Home » City Council, Community » Eye on Sedona Changes with Eddie Maddock

Eye on Sedona Changes with Eddie Maddock

SedonaEye.com columnist Eddie Maddock

SedonaEye.com columnist Eddie Maddock

Sedona AZ (March 18, 2015) – “Changes Are A Comin’!” In fact, changes appear to be on a fast tract in this new year of 2015.

City Manager Tim Ernster served his last day in that capacity on February 13, 2015, to be replaced by Justin Clifton of Delta, Colorado, the selected choice from 108 applicants. Mr. Clifton is expected to relocate to Sedona early in May, and has indicated his willingness to initially spend considerable time listening to the community.

Applications are presently being accepted for the position of Sedona City Attorney since Michael Goimarac also recently announced his intention to retire.

The man who wore many hats at City Hall, Nick Gioello, packed up his gear and hit the road for Eugene, Oregon, after having served the City of Sedona for the past 17 years. From a Code Enforcement Officer to Assistant to the City Manager and most points between, Gioello made friends and accommodated folks along the way.

Quite possibly his greatest legacy to Sedona is his voice-over in the artistic video production of Sedona’s most remembered “Vision Statement” currently shown at the beginning of council meetings. Not for long, however, because this City Council on March 11 discussed revising and updating the creation. Council members John Martinez and Scott Jablow strongly supported retaining the present version. Angela LaFevre also agreed with the exception of the background music. A final decision for replacement remains pending and will be decided at a future date.

For those who have not had the opportunity to experience the talent of Mr. Gioello, the link below is offered for your enjoyment. But hurry because this original Sedona artistic masterpiece stands to soon be replaced at the discretion of this seated City Council.

Click on Item 2, “City’s Vision Statement.” Length: one minute, seventeen seconds. (Council is considering something shorter.)


Viewing the above at actual council meetings or on live TV, Cable Channel 4, is far more impressive on a “big screen” – honest!

As with the Vision Statement, City Council mulled over replacing “A Moment of Silence” with “A Moment of Art.” A number of comments have already been posted on this website relating to that discussion.

By a vote of 6-1 (John Martinez opposing) City Council approved adding a Moment of Art at the beginning of the first Tuesday monthly meetings of Regular Council Meetings, beginning in April. Also, the final decision by 5-2 approval was to retain the “Moment of Silence.” (The two council members objecting to retaining the Moment of Silence were Jon Thompson and Jessica Williamson.)

sedona city viewDuring this March 11 council meeting, there was also a thirty minute discussion about modifying City Council Rules of Procedure and/or other Council Meeting Protocols: Because city legal representation was not present at this meeting, it was decided for Jon Thompson and John Martinez, together with Interim City Manager Karen Daines, to schedule a meeting with City Attorney Mike Goimarac to discuss recommendations from council members and report back to City Council at a later date.

So, yes, change is inevitable. Some of it is beneficial, some of it is not. More proposed changes will undoubtedly be forthcoming if for no other reason than to comply with certain specifications established in the Revised Community Plan.

Stay awake. Be alert. It is a public process.

To quote Jose Ortega Y Gasset, “Better beware of notions like genius and inspiration; they are a sort of magic wand and should be used sparingly by anybody who wants to see things clearly.”

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

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


  1. steve Segner says:

    real “sharlett”
    to answer you questions
    1. Gorilla tactics are a way to advertise with very little money (seemed to work) look it up.
    2, El portal now pays the chamber $1,000.00 more a month then it ever did to be on there web page, best money I have ever spent ,
    Sharlett- there are people that work to better Sedona, we work on committees we give money to local groups we help elect people that we think will do a good job and we get involved….that is how the system works.
    You may not like the programs we are working on, that is ok, so get off you ass and do something beside attacking the worker bees in town.
    steve Segner

  2. Why this ongoing crabbing about the city contract with chamber/lodging for destination marketing? The previous city council secured the contract for three years, at which time another council election will be on the chart. In the meantime this fellow Steve Segner agrees “they” locked in this present council of like minded thinkers, so nothing is going to change. So no, I don’t get all the complaining now, after the fact.

