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Eddie Maddock: Business as Usual?

SedonaEye.com columnist Eddie S. Maddock

Sedona AZ – At a Special Sedona City Council Meeting, 3:00 –Wednesday afternoon –January 11, 2017, after three long years of a contentious destination marketing agreement with the Sedona Chamber of Commerce, the City will again revisit the issue. We can only hope the negotiations will prove to be less controversial, fairer and, in turn, result in acceptable transparency which will dismiss suspicion and mistrust of City Hall dealings. That might very well have been the case had the original commitment for Requests for Proposals (RFP’s) as well as certified outside audits been upheld as proposed during the initial negotiations. Ignoring both valid concerns was a disservice to everyone.

Five options will be discussed at this meeting as follows:

Option 1: Move forward with the negotiations of a new contract with the Chamber of Commerce.

Option 2: Issue an RFP for tourism promotion services.

Option 3: Create a stand-alone destination marketing organization (DMO) without ties to the Chamber of Commerce.

Option 4: Create a City Department to handle tourism promotion.

Option 5: Issue a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for a travel industry consultancy to assess the current structure, funding relationships, etc. and provide recommendations to the city.

Pros and cons of each option will be discussed at length, such as concerns RFP’s will include bids from for-profit agencies. That brings up several questions. Without an official outside audit from a qualified source, how do they know the Chamber has not been making a profit? How many employees have they hired? What has been the cost of improvement to their own facilities, etc? And what is the source of funding for those operating expenses?

And will the City acknowledge the Chamber currently offers their own RFP’s for specific services, realistically reducing them to a mere middle-agency, acting on behalf of the City of Sedona?

And how do they justify the extended branding of the Sedona Chamber of Commerce that has occurred within the past three years? What has been the source of that promotional funding for the Chamber instead of the City?

By creating a stand-alone destination marketing organization, the City could avoid real or perceived conflicts between tourism promotion services and the various other functions of the Chamber of Commerce. Although they specify: “Unclear how local and regional partners would react,” why should that concern the City? Should their focus at long last be redirected to the residents of incorporated Sedona? They are the people who created the City in the first place, clearly, and with knowledge, it attracted tourists.

Sure, a stand-alone destination marketing organization “would result in the re-creation of an already established and successful local agency.” However the extent of success of the present local agency has never been undisputedly proven. The source of increased revenue after the great recession coupled with a reduction in gasoline prices has never factually been factored into the increased tourism and resulting upswing in revenue. Nor has it been determined to what extent advertising monies have merely resulted in excessive day-tripping, which the City’’s infrastructure clearly cannot handle.

As for the suggestion for Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for a travel industry consultancy to assess and monitor the current structure, would that be nothing more than a baby sitter for the contract with the Chamber of Commerce? Should the City have been serving that function for the past three years?

It has frequently been said the City could not afford to operate their stand-alone department. And how would they know? With a Chamber of Commerce now providing funding for USFS trail maintenance, contributing money back to the City for their traffic study, and other generous, but questionably frivolous expenditures, most recently to propose purchasing property on behalf of the City with what appears to be leftover funds from the bed tax rebate, how can they make that determination without a precise and reliable audit from an authentic source? They cannot. Is there any reasonable explanation why the City should not take responsibility for allocating the bed tax revenue -– all of it – including over and above destination marketing?

And the perfect opportunity to establish a genuine Sedona Visitors Center has been ignored by not including such a service at the Western Gateway. How long will this City tolerate discrimination of their own legitimate licensed, tax collecting businesses within City Limits unless they are forced to be members of what clearly is a regional Chamber of Commerce? And the practice of paid referrals is common, but should the City be involved by financing the activity with public funds, and further discriminating against in-city businesses?

Molly Spangler

With the recent hiring of a professional, Molly Spangler, to serve as Economic Development Director, there i’s really no need to burden our busy Chamber of Commerce with more additional duties besides servicing their members, which is the purpose of their non-profit organization.

