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Eye on Sedona Update with Eddie Maddock

SedonaEye.com columnist Eddie Maddock

SedonaEye.com columnist Eddie Maddock

Sedona AZ (June 27, 2014)


Originally posted as a comment under “Countdown to a New Year,” a posted remark from an “L. L. Bean” advanced the original communication to this higher level as an official contribution to Sedona Eye:

L.L. Bean says:
June 27, 2014 at 10:25 am
“The questions, such as the one Eddie just raised, should be an article submission, not merely buried in the comments section. They are definitely worth being asked, and answered by “the powers that be”.

It began with a spell of insomnia and generally sure-fire cure of TV plus “Snooze Button” which was temporarily deflected by a very short commercial which as you will see became the subject of this writing.

The comment I posted begins: “Is anyone else aware of short (30 to maybe 60 second) cable TV ads relating to Sedona events? Purely by accident I happened to catch a very short commercial which has led me to the following communication:

——-Original Message——-
From: Eddie Maddock
Date: 6/26/2014 8:01:01 AM
To: MWard@ci.sedona.AZ.us

Hi Mike:

The forwarded e-mail (below) was an attempt to get more information from Fox News (FNC) relating to a commercial about what I think was the following event:
The ad featured only a photo and a very amateur female voice-over about this event, concluding with “also visit Sedona’s Splash Park.”

My question: Who paid for this commercial? Are other similar commercials out there? Is it an example of Destination Marketing, a one-time event limited to accommodating 300 people for $2.00 entrance fee? Also, does Parks & Recreation obtain a certificate from Yavapai County Board of Health when serving food at these events? The one planned for the 4th of July offers pizza and ice cream.


——-Original Message——-
From: Eddie Maddock
Date: 6/25/2014 8:34:30 PM
To: ldepartment@foxnews.com

How can I learn more about an event in Sedona Arizona. I caught a fleeting ad, something about the community swimming pool. Any chance to get a schedule or find out if the ad will run again? It was around 1:30 AM when I saw it.

Thank you.”

End of the comment that brought us to this point. However, several contributions from readers in addition to the one from L. L. Bean were posted. All are appreciated.

One in particular from a person identified as “Tina J.” sparked my interest and offered another opportunity to expound on the concerns arising from the surprise TV commercial. Here’s Tina J:

Tina J says:
June 27, 2014 at 9:22 am
“There you go again Eddie…… Turning your EYE to the negative aspects of everything… Certificate from the board of health!? Also you should know how to find out about events that the Park and Rec puts on, check the website. The way you scour for negative information I would of thought you knew that already.”

Followed by my response:

E. S. Maddock says:
June 27, 2014 at 11:23 am

“Tina J. Generally I would consider your comment among those worthy of “Silence” as the best response. However and with respect to your opinion, how fair is it if city events are allowed to serve food without following rules set for legitimate, revenue collecting city establishments?

Those businesses contributing to the local economy I do believe are required by law to obtain food-handling permits from the County Health Departments in which they are situated. And since when is it the duty for any city department to offer products or services in direct competition with licensed businesses?

As for the City web site, I am very familiar with it. However, it came as a complete surprise when quite by accident I caught a cable TV commercial in the middle of the night advertising a small-town local event which raised the questions in my e-mail to Councilman Ward. No, I did not “scour” and research the information. It just fell into my lap.

If the prevailing policy is to promote similar small-town events on cable TV, how will that attract “Destination Tourists,” especially when the Chamber of Commerce has gone on record via a lengthy article by Kegn Hall, Sedona Red Rock News 6/13/14 that their efforts will be focused on “the up-and-coming next generation of travelers, those ages 34 to 55, with household income of more than $100,000?”

Will that class of acceptable visitors be attracted to stay in Sedona for several days in order to float in a pool with 300 others for $2.00 admittance and eat food of questionable health standards? Or will they be nothing more than traffic clogging day-trippers, which was a concern emphatically expressed by Councilman Ward at a recent council meeting.

Further, in my opinion, the quality of the ad was so amateur I was embarrassed for Sedona. If it’s a product of the recent contract for Destination Marketing with the Chamber of Commerce, then maybe it’s already time for the City Council to revisit their hasty decision to have bypassed a professional, full-service advertising agency which I cannot imagine would be so slovenly in their representation of beautiful Sedona.” (end comment)

There you have it.

A fluke created by a sleepless interval led me to a most unusual discovery on Fox (FNC) Cable TV which, incidentally, was merely the victim of channel surfing and being at the right place at the right time (although it’s clear not everyone agrees with that thought.)

This leaves, perhaps, a lingering question. What else is going on behind the scenes of which we are not aware?

For the best Arizona news and views, read www.SedonaEye.com daily!

For the best Arizona news and views, read www.SedonaEye.com daily!


