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Our Sedona Fire District is a Safer Sedona

Sedona AZ (September 5, 2017) – The following is a letter to the SedonaEye.com editor:

Wendy Tanzer
Sedona AZ
Perspective and Opinion

 

Several years ago, a group of people, not unlike those posting intentionally misleading statements on this very site today, decided the Sedona Fire District was being dangerously mismanaged, spending was out of control, and the fire chief was inept at best and perhaps even a perpetrator of chicanery at worst. There were vicious and ultimately disproven accusations of rampant fraud. They claimed an independent, third party audit (in addition to the one required by law and completed every year) would prove beyond a shadow of a doubt their righteousness.

Sound familiar?

Just before 2010 SFD Governing Board election, they published – in the newspaper and placed on cars in grocery store parking lots – the salaries every firefighter in the district had earned the previous year. These numbers included base pay, vacation pay, accrued leave AND overtime pay. The numbers were correct – thereby proving blatant mismanagement, right? After all…if the fire district were being managed properly, then why are our firefighters working so much overtime? Yeah….they gave the numbers. But never explained what they represented. The power of omission lives on.

First, let’s agree that when anyone works, they deserve to be paid. If you base your idea of salary on a 40 hour work week, that’s 2,080 hours a year. A firefighter’s regular schedule is 2,912 hours, over 28% more than the rest of us. Keep that in mind when you are told over and over again our firefighters are overpaid.

Sedona Fire Department in action

Then, let’s explore overtime pay. When our firefighters are sent to wildfires – wherever and whenever they are needed – they earn overtime pay. And those other firefighters who fill the empty slots within the District will also earn overtime pay. But here’s the kicker that WAS NEVER EXPLAINED: All that overtime pay, both for the firefighters on the line and those filling the void at home, is REIMBURSED to the District by the Forest Service. It’s not rocket science. It’s how the fire service and the system work! But leaving out that detail sure makes a good case for “Our firefighters are paid too much!” And in so stating, the people running that campaign won a majority on the Governing Board.

After a disturbing incident where a Board member accused a firefighter of doing something he, himself was ultimately proven to have done, that Board member resigned. By a three to one vote, the treasurer of the successful campaign was appointed to fill the vacant seat for the remainder of the term. So, the SFD Governing Board became a four to one majority.

And what a job they did. They immediately lowered the mil rate (the multiplier on which your taxes are based). Campaign promise fulfilled. What they didn’t tell you is that in order to do that – while maintaining day to day operations – they had to spend down ALL of the capital reserves being set aside for exactly the kind of capital improvements which can no longer be ignored or “kicked down the road.”

The Arizona Attorney General found that Board guilty of multiple counts of Open Meeting Law violations. Members publicly hammered away at SFD leadership, executive staff, down through rank and file. They revoked District credit cards for the battalion chiefs, forcing battalion chiefs to “front” the costs of water and/or other necessities while firefighting. They micromanaged every expenditure made by the District, but squandered our tax dollars on the necessity of having to ratify legal expenses incurred by a rogue board member who thought the district could refuse to fund the retirement system. Apparently, she was unable to comprehend that firefighters’ retirement is not in addition to Social Security – but replaces it.

And they did, indeed, order the independent audit to expose all manner of deceit once and for all– to the tune of $190,000 of your tax dollars, only to find NO FRAUD, NO EMBEZZLEMENT, NO MISMANAGEMENT OF FUNDS, NO UNTOWARD EXPENDITURES WHATSOEVER. The few cost saving measures suggested have been implemented, but it’s going to take more than my lifetime to recoup that $190,000.

Sedona Fire Chief Kris Kazian

They caused a highly respected Chief to resign and they appointed a citizen’s committee to recruit a new chief. The chief they ultimately selected was our own Kris Kazian. And now, with the same outrageous cries of malfeasance, they are disparaging his leadership, his ability, his integrity, up to and including his residence! Do they realize that the IRS does not allow TWO “primary” residences? Yep…only one can be primary. Or is this just another case of failing to impart the full story? So the Chief’s property in the valley is shown as “primary” residence and his Sedona property is shown as “secondary.” There’s nothing sinister being perpetrated upon the people. It’s a tax category. Deal with it.

