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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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773 Comments

  1. Mary Ann says:

    Correction to my former comment. It was the Rob Adams council that extended the city/chamber for THREE YEARS (in lieu of seeking RFP’s as originally promised.)
    It was the current City Manager, Justin Clifton, who suggested the present 7 yr. contract. It just goes from bad to worse. Time for new council people and sensible, fair management?

  2. Steve segner says:

    So Fred your point is? All I did was answer a question that Sedona is split by two counties and how do you know where I live I have four homes

  3. sharlett says:

    To Steve segner:
    You are way too funny and we are all too tired of your dumb games —– great you own 4 homes – Yippee for you!!! Glad your business earns you enough money to pay all your taxes and thank God you don’t have your primary residence inside our city limits…as we would hate to see you get a real whoppin’ if you thought you could run for council seat.

    Steve – how about you just stay by your cash register and keep counting all the money Chamber makes for you via their advertising that you don’t have to pay for.

  4. @steve Segner says:

    So whar????? I own 5!!!! What thinks u are so special???? I don’t vote in Newport beach just because I can…..

  5. Fred F says:

    Reference your comment: “steve segner says: April 5, 2018 at 10:35 am”

    Kindly review and point out where it is you wrote, suggested, indicated, or implicated Sedona as being in any other county than Yavapai. Amazingly enough the only people who find you have credibility are those working for the city and/or members of the city council. Could that be the reason Sedona is so screwed up?

    Is your good bud, Justin, still intending to speak at your upcoming meeting at Red’s or wherever to defend your fight for Home Rule?

    As for your place of residence, it’s quite public you reside in Oak Creek Canyon since your have a web site advertising your “estate” as a place for receptions. And I’m quite certain council members who have attended your gala events there know exactly where you live. And if you did, in fact, reside legitimately in Sedona – God Forbid – you would run for Mayor. One disaster so far we’ve been spared.

    OMG – Lord have mercy and deliver us from this horrible, deceitful, and bad energy. Get rid of City Manager, Asst. to him, Chair of Sedona Lodging Council, Chamber of Commerce, AND . . . last but not least, CITY COUNCIL (except at the moment for John Martinez & John Currivan) Thank you both for your infinite wisdom to refrain from seating another loser on the city council.

  6. Jody says:

    what’s the problem here, lack of doing what’s right

  7. steve segner says:

    Fred f
    to answer you questions:
    1. I an for Home rule as I have stated, I will work hard this year to make sure all Sedona voters understand it and vote yes.
    2. I support the city’s new traffic plan, and the .5% sales tax .And I am working to get the word out.
    3. One of my homes up the canyon is not on a web site for weddings
    4. I vote in Sedona because the state of Arizona say I can, my business and residence are in Sedona.
    5. Fred not to worry I will not run for any public office, in Sedona I am more then happy to work on committees and support groups.
    6. The meeting on April 10 will be on the city traffic up date, the home rule will be the following month.
    7. Kyrsten,Sinema will be at El Portal, later today, and May 1, I will be sponsoring a showing of Backpack Full of Cash
    Tue 4 PM · Mary D. Fisher Theatre · Sedona, along with Arizona AZelections 18 my goal i 2018 is to turn Arizona BLUE…. and to get teachers the money they are owed.

    Fred you said Amazingly enough the only people who find you have credibility are those working for the city and/or members of the city council
    I take that as a complament I love Sedona and work hard to support it , and you do ? what exactly?

  8. Ron & Marge, Pacific Northwest says:

    Question for this Segner character? Why doesn’t your city council and city manager Justin (whatever) publicize the real Sedona? Actually Mr. Segner we thank you for the insight that prompted us to look deeper into Sedona’s offerings.

    We live in the pacific northwest and thought about relocating to Sedona. However after our last trip one year ago decided to rethink. Truly we had an angel on our shoulder.

    After reading Sedona Eye and legitimate factual activities we thank our lucky stars (among other things) to have been clued into the really corrupt place once beautiful Sedona has become. NO MORE.

