Home » Featured » Eddie Maddock: City Council Deals Are Destroying Our Sedona Dream

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.

Read www.SedonaEye.com for daily news and interactive views!

 

574 Comments

  1. J. Rick Normand says:

    @ All of you that are posting about Sedona’s Injection Wells:

    A ProPublica review of well records, case histories and government summaries of more than 220,000 well inspections found that structural failures inside injection wells are routine. From late 2007 to late 2010, one well integrity violation was issued for every six deep injection wells examined — more than 17,000 violations nationally. More than 7,000 wells showed signs that their walls were leaking. Records also show wells are frequently operated in violation of safety regulations and under conditions that greatly increase the risk of fluid leakage and the threat of water contamination.

    Also from ProPublica: “In 10 to 100 years we are going to find out that most of our groundwater is polluted,” said Mario Salazar, an engineer who worked for 25 years as a technical expert with the EPA’s underground injection program in Washington. “A lot of people are going to get sick, and a lot of people may die.”

    JRN

  2. Inquiring Minds Want to Know says:

    WHO’S MONEY IS BEHIND AZ ELECTIONS 18 PAC?
    Residents First Vote YES on Home Rule

    STEVE SEGNER (El Portal & Lodging Council) $ 2,855
    ROBERT HOLEMAN (Sedona Real Inn) $ 1,000
    WENDY LIPPMAN (Tlaquepaque) $ 750
    NANCY MATHEWS (Sedona School of Massage) $ 700
    CHERYL BARRON (Courtyard by Marriott) $ 500
    HOLLI PLOOG (CGI Technology & Solutions) $ 500
    SUBTOTAL INDIVIDUALS $ 6,305

    SEDONA LODGING COUNCIL $ 2,000
    DIAMONDROCK (L’Auberge) $ 1,000
    SEDONA REAL INN $ 1,000
    SEDONA ROUGE $ 1,000
    CANYON BREEZE (Al Spector) $ 1,000
    CANYON PORTAL (Al Spector) $ 1,000
    L’AUBERGE DE SEDONA $ 1,000
    OPEN RANGE RESTAURANT $ 500
    SEDONA PIZZA $ 500
    CANDLE MAGIC $ 1,000
    SINAGUA PLAZA $ 1,000
    SUBTOTAL BUSINESSES $11,000

    GRAND TOTAL AS OF JUNE 30, 2018 $17,305

    Source: June 30, 2018 Campaign Finance Report submitted to the Secretary of State.

  3. @Steve S says:

    (Deleted by editor) leaders have very deep pockets…
    I guess with that money you can buy a politician..
    I’m sure that’s what going on with the above mentioned lawsuit.

    And THEY love to talk about ETHICS!!??
    What hypocrites for sure..

  4. Donna Joy Varney says:

    The State of Arizona is DOING their job.

    Sedona is NOT an island.

    Sedona a city inside Arizona
    Standard Methods for accounting NO VOTE NEEDED
    Voter Ballot CONTROLLED-
    1. Home Rule
    2. Permanent Base Adjustment
    3. One-Time Overrides

    The City Council failed to do their job.
    1. Represent the people
    2.Tell the voters what their options are
    It not a yes or no. You have Options.

    Yes Home Rule = Voting for private-memberships to control your CITY and public funding. Same old stuff. Unlimited spending. Control controls, checks or balances.

    No on Home + Stops the 2.5 million going to regional-chamber lodging industry
    Who is fighting hard for YOUR money http://www.sedonacity.com/PAC.htm and advertising to keep YOUR money via the chamber & AZ Election 18 PAC

    Yes on Permanent Base 36M= is more than we have currently have spent. Takes the control BACK to the voters. No cuts in service or non-profits.You decide. You maintain control over the City Council.

    Last chance people.
    Is Sedona YOUR city or the businesses-special interests of Tourists?

    Don’t let the government ruin YOUR SEDONA

    Vote No on Home Rule.

  5. Arnie says:

    How come? Police Chief David McGill applies for a job in Peoria. A decision is still pending but Justin Clifton (city manger) gives McGill his walking papers anyhow. Now why is it when City Attorney Robert Pickels likewise applied for another job in the metro area he didn’t also get the boot? Of course (and unfortunately for Sedona?) Pickels didn’t get the job he applied for. Lucky us! So we’re stuck with a guy who according to his reports in council meetings spends a good deal of his time hobnobbing with the ladies and gents in the state senate and brushing elbows with the snobs connected with the League of Cities & Towns.

