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Life Goes On with Eddie Maddock

SedonaEye.com columnist Eddie Maddock

SedonaEye.com columnist Eddie Maddock

Sedona AZ (September 8, 2014) – “When tempers and fury rage, frequently, logic seems to prefer to go on sabbatical. When folks who have disagreed on past issues and decisions have the maturity and good sense to combine their collective thinking in a sensible fashion, so as to unite and defend a measure for the right reason, at the conclusion what’s to stop them from shaking hands and saying, “It’s been real, now you go back to your corner and I’ll go back to mine, and it will be business as usual.”

What some people don’t understand is — that’s so typical of Sedona! However, it pleases me more than anything to experience a hand-shake and cordial reconnection with people once a verdict is in and the reality of “It’s time to move on” is effectively activated.

To those with such an attitude, you are winners – no matter what the decision was with regards to a heated controversial issue.” Quote from “In A Manner of Preaching” – Sedona Eye, December 12, 2011.

And so it is with the conclusion of the Sedona Primary Election, with Sandy Moriarty prevailing for the position of Mayor, and two of three City Council seats to be filled by Angela LeFevre and Jon Thompson. The remaining Councilman will be either Rio Robson or Scott Jablow, to be decided at the General Election on the fourth of November.

The new Mayor and three Council Members will be officially sworn in at the City Council meeting on November 25, 2014. Each of the above named people have expressed the common desire to “give back to the community” and a willingness to devote the time and dedication to serve Sedona to the best of their ability. Solutions to traffic congestion, fiscal responsibility, and growth management rank high among the group, along with implementation of the revised Community Plan.

A unique concern has been identified by Rio Robson, “Meetings that are three-plus hours long are offensive and an insult and do not make it easy for citizens to participate.” Are there any seconds to that motion? In the meantime, it will be business as usual with the present City Council.

Mayor Adams has recently gone on record objecting to the term “lame-duck” stating he will still be the official Mayor until the latter part of November, and intends to remain pro-active. In preparation for his upcoming 2014 State of the City Address on Thursday, October 16, at 5:00 PM in the City Council Chambers, as a preview, the mayor has defined a list of achievements during his past six years. For example, he claims the city debt in 2008 was $72,500,000 compared to today’s indebtedness of $45,000,000, with plans to continue reducing that debt 5 million dollars per year. He expresses gratitude to the 67% of voters who approved the continuation of Home Rule and considers it a sign of validation of good management since he has been Sedona’s mayor.

On the other hand, the mayor admits creating revenue sources, for various Capital Projects, remains unknown. For example, there’s no clear funding source for the storm water management project estimated in excess of $20,000,000. He acknowledges the need for arterial roads and more parking districts, at the same time pointing out provisions for the Lynx transit service and bicycle and walking opportunities which were provided during his tenure. He remains hopeful for new industry to create funding, without the need for increasing taxes, and cites development of the Cultural Park, Yavapai College, expanded medical facilities, and the 200 acres at the wetlands as excellent potential sources. But, of course, Revenue Bonds and Obligatory Bonds also remain options, and Adams suggests this is a good time for the “new” council to consider these because the “rates are low.” He expects implementation of the public process for improvements to the Brewer Road property, the “Heart of Sedona“, to occur in 2015 under the guidance of the new city council.

Adams is emphatic the new council and mayor will be stepping into far better conditions than he did six years ago. He believes they are in a much improved situation with the newly revised Community Plan to seek specific visions via public process and pursue preferred strategic methods for implementation of proposed common focus areas. (NOTE: Source of Adams’ comments = SV3 Video News)

Conspicuous by absence during these discussions has been the excessive influence the Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Bureau, and Sedona Lodging Council has had over this election, and city operations in general. Clearly the over-extended advantage allowed to this special interest combination has not been publicly discussed. It remains a question if, at some point in time, intestinal fortitude will be displayed to pull in the reins on this out-of-control – yet allowed to be in control – unconventional situation to which Sedona has been subjected.