No longer willing to sit by and watch our Fire District being led into bankruptcy, in 2011, another group of people, Citizens for Safety, launched the effort to recall three seated Governing Board members. The fourth, who had been appointed after the resignation, had not been seated long enough to be included in the recall. But when his term ended, he failed to run for the seat.

The recall was a history making success. And though they tried to retain their seats during the May 2012 Special Recall Election, they were stunningly defeated. During the following General Election, though two of the unseated members filed their intent to run again, they failed to submit the necessary signatures to actually be named on the ballot and the two legitimate candidates were subsequently appointed.

That’s how it works. When Board seats come up for election, interested parties file their intent with the Yavapai County Elections Department, then obtain and submit enough valid signatures on the nomination petition to be placed on the ballot. If only two people file to fill two seats, then those two people are appointed to the Board. Though you’ve been led to believe otherwise, the Chief has absolutely nothing to do with elections. Without candidates, there IS no election. If you want an election, run for office.

And here we are, again. At the regular SFD Board meeting in June, three of those former board members (two of whom had been recalled and the one who had been appointed) were joined by several others wearing their red shirts. Some stood to speak lines taken directly from a video put together to disparage the District. Then, after the parade of speakers finished and the Chief stood to clarify any misunderstanding of information, many of the redshirt brigade simply walked out.

What does that say about their interest in factual information? Or their ability to muster even a shred of common courtesy, for that matter?

It’s as if their motto is: Don’t confuse me with the facts, I’ve already been told what my opinion is.

Good citizens of Sedona, don’t be fooled a second time by the same distortion of facts that brought our Fire District near bankruptcy, leading to an astoundingly successful recall effort. Don’t buy into the falsehoods put forth as fact. Do not let the anger and animus of a few “sour grapes” individuals and/or those with huge chips on their shoulders lead you down their dark path. Don’t trust. VERIFY. The truth is out there….

 

 

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95 Comments

  1. MShobert says:

    Those “red-shirts” are many of the same “$&@!” NIMBYs who were complaining about these exact same issues over a decade ago!!! Some have passed-on! Others have aged, became infirmed and regularly use the premier SFD, as they suffer their geriatric maladies! Obviously, others have nothing to do in their “Golden Years,” but sub-consciously share their miserable hateful & regret-filled lives.

    Does anyone recall when two of the aforementioned three recalled board-members were caught watching porn in their hotel room at an SFD-funded conference.

    Some of these same jokers were in red at the recent SFD board-meeting. Reminds me about stones & glass-houses… sorry, not sorry, sad actually!

    Check your ego’s… nothing to see here… STILL!

  2. Lin Ennis says:

    Fire districts differ from fire departments. Municipal budgeting and accounting differ from personal budgeting and accounting. Apples are not oranges. Yet people with a little knowledge of a thing – fire district budgetary needs – claim expertise far beyond that of those who’ve made it their careers to excel in these matters.

    If you have good reasons to distrust the fire district leadership, then bring legal action. Otherwise, shut up and let them do their jobs.

    I read the fine print and I trust our fire district leadership, including Chief Kazian and the board. Stop acting like playground bullies and support those who daily risk their lives to protect your disagreeable selves.

  3. @MShobert aka Karen says:

    Maybe the public should see how their taxes are at work with a live video from all SFD-funded conferences. Then we all see the drinking and partying free for all on the taxpayer’s dollars!!!!!!!

    Party on! right on karen!!! I can’t wait to see videos :) :)

  4. Mrs Roger Thomas says:

    Wow I had forgotten most of those important facts. I must have figured that once those mismanaging board members were recalled that they’d go away with their tails between their legs. I can’t believe that they are responsible for the “red shirt” antics. Maybe we should have treated them to an old fashion tar and feathering. Thank you Ms Tanzer for helping me remember THE FACTS.

  5. Barb says:

    @MShobert because of the anger you display in your comment, you have given me much to consider and it does NOT favor your position! Stones and glasshouses? And where are they located? Do not know the alleged ‘red shirts’ but to date they’ve done NOTHING so offensive as what your words convey – my assessment of the moment. But thank you more than you know for your opinion.

