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Eddie Maddock: Good Idea or Bad Idea?

SedonaEye.com columnist Eddie S. Maddock begins 2018 with a political eye on change.

Sedona AZ (January 1, 2018) – Turning the calendar page to January of any new year also revives the process of old procedures to be dealt with in the months ahead. As we proceed to assess our own financial and personal situations, government jurisdictions at all levels commence to do the same. Budgets, schedules, appointments, priorities, etc. must be reviewed, adjusted, and updated to accommodate different situations, circumstances, conditions and changing times.

As the wheels of change continue to turn within our own lives that same ongoing process occurs within local city, county, and state governments. A year ago the passage of SB 1487 was a hot topic, and although approved and subsequently challenged, it remains intact although for some unknown reason legislators are hesitant to pursue that course of action when asked to do so. And why is that? Well, perhaps only The Shadow Knows.

Among other bills which the State Legislature will consider when it convenes this January is yet another controversial proposal.

Presently a Republican state lawmaker, Rep. Jay Lawrence of Scottsdale, is sponsoring House Bill 2032. If approved it would require municipalities to print a candidate’s national party affiliation next to their name on the ballot in races for mayor and city or town council. Current policy, of course, does not indicate the political affiliation of candidates opting for the position of City/Town Mayor or a seat on the Council.

Now this came about because apparently there is some concern with potential candidates who perhaps aren’t exactly forthright about their political preferences, thus allowing the opportunity to mislead their underlying intentions while pursuing election to office. A clear cut disclosure of political affiliation up front would most assuredly allow for constituents to more clearly understand the nature of the people for whom they may or may not be voting.

But of course the League of Arizona Cities and Towns is concerned about the proposal, as it seems any type of jurisdiction which might encourage State Legislators to enforce State Statutes that regulate cities and towns is unappealing to them. The League’’s purpose for existing appears to lean forcefully towards protecting officials of municipalities when they overreach well defined state confinements under which they were granted independent jurisdiction in the first place. Generally speaking, it seems very clear the League has little to no regard for citizens living within the commonly abused jurisdictions of an incorporated area. Based on objection they have displayed for other bills such as SB 1487, it certainly indicates that is the situation.

Those opposing the bill, including the League of Arizona cities and Towns, fail to see what bearing the declaration of political affiliation would have on municipalities. An Arizona Republic article, Dec. 26, 2017, cites the following:

Ken Strobeck, executive director of the League of Arizona Cities and Towns, said the bill is concerning for multiple reasons. For starters, he said, the primary job of local elected officials is service delivery. They make sure police officers are on duty, garbage gets picked up on time and streets with those pesky potholes get fixed. ‘We don’’t need to organize on party lines because the services that we deliver don’’t have any kind of partisan angle to them,’ Strobeck said.”

Now that’’s an interesting concept. Arizona Cities and Towns actually believes that?  Wow! Those folks thinking that way surely must not know much about Sedona politics.

With the ongoing controversy of perceived dysfunctional local government, would the addition of a candidate’s national political affiliation really make a difference one way or another? How long does it take a voter to figure out whether an elected official leans right or left once they are elected? And would advance knowledge really matter?

They are all capable of campaigning on promises made to those who offer support, morally and financially. Once elected the never ending pledge of being financially responsible seems to fly the coop. City Limits magically disappear along with specific State Statutes as they are thus completely ignored. Maybe the reason is because none are aware the responsibilities of the locally elected should be restricted to tending to road and safety conditions as viewed by Arizona League of Cities and Towns and not funding each and every nonprofit that appears before them, seeking money for special interests of selected affiliates commonly defended as being “related to the arts” but not necessarily beneficial to the public in general.

Would it be, perhaps, more worthwhile if some sort of House or Senate Bill were considered to redefine the purpose of incorporated areas and, more specifically, remind those in charge exactly what the major responsibilities encompass beginning  but not ending with City Limit constraints and providing and maintaining adequate infrastructure and other vital services in THAT area. That does NOT include paying outside interests to use City owned facilities and/or fund each and every nonprofit in the Verde Valley, over and above a questionable “service” contract with a regional Chamber of Commerce, particularly without benefit of competing bids – Requests For Proposals.

