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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. Sedona Mom says:

    The State would go after the City if they were doing something wrong. They just proved it with the AGs recent action against the city. Therefore, the reason common sense dictates, the State is not pursuing anything else, is because there most likely is nothing else. I am a mom with kids. I work two jobs to afford an overpriced mobile home, but it’s my choice to live here. Not ideal housing because of greedy people who come here and want to shut the door and turn our community into an exclusive rich mans club. I like Sedona, I don’t know who runs it, but they are, in my opinion doing a good job. I don’t see anything that raises concern except for entitled people trying to control everything.

  2. Marty in Sedona says:

    @steve Segner You write “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.”

    That’s great and you are correct. All good businesses and good citizens do chip in and work together. However that doesn’t mean the chamber of commerce should be reusing city tax money at their discretion in order to make them look like the saviors of Sedona. It’s disgusting and sickening. Sedona deserves better than that.

    When it comes to electing new members on the council I will be voting for those who are willing to cut the wasteful and unnecessary pork spending with or without Home Rule.

    @Sedona Mom yep, my own mom and pop pushed me in a swing many times. And it was a swing my daddy made by hanging two ropes from a tree with a seat on it. (not to mention the tire swing we had over a creek, great fun.) Of course, it’s lovely to have parks but Sedona priorities are so skewed it’s no different from looking in crazy mirrors at a fun house carnival. NUTS!

    Home Rule Vote NO

  3. steve segner 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??”

    crackpot (plural crackpots)
    Sedona has two ……. perhaps 3 jj
    An eccentric, crazy or foolish person. A kook.
    Synonyms: crank, crazy, kook, live one, nut ball, nutbag, nutbar, nutcase, nutter

  4. TRUST is broken by CITY of Sedona says:

    So right that we taxpayers are paying for the entire city staff to work against us? They are paying for likes and they make sure city staff like pickels does the dirty work to make sure they have no violations from a state level.

    They work the system know how to push button. We can hope that the FBI gets tipped off the the greatest arizona scam happening right here is Sedona like they did in Tallahassee florida.

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/08/14/fbi-went-undercover-floridas-capital-and-fallout-could-huge/566090001/
    ” FBI’s North Florida Public Corruption Task Force. In his application, he described his most recent case, one with a $500,000 budget and a time frame similar to the Tallahassee investigation.”

    and you have
    FBI sting operation in central Florida bears similarities to Tallahassee probe
    https://www.tallahassee.com/story/news/2017/08/05/fbi-sting-operation-central-florida-bears-similarities-tallahassee-probe/536464001/

    So I will suggest that since the city staff has directed the chamber- city council on how to dump the taxpayers that residents reach out to FBI since our state elected officials are more concerned with getting votes rather then do the right thing.

    Since the TRUST is broken we have NO choice but to VOTE NO on home rule.

    I am praying ti see the city & chamber get legal actions taken against them before I die.

  5. Tony Tonsich says:

    Why would you vote for me and No on Home Rule?

    If you vote for Sandy and Home Rule you will get more of the same. If you vote for me you will get someone who puts RESIDENTS FIRST.

    I don’t want to be trapped in my home and not want to go out on weekends because it will take me 45 minutes to do a 5 minute drive. I don’t want to not be able to go to Flagstaff because a 1 hour drive becomes a 2 hour drive.

    Sedona used to have the highest home values in Arizona, not any more. Now with all the baby boomers retiring Sedona has 1000 LESS residents than it had years ago. It’s one the most beautiful places in the world and greedy tourist businesses and the chamber have made it an undesirable place to live.

    Talk about a failure of leadership.

    Sewer fees are twice as much as Cottonwood, yet the city has given so much to the Chamber the chamber has about $1 million in the bank. The chamber is on track to receive $2.5 million again from the city, and now declares it will only spend $500,000 of that on marketing. My guess is the chamber will have $2 million in the bank soon. We have overpaid the library so much it has over $6 million in assets. Many city staff make over 6 figure incomes, and work 180 days a year.

