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Eddie Maddock: Sedona Progress or Impediment

SedonaEye.com columnist Eddie Maddock looks at the city of Sedona and Village of Oak Creek impediments to local progress on quality of life issues.

Sedona AZ – Admittedly the convenience of modern technology has opened doors our ancestors would never have imagined. Of course, one needn’t go back THAT far – but has it really been all that long ago when we actually had conversations with people who weren’t constantly distracted with handheld gadgets dominating everything – except possibly the air they breathe?

How about waiting at a stop light for pedestrians to cross the busy highway? More often than not they are engrossed in looking down at the fascinating information factory consuming their undivided attention. That generally is the scenario in most places; doctors’ offices, grocery stores, restaurants – you name it. There’s very little one-on-one interaction anymore. A brief phone call to return a message, instead of texting or sending an e-mail, is quickly becoming yet another thing of the past. And actually even trying to make a phone call takes stamina and determination! After listening to the non-person’s voice relate options, none of which are applicable to your reason for calling, generally by hitting “O” multiple times eventually you might get a real person, but by all means don’t hold your breath.

Are children no longer being taught the “lost art” of having a one-on-one conversation? Do families ever sit down and have dinner together, discuss daily events, and engage in a meaningful exchange?

Smart Meter National Grid

And now smart home robots, such as Alexa, are available to grant our every wish, providing we have the time and patience to figure out how to give them proper instructions to facilitate their full potential. What will happen on the day the grid crashes and all systems shut down? Unthinkable crosses many minds. But isn’t it previously “unthinkable” products that surface on almost a daily basis? How about driverless cars? Are you scared yet?

Of course old stand-by surprises from Mother Nature or, in some cases, even a higher power always, always visit every so often – as a reminder to mere mortals who is really in charge. And it ain’t them humans!

Ask the folks in California who quite possibly and understandably remain in shock due to not one, but two earthquakes, magnitudes between 6 and 7 on the Richter scale. No intervention from modern technology could change the course or stop those events.

And let’s not overlook ongoing potential for seasonal hurricanes, tornadoes, monsoons and other “natural” disasters frequenting various worldwide geographical locations. In our own specific area, particularly due to the extremely wet winter and unusual abundance of new foliage presently still in the process of drying out, hotter temperatures and high winds are quickly producing ideal conditions for a potential inferno. Yes, it isn’t a matter of “IF” – it’s “WHEN.”

Will it actually take such a drastic wake up call to shock some sensibility in the thinking of those currently making more and more unpopular decisions? In the unincorporated Village of Oak Creek, also included in both the Sedona School and Fire Districts, Yavapai County has authority to make rezoning decisions of great concern.

Increased density in development has likewise been problematic in incorporated Sedona, although it’s our elected city officials instead of county authority who will vote the outcome. But, really, what’s the difference? Increased density, uncontrolled traffic, more waste of money for alleged “destination marketing” without benefit of Requests for Proposals and/or accountability of past value received (if any) from money spent, remain under control of the votes that count, our representatives, regardless of citizen disapproval.

Convenient, but lame, excuses relating to excessive funding to the much discussed and controversial regional “Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau” are now being used for convoluted reasons and justifications beyond destination marketing – and remain under question, lacking merit, as would be the case for allowing any non-profit member driven association to grasp control of a municipality. How so? Voters do not elect them!

City of Sedona Council chamber

Sometimes people will comment on the apparent lack of public interest in Sedona City Council meetings. Granted, years ago Council Chambers would frequently be standing room only. And why is that no longer the case? Surely it isn’t due to lack of citizen interest. Just ask your friends and neighbors. However, back-in-the-day city council meetings were not televised and we didn’t have the convenience of accessing the meetings by using the City website. (Sorry Alexa – you don’t get credit for that one.)

However and unfortunately, power and control lurks about in beautiful Sedona and misinformation frequently prevails. Too bad because and although “all’s fair in love and war” (don’t know how “love” fits into this) and, even with the convenience of new technology, bad decisions are sometimes made due to misrepresentation or worse yet just because “they” can.

Although the current budgeted amount for the SCC&TB has been reduced, it still reflects the amount of $2,492,500.

Yes, Folks, that’s TWO & ONE HALF MILLION DOLLARS of public revenue from an incorporated municipality of a questionable 10,000 population. How is it justified? Some remain stoically convinced THEY CANNOT.