    “The FBI Raids The Sedona Home Of Backpage.com Founder Michael Lacey”

    https://gcmaz.com/the-fbi-raids-the-sedona-home-of-backpage-com-founder-michael-lacey/

    (SedonaEye.com editor: Find https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2018/04/06/fbi-raids-backpage-founders-sedona-home-website-down/494538002/ on SedonaEye.com Twitter page dated April 6, 2018)

  9. Please Vote says:

    Want to make the Greater Sedona Area better? Are you HAPPY with Special Interests running YOUR SEDONA. Using taxpayers money to CLOG your roads and STEAL your quality of life should be a crime.

    Change it by VOTING!!!

    Make change
    Use you voice and vote!

    We have a population of 20,000 in the greater Sedona Region yet only 12,863 are registered voters 64%. In our last election only 5,930 voted. 29.6% of population.

    Why let the Vocal minorities change and run YOUR Sedona.

    Easy links to register: https://servicearizona.com/webapp/evoter/selectLanguage

    https://www.azsos.gov/elections/voting-election/register-vote-or-update-your-current-voter-information

  10. Airport Driver Said... says:

    @northwest Years back (maybe 3) paid for ride from Flagstaff airport to VOC. interesting conversation with driver that hour came back to mind with Backstage bust. something must have been in news about pedophiles because for a few minutes it was a topic during hour ride. remember driver said you’d be surprised all the bad pervs in Sedona with money, positions of authority, professionals in all walks. a suicide was mentioned but no name. he said thailand was popular with Sedona area pervs, they had fake girlfriends & wives as cover. My guess @northwest you’d have met one if you’d moved there.

  11. Richard D. says:

    What’s all the Sedona City Hall chatter about “sustainability?”

    What about the RRN publication on behalf and paid for by City of Sedona rolled up with an elastic band and tossed into our driveways? Where do the powers that be think all of those will end up?

    But, of course, not to worry. It was yet another chance for Sedona “regional” Chamber of Commerce to be center-stage (or backstage might be more appropriate). Check out the full page ad on the back page.

    Way to go, City of Sedona. Real class act all right. Only problem is at best it rates as “low class.” More trash! Literally.

  12. @RichardD says:

    So what if they add to the landfill? It’s OK if this incorporated part of Sedona does what they jolly well please. Like do as we say but not as we do! That’s the moral of the story here.

    How about that Segner guy actually admitting he’s intricately involved with all those secret meetings behind closed doors at the inner sanctum? No wonder that asst city manager wouldn’t give names of those who concocted those tricky questions in that phony baloney survey. Citizen Engagement. All secret. No transparency.

    And that’s just why we need people on that council like Mike Ward. One thing he made a big issue of was TRANSPARENCY. We sorely need people like him to be making decisions and get rid of these Segner-led puppets. PLEASE – vote and vote NO on HOME RULE. Time to tighten the purse strings no matter who is
    elected.

  13. @ron and marge says:

    Who cares

    (deleted by editor)

  14. Ain't That the Truth? says:

    @Airport Driver Said:

    “remember driver said you’d be surprised all the bad pervs in Sedona with money, positions of authority, professionals in all walks”

    And it seems the wannabees that never made it are the ones elected to city council where the last chance for recognition beckons them? Doesn’t their listening to a blow hard like SS verify their desperation? The “I, I, I = Me, Me, Me” syndrome seems to glorify their own importance (at least in their own minds?)

    In a word, pathetic. But the saddest part is the ruination of Sedona. Too bad they made jumping off Midgely Bridge more difficult. Only problem – the wrong people would jump – Oh yeah My Opinion which, incidentally, SS never bothers to qualify as he continues to spew all his garbledegook!

  15. Novel Idea says:

    Wouldn’t it be a wonderful change to business as usual if Governor Ducey were to withhold State funding here during and until after completion of a thorough investigation of the city/chamber contract? Now that would include legitimate audits and complete accounting of all chamber records since 2013, when the questionable deal was consummated.

    Comparisons of chamber members dues versus city funding. New chamber executive office in West Sedona and subsequent remodeling. How many employees have been hired since this questionable contract?

    They have NEVER been held sufficiently accountable. On other posts it’s been suggested to go to the governor and whine about his approval of residential vacation rentals. Why not approach him with something that stands a chance of being a win/win not only for legal and ethical practices here in Sedona but for the entire State as well.

