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Eye on Sedona Code Enforcement

Article submitted by City of Sedona AZ

Article submitted by City of Sedona AZ and written by Audree Juhlin, Community Development Director

Sedona AZ (June 9, 2015) – What do vacation rentals, holiday lights, and overgrown weeds have in common? They all are regulated by City of Sedona codes and regulations. It is Sedona’s goal to maintain the highest quality of life possible for our residents, businesses and visitors. Sedona’s code enforcement division, which has been a core City service since Sedona was incorporated in 1988, plays a vital role in maintaining a beautiful Sedona.

Like other cities around the nation, Sedona’s code enforcement program focuses primarily on responding to complaints about possible code violations. Someone sees that the weeds in front of an absent neighbor’s house are nearly two feet high and calls code enforcement. Someone else suspects that the house across the street is being rented as a vacation home and registers a complaint. Or, a citizen files a complaint about a business that leaves holiday lights up all year.

How does code enforcement work? When a complaint is received, Sedona’s code enforcement staff schedules an inspection. Based on the findings of the inspection and verification of a violation, the property owner is informed about the situation and methods for compliance. If a violation is not found to exist, staff notifies the complainant of the findings. Fortunately, it has been staff’s experience that many property owners and tenants are simply not familiar with many of our codes, and that once they have the information, the majority voluntarily bring the situation into compliance.

Sedona AZ

Sedona AZ

The current staffing level of two code enforcement officers makes it nearly impossible to undertake extensive proactive enforcement of all City codes. Code enforcement cannot be in every neighborhood every day, so we rely on citizens to let us know about possible violations. If you are concerned about a situation that you think might be a code violation, there are a number of ways you can share your observations. We follow-up on every complaint and will let you know the outcome.

For your convenience, there are several ways to report a concern or violation:

  • Report it online. Go to the “Report It!” webpage at www.SedonaAZ.gov/reportit to submit concerns or download the app.
  • Stop by the Community Development Department at 102 Roadrunner Drive, Building 104.
  • Call (928) 203-5000.
  • Complete a Citizen Assistance Form available online at www.SedonaAZ.gov/cd. This form is located under “code enforcement” on the Development Services web page under Community Development Department.

We are all privileged to live in such a beautiful place. The City remains committed to its code enforcement activities and recognize that team work is essential to our success. We are devoted to work in partnership with our residents, businesses, and neighborhood associations to ensure Sedona remains a great place to live, work and visit.

If you have questions about code enforcement or want more information, please contact Senior Code Enforcement Officer Glenn Sharshon at (928) 204-7114 or by using the City’s hot line phone number (928) 203-5000 or email Glenn at gsharshon@SedonaAZ.gov.

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

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

39 Comments

  1. Thank you, Audree, for addressing this very important City responsibility.

    Although I’ve not had the pleasure of meeting Sedona’s new code enforcer, Glenn Sharshon, he most respectfully responded to an e-mail. It also seems his excellent reputation is rapidly spreading via the Sedona grapevine. A perhaps rare event when positive news is circulated?

    Having watched a Council Meeting when Mr. Sharshon addressed the issue of code enforcement, he was extremely impressive. It’s very unfortunate those making decisions at City Hall fail to make it a priority to provide adequate manpower in order for Glenn to adequately perform his job. I will leave it at that.

    Eddie M.

  2. Jan says:

    Sure they’ll spend $29,000 annually to Red Earth Theater to lease the Teen Center which will cost city another $40,000 annually for maintenance.

    Doesn’t that total $69,000 a year? And yet they can’t afford to hire another code enforcer to help Glenn do his job? Oh my! Are priorities a bit askew or what?

  3. anonymous says:

    HEY City Councilors why don’t you take care of city functions? You give away money to every nonprofit yet you don’t respect your residents and staff. Very sick. If you can aford to fund nonprofit you can afford to give code inforcement what they need. Glenn is going a great job.

  4. Andrea says:

    Believe me, Glenn has his plate full. Between noise complaints and rat infestations, he is working hard to keep the codes enforced and he does this with diplomacy. And he is no-nonsense.. I pray he does not burn out.! In my neighborhood he perseveres in keeping noise and stupid activity reined in.