And, since when was “The Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau” deemed “the Destination Marketing & Management Organization in Sedona for 65 years”? Up until just a few years ago was it not the Oak Creek Canyon Sedona Chamber of Commerce, then changed to Sedona Chamber of Commerce, and most recently “”& Tourism Bureau”” was tacked on? This elaborate extension of creating yet another illusion that simply does not exist is pretty much over the top. Wouldn’t you agree? Dumb question.

There i’s already a campaign in motion to “Make America Great Again.” How about a local endeavor to “Make Sedona Respectable Again”? Meet and greet our visitors with an authentic Sedona Visitors Center and related advertising. Don’’t we deserve it like other places? Flagstaff (AZ) and Park City (UT) are, but two, examples that offer proof they survive very well without financial support to their respective Chambers of Commerce.

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1,141 Comments

  1. Jenny & Larry says:

    No doubt about it. “Business as Usual” prevails in Sedona. One would never know there was a pandemic. Social distancing apparently has never been heard of. And one fellow the other day refused to wear a mask at a local grocery store and they had to call the police! Always an exception to the rules.

    After the huge winds the past few days and the hordes of tourists on hiking trails and clogging our highways, it remains perplexing that the USFS doesn’t shut down the national forests because the fire danger obviously is severe.

    What’s wrong with our government? Nationally, state, county and local. When a disaster happens (that’s WHEN not IF) those irresponsible people who refuse to acknowledge pending disaster should be held responsible and dragged out of their ivory towers to face real life.

  2. Teti & Rocky, Cornville says:

    Colorado visitors INSIST to go up, ridiculous stupid time, didn’t eat in town ultra busy, grabbed groceries eat at home for peace and quiet! loosing views crave normal TOLD THEM

  3. Steve Segner says:

    Jenny & Larry says: said “clogging our highway” correction not your highways, paid for by state and national government, roads belong to all of us.. you live in a tourist town and people are coming to Sedona to get out doors I see more locals with no masks then visitors , you say it remains perplexing that the USFS doesn’t shut down the national forests because the fire danger obviously is severe. it’s winter and no fire danger….. the job of the forest service is to encourage use of the forest lands. hope that helps

  4. Sedona Bob says:

    It’s my highway. The government doesn’t pick up its litter I do and that makes it my highway. Stay home. LMAO

  5. Marlow Jones says:

    OMG as if forest fires can’t happen because “it’s winter and no fire danger” @Steve Segner. As if these dried out juniper, pinon, and pine tress can’t burn? That man (Segner) finally proved his utter lack of intelligence and complete detachment from reality. And to think they listen to him at city hall? Go figure . . . .

  6. Mark says:

    Steve you don’t even believe what you wrote. Sedona isn’t a tourist town it’s a town that visitors come to — like everywhere — it’s the visitor volume that you and other business interlopers created that’s unsustainable ecologically and culturally. Your group has turned sustainable Sedona in to a joke. When you leave home and drive to Cottonwood, you are a visitor and you deal with what you’re provided or you don’t go. Period. Simple. Tourism is a coined marketing phrase to justify taking money from visitors with no reciprocal value. Guess who does that best?

  7. Fran W. says:

    That Segner guy keeps harping about Sedona being a tourist town. Well DUH!

    Over 40 years ago guess what? There were tour suggestions and planning businesses and SEDONA BACK THEN MADE THE CUT! And that, Sir, is a fact. So you harping about what has been on the books for at least half your life is old news and occurred without an incorporated city and phony chamber of commerce to do the bidding.

    And your obnoxious suggestion at the conclusion of some of your hair brained suggestions is: “Hope that helps.”

    Get real! Better yet get another life. Maybe take some classes at Yavapai College?

  8. Margie in Salt Lake City says:

    It was even more than 40 years ago when my passion was getting information from a local “travel agency” and I distinctly remember Sedona was featured because of the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. Of course at that time it’s doubtful there was any competition for the event as there is now days. (Doesn’t Phoenix and other Arizona cities feature St. Pat parades?)

    Point being: It’s true. Sedona was “discovered” long before the current policy of over-hype by opportunists and greed mongers. My family agrees. It’s no longer the beautiful place we fortunately have the pleasure to remember. We treasure our pictures of “back when” and will never return. Change definitely isn’t always a good thing.