    Think of the money AZ could spend elsewhere while waiting for the jury to come in on a way overdue verdict of the questionable activities in this scenic (once) neck of the woods? Business as Usual …… NOT!

  16. Mrs Roger Thomas says:

    To the poster of Novel Idea:

    Oh (deleted by editor) you are so transparent. You keep crying how the big bad CoC is soooo bad for our city all because they wouldn’t let you put your rack cards in the visitors center for free.

    Why don’t you call the AG’s office and make a complaint. Someone else on this site did that 2 years ago and obviously NOTHING HAPPENED! You may think that the CoC is a bad thing but business owners in our city don’t agree. Go out and get a life for a change!

  17. Novel Idea says:

    BINGO!

  18. Novel Idea says:

    Accidentally hit SUBMIT after my previous BINGO without conveying my deep appreciation to Mrs. Roger Thomas who delighted me with her/his irate comment. Means I did a good job to rile up obviously another Chamber beneficiary. Have no clue about the brochure nonsense unless it’s about only Chamber members being represented in the alleged City of Sedona Visitors Center? Emphasizes the apparent fraud and waste of government money? Of course – no big deal to those on the take. Good fer you @MrsThomas and aliases.

  19. Tony Tonsich says:

    Just because I had no success writing and calling our State Representatives does not mean I have given up. As many here have noticed I am running for Mayor. I am also pursuing other avenues to stop the city playing Santa Claus with our money to the chamber and others. With the voters help I may be successful in multiple directions regarding improving residents quality of life.

    On a side note, I am apparently being accused of plagiarism. Have you ever received an email where you are asked to sign and forward to your representative? I got one requesting I write our esteemed city council in support of one of the candidates to fill the recent city council vacancy. As I thought it would do no good, and I was right, I gave it the time it deserved. Which was about 10 seconds of copy and paste. So, by the vacant logic of those accusing me, If you sign or forward a major part of one of those political emails suggesting you support a cause or candidate, you are plagiarizing.

    The council picked a candidate the voters rejected. So much for voter input.

    I won’t waste my time, or your money.

  20. @ Mrs Roger Thomas says:

    “Why don’t you call the AG’s office and make a complaint. Someone else on this site did that 2 years ago and obviously NOTHING HAPPENED!”

    Just because a complaint to the AG office is not acted upon does not mean the complaint is without merit. The AG office gets so many complaints that it cannot act on all of them. Consequently the office uses what is called “prosecutorial discretion.” Of course, such discretion can also be used as an excuse to exercise favoritism, AKA playing politics.

  21. @Mrs Roger Thomas says:

    I find your post interesting. Why Dear Karen Roger Thomas did the business owners have no vote or knowledge of the subsidies made on their behalf to the regional chamber?
    With the regional-membership-based- Chamber receiving over 2.5 million a YEAR of bed-taxes I would think you’d give that option of target marketing to the 30 hotels that actually collect those taxes. Give them 55% of the actual bed-taxes they collect to each hotel. Let them target market their hotel as they see fit. If the chamber is that good then the hotels owners would give it to them anyway.

    But the reality is the Owners – Corporations were not informed and have no say so. I’d bet they love to directly receive 55% of the bed-taxes each one of them collect to do direct target marketing.

  22. Eddie Maddock says:

    Thank you, Tony Tonsich, for clarifying the matter of the plagiarized email forwarded by you. Having received several emails relating to the matter, at least one person here appreciates clarification from the culprit.

    For the record we have never met. As I reviewed the recent interviews of the applicants for the fire board, I do believe you were among them and so I have a very vague idea of what you look like. Other than that ZIP!

    But your name has already become extremely visible thanks to the free publicity given you from a certain person who regularly posts on this site. Be prepared. This is only the beginning. Those in charge do not take kindly to change. And that, depending on the candidates, holds true for the Red Rock News. Ask Cliff Hamilton and others.

    Best of luck to you, Sir. If nothing else you are a brave man to challenge not one but all of the lions in the den. Oh yes . . . in my opinion.

  23. Able says:

    Obviously not my real name. Plagiarism does not apply to forward emails. Period.

