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Sedona Fire District Bond Issue Vote Should Be No

Sedona AZ (September 29, 2017) – The following is a letter to the SedonaEye.com editor:

ARIZONA LIBERTY has just released the final video in its current series of 14 videos analyzing the Sedona Fire District’s management, operations, finances and, most importantly, the bond issue.

The video series provides Fire District voters with a detailed look, based on publicly available information, at how their tax dollars have been and are being spent. In addition, the videos provide details of capital projects that are included in the bond issue.

Fire District taxpayers have received their 2017 county tax statements. In checking with residents, this year’s Fire District property taxes are approximately 9% higher than 2016 and more than double those paid in 2011. Fire District taxes are about 27% of the total tax bill and are more than School District taxes.

From 2011 through 2017, the Fire District’s “covered area” and “population protected” have not increased. During the same period, while consumer prices (CPI) have increased only 7%, the Fire District’s operations employees (excluding administrative staff) have increased 13%; personnel expenses (salaries and benefits) have increased 31% and total expenses have increased 47%. More than 15 times of your taxes ($78 million) are spent for personnel expenses than for capital outlays ($5 million), excluding the more than $2 million spent to build the Chapel Area Station #6.

Now, in addition to its Governing Board-approved $17 million annual operating budget, the Fire District wants the taxpayers to vote for an $18 million bond issue. The $18 million (plus an estimated $3 million of interest) will finance projects, including almost $9 million to demolish and rebuild the Uptown Sedona Station #4 and relocate the Oak Creek Canyon Station #5 inside the Slide Rock State Park.

If approved, bond proceeds will also be used to build a new dedicated maintenance facility; build additional parking; repair heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems; and renovate kitchens, work spaces, day room areas and training rooms. Much of this could have been completed using annual operating budget monies instead of continually paying higher salaries and benefits.

None of the $21 million (bond plus interest) spending will make Sedona residents safer and none of the District’s fire stations are “crumbling.” Let’s not forget that the Governing Board’s vote was not unanimous in favor of going forward with the bond issue, but rather a 3-2 vote, not an overwhelming endorsement of spending of “other people’s money.” And, finally, in a June 14th editorial, the Red Rock News stated, “this newspaper will not support an $18 million bond.”

We, the taxpayers, must manage our expenses and so should the Fire District.

Therefore, ARIZONA LIBERTY is recommending taxpayers VOTE NO on the bond issue.

You will be receiving a paper, mail-in ballot during the week of October 16th. Before you vote, please review our video by clicking here and make an informed decision: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMYhfFx3dMA

ARIZONA LIBERTY is committed to informing Sedona, Verde Valley, and Northern Arizona residents about important issues that impact their daily lives.

Dwight Kadar
Sedona AZ

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

57 Comments

  1. Michael Schroeder says:

    We had a good balanced event the other evening at the Lutheran Church. A big Thank You to the League of Women Voters for hosting a balanced event.

    There was some question about the Red Rock News doing a live stream for the opening 10 minute segments. This was not discussed or approved in advance, and our presentation was not structured for a live stream. In fact, 10 minutes was not sufficient to really get into the issues we would have liked to explore.

    However, since the Q & A was substantially longer and more relaxed than the opening comments we agreed to allow RRN stream those, which they did. I think folks who did not attend were able to get a pretty good feel and a lot of information from the Q & A. However from what we heard the quality of the stream was not that great so I am not sure what people really heard.

    If anyone wants to go into an in depth review we are doing that on:

    FRIDAY, OCTOBER 20, 6:30 – 8:00 PM
    CHRIST CENTER WESLEYAN CHURCH
    580 BREWER ROAD, SEDONA, 86336

    Our detailed slide deck (the one that is on our website, http://www.arizonaliberty.us) will be reviewed and all are welcome. There will be questions taken during the slide deck.

    Again, thank you VVLWV for putting on a good balanced event.

  2. Matt Shobert says:

    People of Sedona, your fire department is good and strong. Their infrastructure is in bad shape, was poorly designed, and in many cases, was built by the volunteers, on weekends.

    It needs fixed, or repaired, or even replaced – fact. I pointed this out over a decade ago. The vocal vote-no-group, no not what they speak. They are angry, old, bored men, full of regret. I know them – I have met them – they have attacked me – from their perches of secrecy – they are, in fact evil. Their workings, if successful, will cause a level of strife for the good people of Sedona… but, who cares. They will be long gone.

    The men and women of SFD are good, strong empathetic firefighters.

    As for the fire-brass… Kaz is an upstart Strategist and Planner. Pie, is a man of honor, a man of strength, and one of the most forward thinking fire service professionals in the nation!

    And retired, lonely, bored, frankly – transplanted Californians! …are destroying the upstart, moral, progression and safety of the SFD. Please, opposition, be quiet – OR, at a minimum use the facts.

  3. ARIZONA LIBERTY says:

    Nice Try @ Mrs. Roger Thomas and your “Fake News”

    “I heard that the AZ Liberty people refused to participate if the event was live streamed”

    Here’s the RRN live streaming link”

    http://www.redrocknews.com/news/88888896-city-news/67161-livestream-sedona-fire-district-bond

  4. Fire Chief says:

    Editor, I wrote an honest, fact-based message and you deleted it? …and I even signed my name – and you deleted it, while publishing the garbage – of these “village idiots.” What happened to freedom of the press. Or, this is your Trumpian freedom?