  1. ESM says:

    Thank you Jean for your comment under “Countdown to a New Fiscal Year” confirming the commercial also aired on CNN and indicating the time.

    Does anyone out there know what kind of turnout there was at this “Flick & Float at Sedona Community Pool” last evening? (June 27th)

  2. Thank you Tina for bringing this to our attention. Based on your comments my family decided to take a look for ourselves. We wanted to learn more about “Flick & Float”. We went to the city website and found something very interesting. We clicked on the “event calendar” link, it redirected us to the Chamber’s website……… YIKES! When did city events become chamber events? We are very confused. In order to find this event I had to go to the city calendar, then click on the event to find out about it. Everything under the “Event Calendar” was Chamber events. Shouldn’t the “Event Calendar” be events by the city?

    After this we decided to drive over to the pool and get a better feel for how many people attended. While we didn’t go swimming we saw three (3) cars in the parking lot, the movie playing and two kiddos running around the pool. I truly look forward to a public report and hope this report will include a “Return on Investment” (ROI).

    Transparency, citizen involvement, and ROI’s are positive ways to monitor results. From this we can propel to a positive place for improvement, innovation, and team work. This is why I love the principles of Total Quality Management (TQM) which is what the Citizen’s Engagement Programs are based on.

    We want ALL citizens to be involved by communicating through being engaged, making suggestions, asking questions, coming up with ideas, and voicing their opinions. This kind of involvement creates a level playing field and a spirit of team play, building Sedona’s community from the inside out. Like it or not, the “City” circle is composed of everyone in the city distinct, an exclusive club, foot printed stakeholders in the City limits. Stakeholders, Citizens- residents and businesses that are foot printed in the city limits. TQM embraces and welcomes everyone to get involved and to speak up. TQM also creates portals or avenues of communication, enables those that want to speak up without any negative backlash. This is one of the reasons I love Sedona Eye. You’re able to post under a pseudonym like you did. We should be thanking those that use their real name like Mrs.Maddock, one of our community leaders. These “Leaders” are walking the path leading us, educating us, and showing us the direct approach through their honest open communications. Under the involvement section of any TQM program it clearly prohibits any negativity, no backlash. In fact, it rewards everyone that is willing to participate.

    Thank you again Tina for being so kind, bringing this to our attention. Sedona clearly needs to have open lines of communication with its “stakeholders,” foot printed residents and businesses.

    I will close this post with the link and paste on “Return on Investments” (ROI). Through positive transparency we can make decisions on the facts and not react emotionally. Through this we create a “Better Sedona”

    I hope you have a great Sedona weekend. Below is the link and paste.


    Return On Investment – ROI
    A performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment or to compare the efficiency of a number of different investments. To calculate ROI, the benefit (return) of an investment is divided by the cost of the investment; the result is expressed as a percentage or a ratio.
    The return on investment formula:
    ROI= Gain from Investment-Cost of investment / Cost of investment
    Return On Investment (ROI)
    In the above formula “gains from investment”, refers to the proceeds obtained from selling the investment of interest. Return on investment is a very popular metric because of its versatility and simplicity. That is, if an investment does not have a positive ROI, or if there are other opportunities with a higher ROI, then the investment should be not be undertaken

  3. STUNNED says:

    The similarity of comments made by “KANO” (6/18 “Sedona Water Project Underway) to what Tina J. offered is “stunning.” Especially the catchy words “turn(ing) your EYE . . . ” Me thinks they are one and the same?

    Indirectly addressing (merely by insinuation) comments from “Kano” Ms. Maddock cut to the chase with the following:

    “SILENCE is the best reply to a FOOL.”

    However, clearly opportunity knocked with Tina J.’s offering and the door was hospitably opened and appropriately acknowledged.

    Maybe it’s time for “Kano” and “Tina J.” to open their own EYE(s)?

    Me thinks “Stunned” and “Ms. Maddock” are one and the same.

    Only “The Shadow” knows.

  4. Roger says:

    What? Three cars and a couple of kiddies at this great Sedona Event, worthy of advertising on cable network TV? And what, pray tell, was the “Return on Investment” of this brilliant idea which apparently didn’t even attract day trippers. In fact, it was so stupid it probably gave cause to keep them out of town so guess it WAS worth something!

    Speaking of TV, catch Ms. Jennifer Wesselhoff on Channel 18, “Sedona Now.” She boasts about their 1,000 members as well as the “Official Chamber of Commerce Visitor’s Center” uptown, never once mentioning that it is under contract with the City as “allegedly” the “Sedona City (Official?) Visitor’s Center.” Hello? City Council? Are you paying attention?

