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Eddie Maddock: City Council Deals Are Destroying Our Sedona Dream

SedonaEye.com columnist Eddie S. Maddock revisits the City of Sedona Dream and why Home Rule and the City Council are destroying it.

Sedona AZ (May 20, 2018) – Whether an idiom, proverb or adage, the saying ““a watched pot never boils”” takes on a totally new meaning in Sedona, Arizona. It might more appropriately be changed to “”watched pots never STOP boiling” in this neck of the woods.”

And as election time approaches, there are so many pots a-boiling that keeping track can be a fulltime job, if not mission impossible.

Adding fuel to keep those pots active are many, many rumors, some without merit and, in particular, relate to the periodic return of the ballot measure Alternate Expenditure Limitation, a.k.a Home Rule. Much has been written elsewhere about the concept of the measure, but “alternate expenditure limitation” defines it in a nutshell.

It’ has frequently been repeated in the event voters deny continuation of Home Rule it will either eliminate or vastly decrease funding for such “city services” as, for example, the library. While such a possibility cannot be denied, let’’s first get something clear.

Our library was established prior to the incorporation of Sedona by volunteers and, to this day, although the city presently provides funding for the operation, it is not owned by “the city.” Volunteers and private contributions made it happen, including design and construction of the present beautiful facility, and the physical efforts to relocate from the former location on Jordan Road.

1958: A volunteer group, Friends of the Library, established Sedona’s first library in donated space, with three shelves of books and magazines also donated. https://www.sedonalibrary.org/history.html

The same was true for the Humane Society of Sedona. Volunteers likewise made that happen without one penny from “a city.” Why? Because it didn’t exist. Minimal funds were, however, derived from both counties and perhaps a grant here and there. Keep Sedona Beautiful has the same story to tell. And, in fact, so does the original Sedona Oak-Creek Canyon Chamber of Commerce, established over 50 years ago and survived prior to incorporation, supported by private individuals, members and volunteers.

No matter where you go in the country, an Elks Lodge is right around the corner. With more than 850,000 members and 2,000 Lodges nationwide, Elks are providing charitable services that help build stronger communities. Join today.

Fundraising galas occurred frequently up at the Elks Club and were always well-attended with proceeds dedicated to benefit one cause or another. People cared. There wasn’t a tug of war for funding as exists this day and age. Community support prevailed.

Posse Grounds was alive and well, and accommodated many local events. We had the Art Barn uptown with a stage for performances, and all did very well without city funding.

We had no boundaries. People actually got along and smiled at each other. That old-fashioned way of life has been traded in for a new trend of power and money grabbing, in what all too often appears to be a result of self-indulgence for quite possibly the wrong reasons.

And unlike other cities/town, Sedona doesn’’t provide such things as water and garbage pick-up. So no, Folks, they cannot cut service in the event Home Rule is denied by voters. YOU pay the providers and it has nothing to do with our city government. The same is true of the Sedona Oak Creek Fire District and the Sedona Oak Creek Unified School District. They are NOT part of incorporated Sedona, but function through regional districts. And unlike, for example, Cottonwood, the City of Sedona does not own the airport.

Same as the fire and school districts, the Chamber of Commerce provides a regional service, but somehow manages to reap huge financial benefits from the City of Sedona which, of course, remain highly contentious.

How many folks would be brokenhearted if eliminating “Home Rule” would force cancellation of the city/chamber contract, headed up by people who seem to be unable to give an accounting of just how many of their members are located outside Sedona City Limits and do not deserve to be promoted via incorporated city funding? That remains a mystery since a simple cursory review of the members listed in the Chamber’s publication (providing such information reveals exactly where they are located) and maybe one or two not even in Arizona?

Further, not all 86336 zip codes are located within Sedona City Limits; however, a quick physical count of the onsite location of members really shouldn’t be that difficult to ascertain those who legitimately are entitled to be promoted at the alleged “official City of Sedona Visitors Center.”

In fact, again unlike most municipalities, actual necessary services provided by Sedona government are pretty much limited to the police department, wastewater treatment plant, providing and maintaining infrastructure which even at that is also limited considering our two major routes belong and are maintained by the State of Arizona.

And, of course, perhaps the primary reason voters approved incorporation? Community development – for the purpose of issuing permits in order to control such things as high density projects and ensure tasteful architecture to blend with our special environment.

Keep that in mind as you observe approval of at least two more major resort hotels in the near future; Upper Red Rock Loop and Soldiers Pass Road/89A, formerly Biddles. Will defeating Home Rule negate anything like that?

Since the basic services provided by incorporated Sedona are essentially limited to a Police Department, Wastewater Treatment Plant, Community Development and limited activity by the Public Works Department, how badly would Sedona residents suffer if Home Rule were to be denied?

Certainly it would be unfortunate if grants to non-profits are reduced or eliminated; however, does the public in general have enough grit and determination to keep these services up and running if such a thing were to occur? After all, most were established without Sedona city funding in the first place.

