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!

198 Comments

  1. Food truck fan says:

    @huh?

    What do you have agaisnt food trucks moron?

  2. @Food truck fan says:

    Maybe if you were the owner of a local legitimate restaurant, struggling on a day to day basis to survive, you might have some understanding and compassion. This city treats most local businesses like dirt. Always competing with their events at the Posse Grounds that serve food and now alcohol. How would some of these hotshot lodging operators feel if the city decided to offer cutrate rooms for special occasions?

  3. West Sedona Dave says:

    @ food truck fan

    Wouldn’t you say now that airB&B is legal, that does exactly what you are saying for the hotel industry???

    You people complain so much you dont even see your own hypocrisy…

    If a restaurant is struggling day to day…..My guess is there food SUCKS….. nearly 3 million visitors and you cant make ends meet? strange to say the least!

    So a food truck every few months takes away from locals restaurants? Yea sure, you people are classic!

  4. @@Food truck fan says:

    I LOVE your idea and think that is fabulous. The city of Sedona should start SELLING rooms out. They should do so at a discounted rate. If the used the old teen center and converted it over added some more space they could make some great money. Why not, how about City Council? Now the TAXPAYERS are paying Red Earth with a negative return and RE is competing with those that collect revenue for the city.

    DO IT!!! Start selling rooms out City of Sedona.

  5. Food truck fan says:

    @huh?

    Don’t know every time I go to eat out in town the restraunts are packed…. don’t think a food truck once and a while are going to make or break a .restraunt…. stop your complaining moron

  6. Fred F says:

    To @Food truck fan

    You ask how the “hotshot lodging operators” would feel if the city decided to offer cut rate rooms for special occasions?

    Well based on their reaction to legalization of vacation rentals, that’s pretty apparent. They DON’T LIKE IT!

    But it’s OK for the city to compete with their Red Earth Theatre and other events – becoming almost too numerous to mention – and to think they even pay THEM to bring in entertainment from the entire Verde Valley? And just what happens to the money that’s collected from customers to their events? Such a deal. But not for residents and businesses in incorporated Sedona.

    Keep this in mind when in the near future they once again attempt to increase the sales tax. Another bulldozer headed our way.

  7. steve Segner says:

    I love Red earth they do a great job to let people get involved in the arts. City should give them more money not less….
    The city of Sedona grants money to lots of local not for profits…. Just the same old hate the chamber had red earth….. You bitchy about stuff you can not fix but you let people like Silive Allen represent you and say nothing ….. Look it up
    Street venders, pop up street fairs, food trucks all have the same rights as someone renting a store front.
    People living on the street or in apartments have the same rights as someone living in a home that pays taxes…..My Question is why Sedona does not charge a sales tax on food like cottonwood? Have fun with that….

  8. steve segner says:

    Red Earth Theatre » Sedona Posse Grounds Hub
    Welcome to the Sedona Posse Grounds Hub
    Located at 525-B Posse Grounds Road, Sedona
    http://WWW.SEDONAHUB.ORG
    Previously managed by the Parks and Recreation
    Get it, it save the city money no city employees…..
    larryperf1st stgesetupart up

    Previously managed by the Parks and Recreation, Red Earth Theatre is honored to be facilitating this unique space at sliding scale rates to all who perform, teach or actively include the performing arts in their public activities.

    Primarily an empty, open space with one smaller room available with some staging and lighting equipment available as well.

    For more information or to make a booking: info@sedonahub.org

    http://WWW.SEDONAHUB.ORGhttp://redearththeatre.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/MP-poster-HUB.jpg
    Partial funding provided by the Arizona Community Foundation of Sedona, Delta Dental of Arizona Foundation and Northern Arizona Healthcare Foundation

    every town in america has it’s own version of the red earth. (Hub) almost always city funded…. look this month free shows….

  9. Nice Try says:

    Nice try, Steve Segner, to divert the issues without addressing questions posed to you. Such as, how would you feel if the city turned the former Teen Center into a lodging facility that THEY paid for and didn’t make one penny. Also, how would those food trucks enjoying paying sales tax on the high commercial rentals in Sedona? And why shouldn’t those responsible for having turned this city into a traffic hogged mess be held financially responsible for correcting it? And how do you intend to handle the traffic, both foot and auto, when both State Highways are besieged with hordes off pedestrians crossing as you’ve announced is your intentions to pull off? And who the heck is Silve Allen”?

