Home » City Council, Community » Curtain Falls on May 2013 City Council Performances

Curtain Falls on May 2013 City Council Performances

SedonaEye.com columnist, Eddie S. Maddock, questions the decision-making process to spend on wish lists and not address the "broken" in the city

SedonaEye.com columnist, Eddie S. Maddock, examines the 2013 May performance of the Sedona City Council

Sedona AZ (June 5, 2013) – After the Sedona City Council’s Pre & Regular Meetings (3:00 PM & 4:30 PM respectively) on May 28, followed by a Special Meeting at 3:00 PM on the 29th, the final curtain (minus fanfare for an encore) came to rest, concluding the May performances in City Hall Council Chambers by members of the Sedona City Council.

As most of you are aware, the Pre-council meetings are for the purpose of reviewing agenda items prior to the “real” event, meaning the “real” meeting at 4:30 p.m. is when “real” decisions are made.

At the “real” meeting on May 28, not surprisingly the $20,000 request made by the Sedona Arts & Culture Collaborative (SACC) for destination marketing activities to promote Sedona as a center for arts and culture education was approved. (Mayor Rob Adams, because of his participation in formation of SACC, by his choice recused himself from this discussion.)

Also it was not a surprise when a request from the Sedona Chamber of Commerce for $80,000 in destination marketing funds to be used by the C of C and the Tourism Bureau was likewise approved.

For the first time ever, $100,000 had been designated as a Budget Line Item to be used as a “discretionary fund” and at the eleventh hour fiscal year deadline.

chicken rooster farm animals

Peter Fagan, Chairman of the Budget Oversight Commission, said Council eliminating his oversight committee amounted to the “fox watching the hen house”

Was there any doubt that amount would not be reclaimed?

As explained by Jennifer Wesselhoff, President/CEO of the Sedona Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau, this $100,000 was in addition to the contract with the city for destination marketing and visitors’ services. She said that, in conjunction with their contract agency application process, C of C requested 55% of the bed tax which equates to just a little over $800,000.

What the C of C receives is $220,000 for destination marketing and $275,000 for visitors’ services. She reiterated it was in addition to that funding the Chamber came back and requested another $100,000which became the source for the discretionary fund Budget Line Item.

Michelle Conway, Director of Marketing at the Sedona C of C, commenced to make an approximate 15 minute presentation explaining the plans for using the increased funding, which included target marketing such as conventions and weddings as well as upgrading software for online promotions.

Councilman John Martinez asked how much of the $220,000 (destination marketing funds) was used for salaries? (He did vote “yes” on this issue.)

Ms. Wesselhoff explained that none of the public money goes to operate any functions of the Chamber of Commerce. She claims her salary is solely derived from C of C membership dues. She went on to say the Tourism Bureau is privately and publicly funded and the Visitor’s Center is funded by City.

However, Michelle’s salary IS primarily derived from the private funding portion of Tourism Bureau funds but subject to being subsidized as, perhaps, is necessary.

Sedona City Councilwoman Barbara Litrell

Sedona City Councilwoman Barbara Litrell

However, in a recent “Chamber News” article (Sedona Red Rock News 5/24/13), Michelle Conway reported that: “The public funds from the city are combined with private funding through Tourism Bureau membership dues and advertising to create a total marketing, sales and public relations budget of approximately $500,000. This total budget includes operational expenses, salaries, and administration, in addition to the actual execution of promoting.”

As both Michelle Conway and Jennifer Wesselhoff presented their cases for the $80,000, it was, in reality, the “same-ole” pitch with a slightly different twist, that being a link with the recent Sedona Lodging Council’s Long Range Tourism Development Plan, referenced by Ms. Wesselhoff in her presentation to the City Council.

These special interest groups have placed demands on the city to increase sales tax by .5% and to increase the bed tax by .5% requesting dedication of 45% of the total bed tax collections be allocated to the City’s Official Destination Marketing Organization for marketing and 15% dedicated to visitor center management and 20% be allocated for tourism product development for as long as this tax is in place in order to reap a more profitable harvest which will allegedly benefit tourists, businesses, and residents and, perhaps, and particularly the special interests doing the bidding.

Never, at any time, was it disclosed that as a member driven organization, the C of C is committed to servicing only businesses who, indeed, are members. Cost of membership dues and or number of members was not offered at this meeting.

Sedona Councilman Mike Ward

Sedona Councilman Mike Ward

Based on that premise, how fair is the use of public funds which clearly discriminates against those businesses who choose to not become members of the Chamber of Commerce? What about C of C members who are not within city limits and thus do not contribute to the city tax base?

Many important questions relating to spending public funds were neither asked nor addressed.

Comments and questions from Council Members & Mayor:

Dan McIlroy: Questioned tracking of numbers resulting in marketing effort. He voted “yes” to approve.

Mark DiNunzio: Questioned using demographics of targeting age 35 and use of youthful photos in ads because of median existing age being 56. He added that “boomers” are now retiring, much older than the age 35 target. Requested specific return on investment insofar as, for example, how many rooms are actually rented as a result of promoting a specific event. He voted “no” to approve

Barbara Litrell: Thinks 35 too old to target for weddings. What is time frame for implementing campaign? When will the $80,000 be spent? She supports “request for proposals” next year. She voted “yes” to approve.

