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Eddie Maddock: Business as Usual?

SedonaEye.com columnist Eddie S. Maddock

Sedona AZ – At a Special Sedona City Council Meeting, 3:00 –Wednesday afternoon –January 11, 2017, after three long years of a contentious destination marketing agreement with the Sedona Chamber of Commerce, the City will again revisit the issue. We can only hope the negotiations will prove to be less controversial, fairer and, in turn, result in acceptable transparency which will dismiss suspicion and mistrust of City Hall dealings. That might very well have been the case had the original commitment for Requests for Proposals (RFP’s) as well as certified outside audits been upheld as proposed during the initial negotiations. Ignoring both valid concerns was a disservice to everyone.

Five options will be discussed at this meeting as follows:

Option 1: Move forward with the negotiations of a new contract with the Chamber of Commerce.

Option 2: Issue an RFP for tourism promotion services.

Option 3: Create a stand-alone destination marketing organization (DMO) without ties to the Chamber of Commerce.

Option 4: Create a City Department to handle tourism promotion.

Option 5: Issue a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for a travel industry consultancy to assess the current structure, funding relationships, etc. and provide recommendations to the city.

Pros and cons of each option will be discussed at length, such as concerns RFP’s will include bids from for-profit agencies. That brings up several questions. Without an official outside audit from a qualified source, how do they know the Chamber has not been making a profit? How many employees have they hired? What has been the cost of improvement to their own facilities, etc? And what is the source of funding for those operating expenses?

And will the City acknowledge the Chamber currently offers their own RFP’s for specific services, realistically reducing them to a mere middle-agency, acting on behalf of the City of Sedona?

And how do they justify the extended branding of the Sedona Chamber of Commerce that has occurred within the past three years? What has been the source of that promotional funding for the Chamber instead of the City?

By creating a stand-alone destination marketing organization, the City could avoid real or perceived conflicts between tourism promotion services and the various other functions of the Chamber of Commerce. Although they specify: “Unclear how local and regional partners would react,” why should that concern the City? Should their focus at long last be redirected to the residents of incorporated Sedona? They are the people who created the City in the first place, clearly, and with knowledge, it attracted tourists.

Sure, a stand-alone destination marketing organization “would result in the re-creation of an already established and successful local agency.” However the extent of success of the present local agency has never been undisputedly proven. The source of increased revenue after the great recession coupled with a reduction in gasoline prices has never factually been factored into the increased tourism and resulting upswing in revenue. Nor has it been determined to what extent advertising monies have merely resulted in excessive day-tripping, which the City’’s infrastructure clearly cannot handle.

As for the suggestion for Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for a travel industry consultancy to assess and monitor the current structure, would that be nothing more than a baby sitter for the contract with the Chamber of Commerce? Should the City have been serving that function for the past three years?

It has frequently been said the City could not afford to operate their stand-alone department. And how would they know? With a Chamber of Commerce now providing funding for USFS trail maintenance, contributing money back to the City for their traffic study, and other generous, but questionably frivolous expenditures, most recently to propose purchasing property on behalf of the City with what appears to be leftover funds from the bed tax rebate, how can they make that determination without a precise and reliable audit from an authentic source? They cannot. Is there any reasonable explanation why the City should not take responsibility for allocating the bed tax revenue -– all of it – including over and above destination marketing?

And the perfect opportunity to establish a genuine Sedona Visitors Center has been ignored by not including such a service at the Western Gateway. How long will this City tolerate discrimination of their own legitimate licensed, tax collecting businesses within City Limits unless they are forced to be members of what clearly is a regional Chamber of Commerce? And the practice of paid referrals is common, but should the City be involved by financing the activity with public funds, and further discriminating against in-city businesses?

Molly Spangler

With the recent hiring of a professional, Molly Spangler, to serve as Economic Development Director, there i’s really no need to burden our busy Chamber of Commerce with more additional duties besides servicing their members, which is the purpose of their non-profit organization.

And, since when was “The Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau” deemed “the Destination Marketing & Management Organization in Sedona for 65 years”? Up until just a few years ago was it not the Oak Creek Canyon Sedona Chamber of Commerce, then changed to Sedona Chamber of Commerce, and most recently “”& Tourism Bureau”” was tacked on? This elaborate extension of creating yet another illusion that simply does not exist is pretty much over the top. Wouldn’t you agree? Dumb question.