  9. Sam & Barbara, Wisconsin says:

    We also recall happy trips to Sedona back in the day of your festive parade on St. Patrick’s Day. Wasn’t it your Az. State Route 89 in West Sedona that was actually shut down for the annual event? We discovered Sedona because we are what we believe you call Snow Bunnies, escaping to your once beautiful area from harsh winters where we live. Those days ended quite a few years ago as Sedona actually has turned into “just another tourist town” with trap a better term. Therefore if that’s what is meant by the frequent comments from one Steve Segner, then he is correct. A common tourist trap with nothing special left except a few exceptional views which have even been diminished by multi storied hotels, etc. We presently prefer to winter elsewhere which helps to preserve happy memories and escape the reality of what our formerly beautiful Sedona has become. What a Sedona shame is right, but Florida is lovely with miles of unobstructed sea views and turquoise blue waters and pure white sand beaches for us and other Wisconsin and mid-western Snow Bunnies these cold winters. St. Patrick’s Day we’ll be wearing the green in the sunshine and drinking a margarita while watching the parade go by. Good luck, Sedona.

  10. Debbie, VOCA says:

    are you serious they called the cops on a guy not wearing a mask????????? that’s crazy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! what’s wrong with you people who call cops because of that when you KEEP ASKING PEOPLE TO COME AND SPEND THEIR MONEY IN YOUR STORES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Woodlands says:

    no cowboys left only out of state pansies wearing face diapers because the dc gods tell them

  12. Debbie, VOCA says:

    TY TY TY good laugh Woodlands!

  13. Lawrence Gibson says:

    Whether this pertains to “business as usual” I really can’t say. However it is a somewhat curious turn of events.

    It’s been reported that there haven’t been any completed applications received for a replacement of Bill Chisholm who recently resigned from the Sedona City Council. And yet the remaining council members discuss the “vetting” process for a so far non-replacement? Oops!

    And the question remains: Why hasn’t anyone applied for this gaping opportunity to serve our “citizens” – the people who vote to elect members of the city council?

    Could it be because there isn’t anyone stoopid enough to serve as a “sacrificial lamb” for the obviously liberal six people seated on the city council? Why would they?

    The current rubber-stamp council members would clearly do a ho-hum boooring response to anyone that didn’t support their goals for socialism as they shift in their seats in disgust for wasting their precious time. And that even includes (IMO) direction from Sedona city staff.

    Wonder what will happen in the event that “chair” remains vacant as a clear indication of, perhaps, citizen abuse? Yep, guess this does deal with “business as usual” after all.

  14. Arnold Ahlert says:

    It’s Time to Cancel the Cancel Culture
    From Dr. Seuss to HBO’s Bill Maher, here’s the bottom line on leftist intolerance.

    “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” —Theodor Seuss Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss, from the story “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”

    American leftists have made it contemptibly clear which direction they have chosen: They have fully embraced a burgeoning Cancel Culture, in all its book-banning, career-destroying, “un-personing,” Orwellian glory.

    Dr. Seuss is Exhibit A. During 2016’s “Read Across America Day,” which occurs annually on Dr. Seuss’s March 2 birthday, Barack Obama’s presidential proclamation described Seuss as “one of America’s revered wordsmiths” who “used his incredible talent to instill in his most impressionable readers universal values we all hold dear.” In 2018, President Donald Trump’s proclamation celebrated Seuss’s efforts in “uniting all Americans behind the common cause of literacy and to ensuring that every citizen receives the rewarding gift of learning how to read.”

    2021? President Joe Biden made no mention of Dr. Seuss at all, and Press Secretary Jen Psaki wouldn’t say exactly why, other than to state the Department of Education instead decided to celebrate “diverse authors whose work and lived experience reflect the diversity of our country.” It is likely Biden simply capitulated to those who see racism around every corner. “Research in recent years has revealed strong racial undertones in many books written/illustrated by Dr. Seuss,” the Loudoun County, Virginia, school district said in a statement following its own decision to drop Seuss from its annual reading event.