  24. @Senile Tony Tonsich says:

    You said
    “I won’t waste your time”

    You already are wasting our time and have been with you senile small minded posts ….not just recently but for years now.

    Tony a snowball in hell has a better chance of surviving then you winning an election…. do is s favor… bail out now and save us from you small minded non relevant ranting.

  25. Griffin says:

    Hold on a minute @senile tony. Remember when Jerry Frey sat on his horse and waved at cars? Get out there!

    You’ve got my vote & my favorite neighbor’s vote. Hit the streets and knock on every door, send a postcard to every registered voter asking for their vote and putting two reasons on it why (NOT MORE JUST TWO). Most of us don’t give a damnation either way. Make us want to vote for you. And don’t put an ad in the RRsnooze until the week before mail in ballots are due or sent out. Play the game and win.

    And Tony why haven’t you been asking one person on every block to get out the vote for you? Why haven’t you asked one person on every block to call their friends and neighbors? Why haven’t you begun the guerilla campaign your opponents have?

  26. Lisa says:

    Can we agree they need to find other jobs?

  27. Free Dumb says:

    Bravo to the SedonaEye allowing anonymous posters the ability to practice freedom of speech. They are allowed to insult, misquote and irritate freely.

    God Bless America !!

    No to home rule. Cut city staff. Cut funds to the Chamber to Zero. The bed tax funds do not belong to the chamber, they can be used to mitigate tourist impacts.

  28. Here We Go Again? says:

    A Real “Flatlander” says:
    July 31, 2014 at 9:43 pm
    I’m posting this under a couple articles as I’m not sure where the best place is.

    I believe it’s time for a reality check of the “want to be players” currently trying to take over our small town. Luckily, I was on someone’s mailing list and they felt there was real value in letting everyone know so I received the following:

    “Below is a paste of a ‘do-not-pass-around’ email sent by Steve Segner. Steve Segner is the President of the Sedona Lodging Council.

    For those of you who are not aware: the Sedona Lodging Council begged the City Council, in conjunction with and as Partners of the Sedona (Regional) Chamber of Commerce to raise the City Bed Tax Rates which allowed all lodging business’s outside our City limits to a windfall of people wanting to not pay a higher tax.

    Please Read on:
    “From: Steve Segner

    Cc: SANDY MORIARTY
    Subject: lets meet please do not pass around
    Date: Sun, 27 Jul 2014 10:39:26 -0700

    We need to do something that puts Sand on the map, the hill top people are Hamilton’s they hang together butt they are few…. We need the flatlanders….

    I see cliff as a life long autocrat… We need to tell that story “Sandy gets her hands dirty…. Cliff talks and talks down.

    Can you get me his background? I am thinking about a large rental truck parked around town with sides with Sands posters… remember all Sedona residents go to two locations each week, Bash’s and Safeway,

    Lets be smart, lets run a gorilla marketing campaign

    I think Cliff will try to paint the chamber in a bad light so he can come in and fix things ,lets keep the chamber out of this, and talk about and Cliff and his imperil management stile.
    I think using the “T” party as a comment would be good.

    Steve”
    ““““

    ….So, there ya go folks – the President of the Sedona Lodging Council – which is a side bar or affinity group of the (Regional) Sedona Chamber of Commerce which receives, I believe, the largest financial hand out from the City – is calling most of us “Flatlanders” as in dumb downs?… And He wants to run a “gorilla marketing campaign” as he believes He is so smart when in fact he is an embarrassment to his industry, our community and only wants to negate the rest of us as being dumber than rocks in order to have the City pay for advertising he wants for free.

    Now, lets look at this link: 2012-860134659-09d177ca-9O.pdf

    This is the link to the Chambers 990 filing, with the State, where they clearly state: they “promote & Foster the CIVIC, ECONOMIC & SOCIAL WELFARE OF ITS MEMBERSHIP AND PROMOTE TOURISM FOR THE CITY OF SEDONA AND ITS SURROUNDING COMMUNITIES”. (never realized the Chamber was responsible for Social Welfare – but hey – call me a flatlander!)

