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Eddie Maddock: A Most Unusual City Council Meeting


SedonaEye.com columnist Eddie S. Maddock examines a highly unusual Sedona meeting.

Sedona AZ – A popular song, “It’s a Most Unusual Day,” is considered part of the Great American Song Book and was composed by Jimmy McHugh, lyrics by Harold Adamson and introduced in the film, “A Date With Judy” in 1957.

Fast forward to 2022 and maybe some creative Sedona resident might consider writing a new version: “It was a Most Unusual City Council Meeting” referencing the session held on May 24, 2022. And why is that? Well, just for example the five legitimate Sedona residents appearing during the “Public Forum” were all well-prepared, did not exceed the three-minute limitation, and each spoke relating to a different topic. Their concerns included, but were not limited to:

· Chamber – funding from the City of Sedona should be eliminated

· Chamber of Commerce misrepresented as a Tourism Bureau

· Citizen Engagement – unfair, handpicked, lack of transparency

· Transit System – failure to apply requests for bids

· No bid contracts in general

· Opposition to target zoning

· Violating rights of people

· Disregard for private property

· Sedona’s decrease in population

· Work force increases at City Hall

· Allowing Sedona to become a poster child for the world

· Home Rule.

City of Sedona Council chamber

It might be intriguing to note that at least one of those speaking concluded their presentation with the words: “You’ve been put on notice.” City Council members or others are not allowed to address input relating to Public Forum comments except, perhaps, time limit reminders which, as noted, were unnecessary during this session.

Mayor Moriarty’s seat was vacant and, when the city council roll call was taken, she didn’t respond. However she was, indeed, conducting and participating throughout the meeting from some remote location.

The primary agenda item was:

Regular Business: AB 2806 Discussion/possible action regarding approval of a Uniform Video Services License Agreement with NPG Cable, LLC dba Suddenlink Communications.

In spite of unanimous and justified complaints relating to the performance of the cable company under contract – primarily as a result of Arizona State Legislature’s interference by revoking municipality control over local services and, in certain instances, policies – in order to avoid a potential shutdown of service to customers, the contract renewal was approved, but not unanimously. The three council members voting in opposition: Kathy Kinsella, Holi Ploog, and Scott Jablow.

Running quickly through the balance of the council meeting agenda, which consisted of routine items, this meeting was adjourned in record time – at approximately 5:35 PM.

Considering most council meetings generally run in excess of at least three hours, assuredly was this not another example of a “Most Unusual Sedona City Council Meeting?”


  1. Eddie S. Maddock says:

    CORRECTION: According to the official Minutes of the 5/24/22 city council meeting, adjournment was 5:40 PM – not 5:35 as noted in the above article.

  2. Janet says:

    This kind of meeting makes me upset because it shows clearly how out of touch our council is. We need change!

  3. Joel says:

    Refreshing to see new faces addressing issues in our community.

    Eddie thank you for the article and all that you do. Your work alerts us in the best way!

  4. Dorothy Hill says:

    There is a steady stream of customers crossing the border into Tijuana looking for the baby formula not on US shelves, and it’s a boon for Mexican retailers. Calimax stores report sales surging 19%, and management says they welcome the influx of U.S. shoppers. Thank you President Biden.

  5. Betty J. says:

    For the first time since I moved to Sedona I am going to vote against the Alternative Expenditure Limitation – Home Rule Option in the August 2, 2022 election. What does this mean?

    Voting against Home Rule means the city will not be allowed to spend more than a limited amount set by a state formula, whether or not they have the money in the bank.

    My reason for voting against Home Rule for the very first time is that it is the only way to send a message to the mayor, city council and city manager that I am tired of the status quo and their refusal to listen to the wishes of residents. We are tired of the unhealthy relationship with the chamber of commerce, the over-emphasis on tourism promotion to the exclusion of all else, the lack of attention to services that benefit residents (not tourists) and poor choices made in planning and development.

    As Eddie points out in her column, the city simply refuses to take our desires seriously.

    If you want to join me in voting against Home Rule this August, it is important for you to know that this question is ONLY on the primary ballot. If you are not officially registered as a Democrat or Republican voter, you MUST SPECIFICALLY REQUEST TO RECEIVE A PRIMARY BALLOT.