For example, a very recent event was paramount in precipitating the effort to pull this information together.

Featured in “Kudos The Good Life” (May 16-22, 2018) is a recap of The Rotary Club of Sedona’s 2018 Chili Cook-off: In addition to chili-chef winners, there are impressive lists of the names of sponsors for the event. For example, a total of nine sponsored “Beverage, Parking, Shuttle and Judges’ Gifts, seven sponsored “Habanero” and two people were “Serano” sponsors. A total of thirty-two stood up for “Jalepeno and Chili Pepper” while an impressive one hundred eleven donated to the “Rotary Silent Auction.” Keep in mind those numbers, totaling one hundred sixty-one businesses and individuals willing to give of their time, effort and products to make this annual event happen, remain really quite impressive…and prove that community spirit has not taken a leave of absence and grit and desire to make things happen. It can be done with or without incorporated Sedona.

After all, prior to 1988, when boundaries didn’t officially define Sedona City Limits, that’s how folks lived, cooperatively, and in unity without beating a path to a City Hall for funding.

Each and every civic organization offered not only group unification, but brought the community together at events such as the Chili Cookoff sponsored by the Rotary Club.

For so many years Sedona lived “the Impossible Dream.” Has that purpose become so faded and distorted that it no longer exists?

IMPOSSIBLE DREAM LYRICS:

To dream the impossible dream,
To fight the unbeatable foe,
To bear with unbearable sorrow,
To run where the brave dare not go.
To right the unrightable wrong,
To love pure and chaste from afar,
To try when your arms are too weary,
To reach the unreachable star,

This is my quest,
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless,
No matter how far.

To fight for the right
Without question or pause,
To be willing to march
Into hell for a heavenly cause.
And I know if I’ll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will be peaceful and calm
When I’m laid to my rest.

And the world will be better for this,
That one man scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage.
To fight the unbeatable foe.
To reach the unreachable star.

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465 Comments

  1. Jacob, in Sedona says:

    Thank you Tony for having shared the latest Chamber scam.. a futile attempt to impose into the homes and lives of people who really want nothing to do with them considering the prevailing situation. For the city council and city manager to year after year award a nonsense contract to a regional chamber of commerce without seeking competitive bids is shameful and shouldn’t be acceptable.

    The audacity of this woman to attempt infiltrating into our subdivisions the way she and the President of the Lodging Council managed to do at City Hall is disgusting. Are Sedona residents actually so stupid they will allow it to happen? Time will tell.

    As for sustainable tourism, Sedona had that going here before the asinine contract with the C of C. It spends more city revenue promoting their members outside City Limits than competing with legitimate businesses in Sedona that collect taxes. Absurd! Insane.

    No on Home Rule may be our only chance to really let them know whether or not residents care enough to take back OUR Sedona.

    It’s Sedona voting residents who made incorporation happen, NOT Chamber members and competition outside City Limits.

    Simple? Yes. It’s simple as that. VOTE NO. (editor,, no addy/no last name)

  2. School of Sustainable Greed says:

    Jennifer & her crew graduated from the School of Sustainable Greed.

    Vote no on home rule and take our city back.

  3. Georgia says:

    I might be from another state but I know when Sedona has changed for the worst and it has been the last few years. Most residents can’t see it until they show up at the club and exclaim “What’s with the traffic? It took me an hour to get to Dahl and DeLuca and forget it, not happening again!” Pay attention, Lisa. These folks have deep pockets and won’t be inconvenienced. They’ll take that hour and go to Flagstaff or even Cottonwood to a great pizza place on way to Jerome (name escapes me – they’ve invited us and it is good). When told that’s the NEW Sedona they decided to look for a home in Colorado. Told them about Durango fire, they’ll look in Texas. Don’t forget people here live in town only a few weeks or months each year and that’s your high dollar spenders and tax base. You’re screwing the hands that feed you Lisa so send a message to city hall that no stop and go traffic is good for Sedona. Or your business. Or ALL your businesses because taxes are too high.

  4. J Herschel, friend of city says:

    @chamber supporters @hello @stevesegner @eddiemaddock @more #honesty

    Tallahassee Florida just had a FBI subpoena served on its council government for similar “closeness” between business and government. Headlines news.

  5. Lois says:

    I read Georgia’s comment (think I know you from library) & she’s right. I stopped going to Safeway & WF and shop Cottonwood Safeway & organic foods market next block over for months now. Cheaper & less taxes & faster!!

  6. Tony Tonsich says:

    @Steve Segner, the one withe the capital letters.

    The person writing under this name conveniently forgets the $2.5 million the group he is affiliated with gets from the city. They also forget we are taxed on our utilities, sewer and most everything we buy. They claim tourists pay most of the taxes, but Yavapai county Supervisor Garrison Stated Tourists only pay about 17% of the sales taxes.