    Even Dr. Seuss Enterprises, an organization that ostensibly protects the author’s legacy, has capitulated to America’s racial arsonists and decided to stop publishing six of his books. “Ceasing sales of these books is only part of our commitment and our broader plan to ensure Dr. Seuss Enterprises’ catalog represents and supports all communities and families,” it said.

    No, it’s part of a broader plan to join the clamoring chorus of totalitarian wannabes looking to destroy an American culture they despise — one purge after another.

    That Seuss himself was an FDR-supporting leftist who spoke out against racism? That his works include “The Lorax” and “The Sneetches” that embrace environmentalism and racial equality, respectively?

    For today’s self-aggrandizing arbiters of “morality,” it’s not enough. Like their allies who embrace statue toppling and institution renaming, one’s entire life is either morally pristine — or completely canceled.

    Thus, it doesn’t matter that Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence codifying the idea that human rights transcend government, or that Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation freeing the slaves, or that the Constitution provided by our Founding Fathers is the most enlightened government philosophy in the history of mankind.

    All that matters is that dead Anglo-Saxon Europeans, some of whom owned slaves, must be considered beneath contempt.

    Why? “Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past,” wrote George Orwell in 1984.

    Make no mistake: The Cancel Culture warriors are seeking full control. And it’s finally beginning to dawn on some of their own that, as it is with any movement that demands ever-increasing levels of ideological “purity,” no one is immune.

    HBO “Real Time” host Bill Maher apparently gets it. “Is this really who we want to become?” he asks. “A society of phony clenched a—hole avatars, walking on eggshells always looking over your shoulder about getting ratted out for something that actually has nothing to do with your character or morals? Think about everything you’ve ever texted, emailed, searched for, tweeted, blogged or said in passing, or now even just witnessed.”

    Maher further asserted that Andy Warhol was wrong: “Everyone will not experience 15 minutes of fame, but 15 minutes of shame.”

    Not 15 minutes, Bill. Permanent career destruction and/or societal banishment. It’s what happens in a nation where an avalanche of personal information collected by our data-mining, all-encompassing Big Tech masters can be easily accessed by those with a desire to digitally assassinate anyone of their choosing. It’s what happens when people with access to more information than ever before in the history of mankind embrace the most destructive, puerile, and infantilizing method of communication in existence, better known as social media.

    America has become a digital Roman Colosseum, with a bloodthirsty “audience” rooting for the digital lion of their ideological choice to rip to shreds those they deem unworthy. And no group of Americans has become more emboldened by it than millions of younger Americans who wear their ignorance like a badge of honor. People “educated” to believe their own nation is beneath contempt.

    “Mature people understand humans are continually evolving as opposed to Wokeville, where they’re always shocked we didn’t emerge enlightened from the primordial ooze,” Maher insists.

    Really? Like the “mature people” who run The New York Times, where a de facto purge has claimed writers Donald McNeil Jr. and Bari Weiss and editor James Bennet? Or the U.S. Soccer Federation, which decided to remove council member Seth Jahn simply because he voiced his disapproval of the organization’s decision to repeal its anti-kneeling policy? How about those “mature” executives at Hasbro deciding that Mr. Potato Head should no longer be gender specific, those at Coca-Cola training their employees to be “less white,” or a Cartoon Network that urges children to “see color,” which is a direct contradiction of Martin Luther King’s efforts to get people to see content of character?

    Last month, Amazon decided to remove a documentary chronicling the life of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas from its Prime platform. That last month was Black History Month? Thomas apparently had the “temerity” to believe a cowardly Supreme Court should examine allegations of election irregularities instead of dismissing them out of hand. Thus, he himself must be dismissed.

    Maher sees the writing on the wall: “Memo to social justice warriors: When what you’re doing sounds like an Onion headline. Stop.”

    But it won’t stop until those who have created the monster get devoured by it.

    There are signs. An Emmy-winning Governor Andrew Cuomo, who likely believed he could withstand the outrage of putting coronavirus-infected elders in nursing homes, will likely be consumed by a far less serious #MeToo environment he fully supported. Dedicated leftist and Bill Clinton advisor Naomi Wolf warns that “we are turning into a version of totalitarian states before everyone’s eyes.” University of Texas alumni donors have made it clear that they will stop donating millions to the university if it dumps its alma mater song, “The Eyes of Texas,” because of its Confederate origins. A virtue-signaling Golden Globes awards show lost 60% of its audience from last year.

