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Eddie Maddock: Facts and Fiction

SedonaEye.com columnist Eddie S. Maddock begins the process of separating Sedona fact from fiction and rumors from truth.

Sedona AZ (April 20, 2018) – Rumors here, rumors there . . . rumors, rumors everywhere. Like sand through an hourglass, so are the days of our lives. However, in Sedona the word “sand” might more appropriately be substituted with “rumors” through an hourglass.

The decision to tackle this particular subject was not easy. However, trying to weigh pros and cons and based on a comment in an email from Mayor Sandy Moriarty stating… “I hope you will help going forward with getting the word out as to the separate responsibilities of the different jurisdictions...” this attempt will be extended with extreme caution, but embraced with an earnest endeavor to provide only information from appropriate and reliable sources.

Basis for the subject of city funding for the school district allegedly arose from the following reported comments on Facebook (I do not have a FB account or participate on FB):

It’s reported the Facebook entries relate to a proposed movement to encourage the Sedona Oak Creek Unified School District (SOCUSD) Board of Directors to solicit funding from the Sedona City Council. And, that somehow an end result might be to indirectly receive funding from some sort of slush fund that the Chamber of Commerce has set aside, earmarked for the purpose of ambiguously defined “Product DevelopmentAfter all, some of those funds went to the U.S. Forest Service for trail maintenance, so why wouldn’t it be fair to share with the SOCUSD, neither of which are directly under the jurisdiction of incorporated City of Sedona.

Confused? It’s possible a detailed explanation offered under the SedonaEye.com article City Limits 101 may be helpful: sedonaeye.com/sedona-city-limits-101-with-eddie-maddock/

With some reluctance the following email was my initial involvement with this issue. And to relate the entire story, one of the first responses offered from an undisclosed recipient was: “Normally Eddie is a pretty good writer, but structurally this is pretty bad.” Based on that and, with the exception of deleting an extra “the” and correcting the spelling of humbling to humbly, here’s the email sent to the Sedona Oak Creek Unified School District (SOCUSD) School Board which hopefully Eye readers will find comprehensive:

——-Original Message——-

From: eddies@npgcable.com
Date: 4/14/2018 8:37:01 PM
To: hawley@sedonak12.org; hermen@sedonak12.org; richardson@sedonak12.org; mcclelland@sedonak12.org; wiseman@sedonak12.org
Cc: JMartinez@SedonaAZ.gov; JCurrivan@SedonaAZ.gov; JThompson@SedonaAZ.gov; SJablow@SedonaAZ.gov; TLamkin@SedonaAZ.gov; SMoriarty@SedonaAZ.gov; Bthorpe@azleg.gov; Bbarton@azleg.gov; Sallen@azleg.gov; dmitchell@azleg.gov; Publisher Sedona Eye


There’s a disturbing rumor circulating. Are any of you attempting to go to the Sedona City Council to solicit funding in order to prevent a closure of one or more schools in the Sedona Oak Creek Unified School District? If the answer is “NO” then this matter can very quickly be put to rest. However, if there’s any merit to that rumor please be reminded that same as the “Sedona Oak Creek Fire District” that holds true with the “SOCUSD.” Although incorporated Sedona is located within the two “districts” the residents pay taxes directly to either Yavapai County or Coconino County via property taxes as a means to finance those “districts.” Kindly keep that in mind if, in fact, there’s a smidgeon of truth that the school board has any intention of soliciting funding from the City of Sedona and/or the city funded regional Sedona Chamber of Commerce under the guise as “product development” or any other similar method of extracting public funds to enhance efforts to fund our failing school “district.”

This most assuredly isn’t a complaint against education, informally classified as “motherhood and apple pie.” What it does amount to is an open question in an attempt to hold elected officials accountable for being responsible for doing an appropriate job of designating public funding where it rightfully belongs. Your efforts for soliciting additional financial support should likewise be directed towards bonding options (over-rides) addressed to the voters in your “district” and not singularly to the residents of the City of Sedona.