    It’s odd how those with their hand in your pocket have a problem remembering. Even more so as his business is in the city, his residence is out of town and not subject to the taxes he asks we pay.

    Should we call a liar a liar? How else would you stop them? How about we shun them? It’s old fashioned. As they don’t care about us, perhaps we should take what is ours, and pretend they don’t exist.

    Vote No on Home Rule. It’s time to show them who is in charge of the City of Sedona, it’s YOU !!

  7. Harv, Sedona says:

    OMG – referring specifically to the comment from Steve Segner 6/3/18 – 2:50 pm

    It is a portion of property taxes assessed by either Yavapai or Coconino County on behalf of the SEDONA OAK CREEK UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT which should be paying for security at the district’s schools. And that, Mr. Segner, has NOTHING to do with incorporated Sedona which is why the city should NOT be footing the bill for a police officer for the school “district.”

    And if “Sedona is cash rich andtax income is over budget every year… ” then why did they just add another half % increase in city sales tax to finance road improvements?

    Yes, I realize there is no CITY property tax assessment in City of Sedona at this time, which most assuredly does NOT mean “You live free in Sedona because of the sales and bed tax Paid by others.” With the exception of groceries, everything I purchase in Sedona includes a 10% sales tax (appx. depending on which county the purchase is made) and that includes Sedona City sales tax.

    And, FYI, unlike the ongoing increases in sales tax approved at City Hall, a Sedona city property tax would require approval by a vote of the people. Does your beloved CEO of the Chamber intend to promote that at her proposed HOA get-togethers?

    Go buy more signs for nobody to read and that only add clutter. Where’s Keep Sedona Beautiful these days? Taking a snooze?

    NO ON HOME RULE! That should quickly put things in perspective and eliminate many of the give-aways you previously listed in some of your other ill-informed posts.

  8. F.Y.I. says:

    Thanks, Harv, and let’s nobody forget this: Steve Segner, an L.A. dog food salesman, does not have a high-school degree.

  9. Steve segner says:

    steve Segner says:
    June 4, 2018 at 5:19 pm

    Now we are told ,Meaning residents don;t matter. We are told by Clifton the city manager
    Oh,
    T party .Tony,

    He did not say that YOU did,
    You are the only one saying “residents don;t matter” yes, you and you alone say it just like Trump says Mexicans are all bad, build a wall keep them out.

    Fact: We will not let you build a wall around Sedona, it belongs the world, not just NIMBY’S
    Fact: Sedona is a tourist town , always has been.
    Fact: Sedona sits on two state Hwy’s
    Fact: “T” Party Tony you know nothing about how government works only it should be smaller.
    Fact: all cities help non profits as much as they can, That is what cities are all about. food banks and meals on wheels,
    Fact: Traffic is our destiny. Yes it is and that is why the .5% tax to work on roads that you want to stop.
    Fact:The chamber gets no hand outs, every dollar they spend is at the direction of the city.
    Fact:you count the number of cell phones the city has, but you want to stop street paving?
    Fact: Sedona tax income bed and sales tax has grown double digits for the last five years, no other city in Arizona can say that, and now the city is using it and the new sales tax to work on roads.
    Fact: Sedona has save so much money in the past several years that now they can use the funds for large project with no borrowing or bonds.
    Fact: you have not shown you Sedona will be better off with no home rule…. Show us you plan…
    Fact: cities don’t get smaller by choice… who are you to say stop growth.
    Fact : T party Tony is just like trump, all talk no study, no meetings , no history of civic works, never on a city commission, and yes he knows that community development can be run by three people not 17…..

  10. Harv, Sedona says:

    @F.Y.I. – But let us not forget. That L.A. dog food salesman whether or not he has a high-school degree is running Sedona. How did that happen? Citizen Engagement Groups vs City Commissions doing away with transparency? Private parties at his estate in Oak Creek Canyon? What other favors have transpired to acquire such control?

    Bad, bad situation when special interests are allowed to slither into City Hall like vipers, coiled up and ready to strike. And now elections are coming up and as usual they are well poised. Sink or swim, Citizens. Only YOU can make a difference.

    Changes are needed NOW! Any guesses what drastic policies will be put into motion between now and the upcoming election. Hold onto your hats!

  11. Jim Poole says:

    There is very few hotels that actually collect city-bed-sales-taxes that are chamber members.

    When you take out the timeshares as they DON’T collect them I counted 27.

    What a STUPID city to gift the chamber over 2.5 million a year for them to advertise their 1,000 members.

    The reason why hotels occupancy is flatlined is this reason. TRAFFIC is created by those that stay OUTSIDE city limits to save 7% of taxes a night. They can get more for a lot less. 14-36 dollars a night in city taxes is BIG!

    Enchantment & the hilton look alot sweeter when you don’t have to pay these higher taxes. Is city council and staff really that STUPID?????

    Vote NO on Home rule and STOP this insane city.