    I want to take Sedona back for the residents. I loved this town and have lived here for over 27 years. I don’t love what its become. If you want higher property values and a better quality of life for RESIDENTS, I want your vote and NO on Home Rule.

    Tony Tonsich

    SaveourSedona.org

  6. Tony Tonsich says:

    I want to take Sedona back for its residents. My platform is RESIDENTS FIRST.

    I don’t want to be trapped in my home and not want to go out on weekends because it will take me 45 minutes to do a 5 minute drive. I don’t want to not be able to go to Flagstaff because a 1 hour drive becomes a 2 hour drive.

    Sedona used to have the highest home values in Arizona, not any more. Now with all the baby boomers retiring Sedona has 1000 LESS residents than it had years ago. It’s one the most beautiful places in the world and greedy tourist businesses and the chamber have made it an undesirable place to live.

    Talk about a failure of leadership.

    Sewer fees are twice as much as Cottonwood, yet the city has given so much to the Chamber the chamber has about $1 million in the bank. The chamber is on track to receive $2.5 million again from the city, and now declares it will only spend $500,000 of that on marketing. My guess is the chamber will have $2 million in the bank soon. We have overpaid the library so much it has over $6 million in assets. Many city staff make over 6 figure incomes, and work 180 days a year.

    I want to take Sedona back for the residents. I loved this town and have lived here for over 27 years. I don’t love what its become.

    Tony Tonsich

    SaveOurSedona.org

  7. @To @ Tony Tonsich says:

    Having been a prosecutor in Fla for over 30 years (with friends in the AZ AG’s office) I know exactly what Prosecutorial Discretion means. Your definition is close enough for a layperson however it can also mean that Tonsich has nothing to prosecute and is just being “one of those people from Sedona” as so many have been described to me by a friend of mine in the AZ AG’s office.

  8. Donna Joy Varney says:

    Actual participation in voting shows us as a community how we can improve. PRIMARY ELECTION August 26, 2014
    ****Only 43.80% of registered Voters voted!
    ****There were only 2,185 Registered Voters for the political-subdivision Sedona City.
    WOW
    Only 957 voted!
    Here is the results:
    2014 Registered Voters were 2185- Cards Cast 957 43. 80%
    In the 2014 Mayor election, Cliff Hamilton vs Sandy Moriarty. Sandy only won by 67 votes.
    HAMILTON, CLIFF 414 46.05%’: 1
    MORIARTY, SANDRA J. 481 53. 50%

    http://www.sedonacity.com/SedonaFactCollective/Homerule/R201426082614VoteCanvassProposition%20429.pdf

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

    We need to empower our Sedona friends & 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.
    Spread the word. We have strength in numbers. Using your voices in local elections makes a big difference. Easy to register, can be done online through adot ect

    Let’s make this election the one that gets us all out to vote.
    http://www.sedonacity.com/SedonaFactCollective/Homerule/R201426082614VoteCanvassProposition%20429.pdf

  9. Eddie Maddock says:

    Does anyone besides myself ever wonder if this entire Sedona upheaval MIGHT have been avoided IF the city council who first set the contract for Destination Marketing in motion had gone out for “professional” competitive bids from authentic, qualified advertising agencies, instead of simply handing it over to a regional chamber of commerce, a special interest member-driven alleged non-profit association, pledged to ONLY represent their members and NOT the public in general?

    And using public revenue to pursue such a blatant act of discrimination? Novel thinking?

    Elected officials – R U Listening?

  10. @To says:

    Wrong what you mean by “one of those people from Sedona”
    Translation…..
    Those CRYBABYS from Sedona..
    Lol

  11. Donna Joy Varney says:

    I apologize I only posted one county results. Corrected totals

    Actual participation in voting shows us as a community how we can improve. PRIMARY ELECTION August 26, 2014

    40% of registered Voters voted!
    6759 Registered Voters for the political-subdivision Sedona City.

    WOW
    Only 2707 voted!