There i’s already a campaign in motion to “Make America Great Again.” How about a local endeavor to “Make Sedona Respectable Again”? Meet and greet our visitors with an authentic Sedona Visitors Center and related advertising. Don’’t we deserve it like other places? Flagstaff (AZ) and Park City (UT) are, but two, examples that offer proof they survive very well without financial support to their respective Chambers of Commerce.

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554 Comments

  1. @Tony T says:

    Lets go one item at a time:

    If the chamber was doing such a great job bring in high end tourists
    Why do we have bumper to bumper traffic?
    Tony you moved into a tourist town and no matter how much you bitch, more people keep coming. The fact that hotels occupancy is up 15% means nothing to someone like you.

    Why is the sales tax rate being raised?

    Unless you live under a rock, everyone bitches about the bumper to bumper traffic (oh just like you did above) I’m just happy that finally someone has the balls to do somethings to fix it. That guy Currivan said he’d do something and he is don’t like it, don’t vote him back in.

    Why do my sewer fees keep going up? Maybe if you’d stop shi**ing the rates won’t go up. But then you’d have nothing to bitch about.

    Why does Sedona Fire want higher residential property taxes when the resident population of Sedona has gone down from 11,000 to 10,000?

    Because then you’d have nothing to bitch about.

    Sounds like day trippers and people wanting a handout from the city to me. It looks like those employing the 10,000 jobs you claim are not paying their fair share and expect the residents to pay.

    Now, that question just doesn’t make sense. I guess you were distracted by a city employee cashing his check or by a police car protecting a disabled car.

  2. @@Tony T says:

    Don’t know Tony T. but clearly you have a @Tony T obsession.. We all know about your issues when you worked at the FD. We all saw your inappropriate emails, so knock it off.

    The Fire District has increased their spending by the millions.They receive millions more from the taxpayers. Yet they fail to make any improvements. While the Chiefs primary resident is in phoenix. The city was incorporated for a city limit. PROPERTY TAXES have ALREADY receded CALIFORNIA rates!!!!!!!!! Thanks to the overpaid Fire and School District. Kids and population have declined. Ask the F Chief his wife took their kids to phoenix due to the schools being bad.

    The traffic is caused by the daytrippers as the outside district hotels are only charging COUNTY-State sales tax. They don’t contribute to the Bed TAXES in Sedona. The town is shrinking but you are spending more! Go ahead and keep on gifting the chamber 3 million a year. You are killing the golden goose.

    Bad managers self serving Bsers IMO.

    Knock it off your posts are transparent as hxll l KO aka KD IMO

  3. The Real Deal says:

    Steve Segner has not offered one shred of proof that even one penny of increased revenue is even related to the funding the chamber of commerce receives from the city.

    An upswing in the national economy, more affordable gas prices, and word of mouth advertising all contribute to increased public spending.

    For this arrogant piece of work to blabber on and on and take credit without substantial verification is one thing. But for the city council and staff to find it acceptable to hang their hats on a good service contract without conclusive evidence of return on the investment is even worse.

    My bet would be that if such a thing were to occur the results would show the chamber only encouraged day trippers and word of mouth, the best and proven most effective way of advertising, lured more tourists for extended visits.

  4. steve segner says:

    Mary Ann saysQuestion for steve Segner: If the finances of Sedona are as good as you say they are, then why the need for 1% sales tax increase and ongoing discussions about finding new methods of getting money?
    fix traffic answer you question…. read the plan

  5. Tony T says:

    Someone commented on one of my earlier posts. “Tony you moved into a tourist town and no matter how much you bitch, more people keep coming.”

    You are so wrong. Residents keep leaving, population has gone down from about 11,000 to 10,000 , during a time when most of the country is growing.

    The voters have to realize the City of Sedona and the Sedona Chamber of Commerce are running Sedona for businesses and tourists, not the resident voters.

    We have to say no loudly, before they finish destroying our beautiful home !!!

  6. Get This says:

    Going to the City and getting bed taxes raised isn’t Steve Segner’s only colossal impropriety. Didn’t he go to City Hall recently to get multi-family housing density increased over 12 units per acre so the underpaid workforce tourist businesses do not provide housing for could live in Sedona?