    The Red Earth people are very responsible. I’ve met their Director. These people are not slobs. Money is NOT always the bottom line. I agree it should not be frittered away, but it does need to be spent. Otherwise, what’s the point of doing or getting anything beneficial?

  5. William S. says:

    @Jan, you left out the “city” sponsored Tuesday events at Sound Bites. Any idea what that costs? In fact, has anyone seen the total budget for Parks & Recreation? They sure do seem to have unlimited funds based on the number of ongoing events. To hell with roads, etc. and enforcing codes. After all aren’t rules just there for the purpose of being broken? Apparently so in Sedonia. So, Sedonia teens, live, drink, and be merry. The city will foot the bill.

  6. Jan says:

    By no means did I intend to deride the function or ability of Red Earth Theater @Andrea. In fact, every special interest group serves a positive purpose for those they serve. My point is to question priorities which unfortunately do involve public money.

    Since there is only so much to go around, is the city acting responsibly by denying adequate help for Glenn to do his job efficiently when as someone else pointed out $69,000 annually has been designated for the operation of the Red Earth Theater? Would the city be better off to sell the Boys & Girls Club which has been nothing but a financial drain on the city for years?

    Why is there no “master plan” for drainage and yet one I believe exists for the Dept. of Parks & Recreation? How valuable would P & R activities be if facilities are flooded out? What’s the point in having city codes and ordinances if they cannot effectively be enforced?

    Is questioning the pecking order of priorities inappropriate? And unfortunately how can financial constraints be ignored when evaluating common sense provisions versus more light-hearted pleasures when the bottom line becomes either/or because accomplishing both isn’t feasible?

  7. Andrea says:

    I see your point @Jan. Because theater is touchy, feel-good and “fun” it’s like the city throwing a dog a bone (i.e, “Will you please have fun now?”). I read your post again and you make alot of sense. I wish these forums would be kind and respectful—we could get alot done this way! I keep having this radical idea that the current structure of city government is obsolete and people bicker and bicker about the way money is spent because they have absolutely no input. They pay their taxes and see money thrown around like birdseed. The formal structure of the City Council is too elite. “Ordinary” people don’t feel privy to what is going down. Hence, the screaming frustration.

  8. E. Maddock says:

    @Andrea. As others have pointed out, it seems non-essential city issues have taken top priority. After being elected it seems more often than not (at least for the past few years) council members forget their responsibility was supposed to represent the voters. My comment is derived from having watched and listened to council meetings and losing count of the number of times “I” pops up. Frequently if speakers disagree with council members or discuss issues council deems insignificant they are given an obvious “ho-hum” reception. That has been my observation in the past with some speakers regarding Smart Meters and recently those appearing with concerns about jet trails.

    Of course certain other vocal folks continue to have their way. Translated: Those who support the “I” thinking of the city council. It’s also my opinion that more often than not decisions have been “unofficially” made prior to public meetings such as the decision to pay back the Chamber of Commerce with the Destination Marketing Contract upon approval of the bed tax increase. Of course, there’s no concrete proof of that.

    Back to subject: How can Glenn Sharshon adequately perform his duty to enforce codes and ordinances without necessary personnel? How much city revenue is being lost due to violators who continue to get away with breaking city laws and aren’t cited due to shortage of manpower? Priorities?

    Agreeing also that rational discussions are better served to create beneficial dialog than sleazy remarks representing only an attempt to silence those offering differing opinions.

  9. How do you know they won’t hire a another code enforcement officer!!!??? I know lets just complain about for now and make a issue out of potentially nothing..Sounds about right…complain for the sake of complaining!!! Why wait and see when we can spew nonsense right now…Right on

  10. Joanne says:

    Well, since the need of a code enforcement officer is now officially acknowledged by West Sedona Resident, who many suspect sits on the city council, why didn’t it happen a long time ago instead of all the other frills and non-essentials?

    I’m doing my best to politely acknowledge your comment, WSR, because you probably head the top of the list of rude commentators. All I can say is I do so hope you are correct and that Glenn Sharshon will soon have the assistance he needs.