  12. The Big propaganda says:

    Segner is all about following in the foot steps of Goebbels, tell a lie big enough and often enough and people will believe it. Goebbels was a Nazi propaganda minister Steve, not having graduated high school I doubt you would know that.

    Segner thinks “it belongs the world.” No Steve, unlike in your greedy dreams, Sedona belongs to the voters. We are going to take it back.

    Vote for Tony Tonsich, Sam Tardio and Noelle Julian, Vote No on Home Rule. Let’s show Segner and his kind who the town really belongs to.

  13. Omens says:

    Break a mirror = 7 years bad luck.

    Black cat crosses your path = bad luck.

    Step on a crack and you’ll break your mother’s back.

    Walk under a ladder – bad luck.

    Light three on a match – no, no!

    Get up on the wrong side of the bed – bad, bad day.

    Friday the 13th – stay in bed!

    In fact, for the superstitious the number 13 brings bad luck or misfortune although others consider it a good sign.

    However connecting it to the Home Rule controversy and the fat cats really going all out to continue the process of doling out free money as they choose, quite possibly the best arguments AGAINST Home Rule have been contributed by that guy Steve Segner.

    Suggest you review the THIRTEEN alleged facts he’s outlined in his comment above. ” Steve segner says:June 4, 2018 at 5:24 pm”

    If that doesn’t convince you to be wary of the number 13, then what will? Be safe; avoid walking under that ladder. Vote NO ON HOME RULE.

  14. Eric says:

    Don’t know Sam Tardio / Noel Julian. What is their platform & who’re they running against? Don’t read other news around here bc they’re biased. If they want these guys than I’m against them. They were for all the others now on council & look what that’s got us.
    That other newspaper needs more business to buy their advertising & not less. Everything they do & say is tied in with making them money & it’s not doing right by Sedona. We pay their salaries when we buy their advertising & paper. Enough said. Your choice.

  15. Sedona Coconino Residents says:

    We are residents of incorporated Sedona – Coconino County. Taken from our Coconino County property tax bill are the following. (itemized dollar amounts not included):

    02000 COCONINO COUNTY
    02001 ST SCHL EQUALIZATION
    07009 SD#9 SEDONA OAK CREEK
    07009_S SD#9 SEDONA OAK CREEK
    07991 SD#9 MINIMUM SCHOOL TAX
    07991_S SD#9 MINIMUM SCHOOL TAX
    08150 COMMUNITY COLLEGE
    11201 FD SEDONA
    11900 FD ASSISTANCE FUND
    14900 LIBRARY DISTRICT
    15000 FLOOD CONTROL DIST
    29999 PUB HEALTH SERVICE
    30002 JTED-VALLEY ACAD
    57009 SD#9 BUDGET OVERRIDES
    58150 COMMUNITY COLLEGE
    77009 SD#9 CLASS B BONDS

    It’s extremely annoying when one certain person continues to harp about Sedona residents NOT paying their fair share.

    To imply and say that the City of Sedona should be duplicating and charging for services we are already receiving from Coconino County adds insult to injury.

    One thing we do miss is Coconino County road maintenance which was far superior than what little is offered in Sedona.

    Sedona wasn’t incorporated contrary to what Segner keeps preaching to be controlled with socialistic policies. We are still part of the United States of America which, as far as we are aware, still functions under the principals of a democracy as outlined in the Constitution of that same USA.

    Dictators are neither needed nor wanted here. It seems as if Segner would be much happier if he were to pack up and return to California from where he came. Its present direction is headed exactly where he would like Sedona to go, but with a new slate of city council members and a NO vote on Home Rule that ain’t gonna happen!

  16. @Sedona Coconino Residents says:

    HIP HIP HOORAY! OUT WITH INCUMBENTS! DOWN WITH HOME RULE! If that doesn’t cut it then let’s move to unincorporate. (disincorporate?)
    Whatever it’s called to return to county jurisdiction.P-U-L-E-E-Z-E. Home Rule NO NO NO!!! (a start no matter who gets elected to City Council)

  17. Wayne says:

    really? home rule? what’s that got to do with budget? crooks?

  18. Sedona Coconino Residents says:

    @Wayne OMG surely you are joking. Home Rule and the budget? It has EVERYTHING to do with the budget. And if crooks are manipulating the budget, then go figure it out. OMG cannot stop laughing…..

  19. CofC budget says:

    The Chamber of Commerce’s “Fiscal Year 2019 Tourism & Visitor Services Budget” is Agenda Item 8.b., AB 2377, on the Tuesday June 12 City Council Regular Agenda.

    http://www.sedonaaz.gov/Home/ShowDocument?id=34730
    Click on Agenda Item 8.b. and scroll down to Page 186 to reach the line-item detail.

    The SCC&TB states it “is the official Destination Management & Marketing Organizations (DMMO) for the Sedona AREA (my caps)…” Page 181

    Product Development is now the Sedona Reinvestment Program.

  20. Bill Yoho says:

    @ CofC Budget Product Development is now the Sedona Reinvestment Program?