    And so Sedona loses another good one. Funny how the good ones don’t stick around here long. Goes to show they are people with high morals and, mostly, good sense to leave after they find out how it’s done here in Sedonai, Arizonia! Onward and upward, Mr. McGill. You deserve better.

    And for the geniuses who finally managed to have the AG open an investigation here, Good luck. With Pickels and his Phoenix connections did you really think you stood a chance for justice? My prediction is, and somewhat based on his arrogant attitude, w/his connections it’s a shoo-in for having the charges dropped.

  6. JeanJ says:

    The City of Sedona TENTATIVE BUDGET 2018-19 Fiscal Year, adopted as the Final Fiscal Year 2018-19 Budget by the City Council on June 26, 2018, discloses that the “Tourism Management & Development” budget is $2,187,250 or 65% of bed taxes. Line-item detail such as Destination Marketing (now Tourism Dept.) and the Visitor Center bit the dust under City Manager Justin Clifton; instead, summary data is all that’s available in proposed budgets now.

    http://www.sedonaaz.gov/home/showdocument?id=34616

    The following statements are found on Page 181 of the SCC&TB’s contract documents posted under City Council Agenda Item 8.b. (AB 2377) on the City’s website for June 12, 2018:

    (1) “The Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau (SCC&TB) is the official Destination Management & Marketing Organization (DDMO) for the Sedona AREA (my caps)”….Page 181.

    (2) The “BREAKDOWN OF $42,186,400” Pie Chart is on Page 182. The news – “Visitor Center $410,000 19%, Tourism Department $1,766,400 $81%.” Not included is the $268,900 to be invested in transportation.

    Looking back at Page 176 reveals the SCC&TB will be working on the Jordan Road Community Focus Area Plan monthly. Isn’t this a conflict of interest and a failure of communication? Why is our elected City Council not doing this?

    The bomb that the Chamber of Commerce had secretly opened a 120-day escrow to purchase 401 Jordan Road for approximately $1 million in public taxpayer money was dropped on the City Council and the much ignored public by CEO/Pt Jennifer Wesselhoff during the March 12, 2017 Special City Council Meeting. Very troubling and scary was that the City Council went along with this. We who live north of 401 Jordan Road can’t get out of Dodge on busy weekends already. And the City has not been allowing left turns onto and from Jordan Road on busy weekend days since last year’s Presidents Day weekend.

    ARTICLE 19, Chapter 4 of the City of Sedona Land Development Code includes 401 Jordan Road and the properties along Jordan Road to the north–the Jordan Road Character District that encompasses much of the former Jordan orchard and farmstead, a significant part of Sedona’s history. One defining feature is “Residential Scale and Character.” The Chamber’s parking structure will violate the character and scale, parking standaards, etc., and bring worse traffic into an area where residents cannot get out of Dodge on busy tourist weekends unless they live near Forest Road due to parking lot conditions on Uptown Hwy 89A.

    There continues to be no assessment of health and safety problems nor an independent assessment of the amount the City has gotten back IN ADDITIONAL SALES AND BED TAXES, if any, than would otherwise have been received during the past four years of multi-million dollar annual City Council outlays to the regional Chamber of Commerce.

  7. Barnett says:

    It is about time the Chamber of Commerce and the City of Sedona are under investigation. I welcome the inquiries. The Chamber of commerce president has been sending desperate email communications to their email contacts in the community defending herself and her actions. Wonder if using the Chamber resources to protect herself is appropriate. Why the desperate attempt to stop the investigation. Also calling the investigation “False News,” well that sounds familiar under the political climate. A few elite entitled individuals run the Chamber of Commerce and the City for years. Only serving their pockets and helping friends to get jobs and or contracts within the city and with nearby towns. Also assisting friends to obtain seats at multiple city boards. Is why we always see the same faces on the leadership. When new people get involved on the Chamber are attacked by the Chamber President to stay out of their business. Sedona may be a small city but is a city made of great talented people, small business owners, and artists relocating to us and bringing money and new ideas. But because of this few, in control of the city, Sedona would never achieve a category of growth, and potential of say a Santa Fe City style of living. I suggest for a change and for the President of the Chamber of Commerce to resign and start with a clean slate. How long has this woman been on the Chamber anyway? Let’s take Sedona back to the community. Ask for her resignation today!