    Once again with the exception of Mike Ward we have six people who think it’s perfectly fine for the City to promote the Chamber of Commerce (instead of the other way around) at great expense to City tax-collecting businesses, who are rewarded by omission of referral at the “Visitor’s Center” unless they are members of the Chamber and “Pay to Play.” Such a deal. (As if revenue contributed by them and designated to the City Contract with Chamber isn’t enough?) Oops, forgot. It isn’t the City’s Official Visitor’s Center at all. As Ms. Wesselhoff proudly attests it belongs to the Chamber of Commerce and the City of Sedona has nothing at all to do with it. And that’s acceptable? Apparently so.

    Shame, shame City Council. Prospective Candidates, take heed.

  5. http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0223-25.htm

    The Pencil Warrior: Lewis Powell’s Memorandum Was A Blueprint for Corporate Takeover

    Flash forward.


    More and more non-profit organizations are being created, fragmenting from others, spinning off and creating more non-profits. Funding comes from state and federal grants, from your taxes and fees, private grants, donations (tax write-offs), and from lawsuits. You’ll find the League of Women Voters advocating for Smart Growth. The Lung Association lobbies for Smart Growth. The National Association of Realtors advocates for Smart Growth. The Chamber of Commerce does too. So does the AFL-CIO. Are your dues or professional fees paying for UN Agenda 21/Sustainable Development. Are you volunteering for a group supporting UN Agenda 21/Sustainable Development?

    Just in case you missed it.
    The Chamber of Commerce does too.

    That should clarify things. Business controlling Community. You are in it. What will you do about it?

  6. We as a people are not powerless. We have options to ensure our future and well-being are being looked after. A good place to start seems to be with a NO vote on the Home Rule / Alternative Spending. There seems to be more and more reasons becoming painfully apparent.

    If the prospective candidates don’t take heed, there is always that disincorporation option that has been thrown out there, just waiting in the wings. Justification?

    How about a jaunt down recent memory lane’s history….. The cable 1:30 a.m. commercial promoting an event for families at the community pool (not many parents of young children stay up watching cable television until 1:30 a.m.). A $269,000.00 Splash Park (unrecycled water) in a drought only to turn on the sprinklers for the kiddos to run through (plus bounce-house rental)? $13,000.00 for a non-ice-skating rink, week long rental. Millions to the Chamber, Red Rock News, Film Festival that is all funneled into one family.

    $183,300 per year to maybe collect a maximum of $500,000 in delinquent accounts.

    “$78,000 to Main Street; $100,000 annually to “manage” uptown parking; $45,000 for private property parking leases; $50,000 to an employee “to keep uptown clean;” $250,000 is being held aside for parking meters; $125,000 has been designated to clarify how to get from the City owned parking lot to Main Street; $866,000 for one time highway maintenance on that portion of SR 89A the City took back from ADOT because of insistence by uptown businesses; and, last but not least, $800,000 is being considered for better access from the City parking.”

    “Increased contribution to Chamber of Commerce: $623,500.” Community Focus Areas (Cultural Park & Soldier Pass) have been earmarked for $56,500. Included under the “General Amount of $14,829,308:” Special Revenue Grants, $1,815,140; Capital Funds, $7,753,861; Wastewater Enterprise, $13,747,132.”

    “$50,000 for one employee to keep uptown clean”? When litter-lifters go about adopting highways for free. $125,000.00 to discuss in meetings how to get from point A to point B? More money to the Chamber but nobody is asking where it goes? Countless Tourist Information Centers but the Chamber feels it needs to be paid for one? Resident and Commercial taxes being increased infinitely to keep feeding the monster?

    Draw the tourists in so that then they pay for parking meters, pay for parking passes and then get fined on top of the 10% sales taxes. Great business marketing plan, screw-em good the first time, right?

    We are not some booming metropolis with vehicle manufacturing or casinos that supplement the city tax. We are a small town of 10,000 that is a timeshares, tomahawk and tee-shirt destination who uses mother earth’s nature of the red rocks, and creeks as its basic draw of attraction. Meanwhile, the City government is promoting the Chamber (bass-ackwards there) and they’re frivolously spending tax payer’s monies.

    The candidates should listen to the voice of the people it serves, not be self serving as recent budgetary history reflects. I’d like to hear these candidates’ take on the financial spending and the obvious personal agendas of the budget.

    I am all for curbing the insanity, and am starting with a NO vote for Alternative Spending. Seems as of late, I’m not the only one.

  7. Kudos to Ray Gene Smith. You have excelled in doing your homework.

    For even more information, check out the 18.16 minute video of Special Council Meeting 6/24/14 (4:00 PM.)
    Fast forward to 13.00 minutes to hear comments from council members.