    And for someone who claims to have all the answers, then it must have slipped your mind that the idea of imposing tax on groceries isn’t a new one. It’s been soundly rejected in the past and there’s no reason to think public opinion has changed about that.

    Maybe it’s time for you to have another soiree at you famous Emu ranch (or whatever it is you have running around up there) to entertain the city council (and staff?) and reinforce your vast knowledge of the know-all be-all Saviour of Sedona. NOT.

    Better yet why don’t YOU move to Sun City and reinvent that community? Maybe you would be more welcome than a snake at a garden party like you are in Sedona. My opinion of course.

  10. Jim Poole says:

    Only people with their hands in the cookie jar would suggest to gift more and more from the taxpayers. We can all move on up to posse grounds and make it a commune. I think the city should pay my businesses rent and pay for my food at Mariposa. To many giveaways by the city government. Bad managers who think it is all about spend spend spend. sickos Look at what they created in Sedona. It is no longer the classy place to buy art and have a dinner. Beggars at the shopping centers and the traffic just drives the people out to shop and eat. You blew it chamber. greedy LLL IMO

  11. Regretfully says:

    Steve Segner writes: “I love Red earth they do a great job to let people get involved in the arts. City should give them more money not less….” That’s good enough for me. If SS supports it that’s reason enough to say “NO GO'” because it sounds as if it’s another cookie jar for him to dip his busy little mitts into.

    It’s amazing how Sedona functioned in the “old days” with really neat performances at the former Art Barn uptown. And all pulled off without a single penny from the “city” because such a thing never existed. Sedona, for sure, doesn’t lack traffic but what it does lack is people with character and backbones that made things happen because they truly believed their efforts were worthwhile. And all without begging for more, more, more money.

    This is from a Sedona artist who remembers the true beauty of Sedona.

  12. Over The Top says:

    The con job that occurred when city axed Commissions to opt for Citizens Engagement Committees was maybe the final nail in Sedona’s coffin because it allowed for anyone and everyone from outside city limits to dictate local government. Just like the Chamber of Commerce, Sedona is now being driven by outsiders who neither vote here (allegedly) or pay to play in this not so fair city.

  13. Wsr says:

    First off “”regrettably” is not an artist…..she’s the same crazy person who posts using 10-15 different names. Let’s get that straight first off.

    Complaining about 40k a year now to an organization that’s puts on community plays and such??!! There not in competition with any city business.. stupid crybabys!!!!

    Next you’ll tell me city workers should bring in their own toliet paper from home…..how dare they use my “hard earned tax dollars” on toilet paper..!!

    What a joke these crybaby complainers are….or should I say the one person who posts using -10-15 different names…

  14. Best Idea Yet says:

    How about Wsr moves to Sun City with Steve Segner? Oh how sweet would THAT be?

  15. In My opinion says:

    It is in my OPINION that a small tiny so called town who has increase in population by ZERO but has increased the BUDGET to 47 MILLION which is MORE than they get should STOP funding ALL special interest groups.

    I penny saved is a penny earned. The takers just sit around trying to get easy peasy money like the chamber & small bnbs cause they can’t legitimately EARN it themselves. The CC are not all there making taxpayers money easy for anyone to get.

    IMO they all need to pay for their own expenses.

  16. The Thought Proctologist says:

    @ Wsr, WSr, wSr, West Sedona Resident, West sedona resident, West sedona Resident, WSR, WSR times 2, Anonymous and All Readers at The Eye:

    It’s time once again for your regular appointment for an enema to relieve your intellectual constipation which sounds like a broken record that nobody listens to. You seem to need more and more tough enemas…and below is the proof that you can NEVER be believed since YOU’VE ADMITTED THAT YOU, YOURSELF, USE 15-20 MULTIPLE HANDLES AT THIS SITE AND THEN LIE TO COVER UP THE FACT! Don’t believe the City employed loser says! The proof is below.