  8. Gretchen says:

    @M Mallon

    I guess Graham must of said some interesting things and made ALOT of sense by speaking the TRUTH……like a low level thinker all you can finger point about is the way he dressed..

    Refreshing hearing the TRUTH ….not that twisted garble and nonsense you hear from AZ Liberty and that man Tony T

    I’m voting Yes on Homerule and definetly not voting for That Tony guy(Deleted by Editor) or anybody he endorses…. Good Riddence

  9. Joe Lee McIntosh says:

    Just when you think you’ve heard them all, up pops another classic. In reporting on the defense city attorney Robert Pickels is preparing to address the AG investigation, he actually has the audacity to describe this regional half-assed chamber of horrors and associated tourism bureau as a local, “accredited”(?) destination marketing organization. And to beat all, he even goes further to add how fortunate Sedona is to have them. Really?

    Come on now – is comparing the local yokels at the C of C (Cream of the Crap?) any different from the classic example of trying to make a silk purse out of a sows ear? And what a coincidence. City Council also = CC.

  10. @joe lee apple says:

    Hey Joe

    What you plan on complaining about after the AG finds nothing wrong with the relationship between Sedona and the C of C?!

    Oh. I know…. something insignificant will come up that you can blow out of proportion… can’t wait for the next chapter of complaints..

  11. Dana Varney says:

    Dana Varney The traffic is 50% drive through. Thanks to the 9 million dollars from city coffers to the chamber over 4 years. We have day trippers and drive through traffic. I spoke to someone in retail who told me it is common knowledge that the traffic on the weekends is from phoenix and they don’t spend.

  12. Dana Varney says:

    Dana Varney Dana Varney Library and is funded through the property taxes from both counties. 2016 tax returns show $1,787,687 in revenue of which $393,932 came from the city tax payers. We already pay through our property tax. Assets $7,577,363. Look at the salaries $903,480. Investments $252,943.You can see for yourself on sedonacity.com. Understanding home rule. Disingenuous for the yes side, Christine worked for the library and knows this stated, The library will suffer if home rule gets voted down.

  13. Dana Varney says:

    Dana Varney A few years ago Myrtle Beach, SC The Feds went in and arrested members of the city council and Officers of the chamber of commerce for much of the same types of activities we have here in Sedona.

  14. M Mallon says:

    I attended the Sustainability Alliance debate yesterday. Both Scott Jablo and Mayor Sandy thought it was a great idea to inject treated waste water into the aquifer, it’s not drinkable mind you, just treated. I think residents should present them with a glass of this waste water and ask them to drink it if they think it is safe.

    It’s the same thing as them putting a turd on your dinner plate and saying you have more food.

    No to clueless incumbents.

  15. Itai Carver says:

    If Pickels does that he can be charged with several violations and if the judge gets really pissed off, he’ll give him a legal slap like he should remember. The Chamber holds no accreditations other than self-congratulatory and or resulting from their association with those that do. This is a slippery slope for the city. Free advice. Likely the first thing the court will do is demand a forensic audit by an independent highly reputable firm. Because now its in the AG office and they’ll be liable in higher courts if the job not done properly to vet the city and the Chamber.

    You are right, Dana Varney. Don’t forget Tallahassee Florida council and town had the same thing happen. These councils and staffers begin to blur lines between doing their jobs and the direct financial benefit of those jobs. Taxpayers should benefit, not individuals or groups.

  16. Gretchen says:

    @m Mallon

    I love it when a person such as you spews maded up nonsense and disinformation.

    What you said is false if not an outright lie. I also attended that forum.

    Funny stuff…..you give a person a little forum on SE and and they(you) think they are a geologist/hydrology .. if the truth doesn’t serve your addenda just make it up as you go along..

  17. Gretchen says:

    Oh thanks Dana V for bringing up the next series of complaints..
    So now it’s the library …the traffic(which ain’t much lately) and Myrtle beach..

    Lol. (Deleted by editor)

  18. M Mallon says:

    @Grechen

    The Quote form bouh Jablo and Mayor Sandy was” We are replenishing the aquifer with treated waste water.” I’m sure they are both on tape. If you were there, you would have heard them.

    Traffic is down because the Chamber stopped advertising in Arizona this summer. Could it be because of the election? No on Home Rule, Cut off the $2.5 million gift to the chamber. NO to incumbents who are trying to finish ruining our town.