  6. Dick Heguy says:

    What an excellent article reminding the Fire District residences of why we were facing the financial destruction of our professional fire and emergency medical service, and what it took to turn it around. Now, unfortunately we are facing the challenge of replacing the capital funds for rebuilding and repairing the buildings and equipment that was so irresponsibly squandered.

    Near the end of my 28 year career with the Flagstaff Fire Department we faced the same challenges. The citizens listened and supported a bond issue enabling us to re-build and relocate 4 of our 6 stations. This has improved the level of service as well as the safety of the firefighters.

    Having now lived in the VOC now for 6 years I have seen how this bond issue is justified and needed.
    I urge all of you to find out the truthful facts and join me in supporting our outstanding Fire District.

  7. MShobert lies says:

    “Does anyone recall when two of the aforementioned three recalled board-members were caught watching porn in their hotel room at an SFD-funded conference.”

    No one recalls it because that did not happen.

  8. Michael Schroeder says:

    I find it amazing that people who write this stuff have the inability to read public reports and public financial data. You can listen to Blah Blah Blah or you can buck up and do the research.

    Time to put the emotional stuff that is being slung around to the side and buckle down and review the data – it is all public out there folks, you just have to take the time to look at it an analyze it. Not rocket science, but maybe for some it is.

    To that end, that is exactly what we have done through multiple meetings, presentations, power points and videos. All our data is based on PUBLIC records. We simplified it, and have presented various levels of detail, depending on how far you want to dig.

    We HAVE done the work for you, and it is here, http://www.arizonaliberty.us

    We don’t make this stuff up, so before anyone goes on a rant it behooves you to look at where your tax dollars have gone and why.

    What happened in the past, is the past. I suggest you stop living in that era and pay attention as to how your tax dollars have been spent, the deficiencies due to management and what is about to hit the taxpayers property tax bills of the residents in the SF district.

    It is all there, including links to Facebook and YouTube.

  9. @Michael Schroeder says:

    Mr. Schroeder:

    Are you kidding me???? You have the gull to say “I find it amazing that people who write this stuff have the inability to read public reports and public financial data” HOW ABOUT WATCHING MEETING VIDEOS FROM THE JUNE MEETING!!! To me that says it all. Where do I vote to support the bond!

    I find it amazing that a man of your stature who is well known for being overly fiscally tight would align himself those individuals who were RECALLED from the SFD! These RECALLED individuals wasted hundreds of thousands of tax payer money and you are supporting them, really??!!??!!

    Did you think for one second that if those RECALLED individuals spent money on infrastructure we wouldn’t need to build new buildings?

  10. J McCutcheon's says:

    M.Shobert did not manufacture facts pertaining to accessing porn while functioning as board members. The credit card purchase and payment was and is easily verified.

  11. Wendy Tanzer says:

    “What happened in the past, is the past?” I believe it was Santayana who said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

  12. Conclusive? says:

    Cannot resist sharing an observation here. No matter which side of an issue a person is on, as indicated by the amount of activity in a pretty short time on just this article alone, SedonaEye is the place to go. Like it or not!!!!

  13. Rich Collister says:

    I was at that SFD board meeting full story f Tea Party people wearing Shirts…
    Each one that up to speak was given a script to read by (deleted by editor) ….

    They were either half truths or outright lies…. Same ole tricks by your local Tea Party/AZ Liberty group…

    The Chief in his response to these either mislead lemmings or just plain government haters….Dismantled every half truth or just plain old lies…

    You know if people don’t want to pay for infrastructure improvements for SFD that’s one thing….. But stop lying.

    Dible….Kandar….And Schroder Az Liberty /Tea Party et al… Give them the TRUTH and let them make an informed decision…

    Your making your followers look like mindless hate mongers…
    Stop feeding people lies and correct you decitful web page….

  14. Mrs Roger Thomas says:

    Just so we are all on the same page and remind everyone who’s who:

    Charlie Christensen – RECALLED
    David Blauert – RECALLED
    Phyllis Erick – RECALLED

    Craig Dible – TERM ENDED AND REFUSED TO RUN AGAIN

    Webmaster- the above names are documented facts as of May 15, 2012.