    Get over it and live with it. Incorporated Sedona, including City Hall and elected officials, has been bought and paid for and those that didn’t bother to vote allowed it to happen.

    Pat yourselves on the back, majority of apathetic. And continue to enjoy the traffic snarls and other degradation of Sedona’s quality of life which will continue to get worse because you allow it to.

  3. anonymous says:

    Contract has 30 day cause and city council can use the money to improve the city.
    Everyone should let the CC know to revoke the contract with chamber.

  4. Steve E says:

    What “Do not understand” left out is these city contracts for questionable services just keep on keeping on. Another 25 $$grand a year for the city to promote performing arts? What about the former concept of CREATIVE incentives that didn’t drain city coffers due to today’s lack of ingenuity and pride to fund raise to provide financial support for special interests?

    City pays for art in public places like roundabouts, subsidizes Art Coalitions and EVERY special non profit annual event —- including those not even thought up yet! Just wait until the budget calls for in-demand sources of NEW money from the lowly residents accused of not paying their fair share which, by the way, isnt true.

    Clearly our Fair Share is being recklessly misspent for things not all of us want or need — since we DO contribute sizable amounts of revenue thru various forms of taxes as outlined by former city council candidate Ron Budnick. If Budnick had been elected it would have been the worst nightmare for all the freeloaders in the Verde Valley, over and above those specifically mentioned in comments on this web site!

    Sedona voters, where were you when it counted?????

    When city property taxes, user fees, special districts, bonds and increased sales tax are seriously on the table, after the city coffers have been drained because of frivolous decisions, will the apathetic finally shake their sleepy heads and ask Whaaaaahh Hoppen?????

    Too little too late. Shameful.

  5. @anonymous – what you don’t seem to understand is that probably not even one person on this city council, forget a quorum, would be in favor of activating the 30-day cancellation clause.

    That is why S. Segner, and unfortunately rightly so is able to toot his horn and admit that chamber/lodging is in control of much of the Verde Valley. And Sedona city taxes are footing the bill. That is one thing we should all understand but understanding why the fools in Sedona allowed this to happen is the missing link.

    If by some miracle even one person on that city council could see through this and prove me wrong it would be a happy occasion. However, 30-day cancellation is a joke unless the regional C of C got a better contract elsewhere.

  6. I’M BAAAAACK to say hi to the “real” Sharlett.

    Good evening “miss” Sharlett. In your comment above you say; “when you owned up to your concept of corrupt gorilla bully tactics” well that’s not entirely the truth is it? In all honestly Mr Segner owned up to saying that he used gorilla tactics in the election which are neither corrupt nor bullying. You just don’t like the term gorilla tactics because he’s smart enough to do it and has used he rights as a person who chose to spend his own money as he saw fit in the election. So you’re once again putting your own opinion or spin of your interpretation of what you want people to think.

    Sort of like when you say to us how you’re real name is Shartlett because your mother calls you that. I have repeatedly asked you to use your last name like Donna and Eddie AND Steve do. You instead dodge the question and change the topic. So you may use the name Sharlett above and really be a male named Steve who has a twig and walnuts to prove it.

  7. Donna Varney says:

    As I long time, resident, property owner, business owner and chair of a non-profit (that gets NO funding from the city) in the city limits. I completely understand why someone would use a pseudo name. Many using a pseudo name demand that others give up their real name, I find that odd.

    Since I lived here so long, I can say that I have seen those that did not go along get abused, bullied even physically attacked. I could give you many examples, many are public records. For example my husband was physically attacked over “advertising dollars” The city of Sedona prosecuted the person.

    Those of us the live within the city limits, homeowners are invested in the city of Sedona. Each and every one of us “Pay to Play”. Those that operate a business within the city limits is their choice. Retail & Lodging pay sales and bed tax just as every other city in the US. I selected to live inside the city limits for many reasons. I expected the city to provide city services like our City Attorney did when my husband got assaulted.