However, there is one thing to keep in mind. Sedona City and Village of Oak Creek residents still have methods to maintain control and force your leaders to appropriately represent YOU – and NOT necessarily by means of just how THEY think!

If they fail to uphold oaths of office and ignore the values of constituents, work together and demand replacements. In the case of Sedona, a council recall election is possible as was demonstrated in 1992. Sedona Vice Mayor Anna Marie Hayes was recalled and Ivan Finley was elected to take her place.

In 2011, Sedona voters again spoke when it mattered. Both a ballot Referendum & Initiative were empowered by Sedona voters to overturn the city council’s decision for incorporated Sedona to take ownership of SR W89. Thanks to a united effort that highway still belongs to ADOT because of a successful rallying from voices that mattered.

Likewise residents in the VOC should consider coming together. Follow your own rules and disable unwanted action by removing those who insist on ignoring you who matter the most: VOC TAXPAYING and VOTING RESIDENTS.
Modern technology most assuredly has its place, but not as a “replacement” for person to person communication. Not happy? Then start talking to one another and make things happen the tried and true way.

Communicate. It’s been proven to work.

55 Comments

  1. Marilyn Lachman says:

    Excellent article. Wish you could write op/eds for the L.A. Times. Here in California if you are a middle of the roader or just slightly to the left, one dares not speak.

  2. Jeff Gerber says:

    Wow, I didn’t know that the Sedona city council wanted to take over SR 89. I live in Los Angeles and there is a street called Topanga Canyon Blvd, where I grew up and my family lived for many years. I happened to wonder why Topanga Cvn Blvd wasn’t paved frequently like many of the aging side streets in the area. Turns out, it is SR27 and is shared with the state. They have issues with the shared responsibility, i.e. who pays for what and when, what is priority, etc. These are normal issues that arise from shared municipal responsibilities. Taking on the responsibility of a state highway, in an area prone to heavy tourist traffic and seasonal effects of weather, is quite a financial burden for such a small tax base (10k residents). Nice article; wish I was in Sedona or Oak Creek Canyon right now!

  3. Ronnie W. says:

    Why is it this revelation doesn’t surprise me? Ever since the Rob Adams/Barbara Litrell city council when they opted for Citizen Engagement versus open meetings with transparency, this kind of stuff has probably been going on. It’s just now surfacing. Miss Mike Ward who preached transparency. No wonder he wasn’t reelected.

    Best thing for John Martinez to do would be resign and go sit on the chamber of commerce Board of Directors where his interest is. Then the city of Sedona can retract that .5% bed tax increase – don’t need it anyhow since it’s recently reported (by Segner?) that the city has a substantial budget surplus.

    This activity is despicable, deplorable, and residents of Sedona certainly deserve better which actually isn’t saying much considering the outrageous behavior. Of course IMO just for the record.

  4. Duke says:

    Liked it Eddie Maddock. VOC you need to step up. Council you need to step down.

  5. sharlett says:

    Nice job Eddie!!! Seems to me that people have become too apathetic – most likely as a result of the new composition of our town = No growth in our base group… just our second homes and Airbnb etc. So sad watching the air go out of a once great feisty gem of a town.

  6. Gregg says:

    If the city of Sedona is so generous with the chamber of commerce, (specified to be non-profit on the web site but didn’t declare specific corporate status – presume maybe 501(c)4? – definitely NOT 501(c)3 tax deductible – seems even those involved in this somewhat racy scenario may have their limits).

    Anyhow back to point. If it works for C of C how about BPOE? (Elks) or Kiwanis? Why wouldn’t they qualify for equal consideration if the new Chamber assignment to spend all that money will be to pursue sustainability or other diversions to justify this – well – enough said! Will make contact with Elks and Kiwanis – might become even more interesting.

  7. Look at HOA's role too says:

    Citizen engagement is part of the united nations Agenda 21 which is embraced in Sedona. Layer by layer of citizens losing power to panels that are trained for a desired outcome, surveys, etc. Agenda 21is not a conspiracy theory as that was a phrase coined by the CIA after the Kennedy assassination to cast a shadow on truth. It is real, go online and look at the documents. Citizens are the bottom dwellers, yuk.