  15. AKA Karen... MS says:

    I left a link, but it was deleted, by the web-mgr. …are we biased much?’

    So, google… “Sedona Fire Boardmembers, porn and liquor,” it’ll pop-up! TRUTH!

    Facts and my real name… can YOU do the same? No cred w/o it.

  16. MShobert says:

    Wouldn’t it be nice, if these folks just “thanked” the people who risk their lives for them!??

  17. Peggy Natiello, PhD says:

    I have never had anything but courteous and competent service from SFD. None of the petty, sure, rock-throwing kinds of remarks that occur in some above statements!

  18. Elaine says:

    “I left a link, but it was deleted, by the web-mgr. …are we biased much?’” @AKA Karen…MS

    Implying this site is biased is really unfair considering it is here the Perspective & Opinion from Wendy Tanzer appeared in the first place. Usually if an editor opts out of printing something there’s a very good reason such as liability risks. Try sending your link about “Sedona Fire Boardmembers, porn and liquor” to the RRNews and see if it’s printed there.

  19. Mrs Roger Thomas says:

    Thank you Mr. Schroeder for suggesting that we should review the data and wow how interesting it is. Oh not your slanted site but I went to the SFD June meeting video at:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lt0E_ZPQqo4&t=3451s

    and at the suggestion of AKA Karen..MS I Googled:
    “Sedona Fire Boardmembers, porn and liquor,” and boy did I learn a bunch.

    So Mr Schroeder like the other poster, I am now up to date of the people you represent and I’m very disappointed that you would support people like these.

    I can’t wait to vote for the SFD Bond!

  20. Steve segner says:

    September 6, 2017 at 11:16 am
    “Does anyone recall when two of the aforementioned three recalled board-members were caught watching porn in their hotel room at an SFD-funded conference.”
    Oh I thought that was President Trump

  21. A Taxpayer says:

    Please confirm why:

    We need a ladder truck when all large buildings have sprinklers and no building is over two stories high from street level?

    Why SFD gives free rides BACK from the hospital to boost their call count?

    Why Chief Kazian does not live in Sedona, but lives in the Phoenix area?

    Wouldn’t we be safer if all fire fighters were required to live and pay taxes in the City of Sedona?

    Why SFD built the Chapel station when two other stations are within 5 minutes of the Chapel Station?

    Why Sedona firemen do 2 days on and 4 days off? How can they work so hard for 48 hours straight?

    Why Rural Metro in Phoenix only has their fire fighters work 24 hours on?
    ( A hint, they are called stand up 24’s, because they never have time to get a good nights sleep like Sedona fire)

    For our 16 million plus a year, when is the last time they saved a building?

    Wouldn’t we be better off with a private ambulance service like the city of Cottonwood?

    As there are so many fire employees and there relatives commenting on this thread, I’m sure they can give us good answers. I’m tax PAYER not a tax FEEDER. I’m sure you ‘ll attack me. Let me start, Safety, safety safety safety gold plated safety safety.

    I believe we still have the most expensive fire department per capita in the country. BEFORE THE BOND INCREASE.

  22. Mrs Roger Thomas says:

    Other things going on during the recalled board, the (deleted by editor) fire fighters. The (deleted by editor) on SFD interoffice email.

    Talk about “learn a bunch.”

    How embarrassing..

  23. Michael Schroeder says:

    The state of Arizona has over 150 fire districts, and at one point during the development of the state, that was necessary. What has been created are isolated silos, 150+ of them which in itself creates a huge overhead for the taxpayer dues to the inefficiencies of the system.

    This is not about the guys and gals doing a great job, this is about the inability of management to control costs, and a lot of that problem is due directly to union involvement. It is now out of control. Very little if any increase in population for the district but look at the expenses, especially in personnel. The story about increased tourism is bogus, unless you want to call the Chamber out on their numbers which have not changed since the early 2000s. And the actual runs for tourist interactions are a matter of public record, and they are insignificant as compared to the total runs.

