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Vote YES on the Sedona Fire District Bond

Sedona AZ (November 2, 2017) – The following is a letter to the SedonaEye.com editor:

Dear Editor,

Please allow me to shed some light on the REAL motives of Safer Sedona and how we’re being beaten with our own disclosures because we opted to follow the law and file as a PAC. We are a Political Action Committee and as such, disclose the sources of our funding. What a concept.

I believe the Sedona Red Rock News has just crossed the line between unbiased journalism and blatant sensationalism in a desperate attempt to sell more newspapers. In Wednesday’s edition – both in the front page article – and more particularly in the Editorial, our motives and methods have been disparaged in the most egregious of ways. Very simply, we will not let it go undisputed. Not this time.

The Safer Sedona PAC, its Chair, Rich Collister and its Treasurer, Wendy Tanzer (that would be me) have no hidden agenda. We are pursuing (against some big guns – and deep pockets – apparently) the fiscal security and sustainability of public safety in our community for the next 20+ years. That’s it. We are championing a cause that is absolutely vital to all of us. But…no good deed goes unpunished.

Having served on the Citizens Advisory Committee that recommended the Bond to the SFD Governing Board, I have a completely CLEAR conscience as to our findings. We toured ALL the fire stations. We saw for ourselves the needed repairs and the ever-increasing damage “kicking the fixes down the road” has caused. I’m sure it won’t surprise anyone to learn that continuing to do so will create an even bigger – certainly more expensive – fix in the future. Pay now or pay a LOT MORE later. Being “penny wise and pound foolish” is an expensive game when you’re talking about the lives and safety of those who serve our community and those living in our community who can’t necessarily afford to house a full-time medical staff at their residence.

Unlike the opposition, we are not multi-millionaires and therefore must show up, hat in hand, to anyone willing to financially support our critical undertaking. We are and have always been completely transparent and forthcoming with that fact. For the Editorial to imply anything inappropriate about that effort seems to be yellow journalism at its very lowest level. That Editorial asked, “Where are the local contractors?” Please allow me ask the same question. Where are they, indeed? Were they interested in getting involved and funding our efforts? Do they believe themselves qualified to take on these major challenges? We don’t know because we haven’t heard from them!

The Editorial went on to say, “There is nothing to suggest local representatives nor local officials colluded in this process…” Are you kidding me?!?! That sentence alone casts a huge shadow of doubt as to our intent and IS in fact, the suggestion itself! To impugn by innuendo the reputations of anyone involved with our PAC is more than egregious. And to use the word “colluded” suggests something underhanded and illegal. That’s completely outrageous! And it’s not the first time a lack of full disclosure swept our efforts into one big pile.

Let’s take the League of Women Voters forum as an example. The Editorial on that subject indicated that the participants didn’t want the opening presentations live-streamed. The FACT is we, the proponents, wanted to broadcast the entire forum to share the facts and hold the opposition accountable. But the Editorial failed to mention that. Why?

It goes on to say that while everything we’ve done is completely legal, we have somehow corrupted our election process. Isn’t that an oxymoron? I don’t think one can be both completely legal and corrupt, at the same time. But the implication is certainly convenient to what I perceive to be an obvious intent of smearing both our campaign for YOUR safety and those of us working to DO THE RIGHT THING!

And have you seen the ads AGAINST the Bond in the paper? Have you received a mailer urging your “NO” vote? Have you received a phone call from a representative of Americans for Prosperity, a national group, making calls from Phoenix and out-of-state to convince you to vote no? What is the source of all THAT funding and why are they trying to hijack OUR election?

The fact is, we don’t know now, nor will we ever be apprised of that information. Why? Because Michael Schroeder and Arizona Liberty have NEVER filed as a PAC. Where that money is coming from, where it is spent, on whom and how, will remain a mystery. And yet the Red Rock News fails to address that fact in any manner whatsoever. Again, why?

Our efforts will continue until election day and I have ultimate faith in our community’s ability to see through the insinuations, and find their way to the truth.

In the meantime, I’d like to point out, The Red Rock News Editor clearly understands the power and subtle messaging the usage of words can carry. But using that gift against what has never been anything but honest and forthright in its endeavors feels so sleazy. My disappointment in him is almost as deep as my need to clear any misconceptions his words have brought forth.

DO THE RIGHT THING! Vote YES on the Sedona Fire District Bond.