    From The Thought Proctologist;

    Apparently J. Rick won’t repeat his own comments here since, I suppose, he feels to do so shouldn’t be necessary. So, I’ll do it for him, as follows, since I do happen to think the following comment needs to be repeated until the subject troll goes away forever:

    Under Eddie Maddock’s column of November 23, 2016 is this comment;

    J. Rick Normand says:
    December 26, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    @All Readers at The Eye:

    Re Hecklers: WSR (the ultimate hater and fraud posting above on Dec 25), Wsr, West sedona Resident and Anonymous

    Here is proof that hecklers like the one(s) below can NEVER be believed or trusted, not to mention that these trolls have no interest whatsoever in the articles which their attack targets have posted and labored to thoroughly research. See below:

    Reply to JRN from>>>
    West sedona Resident says:
    December 4, 2016 at 9:08 am

    J Rick Normand
    Thought Proctologist

    The above are both the same person….J Rick still can’t understand why you use your real name AND then an Alias

    Yes that anonymous post was WSR…forgot to fill it in before I posted

    *****

    J. Rick Normand says:
    December 6, 2016 at 9:21 am

    @West sedona Resident, WSR, Wsr, & Anonymous,

    Do you realize that you’ve just admitted that YOU’RE ALL FOUR OF THESE HANDLES while accusing me of being two handles with no evidence or confirmation of any kind? Can’t you ever do anything right?

    JRN

    *****

    Reply to JRN from>>>
    West sedona resident says:
    December 6, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    JRN

    So what….

    Wsr WSR west sedona resident. Yeah it’s all me …I repeat so what….[sic] there’s all the same…. I’m not pretending to be JRN. And the Thought Proctologist… what’s your point…..Or as in most of your posts….”there is no point”. Just a lot of huffing and hot air

    *****
    From JRN to West sedona Resident, WSR, Wsr, & Anonymous>>>

    Aside from what is revealed through your own words, WSR/Wsr, you’ve proved some other things, namely, that you’re incapable of original research and authoring related articles, incapable of deductive logic, and incapable of achieving enough credibility to persuade anyone to believe in your drivel which you tend to repeat incessantly. You need to find a new game! [and venue (TTP)]

    [End]

  17. Alarmed says:

    Speaking of Citizen Engagement, Jennifer Wesselhoff is a Revenue Forecasts Work Group participant. And don’t forget, She’s on the Uptown Parking Work Group and The Dells Land Use Work Group also.

    With respect to revenues, the FY 2017-18 Tentative Budget’s Estimated Revenues of $37,762,477 are less than Budgeted Expenditures of $47,572,118 by minus $9,809,641. The Budgeted Expenditures figure represents a +24% increase over that of the Adopted Budget for the current fiscal year. And, City of Sedona personnel costs will be rising by over $1.5 million next fiscal yer.

    Amen to Over The Top’s statement that Citizen Engagement is the final nail in Sedona’s coffin.

  18. Amen says:

    Response to suggestion from Best Idea Yet =

    “How about Wsr moves to Sun City with Steve Segner? Oh how sweet would THAT be?”

    AMEN

  19. Wsr says:

    Oh…

    Here come the other 2 crybabies chirping in….

    Couldn’t pass up a good all hate rant aye crybabys

  20. Wsr says:

    Jennifer W is on all those planning groups…

    Wow she is very busy….

    Maybe some of you crybabies should get off your ass and actually do something but complain!!!! Wahhhhhh

  21. Greedy Governments & Special Interests says:

    This is another good example of greedy special interest written by Dan Mitchell.

    “When Local Governments Are Greedy and Corrupt, Don’t Expect Honest and Efficient Law Enforcement
    March 24, 2016 by Dan Mitchell
    While I’m a big fan of federalism, this isn’t because I have a starry-eyed view of non-Washington politicians. Of course there is plenty of grotesque misbehavior by state and local governments.

    And it’s most troubling when it involves law enforcement and the legal system.

    David French of National Review has a very powerful and compelling article about thuggery at the local level.

    …my experience with small-town government…pushed me in a libertarian direction before I even knew what a libertarian was. The public schools were dreadful. Focused on patronage more than education, the school system was a public jobs program… Our local government’s core mission was dispensing favors. If you were part of the local elite, the normal rules of life simply didn’t apply. Speeding tickets? No problem. You need a conditional use permit? You got it! …if you were poor or lacked connections, “the rules” applied to you with a vengeance. After all, someone had to pay the city’s bills. There was no escaping speeding tickets, zoning officials were ruthless, and each interaction with the unyielding authorities carried with it the threat of immediate escalation, sometimes without justification.”
    To read the rest of article the link is here.
    https://danieljmitchell.wordpress.com/2016/03/24/when-local-governments-are-greedy-and-corrupt-dont-expect-honest-and-efficient-law-enforcement/

  22. Roger says:

    Not everyone living outside Sedona is interested in being on your committees or how you run your government unless you overstep. A recent letter in the Red Rock News suggests annexing The Dells property and rezoning it for affordable housing. Well guess what. That takes approval by people living in the area. When an attempt to annex the VOC some years back turned short of a riot with opposition, telling Sedona Mayor Alan Everett he wasn’t welcome, some of us in the RR Loop want no part of you either and if necessary will not so politely tell you to butt out and not interfere with our own official plan for land development out here.