    If you don’t know how to request this Primary Ballot, contact the Election Department or County Recorder for the county in which you live, either Coconino or Yavapai.

    If you’re a registered R or D, you will automatically have the opportunity to vote on this question. If you’re an Independent, you MUST request the primary ballot in order to vote on this question.

    Also, I am voting for Samaire Armstrong for mayor. She is the only candidate who specifically states that her policies and approach will emphasize residents instead of tourism / chamber. Other candidates are either for the status quo or seem to make a point of avoiding the question of tourism and the chamber altogether.

  6. JD, West Sedona says:

    And what, pray tell, does your comment relating to Joe Biden have to do with the subject of the article? Nice try for an obvious diversion to the flaws in Sedona government?

  7. George, VOCA says:

    Ditto JD, I’m refusing to vote period and send them a message.

  8. WishBorn says:

    We need to get a grip in America and face the music that Sedona won’t be more than she was and is ever again in this new economy and we don’t need one cent more in taxes or fake subsidies city council for chamber or nonprofits.

  9. Elaine says:

    Met a man from Lake Havasu playing golf this weekend with friends and conditions of Sedona courses and resorts came up. Funny he said that he wasn’t impressed and that our town wasn’t as he remembered from several years ago visit. How people respond is important and if we go through with destroying more land for commerce and business purposes we lose our cachet. It’s worth knowing that people coming from cities and urban areas don’t understand or grasp our culture. Living in Arizona is affordable housing to any body with brains. We don’t need slums here. Even Palm Springs and Lake Havasu protect mobile home parks as valuable quality housing. Sedona councils and developers want the land under our affordable housing to make big bucks for their wallets. Over and over its been proven from Nepenthe and timeshares and resorts and lodging. Airbnbs will disappear soon. They are cyclical. I’m voting against home rule too and called for a ballot.

  10. Jess Wundrin says:

    Why would a city/town spend millions of municipal funds with a private member organization to promote “dispersing visitors around valley?” Quote taken from titled article, Red Rock News 4/29/22 “Chamber News” Michelle Conway, interim president and CEO and director of marketing at the Sedona Chamber of Commerce.

    It adds insult to injury considering Sedona City Hall claims the “Chamber Visitors Center” is officially that of the City of Sedona. Nonsense and a direct insult to legitimate Sedona licensed businesses, even those that are Chamber members considering how many tourists are being sent to members outside Sedona City Limits.

    What more proof is needed to unveil this utter and questionably legitimate agreement to give away public funding to a private club? Not to mention promoting the entire Verde Valley who is now receiving potential Sedona revenue via referrals from this idiotic setup.

    And equally as stupid is the current “justification(?)” to continue the trend of giving millions more dollars to the “chamber” to benefit promoting “sustainability?”

    Better challenge all candidates vying for seats this election on their positions for carrying on the practice of what some are even questioning as fraudulent.

    In my opinion the only thing that would create “A Most Unusual City Council Meeting” would be fair and honest decisions from city council and staff. How can that happen without a clean slate?

  11. Roger & Geneva W. says:

    Give it a rest @Jess Wundrin. So the chamber of commerce is attempting to “lessen congestion in Sedona while spreading tourism’s economic benefits regionally”. What difference does it make if City of Sedona is footing the bill?

    After all, apparently that “city” has more money than they know what to do with. Ain’t-cha heerd of “socialism” since no way would they consider rescinding that .05% alleged temporary tax. Maybe it took an act of hiring another employee at City Hall for advice on justifying the millions of dollars they continue to give the C of C since the result of their “destination marketing” seemed to lack effectiveness?

    Translated: miles of backed-up traffic caused by day-trippers!

    So much for “destination marketing.” Wonder what the end result of “sustainability” will be?? OMG. Really, isn’t it pathetic enough to be amusing in a Sedona sort of way?

  12. Leland says:

    Keep the council honest

  13. Lonnie R. says:

    There are a couple of other options in case new faces aren’t elected:

    Recall the entire City Council
    Disincorporate Sedona

    It might also help to VOTE NO ON HOME RULE.