    Councilman John Martinez was the only dissenting vote. He objected to the 25% budget increase from last year and is concerned the increase in council projects will require generating additional revenue. Mayor Adams agrees and states the subject “will be discussed.” He also acknowledged the “investment” in the Chamber of Commerce and undetermined return, if any. (It seems most of us “outsiders” already have the answer to that.) B. Litrell insisted projects on the table are not “frivolous.”

    Make no mistake. New taxes in one form or another are on the horizon. The only way to slow down the train is to send a message. Vote ‘NO’ on Home Rule. Allowing a four year cool down interval will hopefully serve to put things in perspective, force the withdrawal of the “investment in the Chamber of Commerce” and other frivolous, yes frivolous, and wasteful projects and gifts of free money which should have occurred a long time ago.

  8. Mary S. says:

    And who named Barbara Litrell as being the authority to determine what projects are “frivolous” or not? Why must these elected people shove their own “opinions” down our throats? Of course, it doesn’t just begin and end with them. The “Director” of Parks & Rec. (or whatever is her title) already informed us in another article that no one questions her decisions. Well, Duh. Killing the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus was a mere warm up to bigger and better things. Soon after came the $270,000 Splash Pad (which B. Litrell thinks was a bargain and money well spent so it must be true.) And now Ms. Rachel, with or without authorization, spends public funds to advertise “her” events on National TV? The blame goes to those responsible for permitting this to happen. The buck stops with the City Council.

  9. @Ray Gene Smith and BUDGET APPROVAL

    Kudos to you both. Let’s address a follow-on subject that our uninformed spendthrift Council, six of seven of whom actually believe they’re intellectuals who know more than ANY of us in the public, are so reckless as to avoid along with the approaching economic wall of worry.

    Las Vegas gets just four inches of rain in a good year, and in the first four months of 2014 there was just 0.31 of an inch. We have the same problem here in Sedona!

    The Southern Nevada Water Authority, which has the task of keeping the city from running dry, has described the effects of our southwestern desert drought as “every bit as serious as a Hurricane Katrina or a Superstorm Sandy.”

    The prestigious Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, in the personage of climate scientist Mr. Tim Barnett, stated yesterday that the situation in Las Vegas is “as bad as you can imagine”. After a devastating, 14-year drought [the same drought from which Sedona suffers] drained the reservoir that supplies 90% of the city’s water, the apparently endless supply of water is an illusion as Las Vegas population has soared. As Barnett ominously concludes, “unless it can find a way to get more water from somewhere, Las Vegas is out of business. Yet they’re still building, which is stupid.”

    Sedona’s Council seems to have the same problem with the scourge of stupidity, i.e., wasting of precious financial and water resources, simultaneously. And, several candidates for Mayor and Council belong to the same mindset and political activist organization as do the biggest of the Council’s socialist spendthrifts.

  10. Information and knowledge are power. It is good to be informed and make decisions based on facts, and so much research is required. Have you read about the current water crisis?

    Arizona water reservoir levels are just two-thirds of their usual average. In New Mexico, reservoir stores are only slightly more than half of their normal levels. And Nevada is at about a third of what would be expected. In just a few short years Las Vegas will be completely out of water. The Colorado river is a dying river. The entire state of California is suffering from severe drought, and 75% of all its land area was under extreme drought. Experts say California has less than two years of water remaining. Nevada and Arizona aren’t far behind.

    Williams, Az, which is a town of 3,000, has received six inches of rain between October last year and April, half the norm, and its reservoirs are drying up. Restaurants aren’t giving patrons a glass of water, residents are fined for using potable water on their lawns and cars and businesses are hauling water in to fill swimming pools, even summer fun at the public swimming pool has been put on hold.

    Flagstaff isn’t much better off. Water drained from hotel pools in Williams was purchased as waste water by Flagstaff and is being used to run steam engines and to irrigate landscaping.

    We are in a Massive Water Crisis. Google it / Bing it / ask Siri / just go outside and snap a twig on a tree to see for yourself.

    But the City of Sedona deliberately isn’t paying attention.

    $269,000.00 for a Splash Park with potable un-recycled water being washed down the drain and now they are turning the lawn sprinklers on during the hottest peak hours of the day, beginning tomorrow.

    All of this information is out there for review.

    The most basic definition of fiscal responsibility is the act of creating, optimizing and maintaining a balanced budget. The City of Sedona can’t say they’re there. The numbers don’t lie.

    The “General Administration” account was $22,801 in 2013. Now, it’s $255,521.00. If you do the math, that’s an 1100% increase.

    $75,000.00 for Round-About Art?
    $200,000.00 for “Misc Services”? This account just popped up this past year, never was there before.
    $300,000.00 for “General Services”? This account just popped up this past year, never was there before.
    $100,000.00 for “Professional Services”? This account just popped up this past year, never was there before.
    $200,000.00 for “Spendable Contingencies”?
    $160,000.00 for “Employee Appreciation”?
    $269,000.00 for the Splash Park.