  19. Dana Varney says:

    Interesting article and links. Google Myrtle Beach Corruption End of an Era. Too many similarities to what is going on here. One link talks about a lodging council running out of town.

  20. Joyce M. says:

    For some reason it seems those who accuse others of being full of hate are, in fact, the ones spewing the most venom. And to further add to their temper tantrum(s) they can’t even spell correctly. Or maybe it’s just lack of education.

    Two recent examples come from Gretchen: (1) “spews maded up nonsense;” (2) “if the truth doesn’t serve your adenda.” Might be humorous if not so pathetic.

    And apparently “Gretchen” didn’t go out on Saturday (yesterday). Traffic was backed up in both directions mid afternoon.

  21. Dana Varney says:

    Interesting Google Myrtle Beach Corruption End of an Era. Some great links. Too many similarities to what is happening here. One link talks about a lodging council running out of town.

  22. What say you? says:

    AZ ELECTIONS 18 PAC, INC.

    https://ecorp.azcc.gov/BusinessSearch/BusinessInfo?entityNumber=22107981

    Director CONNIE SEGNER 95 PORTAL LN, SEDONA, AZ, 86336, USA 8/14/2017 8/15/2017
    Director STEVE SEGNER 95 PORTAL LN, SEDONA, AZ, 86336, USA 8/14/2017 8/15/2017
    President STEVE SEGNER 95 PORTAL LN, SEDONA, AZ, 86336, USA 8/14/2017 8/15/2017
    Secretary CONNIE SEGNER 95 PORTAL LN, SEDONA, AZ, 86336, USA 8/14/2017 8/15/2017
    Treasurer CONNIE SEGNER 95 PORTAL LN, SEDONA, AZ, 86336, USA 8/14/2017 8/15/2017
    Entity Known Place of Business
    Attention: Address: 95 PORTAL LN, SEDONA, AZ, 86336, USA County: Yavapai

    WRONG COUNTY?
    INCOMPLETE DOCUMENTS?

    CERTIFICATE OF DISCLOSURE SECTION 4.3 UNANSWERED……..
    4.3
    Subject to an injunction, judgment, decree or permanent order of any state or federal court entered within the five-year period immediately preceding the signing of this certificate, involving any of the following:
    a. The violation of fraud or registration provisions of the securities laws of that jurisdiction;
    b. The violation of the consumer fraud laws of that jurisdiction;
    c. The violation of the antitrust or restraint of trade laws of
    that jurisdiction?

    YAVAPAI OR COCONINO? Section 4.3, please answer. Take down your signs…

  23. Neyland Stad says:

    I didn’t know that all of you and Tony were experts on injection well processing. Who amongst you has a Hydrologist degree? have spoken to Roxane from the Sedona Wastewater Treatment Plant, Sybil from ADEQ. Tom and Doug from our sister cities and they all testify that the A+ water injected into the Red Wall aquifer is cleaner than the water being pump by AZ Water and Oak Creek Water Company, prior to treatment, for Arsenic and Uranium. It will be over years before it gets to Oak Creek or the Verde River and Mother nature will purify it before it reaches its ultimate destination.

    Get the facts before spewing Fake News..

  24. MaryC says:

    The Red Rock Fake news is upset they are being called what they are. They even issued a threat to one of our mayoral candidates, “Don’t pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel and newsprint by the ton.”

    This is hilarious from a soon to be obsolete media that is better known as the mouthpiece of the Sedona Chamber of Commerce. The same paper whose editor is on the board of the Sedona Chamber of commerce.

    I previously bought it as one would take a flier for the coupons. I never considered it serious news. I am canceling my subscription to a publication that tries to intimidate candidates. I suggest you do the same.

  25. M Mallon says:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neyland_Stadium

    Don’t you love deceptive comments defending criminal actions using the name of a football stadium?

    Not he sharpest tool in the Stad.

  26. @ Neyland Stad says:

    @ Neyland Stad – I guess you forgot to ask about all the drugs (including radioactive isotopes) and other chemicals that don’t get filtered out.

    Only Half of Drugs Removed by Sewage Treatment – https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/only-half-of-drugs-removed-by-sewage-treatment/

    “Geology is never what you think it is,” said Ronald Reese, a geologist with the United States Geological Survey in Florida who has studied the well failures there. “There are always surprises.” – https://www.propublica.org/article/injection-wells-the-poison-beneath-us

    You are a gullible fool, Neyland Stad.