  14. Sharyn, Sedona says:

    Bill Maher called Americans dumb. We choose the same people over and over and hope the results change. Practice term limits by voting for anyone not in office. What have you to lose except bad governance?

  15. Lester W. says:

    People complain a lot but when the opportunity knocks to make changes they acquiesce to scare tactics. Therefore why waste words trying to convince them to get serious?

    It might be beneficial to know whether or not the candidates running for mayor (besides Sandy) even understand the concept of a weak/strong mayor form of government. The “weak” mayor (which is what Sedona has) actually has no more power than the other council members.

    During the early years after incorporation, in fact, it was city council members themselves who decided who the mayor would be and then made the appointment. The same was and remains with the vice-mayor because that person is not elected by the people.

    In a way it made a lot more sense considering the mayor’s duties, except for the title, are no different from the rest of the city council except for conducting meetings, setting agendas, signing documents, and representing the city at different functions. And, of course, there’s the ego factor. What other reason would the current “vice-mayor” have for vying for the position of “mayor?”

    Therefore any illusions of grandeur candidates for mayor have about making drastic changes without the support of at least three other council members have absolutely NO merit! Fact folks – check it out.

  16. @ Lester says:

    I have to agree with you 100%, you are spot on….Somehow, politics turned into a blood sport with only winners and losers?

    All these people telling what they will do, which is already being done on top of it…

    They think if elected they will gain all power, which isnt true….The mayor being the perfect example.

    Thanks for your well thought out, and accurate information….Nice to hear the voice of reason for a change around here!

  17. Bancroft says:

    Sedona needs less advertising and quite more self reflection – traffic is horrendous and it’s too (deleted by editor) damn hot here. Going north.

  18. Reggie Vouet says:

    The shortage of rental properties isn’t permanent and will fluctuate.Sedona managers are inexperienced.

    Nationally the cost of rent per month on average is $2k. Buying is less expensive this month, but will not be with current administration increased interest rates to fund economic progressive tax policies (causing inflation) and supply chain issues (caused by lack of American industry and technological manufacturing).

    We need independence in US or we will fall to China and Russia as we are now. China manufactures everything the world needs and uses from medicine to milk while they do not adhere to climate or green initiatives.

    Our government forces US to abide by green initiatives when it’s not scientifically proven many of the things they mandate or propose impact climate change in a positive way; most recently was canceling the pipeline which caused a negative impact on climate.

    Sedona doesn’t need ADUs and will lose most of its business in the next 2 years as the recession worsens. Other cities are beginning to scale back and adjust priorities. Sedona needs to deflate its inflated budget. No new expenditures.

  19. Michele says:

    Sedona rocks :-)

  20. Alex D. says:

    Statistics indicate Sedona Schnebly died on November 13, 1950. However might it more appropriately be considered her true demise and burial occurred in 1988, the year Sedona became incorporated as a city and was infected with a disease even worse than the current COVID-19 pandemic?

    At least there’s a vaccine for COVID. In Sedona is anything short of undoing the “incorporated” status and shuttering Sedona City Hall of Corruption likely to fix or cure the ill conceived notion that incorporation was a good idea? Of course NOT!

  21. James Harrington says:

    Well Gee Whiz – is there any wonder why our Sedona “city” roads and related infrastructure has become accidents waiting to happen? Since our wonderful city employees have been paid, collectively, in excess of over $7,780,420 in just nine months? And that doesn’t include “perks” such as automobiles, vacations, “business” meals out, etc. etc. etc.

    Public records (Freedom of Information Act) indicate 17 employees are salaried above $100,000 annually totaling over $1.5 million or an estimated cost of one public parking garage. Let that comparable sink in.

    And most of the 17 employees salaried over $100,000 are situated in the administration department of the City Manager’s Office.

    If this isn’t reason enough to raise blood pressures and shout “We’re mad as hell and not taking it anymore” then what will?

    Time for change preferably do away with this outrageous and disgraceful abuse of power and reckless usage of public revenue.

    All one need do is check comparable resort areas both locally and nationally to see how this blatant corruption continues to run amok.


  22. MD says:

    Inflation caused rates to go up today and monetary policy is not in a good place. Wake up Sedona. Wake up America. The Democrats are screwing us globally and here at home. Take this seriously.