    What is going to happen to you property tax bill, and in fact already has to some degree is substantial. And unless the fixed income folks in the district are expecting some windfall, it is not a pretty picture. It is all laid out, it is just data, but the majority of the comments on this string are seem to be emotionally or personally driven.

    For those of you who understand how the screwy property tax system works, be prepared for a mil rate INCREASE to the max, which has NOTHING to do with the bond issue. If you do not know what the mil rate is, my suggestion is that you educate yourself on it. There are NO public controls on the mil rate.

    Personally I was not involved in the prior recall, so all the noise about that is past noise and really has little to do with what has happened over the last several years.

    It is the JOB of the fire board to OVERSEE the district on BEHALF of the taxpayers, to make sure that the needs are met at a fair price and that management is doing its job. When comparing SFD to other districts, which we have, (data available on the website) it becomes clear that oversight has NOT been done.

    I’m sorry to see so many people upset and throwing around personal attacks, which normally happens when there is nothing constructive to say.

    As you may have seen in the Red Rock News today the voter PRO/CON pamphlet has been cancelled due to the Chief’s meddling in the con statements, and that meddling will also appear on our web site as we have the documents.

    We do not do take this lightly, and what is REALLY interesting is that we now have other citizens from OTHER districts that have and are experiencing the same mismanagement of THEIR districts. Seems like we opened up the Pandora’s box…which is what we do. And we do it with PUBLIC data that is available for anyone to look at, not emotional responses.

    http://www.arizonaliberty.us

    Steve, I know as a business owner AND a property owner you are concerned about how your tax dollars are being spent and what is about to happen. I am not sure how President Trump got into the mix.

  24. Rich collister says:

    Mike shodroeder

    (Don’t care if I spelt your name wrong your irrelevant anyway…

    Your a real (deleted by editor) all the same….
    Why don’t you fix your lies in you Tea Party website. !?

    That would be a great first start (deleted by editor)..

  25. Mrs Roger Thomas says:

    Sorry to say that someone has taken my real name and made a nonsense posting at September 7, 2017 at 10:05 pm to discredit me. Sad very sad.

    To Mr. Schroeder when you say “Personally I was not involved in the prior recall, so all the noise about that is past noise and really has little to do with what has happened over the last several years”. While you were not part of the recall and neither was I because I was living in the Valley back then, THE PEOPLE WHO YOU HAVE ALIGNED YOURSELF WITH HAVE DONE REALLY BAD THINGS TO SFD AND HAVE NO CREDIBILITY IN THIS TOWN. So no matter how normal you think your messages are they are tainted by association who really mismanaged and were found guilty by the AZ AG. Those are facts that can not be overlooked.

  26. Question says:

    Didn’t the (deleted by editor) that worked for the SFD back then get in trouble for using (deleted by editor) employee email for inappropriate emails on taxpayers dollars? Goes to show me they need to get an overhaul. Too much money and time being wasted.Party on taxpayers dollars. Vote no

  27. Fire Experience says:

    #Scroeder – floods, mountain rescues, major wild land fire issues, 4 million tourists, inadequate and dangerous toadway infrastructure, on and on… you CANNOT compare FD to FD… things are different!!! You are making very dangerous and incorrect assumptions, just like the ignorant anti-FD folks from 10 years ago.

    How old are you Mike Schroeder? 60, 65, 70, 75, more… you say? You will need these medics soon – that’s how it works… if! you are lucky to live a long life, you will have malladies and these pros are 5-minutes away, with life-saving skill and equipment; you may not want to shoo them away to save $45 bucks a year. Why not show appreciation for these dedicated professionals? Hate much? Seriously, cannot be fun!

  28. MShobert says:

    (CD) – Hey #ATaxpayer – why not use your real name, so we can provide you the answers you seek? Your questions are very juvenile and inept… BTW. You should really do some research! SFD actually works 48’s!!! …twice the 24’s!!!

    Please, if you are going to play the part of the taxpayer – educator and savior – USE Facts!

  29. ATaxpayer says:

    @MShobert

    I said they worked 2 days on , that’s 48’s. Answer the questions, you can tell the truth, USE FACTS, if you are not afraid to.

    One other question, How many months can a SFD station go without having a night call?