    That is just the tip of the iceberg: the 990 report, signed by Jennifer W…goes on to say “THE CHAMBER MAINTAINED 459 MEMBERS IN THE TOURISM BUREAU; ASSISTED 449 TRADE PROFESSIONALS; ASSISTED 130 MEETING/EVENT PLANNERS; PARTICIPATED IN 6 TRAVEL TRADE SHOWS AND, IN CONJUNCTION WITH AZ OFFICE OF TOURISM, SALES MISSIONS TO LOS ANGELES AND LAS VEGAS. VISITATION TO WEBSITE BY 1.2 MILLION VISITORS; IN PARTNERSHIP WITH OTHERS PROMOTED LOCAL EVENTS, RAN NUMEROUS ADVERTISEMENTS, ……………and on and on………….NO Where does this legal report mention 1000 members. The report does state that their VISITOR CENTER ASSISTED 346,00 WALK-IN VISITORS (which would equate to some average of 900 a day?) and then she would like us to believe that a few lines down when she states that: “THE CHAMBER STRIVED TO INCREASE THE AWARENESS AND PARTICIPATION OF ITS 980 MEMBERS IN CHAMBER PROGRAMS….. Well I’m just tired of quoting and oh so tired of trying to get the Chambers numbers of members to equal the 1000 Jennifer keeps quoting to the City Council.

    So my intelligent friends – I’ve given you what I received…sure as hell hope you appreciate the duplicity and self promotions expressed by Steve Segner to Sandy Moriarty who wants to be Mayor – at the expense of all us “flatlanders”.

  29. @Griffin says:

    Because there isn’t one person on every block that will get there neighbors to vote for Tony…. (deleted by editor)

  30. @Griffen says:

    Sedona eye cut out the best part which was truthful….
    Why do you do that Sedona Eye? Don’t you post the truth?

  31. steve Segner says:

    Date: Sun, 27 Jul 2014 10:39:26 -0700
    thanks for the re print you should thank me , sandy has been a great Mayor

    So, there ya go folks – the President of the Sedona Lodging Council – which is a side bar or affinity group of the (Regional) Sedona Chamber of Commerce which receives,” I” believe, the largest financial hand out from the City – i
    sorry we are a member of the chamber only , that is it and we receive no money from city or chamber . Just fyi…. thanks for the flash from the past …..

  32. Get This says:

    Tony Tonsich is a loser in my opinion. Instead of cutting and pasting another person’s letter to the City Council, why send in anything? Scott Jablow, who had promised a certain council member he would vote for Mike Ward, flipped and voted for Jessica W. instead That Council member was totally pissed. No, I will not be voting for Tony Tonsich. Not Scott Jablow or Jessica W. either.

  33. Business Owner says:

    Thank you Tony I appreciate you clarifying this.

    Thank you @Here We Go Again? Wasn;’t there an article on the Eye about Jennifer not being able to count? I believe shes counts every members 3-4 times.

    Someone else reported they count the door openings as a visitor meaning every time a volunteer or employees open the door for anything they count as visitor.

    http://sedonaeye.com/future-weddings-will-be-few-small-and-close-to-home/

    We have 2,275 registered or licensed businesses in Sedona.
    •From that 2,275 only 258 are Chamber members.
    •From the 258 only 30 are listed in accommodations on the Chamber website.
    •From the 30, 4 are not bed tax providers as they are timeshare – vacation rentals.
    •Which leaves 26 registered license businesses in the Sedona bed tax district.

    •This 26 only represents 1.14% of your licensed businesses.

    •From 26 license bed tax category 13 of them provide free breakfast in the price of the room. 50% are not collecting sales tax on those free meals. Hurting the local food establishments, equaling less sales and less tax.
    •
    The majority of Chambers accommodation or lodging category do not collect sales tax for City of Sedona =71.74% . Many of the signatures that were collected in support do not even live in Sedona,

  34. Tony Tonsich says:

    For those of you who have expressed interest in my campaign, I am currently spending many hours a day with our team on the organization aspects. As I have said, I can’t do this by myself. We have a prospective slate of candidates that will give us a majority on the city council and will allow us to change things.

    Residents First
    Reduce Traffic and Rebuild small town focus,
    End bad business practices and no bid contracts
    Improve Financials

  35. The Truth About Sedona says:

    Read. Reread. Then read over & over “Here We Go Again.” That sums it up.
    Ugly Sedona. Sad.