  23. Arrogance of Power in Motion says:

    After attempting to watch this special city council meeting (6/15/22 3:00PM) relating to the inane Chamber/City contract the stench is toooo much!

    Good grief before Sedona incorporated the friendly, member/citizen C of C offered the events presently being touted – and it was done WITHOUT money from the “City of Sedona” because it didn’t exist!

    This is more than over the top.

    PUT A STOP TO THIS ONGOING BULL SHIT (?deleted by editor in advance?) because the policy has been and continues to be the ruination and contribution to making Sedona the laughing stock to probably the world!

    In anticipation of perhaps a 4-hour meeting today (at city expense) the offer was already put on the table by the mayor and city manager that an additional meeting could be scheduled.

    You just can’t make this stuff up! It’s unbelievable but continues to make Sedona look foolish and the residents are idiots to continue to allow it.

    Oust them all. Drop the “incorporated” status and let us live without all the infighting for power, control and $$$$.

  24. Paul says:

    If your relating today’s events, my vote will go against any incumbent sitting there taking our money for their friends and family and personal pet projects.

  25. Arrogance of Power in Motion says:

    Yes indeed, Paul, my reference is today’s council meeting which @5:14 is still in session. The video camera doesn’t give a shot of the “audience” but there’s little doubt in my mind that a standing room only audience is in attendance. And, of course, will most likely NOT have an opportunity to speak because maybe the meeting will, indeed, be continued?

    Time to cease and desist with this nonsense. And kudos to the editor of SE for using the direct phrase: “Bull Shit.” THANK YOU FOR ALLOWING THIS RESIDENT TO ACCURATELY CALL IT WHAT IT IS!

  26. Diane, Sedona says:

    Sedona housing is plentiful and it’s lies told by and from city hall offices and committees that’re saying opposite. Im in property management and we laugh when government cries housing shortages.

    There’s so many houses in the pipelines and we lost a million Americans whose homes and belongings went on the market to make enough homes for decades. Think about it instead of nodding your heads when city tells you anything. They want your money and your tax dollars and they don’t have enough worthwhile projects to fund to justify their existence and salaries.

  27. Mary & Steve W. says:

    It was slam dunk for the Chamber of Control.. As usual they had their way with the mighty seven. Oops – confession time. It was made public that it is the City Manager calling the shots. That’s who gives orders to the ELECTED seven. Who died and left her/him king/queen??

    How about it Sedona residents? Are you really going to stand/sit by and allow this to continue? We voted for the members of the city council not the staff!!

  28. Matt Shobert says:

    James H., –
    Are you envious of the successful professionals, – with the training, experience, education, courage, leadership, etc? Whom deserve this and more… I dealt with your type for years – in local government. “Wanna-be, coulda-beens, – who aren’t.” What did you earn in your power years? – Was it $35K per year – or perhaps $350k as a “Fortune-500” – free-loader. – Probably the former, – now you are old, bored, scared, so you lash out in the name of self-validation. You are wrong. One of Sedona-many, whom spent their golden years – stirring the pot, and complaining about everything…

  29. @ Marry & Steve says:

    So you have no clue how our form of government works? you ask who died and left them king/queen?

    How about you learn first how are local government is set up to work, just like every city around us! Jezzzz

    And like always that money by law must be spent….So you just want the money to go to another firm?…If your this confused on a small government is run I would hate to know how little you know how the federal government runs!

  30. Jess Wundrin says:

    @@Marry & Steve (“Marry” – as in wed?) Nice impression relating to your own credibility?

    How our form of government works? And how many are aware of the “strong vs. weak mayor” difference?

    You might just be an excellent candidate for city council/ mayor (member of the city council – just like the other six). Ignorance has no boundaries. Duh – another speaking with forked tongue?

    As for Matt Shobert, are you possibly just another failed wannabe Sedona dignitary who presently resides elsewhere? It must remain troublesome for you to remain incapable of letting go to your history in Sedona? So sad. Too bad. Why not move back and instruct the ignorant how to do it properly? Or better yet, apply for a city job!

    “Successful professionals?” At what?

  31. Laura P says:

    Rt on Matt
    Same old complaints.