    Here is the results:
    The Primary Election Reports shows 2014
    Registered Voters at 6759 (4574+2145)
    Cards Cast 2707 (1925+957) 40%

    In the 2014 Mayor election, Cliff Hamilton vs Sandy Moriarty. Sandy only won by 213 votes.
    HAMILTON, CLIFF 1242 46%
    MORIARTY, SANDRA J. 1455 53.7%
    http://www.sedonacity.com/SedonaFactCollective/Homerule/R201426082614VoteCanvassProposition%20429.pdf

    LET’S VOTE & let’s get our neighbors to vote.
    We need to empower our Sedona friends & 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.
    Spread the word. We have strength in numbers. Using your voices in local elections makes a big difference. Easy to register, can be done online through adot ect

    Let’s make this election the one that gets us all out to vote.
    http://www.sedonacity.com/SedonaFactCollective/Homerule/R201426082614VoteCanvassProposition%20429.pdf

    Thank you

  12. Phil, west Sedona says:

    Good questions @Eddie Maddock.

    Why do YOU think the city council DIDN’T go for competitive bids for Destination Marketing? They do for all other contracts.

    A recent example was RFPs on garbage hauling. That was monumental victory for the little people like me because it proved competition gave us, the residents, the best deal!!!

    This will be an interesting election. Should Truth win over Greed crystal balls will see CRYBABY’S FROM SEDONA for who and what they are !! Chamber & council losers. OMG whining about being “unable to count how many members of the C of C are outside City Limits” will pale in comparison to the floods of tears that result when the chamber loses that wallet lining city contract!

    Hey there Sedona city engineers better hurry and put a rush on flood control projects!!!:-)

  13. Jack says:

    He Who Laughs Last Laughs Best Meaning

    Definition: It may seem like someone is winning throughout a situation, but it is only when it is over that the real winner is apparent; The final outcome is more important than whoever had the advantage at the beginning or in the middle.

  14. steve Segner says:

    Eddie Maddock says:
    June 11, 2018 at 10:09 am
    Does anyone besides myself ever wonder if this entire Sedona upheaval MIGHT have been avoided IF the city council who first set the contract for Destination Marketing in motion had gone out for “professional” competitive bids from authentic, qualified advertising agencies

    Yes Eddie 15% off the top and $125.00 per hrs, for every person that works on the project.
    And project would be run from Phoenix or L.A. by people that know nothing about Sedona …..
    Please go back to what you know best , what ever that is or was.
    The chamber put in hundreds of hours a week……do the math
    You look foolish.

  15. Tony Tonsich says:

    OMG segner saying do the math. OK.

    Sedona gives the Chamber $2.5 million a year. The chamber claims it spent $600,000 on destination marketing.
    Balance for expenses and product development $1,900,000

    If the Chamber had 4 people working on it full time, 40 hours a week at $200 total cost per hour, the chamber would spend $1,664,000. Each of those staff by the way would have a $416,000 cost.

    Gawd, what a deal we are getting from the chamber. No bid contracts are fabulous !!!

    The only way you will keep proving your intelligence is to keep posting. I really appreciate it steve !!

    No ON home rule, vote out all incumbents who believe in NO bid contracts.

    Like steve says, everyone knows you get the best deal when you don’t ask the cost for or get any other prices for what you are buying !!

    If you want to volunteer – Save Our Sedona Org

  16. Richard D. says:

    @steve Segner. And how many of those vast hours you claim the C of C has spent using city funding were used for hiring more employees and maybe getting bids on remodeling their second location in West Sedona? And didn’t the Chamber, in fact, find it necessary to subcontract with a legitimate advertising agency in Phoenix? And wasn’t it a partner in that ad agency who made a hefty contribution to Sandy Moriarty’s campaign fund when she first ran for Mayor? And who benefited from the Chamber purchasing that property on Jordan Road, also with stockpiled money from the City? Who earned commissions from the sale/purchase of that property?

    And why in the world wouldn’t the Chamber have welcomed the opportunity to bid on the destination marketing contract along with competition if they are, in fact, as wonderful as you claim? If that’s true, they would have been awarded the contract anyway and avoided all this ill will, questions, and really mucked-up situation?

    If it smells like a rat it generally is. Someone wrote in a comment Sedona deserves better than that, and I agree.