    And conspicuous by absence on Sedona Eye is a response from this Steve Segner as to why his Lodging Council hasn’t and doesn’t take responsibility to provide housing for their own employees.

    All talk – Little doo-doo – Lots of poo-poo.

    Sedona, stay OUT of our back yards with all your highfalutin ideas.

  23. steve Segner says:

    Roger says:
    May 23, 2017 at 8:07 pm
    Not everyone living outside Sedona is interested in being on your committees or how you run your government unless you overstep

    Well Roger if you went to meeting you would know the “Dells” Is out of town in the county and no one lives there.
    You say hotels should take responsibility to provide housing for their own employees.?
    just hotels or all business? Please work us through your reasoning, why just hotels.
    Bash’s the banks , Pink jeep, Tlaquepaque, the fire dept , the city….. see Roger housing is important to all citizens of Sedona ,we have over 100 people living in cars and trailers on the out skirts of town.
    Sit home , don’t get involved…. it’s the American way,

  24. West Sedona Dave says:

    @ Roger

    Wow buddy talk about out of touch!…..Why dont we implement you absurd opinion and start with corporate America?…There the ones with Deep pockets….lets start with McDonald’s! LOL

    Mom always said better to be thought a fool, than open your mouth and remove all doubts!

    Really, going to make a family owned B&B room there employees…..LOL….what if its just him and his wife?????

    People you really need to think things through before you post!….and you wonder why city counsel rolls there eyes and tunes you out?…..freaken classic!

  25. VOC Voice says:

    Same as Roger I say stay out of our neck of the woods. We have it all here – kid’s park, tennis courts,school, fire station, grocery store, pharmacy, hardware, restaurants, hotels, some shops (hoping for more), and now the restored Collective – some places have even relocated from within city limits. We get SR179 tourists first, and NO city sales tax on merchandise. That comes in handy for our own promotional purposes. Same with VOC lodging. NO sales OR bed tax!Thank you Sedona for allowing your Chamber of Commerce to promote us with your money.. And we benefit even if we aren’t members. How cool is that?

    And when we need more, Beaver Head Flat to Cottonwood is faster than getting to West Sedona.

    So let the few Village egomaniacs spend their energy on Sedona politics. It’ll keep them out of our hair.

  26. steve Segner says:

    just a small list of what cities do for there communities, and you all bitch about the Red earth theater…..

    Glendale Youth Alliance – Employment Incentive Program‎
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    City of Glendale, CA : Affordable Housing Development
    http://www.glendaleca.gov/government/…/community…/affordable-housing-development
    The Glendale Housing Authority has supported the development of numerous affordable housing projects using affordable housing funding, since its inception …
    City of Glendale, CA : Projects
    http://www.glendaleca.gov/government/departments/public-works/projects
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    Below are links to the current income and rents (listed by funding source) and the forms … For questions about rent and income limits, contact the Community …
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  27. Roger says:

    Thank you, Steve Segner, for emphasizing my point. Indeed The Dells is property owned by the City of Sedona outside City Limits therefore they cannot impose their own codes. They must go through Yavapai County for approval of future development.

    And of course I also made it very clear that I am NOT a resident of incorporated Sedona and intend to maintain that status. My comment was a result of a recent letter to the editor of the Sedona Red Rock News who made the suggestion for the city to annex their Dells property into City Limits in order to more easily develop that property according to their whims. That (annexation) cannot be accomplished without consent of a required percentage of the people living within that unincorporated area.

    Get a grip, Mr. Segner. Since when is it government’s responsibility to provide housing for local business employees? You always seem to enjoy making comparisons as to how they do things in other places and it’s very common for resorts in Colorado and elsewhere to provide housing for their workers. As was also reported in the RRN, apparently your city manager is smart enough to back off from your city getting into the real estate business.