    Your sleep gets interrupted maybe once every 4 months? Poor baby.

  30. MIssy says:

    I’m 70 years old, at least 100 pounds overweight and need my oxygen bottle. I want everyone to pay for the best fire department money can buy. If I could have a 30 second response time, I think you should pay for it.

  31. Mrs Roger Thomas says:

    To the question posed by ATaxpayer:

    The use of facts is an important thing and one that Former Chief Shobert has been using. It’s just that some people like to twist things around. While we’re on the topic of FACTS how about you use your real name like Shobert and myself.

    I would like to focus in on a question that you posed about how many nights a fire station can go without having a night call, does that include:

    Answering calls to accidents on Rt 17 or on any other road?

    Does that include medical calls?

    Does that include finding stranded hikers who forgot to bring a flash light on the trails?

    Does that include rescuing injured hikers who couldn’t make it off of the trails before sundown?

    and here’s a biggie Does that include helping people like me to assist my invalid husband Roger (since deceased) to get him back into bed after he fell out at 1:30 in the morning? Oh, I should add that after they were done picking my husband up and checking his vitals they replaced the batteries in my smoke detector. Who remembers such things twice a year?

    But if you really want more facts about how our firefighters use their time why not attend or watch the monthly meetings where you can watch that darling Chief Kazian discuss the amount and types of calls that they go out on. I know that you may be too busy writing BS postings on SE to watch those meetings once a month so they make it ease for people like you, you can watch them ANYTIME on YouTube.

  32. JessL says:

    @MSchobert

    I suggest you carefully consider your responses before you accuse someone of not using facts by confirming one of their facts.

    It makes you look really stupid. As you are a SFD supporter, I guess it is not hard to make you look stupid.

    Cities and states are going broke left and right. Greed by “public servants” is killing the goose that laid the golden egg. Your greed will leave you out of work with no pension. There is no escaping Karma.

  33. In the Know says:

    @Missy – When our fire department was volunteer that’s the kind of response we had. Honest. When my husband had his first heart attack – well maybe the response wasn’t 30 seconds but will bet it was less than 2 minutes. You see a nearby neighbor was one of the volunteers. True story!

  34. Tammy F says:

    My husband gets drunk and falls out of bed at least twice a month. Those nice young men at Sedona Fire always arrive quickly and help out. They never send me a bill.

    I love Sedona Fire.

  35. ATaxpayer says:

    @Mrs Roger Thomas

    Sure , you may add up all calls. Even getting a cat out of a tree. SFD can still go months with a station not getting any night calls and having their sleep interrupted. I’m, not saying all 4 stations, There might be one or two night calls among 5 stations in a period of months.

    None of you SFD supporters have answered a single one of my questions.

    Why is that?

  36. PS & BTW from In the Know says:

    The name of that volunteer First Responder who was, within minutes, joined by others was: Andrew MacFarlane – son of the late Dr. Eugene MacFarlane and Anita MacFarlane, former Mayor, City of Sedona.

    Respectfully submitted on behalf of late husband Charles F. Maddock,

    Eddie S. Maddock

  37. ATaxpayer says:

    @Mrs Roger Thomas,

    If I get this right, you are stating the fire fighters that you called out at great taxpayer expense, at least two professional fire fighters and a truck, did the job that you should have hired a home health care worker for. Or perhaps thought ahead and put bed rails on your husbands bed. Oh no, I’ll just call the fire department. It’s cheaper for Mrs Roger Thomas. Those same fire fighters had so little to do that they changed your smoke detector batteries? A job I might add any teenager or handyman could have done.

    I’m so glad you are not on the current fire board. Who knows how much of other peoples money you might think is reasonable to spend, in the name of safety of course. Sadly, I have not seen any evidence that the current board is any more fiscally responsible than you might be.

  38. @in the know says:

    That may have been so back 25 years ago BUT TIME HAD AND HAVE CHANGED!

    BTW most of those brave hero’s from years gone by were given the opportunity to work and get paid. Some choose to stay and some choose not too.

    If my tired mind remembers correctly one of the many issues was that the amount of calls of assistance were steadily increasing and employers like Basha kept loosing their workers every time a fire call came in the workers would fly out the door to help to rescue someone.