    What about a forensic accountant? Pay to have a professional review since Chamber contract awarded?

  21. JD - Sedona says:

    Thx for info @CofC budget. Blood pressure just zoomed but attending referenced council meeting would be fatal! (yep leaving myself wide open on that one)

    SCC&TB = “official Destination Management & Marketing Organizations for Sedona AREA.” (your caps)

    What more proof is needed that Sedona tax money is being extended way, way beyond legitimate jurisdiction and thus ripping off city residents and businesses? Where’s the state attorney on this outrageous situation?

    No need to bother attending council meeting. This is a done deal – like most of what’s gone at least since 2013. And it will continue in that direction unless Sedona residents protest, do NOT reelect incumbents, and vote NO on Home Rule.

  22. Archie Mendez says:

    just got this from my neighbor:

    Special City Council Meeting Wednesday, June 13, 2018, 3:00 p.m.

  23. Fred F. says:

    This wheeling and dealing with the chamber of commerce and giving them money to promote “product development” throughout the entire Verde Valley is WAY WAY out of control! There’s nothing we can do to derail this runaway train at the moment but in two months, election time, kick the bums off the free ride. What more proof do any of you legitimate voting residents of incorporated Sedona need to believe in the grand rip off that’s ruling Sedona.

    Out with incumbents.

    Vote for Tony Tonsich – been here a long time, understands the problem. Think about those people opposing him and what they stand for. Had enough?
    NO ON HOME RULE.

  24. KT says:

    Good Grief, Charlie Brown! If you Sedona residents don’t have a clear picture of the complete rip-off taking place in YOUR City Hall, then you ARE as stupid as certain people are relying on. That being said, either vote to put a halt to it or quit griping.

    NO TO INCUMBENTS (WHAT – ALL TWO OF THEM?)

    NO TO HOME RULE.

  25. California Joe Brown says:

    Republicans held solid leads in the 49th and 50th California House Districts for places on fall ballots. It’s the beginning of the USA finally appreciating what’s happening good in this country. It’s the beginning of California’s Republican sweep.

    This economy is the best it’s ever been.

    Thank you President Trump and supporters in Congress.

  26. TA, west Sedona says:

    There are actually 3 incumbents.. Moriarty, Jablow AND Williamson.(Williamson was DEFEATED the last time she ran for council by the VOTERS but was seated because COUNCIL CHOSE HER to replace resigning Joe Vernier.) Moriarty and Jablow voted yes for Williamson even after the VOTERS said no.

    Voters – keep in mind – the reason Williamson is on Council is because she votes imo on the Great Sedona Give Away (to a regional private member organization) same as the other incumbents.

    NO INCUMBENTS and NO HOME RULE. TAKE BACK YOUR POWER.

  27. F.Y.I. says:

    Quoting steve Segner on June 4, 2018 at 5:24 pm:

    “Fact: Sedona has save so much money in the past several years that now they can use the funds for large project with no borrowing or bond.”

    To be truthful, Sedona has spent so much money during the past several years that: (1) a .5 percent City sales tax increase was levied on March 1, 2018, to pay for various transportation projects, and (2) the City has anticipated and available reserves for the first three years of Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) projects only.

    Increasing the sales tax is regressive for low-wage workers who live in Sedona as well as local businesses struggling to make ends meet and senior citizens living on fixed incomes such as social security. A larger percentage of income is taken from low-income earners than from high-income earners.

    The City of Sedona National Citizen Survey 2017 revealed that the three concerns rated by the highest proportion of respondents were traffic congestion, too much growth and taxes.

  28. Tony Tonsich says:

    Home rule allows unlimited spending by the city. If you had a responsible city council and city management that would be fine. Tell me how often have you seen a responsible frugal government? I’m running for mayor, I want you to vote NO on Home rule. The greedy piggies will squeal, like the Chamber of commerce that receives $2.5 million a year. I’ll manage the cuts. You won’t notice any decrease in services.

    NO on Home Rule, Tony Tonsich for Mayor, Sam Tardio for council

  29. Andrew V says:

    About that city manager going around to different group meetings pushing for a yes vote on Home Rule. Wasn’t there something posted on SedonaEye about a state law prohibiting that sort of activity by government employees? If so why is he allowed to get away with it?

  30. Tony Tonsich says:

    The state won’t do anything about it. I tried, Donna Joy has tried on other issues.

    If you want change, vote No on home rule and vote me in as mayor. Do you think I wanted to be a politician? I have many other things I would rather do. Sometimes you just have to do what you must. We have tried writing to and calling the state. I campaigned 4 years ago against home rule. You can speak in front of the city council and be ignored. You can write brilliantly researched letters like Jean Jenks, they will be ignored.

    WE have to take control, vote in a new council, vote No on home rule. A few people have put many hundreds of hours into our efforts. YOU need to help.