  28. West Sedona Dave says:

    VOC voice…..another joker……do you have a police?

    Sure sounds like the home owners association run your town?

    But to each his own, I happy you enjoy were you live that is important!

    I look at the glass half full, not half empty….That makes me a minority on this highly opinionated blog!

    And on another note…..Was at city counsel meeting last night….were you? Only one other civilian besides myself…So another important meeting on transportation in Sedona, not one complainer showed up…….sigh

  29. alan says:

    Seems to me the money the City gives to the Regional Chamber vis-a-vis the increased .5% bed tax – should instead be re-divided and maybe 10% goes to the chamber and 90% goes to infrastructure improvements that the Councils don’t seem to be willing to pay for – while they increase our budget beyond population growth increase and the ability to pay for without some “other” form of taxation!!!

    Why does anyone think it’s ok to suggest any new tax?

  30. West Sedona Dave says:

    @ Alan,

    quote:Why does anyone think it’s ok to suggest any new tax?

    Kinda loaded question no?….If you watch the city counsel meeting from Tuesday its still being talked about, the where and hows….

    I could care less what the bed tax is, only visitors or adulterers would pay that!

    I heard them floating what they were calling a Pink Jeep Tax?…Dont effect me either!

    At some point Taxes do have to rise….No one likes that, but that is how it goes….Cars never go down in price….People who work hourly need raises, ect,ect…

    So lets see. I have attended all the transportation meetings and counsel is not blind, they are addressing traffic concerns big time!(aka study that will bring in outside grants)

    I do have deep sympathy for anyone on a fixed income! So visitors create a lot of our traffic problems, let them foot a hefty part of the bill!

    I firmly believe people do not have to light there hair on fire to get to solutions, smart discussions is the only way!

  31. Eddie Maddock says:

    The following exchange appeared in the Arizona Republic on Tuesday, June 6, 2000, as a contribution to the Ann Landers column:

    DEAR ANN LANDERS: The enclosed column was found in my husband’s papers after he died. It was first written in the 1930s and sent to you from “An Iowa Taxpayer.” You published it several years ago. Nothing has changed since.
    – Juanita in Texas

    DEAR JUANITA: It’s a hoot. Thanks for sendind it:

    “Gentlemen: It is impossible for me to send you a check as you request. My present financial condition is somewhat fragile due to the effects of federal laws, state laws, county laws, corporation laws, bylaws, brother-in-laws, mother-in-laws and out-laws that have been foisted upon an unsuspecting public. Through the various laws I have been held down, held up, walked on, sat on, flattened and squeezed until I don’t know where I am, what I am, why I am or if I am.

    “These laws compel me to pay a merchants’ tax, capital stock tax, real estate tax, property tax, auto tax, water tax, gas tax, light tax, cigarette tax, street tax, road tax, school tax, sales tax, occupation tax, processing tax, gasoline tax, personal property tax, state income tax, state franchise tax, electricity tax, federal income tax, cotton tax, payroll tax, old age pension tax . . .

    “I am suspected, inspected, disrespected, examined and re-examined until all I know is that I’m supplicated for money for every known need, desire or hope of the so-called human race. And because i refuse to go out and beg, borrow or steal, I am cussed, discussed, boycotted, talked to, talked about, lied to, lied about, held up, held down, and robbed until I am plum ruined. The only reason I am clinging to life is to see what the hell is coming next.”
    – An Iowa Taxpayer

    (end of exchange)

  32. VOC Douglas Disgusted says:

    OK now I’m awake. Enjoying a cup of coffee with scrolling news first thing and what do I find but the Big City JACKaays need to be told to back off. Village not interested in your government. County & HOA better than paying for 7 easily swayed & bureaucratic boondoggers siphoning off OUR cash to spend for THEIR pet projects. We remind you that WE OWN your southern border city folks and we don’t need to skirmish for tax dollars to fund OUR water/waste/garbage/business development/infrastructure.

    We’ve handled it perfectly without you. You couldn’t handle it with us.