Sedona Red Rock High School, Sedona AZ

The most recent edition of the Sedona Red Rock News (4/13/18) revealed at least one investigation with the Arizona State Attorney General’s Office has been successfully opened relating to another issue questioning Sedona activities. If we’re fortunate the investigation may not stop there due to other ongoing unsettling policies within the City of Sedona, yet another reason to discourage the Sedona Oak Creek Unified School District to refrain from complicating the issue by soliciting questionable legitimate funding. This could quickly and easily be resolved if one or more of you will kindly step forward and deny that any such movement to solicit public money from the residents of incorporated City of Sedona is untrue.

By copying this e-mail to Representative Darin Mitchell who successfully enabled the current investigation I’m humbling requesting for him to also share the information contained herein with the Goldwater Institute.

Thank you.

Respectfully submitted,

Eddie S. Maddock
Resident City of Sedona & Coconino County

Following are emails from the five individuals who responded, listed in the order they were received. And kindly keep in mind, non-personal communication from elected officials becomes a matter of public record, so there are no rules being broken here by sharing:

Sedona AZ Vice Mayor John Martinez


From: John Martinez
Date: 4/15/2018 7:16:09 AM
To: eddies@npgcable.com

Eddie, there is no way that the city will offer any funding to the school district.


From: Zachary Richardson
Date: 4/15/2018 7:17:05 AM
To: eddies@npgcable.com
Cc: TLamkin@SedonaAZ.gov; SMoriarty@SedonaAZ.gov; Bthorpe@azleg.gov; Bbarton@azleg.gov; Sallen@azleg.gov; dmitchell@azleg.gov; publisher@sedonaeye.com

Not me! – Funding comes from the state, federal government, budget override, tax credit and other grants – The city might support a small grant for specific projects related to the community, but not the amount needed to keep a school open. – Zach


From: Heather Hermen
Date: 4/15/2018 8:04:15 AM
To: eddies@npgcable.com; Dave Lykins; Sally Cadigan
Cc: SMoriarty@SedonaAZ.gov; Bthorpe@azleg.gov; Bbarton@azleg.gov; Sallen@azleg.gov; dmitchell@azleg.gov; publisher@sedonaeye.com

Good morning Eddie,

Thank you for your email and your concern about the school district budget.

Since I am the one who has had one meeting with the Mayor and Vice Mayor about the budget, it makes sense that I respond.

As a school board member, I’m following the direction given by our board member handbook on page 53, “keep the community informed.” Then it continues, “provides information to interested parties as requested on matters pending before the board.” As stewards of Sedona, I was informing them about information that has an impact on the community they serve.

Following these instructions, I asked for a meeting with the Mayor and Vice Mayor and shared the state of our budget and the three possible outcomes we are considering. It was a meeting held at city hall, in an office, with paper copies of finance presentations from the school district. We met once.

Prior to the last board meeting, I sent one email to all council members informing them of the most recent district meeting with finance presentation, links to the district website for where to find more and future meeting dates.

I assure you in no way has there been a request for funds nor discussion at any board meeting. We know clearly where our funding comes from.

I appreciate you taking the time to ask and clear up the rumor. We know how quickly they can spread and with the simple asking of a question, we can sometimes help the dust settle sooner.

If you need more information or have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. You’ll notice I did not copy my fellow board members due to open meeting law concerns. I’ve copied our superintendent as well as the district secretary to keep record and share in a different format if needed.

Thank you again,
Heather Hermen


Sedona AZ Mayor Sandy Moriarty

From: Sandy Moriarty
Date: 4/15/2018 10:59:46 AM
To: eddies@npgcable.com
Cc: Heather Hermen; Justin Clifton; Karen Osburn; Robert Pickels


I appreciate your email, and believe that by now you know that no member of the school board has asked me or the council as whole for funding. Heather Hermen did reach out to all of us to educate and inform us as to the situation currently faced by the District, which I also appreciated. The Vice Mayor and I did meet with Heather face to face, but the council has not discussed the situation at a council meeting.

Unfortunately, some members of the public seem to believe that the City should step in to remedy the situation, as expressed by Jan Montgomery’s Facebook post which you sent, so it is clear that many do not understand how the various legal jurisdictions function. I hope you will help going forward with getting the word out as to the separate responsibilities of the different jurisdictions.