Mike Ward: Questioned current process for C of C to repeatedly appear before Council asking for more money. Feels a lack of process for tracking return on investment (i.e. would $80,000 require generating $560,000 in sales to be worth while?) Feels need for resolve of C of C and Lodging Council’s request for increased taxes prior to approval for spending more. He supports “request for proposals.” He voted “no” to approve.

City of Sedona Mayor Rob Adams

City of Sedona Mayor Rob Adams

Jessica Williamson: Demanding return on investment does not work for her. She believes more money should be spent on software to facilitate better tracking methods. She voted “yes” to approve.

Rob Adams: He criticized Mike Ward, calling it “disgraceful” for his accusation about C of C’s ongoing appearances asking for city “hand outs.” He lauded the C of C for being responsible for bringing in all of the people who sustain Sedona. He extended C of C his total support although he will also support “request for proposals” next year. He voted “yes” to approve.

Motion passed: 5/2 (Opposed: Ward & DiNunzio)

MOVING RIGHT ALONG TO #9, REGULAR BUSINESS (d-AB 1602 discussion/possible action on reconsideration for city to purchase property adjacent to City Hall.):

This property had been one of several under consideration for City to purchase with the available funding from Development Impact Fees. However, it didn’t make the cut for further consideration at the March 26, 2013, Council Meeting.

Addressing the question of how and why this was being reconsidered, Dan McIlroy explained that he’d been contacted by the listing agent, John D. Miller, who convinced him it would be in the city’s best interest to own this land. Therefore, it was at the request of Councilman McIlroy that the vacant land was again on the agenda in order to request further consideration by Council for City purchase.

The motion to approve reconsideration failed 4/3:  (B. Litrell, M. DiNunzio, and D. McIlroy voted “yes.” R. Adams, J. Martinez, M. Ward, and J. Williamson voted “no.”)

theatre curtains 2MOVING RIGHT ALONG TO CITY COUNCIL SPECIAL MEETING May 29 – 3:00 PM:

Special Business Actions:

• AB1531: City Council unanimously approved Amendment #2 to the Design of A+ Upgrades Contract with Carollo Engineers in the amount of $345,588. This will allow for a design project to serve areas presently on sewer but will not allow for future sewer accommodations for the entirety of Sedona.

• AB1612: The discussion regarding staff recommended implementation and action plan for transition of current framework of city commissions also resulted in a 4/3 split vote. The motion, made by Councilwoman Barbara Litrell, was seconded by Vice-Mayor Mark DiNunzio. Council members D. McIlroy, J. Williamson, M. DeNunzio, and B. Litrell voted in favor; voting against that action was Mayor Adams and Councilmen Ward and Martinez.

For the record, Peter Fagan, Chairman of the Budget Oversight Commission, was one of the public speakers. He strongly objected to AB1612, especially the elimination of the BOC, comparing it to allowing “the Fox to guard the hen house.”

Is it possible for that theory to apply in other cases as well, in particular the control the Chamber of Commerce clearly commands over decisions and spending at City Hall?

What does the month of June hold in store?

More meetings; more decisions. Increased taxes?

Approval of a budget lacking adequate funds to pay for the extensive “wish list” of unneeded capital improvements?

Pipe dreams?

How many foxes are out there – not only guarding the hen house also known as City Hall  – but snatching every conceivable opportunity to help themselves for their own pleasures?

For the best in Arizona news and views, read www.SedonaEye.com daily!

For the best in Arizona news and views, read www.SedonaEye.com daily!

161 Comments

  1. Thank You, Sheri says:

    For reminding us that at one time we actually had people on the City Council that understood why they were elected: to represent the voting residents and NOT provide the entire Verde Valley with play pens in various forms.

    Sedona – incorporated to provide socialized government? No – that was NOT the intention but those in control continue to make it happen. Time for a recall. Kick the bums out – including the idiot that wrote under “Sheri, Sheri, Sheri.” You are totally ignorant. Sedona incorporated to maintain a town small, provide tasteful planning and development, and live with the means it takes to provide for the benefit of health, safety, and welfare. And that shouldn’t include entitlements for those that do not deserve a free pass.

    Get a life – or better yet move back to California.

  2. Bingo says:

    Bingo Sheri! You have hit the nail on the head. The current City Council thinks they are running a charity. As yes @Sheri Sheri oh Sheri The City is supposed to be run like a business for the incorporated city limits! They are not supposed to care support every tom dick and harry outside the city. If they city focused on the responsibly they wouldn’t be using up all the raining day money. The city is wasting taxpayers money on BS. IMO When have you heard of the city cutting the fat? You havn’t they can’t spend the money fast enough

  3. Steve segner says:

    I’m sorry I thought the discussion was about the sewer treatment plant what is it with the C&C over and over and over and over get a life

  4. Wsr says:

    @Bingo
    @Thank you Sherri

    FYI SE readers the above and various other fake names are the same person…
    They post ……then reply to thier post under a different name.