    Yet the ultimate battle remains un-fought. Until those appalled by our frog march toward totalitarianism focus on the nation’s schools, nothing will improve. Teaching children what to think instead of how has metastasized to the point where America’s school systems are fully emulating the worst excesses of Soviet Russia and communist China indoctrination.

    In short, historically illiterate America-hating, race- and gender-obsessed social justice warriors are made, not born.

    Nothing needs canceling more than that.

    Arnold Ahlert

  15. Frank Lindley, Tahoe says:

    Read recently that Cardi B song WAP was NPR’s Song of the Year, but NPR finds Dr.Seuss books offensive and racist and need to be cancelled? Evidently the approvers of WAP listened to its words but didn’t Seuss’s Lorax that’s about environmentalism and Sneetchers that’s about accepting racial differences? Or know that Dr. Seuss was a FDR leaner and 60s civil rights supporter as well as many other beliefs and actions? Americans don’t allow corporations like NPR and social media to cancel or woke, Americans reserve those privileges for themselves. Suess wrote you have brains in your head, feet in your shoes. Figure it out, America. Stop being manipulated by ignorant hacks of your freedoms.

  16. Phil, west Sedona says:

    Read smart man @Lawrence Gibson and point for him and others @Arnold Ahlert about why nobody will or wants to Step Up and fill seats like Bill Chisholm at the Sedona Democrats table. Until voters cancel those who cancel, we’re f***** as a city, county, state, nation. Ahlert is a Democrat speaking truth to deaf ears in Sedona.

  17. @arnild A says:

    You got WAY to much time on hand.!!!!!
    Only one that cares about your post is you and you alter egos

  18. Bayou Kristina says:

    @arnild A Man you should learn to read and broaden your knowledge – if you did read then you’d know that man is a journalist, Cardi B is a singer, Bill Maher is a comedian, and Mr. Potato Head is your alter ego. Missing what Chisolm could have been to Sedona, we need to get rid of the airport and cars that pollute us from up and down.

  19. Patricia, Uptown says:

    Why no applications? Thanks Gibson for letting us know there aren’t any applications or people offering to serve. That’s why people are overpaid at city hall to stay. It’s boring, they make up issues to have money to spend on and talk about budget items all year to throw tax money at no one needs. No thanks from me and my friends and family. Maybe they’ll all resign and leave us in peace in Uptown. Most businesses despise city interference.

  20. Stanley N says:

    What we need in my opinion is to get rid of Gov. Ducey who allowed intrusion into our property rights by allowing vacation rentals. They are ruining our subdivisions, violating our CC&R’s, and making life miserable.

    One thing City of Sedona did appropriately was to enact the ordinance against them. If anyone should go it’s King Ducey and any elected state, county, or city representative who supports and refuses to overturn his outrageous control over our property rights.

    Vacation rentals may not necessarily have loud overbearing parties, but the number of unknown people walking our neighborhoods is spooky. The very reason for having purchased property where we live has been dumped into the trash like yesterday’s leftovers.

    He (Ducey) and every other elected official, above and beyond Sedona mayor and city council members, must be ousted and the sooner the better. And for more reasons than money wasted on unnecessary promotion of Sedona. It’s time to stand up and take back our lives – WE, the residents, and NOT visiting tourists!!!!

    VOTE THE BUMS OUT – (beginning but not ending with Doug Ducey)

  21. Harold Newman says:

    Gee whiz, you guys/gals . . . . folks . . . . people? whatever is socially correct. . . .

    If it weren’t for tourists (the alleged Cash Cow for city revenue)) where would City Hall get enough money needed to hire all the cops who day after day must patrol areas like Back O’Beyond and Soldier’s Pass for illegal parking? Too many hikers in town enjoying free access to U.S.F.S land? LOL

    Let’s not forget the multi-story, multi-million $$$$ dedicated for the parking garage on Forest Road. Who created the need for that? Sedona residents? NOT! Too much unnecessary and costly “hype” put out by the asinine Chamber of Commerce contract financed with, literally, millions of $$$$ from Sedona City Hall?