  27. ESM says:

    Good find @M Mallon.

    Tomorrow is the last day of July 2018. Ballots will be mailed to voters. As previously mentioned and figuratively speaking war was declared on Sedona at some point in time. Maybe the day voters approved incorporation. Maybe the day in 2013 when the City Council entered into the hotly contested contract with the Chamber of Commerce.

    Sedona residents have another opportunity to have their message count. VOTE.

    If you are seeking change, Vote NO on Home Rule. Study candidates for City Council to ascertain if they, too, are seeking change or will continue to uphold the current direction.

    Those who are pleased with Sedona’s new look and current trends will, of course, vote accordingly.

    However one feels, it is your privilege and essential responsibility to let your voice silently be heard by marking that ballot accordingly.

    Four people on the City Council will continue to maintain a majority. And regardless of who is elected, a No on Home Rule will vastly alter at least for a short duration grandiose plans for Sedona’s future.

    This election simply represents another battle in what’s developed into a lengthy tug of war over the direction and future of incorporated Sedona which, in turn, vastly impacts outlying areas as well.

    Don’t vote? Don’t complain.

  28. Donna Joy Varney says:

    The issue of home rule has nothing to do with a political party or an a action group. It boils down to the way our city treats the residents, non-profits and businesses. The city of Sedona has disenfranchised and disabled us. Disregarding, disrespecting us ALL. The City Council doesn’t listen and has made $edona about MONEY.

    I have been here over 25 years, own and operated a businesses. One in uptown, three in west sedona (3 locations), sat on the board of directors for non-profits, started non-profits, founded the Sedona Bridal Fair and operated it as a VOLUNTEER without city-funding. (I declined the offer of city $$$ for the event) and raised my family here.

    Home Rule only works if you TRUST the City Council 150%. They have shown you how they don’t care about you and failed to do their fiduciary responsibility. Failed to follow a code of Ethics.

    The State of Arizona sets the rules, Sedona is not an island. The standard operating mode is Baseline Computation. OTHER than that the City NEEDS VOTER APPROVAL. These voter approvals allow YOU to use YOUR Power to direct the 7 elected officials. It is Not an entitlement to operate under home rule. Sedona has survived without Home Rule before.

    VOTER OPTIONS are 4-

    No Home Rule allows the VOTERS to decide:
    Permanent Base Adjustment-
    Override Amount set in any amount-
    Baseline Computation-

    OR

    You can GIVE your Control and VOICE to City Council & Staff to decide for us ALL. NO input Folks.

    If you GIVE your Voice to them remember they CAN and will do as they feel.
    Giving the Chamber Control
    Changing and destroying uptown Charm
    Increase Traffic
    Stealing and destroying YOUR BACKYARDS to make more room for Tourism
    Killing the businesses with TRAFFIC ruining the small business
    Giving YOUR VOICE via Citizens engagement to Cronies, Outside Businesses.
    Driving the Residents, tourists and businesses Out of Sedona-city.

    KILLING the heart and soul of OUR SEDONA. The land is our sacred place.

    Please stop and think it through, put money aside, Do the right thing. Stop making $edona about money, a tourist trap and bring Sedona back to the people who respect and cherish it.

    I Love Sedona

    Built a website for education http://www.SedonaCity.com
    Not paid

    Stop letting City Council DESTROY your DREAMS Vote No on Home Rule

  29. Jerry, Legitimate Sedona Voter says:

    Well having already marked my ballot and then reading the comment from Donna Joy Varney she confirmed my decisions were spot on – identical to her recommendations and for the same reasons. Especially on the Home Rule issue. Let City Management reduce their luxury spending for the time being. No more New Year’s Eve extravaganzas paid for by city. Meals out, unlimited charge cards. Say Bye-Bye and come down to earth. No matter who’s elected to city council No on Home Rule will help level the playing field.

  30. ARIZONA LIBERTY says:

    Please don’t be in a hurry to mail in your early ballot….you have till August 28th.

    There will be more crucial information coming out soon that may impact your choices.

    The Attorney General’s report on his SB1487 investigation of the City and the Chamber is due on August 12th and the Yavapai County Superior Court Judge’s ruling on whether or not the Permanent Base Adjustment will be on the November 6th ballot is expected by the end of next week.

    Please wait to get ALL of the information before casting your ballot.