    Thank you.

  11. E. Maddock says:

    My goodness – it seems either West Sedona Resident got up on the wrong side of the bed or somebody pushed one or more buttons that detonated another explosion. Oh well. The important thing here is whether or not Glenn receives the help he needs. (in my opinion)

  12. Joanne

    I assure you I’m just a lowly sedona resident taxpayer…
    But Thnks for the compliment

    Maybe Glenn doesn’t need another guy…. You ever think about that….?
    Why don’t we all make something out of nothing?
    Oh yea, can’t pass up a an opportunity to speak up and complain..
    Right on

  13. Andrea says:

    @Eddie: here’s how to maximize Glenn Sharshon’s time and energy: we help him do his job. It’s an attitude of support to people who are trying to make a difference. I won’t elaborate, at the risk of coming off like goody two-shoes, but I’m sure you get the idea. We simply have the attitude of helping the guy do his job. So we help him! We don’t sling unnecessary problems in his face. Public service has degenerated into this weird, neutered, bureaucratic, self-serving ugly creature and those that are trying to keep their integrity have to look at on a daily basis. ( It’s getting late, I should probably stop…)
    Thank you, Eddie. Great forum!

  14. After keeping track of little quirks that commenters add to their opinions, I am 99.8% sure that West Sedona Resident is Steve Segner. Check it out.

  15. E. Maddock says:

    Excellent suggestions, Andrea. Your observations and evaluations IMO are very astute.

    Credit and thanks for the forum should go to C. Bentley Hill, Publisher/Editor of Sedona Eye, who makes it possible by welcoming all contributions and comments, with or without “real” names.

    As the policy may be criticized from time to time it doesn’t seem to prevent those squawking the most from using pseudo-names. People are a trip!

  16. @Just Thinking, of course it’s possible WSR is Steve Segner but I have my doubts because of the number of comments he makes using his real name. And why shouldn’t he? Based on his Trust Me sales-pitch to the city council when they formally agreed to the chamber ad contract, he clearly had that council in the palm of his hand (or back pocket?) and nothing’s changed. (Maybe it’s Steve Segner’s hand now in the back pockets of city council and staff would be more like it?)

    As the previous mayor drooled, council members and staff all but grovel at the feet of Jennifer Wesselhoff and Segner every time they appear before the council. In fact, wasn’t it Mayor Sand out of order but seeing Steve asked him if he wanted to speak at the last council meeting? I didn’t stick around long enough to see if he took her up on it.

  17. Looking at this debate from a different perspective, I think it’s repulsive to ask fellow citizens to spy and report on other fellow citizens. It is reminiscent of authoritarian states like Soviet Russia and Eastern Europe back then having their citizens spy and report on one another. For me this is more of a civil rights/privacy issue than a financial one.

  18. Steve segner says:

    Steve segner sorry I use my name , I’m not west sedona , but I like comments

  19. Just Sayin' says:

    I’ve also been keeping track; I am 99.8% sure that Just Thinking is DJV.

  20. Just thinking

    Yea ok…. What a fantastic detective you are…

    Why should steve S post under a factious name, he always uses his real name Duh..
    Keep up the good work

  21. E. Maddock says:

    Henry Twombly, you just made a believer out of me. Of course you are correct and I completely overlooked the repercussions which some of us continue to experience as a result of having made an effort to defend our property rights. We need and deserve adequate enforcement. Thanks for the jolt back to reality.

  22. Andrea says:

    @WSR why are you so pent-up, sarcastic and mad? Look at what you are doing and saying. Why? Use your words. Contribute some ideas useful feedback or humor. If you are dealing with alot of frustration, join the club! Otherwise, leave it alone. My real name is Garcinaphilomaxiatrantulantibulai, but I go by Andrea because it’s easier. Who cares? Come on!.

  23. Donna Varney says:

    Paranoia has a hold of you. Donna Varney, Donna Joy, or DJV is not your “Just Thinking”. I have no problem using my real name. I would image that he / she is a business, chamber or employee of the city who sees how discrimination occurs. They are probably just afraid of retaliation from those being funded by the city for their special interest groups.

