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Sedona Fire District Bond: Follow the Money

Sedona AZ (October 28, 2017) – The following is a letter to the SedonaEye.com editor:

Letter to the Editor

“Pay to Play”

The group, that is promoting the $17.9 Million Sedona Fire District Bond, “Safer Sedona” is a PAC (Political Action Committee) that is called “Sedona Advocates For Emergency Responders”. The only two people that are on the Committee for this PAC are Wendy Tanzer and Rich Collister according to the public records available from Yavapai County Committee Statement of Organization, dated April 12, 2017.

While I am not surprised, I am curious who set them up as the local front people for this assault on the hard-working Taxpayers of the Sedona Fire District (SFD) in ramming this $17.9 million bond down our throats, especially with huge building cost projections with $3 Million in contingencies.  How convenient.

According to the 2017 Third Quarter Yavapai Report, August 13 to September 30, 2017, CORPORATIONS and LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANIES have contributed the full amount of the revenue for Sedona Advocates for Emergency Responders PAC of $17,750.  The total of $17,750 came from only 7 companies, no individuals, ALL in the Construction or sub-contractor business in Phoenix, AZ.

Could it be that Phoenix contractors have their eye on roughly $14 million in contracts in Sedona, AZ?  Is there a reason why our more than competent local contractors cannot build a fire station IF one is needed?  Is it a coincidence that Core Construction is the company who came up with the plans for the $5.7 MILLION cost AND plans for station #4? Was the Sedona District Fire Board aware of the financial influence of Phoenix construction companies in coming up with huge numbers like $5.7 and $3 MILLION for stations, plus $1.5 MILLION for a service facility?  I don’t know.  CORE CONSTRUCTION, INC, on Greenway Road in Phoenix was the largest contributor with $9,500, AND was the company who wrote the proposal for ALL the construction projects, including the tear down of Station #4, coincidence?

Did the Fire Board knowingly bury the architectural and structural report that they ordered and paid for on Station #4 because the report stated that the building could be renovated?

Is there a reason why a Phoenix construction company and a list of sub-contractors that are probably affiliated with Core Construction as subcontractors would want to influence the Little Sedona Fire District bond vote?  I can, off the top of my head, think of about 14 million of them.

This should be an affront to every voter in the Sedona Fire District. Trying to persuade YOU to vote YES while licking their chops for juicy contracts coming their way from the high country in Sedona down to the Valley in Phoenix.  Is it no wonder why SFD wants to abandon a perfectly good station up in Oak Creek Canyon? Demolish station #4 when structural reports say a remodel will work?  They are not crumbling folks, that’s the fairy tale to build more monuments to Chief Kazian like Station #6.  It’s only your money, so why should they be concerned?

To the citizens and voters of this district, if there was EVER a reason to vote NO on this Bond, AND to question the competency of the existing Fire Board, three of which are up for re-election in 2018, it is NOW.

The Yavapai County Reports are available for you to review on www.arizonaliberty.us

It is time the we ALL stand up for a fiscally responsible Fire District that supports OUR first responders and the people that they protect.  The Board, the Management…Time to go.

Michael Schroeder
Sedona AZ

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


  1. Larry says:

    voting no

  2. ALSO A NO VOTE says:

    If the rest of the fire board had kept the amount of the bond at $12.9 million as suggested by members Cooperman & Montgomery, most likely my vote would have been yes. Having already voted “no” though even before reading this, I’m VERY happy I did! Needy without being greedy should be a lesson learned. Wonder if incorporated Sedona will ever learn that? Never do they cut back to those grabbers lined up and never get enough. It should start with the bogus chamber of commerce and their regional policies. The greed overtook logic with the fire board as well.

  3. J. Rick Normand says:

    To All Readers at The EYE:

    * How is THE DANGEROUS SLOWING OF EMERGENCY VEHICLE RESPONSE TIMES, due to the tsunami of increasing tourism street traffic, making any of you safer?

    * How is the dream of affordable housing in Sedona going to come to fruition when hampered by the stranglehold of OUT-OF-CONTROL rising property taxes which stunt economic growth in Sedona’s non-tourism business sector?

    * How many of you will be FORCED TO SELL YOUR OWN HOMES under the duress of out-of-control property taxes which have NOTHING to do with making you safer?

    * How are you safer when the Sedona Fire District REFUSED TO SEND TO YOU your legally and ethically mandated VOTER INFORMATION PACKET for fear of litigation over their distribution of FALSE information to voters? (Upon advice of the SFD’s own legal counsel)

    * How are you safer when the ultimate funding source of the slick “Do the Right Thing-Vote Yes” ads at this site and others, as well as the print media, are FUNDED BY THE DIRECT BUILDING CONTRACTOR (and its subcontractors) who will rebuild our fire stations when the SFD’s own in-house engineering reports (withheld from the public) clearly state that such RE-BUILDING IS NOT NECESSARY?

    * How are you safer by providing VERY EXPENSIVE NEW EQUIPMENT to the District when the current equipment is in PERFECT OPERATING ORDER while MUCH OF IT IS UNDERUTILIZED?