    Over a Million Dollars on “fluff” accounts just right there, and it goes on and on. The City seems to employ an awful lot of “Fluffers”.

    All this and we haven’t begun to address the Needful Things the city is responsible for, nor have we addressed how much money goes to the Chamber, the Film Festival and the Red Rock News – all of which is all associated with one family – don’t believe me, look it up, it’s out there. The Larson family is connected throughout the City of Sedona’s budget like a vein running through a mountain.

    The city budget is $38 Million, lots more “fluff” in there than there is room to address here.

    The bottom line is, what can’t go on, won’t.

    A NO vote on Home Rule / Alternative Spending is a good place to start stopping what can’t go on.

  11. Jean says:

    More about the new City Budget and the importance of Home Rule:

    1) $32,470,495 was the Alternative Expenditure Limitation ESTIMATE put forth by the City and approved by the voters via the 2012 AEL/aka Home Rule Election. Now, a little over 2 years later, $38,385,154 is the ACTUAL expenditure limitation, an 18.2% increase ($6 million) over the lowball(?) estimate officially given voters.

    2) At $14,829,308 this year’s General Fund budgeted expenditures are 17.2% higher than last year’s actual expenditures of $12,651,371. The largest operating budget increase goes to the so-called ‘Sedona’ Chamber of Commerce. 76% of the Chamber’s “Total Tourism Bureau Revenue” comes from taxpayer funds, 24% from private.

    3) Approved is a $20,594,874 projected use (spending) of fund balances from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015. How much savings will be left?

    4) With regard to non-WW infrastructure projects, Page 1-8 of the City’s budget states: “In order to continue to address capital infrastructure improvements and pursue new capital outlay projects beyond 2017 [FY 2017-l8], other funding sources and/or a debt financing strategy must be pursued.” Thus, there’s being no maintenance of strong reserves to ensure long-term financial stability.

    5) According to the Arizona Department of Revenue data, Sedona’s per capita debt of $5,098,68 is the 7th highest of Arizona’s 91 cities.

    6) Residential sewer bills will be increasing by 14.8% this month, from $47.34/mo. to $54.33/mo., low-flow excepted. 17 business/school categories will see their bills increase a little over 27%.

    7) There will be a 35% to 30% reduction in the sales tax revenue allocated to the WW treatment plant. Shifting more and more of the wastewater burden onto hard-pressed ratepayers frees up extra millions to facilitate City overspending. Many, many thanks to Eddie for informing us in “Countdown to a New Fiscal Year” that such reductions are “(A decision contrary to commitments made at the time of Sedona incorporation.)”


  12. Tony Tonsich says:

    Splash parks, Chamber of commerce, $160,000 employee appreciation accounts, all allocated spending.

    According to Karen Daines, Assistant City Manager, sidewalks, roads and drainage, is not allocated accounts and can get what ever funding is available.

    Your tax dollars at work?

    Vote NO on alternative Expendiure Limitation/Home rule.

    The alternative expenditure limitation allows the City to spend MORE than the State of Arizona Limitation. Clever huh?

  13. RETALIATION says:

    The following portion of a notice has just been released from the Sedona Humane Society. Why was this service earmarked to be axed? Do you suppose it’s a veiled threat in conjunction with rising OPPOSITION to Home Rule? Such as “Don’t support Home Rule and we will do away with the Humane Society.” But not the Chamber, Arts, Film Festival, etc. etc. etc. Legal blackmail?


  14. This is to let you know that I received the following e-mail from Councilman Mike Ward responding to the questions I asked, subject of the above article:


    While I was not in favor of funding the Chamber for increased destination marketing, I have no idea what advertising is being done. I am not sure that anyone with the city has any oversight, and that is the fault of the council for accepting a “pig in a poke” with no clear detailed advertising plan or a reasonable measure of the program’s success.

    My apology for the delayed reply to this email.


  15. Just Sayin' says:

    Re: Retaliation

    Did anyone ever think that perhaps there is more to this one sided statement?

    Sounds like a very big step for the city to cut funding to puppys and kitty’s without a dare good reason. How about, for once, someone on this site seek out some real answers from the Humane Society AND the City to be sure that there isn’t Do Do a foot.

    It’s easy to throw barbs without having true facts.

    Just Sayin’

  16. Sheri Graham says:

    If this issue – the lack of the Human Society funding by our City Staff and Council isn’t the perfect reason to vote NO on the “Alternative Spending” ballot issue – aka ‘Home Rule” —- then I don’t know what is.