    They have been doing it for years and yes….they are CRAZY

  5. Norma says:

    When the City of Sedona sold it’s power to get a few more bucks they failed to properly assess the impact of what they were doing. No impact study was performed. No long term sustainable engineering report -Long-term impacts of an unanticipated risks. Consequences of not doing a risk assessment has destroyed our city.
    Sheri is right the elected officials have failed their fiduciary responsibility. They should ALL get recalled. IMO
    The Mayor is now claiming that the traffic is because phoenix is growing yet the CC claims ALL the sales tax / bed tax to due to the work of Chamber. What is it CC ? BS IMO

  6. @steve Segner says:

    But the sewer treatment plant has everything to do with the C of C because of all the money being extracted from the wastewater operation to maintain necessities such as roads. All at the expense of those paying monthly sewer fees to make up for the millions of $$$$ being wasted with the C of C to accommodate too many tourists that this city CANNOT HANDLE.

    It would be a blessing if ADEQ came in and shut Sedona down, That would be a sure fix to the problem since no one in charge has the brains to admit the problem – including you, Mr. segner.

  7. JeanJ says:

    As many are aware, the City Council held 2017-18 Budget Work Sessions on April 26 & 27, 2017.

    A few weighty facts with regard to the last three budgets:

    % Change FY 13-14 Adopted Budget v. FY 14-15 Proposed Budget……2.2%
    % Change FY 14-15 Adopted Budget v. FY 15-16 Proposed Budget…..11.0%
    % Change FY 15-16 Adopted Budget v. FY 16-17 Proposed Budget…..26.2%

    City Finance Director Cherie Wright stated it looks like her work group will be coming back to the City Council saying the City needs to come up with a new revenue source. So, is she responsible for not staying within the extent of the FY 2018 projected resources?

    Sedona’s smooth-talking City Manager Justin Clifton claimed the proposed budget was conservative.

    John Currivan was the Council member who objected to total expenditures exceeding total revenues [by $10.815 million]. He brought up at least twice that estimated total revenues [$37.606 million] ought to equal estimated total expenditures [$48.421 million].

  8. to $edona City Council says:

    To the $edona City Council

    When will you stop the insane idea that you need to market $edona? Sometimes less is more. You spend more but you have less. You should be ashamed of what you turned $edona into. Our issues are about all the money you gift the chamber. You are killing the small town and driving everyone out. $edona is a one time visit now, thanks to you and the greedy chamber.

    To the greedy chamber members

    Karma will get your greedy buts. It always does.

    To both the city council & Chamber managment

    You taken taxpayers money, hurt and abused our community. You destroyed anyone or thing that stands in your way. Instead of attracting longer stays and those that spent the real money here you have chased them away. You have created a new name $edona. Greedy $edona IMO along with a majority of others

    To the public
    don’t believe a word they say. Read articles here and pay attention to the real leaders. Those that speak the truth.

    @JeanJ thank you great info

  9. Garr W. says:

    It’s becoming increasingly alarming the lack of wherewithal this city displays to keep roads in good condition, most recently reported to be at $63,685,246 with only a mere $5 million of that funded. Then with $15,252,000 in proposed capital improvement projects for the 2017/18 fiscal year, is there little wonder why as reported by Jean J. additional or “new” sources of funding will be prominent in upcoming discussions?

    This brings is us back to the subject of reckless spending. With the never-ending jargon spewing over national politics, one thing does continue to ring true for government at all levels. The number one responsibility of elected officials is to put safety above all else in order to protect the area and residents directly related to their charge. Our own city leaders, council and staff, continue to fail miserably in doing that and should be held personally responsible for any and all disasters that occur due to lack of providing the essential amenities to keep us safe.

    Case in point: Continuing to fund the regional Chamber of Commerce, soon to be committed to 7-year ongoing contracts without audit or sound credibility to account for past and future increments of millions of dollars in funding, amounts to no more than reckless abandonment of the responsibility Sedona was incorporated to uphold – safety.

    Have those who continue to pooh-pooh such nonsense considered potential entrapment of humans as a result of wild fire due to overcrowded road conditions? Failure to do so should be a crime under a version of the Reckless Abandonment Law in order to enforce appropriate responsibilities.

    And if the intention for “new sources” of revenue will include placing the financial burden on the backs of the residents, especially those that are being crunched with rapidly increasing monthly sewer fees, it “ain’t gonna” cut it, Folks! And be aware of the inevitable challenge to implement Sedona city property taxes. When and if voters approve such travesty they will, indeed, be inviting nothing more than increased reckless spending by leaders with ill-conceived notions that it is the Chamber of Commerce that is the savior of Sedona. No – The Chamber of Commerce is, in my opinion, the Devil himself, consuming everything beautiful that was to have been preserved through the efforts of those that actually believed incorporation would be a GOOD thing. Definitely NOT for those of us living here.

    It just goes on and on as outside groups and interests are allowed more control and if given the opportunity would serve the world with their pie-in-the-sky nonsense.

    Realizing those at City Hall detest residents, as was evidenced during the hearings on who would control our garbage pick-up, you continue to add insult to injury with your veiled threats of taxing us out of our homes while at the same time form another group to talk about affordable housing. Ya’ll are nuts.

    Do you people ever take time to listen to yourselves? Ever go back and watch your performances at council meetings? Sometimes you are sadly more entertaining than the monthly “moment o’fart” with your ongoing “I think this, that, and whatever” in between your incessant “me, me, me’s” – and of course, there seems to always be one person that outshines the rest in that annoying, never-ending self-appointed “moment o’importance.”

    Wake up, you fools. Begin to show you are serious about your elected positions by first reducing the amount of money for special interests, beginning but not ending the with disgraceful, ill-founded allegiance you have bestowed on the regional Chamber of Commerce. You are all a disgrace, again my opinion.

