the direction of a community and even an entire country, as the civil rights movement, women’s suffrage and the abolition of slavery demonstrate. In every case, individuals with a shared sense of purpose came together to make a change for the common good.

Sedonans do that with more passion than most. We can see it in our improving transportation infrastructure, our burgeoning business community, our joyous community events, and a new tourism approach that prioritizes our environment and quality of life.

This holiday weekend, let’s remember to be thankful for our freedoms and our choices, respectful to those who take on the hard work of public service in our government, supportive of our risk-taking, freedom-loving entrepreneurs, and grateful that we live in the most beautiful place on earth!

Jennifer Wesselhoff, President/CEO