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Eddie Maddock: Is now the time for answers?

SedonaEye.com columnist Eddie Maddock

SedonaEye.com columnist Eddie Maddock

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?

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42 Comments

  1. Larry A says:

    One answer dump the chamber. They lied. They don’t do anything right or even close to the City of Scottsdale like they said in their proposal. That .5% increase and 55% of that doesn’t come close to 2.01.it is actual less then 220,ooo. Why should the in-city businesses pay for their regional club to get marketed. They hurt the in-city businesses. The city management is completely reckless with taxpayers money doing this. If this deal was that great then EVERY in-city Business should have a vote and say so in this. The in-city businesses should be reporting the results through FACTS by reporting the numbers discreetly like they do sales tax.
    It is complete bs. The city of Sedona is a district or city limited incorporation, they need to stop playing big shots and get back to the incorporated area. The chamber MAKES up numbers. Retarded backwards.

  2. Norma says:

    Great Article! Important questions!!!!
    Looking forward to some answers from city hall.

  3. To Ms Maddock says:

    Very interesting Ms Maddock and thank you for publishing this article.

    I appreciate your invitation for all non-supporters to attend the event. My question to you is how do you expect that many of non-supporters to show up when there’s really only 1 body to go with the many voices? IMHO, I think that this event will be a good indicator for us merchants who support and have gained a lot from the CoC to see who’s right.

    Perhaps I’m wrong and if the “house is packed” and real people show up to voice their opinion then I’ll be ready to eat crow how about you Eddie?

    How about we set a realistic number at say, 20. Eddie do you think that 20 live and breathing bodies is a good indicator?

  4. West Sedona Dave says:

    What nonsense!….lol

    You people are worried about 2 million that dose not come out of your pocket one bit!
    You never have a solution other than stop the give away….You are priceless!
    For months on end APS will be raising your electric rates and not one pep out of any of the regular blockheads!

    If you would at least have a stand and wanted to divert the money to roads, housing, hek meals on wheels for our elderly community…..
    But no, you are a strange bunch as to where you place your priority’s!!!
    Hope it stays the same so you same fools have a reason to set your hair on fire!
    You are priceless puppets………………lol

  5. Jerry, Sedona City Limits says:

    Speaking of selective treatment, why is it acceptable for the Lodging Council notice to go out to an unknown number of people when City Council and Staff publicly demoralized the owners of Taylor Waste for mailing letters to their customers informing them of the city’s intention to pursue take-over of the service? The owners of a family business were publicly admonished, shamed, disgraced and humiliated with accusations of manipulating the process, even resulting in influencing the results of the telephone poll because they weren’t to the city’s liking.

    Well many of us do not like the ongoing and costly one sided favoritism being shown to a regional Chamber of Commerce. Sure here and again we hear they contribute money to things like the transportation study and to assist the USFS with upkeep to their trails. And what is the source of that money? City of Sedona tax revenue, of course, unless their membership dues are so vast they can comfortably foot the bill for no other reason than to create a false illusion of how honorable they are. Pish posh.

    Another question for reliable auditors to determine if and when the city council decides to do the right thing and reveal the truth or better yet pull the plug on this double standard abomination.

  6. steve Segner says:

    Jerry, Sedona City Limits says:

    Jerry, I mailed the letter and e mailed the notice, not the city to area hotels ,I asked them to come to next weeks city meeting.

    The Sedona lodging council is only a member of there chamber not a part of the chamber nor are we on the board.

    The SLC, gets No money from the chamber or the city of Sedona, in fact we gave the city $5,000.00 last year to help with the traffic study, no city money or marketing money from the bed tax is used to advertise any hotel in or our side of Sedona.

    Jerry the only reason I take the time to write this is because not everyone that reads the EYe is an idiot, some people want facts, so Jerry please take your time and show us your facts.
    Jerry, the bed tax saves the city of Sedona over 400,000 a year, money that the city no longer need to pay to support tourism, now all the funds come from taxing tourists.