  5. J. Rick Normand says:

    To All Reader’s at The Eye:

    Please notice that Wendy Tanzer, Rick Collister, Mrs. Roger Thomas and Steve Segner all clearly big proponents of and employ the use of:

    Saul Alinsky’s 12 Rules for Radicals
    “In the beginning the organizer’s first job is to create the issues or problems.”

    1. “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.“ Power is derived from 2 main sources – money and people. “Have-Nots” must build power from flesh and blood.

    2. “Never go outside the expertise of your people.“ It results in confusion, fear and retreat. Feeling secure adds to the backbone of anyone.

    3. “Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.“ Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty.

    4. “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.“ If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules.

    5. “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.“ There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions.

    6. “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.“ They’ll keep doing it without urging and come back to do more. They’re doing their thing, and will even suggest better ones.

    7. “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.“ Don’t become old news.

    8. “Keep the pressure on. Never let up.“ Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new.

    9. “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.“ Imagination and ego can dream up many more consequences than any activist.

    10. “If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.“ Violence from the other side can win the public to your side because the public sympathizes with the underdog.

    11. “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.“ Never let the enemy score points because you’re caught without a solution to the problem.

    12. “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.“ Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.

    Rule No. 5 seems to be the favorite of Tanzer, Collister, Thomas and Segner since they keep trying to identify anyone who disagrees with them as Tea Party members. Maybe these four semi-literates should read the liberal New York Times article (broadcast by the liberal CBS News) on who the Tea Partiers really are @ https://www.cbsnews.com/news/tea-party-supporters-who-they-are-and-what-they-believe/. Btw, I do not, myself, qualify as a Tea Party member because I am a Registered Independent voter. But, you’ll find out that they (Tea Partiers) are more educated than any of the four Alinskyite semi-literates mentioned above who can’t even read an audited financial statement, speak eloquent English, or string together the elements of a deductive logical argument. The latter was proven night before last at the League of Women Voter’s sponsored SFD Bond Issue debate wherein Mike Schroeder and Dwight Kadar ate the collective lunches of our four herein-mentioned miscreants plus Gary Johnson. And, btw, Tanzer, Collister, Thomas and Segner, the four of you collectively VIOLATED Alinshky’s Rules No. 2 and 7 to your own detriment. You four can’t even follow your own version of the Alinsky playbook. What a bunch of losers you four are!

    JRN

  6. steve Segner says:

    Socialism is just around the corner we can only hope

  7. J. Rick Normand says:

    To All Readers at The Eye:

    Wendy Tanzer’s article above states;

    “Ad content and payment must be submitted no later than two (2) days before publication, this is the 10th day past the date upon which the two above named entities exceeded the $1,100.00 limit before filing as a Political Action Committee.”

    The only problem is that Mike Schroeder and Arizona Liberty are not an A.R.S. defined Political Action Committee. Keep in mind that the entirety of Arizona Election Laws under A.R.S. Title 16 is candidate-specific, not ballot-measure specific. Arizona Liberty takes on issues, not candidates.

    In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that spending in support of, or in opposition to, a candidate that is not coordinated with any candidate cannot be limited. Such “independent expenditures” can be made by either individuals or PACs.

    Meanwhile, A.R.S. 16-901.41 says “Political action committee” means an entity that is required to register as a political action committee pursuant to section 16-905.

    A.R.S. 16-905 says “B. An entity shall register as a political action committee if both of the following apply:

    1. The entity is organized for the primary purpose of influencing the result of an election (Arizona Liberty has a clear history of primarily debating all major issues that affect the Verde Valley, such as the Sedona-Verde Valley Red Rocks National Monument movement, rather than getting involved in election issues). The extant SFD bond issue is only coincidentally a ballot measure from AZL’s standpoint.
    2. The entity (there is no entity in this case) knowingly receives contributions or makes expenditures, in any combination, of at least one thousand dollars in connection with any election during a calendar year (with the following exception).”

    But, A.R.S. 16-911 says “B. The following are not contributions:

    1. The value of an individual’s volunteer services or expenses that are provided without compensation or reimbursement, including the individual’s: (go to sub-Sec.15). The costs of publishing a book or producing a documentary, if the publication and production are for distribution to the general public through traditional distribution mechanisms or a fee is obtained for the purchase of the publication or viewing of the documentary. (MIKE SCHROEDER AND DWIGHT KADAR HAVE SPENT THEIR OWN PERSONAL MONEY on publication of information and live presentations, NOT the money of contributors!)
    Furthermore, to complicate the matter of the definition of “political action committee” in Arizona, United States District Judge James Teilborg has declared the definition of “political committee,” as defined in Title 16 of the Arizona Revised Statutes, to be unconstitutional on its face in his ruling on the matter of Galassini v. Town of Fountain Hills. The Court did not enter an injunction.

    The judge declared that the definition of “political committee” in A.R.S. § 16-901(19) “is vague, overbroad, and consequently unconstitutional in violation of the First Amendment.” He ordered that the Clerk of the Court shall enter judgment “in favor of Plaintiff and against the State on Plaintiff’s claim for declaratory judgment.” The judge denied the State’s Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction.

    See this link: http://arizonadailyindependent.com/2014/12/05/judge-declares-arizona-definition-of-political-committee-unconstitutional/

    JRN

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