    The more you attempt to bring or blame me the more I will speak up.

    All the bullying, slander, name calling and begging for city funding makes the entire Sedona region look foolish, in my opinion. World class businesses, outstanding Managers and Directors don’t need a small city to fund their private enterprises or marketing. Let the city do their thing. The City does owe the residents and businesses fair minded,equality, and a level playing field. Mostly respect and appreciation for their contributions. It is the foot print of the incorporated district that contributes and the city of Sedona’s responsibility.

    Don’t confuse a non-profit 501 C (3) like the adult center, recycle, or human society with a regional membership based group like the chamber. The chamber is not the same kind of non profit. They are a regional membership base (not City), a trade association 501 C (6). Not a charitable donation.

    If you think your silence will protect you, you are wrong. The regional Chamber along with their Affinity group- Sedona Lodging just got awarded more money. Just under 1.5 million for the year. They stood up and told the city council that “They” are responsible for ALL Sales and Bed Tax. They discredit every resident, business, and non profit in the city limits of Sedona.

    Remember the highest paid in the region are government employees and the regional chamber.

    Silence is endorsing them. I encourage everyone to stand up. You have strength in numbers. Make a change, unite for a better tomorrow.

    Thank you Sedona Eye for giving us a open forum.
    Donna Joy Varney

  24. Rockin Roger says:

    To Donna Varney

    After reading your latest posting I went back to the city council meeting and reviewed that portion of the meeting and not once did I see the chamber or anyone else say that “They” were responsible for ALL sales and Bed tax.

  25. Donna Varney says:

    Thanks @ Rockin Roger Corrected, Watch the whole meeting and read the report. Very clear. Spin the words anyway you want. Charts show ALL Sales and Bed Tax. They are not an exclusive in city business association, they are regional. They advertise themselves,(not the city of Sedona) the regional chamber and refer all business to their members only. Then say they did a great job. Odd when you think of it they are the one reviewing themselves. The finance department should be the ones reviewing the return on investment. They have no conflict of interest. The members within the city limits, who benefit from this program should be writing the review and tracking the benefit .

    Same deal as the chamber membership composition, Jennifer includes every business within 86336 as being in the city limits when they are not. Checks and balances is how I see other cities manage things. Sure would make it transparent.

  26. steve Segner says:

    Sorry, sales up in Sedona $35,000,000 year end will be over $40,000,000
    We always said the numbers will show (trust us) if the marketing is working,Sedona is up over state average by 50% go figure?
    ss

  27. Marty says:

    Segner, what proof can you offer that sales wouldn’t equal what you report without your crediting the chamber of commerce? If you can offer conclusive proof of your claims then maybe you might substantiate some sort of credibility. What you offer here is smoke and mirrors – nothing else.

    Sorry about your convenient spin but sorrier that our city council sits in command wearing blinders. Oh I forgot. They were hand picked and paid for during the last election. What you can rightfully claim ownership to is that your guerrilla tactics succeeded.

  28. Andrea says:

    Holy Mastermind Marketing, Batman! 50% above state average? I didn’t know we were in a competition. There’s a TV show called “American Greed” I think Sedona’s Chamber of Commerce deserves a spot on it. I’ll call my agent…

    “Accepting the “Sacred Money and Markets” story that money is wealth is a fabrication that is literally killing us.” David Korten, former professor of Harvard Business School.

    PS, using grammar and punctuation is still totally cool in most circles@Segner.

  29. Steve Segner says:

    Ya, what idots,$ 1,500,000 in new city tax income and $ 40,000,000 in new sales for Sedona merchants.

  30. anonymous says:

    @Steve Segner……… It’s all because of you and the chamber, right? Oh brother! The economy has changed, tourism is up, housing is on the rise all over the U.S. Wasn’t your “trust me” suppose to bring in visitors during the down time? Measure occupancy at those times. Sedona always books during peak seasons. Looks like you just prove Donna Varney right. You take credit for everything. Disgusting taking taxpayers money to pad your own pockets. Shame on the city for doing so.
    Kudos @Steve suckner your doing a great job of destroying Sedona. Sucking Sedona dry.