    As for Jess W
    You recently complained public input groups being BS. Why don’t you join one and find out for sure instead of casting Negative accusations based on “not first hand knowledge”I know why….. it’s easier to post nonsense. I expect a FULL report after you join one.. Waiting

  32. To Uninformed Fool says:


    Characteristics include:

    City council oversees the general administration, makes policy, sets budget
    Council appoints a professional city manager to carry out day-to-day administrative operations
    Often the mayor is chosen from among the council on a rotating basis

    This is the most common form of government. According to surveys by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), this form of government has grown from 48% usage in 1996 to 55% usage in 2006. It is most popular in cities with populations over 10,000, mainly in the Southeast and Pacific coast areas. Some examples are Phoenix, Arizona; Topeka, Kansas; San Antonio, Texas, and Rockville, Maryland.


  33. Verde Valley School Road says:

    @Fool. Glad you can cut and paste but it doesn’t address the comment Fool. Always the problem with trolls wanting to (deleted by editor) somebody smarter.

  34. Carol, Uptown says:

    Sedona has less than 10K folks and we lose more annually. Time for change? I’d vote yes.

  35. Alan J. says:

    And what makes you “assume” @Laura P. that Jess W. hasn’t been a participant in any of the citizen engagement groups? Could it be the experience was disgusting enough to precipitate his and similar complaints?

    Why don’t you and others such as Matt Shobert who so detest the opportunity for a variety of comments on Sedona Eye practice what you preach? Refrain from adding in your two-cents worth and quit following this apparent source of your irritation?

  36. Laura P says:

    Hey you know what Alan J. I have as much right to post here as you or Jess W does. Well if she has been in an engagement group …..let her her/him tell us which one instead of making “blanket statements” about her non experience with that grou.

    Her comments are a disservice to the people that actually care about their service on such groups by Volunteering their time instead of posting nonsense with no experience(as in Jess W’s case

    If you don’t like my comments Alan ….don’t read Sedona eye (same advice you gave me).

  37. @ Alan says:

    “And what makes you “assume” @Laura P. that Jess W. hasn’t been a participant in any of the citizen engagement groups? Could it be the experience was disgusting enough to precipitate his and similar complaints?”

    Just a wild guess would be you would think if they did take it they would understand how the Mayor and council work?…And that the City Manager is the person who wheels all the power?

    The same people who complain about everything and have opinions not based in truth or facts?…..So its a pretty good assumption that anyone would think that.

  38. Steve Abbot says:

    A reminder. After Sedona incorporated it WAS the city council that appointed the mayor, thus eliminating this nonsense of having it a special ballot issue.

    To my recollection voting for a mayor (versus council appointment) came about because of citizen request for the option of an election. Isn’t it stupid though since the “weak mayor” designation essentially has no more authority than the others elected to the city council? Ego trip in motion?

    What’s amusing is the current “mayor” and “vice mayor” are both on the “mayor ballot.” (Vice Mayor is still by council appointment) Ain’t that a hoot? Maybe it would serve them right if neither one of them made the cut – especially the Vice Mayor since he would be relinquishing the balance of his present term as a council member, appointed as Vice Mayor by his city council colleagues.

  39. Bob, 89A Someplace says:

    After reading about how and why weak mayor was incorporated, seems nobody but the voters could change the election process. Is this more corruption uncovered?

  40. Another Sedona Peon (resident) says:

    Definition of Mayor of Sedona?

    “Arrogance of Power Person”

  41. Julie says:

    It’s time to ask tough legal questions about the city ballot preparation and how the ballot is now not in line with its legal definition. This city lawyer may not have the authority or the guts to tackle the out of control councils. Call the AG and file a complaint about the corruption of the voting process and our city limits representation.

  42. @Julie says:

    Ok Julie ….
    You file that complaint ok!! Please report back. Thnks

  43. Ben Solomon says:

    In my opinion it’s the city manager pulling all the strings. She gives orders, checks briefly with city attorney to figure out how to skirt legal snags, and AWAY THEY GO!

    In case ya don’t know, the latest “deal” on the table is an attempt to purchase land from Northern AZ Health Care in order to pursue their “affordable/work-force housing.” Well now ain’t that still a special thought? NOT! Terms should have been enforced with the lodging industry years ago and city hall needs to justify the numbers they have on staff. Assistants to assistants, etc??? NONSENSE!