  36. Steve segner says:

    Business owner, your comment about not collecting sales tax on free food is wrong you don’t collect sales tax on something that’s free the price of the meal is included in the lodging price,on that amount that sedona is collecting bad tax the and collect sales tax so they’re actually pay more.
    the Chamber of Commerce is members owned and has members all Over the Verrde Valley and even the state . The visitors bureau is a contractor for the city for sedona marketing. at today’s transportation meeting the city manager said twice he thinks that the total tax revenue collected from visitors is now approaching 75% let that sink in for a second what exactly is the point you’re trying to make the Chamber of Commerce is bone by its members or however they may be in the job of the please show us any add paid for by the city with bed tax money for any business in Sedona or out I asked that over and over and over and I never get an answer the same way I asked Tony to tell us how Sedona will be better off as a city $16-$20 million take it out of its budget come on Tony let’s see the numbers

  37. ??????? says:

    Well – if anyone can make heads or tails out of Segner’s recent spiel (4/10 – 11:57) kindly explain. That poor soul clearly has lost it – what little he had left. Problem is city council and staff take heed of this nonsense. They are even nuttier than he is.

    More good publicity for you, Tony Tonsich. This mad man keeps up his BS and it will save you a lot of campaign money.

  38. Jerry, Legitimate Sedona Voter says:

    If denying Home Rule would put an end to City of Sedona financing a regional member-driven association @Steve segner then it’s long overdue.

    To admit they sponsor ONLY their members is far more honest than City Council & Staff allowing it to happen.

    Why do you suppose “they” think Sedona incorporated as a City? Well as a reminder it was to provide local government for the designated boundaries….. City Limits.

    For businesses to be coerced (blackmailed) to being members of the chamber of commerce in order to have their publicity in the city financed visitors center is just plain wrong if not illegal. Where’s the City Attorney and/or AZ State AG office allowing such a thing to go on. Isn’t it commonly defined as:

    Taxation without Representation???

    Vote NO on Home Rule and watch them squirm. (of course they will threaten and punish the residents for speaking up at the polls but aren’t we already suffering?)

  39. senile Steve segner says:

    Poor senile Steve segner, he has been answered many times but sill claims, “I see nothing, I see nothing !!”

    If the tourists pay 17% of the sales tax revenue according to the county but use 50-60% of the services, it does not benefit anyone but senile Steve segner and his group.

    Throw the bums out. Cut off their funding. They have made us prisoners in our own homes. If you need emergency services in this traffic you are plain dead. You can’t threaten us, it can not get worse. Only better.

    Go away senile Steve segner. Take your group with you.

  40. @ senile Steve segner says:

    Wow man, great post! “You can’t threaten us, it can not get worse.” No kidding.