    With such reckless disregard to ethics among other things, why should a municipality deserve the right to freely wheel and deal with public funds and lack of transparency? Need anymore reason to Vote NO on Home Rule?

    Thank you, Mr. Segner, for offering your allegations, factual or not, of the farce and asinine reality of the Great Sedona City/Chamber of Commerce Grand Slam!

  17. KT says:

    Say what?! “And project would be run from Phoenix or L.A. by people that know nothing about Sedona …..” @Steve Segner

    You have the audacity to make such a ridiculous statement? Apparently you need to be reminded of a real and valid incident.

    When the President/CEO of the Chamber of Commerce during negotiations with the city council for the initial contract for marketing and operation of the chamber’s visitor center, when asked how many of the chamber’s members were outside Sedona city limits, she was CONFUSED ??? (Unscripted question????) as in DUH!!!

    She then told council members it was TOO DIFFICULT to find out!?!!!? REALLY?! OMG !!

    Now if that’s an indication of the brilliant knowledge your C of C has about Sedona you should be ashamed.

    ANY well qualified advertising agency in Phoenx or elsewhere across the nation would have the ability to take the local Chamber of Commerce membership list and ascertain their physical location simply by looking at a map!!!!

    You may snow the folks at city hall but thankfully those bobble-heads aren’t the ones who will be making the decision about Home Rule.

    With such blatant irresponsibility as displayed at that one city council meeting (there are many others if you read Sedona Eye articles during the summer months of 2013) there are a multitude of reasons to vote NO on Home Rule.

    Responsibility should be earned according to performance! Sedona’s dealings, in particular with your Lodging Council and Chamber have bottomed out over and over and again and again.

    Time to toss the freeloaders off the Sedona Gravy Train.

  18. Steve segner says:

    I’m at the open meeting today at city hall.the chamber is laying out it plan for 2019/2020 you chance to ask questions and tell council how you feel
    And ask questions.
    I know after 6 Fox News is on

  19. @Steve segner says:

    Yea, Yea, Yea – “you chance to ask (the bobble-heads) questions and tell council (more bobble-heads) how you feel And ask questions”

    Very funny – as if they care or haven’t already made their decisions before those well planned meetings. Good thing I’m not there because my only question for you and all your City Hall buds would be – Why don’t you take your heads and stick ’em where the sun don’t shine? Maybe that’s where you might find out how many chamber of commerce members are located outside city limits and benefit from all this BS. Disgraceful IMO. Shaft City is what Sedona has become.

    Thanks, Steven, for more reasons to vote NO ON HOME RULE!

  20. Steve segner says:

    Ha, Donna big lost for you and T party Tony tonight … Oh sorry (deleted by editor)

  21. Tony Tonsich says:

    The council voted to do the same thing they have been doing, even after the result has damaged the quality of life for residents? The council continued to provide a no bid contract to the chamber? Mayor Sandy continued to support tourism over residents, to support the Sedona Wine Fest which she is the Chairman and CEO? The same Wine Fest that received an $8000 grant from the city? The same city council that no matter how many residents speak against something, takes care of the Chamber of Commerce and ignores residents? The same council that when I and other residents spoke against the sales tax increase in January totally ignored me and other residents?

    Oddly enough,I chose not to waste my time talking to them and worked on my campaign instead.

    Please, vote No on Home Rule, vote out all incumbents. You can tell by their actions who they work for.

    My platform : Residents First

  22. Steve segner says:

    Tony where were you last night you’re running for mayor you should’ve stood up for your constituents you should’ve fought back . But no you take the highroad (Deleted by Editor) Tony where is your plan

  23. Insanity says:

    “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”

    Einstein

    Talking reasonably to them does not work. NO an Home Rule and Vote them out !!

  24. @Tony Tonsich says:

    Mr. Tonsich:

    The problem is that you only tell one side of the issues. For those residents who want the WHOLE STORY how about watching the city council meeting from last night to get the real facts:

    AB2377 Item 8B

    http://sedonaaz.swagit.com/play/06122018-1287

    I watched it this morning and was very surprised with the big changes offered by the chamber.