    As I recall, from my sitting on Council for eight years and, yep, several years ago: the Council and City Staff are charged with the specific issues of Health, Safety and Welfare…as well as the State mandated issues as defined by ARS (Arizona Revised Statues) – of which ONE is providing for animal sheltering services. Sedona has, up until now, done a great job providing for our State mandated and emotionally charged Mandate in this area.

    Seems to me that what all the City/Council continues to blissfully ignore are the very basic and very necessary drainage, wastewater and street repair issues we are forced to continue to endure and live with – that have not been fixed or budgeted for…along with the Humane Society issues.

    And since none of those costs are cemented into the budget ( as very important Health, Safety and Welfare and ARS issues) along with the continuing expensive Wastewater rate increases that Staff and Council expects to be born on the backs of the residents, business’s and our tourists; combined with the attitude that the tourists and business sector and residents can somehow absorb increased rates for Waste Water fees and (B&B) Bed and Beverage Taxation increase of .5% to pay for the great wish list of the Council and yet survive. Some reality checks need to take place on all levels and by both Council and Staff.

    Let me be very clear here: While the wonderful Arts community is a benefit to our community it is not a Health Safety or Welfare issue. While the Regional Chamber of Commerce is a benefit to many more than just our town of 10,000 – it is not a State mandated Health, Safety or Welfare issue for our town. While all the 501c3’s add to our community they are not discussed at a State level regarding Health, Safety and Welfare.

    So, since our population has not grown and our City Staff (which seems to continue to grow without merit) and Council are required by State Mandate (ARS) to focus on the big 3 of Health, Safety and Welfare —– I am voting NO on the Alternative Expenditure issue in August, at the poles or the mail in ballot…which ever you do –

    Just Vote NO, in hopes of getting our City (at all levels) to get back to basics and what is actually required by State Statue rather than our Council’s and Staff’s personal wish’s. ……like not providing $$$ for the Humane Society……. in order to buy creek property and putting in an expensive and water draining Splash Pad in the midst of a drought….or etc.

  17. Mary S. says:

    Quoting from Mike Ward’s explanation regarding who pays for mystery ads on Cable TV (or anyplace else for that matter):

    “I am not sure that anyone with the city has any oversight, and that is the fault of the council for accepting a “pig in a poke” with no clear detailed advertising plan or a reasonable measure of the program’s success.”

    Is it not abundantly clear that either the Fox is guarding the hen house or the inmates have clearly taken over the asylum, neither of which should be acceptable. Sedona voters, take heed. Your votes are critical to put a stop to this nonsense. Vote NO on Home Rule.

  18. If you buy a pig in a poke, you keep the pig and he keeps the poke.

    What does that mean? A “pig in a poke” or “buy a pig in a poke”? It means that something is sold or bought (sight unseen) without the buyer knowing its true nature or value, especially when buying without inspecting the item beforehand.

    How is that for sound management sense and responsibility? Nobody knows or questions what the Chamber is doing with tax-payer dollars?

    Government loves to utilize scare tactics.

    Take the 16 day Government shut-down last October, for instance. Remember what were closed? National Parks. The government went out of their way to dig out barriers and paid employees to erect barricades to punish the people.

    Mt. Rushmore was not only closed off, but cones were placed such that they blocked off the road for miles so that tourists couldn’t even snap pictures from the outlook points leading up to the actual monument. Outlooks around Arizona were closed. Privately funded events and properties were threatened of closure.

    The federal government operates some 234 golf courses around the world. Combined, that’s a total of about $140 million per year on golf courses. President Obama frequents Andrew’s Air Force Base Golf Course. The course remained open during the shutdown. Many workers were furloughed, but Obama still got his golf games in.

    The necessities of why there should be a City government are things such as streets, drainage, waste water, yet Sedona City government doesn’t feel it needs to allocate funding specifically for those few things that are the few basic reasons to have a city. If it is true, and the City is cutting funding to the Humane Society, they are doing so merely as scare tactics. Much like Obama and his golf course, the City isn’t going to voluntarily cut spending to the frivolous accounts such as to the Chamber / Larson group, splash parks, “general services”, “professional services”, etc. etc. but they will surely affect “we the people.”

    Furthermore, about the Splash Park, and the recent “Wednesday Water / Lawn Sprinklers”, isn’t that a giant SLAP-IN-THE-FACE INSULT? The city is basically saying, yeah, we pissed $269,000 in building costs down the drain, (along with the monthly costs to run and precious finite potable non-recycled water), and we’re just going to turn the lawn sprinklers on during the peak hottest hours of the day where the water is going to scorch the lawn and evaporate….because we can.

    Dumb and Dumber.

  19. Thank you Ray Gene Smith. Your comments are brilliant.

    If it’s true the Sedona Humane Society requested $95,000 to renew the contract with the city, it may seem excessive until reviewing the expenses you itemize in your first comment (6/30 – 7:17 AM.)