  41. Steve segner says:

    Have fun with this everyone should keep you busy for a week
    Sedona • Tourism • Traffic – Facts to Think About Provided by the Tourism Council
    Why are their so many cars in Sedona, especially on weekends and spring break? Fact #1: Occupancy for Sedona Hotels (including Village) is basically the same as it has been for
    the past few years. The number of visitors staying in hotels has not increased.
    Fact #2: No New hotels have been built since the Courtyard Marriott a few years ago.
    Fact #3: 2017 was the first year when SB 1350, created by Governor Doug Ducey which allowed private residences to become “hotels” and rent rooms or entire houses on a daily rental basis.
    Fact #4: It is estimated their are already 900 Air BnB type short-term rentals in greater Sedona. These rentals are an equivalent of adding a 900 room hotel as far as the number of visitors it can accommodate. And at least that many automobiles on our roads.
    Fact #5: Tourism is the fastest growing sector of the world’s economy. And many destinations are experiencing extreme traffic issues and long lines to enter parks, attractions, and events. As an example, it can take up to two hours to get into the Grand Canyon NP.
    Fact #6: Most of the visitors to Sedona are from the Valley which is the fastest growing area in America. These residents are many of the “day-trippers.” Their interest in visiting and playing in the Verde Valley will continue to increase.
    Fact #7: The number of automobiles passing through Sedona, but not stopping for any extended period is substantial and increasing.
    Fact #8: The Chamber of Commerce only spends about 20% of their annual budget on advertis- ing and most of the advertising they do is focused on the slow periods of summer and winter. The Chamber main role is in Destination and Visitor Management. Another 20% of the chamber’s an- nual budget is now dedicated to product development primarily focused on dispersal of visitors from high use areas and improvements to traffic management.
    Fact #9: The advent of hundreds of short term rentals has substantially reduced the number of homes and rooms for rent creating a crisis for employees of businesses in Sedona.
    Fact #10: The advent of the short term rental has skewed the real estate market as investors buy whole homes to turn into mini-hotels which are rented as “party houses” for weddings, recep- tions, family reunions, etc.
    Fact #11: The design of Hwy 179 was not the idea of ADOT, our state highway department and their transportation engineers, but came out of a local effort of a small active group who con- vinced the city and local residents to demand a two lane road with roundabouts. ADOT is on records of stating the road could not handle any volume of traffic, by design. In other words, the backups were predictable. Residents must take responsibility for the design of the road we have, including the city which enforced the design promoted by this citizen group.
    Fact #12: The city of Sedona, through it’s elected officials and professional staff have worked with transportation experts to create a multi-year, multi-phase comprehensive plan in excess of $30 Million Dollars (using the new 1/2% sales tax which 60-70% is paid by visitors) to address the traffic crisis. These plans include immediate actions such as the use of more traffic monitors in Uptown and Tlaquepaque.

  42. No More segner says:

    segner

    A keyboard shows you have access, not intellect. Intellect requires you to show us you can actually think.

    No evidence of thought or truth so far.

  43. Mark says:

    We need to get a sign made for the Sedona City council Chambers, ” Not to be operated by Idiots. Then see that the one simple rule is enforced.

    Time for a change. Vote them all out.

  44. No More segner says:

    Regarding senile Steve segners post of April 11, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    He obviously did not write it.

    It is a pure diversionary tactic to deflect from the fact the Sedona chamber receives $2.5 million from the city that could be spent mitigating tourist impacts.

    It tries to put the blame on everyone but the true culprits.

    It only took me about a minute to dismiss it as pure (Deleted by editor).

    As senile Steve segner said above, It can not get worse. There are going to be resident deaths due to traffic.

    No on home Rule, cut all funding to the chamber.

  45. @steve Segner says:

    Thanks Steve for “keeping it real”
    (Deleted by editor) Keep it up

  46. Archie Mendez says:

    Really got a kick out of Steve Segner’s “facts.”

    While it may be true that corporate hotels have not seen an uptick in more tourists renting out rooms, some 600+ rooms have been added by Airbnb, VRBO, Flip Key and a host of others. THERE IS NO NEED FOR ADDITIONAL HOTELS as more rooms on these websites are added daily.

    (Segner’s 900 rooms are incorrect, but if so, even a better reason for not adding any more hotels to the area.)

    The Marriott should have NEVER been built across the street from the high school/ jr high with a bus stop in it’s front parking area. This was crazy thinking, but shows how the pedophiles are running the town (see also recent arrest of pedophile / sex trade mongol in Oak Creek Canyon). The Marriott wants to expand, another hotel and more timeshares are planned for the “Western Gateway” even tho the Cultural Park land was traded to create a non-profit for the citizens of Sedona into perpetuity — that means FOREVER. The Western Gateway should never be anything else but a non-profit.

    The Marriott stole an iconic view of Cathedral Rock, and the has taken over a popular neighborhood trail. Another hotel soon to be built will steal the view of Bell Rock entering the Sedona area from 179. That hotel is also not wanted and not needed due to the increase of Airbnb type rooms in the VOC.

    The Sedona economy has improved since SB1350 because the money goes to the citizens — not sent to corporate hotel HQ’s — and directly benefits those who are opening their homes to tourists. Home foreclosures in the state are DOWN, and cultural awareness is UP.

    The chamber collects bed taxes and spends on destination marketing to the tune of $2.5 million a year. No money for infrastructure, no money for sewer, no money for education. This is WRONG — the taxpayer expects to get something for the money they pay besides MORE TRAFFIC.

