Sedona AZ (November 15, 2016) – At the City Council meeting scheduled for November 22, 2016, once again there will be a discussion regarding the marketing contract the City of Sedona has with the Chamber of Commerce, generated by a bed tax increase of .5%. Of course the notice included here from the Sedona Lodging Council is legitimate and there’s nothing wrong with it. However, it does raise some questions:
• If 40, 50, 60 (more or less) people show up at this meeting, will they be considered a “Vocal Majority” and have their way with favorable City Council approval when more than 700 objected to city controlled garbage service were labeled a “Vocal Minority”?
• Will the same policy of settling for word-of-mouth verification prevail during this presentation, without confirmation from a reliable and authorized outside audit and/or proposed future RFP’s which were promised at the time the original contract with the City and Chamber of Commerce was approved? If so is that fair when detailed procedures, including professional polls, are authorized and paid for in connection to practically every other proposal for change made by the City of Sedona?
• Is it still acceptable for City of Sedona tax revenue to be allocated to promote only those members of a special interest, allegedly non-profit organization, which frequently serves to directly compete with legitimate, licensed businesses located within Sedona City Limits?
• Will the City Council and Staff continue to deny it was the upswing in national economy after the great recession that most likely created an increase in sales – that little more than traffic clogging day trippers has been the result from the costly City/Chamber Contract?
The original agreement in 2013, when the contract with the Chamber was approved, was conditional. Specifically, after one year RFP’s were to be forthcoming in addition to an authorized outside, professional audit. Those provisions never occurred. Instead the contract was extended for three years without RFP’s and no mention of authentic, reliable methods of checks and balances of accurate return on investment or comparison for other potentials for a more beneficial, profitable return on the .5% bed tax increase have occurred.
Do City Council Members and Staff still consider that a reasonable and fair policy, without questionable bias and prejudice to other city contracts and agreements?