  25. Tony Tonsich says:

    @Steve segner,

    Thanks for saying “you take the highroad.” I always try to.

    There is a saying “Don’t wrestle with pigs, you both get dirty and the pigs like it.”

    I’m running for Mayor. If I win or lose the residents win if they vote No on Home Rule.

  26. Tony Tonsich says:

    Lets start with Jennifer Wesselhoff and the misinformation of 10,000 people working in Sedona. That’s been refuted many times.

    They are not calling it product development, now they are calling it reinvestment.

    We should not give public funds to a private organization.

    She admitted they were advertising in Arizona, but only agree to not do it this summer. She said they would advertise in Phoenix this winter, because we don’t get enough day trippers.

    They want you to think things have gotten better during the election. Just more bull and misdirection.

    If you want to waste 2 hours, listen to the presentation. At least they are running scared, they should be.

    Mayor Sandy asked if Jennifer would take questions during the presentation, Jennifer said she would rather not.

    Can you guess if there were questions during the presentation?

  27. Tony Tonsich says:

    Jennifer (Wesselhoff, Pres. Chamber of Commerce) is “excited”, said hundred of times, “new mission” and “focuses”, “Take action” and “showcase ” and “we care in development” and “educate our visitors” said many times. “Management” and “stewardship” and “better balance”.

    “Sustainable tourism” and … A big one … “straw-less Sedona” eliminating the use of plastic straws, because this is a big item in sustainability.

    No mention of 1000s of cars stuck in bumper to bumper traffic in the city. You can rest soundly knowing that disposable straws are being “focused” on as an item to “take action” upon by the chamber.

    Jennifer did say where the chamber membership was located. I have a feeling those numbers were as false as the 10,000 tourism workers in Sedona.

    No substance. Lots of nebulous warm and empty words.

  28. Steve Segner says:

    Tony said:
    No mention of 1000s of cars stuck in bumper to bumper traffic in the city. You can rest soundly knowing that disposable straws are being “focused” on as an item to “take action” upon by the chamber.

    Tony did you go out yesterday? Are were you stuck for 45 minutes in your drive way?

    Tony you will not stop cars coming to Sedona, they will come the #1 state park in Arizona is slide rock.
    The question for all of you is why should we stop the traffic?
    We do not own Sedona, renting or owning a home give no one any special privilege, and the visitors pay more then there fair share of taxes 65% to 70%
    Lets manage it,
    The city has a $30,000,000 program to work on traffic, That Tony and Donna want to kill!

    Tony, The chamber moved advertising out of state , you can not say they are bringing in day trippers…. The will come anyway.

    What difference does it matter where the chamber member live or work they are paying members.
    If you had come to the meeting , any meeting you would not be asking dumb question.
    10,000. Workers how did Jennifer get her numbers, all on the video

    Tony’s answer is to take away the power of our local elected officials, to manage Sedona budget ,,, why you ask because Donna and Tony don’t like them . That simple.
    Tony said
    I’m running for Mayor. If I win or lose the residents win if they vote No on Home Rule.
    Tony what is your plan….. how hard is that to answer?

  29. Norma says:

    We can all agree to give Jennifer Wesselhoff top honors for schmoozing & acting. She deserves an award for Sustainable Greed.

    Thank you Tony! You have my VOTE!

  30. PLASTIC Straws Not Other Kinds! says:

    Heads up Chamber, Heads up Everybody on Council !!!

    So that your STUPID and LATE TO THE PARTY Jessica and Chamber crew don’t continue to SNOWBALL YOU ON COUNCIL and don’t spend a penny of our tax dollars to “reinvest” in this great idea that already functions without the Chamber influence or help (PS: local restaurants already use “straws by request” and have for several years but you haven’t bothered to notice because it’s subtle – how many times did you think the waiter merely didn’t leave you one until you “reminded him or her”?)

    Here are but A FEW OF THE LINKS SINCE 2009 ABOUT STRAW-LESS !! Seattle and California were late to the party too, but other than the west coast the rest of the country has been doing it for a long time.