  10. Major Accomplishments in Sedona says:

    Among the major accomplishments in Sedona:

    (1) Sewer treatment plant that to date hasn’t connected existing subdivisions prior to incorporation because of allowing new development to use up the capacity.

    (2) Failed Cultural Park.

    (3) Many failed attempts at constructing the Barbara’s Antonsen Memorial Park, including the million-dollar collapsed dome. Now, after many, many years and millions of dollars the ugly monstrosity is complete – ready to rock and roll. Any bets on the future success of this structure that resembles the foundation of an unfinished strip mall contribution?

    (4) Reducing number of lanes on uptown SR89A which now will cost several millions of dollars to restore to four lanes again as suggested by expensive transportation studies.

    (5) Taking over the former Teen Center which has become a cash hog with other failed attempts to rent it out. Presently costing city taxpayers probably in excess of $50,000 annually while Red Earth Theatre also reaps unknown benefits by charging admission to their events.

    (6) Continual rezoning for denser development, in particular at designated Community Focus Areas, knowing full well it will only add to the traffic congestion.

    (7) Encouraging all non-profits to stand in line for handouts instead of providing fund-raising events which, in past years, offered opportunities for community gatherings and assisted in supporting those causes which residents voluntarily enjoyed.

    (8) Creating traffic congestion with inappropriate advertising paid for with city revenue by the Chamber of Commerce. Ads at the Phoenix airport and billboards on highways in the metropolitan area has contributed to day-trippers. That has been confirmed by Mayor Sandy Moriarty in a Verde Independent article: http://verdenews.com/news/2017/may/04/great-sedona-traffic-jam/

    ( 9) Continually competing with legitimate licensed Sedona businesses by offering city events serving food and beverages (including alcohol) most recently enhanced with a competitive uptown “Entertainment District” to further discourage visitors from patronizing city based businesses that are actually a legitimate source of revenue for the city.

    (10) Purchasing a poorly constructed City Hall that has been inadequate since day-one – constantly in need of repairs – mold problems – and who knows what else? Oh yes, a white roof that isn’t in compliance with city code.

    (11) And, of course, maybe the grand prize. Frittering money with the Chamber of Commerce on so far unproven productive advertising (except for day-trippers) but now focused on the absurd concept of the unknown and unidentified monster tagged as “Product Development.” Can it get any better than this?

    Now these are offered as a mere suggestion of really bad, bad and costly decisions. Please (and of course there will be the usual one or two) offer disputes to the above. Truth is truth and often hard to face but it’s long overdue for the UFO’s these decision makers are traveling in to touch base with Planet Earth – translated: REALITY.

    Have some fun – add to the list. It shouldn’t be too difficult.

  11. city GIFTING again says:

    The CIty is GIFTING again. FREE Entertainment with food vendors. These are outside city limits Food vendors!
    Taking business away from legitimate businesses that pay high fees, rents ect.
    Here is the notice

    City announces spring concert series

    Post Date: 05/07/2017 6:00 PM

    Clipart of musical noteThe Posse Grounds Pavilion at Barbara Antonsen Park is the site for the city’s inaugural Spring Concert Series, beginning May 17. For three Wednesday evenings in May the Parks and Recreation Department will host free live concerts from 5 to 7 p.m. at the pavilion located at 505 Posse Grounds Rd.
    The pavilion has festival style seating on the grass. Bring a chair or blanket to sit on and buy dinner from a local food truck. The line-up:

    May 17: DiVoM with special guest Adalia Tara. Food vendor Yaquis Taqueria.
    May 24: decker. Food vendor 3’s in the Trees.
    May 31: Saith Band. Food vendor Yaquis Taqueria.

    Parking is available in the main lot at the park. Space is limited to 300 guests at the concert. For more information call the Parks and Recreation Department at (928) 282-7098 or visit SedonaAz.gov/Parks.

  12. sheri says:

    Steve S. easily comments that residents should pay majority of WW fees because he sure isn’t interested in having his business’s Wastewater fees increased – just like he wants to use bed taxes to pay for destination lodging advertising costs through the chamber – instead of paying it for himself…. oh, and why do you care what the residents pay for Waste Water fees as You are Not a City resident (and you just want to shift every $$$ you can off your business back) . and Norma is correct that Steve S. just can’t help himself.

    For anyone to choose or even think it’s correct for our City to just keep Spending and shuffling Taxpayer funds around, as needed, to cover new Social Programs costs rather than focus on paying less for same and more on Debt Service to reduce City’s debts – Is just not thinking with either side of their brain!

    That same mentality and method of governing is why Calif is so “flush” in funds..HA….and how’s that working for them? Ho ho = near bankruptcy!

    To “How Come” I don’t know who you are but I sure agree with you!

    Could we all remember that our population is not growing!!! and yet each Council’s favorite activity is to keep on – keeping on with more and more spending and no attempt to do a cost analysis of what each of their actions cost and what a detriment to development (more city tax revenue) when the City just keeps piling on requirements that most developers won’t afford.

    We must vote down the Fire Board’s bond issue for $20m as, AGAIN, our population simply is not growing to warrant 2 new stations – modify and refigure your budget without more taxation to us.