  31. Donna Joy Varney says:

    We do have to look at those being enriched with a Yes vote. How the non-profits are being scared into a yes vote.

    Unlimited budget with no restrictions has allowed the City council to BUY votes. They BUY Votes by gifting money to the largest voting blocs.

    Look at those that did the Yes on Home Rule Forum. The two Yes side neglected to tell you that BOTH f them are tied to non-profits and are recipients of Grant and Service-Contract money from the City of Sedona.

    Since August of 2012 the Sedona Public Library has received 2.3 million from the city of Sedona via a service contract even though they are funded by the property taxes from both Yavapai and Coconino County. The service contract located here: http://www.sedonacity.com/Grant-Service.htm indicates that the library must provide services for Residents & Tourists. Why do the residents need to be double taxed?

    Why isn’t that .5% bed tax dollar being used for tourism improvement if the tourists have increased the burden on the Sedona Public Library? When Andrea Christelle stood up and spoke Yes for Home Rule, she neglected to tell you she was employed by the LIBRARY and recently QUIT.

    The Sedona Art Center has received via grant money totaling $106,125 from August 2013 to August 2017. Why didn’t Holli Ploog tell you she is the Treasurer of the Sedona Art Center? Holli Ploog also Contributed to Az Election Pac the is fighting hard to keep the Chamber no-bid Contract. Why didn’t they tell you at the forum they were involved in these two non-profit that may funding without Home Rule? http://www.sedonacity.com/FollowControlSedona.htm

    Then we get into AZ Elections 18 who are they? Who are they paying? Steve Segner president of the Sedona Lodging Council, an affinity group of the regional Chamber. The Sedona Chamber the recipients of a no-bid contract = 2.5 million a year.

    The regional-chamber uses that money for their exclusive use, and the legitimate businesses that are required to impose, collect and manage those in-city-taxes got no voice and no vote nor do they get to do a performance review on the Chamber so called Destination Marketing. Why is that?

    Looking at those contributing to this group are 90% from those being enriched by the Chambers no bid contract. Those being paid through AZ Elections 18 are also being enriched by the no bid chamber contract with the city. Comello Media is paid by AZ Elections 18, owner Al Comello sits on the Chamber board. He was also Sandy Moriety campaign manager back in 2012. Al also sits on the Adult Community Center as a director.

    Front Burner Media owned by Heather Herman was hired by AZ Election 18 according to their report. Heather serves on the School board, worked for the Sedona Chamber and is married to Mike Herman. Mike Herman is employed by Pink Jeep Tours and also sits on the Sedona Chamber Board of Directors.

    The AZ election 18 promoted by the Chamber are fighting hard to keep control of taxpayer’s money. There are ads in the Red Rock News while Kyle Larson of the Red Rock News sits on the Chamber Board of Directors also. The newspaper is a major tool for marketing of the Chamber. So we can only image what a great source of income the Sedona Chamber’s account is to the paper.

    It doesn’t matter where you come from 2.5 million a year is a hell of a lot of MONEY.

    Money is on the table folks and THAT is what the vote is about.

    Vote YES for GREED

    Vote No to make the playing field level.

  32. OH WHAT A RELIEF IT IS! says:

    Marked my ballot and TOOK IT TO THE POST OFFICE – INSIDE DROP!

    Do NOT trust those bandits lurking about. Would put NOTHING past them. And for certain I would NEVER leave it at the DROP OFF located at City Hall. Why should anyone trust them?

    Incidentally my vote for HOME RULE was NO. So you can figure out how the rest went. Well Tony Tonsich for Mayor is a clue:-)

  33. steve Segner says:

    Donna Joy Varney , you forgot Chem trails, Smart meters and cell towers (deleted by editor)

  34. steve segner says:

    What is the Local Alternative Expenditure Limitation, or “Home Rule” Option?
    The State of Arizona Constitution imposes a formula-based budget spending limit on Arizona cities and towns, including the City of Sedona.
    This formula-based spending limit does not take into consideration the services and programs provided to citizens by each city or town, such as public safety, water and roadway infrastructure.
    As an alternative to this formula-based limit, the State Constitution allows voters of a municipality to approve a Local Alternative Expenditure Limitation, otherwise known as the “Home Rule” Option.
    The Local Alternative Expenditure Limitation, or “Home Rule” Option allows a city or town to adopt its own budget limits locally-based on local needs, service levels and available resources.
    A “YES” vote on Home Rule would allow City of Sedona to continue to set its own budget spending limits locally via the budget adoption process.
    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.
    Did You Know?
    The Local Alternative Expenditure Limitation Option is not an increase or decrease in tax rates. Funding estimates are based on existing income sources that the City already receives.
    These income sources would continue to be received by the City under the State-imposed budget limit, but could not be spent in the full delivery of services to the community.
    The City of Sedona does not impose a local property tax.
    Want to learn more about the cities planned $30 Million Dollar Transportation, Improvement projects to address traffic, transportation, and tourism crowding issues, go to SedonaAZ.gov/sim
    And remember, the bulk of the cost of the $30 million dollar projects is being paid for by new income from the 1/2% sales tax increase of which the majority is paid by tourists, not local residents.
    And remember, if Home Rule is not approved on August 28, 2018, then the city would lose the ability to use most of these funds and many of the planned projects would be stopped.

  35. Gretchen says:

    Love the new SNEAKY AZ Liberty ad featuring the present mayor..

    Sounds about par for the course with AZ Liberty tactics. Twist and outright lie about facts… through deception.

    Probally paid for by someone outside city limits..

    Show pictures of garbage laying around outside of Sedona and say it’s from tourists..

    Show a fire truck out side Bashas buying a meal(while still available to respond) and call it a waste of taxpayers money..

    Funny stuff…. the truth will set you free AZ Lubwrry

  36. Sal says:

    @SteveSegner Your residence is in Oak Creek Canyon outside Sedona City Limits. Why don’t all of you folks including VOC & RRLoop areas join together and annex into City Limits. Then and only then will your off the wall advice have any bearing.

  37. J. Rick Normand says:

    @steve segner (4:00pm comment)

    You’re trying to write about things (actually, cut & paste) that you and your ghost writer (Lonnie Lillie?) just simply aren’t capable of understanding. Home Rule ENABLES THE FUNDING OF THE CHAMBER through means other than membership dues (which means the hotels are getting a free ride) and it is that direct funding mechanism for tourism advertising that is CAUSING the slow traffic and trash strangulation of our once lovely little town. Those signs you two clowns have put up, namely, “Let’s Fix Traffic – Vote Yes on Home Rule” have a singular purpose…which is NOT to convince voters, but to confuse them. Voters need to know that Home Rule is an INTENTIONAL MISNOMER that sounds like a good thing, when, in fact, IT’S A BUDGET TOOL designed to allow the City to increase City borrowing capacity, and related indebtedness, without constraints and, therefore, to fund the Chamber’s unrelenting advertising campaign to draw hordes of non-spending day trippers to Sedona. Home Rule has permitted the Council to delegate to the Chamber and the Sedona Lodging Council the capacity to financially rape Sedona, thus taking from us all our once beloved City’s quality-of-life standards while making the victim (our permanent residents) pay for the horror of the rape. The opponents of Home Rule are those who love Sedona as an unmatched geological treasure while those who favor Home Rule are those who want to PERSONALLY PROFIT (financially speaking) at everyone else’s expense until there is nothing left for residents or tourists to enjoy! At this point, we must all ask ourselves “Qui Bono?”

    JRN

  38. Larry W says:

    There’s some questionable advice floating around Sedona. No! In Sedona? Bad or questionable advice? This time coming from Arizona Liberty suggesting to withhold voting until after ruling by AG’s office on SB1487.

    Why? Regardless of the decision why would it change the way we vote. Same as whether or not the signatures for the ballot measure in November are deemed good to go. Do not get the connection. And further, how many people might inadvertently misplace their ballot or just plain forget to vote between now and August 28th?

    It seems more prudent to mark the ballot and get the job done now while it’s hot off the platter. And might be a good idea to even take time to mail it at the post office. Drop offs at city hall could be risky.

  39. @larry W says:

    “Drop off ballots at city hall could be questionable!?”

    Larry you are parinoid..

  40. @@larry W says:

    And you don’t think being ???parinoid??? (paranoid) has become a common state of mind in Sedona????? When we have constant reminders of how things “are done” here like a door in and a door out? My vote (no pun intended) goes to the original LarryW comment posted August 5 2018 at 7:36 am, Why even take a chance on leaving ballots at City Hall when two post offices are just as convenient???