    It’s for PLASTIC before all you dungheads think you get to legislate NO STRAWS because polycarbonates are recyclable and paper is paper. McDonalds & Burger King and Chipotle and other fast foodies don’t offer straws except when asked or don’t have them at all.

    Where would you old people who watch CNN and not something worthwhile be without its show last January on straws? Give us a break!

    BTW if your Chamber people don’t know about this it’s because they are landlords and silent partners and Chamber members looking to offer “Big ideas that aren’t” and ALL ARE THE KIND THAT DON’T BOTHER TO SPEAK WITH RESTAURANT MANAGERS AND WORKERS WHO THEY CONSIDER BENEATH THEM.

    The OneLessStraw pledge campaign is a campaign created by One More Generation (OMG) and its partners. OMG is a nonprofit organization founded by Carter and Olivia Ries back in 2009 when they were 8.5 and 7 years old.

    http://onelessstraw.org/

    https://www.changex.org/ie/lastplasticstraw
    https://www.strawlessocean.org/

    JUST ASK THE CHAMBER RESTAURANTS TO NOT USE PLASTIC STRAWS. UP TO THEM IF THEY DO OR DON’T BUT ALL OF THEM LIKE TO SCREW THE PUBLIC AND SAVE A PENNY WHERE THEY CAN, eh?

    Don’t you people ever get embarrassed how easy it is to fool yourselves?

    Ryan

  31. Jerry, Legitimate Sedona Voter says:

    My thanks go to S. Segner for his ongoing insane rants. That’s what convinced me to vote FOR Tony and AGAINST Home Rule.

  32. Scott says:

    clarity of expression award for my friend Ryan

  33. Ryan says:

    Thanks man. JS & Cici share credit.

  34. Nick, Cottonwood says:

    HAMILTON, Bermuda, March 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — In celebration of World Water Day today, Bacardi announces it has launched an in-house initiative to remove straws and stirrers in cocktails at company events….

    March 22, 2016

    https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/bacardi-initiates-a-no-straw-movement-to-reduce-waste-300239125.html

    At a recent happy hour in Coral Gables, iconic spirits flowed, ice clinked, and Bacardi employees used metal stirrers and drank from straw-less glasses in support of the movement that is expected to save 12,000 straws and stirrers from landfills – from in-house happy hours – annually. With more than 80,000 consumers estimated to visit its gin distillery in southern England in 2016, this small change of “No Straws” will make a big impact as more than 14,000 cocktails are crafted monthly. The “No Straws” pledge is expected to reduce the Company’s waste while it helps preserve ocean habitats and diminish direct impacts on sea life…..

  35. Laurel says:

    Remember not too long ago city council (without paying $2.2 million to chamber of commerce) came up with the idea to ban plastic bags? Grocery stores protested. State nixed the idea. Choice remains- paper OR plastic.

    Then came the bright idea of city-take-over garbage collection. We all know how that turned out! BAD DEAL.

    And now they add insult to injury, all to justify the “Great Sedona Give-Away to the Chamber of Commerce” in order to justify the $2.2 million in Chamber bank (or less after deductions for perks, travel, wages, and who-knows-what cuz they don’t held them accountable) – so they can campaign to do away with straws?

    So help me, either they are all certifiable for the nut-house or else it’s the voters of Sedona who are crazy for voting in such nuts to hire such crazies at City Hall to come up with these ideas.

    When will enough be enough? When the city goes bankrupt and the residents will be slammed with “their fair share” to bail them out?

    NO TO PRESENT ADMINISTRATION; NO TO HOME RULE!!!!!

  36. What the Heck? says:

    When did the Chamber become the straw police?

    Doesn’t matter as the chamber members are outside the city. Bobble head City council. Moranic

  37. F.Y.I. says:

    More Steve Segner lies:

    1) SS claims the Chamber moved advertising out of state. BS! There’s a billboard advertising Sedona on the Westbound I-10 coming from Tucson, “Visit Sedona” flatscreen TVs at Sky Harbor Airport, thousands of “Experience Sedona” magazines sent to Scottsdale, and brochures about Sedona at Phoenix resorts. These are the major reasons for drive-throughs galore and the superabundance of day-trippers. Without Chamber advertising, very many would be taking the I-17 to Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon.