    Once high-density, low-cost housing complexes/tenements are built throughout Sedona, residents can count on property values decreasing and traffic jams increasing. Even crime might become a problem. According to the Community Development Department 299 additional vehicle trips per day will result from the 45-unit apartment complex proposed at 89A/Pinon Drive and recommended by P & Z last month. The City Council Work Session is on Oct. 11 and the Public Hearing on Oct. 25.

    Adoption of this Major Community Plan Amendment, as well as the text amendment greasing the wheels for higher densities, would be a crime. The Community Plan is just a guide, nothing more. Only 23.6 percent of the Registered Voters voted to approve the current Community Plan. The Plan said not one word about residential densities in excess of 12 units per acre, a fact that would have garnered significantly more NO votes and derailed it.

  7. @city @Fire District says:

    Your attitude sucks IMO. I have never seen such arrogant misuse of taxpayers money.

  8. Mary Ann says:

    If the money given to the chamber of commerce for alleged destination marketing had been allocated to road maintenance, Sedona might have been better prepared for the influx of tourists after the great recession.

    It is true – no factual proof of marketing by the C of C has been made public (if it even exists) of how that funding brought in tourists – destination or day trippers. It remains a question if it simply was due to word-of-mouth, long ago proven to be the most effective means of advertising. And now private web sites on the internet provide an excellent source for research. The money going to the chamber most likely would have been better spent with the State of Arizona Bureau of Tourism – as Park City Utah and other resort towns market their “product.” No reason for this BS contract with a special interest group, especially without calculating an accurate Return on Investment and/or going out for competitive bids prior to signing the contract.

    No, Steve Segner, you did not offer a viable answer to my question or most of those other addressed to you. (ie – Verde Valley versus Sedona School & Fire District boundaries versus Sedona City Limits) Just because you conned the city council and staff members to “just trust you” doesn’t mean the rest of us are that stupid.

  9. Steve segner says:

    You are so wrong. Residents keep leaving, population has gone down from about 11,000 to 10,000 , during a time when most of the country is growing.
    Tony your comment is just ridiculous and stupid 2010 when the 2010 official count people had to choose whether they were a resident of sedona or one of there other homes for voting purposes,obviously some people chose other states. If your analysis with true they would be almost 500 to 1000 empty homes and sedona , in fact we’ve had about 500 people forced out of housing in sedona because there’s not enough places for them to live now that our governor has allowed Airbnb for to rent to anybody anytime,, sorry we are a tourist town. Bed and sales tax were up almost $1.8 million over last year….. More as a percentage then almost any other city in America but they don’t have our chamber doing their marketing .

  10. @Mary Ann says:

    “The money going to the chamber most likely would have been better spent with the State of Arizona Bureau of Tourism – as Park City Utah and other resort towns market their “product.””

    Actually, leaving it on a picnic table would have been better.

  11. Now We Know says:

    Quoted from the above article: “With the recent hiring of a professional, Molly Spangler, to serve as Economic Development Director, there is really no need to burden our busy Chamber of Commerce with more additional duties besides servicing their members, which is the purpose of their non-profit organization.”

    WRONG! Based on Ms. Spangler’s presentation at a recent city council meeting and given accolades by Jennifer Wesselhoff, CEO/ President Chamber of Commerce as a public comment, this new Economic Development Director position was created almost (if not totally) for the purpose of working for the regional Chamber of Commerce. She is involved up to her ears in that Verde Valley organization headed up by Wesselhoff. More percs courtesy City of Sedona revenue for the C of C as they, incorporated Sedona, scrounge for money to maintain our roads. Sedona continues to reek of corruption IMO.

  12. Tony T says:

    I agree, people are being forced out, by outrageous traffic, taxes and a dropping quality of life. Of the eight homes adjacent to mine, only 3 are occupied by full time residents. School enrollment is dropping in both the elementary and high schools. Sedona is changing from a residential community to a tourist trap.

    People are voting with their feet to leave this tourist trap. It’s a shame as it is one of the most physically beautiful places in the world.

  13. Mary Ann says:

    Referring to city funding for the chamber of commerce:

    “Actually, leaving it on a picnic table would have been better.” @@Mary Ann

    Hear, Here and BRAVO! Couldn’t agree more!!

  14. Foot voting says:

    Thank you Tony T. as you are spot on “People are voting with their feet to leave this tourist trap.” Not only are the residents moving outside the city limits but so are the businesses.
    Why would anyone run a business in this town when the fees and taxes they collect get used to promote or pay the bills of businesses of nonprofits they compete with?
    The businesses are also overburdened with a poor quality.They are being driven out by the arrogant city and chamber. The cost of doing business continues to go up. Every tax increase for the Fire or School districts get paid by them also.