    Seems our City Manager is putting our/His new City Finance Director and her Citizens Engagement committee out to gulp air and then going to ignore the lack of population/tourist growth and just somehow ask our Council (and Us) to accept the Proposed Budget Numbers – as though they were working for our citizens – when in fact those budget numbers are working against a balanced budget and also against our tax paying citizens.

    Oh, as an important side note? Jean Janks knows her numbers farrrrrrrr better than Steve S can count when it comes to our town and budget…..

    For those who think your debit card and your credit card are means of full out spend all? Sorry – not gonna happen….you over charge and over charge and …etc – – – – – but YOU still owe the bill. Same with OUR City and we must stop them from just free flowing on the spending pendulums…It is NOT their money to spend – when do they start to respect that concept????

  13. Eddie says:

    Thanks, Sheri. There aren’t very many of us still around that remember the promises of what incorporation would bring – and it most assuredly isn’t what continues to contribute to what has happened. And it just gets worse.

    Your words are especially meaningful because you, personally, sat in chairs on P & Z, member of City Council, and as Vice Mayor.

    And what surprises me is our present Mayor Sandy Moriarity also lived in Sedona prior to incorporation. Apparently she has forgotten some of the promises offered with that concept, such as no city property taxes, land exchange for Cultural Park would forever, in perpetuity, not be zoned for commercial development, and small town Sedona wasn’t interested in “big government.” Hello???

    You offer honest words that have obviously been forgotten and/or ignored by those now in charge. Sad.

  14. @Sheri says:

    Sheri:

    I don’t know city finances like you after all, you were a Vice Mayor back in the day but I’ve watched many of the fire meetings and I don’t recall that they want to build new fire houses because our population is growing (which it isn’t). They need new stations because the 2 oldest are falling down because of neglect by those re-called scoundrels who didn’t do their jobs back then. IMO if we don’t re-build those stations now at 2017 or 2018 money, we’ll be spending much more when they fall down.

  15. steve Segner says:

    sheri says:
    Steve S. Easily comments that residents should pay majority of WW fees because he sure isn’t interested in having his business’s Wastewater fees increased

    See Sheir, your just wrong, expenses go up every year I (plan on it). If fees go up OK, I need the service and we would have no hotels with out our city and waste water plant.
    If a city tax is needed the so be it…… If a business or home can’t afford the small annual FEE increases the time to close down and move.
    Sheri just sit back and think about the old day….. that is what old people do.

  16. Aarash Abdul says:

    Oh come on Steve.You really need to get educated. When is the (deleted by editor) gonna stop. Hotels were here BEFORE the the wastewater plant.

    When the sewer wastewater plant came in they promised the residents a $20 a month fee. Hotels use more and pay less. All those sheets, towels, food, ect. BTW there are Hotels that still operate today on their own septic system inside the city limits.

    Get a grip your are playing without paying Steve. If money is needed then give back the 18 millions dollars you and the chamber have snaked from the taxpayers. Give up that 2.01 million that your club uses. It’s not your money, it is the taxpayers of Sedona.

    Little afghanistan on Thompson Road does not contribute nor is it in the city limits. (deleted by editor)

  17. Best Idea Yet says:

    Aarash Abdul offers the best suggestion yet – ” Steve. If money is needed then give back the 18 millions dollars you and the chamber have snaked from the taxpayers. Give up that 2.01 million that your club uses. It’s not your money, it is the taxpayers of Sedona.”

    In addition to that, incorporated Sedona should immediately cancel all other frivolous giveaway contracts beginning but not ending with Red Earth Theatre. And even more – cease and desist with the recent practice of allowing outside vendors with food trucks and other services to compete with licensed city business. ENOUGH!

  18. JJ says:

    @Aarash

    You are spot on. Watch out mine fields on the way to Segnerla. Photos of the war zone will be posted in the near future on facebook.

  19. HOROSCOPE says:

    Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): The guilty will catch themselves eventually. You may want to speed that along. Consider carefully if it’s a worthy investment of your time. If you’re in a position to prevent others from harm then the answer is yes.

    (Az. Republic 5/10/17)

  20. T. Lerner says:

    Friend of mine Bill shared this article with me and a
    Few Friends. We Airb. GOOD $$.

  21. Watch Out says:

    So City Attorney Robert Pickels convinced his pals (our legislative representatives) Bob Thorpe & Brenda Barton to allow zone changes based on a city council majority of four votes instead of, as in the case of CVS, a super-majority of six. This will make it easier for these powerful people to create high density development on vacant properties that would otherwise be required to conform to existing subdivision standards. It restricts opposition from people outside a designated area decided, again, by those attempting (and succeeding) to control every aspect of our lives. Just another way to silence the public, impose on our quality of life, and force us into accepting things we DO NOT WANT. What next? Chamber of Commerce dictating new sources of funding to be paid by the lowly residents that actually thought incorporation was a good idea? NOT!

  22. JeanJ says:

    Here’s (12) to add to the great list by “Major Accomplishments in Sedona (May 6).”

    NAZ Audubon Society once held field trips at the wastewater treatment plant. Many waterbirds make a stopover there during fall and spring migration, with some overwintering (mostly American Coots aka mud hens).

    Birding was no longer permitted after the early 2000’s due to relocation of the shooting range on Forest Service land north of Jordan Road to the WWTP.