    And Jerry, the hotels and local citizens chipped in to fix the trails…. Along with the chamber did you chip in Jerry ?
    As

  7. @West Sedona Dave says:

    @West Sedona Dave = Steve segner Wrong again it is not your money. (deleted by editor)

  8. Eddie Maddock says:

    Addressing the comment made by “To Ms. Maddock:”

    Just where is it I invited “all non-supporters to attend the event?” The question posed is regardless of the number, will they be considered a “vocal minority” or a “vocal majority?” Double standards, as pointed out by Jerry, Sedona City Limits, have obviously been observed by others. It might be a safe bet it includes the “vocal minority” of hundreds that wrote e-mails, made phone calls, signed petitions, and showed up, standing room only, at several public meetings to express opposition to the recent garbage collection controversy. They are the ones that were heard only through default. If the result of the RFP’s had indicated it would be more profitable for the city coffers, the deal would never have been dropped regardless of public opposition. The recourse would likely have been a ballot Referendum.

    And what is the source of your quote “house is packed?” Not my words. The number of people who respond to the notice circulated by the Sedona Lodging Council remains to be seen. Being scheduled two days before Thanksgiving, how is it possible to predict how many will show up for the meeting? Oddly enough the discussion about the city garbage franchise was discussed during December, also a busy holiday season, when people are generally concentrating on festivities other than business being conducted at City Hall? Convenient? And for whom?

  9. Club Sedona says:

    I am member of the chamber and have my business outside the city limits. I LOVE LOVE LOVE that the city businesses pay for my ads. I will be there with my hands out foranother couple million to advertise my businesas. It only pennies on the dollar. Thank you s u c k e r s……….

  10. West Sedona Dave says:

    @West Sedona Dave = Steve segner Wrong again it is not your money.

    And why in the world do you think its your money?….

    You live in a hotel room year round?

    You people just keep getting stranger and stranger with your outlandish uneducated remarks!!!

    Give it a rest, and stop sounding like a fool….

  11. @steve Segner says:

    Articles in the Red Rock News indicated the money you mention for the traffic study as well as what is going to the USFS for trail maintenance etc. both sources came from the chamber of commerce. Also at the time the lodging group agreed to the bed tax increase, weren’t you in fact an affinity group with the C of C? It was only after the contract was awarded you guy reorganized and reinstated your you corporate status? Nothing wrong with that mind you, but just seems peculiar you didn’t make the distinction.

  12. Hello - is anyone home? says:

    Of course city tax money is spent to advertise competitive businesses because ONLY Chamber members are promoted at the CITY FINANCED Visitors Center. Jennifer Wesselhoff admitted publicly they will NOT refer in-city limit businesses at the CHAMBER’S visitor center UNLESS they are members – that they needed to “pay to play.” As if they don’t collect the sales tax (and bed tax where applicable) – the source of city funding for the CHAMBER visitors center. Members outside city limits are the ones playing without paying – except their membership dues to the chamber of commerce. No taxes to the city. No Siree, No way. Despicable.

  13. give it a break says:

    You can’t change the facts. The CoC are scam artists who proposed a tax increase in order to pad their members pockets. The CoC members are primarly outside the city limits.

  14. Martha says:

    Say what???? Are you all nuts in Sedona?????
    Why in the beep would the city fund a regional membership based businesses association aka Chamber? I thought the chamber was a division of the city government until I started reading the eye. This is crazy nuts. The city government is crazy.Wacko

  15. Don't Count on those $$$$ says:

    Did any of you ever stop to think that if President Obama designates this area a National Monument before he leaves office you will all be under the jurisdiction of the federal government? And based on what’s happening here and now, how bad could that be? This incorporated city has overstepped authority and boundaries too long. Time to have your ears boxed and be governed by the big boys who will not put up with your double standard, selective pick and choose favorites. And who will be eating crow when that happens?

  16. Jay Johnstone says:

    I guess it is acceptable to lie. No RFPs. No independent audit. Made up numbers from the CocC. Lie on their tax returns. CofC is a for profit membership group. West Sedona Dave talks about 2 million dollars not being a lot of money. What a joke. There have been people that have gone to jail for much less. Time is short.

  17. GNS, Sedona says:

    The worst part of the story might be how terrible they treated the opposition for them, city of Sedona, to control who picks up our garbage. And as someone else mentioned, they were unmerciful to the owners of Taylor Waste at the public meetings. So now they are going to play the good cops and intervene with APS and their proposed rate increases. Ha. Will they also be speaking on behalf of the entire Verde Valley on that issue as well? As if they stand a snowball’s chance in Hades for APS or anyone to listen to them except their beloved lodging council and chamber of commerce. Enjoy eating your turkey.