    Vote NO on Fire Bond.

  15. @Tony T says:

    Couldn’t agree more with your comments. BTW – why do you suppose the city didn’t send their recent survey to ALL Sedona City Limit residents? Presumably it has to do with what you point out …. QUALITY OF LIFE! Of course, only the select few that receive it will really know what the questions are and how to answer. And just who do you suppose that “select few” receiving it are? Ha! Three guesses and the first two don’t count. But of course, as in past city surveys they ignore public opinion anyway. Like in do we want more parks and related facilities. The results were a resounding “NO” and yet they continue to spend millions in that department. What an ongoing farce IMO.

  16. Hay Tony T says:

    Mr. Tony T:

    If you weren’t known for being against anything “SEDONA” I would think that you were on to something. Maybe people in your HOA are being forced out because of who the president is, oh that would be you. I know of no one else being “forced” out of Sedona. The fact that 3 of 8 of your neighbors are full time residents means nothing. I have many neighbors who live here part time and then travel to other parts of the country or even Canada for the other months of the year. Your complaint has no merit.

    We all know that school enrollment is dropping how is that a tourist issue?

    Anyone who isn’t focused on following around city or fire employees or concerned if 1 SFD work vehicle has fancy rims, has the time to know that our school are messed up.

    If you think that Sedona is changing to a tourist trap then write to your State Legislators. Those 3 supported legalizing short term rentals.

    You’re lucky to have 3 of 8 homes occupied full time that means 5 come and go. I have 5 on my street that have people coming and going at all times of the day AND NIGHT. They stay a few days and leave. Not very “neighborly” and I’d trade your situation for mine any day.

    By the way Tony, you really need to get a life it would give you a lot more credibility in this town instead of being one known for being a blowhard.

  17. steve segner says:

    So Ann, why was city tax income up over 27% over last year. More as percentage then almost any city in America? The city of Sedona knows it’s industry and income source is tourism, and they are willing to support it…. With visitor money…. No resident tax money is used…. Try to get this thru your head…the Hotels agreed to raise the bed tax with the understanding that one half of it would be used for marketing,
    Tony, said: All business invest in sales and marketing and so do Tourist towns.
    Tony Sedona was a tourist town all the way back in the 1940 ies….. get over it or move.

  18. OMG says:

    The Hotels didn’t vote on the bed tax increase! Your full of crxp. Sedona was a tourist town BEFORE you ARRIVED suckner. No City funds their regional chambers with 3 million dollars a year. You knew what you were doing BEFORE you put your tiny bnb in. You KNEW you had to pay for your advertising. You are taking advantage of dumb city council persons. IMO

    The taxes collected by the businesses are NOT the businesses but they are income for the incorporated city which only exist because of the RESIDENTS!!!!!
    Their money not yours steve

  19. @steve segner says:

    The return from the bed tax was to have been determined on ONLY the bed tax relating to that percentage or increase and NOT the entire bed tax. And further, the money returned was to benefit those agreeing to collect it: Lodging Council. It did NOT have to go for advertising! The traffic problem has NOT been created by residents; therefore the returned money would have been better spent and more beneficial to yes, even the Lodging Council, had it been allocated to a road improvement fund. And THAT would have been an acceptable use of the return!

    You have NO proof steve segner that the rise in tax REVENUE had anything to do with chamber advertising. Prove it that it wasn’t a result in the upswing in the economy or word of mouth promotion. YOU CAN’T. For crying out loud – look at the stock market. People are working and making money. NOTHING to do with you or your pathetic rip-off chamber of commerce – and the creeps at city hall that buy into your baloney (or would that be dog food)? Why don’t YOU get over it – fess up and face the truth of your con-job schmoozing and lay off those of us that knew it was a tourist place when we moved here but still gleaned respect. WE were the ones foolish enough to vote for incorporation in order to protect OUR city and not cater to the likes of you who doesn’t even live within city limits. Why not stay in your OWN back yard – up the creek – or move back to the really big time cities in Caleeforneeya where maybe you will be appreciated. NOT HERE! And take your hand-picked city council members that hang out at your grand estate events (and any staff members if they are included) with you. They are NOT doing what they were elected to do. Which was to serve city voters and NOT special interest organizations that continue to drain city coffers with their drummed up reasons. Product development? Why not begin but maybe not end with reconstructing our roads & streets by rightfully using the money derived from tourists that continue to worsen the problem and NOT legitimate residents. Increasing the sales tax again is unjust! You, steve segner, make me sick and it’s MY RIGHT to offer that opinion. Hope to stick around for the day you will be eating crow with both hands and maybe even feeding it to your special council members and mayor if they are still around.