    Let’s face it. The tourism industry is also very expensive. But hey just increase the city sales tax again and then justify a profitable percentage to be given back to benefit the Lodging Council, an affinity group of the C of C BTW to seek – what do they call it? – “sustainable tourism?” “Business as Usual”? Shell Games maybe? Underhanded behind the scene manipulation? Hey just posing a few questions here.

    Sedona residents, be grateful there isn’t a city property tax! “They” are already attempting (or maybe succeeded) in snatch-grabbing a chunk of Coconino County property taxes for the magnificent high-rise parking structure.

    Wonder when they will dedicate the C of C owned property purchased with city revenue on Jordan Road to honor the former Chamber Pres/CEO, a key player in turning this scenario into reality. Think about it as you inch forward in backed-up traffic on SR179 and/or 89A approaching the “Y”.

  22. JV says:

    A sage man @haroldnewman. Never occurred of me or wife that we were paying cops to police USFS lands when they have their own force on my government tax paying dime.

  23. Harold Newman says:

    Don’t blame the USFS for the trail head parking violations @JV. Those getting citations from Sedona police are parking on city owned streets because the forest service parking lots are filled to capacity.

    Many city streets are way too narrow to accommodate parked cars. It becomes a matter of safety. In a emergency it could be disaster (fire, bad wreck, etc.)

    The problem goes back to the original source: Too Damn Many Tourists!

  24. Lonnie R. says:

    Traffic on Back O’Beyond today was so bad the road had to be shut down. In addition, high intensity winds prevail. Shameful! And what about plans to move forward with “shuttle service”? Build 4 story parking garage and transfer tourists to buses? Do “they” actually believe all the visiting hikers will drag back packs, cameras, etc. onto shuttle buses to various hiking trails? Get a grip, idiots!

    Lordy, Lordy is it really true? Are those in charge of making decisions actually ruled by the ongoing greed that has and continues to choke the charm out of Sedona? Shouldn’t the important issue here be focused on safety?

    Someone made a comment about it being winter and not the time for wild fires. Has that person checked the current wildfire in the, I believe, south eastern portion of Arizona? Punkin Fire is it labeled? Don’t EVER say “This will never happen in Sedona.” If you believe that you are a fool.

  25. Lisa says:

    When roads get clogged it doesn’t help business or perception of Sedona.

  26. Kimmai California says:

    5P prior planning prevents poor performance

  27. Jason Williams says:

    Good suggestion @Kimmai California. The problem in Sedona seems to be “they” do not understand the process and apparently lack the ability to “plan” effectively.

    An example: The less than one mile of 89A the “city” owns uptown (versus ADOT control). That just goes from one mess into a bigger one. Little wonder there’s so much skepticism regarding plans for a multi-story parking garage and extension of Forest Road. And the questionable purchase of the property on Jordan Road – by the chamber of commerce – with city revenue? Sweetheart deal for C of C?

    Millions of dollars are spent on consultants most of whom apparently are clueless about the uniqueness and, perhaps, special needs and consideration for this once special scenic area.

    Translated: Poor planning = Disastrous results. Proof? The millions of wasted dollars thrown at the chamber of commerce, largely responsible for having created the multitude of presumably unintended consequences. And the beat goes on – and on – and on………. Pedestrian crossing at Tlaquepaque!!!

  28. John Small says:

    Back to the LITTER problem. I recently had my say through “Letters to the Editor” / RRN regarding the voluminous accumulation of litter along 89A between Sedona and Cottonwood. I investigated joining the Litter Lifters organization to see if they worked west of the high school – they do not, so I assume the state occasionally picks up or mows the big litter into little litter hoping it will blow away. In the distance Mother Nature’s exquisite work and in the ditches Human Nature’s total disrespect.

  29. Wayne says:

    Litter has always been Sedona’s worst problem on top of too many people littering and we miss those local dedicated litter organizations of the past. It was a matter of pride. We do our share by not littering and picking up litter that isn’t dangerous like blowing bags in our desert but Sedona can’t invite people in our home who don’t know how to behave. That’s who’s coming now.

