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Eddie Maddock: Gone But Are They Forgotten?

SedonaEye.com columnist Eddie S. Maddock questions if the vision for Sedona incorporation and its plan for community is gone, never to be fully imagined and or remembered.

Sedona AZ – Diverse opinions have been offered relating to Words to Remember, A Convenient Disorder, and other current national and local topics. But what about words which have been forgotten?

For example, Sedona incorporated in 1988, soon thereafter to encompass the following Vision Statement:

“To be a city that is constantly vigilant over the preservation of its natural beauty, scenic vistas, pristine environment and cultural heritage. To be a city that retains its small-town character and creates its manmade improvements in strict harmony with nature. To be a city that is animated by the arts, and lives with a spirit of volunteerism to help achieve our common goals. To be a city that offers equal opportunities for all and fosters a sense of community. To be a city that welcomes and accommodates all of its visitors and future residents with a spirit of fellowship. To be a city that retains and enhances a strong and vital economy which preserves existing lifestyles without exploiting the natural beauty. To be a city that lives up to the challenge of proper stewardship of one of the earth’s great treasures.”

The November 2013 Sedona Community Plan as it presently appears on the city’s website reflects this version of the Vision Statement:

“Sedona is a community that nurtures connections between people, encourages healthy and active lifestyles, and supports a diverse and prosperous economy, with priority given to the protection of the environment.”

Much less wordy, indeed, but perhaps conspicuous by absence are words such as “small-town character” which realistically might be an appropriate omission. Are three and four story structures representative of “manmade improvements in strict harmony with nature?” Especially when approvals for many developments resulted in structures far more distinctive than the natural “views” they pledged to protect, but were subsequently allowed to obstruct?

Ongoing applications for amendments to the CP for zone changes – to increase zoning density – apparently remain abundant. But many, if not all, of these not so subtle changes have been conveniently made legitimate via the process of amending the Community Plan throughout the course of active implementation contrary to Sedona’s initial Vision Statement.

Per state statute every ten years, the Community Plan must be either updated or readopted, which process is anticipated to take two years. Therefore now is the time to actively participate in reworking our guidelines for future progress, regress, and/or sustainability. Detailed information relating to the process is available at City Hall.

Year 2022, just a few short weeks away, will also offer the opportunity for active citizen engagement by running for City Council. Three four-year term council seats will be up for grab, as well as the mayor’s seat for a two-year term. Monthly compensation for city council members is reported as $500, and $700 for the mayor. The primary election is set for Tuesday, August 2, 2022, followed by a run-off on November 8, 2022 if it becomes necessary. More information is also available at City Hall for those interested.

The original reasons for Sedona to incorporate in order to control development have vastly deviated over the years. As for predicting the future, how can anyone know what’s in store? Because most of the existing “open space” is still owned by the U. S. Forest Service, without essential “land trades” it must remain undeveloped according to USFS rules. Ongoing disputes relating to previous land exchanges – such as the failed Sedona Cultural Park – continue to cast doubt, resulting in somewhat generalized negativity for consideration of future potential land swaps with the USFS, if even a possibility.

Although the controversy for affordable/workforce housing remains an ongoing battle, that situation would have been substantially eased if developers had been held strictly to original broken rules which resulted in only adding to the problem.

Retrofitting bad decisions obviously leaves much to be desired. Isn’t Sedona proof of that?

For all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these, “It might have been.” – John Greenleaf Whittier.

36 Comments

  1. Wanda & Walt Stevens says:

    We appreciate the reminder of failed promises and the great giveaway to development as a result of incorporation.However, how disgraceful are those two giant size structures in the VOC without benefit of setback(s) off SR179? OMG talk about UGLY! AND INTRUSIVE. They completely block the surrounding red rocks views. And that’s an unincorporated area?

    Can’t win for losing it seems. Greed appears to prevail no matter what. However during these questionable times most likely it will be the middle tax contributing class who will ante up more and more government revenue. We wonder when Karma will kick in and display true power of control. Not a matter of IF but WHEN in our opinions of course and they do matter.

  2. Stanley N. says:

    Very interesting. The Vision Statement on the city’s website reflects the short version. However the longer version continues to be read by Jon Thompson at the beginning of council meetings. Why is that? Is it yet another example of inefficiency? Reminds me of the temporary tax that recently became a forever obligation.

    And people wonder why there’s negativity with government in general? If we, the people, performed such sloppy capers we’d most likely be in jail.

    Does Sedona even have a “vision statement” besides continued screwed up management?

  3. Dorothy says:

    Amen and ditto

  4. Trevor, Uptown says:

    Sedona’s been a might have been for years. Recall a comment read maybe here by out of towners saying why their family went to the White Mountains instead of here after sitting in traffic for over an hour. They intended to never come back. Many people visit and say they’ll never come back. That’s not good marketing and it means the future is blown.