We have a city contract with the Chamber of Commerce for a “City of Sedona Visitor’s Center” still allowed to operate under the flag of Chamber of Commerce. Worse yet, the city has a $1.3 million dollar contract with the Chamber of Commerce for “Destination Marketing” and CEO/President Jennifer Wesselhoff stated (RRNews 8/29/14), “The chamber hired Owens Harkey Advertising to create a new marketing campaign.”

What? Could it have been an oversight for Ms. Wesselhoff’s neglect to identify the contract…for the purpose of marketing the City of Sedona (not the chamber) as being the necessary tool to provide the chamber with the financial means to hire that outside firm?

Why do you suppose the City of Sedona didn’t retain Owens Harkey Advertising to begin with and eliminate the middle-man (chamber)? Wesselhoff further goes on to refer to “a 90-second video capturing all aspects of the Sedona area” and that it “can be seen on YouTube, local television stations, the chamber’s website, and in area hotels.”

What? Why isn’t it on the city’s website since that’s the source of funding and the purpose of the video is to market City of Sedona? But, of course, Wesselhoff again conveniently failed to acknowledge that fact as she continues referring to the city financed Sedona Visitor’s Center as “Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center in Uptown.” Will there be anyone on the “new” city council with substantial integrity to step up to the plate and appropriately deal with this current divisive allocation of public funds…that appears are being used exclusively to promote the Sedona Chamber of Commerce, a special interest organization that admittedly represents regional businesses in direct competition with city based businesses?

Repeating again, the alleged original intent for city contracts with the Chamber of Commerce was stated as a means to promote the City of Sedona. Or was it always this current council’s position to glorify the Chamber of Commerce? Was that the real reason all along for avoiding competitive bidding and to ignore appropriately identifying the City of Sedona Visitor’s Center?

Of course time will tell, although the answer to that question quite possibly lies in the outcome of this election and the witch hunt implemented to make it happen.

For the best in BREAKING NEWS and views, read SedonaEye.com daily!

For the best in BREAKING NEWS and views, read SedonaEye.com daily!


  1. His name’s still on the ballot. How about voting if not FOR Rio AGAINST Scott Jablow since he stooped to the lowest of lows by disrespecting most of his competition short of slander, especially Ron Budnick and, of course, Rio Robson.

    If for no other reason than to let Tom G. (surfaced again) know that the “vocal minority” consists of more than the handful of people commenting on Sedona Eye, lets hear it for RIO ROBSON for city council. I received my ballot in the mail today and Rio has my vote.

    BTW will the REAL Tom G. please stand up? We already know it can’t be Scott Jablow or Steve Segner cuz Tom G. can’t hold a candle to the title “nasty” compared to them. So happy you found more to rejoice over Tom G. Enjoy your moment of pleasure. Nothing lasts forever.


  2. News Flash says:

    To @Tom G & @AZ Voter – you guys are just over the jagged edge and have zero respect for an open positive – vs negative – campaign………. Which does diminish your levels of credibility.

    To Warren; Wow! You finally saw the light and realize a vote for Rio or Betty Crocker or Donald Duck would have been better than a vote for Jablow! And in your process you did not understand the strength’s of a young man who really does care about his community and was willing to come to the plate. He is Vested vs wannabe’s – does that not mean anything? He was a member of the Community Plan Committee……and while he did not attend all meetings he did his home work……he is vested.

    Seems to me that his willingness to run for a Council seat – just befuddled and irritated and caused the Entitlement Group to GULP! As they never thought they would be challenged…….so when Scat Jablow had to do a run off – well he did get down and dirty!

    Regardless of the position Rio’s business is currently in – that has No Merit as to his abilities as a council member. I’m amazed that the City has spent so much time and money seeking out Rio’s business’s issues when there are so many other Illegal vacation rentals, illegal signs on business’s, Scat Jablow is allowed to leave his signs on City property right of ways on Coffee Pot and Rodeo Rd, illegal AUD’s and the list goes on and on……..yet they now focus on this well intended guy running for Council?