Wendy Tanzer
Sedona AZ

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

19 Comments

  1. Michael Schroeder says:

    Ms. Tanzer,

    That’s quite a story. Sounds a little desperate. It is not good to get caught colluding. It actually started earlier this year, and it is the modus operandi of Core Construction. This is not the first time Core has gone into small unsuspecting towns, created “crisis” and funded bond elections which dive into taxpayers wallets so they can end up building buildings, fire houses and schools whether they are needed or not. And when you have amateur boards in these small towns, and the fear mongering is spread, the small towns are easy pickings.

    The Core presentation is very slick and shows the towns where they have been successful. I have nothing against Core. They probably build a good building, and from the looks of it maybe even overbuild their good buildings. It is obviously a successful business model for them. I prefer not to be taken advantage of in this manner, and I do not think the taxpayers of the Sedona Fire District or other small towns should be taken advantage of in this manner either.

    It is interesting that Ms. Tanzer has stated that other Sedona contractors could have the opportunity to bid on these projects. I am not aware of any RFQ that the board put out, or even specifications. In fact the Board did get one local contractor involved in proposing upgrades to station #4 earlier in the year. After 2 months of no action on the board, and wasting the contractors time, nothing happened.

    But let’s review the process as the memory of Ms. Tazner and Mr. Collister seem to be a bit foggy. It was Core that submitted the proposals and costs for all the work, remodels, and new stations. At the request of the Chief? The May 2nd meeting of the Fire Board at which Core was present, was all about every project Core recommended and had a proposal on. If there were other bids, or even an attempt to GET other bids, it was not discussed. Does anyone find that strange? There was a discussion that station 5 in the Canyon should be moved inside Slide Rock Park, but it didn’t need to be a Taj Mahal. What does that mean, that station #4 rebuild should be? You be the judge.

    There was discussion on how much the bond should be, all the way to $20 million. A couple of board members though $18 was too high. Ms. Tanzer says that if the bond passes, projects will go out for bid. Maybe, kind of cart before the horse isn’t it? If that is so, how does Core Construction get so many of these bids? And why is there $3 MILLION in contingency in new buildings and repairs. It is obvious that no one on the board or the advisory committee has ever built a commercial building. I have built 5 and remodeled one 140,000 sq foot building by taking it down to the shell, doing an environmental level 2 clean up and ending up with a great facility. All my projects are up and running today and look as good the day we built or remodeled them, some as old as 33 years. I had a contract – on each, and that was the money that was going to be paid to the contractor. Period. The process outlined shows incredible lack of knowledge. Core takes advantage of that. It is their job. Good for them.

    This conversation on May 12, is public record, and comes right out of the notes of the meeting which are posted in their entirety on http://www.arizonaliberty.us/Safer_Sedona_Core or access through http://www.arizonaliberty.us

    We also challenged why the architectural and structural report on Station #4 stating that it was structurally OK and could be remodeled was buried in the records, even after the Fire Board and ordered it and paid for the report. The report is also on our website. No mention of that report when the bond was being discussed on May 12.

    Ms. Tanzer and Mr. Ernster were on the Citizens Advisory Committee. Ms. Tanzer was one of the two founders of the “Sedona Advocates for Emergency Responders” PAC which is the sole funding for the Safer Sedona group, of which Ms. Tanzer is a primary member along with Mr. Collister. 100% through October Funding coming from amazingly…7 Phoenix contractors lead by Core, and later several fire union PACs from other districts. The Citizens Advisory Committee recommends a $17.9 million bond (wonder where they got that number) which is then promoted by Safer Sedona and adopted by the SFD Board…of which Mr. Ernster is a member. It would be confusing except all the names are the same.

    Arizona Liberty is not a PAC. A PAC is not necessary if you are self funding or have volunteers who are providing services which they do not normally charge. Some design work I have paid for. All the ads I have paid for. The ONE mailing we did (not 3 – maybe four like Safer Sedona did) I have paid for. And frankly, the comment that I am personally going to save money if the bond does not pass is stupidly ridiculous as I have already spent more that this bond would have cost me for the foreseeable future on fighting this nonsense. The operation of this district is simply not right. And we ALL have to step up to support it. But not like this. Money does NOT fix the issues. It will help…under the right management.

    We have designed PowerPoint presentations, given numerous presentations, turned various PowerPoints into YouTube presentations for those who could not attend meetings, created a Facebook page which is easy, and two websites, which I personally own. Arizona Liberty is MY registered trade name with the State of Arizona. It is not a company, LLC, PAC or anything else. I have spent 1/3 of the money that Safer Sedona with it’s corporate backed funds have spent. And for one reason, to bring some common sense and taxpayer value to an out of control district.