    The city manager Justin Clifton gives a big disclaimer that you should vote anyway you want and he is not telling you how to vote. I watched him give a presentation to the Kiwanis this past Tuesday. He says that just before he tries to scare people with biased fake numbers. He talks about cuts to a 50 million budget, 40% above the normal 35 million budget of the city.

    I did like one thing he said however. He said “Some cities operate without a city manager or assistant city manger.” Sedona should be one of those cities.

    ARE YOU MAD YET !!!

    If so, talk to your neighbors. Volunteer on a campaign, do something before it is too late. The time for talk is done. It’s time for action. Contact Myself via SaveOurSedonadotorg, Donna Joy through facebook via the ad Vote NO on Home Rule on the upper right of this page. or Sam Tardio.

    We live in one of the most beautiful places on the planet. The current regime wants to turn it into a traffic clogged tourist trap. They claim” Sedona is a tourist town.” ” Traffic is our destiny.” Are you going to let them ruin our home?

    Please, join us. Do something. I’ll take the heat and the lead. We have a wonderful group, we need more to join us in this fight for our home.

    Please.

  31. Steve segner says:

    He is not “pushing”, see video, azelections18dotcom his jobs to show people how Sedona would run if home rule does not pass and answer questions.
    When people see that a city is not better off with 1/2 it’s income taken away and the money is just put into a savings account that can not be used they realize home rule is a better.

  32. Eddie Maddock says:

    “The greedy piggies will squeal, like the Chamber of commerce that receives $2.5 million a year.” @Tony Tonsich

    Can’t help but chuckle over that one, Mr. T. Yep – after the alleged need to increase Sedona city sales tax to fund road maintenance while they continue to dole it out to a Chamber of Commerce that clearly represents the entire Verde Valley is beyond me. No more convincing it’s time for a change. Enough said?

  33. steve Segner says:

    Eddie Maddock says:
    Please stick to the facts:

    The new .5% sales tax paid mostly by visitors is for traffic and road work, not locals.
    Fact: The bed tax 100% paid by visitors can not be used for roads…..
    Yes, Fact, call the city attorney if you not believe me.

    Eddie you don’t want paving or the fixing of traffic bottle necks up town and at the Y ?
    By the way how do you sand on home rule,
    Tony Tonsich

    Still no plan for Sedona with out home rule….. ? Please show us how you will cut expenses more the 50% and why we need to?
    Hope that helps

  34. New Revenue says:

    City of Sedona needs more revenue? How about taking that money you give away to the C of C to promote their members (mostly outside City Limits and not contributing to city tax base) and selling the “Ongoing Saga of Sedona, AZ” to a Hollywood producer as a soap opera? (not to include the actual, regular performers at City Hall as part of the cast) Then when Home Rule is voted down just imagine the millions of $$$$ stockpiling in savings that can’t be touched. (best part of the story??) The last chapter could include the crowd standing around the C of C dressed in black, mourning their loss of their fantastic folly. Sweet? Y-E-S!

  35. Budget says:

    The City has just about one year to work through NO home rule.
    It can be done Easy peasy without HR Delete chamber & all the NEw JOBS they added and you are there.

  36. Tony Tonsich says:

    Let’s start with the sky is falling 50% cuts without home rule. IT’S A LIE

    They start their calculations with a PROJECTED $50 million budget.

    The usual Sedona Budget is about $35 million. No home rule restricts spending to about $25 million. Now, remove $2.5 million given to the chamber, I sharpen my trusty pencil and get a $7.5 million cut.

    That looks a lot different than the garbage saying it is a $25 million or 50% cut.

    The cut of $7.5 million from their $50 million projected is only 15%.

    Do you know of any government that does not have 15% waste?

    “There are lies, damn lies and statistics.” Mark Twain

    As an assistant city manager frequently says “Hope that helps.”

  37. F.Y.I. says:

    Steve segner is full of shit again. Saying more than 1/2 of the City’s income will be taken away under Home Rule is an outrageous lie.

    The CITY OF SEDONA PUBLICITY PAMPHLET for the August 26, 2014 Home Rule Election provides the estimated statistics for the four years from 2015-2016 through 2018-2019.

    For the current fiscal year, 2017-2018, the City estimated it would be able to spend $32,472,137 with Home Rule. Without Home Rule the City estimated it would be able to spend $23,162,912. This is under 1/4 less, not over 1/2 less.

    F.Y.I., the FY 2018 budget was “balanced” between expenditures, revenues, use of reserves set aside for capital projects, use of restricted grants and donations balances, and the reduction of fund balances exceeding policy reserve requirements, including $3.484 K in Wastewater Enterprise Fund reserves.

    One full-time position, two-part-time positions and seven temporary positions were added. Budgeted Expenditures/Expenses mushroomed from $38,360,866 in FY 2017 to $48,752,118 in FY 2018. Economists tell us as a City’s budget increases so do its future taxes and fees.