  18. West Sedona Dave says:

    Jay,

    With all your lose facts, may you enlighten us with a few that can be documented?
    I bet you cant!
    Again 2 million is chump change in 2016!….It comes from a bed tax from visitors who stay here…..
    I will add you to the list of lazy hair fire lighters!
    If I had half the information you people had, I would be putting together all my investigating and bring to a county or states attorney!!!
    So put up or shut up….You people really do need a major catastrophe in your lives so you can put things in prospective!
    So get to work lazy complainers!

  19. Bingo says:

    @West Sedona Dave, 11/18 – 10:53 AM. Now you are making sense. If that $2+ million actually went to roads or some of the other things you mention, of course it would be a better investment. Over the 3 yrs. of the chamber/city contract it’s many more million. In fact, probably enough for the city to have constructed a multi-storied parking facility uptown. But oh no, they divert it to a low class, unqualified group that conned them into believing they were professional advertisers.Then what do they do, contract with a real professional ad agency in Phoenix. Pretty hefty funding for a muddled up middle man (so to speak) that can spin and twist like unbelievable. Sedona was discovered long before they existed. $2+ million from a city of 10,000 and shrinking is a lot of money. What a waste – more unwanted drive-through day trippers.

  20. Jim says:

    @west sedona dave clearly you beneifit from the 20million dollars gifted to logding-chamber.

    To the public segner j wesselholf are stealing sedona’s future

  21. Raymond LeRoy says:

    Why are we still paying so much to attract more people to our community, when at the same time we are paying $250,000 for a study to manage traffic. With essentially two main roads in our city options are limited. And spending hundreds of thousands , if not millions, to attract more traffic seems somewhat dubious. And this does not even address the fact that the Chamber isn’t complying with the original agreement.

  22. Back to the Real Issue says:

    Traffic, traffic, traffic. As a couple of others pointed out, that money would have been far better spent on providing one or more parking lots and/or garages. It’s as simple as that. But, of course certain Chamber affiliates would have possibly been forced to drop some of their special percs, like annual vacation to a tropical island? Oh the pity of it all!

  23. Paul D says:

    There is an old saying, when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging. I would translate that to when you find your small town chocked with traffic and it’s roads impassable, it’s time to stop advertising for more tourists.

    When I moved here over 20 years ago Sedona had the highest home values in Arizona. As a traffic choked tourist trap, Sedona doesn’t have the highest home values in Arizona any more.

  24. Tom says:

    @eddiemaddock. Great article, thanks for tackling the tough issues

  25. Eddie Maddock says:

    Thank you for your kind words, Tom. The these “tough issues” do, however, tend to prompt a question: Why did they become “tough issues” in the first place?

    Something that has remained conspicuous by absence during these particular discussions has been the impact of timeshares on Sedona’s economy. That raises yet another question: Why haven’t they entered into the discussion?

    It’s 2:39 Tuesday afternoon as I write this and in less than two hours the subject meeting will be called to order. Any bets on the outcome?

    Happy Thanksgiving to Everyone.

    PEACE

  26. steve Segner says:

    Well Eddie see you at the meeting this afternoon want to hear what you have to say in public and the other 3 people that post using made up name,
    ss

  27. Steve Segner says:

    Ha, no one showed or sent in letter to the city council meeting toni the?
    So what’s up all you chamber haters you had your chance,
    Great meeting, chamber offering to spend $1.200,000 of marketing money to buy a parking lot up town…..Thats right money take from advertising and spend it to help traffic and parking.
    I can hardly wait to see how you all put a negative spin on this

    have fun

  28. John Daniels says:

    To Eddie Maddock you and your “followers” are full of hot air. I attended the city meeting and not one of you sent in a comment or stood up to speak. Sure it’s easy to slam something while wearing a cover of anonymity.

    Accolades to Peter Sanders and Steve Segner for giving their supportive opinion about destination marketing.

  29. Wsr says:

    John Daniels

    That what the 3 people who post under different names do here….

    Complain complain complain

    Then when they can actually voice their opinion they do……………
    ……….waitt for it…………….NOTHING…

    And the beat goes on

  30. Eddie Maddock says:

    The two comments made by Steve Segner on 11/22 have been addressed in an e-mail to the Sedona City Council. In addition, that e-mail has been forwarded as a follow up article to “Is Now the Time for Answers?” which will appear on Sedona Eye at the discretion of the editor/publisher.

