Home » From The Readers, Letters to the Editor » Adversarial Voices Are Precisely What Local Governments Need

Adversarial Voices Are Precisely What Local Governments Need

Sedona AZ (February 23, 2017) – The following is a letter to the SedonaEye.com editor:

In response to the 2/22/17 SRRN editorial I sympathize with the critic of the SFD, who has “irreproachable credentials and experience” but who declined to serve on the bond advisory committee. Most likely he surmised that due to his “adversarial” perspective, he would be ignored and outvoted. This is the exact reason why my name is “conspicuously absent” from the list of candidates. In fact, I did apply to be a member of the Budget Oversight Committee, but was rejected by City Hall mostly because of my fervent belief in a balanced budget.

So yes, I’m the other “resident who posted a winding rant on a blog against the bond and alleged SFD is somehow orchestrating a secret media campaign…” First it wasn’t “a winding rant;” it was a straightforward account detailed with quotes directly from SRRN articles. Secondly the media campaign is not very “secret” since it garnered front-page headlines in three SRRN issues in a row. Also if you believe “government entities have no personality nor ideology” (e.g., Obama vs. Trump), then you might believe that the advisory committee is not going to recommend a bond. But this is hard for me to believe, especially since the SFD is spending $25,000 to finalize its bond options.

The question is not if there will be a bond; it is how much will it cost. Moreover “reasons for and against haven’t even been discussed” is just not true. SFD has presented its reasons “for,” and I have presented my reasons “against.” Another false statement is that I “demanded” that my readers do anything. I just pointed out the consequences of voting one way and then the other. Rather than be on a committee where no one hears me, I choose to be “in the backwaters of the internet,” where anyone can read me…

…Originally I was going to send this to the SRRN editor with the preface: Do you have the courage and integrity to publish a letter that contradicts one of your editorials? But I realized that this passive-aggressive way of being defensive and combative would only create unnecessary rancor, which surely would nullify my slim-to-none chance of getting this published. Moreover, I didn’t want to needlessly make my relationship with the editor any worse than it already is.

So I decided to put myself in his shoes in hopes that I could empathize and gain some insight into his perspective. I then imagined being the editor of a small, understaffed, local newspaper, whose owners/his employers have been shaping the past and now the future of Sedona. For decades the paper has been the mouthpiece of the pro-growth, pro-business vested interests. Consequently as the current editor, he must experience certain pressures from the top.

So I decided to reread the editorial. The first part is an objective recounting of facts about the SFD bond. He then decries that a very qualified, prospective applicant declined to serve on the advisory committee. His frustration over the residents’ lack of civic duty devolves into a subjective attack on me, in which he misrepresents what I wrote. I don’t really know, so I’m hypothesizing here that he was (un)consciously following the orders/inferences from the top to discredit me. Or this could just be my convoluted, cynical musing. Nevertheless his language then becomes more incendiary and condescending. I don’t hold this against him. Under pressure we all are likely to do or say something we wouldn’t normally do or say.

I believe the editor is a smart man, who wouldn’t normally write “government entities have no personality or ideology” or “reasons for and against haven’t been discussed.” He was just carried away by his own “rant.” At times we all get carried away by our opinions and beliefs. Differences of opinion and their varied expressions are what free speech and democracy are all about. So I commend the editor for wisely stating in this editorial, “adversarial voices are precisely what local governments need to make sure all the facets of a community are represented.”

Henry Twombly
Sedona, AZ  86336

Read www.SedonaEye.com for daily news and interactive views!

31 Comments

  1. Nic says:

    thumbs up

  2. Warren says:

    Henry, you are cutting the SRRN and its editor way too much slack. They are both awful. Read my story about being “banned for life” from the SRRN. In short, the SRRN printed a lie about me but, when pressed with facts, refused to admit it and instead chose to ban me “for life” from ever having anything published there again. http://sedonaeye.com/freedom-of-expression-essential-to-a-free-society/

  3. Josh says:

    Two sides, check them out, then decide.

  4. Wsr says:

    More BS from Twombly

    All you do is write fiction. You must be really board or your storytelling career is A big ZERO…

  5. Thank You says:

    Thank you for speaking up Mr. Henry Twombly!

    BTW when Wsr criticizes anyone that means you’re speaking the truth. They try and bully anyone that doesn’t go along with their agenda. It is a fabulous indicator your right!

  6. Not Surprised Henry says:

    So, this is all about poor little Hank who didn’t get picked to play stick ball because the big boys knew he couldn’t throw the ball. I bet you also had your lunch money taken from you at school. About time you realized that when you poke the bear enough the bear comes back to bite you.