  38. Betsy Blue says:

    But Gee Whiz, Mr. Tony T. Without home rule maybe “they” might be forced to be more accountable for use of city credit cards? Huh? Mayor? Council? Meals, trips, gas (has gone up)? Then you guys and gals would be forced to live within your own budgets same as us lowly flatlanders.

    Oh, but of course! That would never happen. You’ threaten to stop road improvement, many of which will plow through our subdivisions, further disrupting our declining quality of life. Tough luck, Folksies. No way do you want your 50 Million Dollar Yacht Cruise to be disrupted.

    NO, NO, NO on Home Rule! What more can they do to punish us? Well, they’ll think of something. Or we can vie for roles on the suggested Soap Opera? (See comment @NewRevenue)

  39. steve Segner says:

    F.Y.I. says:
    For the current fiscal year, 2017-2018, the City estimated it would be able to spend $32,472,137 with Home Rule. Without Home Rule the City estimated it would be able to spend $23,162,912. This is under 1/4 less, not over 1/2 less.

    Hope this helps capped at $13.5 million

    A “NO” vote would limit the Town expenditures to the State-imposed formula limit, resulting in a 50% reduction in Town services, beginning in fiscal year 2019/20. Budgeted expenditures would be limited to no more than $24 million. However, if you remove exempted debt service, grants and highway funds, spending for city services would be capped at $13.5 million which would translate into a severe reduction of City services, including police, parks and recreation, streets and roads maintenance, transit services, development services, and water utility services.
    Forecasted 2019/20 income for spending on City services is $49.5 million which includes $10 million for Transporation Improvements as part of the cities $30 million dollar “Sedona in Motion” plan to address traffic, transportation, and tourism crowding issues.
    If you do not believe me or the city I am happy to meet at a public meeting and talk about the numbers with you and Tony……. F.Y.I funny name ? try no “Balls” good name for” no name” posters

  40. F.Y.I. says:

    Damn, I should have said “It’s under 1/4 less, not over 1/2 more” regarding Steve segner’s Home Rule BS to “Please show us how you will cut [City] expenses more than 50%.”

    @Budget is spot on. Cutting the Chamber and the new jobs added this fiscal year would reduce expenses by 1/2. In addition, a budget where Budgeted Expenditures/Expenses = Estimated Revenues would reduce expenses by 1/4. Economists tell us as a city’s budget increases so do its future taxes and fees.

    Vote NO on Home Rule.

  41. @Joan Shannon says:

    @Joan Shannon says June 2 at 10:22 pm :

    Believe me, Joan. Your story isn’t the only one to be told. Thank you for bringing it out in the open. Anyone who does so is subject to ridicule or even more severe threats linked with stuff such as this is how we do things in Sedona. Or Sedona has two doors – one to enter and one to leave. Seriously this has become almost as common as the well known method of getting “referrals” at the Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center (NOT officially that of the City of Sedona)! Put out the palm of your hand but not to have your fortune read?

    Can’t help but wonder if that proposed rode from the uptown location will involve crossing over USFS land?

    This city doesn’t think they need permission to do such a thing. Of course there is private property along there as evidenced by an almost perpetual “for sale” sign on the side of the mountain. However if certain people could get their hands on it the entire area from uptown to Dry Creek Road would be developed w/high rise complexes. It will be interesting to see what happens and if they pursue plans and avoid checking into the possibility federal land might be involved.

    Likewise it’s stupid when people keep writing about paving Schnebly Hill Road all the way to Flagstaff. In a 4-wheel drive it’s been possible to drive it for years, but once again, that land is USFS so what is it they don’t get about that – thinking it can miraculously be turned into a paved alternate route just because they say so?

    An overstatement like the BS they spew about the library will be shut down without benefit of Home Rule.

    How dare they make such claims when proof of how the library was established is offered in the above article. Time to put the brakes on and stop this abuse to Sedona City Residents. A change in council members and a NO vote for Home Rule to force them to behave is our only recourse at the moment.

    Good luck to you on your endeavors to protect what belongs to you and your neighbors.

  42. @steve Segner says:

    “. . . a severe reduction of City services, including police, parks and recreation, streets and roads maintenance, transit services, development services, and water utility services.”

    Sedona doesn’t provide water or other utility services such as garbage pick-up, electricity, gas, or TV.

    The only other service provided to Sedona residents for those unfortunate enough to be connected to the sewer system.

    So without Home Rule will Sedona stop pumping the sewage away and force those poor people to reclaim their septic tanks? No great loss because they seem to function better anyhow and are far more economical.

    Sedona also does not own or provide a city transit service.

    And what the hell is meant by “development services?” Is that the unwanted and unnecessary contract with the regional Chamber of Commerce?

    As for Parks & Recreation, how many Sedona residents actually use those facilities and programs?

    Our hiking trails are still available and do NOT belong to city of Sedona.

    As for our “road maintenance,” it’s remained lousy since Sedona incorporated so who would know the difference if service became limited? What a joke.