    Addressing your response time comment that you were BETTING that it was less than 2 minutes? I’ll take that bet, unless of course every resident like you had that “nearby neighbor”?

  39. Mrs Roger Thomas says:

    Well ATaxpayer that’s your opinion and judging from your past posts not correct, yet again. You see, it was that saddening event that showed my departed Roger that he needed more help then I could give him and we did hire someone to help during the day but that is all I am going to share with you.

    I’m sure that you’re glad that I am not on the board and you’ll never know what I would or wouldn’t do. But I don’t need a crystal ball to know what you and your cohorts would do because you had your chance and those band of misfits abused their authority – FACT. They wasted tax payer money – FACT. That women tried to cancel the pension of the fire fighters – FACT. They all were found guilty by the Arizona AG – ALL FACTS.

    So, Mr or Mrs ATaxpayer show me again how your side will do a better job.

  40. Matt Shobert, SFD Fire Chief (retired) says:

    OK, as fire service professionals, our job is to keep YOU as safe as possible. Period.

    As fire chief, I would much rather have you complain about costs, than complain about the service! It really is life v. Death. SFD is highly skilled, trainined and equipped. Would you really rather have the converse? Silly debate actually.

  41. Tony T says:

    It’s not that simple as Life vs Death. I take responsibility for my life, as I have seen the government in all it’s forms to be wasteful.

    I see the Battalion Chief driving around in a truck with fancy after market wheels. I see the new stations have separate bedrooms for every fire fighter. Neither of those expenditures made me any safer.

    I live in a wonderful 55 year old home. Most of our fire stations are much newer than that. The population of Sedona has gone down form 11,000 to 10,000. People and mostly families are leaving Sedona. Raising taxes will just encourage the exodus. From what I understand (deleted by editor) in Sedona. I doubt it was because she thought she would receive substandard fire service.

    If the voters of Sedona make the mistake of voting for safety without regard to cost they will make Sedona even less attractive and be taxed out of their very safe homes.

    Vote no on the bond issue. When have you ever seen government to not need more money? You have an opportunity to slow the destruction of Sedona.

  42. Rich Collister says:

    Oh Tony T

    You’ve been complaining about SFD ever since your GF was let go……remember
    Your also the guy that thinks 2cops talking to each other for 5 minutes is a waste of taxpayer dollars(remember you took pictures of them to show tax waste)

    Your also the guy that thinks a city worker cashing his check at lunch is also a waste of “your hard earned tax dollars”
    Remember Tony

    As far as Shoroder goes….

    Hey Mike when you gonna correct those lies on you little Tea Party web page regarding SFD!?
    Why don’t you tell the truth?

    I’ll give you two example of your lies that you keep up

    The SFD chief doesn’t make more then his counterpart in PHX
    Nor does he collect two pensions

    Both lies

    Just because you put your lies on a webpage doesn’t make it the truth….You make your AZ Liberty Tea Party crowd look stupid and also look dishonest

  43. Tony T says:

    If the editor is going to edit out critical factual information, I will choose not to contribute.

    You the editor will contribute to the Sedona downfall. I don’t think that is your goal .

  44. Michael Schroeder says:

    Mrs. Roger Thomas, thank you for your comment.

    The main person I have aligned myself with also was not part of the past recall, in fact I am not sure he even lived in the area during that time. We have looked in detail at the Sedona fire district public financial statements, the call records, the salary and personnel increases and have compared them to other districts, and to the population and area served in this district over time. All the data is on the website in various detail depending on how much time you with to spend, including numerous YouTube presentations and Facebook.

    The Fire Board pulled the PRO/CON pamphlet that was going to go to the voters as the Chief was playing with the statements and numbers. That is unfortunate, but the data that was in the CON statements is all on our web site, YouTube and Facebook site for anyone who is interested. Those documents that caused the pamphlet to be pulled will be available for all to see shortly at http://www.arizonaliberty.us

    There was some other party on this string that was rambling on about “Tea Party” etc., which makes no sense. http://www.arizonaliberty.us is a web site that I created years ago as an informational website for various projects, and there has not been a Sedona Teas Party since 2011. The biggest project we had recently was to stop the National Monument designation around the city of Sedona and assist in the stopping of the Grand Canyon Watershed National Monument, both of which are dead issues.