From: Randy Hawley
Date: 4/17/2018 3:58:01 PM
To: eddies@npgcable.com
Cc: hermen@sedonak12.org; richardson@sedonak12.org; mcclelland@sedonak12.org; wiseman@sedonak12.org; JMartinez@SedonaAZ.gov; JCurrivan@SedonaAZ.gov; JThompson@SedonaAZ.gov; SJablow@SedonaAZ.gov; TLamkin@SedonaAZ.gov; SMoriarty@SedonaAZ.gov; Bthorpe@azleg.gov; Bbarton@azleg.gov; Sallen@azleg.gov; dmitchell@azleg.gov; publisher@sedonaeye.com

Thank you for checking. No better way to stop a rumor than to check the facts. It is appreciated.

Randy Hawley

(end five email exchange)


City of Sedona Council Chamber

Based on the remarks from those five individuals, it appears all are aware of the appropriate source(s) of funding for the school district, as clearly defined by Mr. Zachary Richardson.

As Ms. Hermen explained her reason for meeting with Mayor Moriarty and Vice Mayor Martinez was to “keep the community informed” with “information that has an impact on the community they serve.” However, she goes on to explain the state of the (school district) funding was discussed, offering three possible outcomes and yet nothing more specific relating to what those three possible outcomes are.

Since the five people who responded surely appear to be aware the city is not responsible for the condition of the School District budget, good or bad, what would be the point in pursuing an audience with the entire City Council at one of their meetings? Especially since it was divulged they had each been sent an email relating the events at the last School Board meeting!

If all they seek is an opportunity to disseminate the state of their affairs, why not do so during the Council Meeting public forum?

And with all due respect to Mayor Moriarty, if she received a copy of a Facebook posting by someone named Jan Montgomery, it did NOT come from me.

My choice is to remain clueless about the workings and intricacies of Facebook, especially with recent national warnings. Frequently too many people regard information from that source as being ““facts“” which assuredly is not always the case.

However as indicated above, Facebook comments may serve as overt clues to expose potential plans. And, in some instances to even plant “seeds to grow” schemes for various reasons on its platform.

Therein, quite possibly, is the underlying reason this subject came off the shelf and appears here and defies my general rule of thumb: “When in doubt, don’t.”

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


  1. Also Convinced says:

    Just the theme of this article, about how the latest attempt to manipulate the funds given to the chamber for basically unchallenged purposes, is ongoing to now filter it to the school district. Appalling! But nevertheless a much needed eye opener.

    Time to drain the swamp and we are among those ready to cast our votes accordingly. Thanks to all who can see behind this ongoing charade.

  2. Jim Poole says:

    I agree with WWW.

    They had their chance showed us it sucks. Now it is our turn.

    Vote No on Home rule Folks!

  3. Samuel says:

    Of course if teachers deserve a pay raise, it is an issue needing to be addressed. Those teachers who have now decided to go on strike? Why is that acceptable? Didn’t they in fact sign contracts agreeing to the terms of their employment? What kind of message are they sending to students? That it’s OK to breach signed contracts? Shameful? Of course. Wouldn’t the appropriate method be to renegotiate contracts at the time they are renewed?

  4. Laura W says:

    City of Sedona should take a page out of SOCSD’s book. It looks as if they will close the Big Park School which is the sensible thing to do. That’s how budgets should work. Live with what’s affordable be it individuals, families, school/fire districts and especially the government at ALL levels.

    There’s no doubt in my mind some nut-case in the higher realm actually would entertain the possibility for incorporated Sedona to use their ongoing role as “big brother” to the entire Verde Valley and try to come up with the do-re-mi to assist the school district. It just seems to be an ego thing with them which is probably why they continue to kiss the feet of the Lodging Council and Chamber of Commerce.

    Instead they should heed SOCSD’s action and cut the cord with the Chamber before voters actually wise up and vote down Home Rule. They (city council/staff) must be brought down from their present existence on Cloud Nine. To be forced to sit on their hands behind their big fat butts and shed tears over being forced to not touch a pile of money should be a sight to behold. And no, Sedona residents, we will not suffer nearly as much as those cry babies will finally be forced to do.