    If Mr. Segner knows, for a fact, that comments made on Sedona Eye are products of “2 or 3 people” then he has a much closer connection with production of Sedona Eye than I. And, it would be interesting if he is also that knowledgeable as to the identity of the handful that offer attacks against those of us questioning the relationship the City has with the Chamber of Commerce.

    Also, reference John Daniels, if Peter Sanders and Steve Segner were the only two people to speak in support of the Chamber of Commerce, it would likewise be interesting to know if the members of the Sedona City Council considered those two voices as a “Vocal Minority” or a “Vocal Majority?” Unfortunately that question was not included In my e-mail to the City Council.

    Eddie Maddock

  31. Jim Bollock says:

    @Steve Segner you are really looking extremely silly buddy. Still laughing at your comments at the city council meeting. Why do you highlight how dumb you are? You should go back to selling dog food.

  32. JeanJ says:

    Steve Segner is lying when he claims “no one….sent in letter.”

    Here’s the last paragraph from the letter I emailed the City Council:

    “In my opinion, the Mayor has a conflict of interest in this matter. Steve Segner provided substantial financial support to get people elected in 2014. He gave the “Sandy for Mayor” campaign $1,600.00. David Scott Harkey of Owens Harkey & Associates gave the “Sandy for Mayor” campaign $1,000.00. I hereby urge Mayor Sandy Moriarty to recuse herself and not participate in the discussion/decision regarding the destination marketing matter.”

  33. steve Segner says:

    sorry , not true not this election, and we should all support the people running for office, look what happens when you don’t you get a Trump I support all the city council …. and I have nothing to do with the chamber I just run the SLC.,and we get no money from the chamber or the city.
    hope that helps

  34. steve Segner says:

    im Bollock says:
    November 23, 2016 at 1:13 pm
    @Steve Segner you are really looking extremely silly buddy. Still laughing at your comments at the city council meeting. Why do you highlight how dumb you are? You should go back to selling dog food.

    thanks Jim, all that counts is the council likes what i say, as for dog food sales
    don’t need the money was to easy.
    P.s. didn’t see you speaking on anything (ever) you get what you work for…..
    ss

  35. Eddie S. Maddock says:

    Thank you, JeanJ – and especially for using your real name. Too bad we can’t say the same for Wsr, etal and others who serve best at pointing fingers which they should be pointing at themselves. Isn’t that known as the pot(s) calling the kettle(s) black or something similar? At least Steve Segner has no problem putting himself out there but, of course, he could also be submitting under aliases. The style of writing frequently is remarkably similar.

  36. Wsr says:

    ESM

    Oh how you love to spin your wheels…and spin they do…

    All you nonsense about when and what was to be discussed at the council meeting and You Don’t Even Show Up…..That’s laughable, it really is….I guess you had to stay in a state of readiness at you computer to preach to the other do nothings here at SE….
    Laughable. And the beat goes on…

  37. SBs & MAs, CA says:

    Sedona Eye’s coverage of the State of Sedona ought to example news sources in Central Valley and NorCal. Unless city and town minions write it, it doesn’t see the light of day. Been following this site for several years and appreciate its publisher’s commitment to its mission. What doesn’t spill over are the personal trials and tribulations of its owner, its publisher, its editor, its staff, its writers because opinions are clearly labeled by clearly professionals! Tip your hats to them and show your appreciation! Enjoy reading each comment no matter how trite because occasionally there’s a nugget, Enjoy reading each article no matter its topic because occasionally there’s a nugget. SedonaEye.com publisher, head high… The State of Sedona has many politicians, would have been politicians, would like to be politicians who are exposed Sedona Fakes, Sedona Spiritual Phonies, Sedona Hypocrites and Sedona Narcissists and unworthy to derail you or your goals. SedonaEye.com is honorable and well admired in this household and others. Here’s a cat in the hat nod for SedonaEye.com from California.

  38. @JeanJ says:

    Jean Jean oh Jean how out of touch can you be?

    You think that the mayor should recuse herself well YOU may like to stir any political pot but can but please tell us all on SE what political campaign have you ever followed that the candidate didn’t receive donations from individuals AND CORPORATIONS? If you were as educated at you thought you would know that the only time a politician must recuse themselves is if the item that they are voting for would give them a personal gain. I’m guessing that just because she received a donation 2 years ago it would have nothing to do with today or next month.