  7. Linda Graves says:

    Josh, right on. Henry Warren and Eddie and others keep on doing everybody a great service keeping information out in the open even when nobody wants to hear it. I appreciative it.

  8. Sean says:

    @notsurprisedhenry late night surfing and what did I find_________funny how when certain people write it doesn’t take a signature to know who they are _____________AND because Henry/Hank wouldn’t bother telling you let me tell you____________bite yourself

  9. Bry Levine, Golden CO says:

    bigots & racists
    fight on man! (deleted by editor) them!

  10. Glenn Shannon says:

    The Sedona fire department has for a long time been out of control and especially with in the spending department. Every time we get anyone in who wants to control spending they are quickly voted out because the spending side seems to have a lot of money to advertise against anyone who wants to control spending. It seems like it is a jolly group that has very little control and they just keep promoting each other. Seems funny about 3 years ago we paid over a million dollars in overtime for them to go to 11 fires. Now where does all that overtime come from when we have a full time fire department, so another big scam. Their wages are a lot higher then even in the major cities like Phoenix and when you look at small cities like Sedona where everyone else gets paid a lot less for their labor that is sad. Another area is the fire department quickly became the largest amount on my tax bill even over the school budget.

  11. @Glenn Shannon says:

    You ask some very deep questions, did you ever think to ask the Fire Chief for answers? About 3 or 4 years ago I had similar questions but instead of slamming the fire department I called that nice young chief and asked him. If you’re really interested in answers you might consider doing the same.

  12. Norma says:

    As the world has changed and progressed the rural area of Sedona hasn’t. It is time for all local governments to looks at other options rather than the same old roads they have been taking.

    The highest paid employees in our region are government employees. The second group is the chamber who is subsidized by the local sedona city government millions of dollars for their special interest group, a membership based group. This group is primarily outside the city’s jurisdiction.

    With the region being a retiree base community it is not fair for special interests to drive cost up so that they can be subsidized. If no one speaks up to create change them it is easy to allow the train wreck to occur.

    The quality of life for those taxpayers in the red rock district is being hurt. The tourists are driving the property taxes up as the infrastructure to support those tourists are paid out of your property and income taxes going to the local agencies.

    The clogging of the streets hurts potential new business opportunities as they are not able to more around. This also effects younger families from moving here. The residents can’t move around as the tourists are stealing the quality of life. In addition the fire departments have to deal with these same issues. That is why we have more stations then a normal area of 22,000. This is driving the cost of living higher.

    Because it is a us against them many people do not feel welcome to partake. 22,000 have a voice and that is only when you vote. So get your neighbors to vote and kept up the GREAT dialog, articles, posts and fabulous information.

    Thank you to the Sedona Eye for this great informative online newspaper. I enjoy reading. Thank you for the articles and getting us educated.

  13. Glenn Shannon says:

    They had a fire chief who controlled spending and he was run out of town. Yes am sure they can give all kinds of excuses for their spending but when they out spend fire departments in big cities like phoenix there is a problem. Have heard some of their excuses like we need to pay them so they can afford a house in Sedona. Guess we could ignore that a lot of people in every city can’t afford a house where they work and have to commute. Another one was one of our fire chiefs got rid of all the dodge pickup trucks and bought chevys because he thought the dodge trucks were ugly.

  14. Alarmed says:

    The Sedona Fire District let needed projects go for decades in order to pay soaring salaries. In February of 2015, thanks to the Sedona Fire District Governing Board, Sedona’s Regional Communications Center (why Regional?) was closed down.

    Nothing like rotten service. Our 911 calls now go from the Sedona Police Department to the Cottonwood Public Safety Communications Center before they reach the SFD. Gone are the days when our 911 calls went directly to the SFD. Property owners are being taken to the cleaners, and safety is no longer what it once was.

  15. Tony T says:

    I have spoken to “that nice young chief” on many occasions. He is intelligent and very professional. He probably loves his job and providing a gold plated level of service.

    Being a professional he will follow the direction of the fire board. If the board does not tell him no, does not tell him to cut, does not tell him to close a fire station, he will do his job and provide a gold plated level of service. The best he can possibly provide. It’s his nature. But it’s your money.

    The question is, do you want to pay for it? If you don’t mind longer response times. If you want or don’t want a station within 5 minutes of every house in Sedona. If you don’t want a full time staffed fire department and would like to go back to the volunteer department that took care of Sedona not that long ago, run for fire board.

    I fought that battle for a long time, and very few people seem to care. I don’t have the temperament to be on the fire board.