    The SFD needs straightening out. Misused assets, no capital reserve program and questionable decisions by management. This Fire District is a service business, which should be focused on well trained firefighters with good equipment. When a SFD resident calls 911, buildings don’t come running down the street to assist Ms. Taanzer. Men and machines do. It is time to get some priorities in this district and some management that will take direction from a competent SFD board. When I stand back and look at this operation, and compare it to the service business I created which was 8 times this size in operating budget serving 1700% more people it is hard to believe that it got this out of hand. The paying customers are the TAXPAYERS, and the TAXPAYERS are NOT getting their money’s worth. NO BAILOUT. Time to fix it, and authorizing $17.9 MILLION at a maximum of 9% for 20 years is not the way to get it done.

    This is just phase one Ms. Tanzer. Trust me. Phase two, there will be a PAC. AND we have a nice list of SEDONA FIRE DISTRICT residents – not OUTSIDERS with an agenda, residents who wanted to contribute many thousands of dollars who I told to keep their powder dry. I could not take their money as an individual or under Arizona Liberty.

    To start the process – Vote NO on the $17.9 Million Bond.

    Stay tuned.

  2. @ Wendy Tanzer says:

    Your spectacular denial is hilarious.

    “Crime, once exposed, has no refuge but in audacity.” ~ Tacitus

  3. Dwight Kadar says:

    I see our favorite internet troll, Wendy Tanzer, is back at the keyboard, pounding out her predictable mix of insults, personal attacks and threats.

    And, for good measure, giving her thesaurus a real workout this time to find a bunch of snazzy words to impress us with her communication skills.

    Well, Ms. Tanzer, here’s the bottom line: It’s always easier to spend other people’s money.

    Take your PAC, for example.

    You were quoted in the November 1st edition of the Sedona Red Rock News as saying, “We approached them [CORE Construction] because we wanted the bond to go through and we don’t have deep pockets, so we had to seek outside funding.”

    Apparently neither you, nor your PAC’s Chairman, Rich Collister, have any pockets at all.

    According to the financial reporting statements you filled with Yavapai County Elections, neither one of you has contributed a dollar – not even a penny – to your cause. Nothing. Zilch.

    Instead, you reached into the pockets of seven Phoenix contractors, who, in turn, may be reaching into taxpayer’s pockets here in Sedona.

    So, in spite of your manufactured outrage at the so-called biased reporting and editorial in the Red Rock News, you really haven’t personally contributed anything to your cause besides words.

    And, as the saying goes, talk is cheap.

  4. Mrs Roger Thomas says:

    Mr. Kadar:

    First of all, you may not like the messenger but there is no reason to personally attack Ms Tanzer. She is entitled to her opinion as are you.

    Just because people in this town don’t have deep pockets like you and Mr. Schroeder does that mean that they should lay down and let you steamroll over them? You sound like such a child and it’s not becoming of any adult.

    It’s easy to attack those that followed the rules and posted their finances. I’m sure that you’ll say that you and Mr. Schroeder don’t have to follow those same rules for reasons that I don’t understand. However, why not be transparent and tell us all on SE where your money is coming from? Even if it’s just from you and Mr. Schroeder be honest and transparent.

    As has been posted on other boards, it appears that your group have aligned yourselves with the prior SFD recalled board members, IS THIS TRUE? If so be honest and transparent.

    I was at the open meeting at the Lutheran Church and heard the discussion about you and Mr. Schroeder refusing the RRN to live stream the opening comments and yet the supporters of this bond had no problem with live streaming. What were you hiding?

  5. @ Michael Schroeder says:

    Thank you, Mike, for stepping up with your time and money for the benefit of all.

  6. @ Mrs Roger Thomas says:

    “It’s easy to attack those that followed the rules and posted their finances. I’m sure that you’ll say that you and Mr. Schroeder don’t have to follow those same rules for reasons that I don’t understand. However, why not be transparent and tell us all on SE where your money is coming from? Even if it’s just from you and Mr. Schroeder be honest and transparent.”

    Wow Thomas! Schroeder just explained all that. No wonder you are voting for the bond. You cannot read and comprehend.

  7. Don't Sweat it, Wendy says:

    So, Wendy, your feelings were a bit bruised? (You sound like Hillary Clinton) Well look at today’s headlines “SFD firefighters help battle California blazes” – so there’s your heroes and our tax $$$ – sending our overstaffed force off to CA to do battle? And it gets even funnier (but who’s laughing).

    Our very fine city council member, John Currivan, has been tarred and feathered with a scathing editorial because he resisted and voted against amending the community plan to increase building density without first polling the people. How ya like them apples? Haven’t read such a scathing bad boy editorial since they did it to former mayor candidate Cliff Hamilton in order to get their “Sandy” elected.