    Hoas? part of the problem or solution?

    http://illinois-online.org/krassa/ps410/Readings/HOAs/McCabe%20HOA%20as%20Private%20Government.pdf

  8. @Gregg says:

    BPOE (Elks) GREAT IDEA! Now that Elk’s Club is a great benefit to Sedona residents. They sponsor weekly bingo, special dinners, Thanksgiving (and maybe Christmas) meals and have a marvelous building (venue) for special events all available at modest fees. All the Chamber offers is a pathetic “poor me” sales pitch to the city council for $$$$ and worse is council buys into it! SICK (imo) And now they have to drum up flimsy reasons to justify the money the Chamber receives??? What happened to the discretionary law (rule) that the bed tax increase would have to benefit the lodging council? At least the allegedly failed ad campaign was relative, but some of these other idiotic reasons? Sustainability??? The public in general – maybe – but the bed tax increase? Time for them to drop the nonsense and get on with the business of looking out for the residents. The tourists have plenty of things to keep them busy. Let them go shop uptown. They need the business.

  9. Donna says:

    Thank you again for another great article, that grabs our attention, makes us slow it down and think it through. There is no other writer that comes close, engaging us. I wonder how many comments this one will bring. I greatly appreciate you. Love you beyond words. You are an asset and wealth of information.

    @Gregg you bring up very valuable points. The Chamber of commerce is a Corporation 501 (C)(6)- Membership. I have all the records to prove everything I am posting. There are 27 IRS classification of this type of corporations. Being tax-exempt is NOT a Charity and the term non-profit is thrown around to confuse the public. There is one charity 501 (C)(3) with 5 five types of 501(c)(3) organizations.

    The Chamber is registered as a 501(c) (6) MEMBERSHIP Trade or Professional Association
    “Some examples of 501(c)(6) organizations are business leagues, chambers of commerce, and real estate boards. Their purpose is to improve business conditions for its members. funded by member dues and offer programs and services for member education. ”

    This is why I am so STRONGLY against the city subsidizing the Chamber. I have run 501 (c) (6) The customers are their MEMBERS and they chamber taking Taxpayers money imposed on the in-city business. This has created an unlevel playing field. Built CHAMBER assets and POWER. NO business owners signed a legal document giving up their rights.

    See how the businesses inside the city limits are paying. Looks like a double dip payout for the chamber to me. http://sedonacity.com/SedonaFactCollective/cham/2018/Sedona%20Hotel%202019-13.jpg

    Once the Chamber gets that money there is no checks or balances. It empowers and builds Chamber business off the backs of the Residents and in-city Businesses. We should NOT be paying for businesses marketing and those taxes should be used for chamber marketing. Raising the bed-tax was a loss on the return and cost you the taxpayers MILLIONS.

    We have a maze of smoke and mirrors. The city and chamber push and control.

    The Sedona chamber is the 3rd highest income of all Arizona Chambers and the ONLY one funded 85% by the Taxpayers. All others are paid by MEMBERS!!!

    Since the city council love fest with the chamber is BLIND it will take an army of people to speak up to make change.

    A recent poll was taken:
    99.77 % disagreed with the city council – city funding of the chamber
    0.23 % liked it as their BUSINESS got advertised.
    23% actually wrote city council.

    The name calling, threats and bullying won’t stop until we all speak up.

  10. Mayra G. Nguyen says:

    Find it reasonable to say Sedona used to be something quite special before my last visit during film fest, I found it’s not the same and people aren’t nice. There are too many wonderful festivals to settle. Even Coachella failed this year to impress. Sad that quality lost to commercialism. I speak for myself.

  11. Joe & Roberta T, Sedona says:

    Formerly from California, we just want to take the opportunity to let people know how truly grateful we are for having relocated to Sedona. And to make things even better, we are thrilled at the advancement DORR’s has made in spreading the word especially during the last local election.

    It appears very clear Sedona now has solid liberal supporters and we will look forward to the next movement hopefully to have Sedona declared a Sanctuary City.

    Good Luck DORR we support you along with the majority of Sedona residents voters. Democracy needs to be replaced with Karl Marx and Mao truths. The Soviet Union failed but we can create a better Soviet in the US and if we let China govern us we will all be equal. We are ashamed that Hong Kong terrorists are marching against the state and think they should all be rounded up and sent to rehabilitation camps like years ago. Their money should be confiscated and returned to the state party as punishment. Good thoughts for Sedona Council! We love it here.