    Police service? Wow! Would that mean we potential victims wouldn’t be constantly distracted looking for cops in hidden locations, lurking about watching for prey, ready to pounce in order to collect more revenue?

    Come on Stevie, the strategy is as old as time!

    Keep up your fabulous arguments, Segner. They are soooo working for the current campaign to vote: HOME RULE IS A NO, NO, NO!

  43. Richard D. says:

    Question for Steven Segner. Because Sedona sits smack in the middle of a national forest, why do we need a Parks & Recreation Department? Especially since the chamber of commerce has so generously allocated a total of $310,000 to be allocated to the Sedona Red Rock Trail Fund over a period of five years? Will that amount also be in jeopardy if, by some miracle, Home Rule were to be denied by the voters? Or will the members of the regional but misnamed Sedona Chamber of Commerce graciously pick up the balance of that pledged amount in the event funding is cut?

  44. F.Y.I. says:

    Richard D. mentions that the Chamber has allocated a total of $310,000 to the Sedona Red Rock Trail Fund. In fact, the Chamber donated $50,000 of this amount last Tuesday. The money is coming from the millions the City of Sedona gives the Chamber every year.

    Folks, this a blatant violation of the Arizona Constitution “Gift Clause,” Article 9, Section 7, which reads as follows:

    “Neither the state, nor any county, city, town, municipality, or other subdivision of the state shall ever give or loan its credit in the aid of, or make any donation or grant, by subsidy or otherwise, to any individual, association, or corporation, or become a subscriber to, or a shareholder in, any company or corporation, or become a joint owner with any person, company, or corporation.”

  45. @Richard D. says:

    Ha, Ha. As if any consideration would or will go to eliminating the absurd contract with the chamber of commerce – Home Rule or not! Watch them whiz through even more money-gouging plans at the council meeting next Tuesday. (6/12) The bond certain council members & staff have with the Chamber/Lodging directors appears to be an obsession. To hell with residents. Who do they think they are? After all, they just LIVE here (try to that is) but it becomes more difficult on a daily basis as they continue to sell our souls to the entire Verde Valley but without compensation. (at least to us but someone’s making out like gang-busters, you can bet on that).

    Home Rule – Vote NO.

  46. Sedona Mom says:

    @Richard D.
    Why do we need a Parks & Recreation Department? Are you serious? Were you never a kid? No childhood memories of mom and dad pushing you on a swing? Grandma catching you at the bottom of the slide? Never played catch on the ball field? Enter the co-ed softball tournament? Put your kids in summer camp? Learn how to swim at the community pool? Recreation, dear Richard, as you know, is not just hiking our beautiful trails.

    We need a Parks & Recreation Department.

    Recreation is as American as Apple Pie and thank goodness we have a great Rec Department! and you know it Richard D.

  47. steve Segner says:

    Richard D. says:
    Question for Steven Segner. Because Sedona sits smack in the middle of a national forest, why do we need a Parks & Recreation Department?

    Pool, baseball, parks for family and kids, dog park, Historic parks, If you want 55+ Sun City North then you should move, all towns have Parks & Recreation Department and community centers and give money to the arts, and Sedona can do it because of the tourists income….
    You pay no city tax, only a sales tax and not on food….

    As for the Red Rock Trail Fund I give $1000.00 a year as do other business in town, and I also gave my hiking map /book to the fund and all the profits from it, hope that business and good citizens all chipped in ,answers you question.
    Richard and what have you done for Sedona ? (Deleted by editor)

  48. Donna Joy Varney says:

    LET’S VOTE & let’s get our neighbors to vote

    Primary Election
    ELECTION DATE- August 28, 2018
    VOTER REGISTRATION DEADLINE-July 30, 2018

    Let’s try and improve voter education on issues & participation as a community.

    Please promote registering & voting to you Sedona Friends & neighbors

    Easy to register http://www.sedonacity.com/SedonaFactCollective/RegisterToVote.htm

  49. @Tony Tonsich says:

    Wow, in one sentence from June 7th, you said more then you think:

    “The state won’t do anything about it. I tried, Donna Joy has tried on other issues”.

    Don’t you think that if Sedona City Hall was doing anything wrong like you and Donna Joy have been saying for months the State would be on them like flys on rice??

    you just lost my vote and my support against home rule! I’m voting for Sandy or Pete Conrad NOT FOR TONY.

  50. To @ Tony Tonsich says:

    “Don’t you think that if Sedona City Hall was doing anything wrong like you and Donna Joy have been saying for months the State would be on them like flys on rice??”

    Ignorant fool, you obviously have never heard of Prosecutorial Discretion.

    Prosecutorial discretion refers to the fact that under American law, government prosecuting attorneys have nearly absolute powers. A prosecuting attorney has power on various matters including those relating to choosing whether or not to bring criminal charges, deciding the nature of charges, plea bargaining and sentence recommendation. This discretion of the prosecuting attorney is called prosecutorial discretion. https://definitions.uslegal.com/p/prosecutorial-discretion/

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