    * How do slick ads and presentations promoted by PAID people who are hired for their public speaking and writing prowess (Tanzer, Johnson and Collister, for example), rather than HAVING ANY KNOWLEDGE OF BOND FINANCE and real estate taxes, make you PROPERLY INFORMED AND SAFER?

    DO THE RIGHT THING! Don’t be duped by corrupt marketing plays aimed at you, the voter…VOTE NO on the SFD Bond Issue.


  4. ESM says:

    @JRN – WOW – Oh my – there are NO other words except you sooo excelled in analyzing the total and dreadful state of affairs in Sedona – Oh yes – my opinion. Don’t want to be “sloppy” as S. segner accused me of in one of his attack and inane diatribes for have been at another time, sixteen years ago, included as one of six defendants named in a frivolous law suit sixteen years ago. All one and the same?

  5. Alex Uptown says:

    wasn’t it a partner in the Phoenix advertising agency, subcontracted by the chamber of commerce with city funds, who contributed $1,000 or so initially to Moriarity’s campaign fund to get her elected Mayor? As S.Segner circulated his own solicitations (appeared on this publication) to dig up dirt on opposition in order to insure her victory? you wonder why SedonaEye wasn’t mentioned as a news source in the rigged survey? the scary part is it just might work again! Vote NO on the bond and trash the intrusive survey apparently designed only to justify implementing their own agenda. . . . . Socialism.

  6. Matt Shobert, Fire Chief (retired) says:

    People, there is nothing shady going on. …please support the SFD firefighters, who risk it all for you, every day.

    This ongoing commentary is sickening. These are the same people who searched for years a decade ago and found NOTHING!!!

    Do you remember all the fires, floods, traffic jams? This cowardly, vocal minority, is gambling with your elderly lives.

    80 year-old, bored white men, with nothing to do, but regret their miserable lives.

  7. @ Matt Shobert, Fire Chief (retired) says:

    “please support the SFD firefighters, who risk it all for you, every day.”

    So weary of that propaganda line. Search 10 most dangerous jobs. Fire Department worker is not to be found.

  8. Hank says:

    I’m a yes vote. But I hear your reasons for no and some make good sense but the economy is doing great again with President Trump in office, jobs report best in 8 yrs, market up because of Trump, and illegal immigration is getting a dose of reality that American jobs went to Mexico & there are jobs there for the hardworking Mexican. Remodel the canyon station is all that’s needed though. Don’t be greedy.

  9. Michael Schroeder says:

    Mr. Shobert, apparently you don’t subscribe to the Red Rock News. Our photos were on the front page last week. We’re lookin pretty good for 80!

    Here’s a nice, consolidated recap:


  10. Dwight Kadar says:

    October 30, 2017

    Mr. Ty Montgomery
    Governing Board Member
    Sedona Fire District
    2860 Southwest Drive Sedona, Arizona 86336

    Dear Mr. Montgomery

    On behalf of Sedona Fire District taxpayers, Arizona Liberty is filing a formal complaint against the Sedona District Fire Governing Board and specifically Board Member Tim Ernster, who served as chairman of the SFD Citizens’ Advisory Committee, for collusion, conflict of interest and attempting to influence the outcome of the Sedona Fire District bond election.

    We also call into question the relationship between Sedona Fire District Chief Kris Kazian, Sedona Advocates for Emergency Responders Political Action Committee (PAC), SFD Citizens’ Advisory Committee Member Wendy Tanzer and Core Construction and six other Phoenix-based construction companies, which to date have contributed $17,750 to the PAC. They appear to be part of a coordinated media campaign promoting the bond at the expense of Sedona Fire District taxpayers.

    A review of the SFD Citizens’ Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes, dated May 2, 2017, reveals the following:

    VII. Presentation/Discussion – General overview of the process once election is called (Captain David Rodriguez)

    Captain Rodriguez was unable to attend today’s meeting; Firefighter Greg Eberlein spoke on Captain Rodriguez’s behalf. He said the mission of this committee is to evaluate SFD’s current and future capital needs, determine what financial methods meet those needs, and make a recommendation to give to the Fire Board. After that, if the Board decides to go forward with the bond proposal, a Political Action Committee (PAC) could be formed to promote the bond; there are many issues involved in an election, and PACs would fundraise for pamphlets, handouts, or ads in newspapers to endorse the bond. However, the fire district can only speak to factual items – not endorsements.

    Firefighter Eberlein said he believes Chief Kazian felt some pressure to come up with an estimated figure of what would be needed to cover capital needs, and $15 million was thrown out; he said his personal concern is if we now go and ask for $18 Million or more, citizens will wonder why. Mrs. Maxwell asked how many people can be on a PAC; Firefighter Eberlein stated he believed as many as would like to participate; Wendy Tanzer is absent from today’s meeting, but he said she is very knowledgeable about PACs as she has worked on campaigns in the past. Chief Kazian commented he tried very hard to not “pigeonhole” an estimated number and that $15 Million was just a starting point for discussion; at the time, he did not know what construction costs would be and his message has been that if it became a different number, the facts are what they are.