    Bray all you want. When you drive through the forest and pass Bell Rock, welcome to Paradise Sedona. We did and do it right. Small and scenic and dark sky compliant is beautiful. We don’t cater to your density or promise your failing big brands to suck our coffers dry for a few tax dollars that will evaporate in a few years (CVS/Walgreens/Chipotle/others). We handled the 2008 economic downturn like Yankees handle baseball. You can’t even begin to understand how and why. Or why we didn’t get our pants in a wad over the Outlet. Time heals, patience pays.

    Come walk our red rock sidewalks and smell our fresh air, enjoy our dark skies and quiet at night without sirens, visit our quaint and excellent mom and pop restaurants and businesses. Enjoy our arts and crafts culture of real, living and breathing creators who are not fake importers. We coexist in percentages not outdone by living and breathing small businesses in homes and in commercial centers. We keep our neighborhoods pristine and without commerce. We keep our commerce where cars don’t impact our Village funds, we keep the cars and commerce on ADOT funded roads which we kept to a crawl to get their business dollars but not their impact on our quality of life 24 hours a day. It gets dark, streets are empty.

    You can jump on a golf cart and play golf then use it to pick up your groceries from Jake Weber, eat at VOCA clubhouse, borrow a book and movie from our public library. We don’t want thousands of your hikers pissing and defecating on our trails. We don’t want your city trying to run what our VOCA volunteers and Village homeowners and county government do better. I’m a businessman been here decades. Made good money without having it ripped from my pockets for people who make and made good money to pay for pet ideas and things because they are cheapskates. Your city government infrastructure costs MILLIONS and MILLIONS EACH YEAR and you get squat in quality. Whatsamatter with you? Clean up your act. But not on our backs.

    Time for me to get off my high horse and get to work. Some of us still work and live in paradise and enjoy Sedona quality of life. Some city JACKaays still work and live in Sedona and wonder where it went.

    You know who you are. I do. So do others.

    And yes we DO have police. Drop by and visit sometime. We’re located behind Desert Flour bakery. Grab a cup of coffee and baked good and enough to share when you drop in to say hello.

  33. BRAVO! says:

    VOC Douglas Disgusted – You said it all!

    Magnificent spiel and all TRUE!

    Thank you, Sir.

  34. Ditto to BRAVO says:

    And a standing ovation to VOC Douglas Disgusted!

  35. @steve Segner says:

    You cite examples from both Glendale, AZ and Glendale, CA. Is that because you are just so fond of the name Glendale or is it great fun for you to compare little Sedona (population 10,000 and shrinking) to big city life?

    Steve, there is NO comparison in your fantasy. However why not relocate to one or both which clearly would suit you better. You can still keep your ranch in Oak Creek Canyon.

  36. Guess What? says:

    There’s a hefty chunk of the population in Camp Verde and the Verde Valley that share the exact same opinion of VOC Douglas Disgusted and Roger. Get a grip Sedona. Will you be able to sell yourself at the price it is costing you or will it be what you are actually worth. Which amount is dwindling on a daily basis. Good luck suckers.

  37. steve Segner says:

    Get a grip, Mr. Segner. Since when is it government’s responsibility to provide housing for local business employees?
    Roger, we call them people…. people that work and want to live in Sedona.

    Roger, cities all over the world work on housing….. we are not asking the city or business to supply housing (although many do my self included) we are just working with local governments to see if we can get more apartments built in Sedona and what help we can give. A city the size of Sedona should have at least 500 to 1000 units…. we will be lucky to get 30 built in the next five years…. Sedona Is not a retirement community al though many think it is , it is a growing tourist town that has mostly retirees, because of our lack of affordable housing. Roger, some of us are trying to fix the problem while you sit home.

  38. Oh come on man says:

    It is the responsibility of the business owners to pay for their own operation.

    Duh Steve you expect the residents to pay for your own problem. Do you know what the monthly cost of a affordable house is in 2017? How many apartments and rentals are there steve?

    really you need to get a grip. PS aren’t you in your 70s?

  39. JJ says:

    @ Segner Maybe you can donate your property on schnebly road for affordable housing.