  5. Mark says:

    Here’s what you can’t read about in media here b/c it doesn’t fit the Demagogues talk & spin.

  6. steve Segner says:

    Laura W says:Why is that acceptable? Didn’t’ they in fact sign contracts agreeing to the terms of their employment? What kind of message are they sending to students?

    Yes Laurn, A great message, It says that in a group there is” power”, the state held all the power till the teacher pushed back. The state has made promises for years to in prove schools and did nothing.

    Laura W says: Would’t the appropriate method be to renegotiate contracts at the time they are renewed?

    The state of Arizona does not negotiate teachers contracts . There is no state teachers union that acts for the teachers, and each districts is given a set amount of money. The worm has turned and the good old days are over ….. No pay no work.

  7. @steve Segner says:

    “No pay no work.” Then why, Steve, did the Chamber of Commerce get over $2 million dollars of tax money this year, regardless of the source, when they have never given a reasonable accounting of return on investment or been subject to an authentic audit? if that isn’t being paid for no work, then what is? And why doesn’t the city force the Chamber to represent ALL Sedona city businesses, those that actually collect the taxes? Sedona’s “worms” are out of control. Biggest problem though is figuring out which is the biggest worm. The city or the chamber.

    Maybe Sedona residents need to create their own union. A NO vote on Home Rule is a vote against those “worms” who are out of control.

  8. senile Steve segner says:

    Hey stevie,

    You claim to love socialism, would you like National Socialism? It has been very popular in the past.

  9. Samuel says:

    steve Segner writes on 5/4/18, 1:03 PM:

    “Laura W says: Why is that acceptable? Didn’t’ they in fact sign contracts agreeing to the terms of their employment? What kind of message are they sending to students?”

    The reason that really caught my attention is because my own comment used those exact same words and it seemed a coincidence for Laura W. to have written the same thing. However, in reading and re-reading it appears she did NOT.

    Since you are such an authority on absolutely everything, Mr. Segner, and preach, preach, preach the integrity of relating facts, how about you begin with yourself? And furthermore, never in my comment (or in the one from the Laura W.) is it stated teachers sign employment contracts with the STATE!

    My Goodness Mr. “S” – your purpose is well being served as an example of not practicing what you preach.

  10. Eddie Maddock says:

    Don’t faint, but IMO Steve Segner is absolutely correct about one thing:

    steve Segner says:
    May 4, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    ” A great message, It says that in a group there is” power”

  11. Here We Go Again says:

    It’s already happening. Rumors are flying. So much tripe is already being slung it’s a wonder the sewer isn’t backing up in more places than Northview or wherever. City Hall would be a good place for it to appropriately be deposited.

    For example?

    We are to believe that if Home Rule fails there will be no more funding for such things as the St. Pat’s Parade, yellow shirts for traffic controllers, Library, meals on wheels, Senior Center, and Historical Museum, as the list begins.

    So what?

    The St. Pat’s Parade existed long before Sedona incorporated. In fact, the event was promoted via national travel agencies. It was bigger and better. The entire W89A was shut down from Stutz Bear Cat to Soldier Pass Road. That’s right – SHUT DOWN! County Sheriff’s office handled traffic control and it attracted more people than the tacky event the C of C attempts to throw together every year. In fact, it was the very first Sedona Chief of Police who had the stupid idea to disallow using W89A for this annual and nationally known attraction. That’s right – happened without a City and without a City Hall.

    And further, same at the St. Pat’s Parade, Sedona had a Library – alive and well. It was supported by guess who? The people. With private donations and a small financial assist from the counties, it thrived and even managed to acquire the land and build on the present location. And NO city funding.

    So threaten us, you boobs. We did it before and we can to it again. Historical Museum? Same as the library. Community fund raisers and voluntary support made it happen. And the need for traffic controllers? Look to the source that created the problem. BAD PLANNERS!