    I know way too many people in Sedona who run their businesses out of their homes with clients coming and going and where they store their business vehicle’s and supplies and do their bookkeeping and on and on! But this young man who is running for City Council just got singled out?

    Opps, I forgot! That is Scat Jablow’s typical method and most often without complete and factual information.

    Too little and too late as Rio really does have value to add – for a large portion of our community – and could have caused some great turn -a- rounds.

    Instead we just got taken over by people who have, virtually no vested interests for Sedona……..just their egos!

    In my opinion, Rio is the only one who is without entitlement ego mentality and who really could have made a difference to a better Sedona.
    He is a young man got screwed and tattooed by a guy from the East Coast and his other friends who only have “Take Over of Sedona” on their minds!

    So the take over vipers have done it………..now what happens to Sedona? Are we now a Duchy or a Dictatorship or…….just what are we?

    And how is it correct that seated council members pay big bucks to run adds for “Scat” Jablow (pun intended) and where is their integrity of being non-partisan and not supposed to USE their elected positions to have any level of intimidation or influence over the voters?

  3. Tim Ernster says:

    To all concerned:

    There was an article in the Sedona Eye earlier in the week claiming that I called Scott Jablow in to my office and warned him against going in employees offices and bothering them. There were a couple major inaccuracies in the story: a) I have never called Scott into my office; and b) I have never warned him about anything. Scott has dropped by my office unannounced with questions, as have other candidates, but that’s it. I felt this clarification was important since it was a very misleading story.


    Editor’s Note: The above comment is in reference to a post made under this article, “Life Goes On with Eddie Maddock,” by “News Flash” dated October 7, 2014. There have been no stand-alone articles in Sedona Eye having made the claims to which Mr. Ernster refers.

  4. Petra says:

    Reason I moved away from Sedona is it’s people because they are selfish.

  5. Prediction says:

    The determination for this city council to constantly emphasis “region” instead of the area they were elected to represent, that being within Sedona City Limits, was reinforced during R. Adams State of City address. By bringing in School and Fire “Districts” (NOT a charge of city government) in addition to pushing future development at the sewer plant (OUTSIDE City Limits) lent a suspicious aura to his future plans.

    It’s doubtful Yavapai County Supervisor Chip Davis will run again after his current term expires, so don’t be surprised if R. Adams will just conveniently remind everyone that he’s available to secure status over Yavapai County and have more clout in controlling Greater Sedona than he’s already been so presumptuous to have already claimed.

    Maybe then it will be time for Coconino County to secede from incorporated Sedona.

  6. In order to remove conflicts of interests, bullies, and campaign stacking cities are moving to a neutral focused groups. Makes city staffs jobs easier. Makes transparency and accounting clear. Brings the community together.

    Great for Peoria. I dream of this for Sedona. Fair and equal treatment for those in the incorporated area.

    Look at VOCA. They are running a restaurant, golf course and event center without being fiscally responsible. They throw the homeowners money around without any benefit to homeowners. Golf & food does not belong in homeowners association. They should cut their losses rent it out, collect rent and let a professional make it profitable. Rent it out for a profit!

    It all about money and control. The lodging council and chamber asked for 1.3 million, got it based on a “trust me” when they do NOT represent the Sedona incorporated businesses. The chamber has gotten city funding for years without ANY return on that investment. They openly only promote their regional members. No transparency, no accountability, no credit given to the City of Sedona, Everything they done is a chamber promotion only. Chamber’s video, chambers website, the CIty of Sedona paid for it. The City of Sedona got NO credit. City Council did NOT protect the Cities investment, they put the city businesses in harm-way and put staff in an awkward position. This is why I voted NO on home rule.

    I didn’t realize the 1.3 million was to promote the Chamber exclusively! No return on investment for the city. NO ownership for the city of Sedona. FREE money to a regional chamber. Yippee!