  20. Tony T says:

    “Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.”
    ― Mark Twain

  21. Tony T says:

    “The kind of man who wants the government to adopt and enforce his ideas is always the kind of man whose ideas are idiotic.”
    ― H.L. Mencken, Minority Report

    “Hundreds of wise men cannot make the world a heaven, but one idiot is enough to turn it into a hell.”
    ― Raheel Farooq

    “I’ll make a book on learning how to be a complete moron someday, and I’m sure no one will buy it, because everyone will have mastered that already by the time I gather enough moronism to process it into digestible upgrade instructions for your average village cyborg-idiot.”
    ― Will Advise, Nothing is here…

    I believe Sedona could be Heaven, It will take more than me to make it happen.
    I ask my fellow voters to help. Please.

    Tony

  22. @steve a says:

    Move back to Ca. You should be deported. Greed and stupidity make you the most hated in outside sedona.

  23. Wish I'D said that! says:

    @steve segner – There are probably several hundred names that would have served well to author that excellent assessment of the saga of Sedona (IMO). The mouth of Segner continues to flap and the saps at city hall seem to wag their ears in awe! Amazing. This guy that continues to swing and sway a group of seven plus the toadies in management – they buy into his tripe without one bit of proof the chamber is responsible for anything in incorporated Sedona except ongoing dissension. And those outside city limits who profit from such stupidity and do not contribute one penny to city taxes reap the cream of the crop (or should that be crap?) Clearly the popularity of segner doesn’t not prevail with the majority of those that made city of Sedona happen and are only rewarded with sewer back ups, uncontrolled traffic, constant harassment, and threat of increased sewer rates and now higher sales tax to compensate for Sedona’s supersaturation of tourists who are the main cause of all the problems. One favorable tax that might be acceptable would be for a one way track to run these buzzards out of town? Any seconds to that motion?

  24. Alarmed says:

    Is conman Steve Segner a total idiot or what?

    In his 11:55 am posting yesterday he asks Ann “Why was city tax income up over 27% over last year. More as percentage than almost any city in America?”

    The Red Rock News’s TAX REVENUE UP 9% OVER 2016 article of Aug 23, 2017 provides a good idea of the extent of fabrication. It’s unnecessary to read the article. The title tells it all. The tax increase is over 9 percent, not over 27 percent. That the tax increase is more as a percentage than almost any other city in America as SS claims is beyond lunacy.

    Meanwhile, the expenditure side is bad news. Per the RRN, “The total increase in spending over last year-to-date [through May] amounts to 11 percent, with a 21 percent increase projected for the year.”

  25. Red Rock Crossing says:

    @Wish I’d Said That writes….. And those outside city limits who profit from such stupidity and do not contribute one penny to city taxes reap the cream of the crop (or should that be crap?)

    As a resident in the RRCrossing area this is a reminder that not all of are members of the C of C and profiting from their involvement with Sedona city government. In fact, many of us suffer as do those city limit residents since we must also endure the traffic congestion and other negative things caused by utter mismanagement. And, of course, don’t forget those of us who deeply resent steve segner meddling and telling us how that property at The Dells will be developed. There are many many names to be added from those of us outside city limits that detest the meddling and wish you would butt out and leave the area.

  26. steve Segner says:

    I don’t understand this thing against DAY TRIPPERS, Sedona business is tourism, not coal mining or building cars, we don’t have large corporations, headquarters or car dealers, our entire economy is based on visitors.

    Visitors, pay the majority of our taxes, the help pay over $200,000,000 in local payroll, they dine at our restaurants and stay in our hotels, shop and buy art, and many are day trippers.

    A majority of businesses depend on the visitors for their livelihood, and many Day-trippers come back for extended stays at a later date. Day-trippers are the lifeblood of uptown and the canyon and for Sedona and the Verde Valley.