    Tell you neighbors. Talk to fire board members. The choice is being made for you, is it what you want?

    Too many people say ” save me, take care of me”, and they vote accordingly.

  16. Tony T says:

    A few other thoughts.

    You would be safer if you had a fully staffed ICU in your house. You would be safer if there was a fully staffed fire station next door to your house. You would be safer if there was a police officer or two in a patrol car parked 24/7 outside your house.

    If you clothes were on fire how much would you pay? Of course,anything. How often does that happen?

    Can YOU afford it. Would you like your property taxes to be more than the value of your house every year?

    The best thing for your health and safety is to not be overweight and walk more. Both are free. Then you might not need the ICU.

  17. Julianna says:

    @Glenn Shannon
    @Tony T
    @norma

    Oh you guys are funny…..you all have been complaining about SFD and EVERYTHING else for years and years now…

    I love Sedona Fire , they are great people …No matter how many lies you tell about thrm regarding safeties etc…

    As far as I’m concerned God bless Sedona Fire and thank you for your service.
    BTW the people complaining are really dissatisfied with their life and couldn’t make the cut to join the fire service…

    Have a nice day……

  18. Karen O says:

    @Wsr,

    I was wondering when you would chime in. Thanks for giving the comments a bump. We need to bring this to the voters attention. I had no idea we had fire stations for a town over twice our size. Do you know we have TWO ladder trucks now? Amazing for a town with no high rise buildings.

  19. Glenn Shannon says:

    Julianna Yes complaining about the SFD and they way it is run and the huge expense it is but no where did I see anyone attacking the employees.

  20. Glenn Shannon says:

    Yes Karen they find everything they can to spend money and besides that they also found out the ladder trucks couldn’t make it thru our turn around’s.

  21. Rich collister says:

    Oh let see now….

    The names posting here are the same people that have always disliked/hated the Sedona Fire Dept

    Glenn Shannon needs another diaper change….I guess he doesn’t spend money on his 2nd home…..he has been penny pinching for years now and his facts are are mostly wrong.

    Tony T he a guy that thinks two cops talking to each other for 10 minutes is a waste of “his hard earned taxes”. Also thinks a city worker cashing thief check on their lunch brake is a wast of taxpayer money

    Julianna she once worked for (deleted by editor)…check it out in posts from years ago.. her (deleted by editor) was on it crying about it

    So this is a little bit about the haters of sedona fire

    Btw they enjoy lying also

  22. Glenn Shannon Reality Check says:

    Glenn Shannon allow me to give you a bit of a history lesson, which came first the second hand ladder truck or the roundabouts???? Answer the ladder truck!

    Oh BTW how about asking a real question; how many Sedona homes have been saved from fire because SFD had that truck?

    How is that the fault of SFD if ADOT didn’t make the roundabouts wide enough for not just a ladder truck but for every darn tractor trailer, hence the tire tracks on the pavement.

    How about sticking with FACTS.

    Karen O posted that SFD bought a second ladder truck, ARE YOU FRIGGIN KIDDING ME!?! I walked in to Station 4 after reading that posting and found out that there is absolutely no truth to that and yet, it’s posted.

    I guess that most of you posters on SE are from the Trump Camp when in doubt MAKE IT UP!

  23. Teacher Dan says:

    @glenshannonrealitycheck

    I agreed with you until you started the rant about SE and comments. You don’t get it. You and the others.

    Your first part of the comment was informative; thanks for finding out that the truck came before roundabouts, and there is one not two. Bravo. Helpful and THE REASON WHY THIS SITE IS SUPERIOR. YOU MANAGED TO PROVE IT.

    You dispelled a rumor. That’s what happens on this site.

    What though does TRUMP have to do with our roundabouts and fire trucks? Wasn’t that during OBAMA? Please note how Obama or Trump has no business with that business, or with the comment veracity? Be smart enough to get it without further explanation. Try.

  24. Eddie Maddock says:

    Apologizing in advance for sharing personal incidents, but because of the reference to the roundabouts I cannot resist.

    Several years ago because of a high fever and infection, neighbors whom I contacted to look after my dog insisted on calling 911, against my wishes I might add. Well, two events linger in my memory besides the infection causing my distress.

    (1) Momentarily I thought I’d died and gone to heaven when several of the most handsome young men were standing over me at my bedside;

    (2) In spite of the high fever, I was actually excited to be in a position to find out first hand how the ambulance, of course not the ladder truck, maneuvered the double-roundabouts at the “Y”. Easy-peazy was the verdict as was the comment from the medics on that ride to remember. They totally supported the ease with which they navigated them and especially remarked about the safety from avoiding running red lights which has a potential for more accidents.