    A review of the Yavapai County Campaign Finance Report for the period August 13, 2017 to September 30, 2017 for Sedona Advocates for Emergency Responders reveals contributions of $9,500 from the same Core Construction, which provided construction cost estimates to the SFD Citizens’ Advisory Committee and the Governing Board and may benefit financially should the $18 million bond issue pass.

    As elected Governing Board Members, you serve as the Sedona Fire District taxpayers’ advocates. Clearly the Governing Board has violated the trust placed in it by District taxpayers. You have been willing participants in a scheme to mislead and manipulate District taxpayers into believing that they must vote for the bond issue.

    Please be advised that Arizona Liberty will take all appropriate actions against the Sedona Fire District, its Governing Board, Sedona Advocates for Emergency Responders Political Action Committee, and Core Construction should the bond issue pass.

    Dwight Kadar
    Arizona Liberty

  11. ESM says:

    As you are most likely aware, the following headline appears on the Sedona Red Rock News today – 11/01/17:

    “Pro-bond group funded by Phoenix firms”

    Will this be the bend in the road to lead Sedona in a new direction?

  12. ESM - Too Hasty says:

    At the time I commented about the “Pro-Bond Group etc.” I’d overlooked a headline at the bottom of the front page of that same RRN issue 11/01/17.

    Based on the testimony of approximately a dozen people, the headline reads “Public Favors High Density.” Now that’s very interesting considering the provisions within voter approval of our recent Community Plan limited density to 12 units per acre.

    And now because a handful of people, some not even Sedona city registered voters, spoke on behalf of the Major Community Plan Amendment, it’s become “Public Favors High Density”?

    Hmm – so much for truth in reporting. Oh well, one out of two ain’t bad

  13. @ AZ Liberty says:

    Big, big thanks for covering the bogus bond issue so well. You’ve provided a great service. Uncovering the scandal of who is behind Safer Sedona is the icing on your well researched cake. Bravo!

    Watch the AZ Liberty “Follow the Money” video, people, and vote NO. https://youtu.be/_I5_eKM_muI

  14. BIG MISTAKE says:

    Received a phone message today from the ‘YES’ pushers. Being registered on the
    Do Not Call List their phone call was neither welcome nor wanted. Thank goodness I had the good sense to already vote ‘NO’ for this outrageous bond. Had I voted otherwise I’d be inclined to call the county and attempt to change the vote. Intrusive, obnoxious, and bullies are these brazen folks attempting to scam the public and using our honorable firefighters as an excuse for their dirty work. MY OPINION!

  15. @@AZ Liberty says:

    Not so fast – you are quick to use words like bogus and cover up but, how about showing us who’s funding AZ Liberty? That group sounds just like the Koch brothers or in this case one man, Mike Schroeder one man paying to control an election. SOUND FAMILIER SEDONA FOLKS???

  16. Diane & Brian says:

    @@AZ Liberty You keep posting under anonymous names the same mantra. Koch brothers, bogus, coverup are not intelligent words to use when discussing the differences between Schroeder/Kadarr and Tanzer/Collister.

    Misters Kadarr and Schroeder are residents and will be paying the increase.

    The PAC that Tanzer and Collister have created are not residents. They won’t be paying the increase, they will be paid the amount of the bond. Just like you and me.

    I must admit facts alone are worth my no vote. I was leaning yes and now it’s the right vote for the people and for SFD to be NO.

  17. Yavapai County Election Results - 11/7/17 Unofficial says:

    Yavapai County Board of Elections

    Date: 11/7/2017 Time: 7:43:39 PM

    Number of Precincts 2
    Precincts Reporting 1 Vote For 1

    FOR THE BONDS 2,431 43.90%

    AGAINST THE BONDS 3,107 56.10%

    5,538 Total Votes


    ADVOCATE= a person who pleads for or in behalf of another; intercessor.

    We don’t need no advocates from Phoenix, stay on your side of the mountain, we have builders here.

  19. It Ain't Over Yet says:

    Caught a newscast on KYBC radio yesterday which covered in part the results of the election. Quoted Chief Kazian who made it VERY CLEAR about how he remains supportive of their proposed needs and committed to finding other ways to pay for them as long as he remained the Fire Chief here! ‘Nuf said? Maybe he can approach that high rolling regional Sedona chamber of commerce to cough up some cash from their rapidly growing slush fund??? PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT????

  20. Brilliant! says:

    all the fire chief and his loyal supporters need do is approach the chamber of commerce for $$$$$. After all they are taking portions of the monetary gift from incorporated Sedona and in turn gifting funding to the USFS for trail maintenance.

    then they take all their lavish events outside city limits to accommodate those members that don’t even contribute to city sales and bed taxes.

    why shouldn’t incorporated Sedona revenue help fund a Fire DISTRICT (not a city department). After all the money will have slushed its way into the special interest members bank accounts via the chamber of commerce. PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT – oh Lord help us!!

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