    Day-trippers are not a sub species of visitors; they are customers and are due all the respect and service as visitors staying in hotels for several days.

    Sedona is bisected by two state hwys. 100 miles north of Phoenix and 100 miles south of the Grand Canyon, we will always have traffic, and we all need to change our travel pattern on weekends because the traffic is not going to go away.

    We should count our lucky stars every day that we get to live in the most beautiful place in America and only a two hrs. Drive from one of the fastest growing areas in America.

  27. Mary Lee says:

    It just seems to go from bad to worse! What S. Segner just doesn’t get is Sedona is maxed out, over infused with day trippers to be exact. The area cannot handle what it has let alone more! What’s worse is the burden for raising money to FIX things (if it’s even possible) will be put upon the peon-residents. The Golden Goose is being cooked by Segner and his gang and city leaders allow it to happen. Day trippers and destination tourists would be here even without that millions spent on WASTED advertising. Those foolish fiends clearly cannot see the forest for the trees. It should be their responsibility to take the return going to the chamber and apply it to much needed road improvements. It for sure would be a credit to all, especially the lodging business because isn’t it their job to impress their guests after they become bored looking at red rock, sitting in gridlock for hours? No way can Segner legitimately justify the extreme bad judgment that has occurred and continues.

  28. Sedona says:

    Sedona Tourism was a destination vacation spot . As a business we saw quality visitors that came to Sedona and spent money.They became repeat customers some coming twp three times a year. The hotels were all booked and the attitude of the businesses were welcoming and supportive of each other. Then the money grabbers took hold. Now id is obnoxious special interest getting money and the legitimate businesses and legitimate residents are abused. Sad but true. Sedona has lost its luster, small town charm.
    IMO
    BTW Sedona lost its looks as it was sucked out by you know who….segner & wesselhollf chamber lodging NIM

  29. Tony T says:

    Steve,

    As always I will use your “facts” to disagree with you. Just using your numbers, which I don’t believe are correct, if Sedona has 10,000 workers(your number) and a $200,000,000 million payroll ( your number) that would mean each worker averages $20,000 per year. I think even you would agree that is not very much.

    Lets look at another big number. The city of Sedona Gifts the Chamber $3,000,000 per year. If you divide the $3,000,000 by the 10,000 Sedona residents you could reduce the fees paid by each resident by $300 per year. I would suggest cutting my sewer bill about in half. It would actually probably be more as there are not 10,000 households. Less traffic and a lower sewer bill. I think most Sedona residents would agree on that.

    I’m retired Steve, Most of the people living in my neighborhood are retired. We moved to Sedona planning to retire, specifically because there was not work in a coal mine or an auto plant. A couple of other people I know work out of town or telecommute. We did not move to Sedona to live on Main Street in Disneyland. Our home is not yours to ruin.

    A few tourists are fine. Bumper to bumper traffic and lost people in round abouts is the time to stop advertising with city funds. As to the city, when you are in a hole, stop digging.

    Use your own money Steve.

    For those in the city council reading this, acting against those who are supposedly represented by you is wrong. The Chamber of commerce is not who you should be working for.

  30. Steve segner says:

    I’m retired Steve, Most of the people living in my neighborhood are retired. We moved to Sedona planning to retire, specifically because there was not work in a coal mine or an auto plant.
    So Tony please show us the big sign that said sedona for retirement people only.
    Tony you’re forcing your views of your retirement on the majority of people who are still working in sedona make their living from Sedona and visitors just want to visit Sedona .Tony, it is pure selfishness NiMBY talk.
    Tony you should’ve gone to Sun City. It is all retirement Community but then they have a common area fee and you have to pay something .

  31. Sedona says:

    As a business I ask Steve the following
    1. WHO voted you in to make the rules for the city of Sedona?
    2. Did the business owners sign off their rights to you?
    NO they didn’t!!!!!! Your GREED and selfishness is nimby buttasx BS.
    IMO

  32. George N says:

    Isn’t Steve Segner’s defense of day trippers admitting to the failure of the service contract with the Chamber of Commerce which was to promote destination tourism? It was clearly defined during those initial meetings that would be the emphasis. But of course, that particular city council was dead set against going for outside bids for the contract which would have allowed professional ad agencies to compete for the contract. Instead they stick with amateurs and even the agency the chamber subcontracted with in Phoenix performed inefficiently as proven by the end result – Day Trippers!