    Because Councilman Ward could not address the questions asked by Ms. Maddock, except that no one knows who is advertising what, where, when or what it’s costing, isn’t it amazing that the Flick & Float (subject of article) apparently attended by occupants as reported in a total of three cars, pretty much indicates a party that no one chose to attend and yet surely bills were incurred over and above an ad on CNN & FNC and most likely even more cable TV channels.

    Just what did that cost the city? How much for ad(s)? How much spent on decorations, renting the movie and screen, and the light refreshments proposed to be served? Of course, there are to this date NO ANSWERS TO THOSE QUESTIONS! For all we know it could be in excess of $95,000. After all, they set aside $75,000 for “art in public places” as has been stated on many occasions along with the other endless expenditures that are approved without blinking an eye. That extra $80,000 to the Chamber from the contingency fund last year plus $45,000 a few months later for Holiday Central I do believe exceeds the HS $95,000 and does anyone know what the investment return was? Ha, of course not. A calculated guess at ZERO- will suffice.

    None of us know exactly what transpired with HS contract negotiations. It’s the same as suddenly purchase of the “Y” property was taken off the slate, allegedly at a council meeting as a slurred comment was made on this web site, but failure to produce time and place of such a meeting indicated someone leaked that information who had knowledge to Executive Sessions. Just a hunch mind you.

    Of course we will be threatened now with “Vote to approve Home Rule” OR ELSE! Or else what? How much can you take away from residents and city businesses when you have given us little to nothing to begin with. It all goes for special interest and city council frivolous projects, but then B. Litrell (council member) adamantly disagrees that a Splash Pad was frivolous and their other ideas of apparently mandatory but questionable “entitlements” are essential while our quality of life declines and we hover under the threat of property taxes, bonds, or special improvement districts to compensate for lack of funds due to differences of opinions on what’s “frivolous?”

    Until we, the voters of Sedona, get factual, realistic answers and transparent accountability, it’s time to say NO, NO, NO to threats and intimidation. The biggest problem, however, still remains with us, the voters. Unless there is a significant rally to urge people to vote, we will remain hostages with chances remaining slim to none for ever escaping.

  20. Shop Sedona? says:

    Re the humane society, here’s an email they sent out:

    We are in URGENT need of your help. Please read below and help us get the support we need from the City of Sedona.



    At the time of our contract renewal, we asked the city for $95,000, about half the cost to service the animals of the city of Sedona.

    The City of Sedona declined our offer, without negotiation and insisted on a three-year contract with NO COST INCREASE for the care of the animals.

    Within the contract, the City of Sedona offered to pay only 25% of the total cost per animal HSS incurs to care for them until they are adopted. This equates to $47,500 annually. They offered no increase this year with a 1.7% inflation increase for years 2 and 3.

    This contract was unacceptable to the shelter because it would not allow us to continue to provide the high quality of care to Sedona residents and their pets-the type of care they want and deserve.

    It is our understanding every other city service contractor received an increase with the exception of HSS. To date we have received NO response as to why we were not provided the same consideration and increase as ALL other contract services.

    The City is LEGALLY required to provide animal sheltering services. Without negotiating or conversation and with YOUR TAX DOLLARS the City of Sedona will now have to contract with a facility OUTSIDE OF SEDONA to provide animal care services to Sedona residents and now will no longer support YOUR shelter.

    We hope you find this as unacceptable as we do.


    All strays and owner surrenders will need to go to a location specified by the city UNLESS you are willing to pay a surrender fee to HSS to care for the animal.

    Over the past year HSS has provided:

    500 NO cost spay and neuter surgeries ($50,000 cost)
    400 LOW cost spay and neuter surgeries ($20,000 cost)
    220 Low cost vaccinations ($4,000 cost)
    500 microchips for quicker identification of lost pets ($3,500 cost)
    FeLV and FIV testing for all felines ($3,000 cost)
    An increase in offsite adoption events, which has increased the live release rate to 95% (on average) vs. 84% from the prior year.

    HSS will have to significantly cut back on all of these essential and life saving services for Sedona residents and their pets.

    You will no longer be able to obtain a city dog license at the shelter.


    The fundamental difference between HSS and the City is we see the shelter as an ANIMAL CARE facility, servicing all animals and residents of the community, which in fact we do.

    The City views HSS as an animal control shelter, a place to drop off stray and dead animals they find.

    If you believe we are an ANIMAL CARE facility and want the Humane Society of Sedona to continue to provide excellent and essential services to the citizens of our community and to animals in need, please contact a city council person and voice your support for us. Here is a link to each city council member’s contact email. Or you may call 928-282-3113.

    We appreciate your help and support.

    Thank you.

    From the staff, volunteers and Board of Directors of the Humane Society of Sedona.