    As a business owner I do NOT expect the city to pay for my advertising, nor do I want the City to force me to join any club (AKA Chamber) I strongly feel that every resident counts. Businesses count, but differently. Businesses pay many fees not just taxes. We have licenses, sewer, signage ect. I expect the City of Sedona to treat each and every business with fairness. No one should get “special” treatment or funding. This includes the lodging, Chamber of commerce, and non-profits that do not provide the City a service. The Chamber only advertises themselves and their regional members, most of them are not in the city limits.

    When it comes to money some feel anything goes. That is why most cities would never fund a regional trade organization like the Sedona Chamber – Lodging group. Illegal where I come from. They benefit solely from the 1.2 million and that is 100% disrespectful to every business, city staff and resident in the city. Many of the chamber members agree but are afraid to speak up. In my opinion. It makes the entire group look like hillbillies. Completely embarrassing to me.

    Incorporated City of Sedona, simple,professional and focused on the City limits. The city of Sedona has enough on their plate and should not be paying expenses for special business groups.

    Back to pseudo names, people get attacked and hurt when they speak up using their real names. I understand and have witness that.

  8. Angie D says:

    @Donna Varney – I agree with the premise that people are afraid to step out of the shadows. Therefore the value of being able to vent under an assumed name.

    However what I’m observing on Sedona Eye is a handful of people taking advantage of that opportunity, using pseudos as a means of distraction from logical discussions. In other words, the attempt to make a handful of unknown people the center of attention has unfortunately used that as a device to discredit the publication as other comments have pointed out.

    You deserve tremendous credit for stepping out, unafraid of the consequences, to make yourself known and state the facts. Thank you for upholding integrity. Wish others would do the same.

  9. Confused says:

    I thought the chamber in Sedona was a branch of city goverment they way they talk in newspaper.
    Sedona sounds like it a political nightmare. Scary and not the place I want to retire to. Good Luck!

  10. Steve Segner says:

    @Donna Varney – I agree with the premise that people are afraid to step out of the shadows. Therefore the value of being able to vent under an assumed name.

    Oh ,please this is just a forum. and we all want the same this, a better Sedona. some want no growth, some want us to be a large HMO, with out common area fees. and some would like change…. ok by me ,the idea that someone need use a made up name is only because they make statements they will need to take heat over. (as it should be)If we say something the we need to be able to be asked for proof,
    Now it is just throwing stones and running,

    Redneck News

  11. William S. says:

    No need to be “Confused.” The “regional” Chamber of Commerce is running everything even though not “officially” a branch of city government. No longer a good place to live or retire. In fact, members of this present city council have gone on record complaining about the “retirees” in Sedona. Just be happy you found this out before you were fooled to thinking this was a decent place. Maybe once but no longer.

  12. Bob, uptown says:

    What a crock. That so-called editorial is stupid, its writer ignorant. Historically from Ben Franklin to Thomas Jefferson to FDR to Woodward & Bernstein to countless millions whether a name is attached to a comment means NOTHING. All the above used media pseudonyms and or relied on no-name sources.

    It’s what one says that matters, not ones moniker. What a ridiculous ass the editor is, what a ridiculous paper he edits. No wonder most of us don’t subscribe or buy it. No wonder most of us read his nameless other news. I’m guessing they got their current revenue numbers and have to fight low readership and the others are taking them to the mat.

    It’s like listening to Al Sharpton justify Baltimore riots…we know how much credence his name gives his comments. Keep talking SE people. We’re listening.

  13. Agree 90% of your Bob comment. WHY Mr. Editor did you let Steve Segner’s link to go up? Didn’t you play to their because he must support that paper? That’s the 10% difference with Bob. WHY Mr. Editor are you giving free advertising/free readers to them? Marginalize them! Stay the course Sedona Eye and others. Stay the course! (They must feel like you’re stealing their wheelchairs.)

  14. Warren says:

    It’s a total joke for the SRRN to be lecturing about journalistic integrity. They haven’t any. Read my story about being forever banned from their pathetic publication.

  15. Thank you, Steve Segner, for enlightening the world of Sedona Eye readers to the phony-baloney nonsense of the local “REDNECK News.” Well said.