  40. Steve segner says:

    Oh come on to answer your question
    Read my post I said business government and local citizens are looking for answers to housing nowhere did I say that government was paying for it although it’s not a bad idea in some cases this world is not just about you, The idea that successful people are successful because of the hard-working brains in poor people are poor because they’re lazy is just bullshit , Sedona is a town full of millionaires and not enough middle-class housing what is wrong with trying to get some more apartments and middle-class housing for the people that serve us in all our service industries just remember this is a tourist town not a retirement village

  41. Steve segner says:

    Ya all like the talk about the good old days…

    ‘Defendant’s statements about plaintiff Miller were published and broadcast with malice, knowledge of falsity or with reckless disregard to the truth or falsity’
    — Janis Ann Sterling

    A Yavapai Superior Court judge granted an injunction Wednesday against a local cable station and other defendents in a Sedona libel suit after finding that they acted with malice and a reckless disregard for the truth.
    Judge Janis Ann Sterling ordered that the defendants in the case “shall refrain from publishing any factual statement” about a Sedona real estate developer and the other plaintiffs in the case which the defendants “know to be false or for which the defendants cannot reasonably determine the truth.”
    Jon Hellman, owner and operator of Geronimo Communications, local cable channel 17, is one the defendants in the libel and slander suit along with his wife Renée, Joe Sansing and Eddie Maddock. Sansing and Maddock are regular commentators along with Jon Hellman on the Geronimo show Backfire.
    Real estate developer John D. Miller, his wife Cathy and Claire Daniels O’Brien, Miller’s employee and the wife of city community development director John O’Brien, are the plaintiffs in the suit.
    The libel and slander suit stems principally from allegations made on Backfire that city officials and Miller colluded to sell the city hall complex to the city illegally.

    Sedona residents John and Betty Jane Haddock are also named as defendants in the suit. Their role in the case stems from a letter John Haddock wrote to city, state and federal officials and Sedona media. In that letter, he alleged that Miller used his association with Claire O’Brien to influence dealings with the city to his benefit.
    Among the judge’s findings listed in the preliminary injunction, she wrote that
    the defendants made statements about the plaintiffs with reckless disregard for the truth or statements that were untrue.
    She also wrote that “defendant’s statements about plaintiff Miller were published and broadcast with malice, knowledge of falsity or with reckless disregard to the truth or falsity.”
    Sterling previously issued a temporary restraining order against the defendants; the preliminary injunction is a more permanent form of restraining order, lasting at least for the length of the law suit.
    Much of the three hour hearing on the preliminary injunction last week revolved around First Amendment issues and the question of whether or not Miller could be considered a public figure or public official.
    First Amendment cases involving libel in recent times have often hinged on whether or not the person claiming libel is a public official, figure or a private individual.
    Typically, if the person is found to be a public figure or official, that person has to prove the defendants acted with malice and forethought. Otherwise, a person claiming libel usually only has to prove the defendants were negligent.

    Lawyers for the Hellmans and for Maddock both argued that Miller’s involvement in the controversial, high-profile sale of city hall to the City of Sedona made him a public figure.
    They also argued that he had served on several public committees in the past, currently serves as president of the Sedona Property Owners Association, writes a weekly real estate column for the Sedona Red Rock NEWS and maintains a web site for his real estate company which claims John D. Miller Real Estate Services “is Sedona’s leader in commercial brokerage.”
    All of these factors make Miller a public figure, they said.
    Both also said that their respective clients reported facts on Backfire to the extent that they understood them to be true and that any opinions offered on the show are protected by the First Amendment.
    Miller’s lawyers, Al Spector and Jon Paladini, submitted a trial memorandum citing relevant case law and arguing that Miller was not a public figure.
    Spector tried to establish during the hearing that the defendants knowingly made false statements about Miller and O’Brien and harmed their reputations.
    He submitted a seven-minute tape containing clips from eight hours of Backfire programs. Defense lawyers Barry Markson and Carl Eppich objected, stating the clips could be taken out of context, but Sterling overruled them.
    Spector said that the statements made by the defendants on the tape “speak for themselves. They can’t be taken out of context. They are totally false and defamatory.”
    Both Miller and O’Brien testified that both their reputations had been irreparably harmed by statements made by the Backfire commentators.

    by Jeff Chappell

    cactus.gif (195 bytes)courtesy of Sedona Red Rock News

  42. Cost of an affordable housing says:

    Affording housing in the region of Aspen is

    *1 Bedroom, 1 Bathroom, laundry on site, $2500,

    *Single room available in ABC condo. Convenient location, close to bus stop, fully furnished, washer/dryer.