  5. Former Sedona Residents says:

    Count us among those who moved to Sedona because of what has ALREADY gone but is NOT forgotten.

    In our opinions it was the beginning of the end when Sedona incorporated. Because of our fondness and sadness about the direction Sedona took after becoming a city we still do remember the pleasures and beauty of when we were residents.

    As for Karma? Didn’t she/he already speak when the Gov of AZ made vacation rentals legal? A message to the great authorities that approved millions of $$$ to a Chamber of commerce
    to promote their members who don’t even collect Sedona city taxes? Probably the single most effective action that created the miles and miles of backed up traffic? Deal with amateurs and that’s what you get and deserve? OMG just when a person thinks they’ve heard everything . . .

    However, the bottom line is yet to be written and we’ll not be holding our breaths to find out how it reads. We are totally enjoying life in our new location and because we want to keep it lovely we choose to NOT disclose the name of the place. With old age comes wisdom?

  6. Deborah, Snow Cap says:

    AZ newspaper said 6.2% soaring inflation exceeds any pay increases people received coming back to work. Good job Kamala and Joe while your ratings have tanked lower than all former President and VP elected, you’re in single digits!

  7. Sadie & Joe, Old Timers says:

    Having survived many Sedona controversies over the years, one presently comes to mind.

    “A boondoggle is a project that is considered a waste of both time and money, yet is often continued due to extraneous policy or political motivations.” en.wikipedia.org

    Is there a better description for the Sedona Cultural Park? Why doesn’t the USFS take back that public land and then deed it over to the Yavapai-Apache tribes, the rightful owners?

    City of Sedona, Yavapai County, or anyone else to attempt turning sacred land into anything else should NOT be a consideration. The failed Cultural Park already had their reward: FAILURE!

    Wise up you fools. Messing with the unknown will come with a high price tag. But the sad thing is taxpayers are ALWAYS stuck with the bill!

  8. Flip says:

    Bad choices by city staff that owes no loyalty to the people that pay their salaries. Time to fire deadwood and hire no baggage people to improve this place.

  9. Alex D. says:

    @Flip – please keep in mind that it takes the city council’s approval to hire staff members.

    It was also council members who set in motion the millions of dollars to a regional chamber of commerce and for what? Have you checked traffic this week? Residual benefits from rotten publicity attracting hikers and Phoenix day trippers?
    Among those former council members were John Martinez, Rob Adams, and Barbara Litrell. Three seats will be up next year in addition to the mayor.

    If you don’t like the direction Sedona has taken, the buck stops with the decisions made by the Sedona City Council. Aren’t they the ones who bow to the whims of C of C and their affiliated Lodging Council? Isn’t it because of them the city council (or the past majority anyhow) have gone to staff and told them something such as, “This is the action we want. So make it happen”??

  10. Linda, Sedona says:

    no council worth sitting on b/c ruins your name in town or people want favors

  11. Alison M. says:

    “no council worth sitting on . . . ” @Linda, Sedona may be very true. However, short of a campaign to “dis-incorporate” there are no options. People just continue to gripe but how many are willing to run for council/mayor?

    That answer is just around the corner. Stay tuned and count the number of people vying for mayor and three council seats. In fact, it’s curious whether or not there will be ANY! Now that an interesting idea. If no one runs, what would happen???

    Hmmmm ……………..

  12. Andy, My house on a street in Sedona says:

    Surely people want their power granting jobs. Best jobs in Sedona. Councilors get to pretend the Governor sucks to get a Democrat in to give us back timeshares and big hotels instead of using our own eco friendly mortgage paying already built roof over our head homes to blow up more red rocks and widen red rock loop roads with criss crossing bridges the size of midgely because they despise us and hope we jump off the new one like we do the old. Just believing in good facing down evil not getting a fair shake.

  13. @Andy says:

    @Andy
    So dramatic….. I know man things are so so ROUGH here in Sedona. How do we survive. Lol

  14. Larry Vargas says:

    words are never forgotten

  15. Andy says:

    @andy one of the losers

  16. John Wilson says:

    IMO it isn’t so much because “they despise us” @Andy, my house on a street in Sedona but maybe it has more to do with their love of money.

    It will be fascinating to read the names of candidates for the upcoming election. Don’t be surprised if a certain local loud-mouth more-is-better person finagles a way to run for council or even mayor, in spite of factually living in Oak Creek Canyon. What an opportunity for that trend to open up which could result in allowing even people from the VOC to run for Sedona City Council? Why not if an Oak Creek Canyon resident figured out how to register to vote in Sedona elections, if that’s actually the situation. Where there’s a will (determination) there’s a way?

    Sedona’s version of Pandora’s Box preparing to burst? OMG wake up people. “Regional” might be the new unofficial name for City of Sedona with that same “city” collecting taxes and footing the bill for the entire Verde Valley?