  30. Hillary says:

    Sedona rocks are dissolving and disappearing to dynamite and rock diggers and the beauty is breaking down like us old lovers of her.

  31. Rob says:

    THAT!

  32. Alto says:

    what’s going on with council now

  33. @Hillary says:

    The movers, shakers, and greed mongers should adore your comment. Especially the part about “us old lovers of her” (Sedona) breaking down. That’s exactly what they want to happen.

    However maybe that old saying about being careful what you wish for might just come true. All that glitters is NOT gold?

    Karma lurks and is forever vigilant. COVID-19 might just be one example?

  34. Humbolt says:

    In morning paper said Border Patrol caught people on the terrorist watch list at U.S.-Mexico border.

    Biden admin signaled open border and no return policy the coyotes, cartels and “travel agencies” are working overtime on our dimes. Rep. John Katko, ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee, said during a trip to the southern border that U.S. Border Patrol has apprehended individuals on the terrorist watchlist and our southern border is being exploited.

    Ya think? Guess a few might want to visit Sedona? It’s an easy day trip. Of course we’ll have to build a parking garage to accommodate them and hope they won’t destroy it because they think it’s an American eyesore —— being sarcastic here I hope. Not funny? You opened up the border Sedonans.

  35. Sedona Business says:

    Sniffing the wind. Don’t know about you but last month (Deleted by editor) sales! Scaling back inventory after talking to financial advisor predicts bad numbers because DC restrictions and adverse small business policies including new taxes! Heed it people. Get your business in order and don’t over extend (Deleted by editor).

  36. Doc says:

    Real Estate Rumors: STG Group, Natalie Duran, Under Armour
    A Chicago parking garage for which owner STG Group has fallen behind on mortgage payments is reportedly set to go up for auction in May.

    Business as Usual means hold off on deals and parking for few years, then a thinkaboutit, before and after we find out what city manager and Chamber have left us holding the bag for in next budget cuz if it can’t work in my hometown, it ain’t gonna be worth a bad halfpenny here. This site’s a spice of life, keep it going.

  37. Steve Segner says:

    hotels are doing land office business and STG group has no hotels or Garages in Sedona, in fact large hotel operatorsare now coming Sedona and buying hotels because the city is doing so well. The city came in under budget in expenses and over budget in income,and will again doe 2021 and 2021hotels are running near 90% occupancy and rates are up 20+. Sedona is well positioned for the future. This is not even counting the huge increase in home prices. The glass is 1/2 full….. when the city builds the new and needed parking garage it will be paid for by visitors….. Hope that helps.

  38. Lesson(s) Learned says:

    Wow all the hype about beautiful Sedona? As far as the scenery goes, it’s true. However the rest of the “city(?)” = Pee U in our opinion. Will someone be so kind as to tell us the exceptional value of a $10-$15 hamburger? We were fortunate to have been tipped off to a a couple of wonderful dining spots in a small village south of Sedona with splendid views, delightful atmosphere, delicious and reasonably priced food. Should we ever decide to return to that part of Arizona – which we repeat is gorgeous – we know where our reservations will be made. And oh yes we understand that village spot also spared us exorbitant Sedona City sales and bed taxes.

    Respectfully submitted,
    Sam & Eve
    Madison, Wisconsin

  39. Nate & Maureen, Flagstaff says:

    Please tell us @Steve Segner what’s so wonderful about bumper-to-bumper traffic belching toxic fumes? Add crazy drivers to the mix and there you have it. Ugly Sedona attracted to by crazies quite possibly because pandemic COVID-19 restrictions aren’t enforced? Desperate? Inconsiderate? Greedy? Many names for those behind the obvious destruction of what once was a very special place.

    Operative word? “WAS” special. NO MORE! If your economy is so great then how about rescinding that half cent sales tax which allowed your “lodging council” to reap millions of dollars rebate via questionable maneuvers with your local (we have our own) regional chamber of commerce? Reeks with corruption IN OUR OPINIONS or reeks with nepotism or friend-isms?