    Soon thereafter the WW ponds adjacent to SR 89A were let go and not maintained. Plant life took over, and cows were brought in to woof down the vegetation. Bulldozers eventually arrived and nuked the area, nice trees, shrubs and all. Now Sedona has a $300,000+ Wetlands Preserve with replacement ponds in the exact location as the earlier ones.

    By the way, according to the Police Shooting Range Calendar, the following governmental entities make use of the range in addition to the SPD: HSI Flagstaff, Cottonwood PD, Yavapai County Probation, AZ State Parks, YCSO Detention, YCAPD, VVSWAT, USFS, CVMO. The last I heard outside usage is still free of charge.

  23. GNS` says:

    Jean J, you make another excellent point along with those from “Major Accomplishments in Sedona.”

    The problem is “they” don’t care about any of us except for pursuing new sources of funding. That will be determined no doubt by the Chamber/Lodging gang headed by J. Wesselhoff & S. Segner They are now in control of all Sedona including Citizen Engagement committees at City Hall and who will be recommending how much each of us should cough up to cover for their own wasteful spending.

    No hope here in this city of corruption, now consumed by opportunists and unending exploitation which is even being supported by state legislators allegedly representing this district. Keep that in mind when the next election rolls around.

  24. Need More Proof? says:

    As Sedona continues to decline in spite of alleged efforts to entice high-end destination tourism with food trucks and cheesy, corny events that say otherwise, Bisbee has recently been named Arizona’s prettiest town.

    So much for responsible return on investment and proof that Sedona’s contract with the unqualified regional chamber of commerce is a total waste of precious revenue and colossal mismanagement. Even USA Today picked Bisbee as Arizona’s most picturesque small town this year.

    How shameful to allow this elegant gift of nature and beautiful natural resource to decline to nothing more than a trashy carnival atmosphere. Such a deal. Classy tourists? Bring ’em on!

  25. Oh Brother says:

    Very funny. The Lodging Council will now make a plea to the city council not to approve additions to existing hotels and for sure no more rezoning for lodging until traffic is mitigated. And where were they during the recent rezoning for additional B & B’s at the Schnebly focus area? And who, pray tell, happens to own property over there?

    And where were they when the Sedona Rouge obtained approval for adding more rooms in spite of the outcry from surrounding neighbors?

    More proof of who it is running this city just keeps popping up day after day. If these bleeding hearts really wanted to make a serious contribution to benefit Sedona they would have the decency to cancel their contract which continues to be more damaging than probably anything else going on here.

    Amen.

  26. @need more proof? says:

    You are so right. I’m so sorry that you are did-enfranchised with how this city is doing. If you are so unhappy, perhaps you should consider relocating to Bisbee. I understand that they have their own problems which is no different than any other city in AZ.

  27. Steve segner says:

    mi@need more proof? says:
    tigated. And where were they during the recent rezoning for additional B & B’s at the Schnebly focus area? And who, pray tell, happens to own property over therePlease tell us….. who……..fyi zoning was not changed , please facts only.

  28. Need More Proof? says:

    And changing single family residential to Bed & Breakfasts isn’t rezoning? Is that because Arizona Statutes now allow vacation rentals in all residential area? If so, then why was the subject a major part of the Schnebly discussions?

    And since when can the city restrict approval of new hotels if the zoning is adequate? Didn’t that issue come up during the sessions about CVS? How can this city legally not approve a project if the zoning and building codes are met?

    Can hardly wait for the massive project to start at Biddles. Wasn’t it you who has often emphasized the importance of growth? As in competition is a good thing. Ask the folks in Bisbee. @Steve Segner

  29. Need More Proof? says:

    Responding to @need more proof?

    How could I possibly consider relocating to Bisbee when all they have to offer as an arts colony are upscale galleries and boutiques in addition to the historic saloons in Brewery Gulch. And how can the availability of fine dining possibly compare to Sedona’s latest rage of providing food trucks at ongoing special events, most recent one scheduled this weekend (May 20) at the old Ranger Station on Brewer road. But be sure to plan on ride sharing or backpacking to the location in order to avoid miles of backed up traffic – all waiting to hit those food trucks. Yummy!

  30. West sedona resident says:

    @need more proof

    Did you forget to change your fake name..

    You used “need more proof twice”.

    You usually post using 10-15 DIFFERENT names…

    Your hate fueled mind is causing you to slip up…

  31. Need More Proof? says:

    Thank you so much, West sedona resident, for calling attention to my intentional post(s) under Need More Proof. Your diligence is appreciated. Be certain to include this one in your calculations as well.

    The additional comments were direct responses to allegedly two other people that challenged my remarks. However, how do I know those two other people aren’t also “West sedona resident” as you so enjoy pointing fingers at one and all in disagreement with your snarky attitude as being one and the same?

    Have a great day. You just made mine even though your predictability long ago became B-O-R-I-N-G. Don’t pig out at the food trucks. Yummy.

  32. steve Segner says:

    Need More Proof? says:
    And who, pray tell, happens to own property over therePlease tell us….. Who……..fyi Zoning please show us all the new zoning? And please tell us the owners And who, pray tell, happens to own property over there Please tell us…..

    We all know you just make this stuff up , just remember because you use a fake name you can still be held liable for you false remarks…. People just because the Sedona Eye let’s you post using several made up name you should not post material that you make up.

    Libel arises when one makes a false statement about another person or entity that causes harm to that person’s or entity’s reputation.