    So when you say “in my opinion, the Mayor has a conflict of interest in this matter” I think what you meant to say to us all is that your opinion has nothing to do with actual fact.

  39. JeanJ says:

    A present-day personal gain Mayor Sandy received from the immense campaign donations made by Steve Segner and Phoenix advertiser David Scott Harkey in 2014: potential candidates did not want to challenge her 2016 run for Mayor. Consequently, she ran unopposed and was sworn in as our Newly Elected Mayor by the Magistrate Judge during last Tuesday’s City Council Meeting (Item 7).

  40. HA, HA, HA says:

    Segner says: 11/23 – 2:51 PM “and I have nothing to do with the chamber” Why then did he stand up at the meeting and tout Jennifer Wesselhoff about how chummy they were & her giving him advice or some such thing? And he was the one giving the sales pitch back in ’13, saying over and over “Just trust us” when they were begging for the contract. You bet he cares about both the Chamber and who is elected on that council, as proven by another statement: 11/23 – 3:10 PM ” all that counts is the council likes what I say,”

    And let’s not forget the e-mails he was sending around about getting their Sandy elected and digging up dirt on her running opponent during that election when he contributed the $1600. Of course he didn’t pay to get her elected this last go-around. She ran unopposed! He’s been very effective in deterring people for running because of his guerrilla smear tactics. Maybe the boys in DC took lessons from him. Oh brother.

    And the comment from Jean J. simply proved him out again as not telling the truth when he wrote no one sent letters or anything. How did he miss the e-mail from her if he’s so smart? Maybe the council members aren’t keeping as well informed as he would like us to believe.

  41. @JeanJ says:

    “A present-day personal gain Mayor Sandy received from the immense campaign donations made by Steve Segner and Phoenix advertiser David Scott Harkey in 2014: potential candidates did not want to challenge her 2016 run for Mayor. Consequently, she ran unopposed and was sworn in as our Newly Elected Mayor by the Magistrate Judge during last Tuesday’s City Council Meeting (Item 7).”

    and your point is??????

    I see nothing different about Mayor Sandy’s campaign compared to any other politician’s campaign.

    if you really don’t like something about Mayor Sandy and what she’s doing then run your own campaign.

    IMHO during the past 2 years there have been lots of positive changes in our city. My artist friends and I now have someplace to perform at rates that we can afford. We can now have wine at city events.
    Gone are the issues of bias from a few shops in our city against people who are different.
    Gone are those god awful long council meetings under the leadership of Rob Adams.

    Sure nothing or no one is perfect but I think that Sedona is a better place because of Sandy. If you really think that you can do better please throw your name into the hat. If you do, lets see how you fund your campaign or if your friends kick in a few bucks. But lets hope that none of your friends owns a Phoenix advertising company.

  42. SECOND SEND says:

    I’m not sure if the first time this was submitted it went through. So if it did, please excuse duplication but clearly I believe the comment as explained needed to be challenged:

    Original send was from:

    NOT ONE OF THE CHOSEN

    To the person identified as @Jean who touts Sandy Moriarty for ” My artist friends and I now have someplace to perform at rates that we can afford. We can now have wine at city events.”

    Of course you can afford it. The city is PAYING Red Earth Theatre to use a City owned facility! Another crock and rip off of city revenue. Not only that, by doing so this City continues to betray local businesses, the hands that feed the coffers, by offering this idiotic policy to serve tax free food, beverages, and provide entertainment, at the expense of voting residents, and in direct competition with licensed, tax collecting businesses. This is insanity and those responsible, IMO, should be declared incompetent.

    Adding insult to injury, you criticize Rob Adams for long meetings and bias? And just what is it you have described as being so honorable about Sandy Moriarty for using her authority to take biased and prejudice action against local businesses by using city money to do so? And don’t be too harsh to judge Rob Adams. You should likewise give him accolades for his part in giving a regional Chamber of Commerce commanding authority to run every little detail of incorporated Sedona government, which now includes the proposal for this questionable C of C to use city tax money for investing in real estate for trumped-up reasons. (no pun intended)

    Get a grip, Girl/Boy, whomever you are riding the gravy train of unwarranted entitlements. That has become the Sedona way of life, no different from the claims they make against the political party they so dislike. What goes on in the city makes the rivals look like amateurs.

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