    Scheme/scam in action?

  17. GNS, Sedona says:

    WOW “spoken words” but definitely “forgotten.”

    How can any elected official at city hall, most recently Councilman (NOT councilor) Jon Thompson, in good conscience read the words of either of the versions of the Vision Statement?

    Is there even one similarity to what Sedona has turned into that comes close to resembling the utterly wasted words and BS of the nonsense Sedona’s incorporation turned into?

  18. William Bennett says:

    Well they are after Rep. Gosar. Make no mistake about it they are trying to cancel him because they will do anything, even illegal to get his seat in next election. Gosar didn’t make the social media message, it was a repeat. He removed it and issued an apology for the mistake. I accept his apology. We all should. I’ve seen my friends like something and then discover they didn’t watch it in full. Like BLM. So what? It’s not media, it’s social. It’s the new street corner. It’s the new dinner table. People make mistakes. They should be allowed to be incorrect and have differing opinions sometimes. And if anybody has problems with a cartoon, then look at the crap we give our kids that teaches and glorifies murder and violence. Gosar repeat issue is preschool quality! LMAO

    They want Gosar removed for a social media retweet. Can you believe it? The radicals AOC and Pelosi are calling it racism, misogyny, and more. Absolutely ridiculous and self serving. Not even based on anything but their fantasy headlines with CNN and NYT.

    LMAO to hear the Democrats cry out that she’s being threatened with murder with a cartoon is ridiculously funny. Guess the Democrats can encourage Trump’s death with supporting Kathy Griffins decapitation and bloody head of Trump was okay? AAOC and Pelosi both supported Kathy Griffin.

    They also encouraged Wisconsin and Minnesota and Portland and Seattle with supporting statements for guns and arson violence? AOC is a user and a fake. They also supported fellow Democrats calling on abusing Krysten Sinema and Joe Manchin for being “disobedience to the cause.” AOC is losing points in her district to a challenger. Ridiculous we’re not talking about Democrats encouragement to cross the border illegally which is illegal provocation by A asAOC and Pelosi and Biden administration. Gosar so is media repeat is scaring them? Bullshit.

    Not their failures to get ships unloaded and trucks moving out of California because California won’t let trucks into state? Not about the fentanyl and cocaine shipments crossing the border because the Democrats are incompetent and unable to just say no to China and Mexico cartels? Follow the money.

    Sedona, you better pay attention to what’s going on around you. The Democrats are out of control driving this country into a cesspool and that includes Sedona. Trump didn’t do it, Democrats are and you better not vote for them again. They are destroying our country and slowing others to do it in their name.

    Rumor has it in DC that Biden’s considering asking Harris to resign so he can replace her with an appointment. You think?! Gosar kept this off the news? LMAO

  19. Gregg says:

    @williamBennett
    Biden nominee proposes the $600 per person income and outgo in your personal and business checking and savings accounts to the IRS, the Moscow state university communist educated, foreign born and anti American individual who opposes private businesses, home ownership, and individual banking rights is is up for confirmation testimony tomorrow. TOMORROW.

    Tomorrow the Democrats will have you talking about Gosar and his threats (not true) to MURDER that Alphabet soup child. You’re right @WB that he didn’t, but CNN and MSN and NYT and WaPO and the Far Left will not cover Biden’s nominee at all or negatively because they don’t want you involved in controlling your money either. Your favorite media drones will cry Gosar foul while playing sleight of hand with a real life crime.

    Those banking techniques were used in the Soviet Union and China and in other nations to great effect and created in those nations the world’s largest and poorest populations on earth enabling mass genocide of millions. Historical facts matter.

    Oh BTW you do know this same Moscow University professor for this powerful American banking job was arrested for shoplifting? Wait to see if it’s headlined. Bet it won’t come up. Follow the money.

    Stealing aka shoplifting by this communist woman with income and bank accounts not of the 99%ers stole from a small USA business owner with no cause or remorse. Wait until she gets her hands on all the banks of America and your accounts. America that’s what her new job is – to decide how you keep or the government gets access and can remove your bank funds. They don’t have to give you notice, and they don’t have to return them even if found to be wrong. Too bad. You never said stop.

  20. mshobert says:

    @williambennett – perhaps check into a 32 psych hold. And ask to be de-culted. You bought the #cheetojesus bs, – hook, line, and singer. And it makes you look ignorant.

  21. Bobbie from Sedona says:

    welcome to our town where every person walks on water and shops whole paycheck because they can not because its better

  22. Preston says:

    Sedona whose running for office / must be names put out by now

  23. JD, West Sedona says:

    Wowzer – @mshobert vacated Sedona for California? And yet most assuredly he must have left his heart (and soul?l) here for most assuredly he’s still so connected – even tho remotely? Very interesting but boring?