  12. Dana Varney says:

    Another stellar article. You are a Sedona treasure. You have always been there for the people. Ther have been so many who have sold us all out. My only hope is that other people will get the courage to speak up, write their representatives and file complaints with the Attorney General. Thank You, much love.

  13. APS IS MOVING IN says:

    Or do they already own the place.?From the people that bring you never ending pulsed microwave radiation through your home wiring:
    APS/ home of the smartmeter
    They bought Cottonwood, time to buy Sedona.
    Request your analog meter back at the breakfast.

    The Community Pulse, presented by APS, is a partnership with the City of Sedona and the Chamber of Commerce!

    July 16
    8:00am – 9:30am
    Sedona Rouge HOTEL & SPA
    2250 W SR 89A

    The Community Pulse, presented by APS, is a partnership with the City of Sedona and the Chamber of Commerce! The Community Pulse is an opportunity to provide a forum for sharing information on important local topics and issues. Enjoy a continental breakfast and connect with the Community.

    We will be covering:
    · Sedona In Motion
    · Update on City Sustainability initiatives
    · Sustainable Tourism Plan Update
    · Summer Marketing Plan

    Please RSVP Here for our head count.
    officemanager@sedonachamber.com

  14. Peter says:

    Sedona outreach is meant to keep voters quiet. Doing a good job eh?

  15. Lonnie R. says:

    Cannot possibly contain myself with most recent news about the high profile Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau President and CEO. Her name and reputation precede her so no need to mention the name. However, most recently she was elected to serve on the Northern Arizona Healthcare Board of Directors!!

    Yes indeed that woman has unlimited talents, ambition, and energy. Why just since she took the head-helm at the Sedona C of C in 2007 just look at her accomplishments. Better yet count them – in $$$$$$ – translating them to the advancement she made within City Hall to control all-things government related?

    And now to be in the position to have an influence in our health care? Who was it said “And ya ain’t seen nothin’ yet?” How much more scary can it get?

  16. Vice-Mayor John Martinez says:

    Once again, I offered to meet with all of you at the Sedona Bakery this morning to discuss issues that concern you about my responsibilities to the community as Vice-Mayor. This is the second time I have extended this invitation but again no one showed up. I can only assume that this is a forum for those who do not want to be identified for the same reason that most of you do not use your real names on this publication. If you want to be part of the solution perhaps, I will meet you when you run for council next year.

  17. @ Vice-Mayor John Martinez says:

    Martinez flatters himself, thinking he’s worth talking to, spending time with. Very funny!

  18. Gretchen says:

    Dear Vice Mayor,
    Business is not conducted while eating doughnuts. City Business is conducted by reading and responding to your city emails and by giving time to rebut city issues in a recorded public town hall forum. Then you Vice Mayor will have transparency and on the record statements, rather than sugar coated doughnut lips that kiss arses without being held personally and publicly accountable. The Clinton Foundation outclassed you on how to disenfranchise voters, don’t even try to play that game with us Sedona city council politicians. City business is to be publicly recorded for FOI requests and AG trials and city elections. Capiche?

  19. Wm. D. says:

    Mr. Martinez (@Vice Mayor John Martinez) what would be the purpose of meeting with you when it’s clear you are so smitten and defensive of the regional chamber of commerce it’s beyond belief?

    Whatever the reason for your infatuation to persist in allowing such dominant control by a member-driven organization over legitimate residents of Sedona is mind-boggling.

    That you refused from the get-go to obtain proposals for a contract to address rebating a percentage of the increased discretionary bed tax quite honestly and in my opinion didn’t pass the smell test.

    Hang on to your safety “blankie” = your fans in a regional organization many of whom don’t contribute one penny to the millions of dollars rebated under the guise of justifying the half-percent discretionary bed tax increase.

    Personally my preference would be to meet with someone carrying a petition to have you recalled than listen to your trite justification for continuing to feed millions of dollars to the chamber of commerce for ongoing contrived reasons.

  20. West Sedona Dave says:

    Vice-Mayor John Martinez

    Thank you…I was planning on being their, was just to hot to go out….We are thankful for your straight forward approach!

    It is a shame that no one cares enough to show up and talk to a representative of the city of Sedona.