  21. Carol Shea says:

    I think that the whole city government needs shaking up! We have had so many failed projects, ie, the cultural park, the dome (which collapsed). Then we were asked to pay to find out WHY in fell in, We are not stupid, you know. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
    We need SOMEBODY with a brain in charge of the money!

  22. Just Sayin' says:

    There are always two sides to every story.

    I understand that the above email was NOT endorsed by the volunteers. I wonder why??

    This blog site is normally quick to kill the city when we think that they’re over spending sales tax money. Here we have an example where the city is trying to watch their penny’s and not over pay for a service and you have something to say about that also.

    This whole situation looks like a contract ploy that’s famous for the NY area. Not happy being on the loosing end of a contract, try to extort your opposition in the media by twisting the story around.

    We can’t have it both ways people!

  23. jack says:

    Geez……. Can someone tell me why this council feels it is okay to take sales tax and bed tax and give it to a regional group that promotes only their members? A complete separate business, not part of the city.. Yet when it comes to our pets they are not willing to pay more? Take your city back, stand up vote NO on Alternative Expenditure Limitation AKA Home Rule. Stop the bullies!

  24. Tom Bergen says:


    What does any of what you spewed have to do with the strong arm tactics that HSS is using against the city. With all of your issues of hate against the city that you posted, you should be thrilled that the city has taken a hard line on this matter.

  25. Tony Tonsich says:

    I’d be thrilled if the “City” took a hard line, or any responsibility at all, on what the Chamber of Commerce, Sedona Film Festival and others do with the millions of OUR tax dollars they are given by the city.

    I’d be thrilled if the city did not build a Splash Park using fresh non recycled water, when Oak Creek is all natural and accessible for free. I ‘d be even more thrilled if after building said “Splash Park”, they did not further insult the city taxpayers by running the sprinklers at the SAME park during the middle of the day.

    I’d be thrilled if the city after paying six figure salaries, one month vacation/leave the FIRST YEAR OF EMPLOYMENT, did not also have an over $160,000 “employee appreciation account”.

    So what does the city take a hard line on , $100,000 for the Humane Society???

    Hating an organization is stupid, hating waste and irresponsibility is the most logical thing a thinking person can do.

    What would thrill me the most if people would use their real names, so we could see that they are city employees and / or live outside the city limits.


    The alternative expenditure limitation allows the city to spend MORE than the state of Arizona mandated spending limitation for a city our size.

  26. Jean says:

    Now that the voters passed the new Community Plan with its Community Focus Areas, Planned Areas and Lodging areas, a portion of Goodrow Lane, a public road, was given by the City of Sedona to Sedona Rouge in order that the road’s underlying zoning could be changed from Residential to Lodging (10 June 2014 Council meeting, vote 7 – 0). This allows Sedona Rouge to expand by 32 new lodging units into the 1.56 acres adjoining its existing property on the north.

    A Land Exchange and a Zone Change occurred. There are 20 Goodrow lane residents who will have a section of their road closed. For access to Rodeo Road, if I understand it correctly, they will be getting a new road going through the Sedona Rouge parking area.

  27. @Jean ……. I believe it was 19 out of those 20 residents signed a petition objecting to closing access to Goodrow Lane. As we know from the outcome, it didn’t matter. This is just the beginning. Infiltration into all of our neighborhoods is the agenda of the day.

  28. In my opinion, the approval of 32 new lodging units at the Sedona Rouge once again proves Sedona residents are without a voice at City Hall.

    I don’t believe it’s in the public interest that Goodrow neighborhood residents wanting their historic Goodrow Lane access to Rodeo Road to continue are getting stuck with a new road going through the Sedona Rouge expansion parking lot instead. Just what, and how much degradation in property values and/or quality of life, are residential property owners becoming vulnerable to?

    Did not Planning & Zoning Commissioner Scott Jablow, currently running for a City Council seat, second both the Development and Rezoning Motions before P & Z concerning the Sedona Rouge Expansion?

  29. Think says:

    Well @ not surprised if you we lucky enough to watch the “Lodging Council” aka Chamber suggest the city raise the bed tax then you saw that it was the Rouge’s General Manager who spearheaded the raise of taxes. Looks like special favors for special friends happened here.

    Be heard VOTE NO on Home rule. Tell your neighbors.

  30. @Think…In addition to voting NO on Home Rule, electing a REPRESENTATIVE City Council that, hopefully, will chart a new path is needed.

    According to Angela LeFevre’s website, if elected she plans to play an active role in realizing the visions and goals outlined in the new Community Plan. As many are aware, this Plan’s got 13 Community Focus Areas, together with extensive Plan Areas and Lodging Areas. Land use changes, rezonings and higher densities are all in the wind. Angela also writes about having a student seat on the City Council. OMG.

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