    Be advised use my name all you want” BUT” you better be sure what you say is 100% truthful…. All I need to do is make one phone call to make your life miserable and expensive.
    Take this as notice
    Steve Segner

  33. sheri says:

    Hello all friends – wowzer – guess it’s time to hold on to what ever we can grab onto as we read Mr Segner’s most recent post!!!

    As usual he is bumping up or tripping against the third rail that is live and Hot!…………I quote him: — “Be advised use my name all you want” BUT” you better be sure what you say is 100% truthful…. All I need to do is make one phone call to make your life miserable and expensive.
    Take this as notice
    Steve Segner”

    ohhhh Steve you scared the………out of me! (hardly!!!~ but it was a good attempt). did you send this from your home up the creek or you rental properties or your hotel???

    Which hat do you wear??? Opps – forgot

    Well, Steve Segner – bring it on!!!! …and who are you gonna call to make my life miserable and expensive????

    Steve – don’t ya think it’s time for you to stop using the chamber for ad funds you don’t want to pay for as you feel so special in increasing our Bed taxes? And don’t ya think it’s time for you to unite this town to promote non-corp business’s? It’s time to protect what this little town did to protect YOU !!!

  34. JJ says:

    @segner put your threats where the sun don’t shine. You are the big ripoff. Your day is coming. IMO.

  35. @Steve says:

    Your post is a big disappointment. Would you actually go after someone and destroy them while you are guessing who they are?

    I heard a story similar to your statement about you. I didn’t believe it. Should I? Not good.

  36. Need More Proof? says:

    Steve Segner, two prominent names of property owners were clearly made pubic during the council meetings so there’s no need to divulge their names here. One was a former member of the city council, owner and operator of an RV Park; the other a well known Sedona architect and occupies a red rock landmark. It was indicated other property owners not identified by name had been included in public meetings and discussions relating to the future of their little corner of the world. It’s easy-peasy to obtain information on Google these days and so identifying owners of related properties isn’t difficult. The question is, just who would, if anyone, enjoy financial benefit by allowing more B & B’s to have been included in that “focus area” at perhaps the busiest and most dangerous intersection in all of Sedona? John Currivan was the ONLY member on that city council who actually questioned the wisdom of increased density in conjunction with traffic congestion. But, of course, the dreamers anticipate people will actually be willing to give up their cars and hoof it all around Sedona. Really? And what about the resulting back up of even more traffic when it must come to a standstill to allow herds of pedestrian to cross two state highways at the “Y” roundabouts?

    And, by the way, wasn’t it your own property Mr. Segner, El Portal, which the city used as an example of tasteful architecture and example of what future B & B’s could represent in that particular area? Why the over-reaction, unless you, yourself, happen to be one of the property owners in the re-designated area and possibly have a potential financial gain – and even, perhaps, a conflict of interest? To my knowledge there is absolutely nothing libelous in asking questions.

    As for the opportunity on Sedona Eye to remain anonymous, it’s a fortunate offering for those us who have been maligned and embarrassed at public meetings for attempting to explain positions differing from controlling forces. The most recent example were the meetings relating to city take-over of our garbage collection. Watching a brutal public body bring the dignified owners of one of the companies in competition maligned and even to the point of embarrassment to tears for having sent a letter to their customers relating to the potential change in their service. Watching that brutal attack was heart wrenching.

    Over and above that, Mr. Segner, is evidence of the control you have had over previous Sedona city council elections. Didn’t you, yourself, stop short of stepping into the world of slander when you applied your own guerrilla tactics during an election in August of 2014? http://sedonaeye.com/eddie-maddock-on-campaign-cover-ups/ So it comes as no surprise you are well aware of the process as well as its limitations.

    And thank you, Sedona Eye, for providing a platform where we can speak freely from the shadows without fear of being taken down by guerrilla activities that are of record in Sedona.

    I rest my case.

  37. to Need More Proof??? Not me says:

    I’m sorry the idea of those living in the community helping to redesign their own neighborhood is great and should be used all over. No brainer!!! You may not like
    Segner and neither do I but my friends have stayed at his B&B and it is amazing and it is dog friendly.

  38. @ More Proof says:

    I’m not sure where I am with most of your stuff but once you mentioned that guy currivan you lost me. Talk about a guy who talks out both sides of his mouth, IT’S HIM!!!!

    He wasn’t the only guy who questioned about increased density and traffic. I remember that I voted for him because he said that the Regional Chamber needed closer scrutiny and what does he do, votes to support that contract! He’s talks like a politician, he dresses like a politician so I guess I shouldn’t be disappointed. He’s no better than that nut job in the white house right now.

  39. steve Segner says:

    Need More Proof? says: did you go to the meeting ? no , if you did you would have heard that max and Jerry want no development on are near there property.
    The new plan leaves more open space then the planning now allows, and the zoning did not change…….
    sheri says: have another glass ow wine…..

  40. Good Question(s) says:

    Can the person (or anyone else for that matter) confused by comments from Need More Proof address one point that seems to be very clear. If Steve Segner and the rest of the gang continue to beat the drum of pedestrian travel, how WILL crossing the two highways be handled? Already cars are backed up at Tlaquepaque because of foot traffic. You people just don’t get it.

    And sure – the approved plan has decreased density but unless the traffic problem is realistically (realistically being the operative word) everything will just get worse. Now that’s the real world, folks.