  21. Donna says:

    There are many of us that have met with you. It’s most likely that this format of meeting doesn’t fit with others schedule or comfort zone. Why not try setting up a more comfortable to fit your customer Vice Mayor? Your invitation seems more like a challenge rather then a warm welcoming invitation John. IMO

  22. Thomas Branson says:

    Thanks for your attempt to start a dialogue with the do nothing haters.
    Your a stand up guy willing to put yourself out there.. unlike the disenchanted here.

    Now we know that most here live to complain while undertaking nothing positive except making up fake names.. Thanks again

  23. Jess L says:

    Dear Vice Mayor Martinez

    What your time is worth is what someone is willing to pay for it. In this case free is still too expensive, even with all the lonely retired people in Sedona.

    May I suggest next time you offer free pastries and coffee? With your track record it may still cost you nothing. You may have to move up to full breakfast with you promising not to speak.

    There is a saying “Free, and worth it” . In your case free, is not worth it.

    Does it make you wonder that no one thinks it is worth the effort to talk to someone who thinks they are as brilliant and experienced as you think you are? A normal person would embarrassed at a no show event. Not you.

    As someone said in another post, someone would get more satisfaction talking to a rock than to Counselor Martinez. .

  24. John Daniels W Sedona says:

    Mr. Vice Mayor, I don’t know why you waste your effort and time. These nay-sayers like to complain but never stand up for what they believe.

    You continue to call these people out for a nice sit down to listen to their never-ending tails, I would think that if they were really passionate about what they think you’re doing wrong then they would show up.

    These complainers were asked to stand up at a town meeting and speak their minds yet, no one shows their face. (Deleted by Editor)

    IMO, you’re doing a great job Mr. Vice Mayor and I look forward to voting for you again in a heartbeat!!

  25. Wm. & Lois F. says:

    We love Sedona Eye! Why? Because of revelations such as from @West Sedona Dave “I was planning on being their, was just to hot to go out…” explaining why he didn’t meet John Martinez.

    Martinez down one supporter because it was too damn hot? It’s a freakin desert Supporter Man. What degree of hot is too much to get in your air conditioned car in your air conditioned garage and into an air conditioned bakery? Move to Flagstaff if you don’t like the weather. You won’t be missed.

    Oh then there’s @Thomas Branson (fake name too) “Now we know that most here live to complain while undertaking nothing positive except making up fake names..”

    So if most people here are complaining ….then why isn’t the city council listening to them? Because maybe they only hear the cheerleaders and BS artists from the chamber of commerce?

    Ever think about that WS Dave & T Branson? Isn’t it pointless to attempt placing a square peg in a round hole even if it’s vacant?

  26. Thomas Branson says:

    @william and Lois

    You say why does the city not listen to the complaints on Sedona Eye!? Duh because that’s all you do…. by “you” I mean you and all 100 of your alias’s. Just like you couldn’t be bothered meeting the vice mayor….. they(the city council” can’t be bothered taking you seriously partly based on what I said above and also based that you are constantly complains about EVERYTHING. Your are the “problem”.

    BTW. I am using my real name and aren’t afraid to make a statement. Unlike you who hid in the shadows with your CONSTANT BS.

  27. West Sedona Dave says:

    Wm. & Lois F. says:

    Well I am happy you have everything so figured out….Just like the rest of the “eye team”….I am disabled and its not easy to get around…This has been stated more times than not here…
    So enjoy your hate fest, and I do hope that some day you might want to think through what you write?…You never know what tomorrow brings!

  28. GNS, Sedona says:

    For those who might have missed the Vice-Mayor’s original invitation to meet with him, here it is:

    “Vice-Mayor Martinez says:
    July 4, 2019 at 10:56 am
    Anybody that has issues with my support of the Chamber during this critical time of construction, meet me at Sedona Bakery, by Whole Foods, next Thursday (7/11) @ 10:00AM. Find out the facts of why a strong marketing campaign is essential to a vibrant economy for Sedona. We’ll compare work experience backgrounds.”

    Huh? “We’ll compare work experience backgrounds.” That quite possibly summarizes the extent of egocentric thinking that is presently calling the shots!!

    Clearly this man believes he’s at least one level above everyone else. In fact, doesn’t this more to the point prove our Vice-Mayor is so out of touch with the “flatlanders” (as we peons were once labeled on Sedona Eye) meeting with him would be equivalent to having an Audience with The Pope?