    2) SS speciously states visitors pay 60% to 70% of taxes, more than their fair share. According to the City of Sedona Community Report 2018: “FY 2017 city revenues generated by sales & bed taxes . . . .57%, two-thirds of which is paid by visitors.” Two-thirds is 38%, Stevie. And visitors pay nothing to the expensive Sedona Fire District that built and operate the Chapel Fire Station after traffic and congestion became problematical.

  38. Curious George says:

    @Tony Tonsich You piqued my curiosity. Tried watching that council meeting. Did a lot of fast forwarding at times when I could feel my BP rising. The single most difficult thing for me to take was Thompson giving accolades to the C of C and declaring how upset he became when people said naughty things about them! OMG ! Thanks to the powers that be (NOT city council) for giving that space cadet (JT) the good sense to decline from running for a second term on the council!

    It’s pretty difficult to decide which was more over the top coming from this guy. His suggestion for a pilgrimage site development at The Dells (outside City Limits) or his off the wall glowing speech about the Chamber? Clearly when he was elected to the council he was clueless about who it was he was supposed to represent (he definitely wasn’t for the voting residents of incorporated Sedona like me). A Bobble Head? You bet.

    NO to Incumbents (Jablow Williamson Moriarity). NO to Home Rule.

  39. @fyi says:

    I just drove back from Tucson didn’t see any billboards about sedona nor did I see any tv’ s at sky harbor saying “visit sedona”

    Whose telling lies here….anything to complain I’d say

  40. @Curious George says:

    You definitely have more stamina than some of us. Just reading some of the crap in the Chamber article in RRNews gave me the same reaction. CEO Jen couldn’t come up with how many chamber members were outside city limit back in 2013-14. And now all of a sudden she claims out of 848 active members 65% are within City Limits? Doubt that. My bet would be she counts ALL 86336 zip codes as qualifying which ain’t true! The power and glory bestowed on this overly indulged, obnoxious and ongoing scam is bad, bad, bad. We’ll remain slaves to it until voters say for real NO MORE!

  41. Lonnie says:

    The ONLY way a runaway train can be stopped is to derail it. THOSE in charge MUST be stopped. Unless Sedona’s already reached the point of no return there still time to stop the insanity. WE the RESIDENTS need to speak up and that’s by voting for CHANGE. If you continue to sit back in silence then YOU will be the BOBBLE HEADS. Get it? NO ON HOME RULE DON’T vote to REELECT incumbents!

  42. Sedona Residents says:

    For allowing a “regional” chamber of commerce (or any other member-driven non- profit for that matter) to be allowed to take charge of an incorporated city or town is worse than having incorporated in the first place.

    This is NOT the democratic way. Buy, of course, it’s become evident the ring-leader of the movement tends towards socialism and that, folks, has been documented in his own words.

    That same guy has also gone on record to make it clear he will do whatever it takes to maintain Home Rule in Sedona. Already a Political Action Committee is in place, with at least one council member rallying behind it.

    Pay attention. If you think things are bad now, they will just get worse unless you vote to take back Sedona for residents. Of course we will welcome tourists. They were here long before Sedona became a city. And now a city with a growing bad reputation.

    Vote No on Home Rule & No to incumbents Jablow, Moriarty, & Williamson. What do you have to lose? (plenty if they remain seated)

  43. RS says:

    You people claiming to want Sedona to change direction are a joke. It will never happen as long as you cannot seem to unify. Why do you think the OTHER side always claim victory? Did it ever occur to you it’s because they rally together and don’t split apart.

    Recent example for the people unhappy with Sedona leadership? Why bring in a third party for Mayor? That alone is certain to assure another victory for Sandy Moriarty!

    Tonsich is a long time resident willing to serve because of his genuine concern for Sedona but is now is being challenged by a SHORT TERM resident who’ll listen to another group of backroom boys like a puppet on a string? That improves things in Sedona?