  31. jack says:

    “idots” @Steve Segner. The only idiots I see are those that are seated as Sedona City Council. They believe your crap “Steve idot”.

  32. Pathetic says:

    Those of us living and operating businesses inside incorporated Sedona will continue to be abused as long as we allow it to happen. There’s no one else to blame but those who sit in silence and say or do nothing. Next year is another city election. The ad contract, locked in for three years, will be approved again before the election. The buck does stop with the city council. That’s why Segner and his gang locked in “their” people. No honor among thieves. Sedona government is proof. Lame and disgusting.

  33. Alarmed says:

    Page 70 of the City of Sedona 2014 CAFR (Comprehensive Annual Financial Report) provides “Current Year and Nine Years Ago” sales tax revenue comparisons by category.

    During the nine year period from 2005 to 2014, the “Percentage of Total” attributable to HOTELS AND OTHER LODGINGS decreased from 24.7% in 2005 ($3.2 Million) to 18.6% in 2014 ($2.2 Million). In addition, didn’t two recent Chamber surveys show a 20% decline in length of stay in less than one year?

    Marty is correct. Steve Segner is dishing “Smoke and mirrors–nothing else.”

  34. Warren says:

    @ Pathetic — “The buck does stop with the city council.”

    Actually the buck stops with the voters. People are getting what they voted for and they are getting it good and hard.

  35. Andrea says:

    @alarmed Perhaps because the vacation rental business is booming! No enforcement, no sanctions. Am I right that it’s still on the books as being against the law to rent a place out for less than a month? With more hotels under construction and deals swiftly moving forward, we won’t recognize this town. And this gang of opportunists will slink into the background. Blerghh… There has to be a solution out there. Please somebody, offer me a glimmer of hope or a novel idea if that’s at all possible.

  36. Pathetic says:

    It seems they just won’t give up. Apparently since Coconino County made short term rentals legal, now this city council really believes Sedona should do the same thing? They insist on bringing it up again at a council meeting but when I try to go to the city web site it says “not available” so unable to check meeting agendas.

    Anyhow a survey in the Red Rock News (although not official) asked the question: Should Sedona adopt Coconino’s rental policy?

    RESULTS:
    16.0% – Yes, the new fee structure hurts the economy
    22.0% – Yes, it will give homeowners a uniform rule
    5.0% – No, the new fee structure will work well
    57.0% – No, vacation rentals should be illegal

    Although I don’t exactly understand the questions, 62% of those responding to the survey voted NO on SHORT-TERM (vacation) rentals. And do you think this council cares or will they force those of us living in single family residential zoning to be reduced to intrusions of all kinds imposed by strangers allowed to disrupt and invade our neighborhoods? This will eliminate the purpose of single-family residential zoning. If they vote to approve such a thing isn’t it time to seriously consider a recall?

  37. Pathetic, great points. I hope that someone, ANYONE in the council is listening. I can’t figure out why the coco went the way that they did.

  38. FYI says:

    Both Jessica Williamson (city council member) and Sandy Moriarty (mayor) made it clear at a council meeting that they like to stay in vacation rental homes when they travel. So guess how “they” will be voting?

    Pretty neat to be in a position to say yes to personal preferences even though it goes against the grain of the majority.

    This council (along with the previous council) have been the absolute worst to impose what “they” want on the public.

  39. Melly says:

    Actually, @FYI, this council and the previous council have been very successful in imposing what “they” Want and its like dam the torpedo’s and full speed ahead! They care not if they go against the grain of those who elected them or the rest of us.

    Problem is that the Majority – the Silent Majority – just continue to stay Silent!

    In watching the recent council meetings of this week, since Jessica has returned to the dais, it is so wildly amusing to watch the Mayor always look to her gal pal Jessica to make sure she, Jessica, is heard. Nepotism or just confirmation that the two of them have discussed and agreed upon all issues as they always speak as one? Their interactions causes one to wonder.

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