  41. Sedona Registered Voter says:

    WOW – I didn’t watch the video of Sandy Moriarty until after I mailed my ballot. However, based on her sensible logic – that people will come to Sedona with or without a stupid and costly marketing contract with the chamber of commerce, it leaves me scratching my head as to why, after four years, Mayor Sandy didn’t perform on that premise – no need for City $$$$ to finance the C of C for utter nonsense.

    Anyhow and although I’ve already voted for Tony Tonsich for Mayor, in the event there’s a run-off between Mayor Sandy and Pete Conrad, my vote will go to re-elect Sandy Moriarty. I’m very reluctant toward the newcomers to Sedona. Tony T’s been here almost 30 years and that plus his position on Home Rule and pledge to serve the residents sold me on the guy.

    We’ll only know for certain how voters feel about Sedona’s current direction after August 28th.

  42. @@@larry W says:

    Ok drop the ballot wherever you want…
    Your parinoid as well…(deleted by editor)

  43. @oh what a relief it is says:

    Oh you voted for Tony T… oh what a surprize.

    With that level of parinoid behavior it’s no wonder your voting choices.
    Please go outside…..clear your head and look around.

    Hopefully your sanity will return

  44. M Mallon says:

    What’s going to be a relief is when Tony T wins by a landslide and Home Rule is defeated by a landslide. You saw it here first.

    Then you slick group in the city are going to be very unhappy you got the Alternative Expenditure Limitation defeated on a technicality. Karma strikes again.

  45. No Muss, No Fuss says:

    Marked my ballot addressed to Patty Hansen, Coconino County Recorder, 110 E. Cherry Ave., Flagstaff, AZ 86001-9944, then took it to the main post office, went inside, dropped it in the slot. DONE!

    Oh What a Relieve it is.

    Eddie Maddock
    Sedona Registered Voter
    Resident – Coconino County

  46. Whole Foods Is Hiring! says:

    Someone posted somewhere here a few days ago about how the City needed to advertise Sedona because Whole Foods was letting people go. Not true! Today at Whole Foods there is a big sign at the entrance: We’re Hiring!

  47. Alicia says:

    Couldn’t read your website! What happened?

    (SedonaEye.com editor: Today GoDaddy was unable to prevent a breach of its provider services. We are but one of many thousands affected, including email and WordPress administration functions. We at SedonaEye.com, like others, appreciate being back online to serve our communities.)

  48. Roger says:

    Judging by the number of political signs that come and go someone is making money on this election besides the RRNews. Especially that string by the main post office. It’s surprising there has been a wreck or two there but then again they really aren’t that distracting. Just sort of ugly. Does anyone really know how effective all that BS is except to add to Sedona’s clutter? And I’m not referring to signs and tourists! They don’t even come close to being the nuisance the C of C, City Council and certain staff members are. But of course that’s just one guy’s opinion.

  49. Tony Tonsich says:

    Political signs in a small town tend to level the playing field. I bought 100 signs for about $3 each, so $300. A banner ordered online is about $30. A full page Ad in The Sedona Red Rock Fake News is about $2000 last I heard. I’ve had about 50 signs stolen, obviously my opposition thinks signs are effective.

    Mayor Sandy signed a pledge to not use political signs, I have seen her signs by the post office. She must think signs have more value than her word.

    My whole campaign income, including $1250 from myself and my family was about $5000. I was told when I started to run a campaign would cost $10-12,000. I want to again thank those donors that gave generously.

    It should be interesting to see who much Sandy received and from whom. She did not file her campaign report due in July as did every other candidate. http://sedonaaz.gov/your-government/departments/city-clerk/elections-information/campaign-finance-reportsCampaign signs are about the cheapest advertising.

  50. Get Real says:

    The “Let’s Fix Traffic–Vote Yes on Home Rule” signs are absurd as there are three large hotel projects coming down the pike. New projects under development by the City of Sedona Community Development Dept.: Marriott Residence Inn/88 guest units; Oxford Hotel/126 guest units; and Ambiente/40 guest units. More traffic congestion and additional density are on the way.

    City staff and Council conveniently and incompetently fail to consider the health, safety, and evacuation hardship for residents and visitors alike in the event of a dangerous wildfire in our area.

    Vote NO on Home Rule. Vote incumbents off the City Council.

Leave a Reply

Copyright © 2008-2017 · Sedona Eye · All Rights Reserved · Posts · Comments · Facebook · Twitter ·