    Thank you for your comments and interest.

  45. Alarmed says:

    Thank you, Tony T. The $17.9 million SFD bond issue is reductive and will slow down Sedona’s economy.

    Thanks to tax and spend the City’s population dwindled from over 11,000 in 2010 to 10,000 today, while the median age rose from 50.5 to 58.0. Not only are young families leaving Sedona, but they don’t want to move here either. And low-wage workers don’t want to work here.

    Are folks aware that Fire Chief Kris Kazian is a participant on the City’s Fiscal Sustainability Work Group? The group is recommending an increase in the City sales tax of 1 percent, also reductive in nature. The 1 percent sales tax increase is an agenda item during this coming Wednesday’s City Council meeting (Sept.13). It is camouflaged as fiscal sustainability.

  46. Connie, Resident of Sedona Fire District says:

    “Tony T” your comment about editor deleting something you wrote. I scrolled back to find what you said and found your words “From what I understand (deleted by editor) in Sedona.” That leads me to believe the reason there was a deletion might be based on the “from what I understand” part of the sentence which implies a question of factual data or lack thereof to uphold whatever it was that was deleted. Printing stuff without factual proof or qualified as an opinion might very well substantiate liability risks for a publication. Now that’s just a guess, mind you, but in fairness to SedonaEye would urge you to take that into consideration. Your input was valuable (in my opinion) and so thank you for that.

  47. Cost of Business Cost of Rentals Housing $$$$ says:

    Any tax increases will affect everyone. It is not sustainable. The businesses will get hit with yet another increase that many may not be able to sustain. Just recently with the increase of minimum wages many businesses have decided to reduce or eliminate employees. The property taxes as they get increased get passed onto tenants. This will drive rents up for both residential and commercial.
    With very few homes for rent and affordable housing this does effect and drive housing up.
    Businesses will increase the cost of goods to pay for these increases. It would be wise for the SFD to learn to use their talents to SAVE money rather than spend it. Anyone can spend it, it takes REAL talent to work within means and look at saving it.
    Vote no!

  48. ALSO ALARMED says:

    “Are folks aware that Fire Chief Kris Kazian is a participant on the City’s Fiscal Sustainability Work Group?” @Alarmed.

    Well I surely was not aware of that! And just how is it Kazian rates to be on a Sedona City Work Group when his primary residence and family live in Phoenix? That information is public knowledge. Why oh why are more and more people who don’t even live in Sedona City Limits being allowed to decide on policy here – the increased sales tax being one of the most recent?

    Not everyone understands incorporated Sedona doesn’t include the entire Sedona Oak Creek Fire District. Therefore, it will ONLY be within Sedona City Limits the sales tax will be increased. In fact that’s the only portion of “Sedona” that pays the city tax.

    So, folks, you want a double whammy – being decided by people who don’t even really live here – then vote “YES” for this outlandish money grab – both counts. Of course we can only vote on the fire district bond because we have NO say-so on the sales tax increase unless with a futile personal plea to City Council, a body of seven who is supposed to represent US – legitimate residents. Only those who don’t even live in Sedona appear to be deciding that!

    My votie = NO!!!

  49. Rich Collister says:

    Hey Mike S…

    I repeat why not fix your little AZ Liberty/Tea Party webpage regarding SFD..
    Stop your (deleted by editor) Mike
    I gave you Two examples my last post that are blanet lies contained on you AZ Liberty /Tea Party webpage regarding SFD..

    There are many many others
    Why do you love to (deleted by editor) so much and spin the facts!!

    Come on Mike and the other guy Dwight K
    Be stand up guys and tell the truth..
    Give people facts and let them make thier own conclusions..

  50. @Rich Collister says:

    Why don’t you practice what you preach? My vote goes to the Mike/Dwight group who, as Mike explained, are NOT “tea party” people.

    Check your OWN facts, Rich!!

    NO on the over-bloated Fire Board Bond!!

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