    And where was it Need More Proof said Max and Jerry wanted more development near their properties? Did we read the same comment – huh?

  41. GNS says:

    Of course Currivan voted to support the C of C. Why do you think he and the other two new guys were elected? (Vernier & Lamkin) Not only that, they all agreed to lock up the city/chamber contract for 7-year terms – so fat chance of it ever be reversed. No one would dare use the cancellation clause thrown in for a laugh.

    Why would anyone run for city council after that election in 2014? Just ask the candidates that were not so royally flushed the way of the wastewater treatment plant. Why does Steve Segner continue to yammer on and on when he knows he has the city council and staff in the palm of his hands, both of which appear to be in his own pockets? and that’s Just another opinion, folks.

  42. Tony says:

    Personally like Currivan & Vernier. Personally don’t give a (deleted by editor) about much else except damn traffic. Worse. Often went Tlaquepaque & Hillside & now don’t bother. Sitting in traffic won’t happen here. Not walking any place in Sedona, not even neighbors couple streets over. Too damn hot & public transportation never. Every poor person I know has a car or friends w/cars. How many people you see walking? You think that’s going to change? Keep that traffic money & do something worthwhile with it. When I see people walking in Phoenix or Flagstaff then you can spend my tax $$ to talk about it in city hall. LMAO

  43. F.Y.I. says:

    Steep hillsides and much area in the flood plane make plenty of land in the Schnebly Community Focus Area unbuildable. The potential for B&Bs, multi-family housing, apartments, condos, a bar, restaurant, cafe, spa, nursery, retail shop, fitness or wellness studio, outfitter and guide service, outdoor equipment supplies and rentals, RV park expansion, RV storage, and the like means land that can be built upon will have denser structures and attract more vehicles and traffic than were the current residential zoning upheld.

    City Planning lives on another planet. For example, one Western Gateway CFA objective is “Reduced traffic congestion on SR 89A and city streets.”. Is City Hall fantasizing that visitors of the new Marriott Courtyard and the upcoming Residence Inn will walk and bike? CFA plans are known density zones.

  44. steve Segner says:

    CFA plans are known density zones nothing wrong with density, we need more apartment, and low income housing. It would be nice to put in some more trailer parks for the really low income , chew on that. Sedona is not just for the people here now it should be for the people we want to attract. You want Sun City mover there .
    and a new city tax to fix roads….

  45. So Who Wins? says:

    But look at it this way – once all of these aggressive plans are put in motion the end result will be more blunders to add to the growing list of “Major Accomplishments” (May 6th). And Lord only knows what will be in store next once the brilliant rationalization for the annual $2.01 million (and projected to increase) to the Chamber of Commerce for “product development” gets in full swing.

    Summary: The Chamber of Commerce will remain the biggest winner in Sedona, of course.

    Hey, kids, you ain’t see nothin’ yet. Any bets?

  46. @steve Segner says:

    So You want affordable housing? Then why didn’t you and all your hotel buds provide it when you established your lodging? You always write about how they do it in other places – well, Sedona dropped the ball on that score, too. When they decided to require affordable housing in new lodgings the cheap developers could only see a loss of $$$ – so sometimes they provided them “off site” – and it didn’t work! You speak of a city tax for road improvements? And why doesn’t your chamber of commerce use some of that cold hard cash from city taxes to provide it – under the umbrella of “product development?” What “product” is more needed in Sedona than better roads? Huh, Stevie?

    Get off our backs to cough up new sources of money. You create the problems, so pay for it.

  47. Huh? says:

    steve Segner writes: ” You want Sun City mover there .
    and a new city tax to fix roads….”

    What dat mean? Does he suggest Sun City is a bad thing? Or what? Or only old people can afford to pay for roads? And Mr. Segner isn’t of the age to qualify as a resident of Sun City? Doubt that. Thanks for the laugh of the day. Beats being out there fighting traffic and eating from a food truck . . . . . .Yummy?

  48. Norma says:

    Have you had enough of the special interest groups (AKA Chamber-Lodging regional MEMBERS) that recommend to increase YOUR taxes so they can exclusively use public taxpayers money for their personal-business enrichment?

  49. F.Y.I. says:

    Steve Segner is wacky to think more apartments and low income housing are feasible in high-priced Sedona. This has a history of not happening. But the opposite has occurred.The affordable Pine Terrace apartments on Jordan Road underwent a condo conversion in violation of City code (insufficient plot size). Goodbye to low income housing there.

  50. Best Suggestion Yet says:

    To the person (@steve Segner) who wrote the following 5/20 – 1:51 pm:

    “Get off our backs to cough up new sources of money. You create the problems, so pay for it.”

    Brilliant!

    It’s been since the Chamber of Commerce spent all that money in Phoenix promoting Sedona to travelers that already had their week-stay accommodations down there. So how many ended up as day-trippers to Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon, many not even bothering to stop here for obvious reasons.

    And no fudging and attempting to blame increased traffic on short term rentals, either. That only became law in January so no passing the buck there.

    To expect Sedona residents living within City Limits to pay for the need of increased infrastructure, which we had NOTHING to do with, is short of insanity. And when that push becomes heated, it’s time for us to unite and restore our town to the size it is able to comfortably accommodate.

    CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEEDS TO PAY THE PRICE – even although it’s with Sedona tax revenue – which should NEVER have been given to them, especially in such lavish amounts.

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