    The tourists coming thru Sedona ARE stopping – at Airbnb rooms and campsites. They are forgoing the expensive and corporate one-size-fits-all hotel rooms.

    There was nothing wrong with 179 before the “improvements.” Before -You could pull over at any time and hike and take photos. You could pass slow moving cars. You could decorate trees for christmas — something that created a community. Now it “controlled” and a very bad design. Horrible. They should tear out all the curbs and allow passing and add turn-outs.

    Steve Segner is all wet with his “facts” and his ideas are skewed toward hotel and time shares and pedophiles running the city. Time to clean house.

    Vote all incumbents out and Vote NO on Home Rule.

  47. @steve Segner says:

    Your ongoing insistence that approval of residential short term rentals is the reason for increased traffic is nonsense!

    Regardless of the number of private homes being rented via Airbnb or other property management companies, have any new properties been developed for that purpose? In other words, any new residential construction on vacant lots which would increase traffic? If not then the answer remains ‘NO’!

    On the other hand, the two story “affordable” apartment complex in West Sedona is another matter. Kindly add that edifice when tallying increased traffic entering Sedona once it’s completed.

    SB 1350 has not increased traffic because existing structures are being facilitated for the part time rentals! Why is that so difficult to understand. Oh, but of course, you see (imagine?) things as you want them to be and NOT as they truly are. You make a mockery of Alice in Wonderland by ranting on like you’re some alien living in outer space. (wishful speaking on my part)

    Earth to Segner “Time to beam down & out.”

  48. Carl says:

    Let me get this straight Segner. You say hotel/motel use hasn’t increased. You say SB1350 is the reason for Sedona’s popularity.

    There you go Sedona council. Your policy of handing money to Chamber is found ineffective and a money waste.

    Good for SB1350 to increase Sedona tourism at no cost to Sedona. Proof again that the Republicans have intelligence and the Democratic Sedona City Councilors and staff are not.

    PS: Could we STOP TALKING ABOUT SR 179 please? IT’S DONE. FINISHED. COMPLETED. SHUT UP ALREADY. Some of us love it. Now move on.

  49. Don (CBS News Report) says:

    Timely news report. CBS News. Steve Segner got an important fact wrong for VOC-Sedona. Attention corporations – we’re not growing at all.

    Rounding out the Census Bureau’s list of 20 fastest growing metro areas are the following:
    Florida, Texas, (Bend) Oregon, ( St. George) Utah, the Carolinas, (Greely) Colorado has the top 9 growth areas in the US followed by:
    10. Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, Florida, up 2.5 percent
    11. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas, up 2.5 percent
    12. Fort Collins, Colorado, up 2.4 percent
    13. Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort, South Carolina, up 2.4 percent
    14. Daphne-Fairhope-Foley, Alabama, up 2.4 percent
    15. Raleigh, North Carolina, up 2.3 percent
    16. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Florida, up 2.2 percent
    17. Charleston-North Charleston, South Carolina, up 2.2 percent
    18. North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida, up 2.2 percent
    19. Panama City, Florida, up 2.2 percent
    20. Boise City, Idaho, up 2.1 percent

    Steve, where’s Phoenix? It’s definitely NOT the fastest growing. Could find no chart indicating it close to that. What’s your source?

  50. Steve segner says:

    More people moved to Maricopa County than any other county in the country last year, according to U.S. Census Bureau population estimates released Thursday.

    Maricopa County’s population jumped by nearly 74,000 people — a 1.7 percent increase. The county’s growth helped it maintain its rank as the fourth most populous county in the country, with 4,307,033 residents.

    Clark County in Nevada saw the next largest gain with a 47,355-person increase. All of the top-10 largest-gaining counties were in the South or the West.

    RELATED: Arizona’s population tops 7 million for the first time, Census Bureau says

    The new data only includes population estimates as of July 1, 2017, for counties and metropolitan areas, not individual cities.

    Although Phoenix overtook Philadelphia as the fifth largest city last year, the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale metropolitan area is only the 11th largest metro area, with 4,737,270 people (the metro area includes part of Pinal County, which is why th

    Someday you’ll understand the difference between percentage growth an actual number growth

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