    Then we have his small audience of toadies writing comments to defend their hero while attacking anyone who would dare post a grievance on Sedona Eye. Well we sure as hell know we have no voice in the local printed rag! Historically “they” only represent the likes of those who agree with their positions. And some of you wonder why maybe (just maybe) some prefer to conceal their true identity?

    Doing business in Sedona is difficult enough. But understanding what can happen if you don’t go along with the system – well – use your imagination.

    If John Martinez had really offered a sincere opportunity to perhaps discuss both sides of this financial give-away to the regional chamber of commerce, wouldn’t he have included that option in his offer to meet instead of simply implanting both feet in cement and implying “my way or the highway.”

    Hey – there’s an idea. Maybe we can have his honorary foot-prints embedded in the new uptown highway? Hollywood style?

  29. Council Arrogance says:

    ““Vice-Mayor Martinez says:
    July 4, 2019 at 10:56 am
    Anybody that has issues with my support of the Chamber during this critical time of construction, meet me at Sedona Bakery, by Whole Foods, next Thursday (7/11) @ 10:00AM. Find out the facts of why a strong marketing campaign is essential to a vibrant economy for Sedona. We’ll compare work experience backgrounds.”

    Really? There are some amazingly intelligent and accomplished individuals in Sedona, it is the height of arrogance for Martinez to assume he is the smartest person in ANY room. Martinez spent his career as an accountant. How many people look forward to meeting with an accountant in the best of circumstances?

    Martinez should face reality and count his fans in the number of attendees at his recent meeting.

    Councilor Martinez, if they are not the recipient of city funds, they don’t like you.

  30. Mike H says:

    Vice Mayor Martinez is the smartest man in Sedona, just ask him. Does he ever wonder if his jobs and promotions were minority or diversity promotions? LOL

  31. steve Segner says:

    Mike H says: “minority or diversity promotions? ” Wow really you said…. John Martinez is putting in hundreds of hours working on the city council, he offered to meet with anyone for coffee and you make racist statement. Mike: and you will not even use your real name . What is wrong with you people is all about the past ,hate and taking down others and you do exactly what for Sedona, Oh you post on the EYE good for you.
    Did you see this week in the Red Rock news the new number is 77% for visitor support to our tax base, and you want the city and city council to stop supporting Tourism and housing. Grow up you are living free and should be thankful
    for every day tripper and visitor and people this put in the work like John.

  32. Doney Park says:

    As a minority let me assure you that Mike H comments weren’t racist. Remember that 2. a question is never a statement and 3. responding to a fools’ question is always optional for other fools.

  33. @steve Segner says:

    steve Segner, who doesn’t even live in Sedona, is lying big-time when he claims Sedona residents are living free and should be thankful.

    ACCORDING TO
    1. Sperling’s Best Places To Live: “Compared to the rest of the country, Sedona (zip 86336)’s cost of living is 53.30% higher than the U.S. average.

    2. The City of Sedona Proposed Budget 2017-18 (Page 6 of 29): “While the annualized visitor population represents 55% of the total annualized population, the visitors contribute less than 25% of the funding for the operations of the wastewater system.” The pie chart indicates Residents contribute 75.2%.

    BTW, when horrid Steve Segner (my opinion) was serving his own interests as a member of the now defunct Budget Oversight Commission, he wanted to have a food tax levied on groceries sold in Sedona.

  34. Mike H says:

    I’ve met smarter and better men than me of many races. None of them would tell you how smart or good they were.

    A arrogant idiot can be of any race. Take Segner for example.

  35. JD, West Sedona says:

    Completely agree with Mike H “A arrogant idiot can be of any race. Take Segner for example.”

    Double take: “A” arrogant idiot? Gives new meaning to the phrase “takes one to know one?” Still agree with Mike H in spite of the minor boo-boo:-) (ouch) The local paper surely would have picked up on such a gross error NOT:-)

  36. Nathan, Sedona says:

    We’re sort of new to Sedona (2016) and have yet to figure out how this person posting comments as Steve Segner has so darn much clout with Sedona City Hall – Council, Staff, Chamber of Commerce which we understand represents the region and beyond.

    Does the Chamber benefit from legal advice from the Sedona City Attorney? Without hiring an attorney ourselves which we cannot afford is there a way to obtain legitimate answers to these questions?