    *The tenant must be employed in Pitkin County and be approved by the Aspen Pitkin County Housing Authority ∙ Fully furnished – 2 bedroom/2 bath condominium located at Obermeyer Place. Approximately 1000 sf ∙ Monthly Rent $2741

    *Beautifully remodeled fully furnished and equipped 3BR 2BA Aspen townhome on the Northstar Preserve just east of downtown.
    Monthly Rent: $3,000

    SO SEDONA you have TONS of affordable housing SO grow up LODGING and PAY your employees MORE. NOT a taxpayers issue.

  43. GNS says:

    Give it up Segner. When my wife and I lived in California it was a 70 mile commute to our jobs. Period. No offer to provide housing. So what are you talking about? You are either senile or living in a dream world that exists outside the realm of Planet Earth. Without you and your Lodging Council and Chamber of Commerce, Sedona wouldn’t cease to exist. Don’t believe it? Try it and you will find out. We need you like what was it someone wrote? A snake at a garden party. And a rattle snake at that. Get lost!

  44. West sedona resident says:

    Hey Steve S

    Thanks for posting that bit of historically information..

    It appears that Eddie M has a long long history of finger pointing and and finding fault at those that actually do…

    I guess some love to live in thier negativity thinking that sitting behind your computer complaining is actually a hobby…

    Gotta love it….says alot

  45. steve Segner says:

    Yes, West sedona resident they sit home talk about the past, sad and been doing it fore years…. and they call it NEWS I all it slander and john miller thought them a lesson/
    GNS says:Give it up Segner. When my wife and I lived in California it was a 70 mile commute to our jobs. Period. No offer to provide housing.

    GNS do you home work Aspen has a affordable housing
    APCHA Adopts New Asset Restrictions
    Effective May 24th, 2017, APCHA has adopted new asset restrictions to amend the Aspen/ Pitkin County Employee Housing Guidelines. The approved amendments adopt a rationale for having Asset Caps, introduce a new methodology for establishing Category Asset Caps, increase the current Asset Caps for all Categories using the new methodology, and remove the Excess Assets Converted to Income policy from the Aspen/ Pitkin County Employee Housing Guidelines. For more information on the changes, please refer to the Press Release prepared by APCHA.

    The Aspen/Pitkin County Housing Authority will be CLOSED MONDAY, MAY 29TH
    Non-APCHA Rental Units Available
    Privately managed rental units are currently available. For information on the units please visit the Rental Finder page.

    Upcoming Private Projects
    Willits Seven is a new affordable housing complex located in Basalt, CO. For more information on the project and vacancies, please visit their website: http://www.willitsseven.com/.

    I could do a list like this on over 500 cities….. Please tell us why it is wrong to try and help others? If it is not goverments job then whos? oh ya…. let them eat cake ….. you got yours.

  46. Larry says:

    The Chamber of Commerce states they are responsible for Sedona being here, that all the jobs comes from tourism, that the chamber brings in all the sales tax revenue. They circumvent every element. Claiming the locals don’t contribute. Then they blame the traffic and no affordable housing on the locals!!! Kick that regional chamber out. Make the businesses in tourism pay to play. They are of course, the reason for our problems. The tourism businesses are the only ones making money and they have increased the cost of living here. Impact fees should be imposed and the incity hotels need to stand up. Why would you be so passive to pay for the lodging outside the city limits???? they have 1/2 the taxes This is stupid on stupid HOTEL workers. Imposing a higher tax tax inside the city just pushes the tourists OUTSIDE city limits.

  47. steve Segner says:

    JJ says:
    May 25, 2017 at 7:02 pm
    @ Segner Maybe you can donate your property on schnebly road for affordable housing.
    Jj , you just do not get it, do you home work, then type….. I own no property on Schnebly please tell us what is wrong with working on housing? or is it just a NIMBY thing?

  48. Sedona Eye » Miracles Do Happen with Eddie Maddock says:

    […] to a comment made by Steve Segner on May 25, 2017 (7:45 p.m.), under the Sedona Eye article “Curtain Falls on May 2013 City Council Performances,” the Plaintiffs in the referenced law suit signed a “Settlement Agreement And Release” on […]

  49. Affordable housing says:

    I’ve looked it up affordable housing is more rent in a smaller space in other places. They get more than vacation rentals do here.

  50. Why & How? says:

    Why does Sedona operate like a big city when they are little? Less than 10,000 residents inside city limits they don’t provide services like fire and school. There are more residents outside the city limits then inside.

    please explain.

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