Would the ability to identify a candidate’’s national political affiliation really change anything?

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157 Comments

  1. @hack and lucille says:

    Stay away then!’!!!!

    You won’t be missed….I’m sure you contributed zero except you complaints…
    We got enough crybaby’s here on SE already… See ya
    Bre we k ow your post is (Deleted by editor)

  2. @here we go again says:

    Stop your bellyaching (Deleted by Editor)..

  3. Home Rule says:

    Home Rule (Alternative Expenditure Limitation) has on occasion been simply stated as relinquishing the privilege of a municipality to decide how local tax dollars are spent, instead to be decided at the State level. In a perfect world, the answer most likely and logically would be a simple “Of course not!”

    However when an incorporated area such as the City of Sedona carelessly and consistently makes decisions that do NOT reflect the will of the people and definitely are biased towards special interests in lieu of health, safety, and welfare for the good of ALL, then isn’t it time to reconsider why that reckless waste should not be challenged?

    All too often in Sedona people in power have taken advantage, broken promises, and made decisions putting policies in motion that have served poorly, not only in upholding the part of the Community Plan to preserve the small town character, but out and out irresponsible choices which put lives of residents and tourists at stake. And worse yet, this is being done without benefit of audit, accountability, or in the case of selective city contracts, minus competitive bidding.

    Why should such irresponsible activities merit or be rewarded the privilege of allocating millions of dollars of tax revenues and/or be worthy of continuing a policy that is proven to be ineffective IN SEDONA?

    Isn’t it time to reverse this process, take a chance, and snatch away the privilege of “Home Rule” that is taken for granted and continues to be abused?

    Translated: Vote YES on Home Rule – BAD, BAD IDEA (at least for now)

    VOTE NO on HOME RULE = GOOD IDEA . . . . . . . GOOD IDEA

  4. Sal says:

    Because of Sedona’s policy of taxation without representation (ONLY Chamber members are represented at the Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center, FINANCED WITH CITY OF SEDONA TAX MONEY) and most of the Chamber members are OUTSIDE city limits and DO NOT collect city taxes, I will continue to boycott those city of Sedona business who are Chamber members and patronize the ones who refuse to be bullied, coerced, and blackmailed to joining that rip-off C of C.

    And in the meantime, if you needed another good reason to DENY renewing HOME RULE (if city council decides to actually let the voters have a choice) it only stand to reason that:

    VOTING NO ON HOME RULE IS A VERY GOOD IDEA. (of course, that’s only my opinion which at least one high profile nut job on this cite never bother to qualify as his rants being)

    Taxation without Representation? Wasn’t that the reason for the Boston Tea Party??

  5. Traffic Presentation (TP) says:

    https://www.facebook.com/SedonaChamberofCommerce/videos/10156463786800854/

    He even says, I don’t think any of these changes will make it look like the off peak periods. He says this at about 37 minutes in the video.

    Talk about a song and dance by the city manager. From my perspective the improvements will have next to no effect. Cut spending for the chamber, stop advertising for more tourists.

    No on Home Rule, stop the insanity. The 30 million in spending will accomplish virtually nothing.

  6. Tony Tonsich says:

    I just watched the city managers traffic presentation. He said” Traffic is our destiny”.

    He says this at 1.02 in the presentation. This attitude must stop.

    I disagree in the strongest possible terms. WE can limit growth, limit new hotels as much as possible, ELIMINATE funding for the chamber of commerce so they will no longer advertise for more tourists with dollars that can used elsewhere.

    We can take our town back. Traffic does not need to be our destiny.

    We need new leadership. This is our home. We can take it back.

  7. Alarmed says:

    On April 9 Joan Shannon commented on the Biz: “Yes, dear residents, we are not a residential town anymore according to our City Manager, so we do not matter…”

    As many residents are aware, the City Manager told the RRN that the 7-year contract between the City and the Chamber of Commerce was his idea.

    Regarding the City Manager’s recent “Sedona Community Report Spring 2018” throwaway paper: There was a full-page Chamber of Commerce advertisement on the back. Wasn’t this a violation of the City’s non-discrimination ordinance?

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