    The money is in city coffers so the sky apparently is the limit for what THEY WANT. To hell with those of us living here. And, YES, we do contribute to the tax base. Look at your monthly utility bills, Folks – and also the amount of taxable items included with your grocery shopping.

    If they actually did a couple of small things that made sense and justified their bloated wage scale (fixed the roads; rescinded that last .05% sales tax increase as a couple of examples) then maybe, just maybe, confidence in the honesty and integrity of city council and staff might be salvaged – even tho only slightly.

    However – the hole they’ve dug for all concerned is too deep and treacherous to even approach. Something is bound to happen to upset the runaway train. It always does.

  44. Ron says:

    Instead of being without affordable health care they want illegals and sanctuary city residents who break laws and send their money back home rather than Spend it here, why aren’t they offering free land space for a hospital? Cancer treatment center? Wound centers? Rehabilitation hospital? Why not give land for a health care facility to serve us? Do your jobs for the people who elected you and not for the illegals who don’t vote and have no reason to be here except to take money from us? Let’s call it what it is in reality.

  45. @ Ron says:

    Well Ol’ Ron…..Just so you have a tiny clue….NAH owns 35 acres right next to their ER…..City didnt give or offer them anything…..Well I can tell you didnt know that….How embarrassing!

    And another point if you read a tad….The NAH is building a new hospital in Flagstaff and it will have work force housing…. And it was NAH that approached the city!

    I wish you knuckle draggers would be so bold and ignorant in public so you could be publicly humiliated with basic FACTS!

  46. Wise Willie says:

    But doncha ya know, Ron. Them “illegals” mean VOTES – to keep the politicians in office so they can continue to live high off the hog in the style to which they’ve become accustomed. No matter what level of government that sad but true situation continues to rule the roost. Shameful.

  47. John M. says:

    Workforce housing is plentiful in Flagstaff because their knuckle draggers overbuilt on fragile forest lands which are now prone to drought and fire. Those fires will continue to escalate the aridization of Flagstaff which will be the water demise of down stream populations, i.e. Sedona. That hospital or medical facilities should have been built on the 89A and Rt 60 corridor of Cottonwood as the primary non mountainous centrepoint of the area. Yes, the city should be involved in infrastructure decisions but they choose not to do that job. Sedona battles obselence and water shortages caused by upcountry building and that includes Oak Creek Canyon. Should have no homes there and trails with limited access and 89A should be locals only – no through traffic. Done all the time in other areas, but too innovative and green concious there and not here. Sedona needs to go back to its mission statements that kept it vital.

  48. Nathan says:

    That @JohnM is gold.

  49. Barb Nol says:

    Sustainability the word Sedona forgot

  50. Dan & Lois G. says:

    “Sustainability” – Ah yes @Barb.

    Sustainability “Not” is the key word here in Sedona based on the asinine attachment to the regional chamber of commerce. And the intent (excuse?) for maintaining the ludicrous city/chamber contract presently has been assigned to that very cause: Sustainability. Didn’t the ultimate result of the out of control “destination marketing ” contract with the “chamber” vastly impose the need for more consideration relating to sustainability? DUH!

    Oddly enough at yesterday’s P & Z Meeting in a presentation relating to updating the “SEDONA” Community Plan (NOT that of the entire Verde Valley) a residential survey reflected an extremely low concern from Sedona citizens about the City/Chamber connection. However and keep in mind, that “survey” for some unknown reason did NOT reach every legitimate Sedona resident!!

    In our humble opinions it’s a bunch of ongoing BS that makes one wonder if a resolution other than disincorporation of Sedona will be the only ultimate solution to the dire misdirected onslaught of destruction here.

    As the blight here continues to run rampant with ongoing rezoning and buying up land by the “city” in order to build, build, build, one can only perhaps visualize a new version of that once famous commercial featuring a teary eyed Chief Iron Eyes Cody over the desecration of our sacred land.

    However an updated version of ongoing events in Sedona might more appropriately feature today’s Chief Iron Eyes Cody with more than just a few tears running down his cheeks. A vision of him sobbing uncontrollably might be more accurate.

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