    Who in their right mind would place ads at the Phoenix airport and other places of destination in Phoenix (hotels etc)? That’s just plain stupid! Those people had already selected their “destination” and therefore Sedona became just what we didn’t need — a one way trip to a traffic jam. Other promotional efforts down in the valley only lured those already situated to trip up to Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon. Really! Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure one blunder after another was set in motion the day the deal was cut with city council and Steve Segner, Chair of the Lodging Council, to sell out the integrity of Sedona to an unqualified source and unleash millions of precious dollars that should have rightfully gone to professionals with integrity, who had the ability to provide a reliable method of reporting return on investment and legitimate auditing.

    And now the plan is for the chamber to fund the USFS to maintain hiking trails and other misappropriations that should rightfully be spent on benefits directly related to Sedona infrastructure. Sure – now Segner touts day trippers because that’s the best the amateurs could attract with the misplaced advertising they wasted millions of dollars on. And sadly we do not have the integrity within our own elected officials to take the bull by the horns and put an end to it. My opinion, thank you.

  33. JessLookin says:

    I saw this, I thought I would share.

    “Dear local leadership: here’s the formula for long-term success: welcome talent from everywhere in the U.S. and the world; make it cheap and quick to open a business, and cheap to operate that business; make public spaces free, safe and well-maintained; insist on a transparent, responsive government obsessed with serving the public as frugally as possible; support a political class drawn from people with real-world enterprise experience, not professional politicos, lobbyists, etc., and treat incoming capital well–not just financial capital but intellectual, social and human capital. Focus on building collaboration between education and enterprise–foster apprenticeships not just in the trades but in every field of endeavor.

    Provide all these things and success will follow; ignore all these in favor entrenched elites and fiefdoms and go broke as those paying the taxes decide to save their sanity, health and future by getting out while the getting’s good.”

    Charles Hugh Smith

  34. steve segner says:

    Why do we have bumper to bumper traffic? We live over 178 and 89a state hwy.
    Why is the sales tax rate being raised? To pay for government services
    Why do my sewer fees keep going up? All things go up over time
    Why does Sedona Fire want higher residential property taxes when the resident population of Sedona has gone down from 11,000 to 10,000? The numbers of homes did not do down and equipment and fire buildings get old.

  35. steve segner says:

    Tony Fire dist :
    Why does Sedona Fire want higher residential property taxes when the resident population of Sedona has gone down from 11,000 to 10,000?
    Answer:
    the levy has increased 3.6% over 10 years and the fire budget increased 6.3% what are you b******* about…. If the county upped the value of you home then b**** to the county or be happy you home went up in value.

  36. Alarmed says:

    Tony T questions Steve Segner’s numbers and doesn’t believe they are correct. Hell no they aren’t!! The SRRN’s “Tax revenue up 9% over 2016” (August 23, 2017) got it right. Steve’s “up over 27%” is another of his gawd awful lies.

  37. @George N. says:

    Nice evaluation and I share your opinions. However one very important thing you might add. That would be the resulting need for more and more emergency services brought on by the overload of unwanted tourists. And let me place emphasis on the word “unwanted.” Sedona can only handle so many and we already had increasingly more tourists at the time the city made their deal with the Lodging Council (Segner) And he (Segner) continues to try to convince us it’s the tourists bringing in all the money.

    Why then will fire district and sales taxes go up for the residents?

    We are NOT creating the problem. Where’s all that revenue from these millions of tourists to pay for the services THEY are creating?

  38. Mary C says:

    @steve segner

    There is a saying “He knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.”

    Even though my house went up in accessed value, the value to me is lower because of the increased traffic and taxes.

    Go away Steve.

  39. Paul M. says:

    Did you know the city of sedona by running their residents OUT are only hurting themselves? They are. They lose money from the full time residents as they get a portion of their taxable income through the state. They are FORCING everyone to CHANGE to an Airbnb property by making the playing field TOURISM only! The Associations and OUTSIDE interest are running the city. If you can’t beat them join them is the motto.
    Several of my neighbors have converted to an Airbnb. They don’t want the residents here they only want more money and have destroyed the quality of life.
    They act like Hitler and YOU all have no rights.Only those in tourism have rights.
    They can’t see it is not how much money you make but how well you MANAGE what you have. LESS is MORE!!!!
    High end tourists don’t want to go to a low life daytripper drive through location like Sedona. The city has failed in maintaining QUALITY of stay!!!!!
    In my flatlander opinion.