    Now then, it will get even better. We will be cursed with the proposal the Parks & Rec will close. Who cares? And the same as the Library, Humane Society, and other things threatened to be yanked from our daily lives, the Posse Grounds came BEFORE Sedona incorporated.

    In fact, great public events were held there such as 4th of July fireworks sponsored by one of the local organization (Rotary, Lions Club, etc.) Community support, folks, and not a City Hall grab bag.

    And believe it or not, even the Chamber of Commerce held a dignified position within the unincorporated community. It’s been mentioned a time or two on Sedona Eye about the grand MellerDramas those Chamber members sponsored and made corny but entertaining performances – all without city financial help.

    And that also was true with the Chamber Visitors Center – yep they even managed to have a celebration when their property was paid off – burning of the mortgage event. How did they pay for that without money from a city. Because there wasn’t a city to go to?

    Oh not to be overlooked, this one’s a corker.

    It’s been threatened as well that Sedona will no longer be able to afford to provide a police officer at the high school! Say what?

    Here we go again. What business does the City of Sedona have in providing that service anyhow? The schools are NOT part of city government. They are in the Sedona-Oak Creek Unified School District and NOT the city’s responsibility to provide police patrol at city expense.

    Then there’s the kicker! Are you ready?

    Boo, Hoo, Hoo NO MONEY for connector roads, street maintenance, and blah, blah, blah.

    If the city had appropriately prioritized in the first place the roads wouldn’t be in such horrible condition and better planning could clearly have avoided such bottlenecks as the Schnebly/Tlaquaque traffic snarl.

    Hope they keep up their belly-aching because they are strumming on broken violin strings. Health and Safety should have been headlined prior to all the other warm, fuzzy feel good crap for the slim minority and outsiders who actually add to the traffic heading to Sedona for the free-bees.

    NO, NO, NO on HOME RULE! Buy into their CRAP and YOU are part of the problem NOT THE SOLUTION!

    City police officer at the high school? No wonder at least one member on the School Board was getting ready to shift into high gear, working through the Chamber to get their helping of all that leftover pork. SHAMEFUL.

    Read it again, people. Brace yourselves. Would you continue to allow a teenager the keys to your car if that youngster consistently behaved so recklessly?

    What’s the difference if you continue to approve Home Rule which allows ongoing irresponsible leaders to continue on with similar behavior?

  12. Richard D says:

    @Here We Go Again Home Rule will be approved because all the points you make will sway the voters. Of course it’s the school district who should be providing guarded protection, not the city’s responsibility but the reputation of Sedona is just a giveaway to all that stand in line.

    Maybe the one single thing that might encourage people to vote NO on HOME RULE would be an assurance it would force cancellation of the most controversial issue. . . That being the city’s contract with the chamber of commerce.

    Never should have happened in the first place. It will take some real grit and persistence to reverse the process. New people on council? Maybe. Vote down Home Rule and picket city hall when cuts are made. Down With The Chamber/City Contract. PERIOD!

  13. The Jig's Up says:

    No matter how they try to spin it, this proposed deal attempted by even one member of the Sedona Oak Creek Unified School DISTRICT is representative of how the cogs in the City of Sedona political machine work.

    It seems every action taken anymore is linked to the vast funding for the Regional Chamber. Even the recent addition of Economic Development Dept at City Hall. Most of the time that new city employee, director of that department, Spangler, it seems is spent with the Verde Valley group of which the Pres/CEO of the Regional chamber of commerce (based in Sedona) is also intricately involved.

    Clearly word is out. Need money? Go to Sedona City Council. Need proof? Read how it works in the article here and elsewhere on this site. Hard to keep up. The cancer is rapidly spreading.

    Never was a reason the “chamber” needed to get that 55% return on the increased half% bed tax. No Sir done deal behind closed doors right from the get go IMO.

    More reasons to VOTE NO ON HOME RULE.

  14. Jack & Lucille G. says:

    The greedy pigs let them wallow in their own filth and leave City of Sedona out of it.

    NO TO HOME RULE. Cut the free gravy train for the entire Verde Valley, questionable nonprofits and districts unaffiliated with incorporated Sedona.

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