    Now that was a few years ago, but my second event was more recent from a fall in a parking lot in the VOC. It was this same time of year – spring-break events – and there was a concern about traffic. The hospital in Cottonwood was, in fact, the preferred designation suggested by the EMT’s but being more convenient for someone to collect me after treatment they agreed to the West Sedona Medical Center. As luck was on our side, the transport occurred during a lull in traffic. And as the first adventure, the roundabouts were maneuvered with ease and free from delay.

    As for the present study for perhaps another ballot measure to approve bonds for improvements, why not wait and see what is actually on the table? Your decision will be reflected at the time the opportunity for your voice to effectively be heard – when you either mark a ballot from the comfort of your own home or, if offered and preferred, in person at your designated polling place.

    This isn’t a testimonial for any other purpose than to acknowledge first hand information I was given from those directly using the equipment relating to traffic and roundabouts. It does remain a mystery to me the need for a ladder truck in Sedona after it was made public the vehicle was unable to turn around in Oak Creek Canyon, essentially the reason it was allegedly procured in the first place if memory serves correctly.

    Thank you, EMT’s & Firefighters, for caring and professional assistance during my late husband’s illness, my own personal incidents, and especially the volunteer firefighters that saved our Broken Arrow Subdivisions back in the ’80’s when the house at 45 Cypress Drive was on fire during the middle of the night. The pump-trucks were miraculous and thank goodness for the neighbors that pitched in to fund the fire hydrant at the intersection of Morgan Road & Cypress Drive.

    So now take your best shot. Shoot the messenger. At least you know who the target is.

  25. Another Question says:

    Has it ever been ascertained to what degree our excessive and uncontrolled tourism is responsible for requiring such extensive fire and medical assistance services in Sedona? Because our Fire & School Districts are not officially part of incorporated Sedona, they are funded from a broader base of residents, the source being from our respective counties and based on a county property tax.

    Specifically, how many fire stations, related equipment and personnel would be needed by the Sedona Fire District without the presence of overwhelming tourism related traffic? And keep in mind, city sales and/or bed tax is not the source of funding for our fire (and school) district(s).

    When the hooters begin hammering the residents for not paying their fair share for city necessities such as essential infrastructure for health and safety, maybe it’s time we start asking whether tourists are paying their fair share for our exorbitant emergency needs in a district of what – maybe 20,000? At least except for boasting their claim as being responsible for the increased tourist traffic in Sedona, the Chamber of Commerce so far hasn’t become the initial player in this fiasco and not (so far) allowed to dictate to our Fire Board and “district” citizens how to run their operation. One small thing for which to be grateful?

  26. L. Benes, CT says:

    I prefer gorounds, no stops no lights and easier than 4 ways because people don’t know the rules for going first to last.

  27. Deb and Phil, Bisbee says:

    IN ONE MONTH NOT COVERED BY THE PRESS, TRUMP HAS ACCOMPLISHED:

    40% fewer illegal immigrants crossed our border (even before the border wall has been constructed)

    $3 trillion were added to the stock market as optimism about our economy continues to soar

    Billions of dollars will be invested here in the United States by businesses encouraged by President Trump’s economic policies including his nonsupport with Bernie Sanders of TPP

    Judge Gorsuch, a constitutionalist worthy of Justice Scalia’s seat, was nominated to the Supreme Court HAS A HISTORY APPLAUDED BY LIBERALS AND CONSERVATIVES IF YOU PAY ATTENTION TO HIS PEERS and his record and not media dumwits.

    President Trump is just getting started. He will not rest until we truly Make America Great Again!

  28. Sac Reader says:

    This desire to beat to death America b/c Clinton lost smells of sons of anarchy & dope smokers gone establishmentarians gone senile seniors & is ripe for losing everything that makes us American. Too many trophies for participation & not for skill gives us poor losers & poor winners.

  29. Glenn Shannon says:

    Well Sedona is number one in by far in starting salary and the highest amount on my property tax. If you people really want to know the huge difference on starting salary’s it is easy to look up and you will be amazed on the difference. Payson which would run close to Sedona has a starting salary of $31063, quite a difference between that and $48880. As far as the ladder truck saving any homes that is a joke as the one fire it did go to couldn’t get close enough and the regular fire trucks would work just fine. The expense of our fire department is way out of line with other cities and as far as house fires goes to very few in a year.

  30. m allen says:

    Glenn,

    I suggest you move to Payson then.

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