  40. Sedona Residents says:

    How many of you received the latest “survey?” If so, are you filling it out and returning it?

    We are still trying to regain our equilibrium after reeling from the shock of the extremely invasive questions. It seems more like an interrogation by the FBI than an attempt to ascertain how residents feel about quality of life. The survey itself exemplifies the militia type government in process. The only thing missing was a demand for our birth certificates & SS Numbers. Age, income, do we own our property, what do we eat – only the tip of the five page iceberg. Atrocious in our opinions – and oh yes, who received these and how was the select list determined? Why weren’t they sent to all residents? More in-house hanky-panky?

  41. City Survey says:

    Can’t stop laughing. They ask our opinion about the Federal government? OMG – and what color we are, do we exercise, and too many to mention here in one fell swoop. However, conspicuous by absence was “SedonaEye” as they specifically mentioned two other Sedona publicationS. Discrimination? No – of course not in Sedona? OMG.
    Ya just can’t imagine it unless ya actually read it. SE – you didn’t make the big time so too bad all these people are wasting so much time commenting HERE! OMG!!

  42. Geez Sedona says:

    I couldn’t believe the questions this city asked! I’m still in shock. It is very clear they are going down the prisoner road.

    I can’t wait for my house to close in VOC. Then I can play without paying :) :)

  43. Unlawful? says:

    The Community Plan “serves as a guideline for new development and rezoning projects” according to the Aug. 23, 2017, Red Rock News. Since the Plan document states nothing about allowing residential rezoning to exceed 12 units per acre, how can the Multifamily High Density amendment proposing this designation be legal (Public Notice #2)?

    And, hey, there’s more. The City of Sedona Publicity Pamphlet the electorate received prior to the March 11, 2014 Community Plan election stated: “Future property zone changes must be consistent with the Community Plan.” As part of the Plan, voters voted for multifamily medium and high density zoning of from 4 to 12 dwelling units per acre, nothing greater than 12.

  44. @Unlawful? says:

    They don’t care about what’s legal, it’s what they can get away with. And between now and next year’s election, the sky will be the limit – group housing, higher sales tax, and who knows what else after they interpret the findings on the recent survey. Watch out, Sedona, Socialism is just around the corner and once in place it will be difficult if not impossible to reverse. Wait and see!!!!

  45. @@unlawful says:

    Unlawful
    @ unlawful

    Thank you for posting and then answering your original post.

  46. Norma says:

    When they wrote the revised community plan it was done with a dark cloud as they had players using words that had double meanings. The chamber, along with adams, littrell and thompson worked this one.
    I even recall documents that showed the listing of special interest in this direction.
    We lost control, the special interests groups are the only benefactors in this so call city. The residents and legitimate businesses pay for the special interest to become enriched. Listen to any council meeting and it all about money and those outside the city limits getting benefits from the city coffers.

  47. GNS says:

    It’s true – while the focus is on the Fire District Bond it isn’t Rome that continues to burn it’s Sedona. One step has been taken to increase building density in spite of the public vote for the community plan to restrict it was approved. Didn’t follow the verdict on the increased sales tax but no doubt in my mind it was approved. All the money given to the c of c and with the exception of mandatory non-profits should be put on hold (or set aside in a special fund) until the road improvement funding is secured. Anything other than that is irresponsible and those allowing it should be held accountable.

  48. Vote NO NO NO fire bond says:

    Vote NO NO NO on fire bond.

    Take your city – region back!!!

  49. CONFIRMED says:

    City Council approved 0.5% sales tax increase. Will become effective March 1st. Keep that in mind when you pay your bills (including utilities) and especially when contracting for things like roofs, auto service and repair, furniture, clothing, etc. That’s when it adds up! And keep in mind – they give to the chamber that claim to have created the increased tourist traffic and ultimately the need for multi-million dollar road upgrades. Do not honor those council people with such disregard to those they swore to represent but now continue to pander to the chamber’s special interests. They are the same people that most likely support this Fire Board Bond. Tax and spend is all they know and preach

    VOTE NO – ON ALL THINGS THAT GRAB OUR OWN DWINDLING FUNDS!!!!

  50. Fire Chief Matt says:

    Seems to still be a lot of very ignorant people in this town.

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