    Hope this comment isn’t out of line. We really would appreciate direction if it’s appropriate.

    Thanks,
    Nate & Judy

  37. Sam says:

    City website says 55% of city annualized population are visitors. Visitors pay less than 25% of wastewater fees. Residents taxes generate 75% of wastewater fees.

    If city stops advertising for visitors with residents tax money, then our wastewater system can be used exclusively by residents and more residents will get sewer cheaper.

  38. @ Nathan, Sedona says:

    Segner has clout like the little terrier dog has clout over the German shepherds — all bark and relentless, obnoxious aggression. I’ve seen him in action. It helps also that those he pushes around are imbeciles.

  39. Dana Varney says:

    Chambers across the country are being used to help government control the people through corrupt methods. Only when the AG steps in will justice be served. Write your representatives. It’s only way to make change. The Sedona tourism industry has actually been hurt by the regional private club, Chamber of Commerce. 80% of the traffic is drive through. They are not staying or spending in this town. Who wants to sit in stand still traffic. http://sedonacity.com/SedonaFactCollective/TAXreturns/2017-860134659-0f044b79-9O%20Chamber.pdf

  40. Business Owner - Uptown says:

    To Nathan, Sedona:

    That’s easy, I guess those town council people like positive comments and ideas instead of nasty, negative comments by the likes of many on this site.

  41. Lisa, Uptown says:

    No Mystery in Sedona when and if Sedona ever elects a majority of council members with the integrity to disenfranchise the regional chamber of commerce from their overbearing control then maybe we will have a united and peaceful community. Something to think about.

  42. Eddie S. Maddock says:

    Glancing through the comments and unless it was overlooked there doesn’t seem to be any mention of ADOT’s recent maintenance on West 89A.

    Therefore: THANK YOU ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION – GREAT JOB.

    And by the way thanks to one and all who takes time to read Sedona Eye and add your comments. Discussion is good – especially if we can all take a deep breath and if necessary agree to disagree. Oh, and for the record, that’s an opinion.

  43. Marv, Sedodna says:

    Thank you, Mrs. Maddock, for mentioning ADOT and the job they did in West Sedona. Let’s see if the proposed outcome of the less than one mile of SR89A in uptown owned by the city will reflect the same results as the professionals at Arizona Department of Transportation.

  44. Heidi Slaughter says:

    Many people go by a sobriquet, even Shakespeare. Love this site and how it rankles the beasts of power.

  45. F.Y.I. says:

    steve Segner’s claim that visitors support 77% of our tax base is BS (July 14, 2019).

    The last financial status report from the Financial Service Director’s Office was for March 2019. It states

    Annual Revenues 2018: $40,293,74
    City Sales Tax Annual Revenues 2018: $18,393,517
    Bed Tax Annual Revenues 2018: $4,431,680
    . . .This does not result in visitors paying 77% of our annual tax base. It works out to a preliminary figure of 56.6%.

    Residents, however, pay taxes to the SFD and the SOCSD while visitors do not. The amounts are listed on our County Tax Bills. This results in residents paying a greater amount of Sedona’s tax base than visitors.

  46. Wm. D. says:

    Referring to comments from @F.Y.I. just what services does incorporated Sedona provide besides a police department and lousy roads?

    They do NOT provide us with utilities (gas, electric, water, garbage pickup) but they DO collect city taxes from our monthly bills.

    They do NOT fund our fire or school “districts.” The mouthy annoyance on SE that keeps preaching “we pay no property taxes” is wrong. We ARE paying taxes to respective counties for services generally provided by an incorporated area.

    This is NOT a complaint. If anything it’s an acknowledgment of thanks that we do have outside services although why incorporated Sedona is entitled to tax us remains a question.

    The ONLY thing incorporated Sedona clearly supports is their beloved “regional” Chamber of Commerce and the reason for that remains a mystery. And now they advise residents to stay home on busy tourist weekends so as to not clog the traffic?

    So if there’s a special event at the Posse Grounds or other community productions during a weekend we are being instructed to stay home and refrain from attending so as to not add to the traffic backups created possibly as a result of amateurs in charge of promoting Sedona?

    Hey people – Sedona was discovered before Sedona was incorporated and sloppy mismanagement is clearly counter-productive.

    Oh – yeah – above is MY OPINION so some addled minded control freak doesn’t decide to file a law suit. SICK? You decide.