    When the witch hunt becomes that evident could it mean anything other than Mr. C is on on the right track by not going along with the control freaks including those seated withing the confines of city hall being paid to do hatchet jobs? OMG the beasts never sleep and Halloween is over.

  8. Tony T says:

    @Wendy Tanzer

    Both you and Collister have criticized others and stated you are qualified to promote your cause. Yet neither of you has disclosed your qualifications.

    Why is that? I’m sure many of us her would love to know what makes Ms Tanzer qualified to plead for SFD.

    Along with all the supporters of their PAC being Phoenix contractors, and not a dollar of local money, it sounds shady to me.

    I’m a Sedona taxpayer.

    Vote no

  9. @TT from FC. says:

    I am qualified, and SFD needs your support!

    Seriously.

    Angry, bored, old, white-men, who are full of resentment, are not qualified. They are just jaded and unfulfilled.

    I offer 30 years of professional fire service experience, 4 departments, 2 states, 3 terms as Fire Chief, Masters, Bachelors, Associates Degress, Executive Fire Officer Certification, Chief Fire Designee – 5 (five) times (one of only ~50 in the world).

    Matt Shobert, Fire Chief (retired), real name – zero cred. without it.

    Don’t believe the false alternative facts, being spewed by these haters – support those who lay it on the line for YOU – EVERYDAY! I was nearly killed in the line of duty and I am insulted by this hubris, arrogance and ignorance.

    Vote YES. It is simple, actually.

  10. @ Matt Shobert says:

    YOU are the ‘angry, bored, old, white-man, full of resentment.’

    So glad you are “insulted by this hubris, arrogance and ignorance.” That’s an unintended but very welcome consequence of the NO bond movement.

    Keep stewing and spewing. You’re a priceless caricature. Very entertaining.

  11. Don't believe you @TT from FC. says:

    I don’t believe you and know that Matt wouldn’t be making such posts.
    Matthew Joe Shobert
    Also known as Mathew Shobert, Matt Joe Shobert
    Age 55
    Lives in San Diego, CA
    Used to live in Murrieta, CA, Hemet, CA, Sedona, AZ, Scottsdale, AZ, Tucson, AZ, Santa Fe, NM
    Related to Kenneth Dewi Shobert, Tami Sue Shobert

  12. SOLUTION TO CONTROVERSY says:

    Wednesday, November 8, 2017!!!!!!!!

    (The day after the election)

    CAN HARDLY WAIT – then maybe focus can return to the major freight train on track to smack us head-on with implement of socialism which, of course, will have trickle down effects on the entire Verde Valley ….. but ….. ONLY Sedona registered voters will be taxed for the freebie entitlements our current administration wishes to impose – after they tally the recent survey and determine the results put in motion by the “inside” group (Citizens Engagement) behind closed doors at Sedona City Hall.

  13. Matt Shobert says:

    Oh, it’s me. Nice try. I’m the only one commenting here, with integrity, and I am called the liar.

    No name – no cred.

    Editor, please, it’s ok to affirm my name.

  14. Sedona Fire District Bond Voting (50%) - Unofficial Results says:

    Yavapai County Board of Elections
    Election Summary Report NOVEMBER 7, 2017/ 7 DE NOVIEMBRE DE 2017 COUNTY OF YAVAPAI/ CONDADO DE YAVAPAI STATE OF ARIZONA/ ESTADO DE ARIZONA NOVEMBER 2017 ELECTION RESULTS UNOFFICIAL RESULTS
    Date: 11/7/2017 Time: 7:43:39 PM

    SEDONA FIRE DISTRICT – QUESTION

    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

    50.00%

  15. Sedona Fire District Bond Vote - Official Result says:

    The Sedona Fire District bond measure failed. The official result is below:

    SEDONA FIRE DISTRICT – QUESTION
    Number of Precincts 2 Precincts Reporting 2

    Vote For 1
    FOR THE BONDS 2,593 43.73%
    AGAINST THE BONDS 3,337 56.27%

    5,930 Total Votes
    100.00%

    http://www.yavapai.us/Portals/26/Elections/2017/1107/ENG_VBM_Election_Results_Post_Nov_2017.pdf

  16. Judy says:

    Listen to the people. Get your house in order. Then you’ll get help fixing things up.

  17. ARIZONA LIBERTY says:

    NOVEMBER 7, 2017
    COUNTY OF YAVAPAI
    STATE OF ARIZONA
    NOVEMBER 2017
    UNOFFICIAL FINAL RESULTS

    http://www.yavapai.us/Portals/26/Elections/2017/1107/ENG_VBM_Election_Results_Post_Nov_2017.pdf

  18. @ ARIZONA LIBERTY says:

    Congratulations! Job well done.

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