    Some grudges apparently just don’t gravitate and move on. And to think. This gentleman(?) headed up our fire district (emphasis on DISTRICT – and NOT a department of Sedona City government). Double WOWZER!!:-) LMAO

  24. Hashtag Life says:

    Mshobert drinks California Coastal koolaid. Learned in a UCLA class if everyone stopped eating meat ever from this week on it would impact our global carbon levels by a ,3% reduction which doesn’t even impact its levels and that our global poor health and sickness from lack of meat protein in diets would skyrocket. Humans aren’t made to be total vegetarians and need a percentage of animal proteins for good health.

    If Sedona builds for cars it will destroy air quality and destroy its ecosystem.

    Get the EPA and ADEQ involved and make them do their job protecting the forest and desert.

  25. Scott says:

    Read between the lines fellow voters. Our economy here in Sedona is on the downslope and the US economy is on a free fall. Everyone likes free money and free things and those freebies come with consequences. There’s no such thing as trickle down economy, it’s trickle up. Economic issues drive voters to polls and not to tourist rock shops and over priced art galleries. The ones making money are selling food and beds. Sedona, keep your Governor administration rights to sell a bed to pay your mortgage instead of letting Steve Segner and his group do it after you pay their taxes and gift them with your hard earned money. Think people. Think.

  26. Red Rock Riders says:

    Start taking names who votes for this massive social spending program. It gives amnesty to every illegal and $450,000 to each illegal separated from family during Trump program. It gives free childcare but no free for seniors. It raises our taxes by30% per CBO report for next year and then annual increases. If any AZ representative voted for it I’m donating to their challengers regardless of party. Join me.

  27. Roland Ramos says:

    My work relies on tourism and we don’t need to talk about Sedona negatively here.

  28. Mshobert says:

    @JD – Coward. Yeah, I left there for CA. You left CA. for Sedona – and you are now, stuck, bored, angry, lonely and broke. Anonymous posts, while still a coward at 75. Who is really laughing, now?

  29. Kenny says:

    O’Halleran begins the Democrats doubletalk of the game show called that’s not true. He explains that he got it passed while he “fought” and of course he lost and then we lost because he still supported government monitoring of our personal finances and the rest of that huge tax inflation and illegal aliens coming across the border to get amnesty and $450,000 pay outs from you and me.

    Vote him out. We need better representation.

    “I also fought to ensure that no unnecessary red tape appeared in the final text, including a measure that would have enabled government monitoring of Americans’ personal finances.”

  30. Lisa Pratt says:

    @matt
    Right on…. The Adjectives you used in your comment Is spot on regarding the usual haters here on Sedona Eye…. I vividly remember the nonsense and lies that that group told regarding Sedona fire a few years back..They hate all forms of government because they alone think they’re experts in everything and and they twist facts use Theatrical tactics and presentations because that’s all they got they got. They are bunch of empty shells And total Phonies!! As you know KARMA is bitch and some got Exactly what they deserve IMO(I think you know what I speak of)

    Take care Matt and thank you for service is appreciated
    A service they can not Comprehend because it’s always about them and they’re selfish Personna.. A sign of true mindless cowards take care no

  31. Marty Sedona says:

    “Sedona fire a few years back” @Lisa Pratt. What fire would that be? The only fire threats that come to mind happened long before “Sedona Eye” hit the internet.

    Please enlighten us with your vast knowledge. Or maybe you’d be much happier if you joined your pall “matt” in California? Something worthwhile to ponder instead of wasting time reading an online publication you can’t stand. Makes no sense.

  32. Lisa Pratt says:

    @marty
    As usual Marty thanks for your EMPTY post.
    If I gonna further explain my last post about SERVICE you wouldn’t understand anyway. Keep on complaining and spinning your wheels. I hope you find some peace in your life..

  33. A.E. Tyne says:

    how legal for lodging counsel people to be on council? who wants that.didn’t lodging counsel lose face taking taxes for private businesses in past.hows it right or not right?

  34. Draft Polly Catcher says:

    Sedona you’re letting foxes in the henhouse.

  35. Noah & His Passengers says:

    “If I gonna further explain my last post about SERVICE you wouldn’t understand anyway.” @Lisa Pratt

    And that, Ms. Pratt, is precisely why the animals on my ark were in pairs. It may surprise you just how many of earth’s creatures totally do get the point you made.

    Piece to you, too, Madam.

  36. Lee, Camp Verde says:

    …congressional correspondent Chad Pergram “has been hearing whispers suggesting there could be some new, high-profile confirmation hearings on the horizon in the House of Representatives.”

    “Why is this a big deal? Because the House does not confirm normal nominees, but it does confirm vice presidential nominees. Does this have something to do with Kamala Harris?”…

    If we could only hear the same rumors about Sedona city council’s election.

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