    Bed Tax is DOWN! Drove all the business to chamber members outside the city limits. Yippee!

    Raising Bed Taxes to promote a region, when that region does NOT contribute to the incorporated Sedona City just killed the golden goose. Lodging to afraid to stand up and say no. Some in lodging never were asked or told about raising the bed-tax. Isn’t that taxation without representation?

    Not smart. Looks like a Laurel & Hardy movie. Great article thanks

  7. Jim uptown says:

    Remove Coconino County from incorporated Sedona? Fine idea as far as I’m concerned. No more city sales tax, city taxes and franchise fees on utility bills. And for lodging – no more city bed tax! (Of course, Signer would have to find another city based address to use for registering to vote)

    Just think about the marketing for uptown businesses based on the above. And oh yes, let’s not forget that removal of Coconino County from incorporated city would appropriately relocate the city financed Regional Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center where it rightfully belongs ….. outside City Limits.

    As for police, let’s also work to bring back Coconino County Sheriff Sub-station to Forest Road.

    Win win for Uptown Businesses, Main Street, Art District, Tourists and yes, even Sedona Residents who are continually accused of not paying their fair share.

  8. @Jim

    I’m with you where do I sign up!

    lets rip up that new black top on 89A and go back to a dirt road with stage coaches and hitching posts. Didn’t one of those folks in the election suggest that?

  9. Mathew W. says:

    Thanks for the heads-up prediction, “Prediction.” It stands to reason that your theory might just have merit.

    Think back to Rob Adams’ involvement in the “regional” Arts Coalition last year and his very active participation in future plans for Yavapai College. Even tried pushing off his own draft letter to “regional” Mayors, did he not?

    By all means, this word MUST get out to the “Red Rock-Dry Creek Area Community Plan” Yavapai, County, Arizona. The folks charged with drafting that plan have diligently and thoughtfully maintained their quality of life for many years under the guidelines of their own production. It remains to be seen how silent they will remain if Sedona jurisdiction continues to infiltrate their own ideas into places it is NOT WANTED.

    The last I knew RRDCACP remained steadfast against development between Sedona City Limits and Cottonwood. The elected Yavapai County Supervisor delegated to this area must be accountable to jurisdiction other than the arrogant holier-than-thou leaders in Sedona presently focused on dictating to areas that are off-limits!

  10. Jean J. says:

    Jim in Uptown is spot on. Removing Coconino County from incorporated Sedona is a fine idea. I love his outstanding win-win list.

    Expanding on it a little….. Having Sedona’s politics and election outcomes dictated by the regional Chamber of Commerce and the Lodging Council’s Steve Segner is beyond the pale and intolerable IMO. Then there’s the City staff currently numbering 120 full-time employees* who receive a total estimated compensation of $9,605,326.* Uptown doesn’t need them.

    *City Finance Dept. website, “Official Budget Forms FY 2015,” Schedule G.

  11. Marv says:

    Thank you JeanJ for factual information. In a recent Sedona City Talk column Councilwoman Barbara Litrell writes about misinformation appearing online and even suggests calling the City Manager to confirm the real deal on issues.

    It seems to me that is what you and others have been doing on Sedona Eye. Always there are those who will express “opinions” which is their right and may differ drastically from decisions being made at City Hall.

    However giving credit where credit is due is another issue. You, J. Rick Normand, E. Maddock and others who write and offer confirmation of reference sources in my own opinion do not deserve to be treated with such disrespect by any member of the Sedona city council simply because they disagree with what they read.

    Considering that to this date B. Litrell refuses to accept the will of the people as was reflected in the result of the vote on City owning SR 89A displays little more than a grudge and continuation of sour grapes when she even refused to accept KSB’s success in getting Sedona’s Dark Sky recognition.

    No need to call the city manager. Her negative vote at the public council meeting should serve as confirmation of her negativity to anything that is contrary to her own “opinion.” Unaccountable funding to the Regional Chamber of Commerce is another example.

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