    It’s very hard to understand. United We Stand Divided We Fall isn’t theory it’s proven fact. Opposition to current status quo you just opted for the fall is this man’s prediction.

    If you think the short timer is pro change, then let’s see candidate’s beliefs and promises in writing or posting of positions point by point on Home Rule issues. If unwilling then there you go proving my point and my prediction.

  44. Natalie says:

    I own a residence and vote there yet not one person has sent me a letter asking for a vote or a postcard telling me why I should consider them for a position! I’m trying to follow Sedona Times to see what are issues. Why isn’t there a campaign going on if Alternative expenditure is important? (Mr. Editor, Please don’t use my real name and or a last name or address because I have a neighbor that lots of people know in city government.)

  45. @ RS says:

    @ RS

    You are absolutely right. The answer of course is to vote for Tony Tonsich and not the other guy. Tell your friends to do the same.

    BTW, I happen to know that Tony would have dropped out (so as not to split the opposition) had the other guy checked out OK. The other guy did not, and the “backroom boys” would not budge off their protege. Sad but true.

    Also, the other guy was asked to drop out for the sake of a unified opposition but he refused. Again, the only answer is to vote for Tony and tell your friends.

  46. Tony Tonsich says:

    @Natalie

    There are two reasons you have not received a post card yet.

    1) Most people have short memories, so the mailers go out just before the paper mail in ballots.

    2) Direct mail cost money. I’ve put $500 into my campaign, and I have had 4 other financial donors. I have about 5 volunteers. It cost $10-15,000 normally to win. I’m not going to spend that much of my own money as I am not doing this for any financial benefit for myself. I also have been putting about 20 hours a week into this for 3 months so far. A few of my amazing volunteers have been doing the same. If the people of Sedona don’t care enough to open their wallets or volunteer on a campaign, they get those that financially benefit. The chamber got $2.5 million last fiscal year. Do you think they will donate to their candidates?

    As I have said for months, it’s not just up to me. I need YOUR help.

    SaveOurSedona

  47. Moral of Story says:

    @RS & @@RS – Those who split the vote have their own agenda. Translated:
    Egotistical Satisfaction.

    Just the fact for Tony Tonsich (have never met the man so NO personal connection) offered to drop from the race is an exceptional quality. Good for you, Tony. And the revelations surfacing on SedonaEye are both educational and enlightening. Thanks to all who contribute. Especially the mouthpiece for the controlling forces. Brilliant! (IMO)

    Tony, you made my decision easy. Hope others are savvy enough to pick up on this most disgusting scenario. (don’t know who the enemy is. the present “in” crowd or those that pursue splitting the vote. hmmmm……… one & the same?)

  48. To RS says:

    Why bring in a new guy (Conrad) you ask??? Because the MONEY GUY up on the Back O’ Beyond hill dumped Tonsich once he found out that he was an empty suit. Same reason that the Tonsich “slate” of Tardio and Julian dropped him. Notice that they’re no longer in Tonsich’s homepage photo.

    I know Tonsich from the neighborhood and he’s not what he posts on SE.

  49. Alarmed says:

    @Sedona Residents

    I’m curious as to who the one Council member rallying behind home rule is? Also, hasn’t the City Manager been touting Home Rule at HOA meetings? There’s a state statute making this illegal.

    ARS 9-500.14 Use of city or town resources or employees to influence elections, prohibition, civil penalty.
    “A. A city or town shall not spend or use its resources, including the use or expenditure of monies, accounts, credit, facilities, vehicles, postage, telecommunications, computer hardware and software, web pages, personnel, equipment, materials, buildings or any other thing of value of the city or town, for the purpose of influencing the outcomes of elections….”

  50. Steve segner says:

    Three people running for mayor one crazy but has a smart neighbor Tony #2 the tea party choice hates government hate spending etc. #3 current Mayer who attends meetings takes care of business we know who’s going to win
    Natalie , The campaigning and mailings will start closer to the election candidates right now are hitting everybody up for money, if you want to know more about home rule we put together a website all the pertinent information in a video by their city manager (deleted by editor) hope that helps

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