    (But quite possibly an insult to legitimate “rednecks” who have far more class than the editorial to which you refer as well as integrity and fairness in journalism which as a rule is sorely lacking in our local “Redneck” production.)

    Makes me appreciate Sedona Eye more than ever. Thanks again. You sure made my day – ho, ho, ho and one for road. YES:-)

  16. Judy Stein says:

    To Mr Warren Woodword

    What a shame, doesn’t CF Graham know that you are always right? He should have known that if he questioned anything from anywhere he just has to ask you.

  17. Jan says:

    @Judy Stein – Are you aware of the very nasty editorial the Redneck News published during the last Sedona election? It massacred those candidates that didn’t support excessive funding to the chamber of commerce, in particular mayoral candidate Cliff Hamilton. And if ever we needed appropriate financial guidance Ron Budnick was the man also shot down by special interests only out for city money.

    Maybe you might consider taking a page from Mr. Woodward’s book and learn a few valid facts yourself. Or are you among those that refuse to believe Smart Meters can’t endanger your health? That’s OK but it isn’t just you that’s subjected to the consequences.

    “Redneck News” has historically been known for “selective” publication of letters to the editor, which of course is the prerogative of the publisher but most assuredly doesn’t guarantee professionalism in the field of journalism.

  18. It's True says:

    If anyone believes the “Redneck News” hesitates to do a hatchet job on any person, issue, or candidate that goes against their own “opinions” then you must be snowbirds from Alaska and up for buying a refrigerator for sale that’s advertised in that same publication.

    And just what’s so professional about that well known policy?

    When the pot calls the kettle black, it is what it is. At least by the asinine editorial so generously shared by Steve Segner we have been reminded of the less than stellar tactics offered by our hometown printed newspaper. Really?

    But for sure they keep up with what’s happening on Sedona Eye.

  19. Jackie says:

    judy judy judy go back

    sedona hates narrowminded/closeminded bigots and yay there readers were those words redneck poetry????????????????

  20. steve Segner says:

    Jen did you ever think the the Red Rock new just did not want Cliff?
    So the wrote and Editorial , that is what papers do. Do you do know the difference between a news paper and blog that lets anyone post.

  21. Tom says:

    Selective arguments do not elevate. Sedonaeye is solid news. RR is selective. Steve, buddy, you have been given a voice. I read you and others here in real time and unfiltered. I read you on the road here not other places. Yes, there’s a difference.

  22. Jan says:

    Segner, I’m Jan – not Jen if you intended to reply to me.

    Do you know the difference between the “Redneck News” and “the the Red Rock new?”

    For sure we agree on one thing. You state: “the the Red Rock new just did not want Cliff. ” And neither did YOU. So you and the two publications you mention got your way. So where’s the beef?

  23. Sean says:

    By a vote of 6-1 (John Martinez opposing) City Council approved adding a Moment of Art at the beginning of the first Tuesday monthly meetings of Regular Council Meetings, beginning in April. Also, the final decision by 5-2 approval was to retain the “Moment of Silence.” (The two council members objecting to retaining the Moment of Silence were Jon Thompson and Jessica Williamson.)

    How’s that Moment d’Art working out for ya?

  24. Wally says:

    Cannot resist temptation. Song & dance at a city council meeting? Bring on the monkey and organ grinder (is that what they were called?) and let’s pitch pennies into the circus ring. Honestly? Unbelievable.

    Art in it’s place is one thing, the operative words being “in it’s place.” At Council meetings cheapens not only the reason for the meetings but the “performers” as well. Like in, how desperate can they be?

    The most artistic part of the Council meetings is at the beginning – the Vision Statement video narrated by Nick Gioello. They should have left it at that. But if Jon Thompson has his way he’ll redo the one good thing they have going for them. Ego will prevail on center stage. Good for John Martinez for recognizing the inappropriate suggestion for what it was.

    Not a surprise that Jessica Williamson and Jon Thompson declined the moment of silence. God forbid if they took time to think.

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