  40. Jess Wundrin says:

    Can’t help but wonder what possesses Sedona planners to create a four story parking garage near the congested Y intersection. How will that ease traffic? How will all the cars headed for that garage get to it? Won’t they still have to use both state highways in order to do so?

  41. Adalyn Gutierrez says:

    Stop wundrin sweetie. Those cars will back up and nobody will use that parking garage. In a year it will be an eyesore like Barbara Antonsen’s money pit. Welcome to dysfunctional and its cash rich taxpayers pretending it’s their money ruling Sedona.

  42. Loren J. says:

    One upside about this Sedona City Government is that they were NOT affiliated with the also failed Cultural Park, yet another not-so-bright but big-city mover’s and shaker’s failed deal.

    That monstrosity apparently sits vacant – up for sale – and who in their right mind would be interested in such an investment? Except, perhaps, to rezone for “affordable” (free?) housing for the millions of undocumented immigrants currently being welcomed into this country on a daily basis?

    Keep in mind, Folks, “free” housing WILL come with a price tag. And who will pick up the tab? Three guesses and the first two don’t count.

    Suggest hard working legitimate taxpayers, go look in the mirror for your answer.

  43. Fred says:

    What about the fact Arizona officials warn of bad 2021 wildfire season? The governor and state forestry department began urging the public Monday to be extra wary because of a looming wildfire season and nows the time to reduce fuel sources and that includes pea brain tourists that never had scout training.
    Remember the canyon wildfire Sedona and Oak Creek?

  44. Marmalade’s My Black Cat says:

    to cold for fires

  45. Joe, Mesa says:

    That Colorado gunman had to be a terrorist. All those innocents slaughtered. Or he’s a paid gunman for the anti IRA groups because how convenient it happens. Follow the money.

  46. QL says:

    Vegas never let this happen before Biden canceled police – it was safe there 24 7 for affordables workers and now how you like it? Lots of us go there for entertainment. Now it’s dangerous for affordables like us and good people moving out, casinos can’t survive without safe streets, drugs and gangs moving in unchecked for cheap uncontrolled vacant affordables housing.
    Sedona stay out of landlord business, you can’t handle upscale business homes and you will definitely screw up anything you touch.

  47. Uptown Voter Household says:

    The above comment sparked this comment because it hit the nail on the head of decisions made at city hall and in council hall. We’ve enjoyed the Sedona Times off and on for many years and prefer it sticks around. Here’s that sparked comment from 3 of us.

    There is no depth of experience or knowledge at city hall or council hall to rely on for other than what we voters ask you to do with our vote. We expect you to keep our streets and communities top notch, to keep our infrastructure top notch, to keep our chosen lifestyle here top notch and be good partners with our city police. We don’t want you meddling in our school district, our fire district or our special districts. We don’t want you funding private groups with our taxes. We want you to support the library, Sedona arts and music, museum, city events, city historical restoration, parks, recreation, and galleries. Support of nonprofits must be Sedona zip codes centric. We don’t want you in the tourism business, advertising business or marketing business. We want you in the city maintenance and upkeep business. Private enterprise will drive change. We elected you to council hall and city hall to protect us and enforce our rules not to change them to help private businesses. You want to help private businesses, resign and go to work for them. You work for us and we are a small city with a few nice rocks that we expect you to value. That’s what we voters are expecting.

  48. Kent & JoAnn A. says:

    DITTO, DITTO, DITTO to the words written by “Uptown Voter Household.”

    Now if only we had the integrity and grit from our elected officials to stand up for and defend the reasons for which they were elected instead of being influenced by special interests and weak city staff. Is it not those failed pledges that have led to the misdirection and ultimate ruination of Sedona as the trend continues?

    Sadly however those in charge clearly don’t give a fiddler’s flute about residents. However maybe a slight comeuppance to their arrogance of power lies within the abundance of “vacation rentals”?

  49. Jason Williams says:

    Residential vacation rentals. Ah yes – proof that Karma is alive and well?

  50. Tony says:

    Hot damn best comment were words of three in uptown voter household. Want to shake your hands and use those words to run for office and get our votes! Hope to hell you’re in charge of something that protects this City.

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