    The audacity of these people is over the top, but even worse IMO is the fact the voters elected them!! Sissies acquiescing to scare tactics like the public library and humane society would close if we didn’t elect these people and approve of Home Rule. BS, BS, BS – neither of those conveniences and other public services has one thing to do with incorporated Sedona except like other non-profits they are allowed to request public funding on an annual basis.

    Sedona residents – WAKE UP. You are even more disgusting and despicable than the the City/Chamber ripoff ……………… IMO!!!!!!

  47. Steve segner says:

    One more time Sedona has nothing to do with the county property tax or the fire department, Sedona does not have a city property tax. City income comes primarily from sales tax and bed tax 70% plus, try to understand this.
    f.Y.I, anytime you want to compare property tax bills let me know. The taxes on commercial property are much higher then on residential My county taxes are $25,000 + a year my fire tax runs over $12,000+ a year and you don’t think my guests pay their fair share? City studies, county studies and fire department studies, have shown that commercial properties are paying more and their fare share, for fire and waste water management.
    Lisa, if you had paid attention you would’ve seen if the city council broke the contract with the chamber this year on the splitting of the bed tax, the city controls The bed 100% local elected officials decide how the money is spent and they realized in a tourist town we need marketing. Anybody it doesn’t delete it down with John Martinez like he has offered for coffee or call the city mayor and ask them directly you don’t have to take my word for it

  48. Old Charley, Sedona says:

    @Steve segner please point out where @Lisa Uptown wrote anything about canceling the chamber/city contract?

    What was suggested was electing “a majority of council members with the integrity to disenfranchise the regional chamber of commerce from their overbearing control.”

    So they S-canned the controversial contract and yet they still budgeted $2,492,500 to Chamber for 2019/20 fiscal year? Doesn’t the stench from incorporated Sedona continue to become far worse than the Wastewater Treatment plant while John Martinez appointed by City Council as Vice-Mayor continues to go on record pledging support for the City/Chamber romance? Martinez expects us to meet with him? What for?

    @WmD pointed out the lack of services actually provided by Sedona city is outstanding! Most don’t know that important info. In reality what council does best besides giving millions of $$$$ to the Chamber is expand and create more departments at City Hall and hire more overpaid employees to dream up ways to give even more money to the Chamber for other damn reasons that make no sense.

    This rip off city gets more than their fair share of the property taxes we pay to respective counties because they collect city taxes on our utility bills and anything else we purchase. In addition they receive money from the counties (our property taxes) for projects like flood control.

    The day they include taxing groceries is the day we do ALL our shopping outside city limits. That info Segner is information you can count on without a poll. Increased taxes should be the choice of the people and never the city. It’s time for a referendum. It’s time for a cleansing to find Sedona’s soul again and restore her from the evils of daytripper tourism.

  49. F.Y.I. says:

    The Mayor fails to agree with Steve segner’s self-serving BS about the City of Sedona needing marketing. Sandy Moriarty proclaimed:

    “Tourists aren’t goin’ to go away whether the Chamber advertises or not, frankly. They’re not goin’ away! There’s a million ways people hear about Sedona. They’ve been hearing about it for years…everybody knows about it!” – This statement stemmed from the “Meet the Candidates for Mayor” forum at the Sedona Public Library on July 18, 2018. (Source: “Mayor on Tourism Ad Dollars Unnecessary” article, August 2, 2018, SEDONA EYE.)

    BTW, the City of Sedona Proposed Budget 2017-18 (Page 6 of 29) indicates that the approximately 60 percent of residents on the sewer pay 75.2% of the funding to operate the wastewater system. This is more than our fair share. Wasn’t it Rob Adams who wanted sewered residents to pay 100%?

    NO WAY does 70% plus of City income come from sales tax and bed tax. As the SEDONA COMMUNITY REPORT SPRING 2018 STATES: “FY 2017 city revenues generated by sales & bed taxes . . . .57% [not 70% plus], two-thirds of which is paid by visitors (i.e, 38%).

    NO 2019 Community Report exists. FY 2018 Annual Revenues (total) according to the City Financial Services Department’s status reports: $40,293,980. Total Annual Sales Tax Revenues: $18,393,517 (the sales tax rate increased by .5 percent on March 1). Total Annual Bed Tax Revenues: $4,431,690.

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