Home » Featured » Eddie Maddock: Kurt Gehlbach, Do hundreds more vehicles in Uptown make sense for the city of Sedona?

Eddie Maddock: Kurt Gehlbach, Do hundreds more vehicles in Uptown make sense for the city of Sedona?

SedonaEye.com columnist Eddie Maddock provides a forum for Sedona mayoral candidate, Kurt Gehlbach, to provide his perspective on the March 2020 City Council decision to approve the purchase of 430 Forest Road (Uptown) for over its appraised value, and encumbering more than $11 million in new debt for city taxpayers if projected tourism parking meter income fails to service the debt.

Sedona AZ – Although earth as an orb continues its normal rotation, global inhabitants have been thrown into an alien orbit which is NOT in outer space. The seriousness of the deadly coronavirus is reality in the truest form. Isn’t it somewhat stunning to become shell-shocked and forced to face the fact that mere mortals really don’t have a great deal of control?

However and in spite of the turmoil, it is an election year and survivors of the pandemic will have the privilege of casting votes in Sedona for candidates vying for Sedona Mayor and rotating seats on the Sedona City Council.

The two mayoral contenders remain Mayor Sandy Moriarty, opting for yet another term, and a new name on the slate, Kurt Gehlbach.

Because the coronavirus conflict quite likely will obstruct the opportunity for city council candidate forums prior to the primary vote in August, Mr. Gehlbach contacted me inquiring about the possibility for Sedona Eye to feature some information about him. Therefore, this resulting article has been derived solely from e-mail communication obliging the mandate for no private meetings, consultations, or even phone calls.

Mr. Gehlbach opted to focus on his own perspective relating to the city council’s recent approval at the council meeting on March 24, 2020:

  • AB 2570 Approval of a Resolution authorizing a Real Estate Purchase and Sale Agreement for the City of Sedona to purchase the property located at 430 Forest Road (APN 401-160-71) located in Coconino County, City of Sedona, Arizona, for the sum of $480,000 for use as a parking structure.

Due to recent global events creating such an upheaval and uncertain economic predictions, Kurt Gehlbach maintains this premise:

Sedona AZ uptown tourist traffic. The city plans to build parking garages for 500 additional vehicles in Uptown to encourage shopping. [Photo courtesy The Arizona Republic]

“The responsibility of Elected Officials is to the Residents of Sedona, and because of the uncertainty of serious implications with regards to the spread of the coronavirus predicted by the World Health Organization, it is the obligation of our Government to revisit with the residents with regards to any decisions made prior to the onset of Sedona’s devastating shutdowns.”

He continues: “With regards to real estate, I personally have 24 years as a licensed residential Real Estate Agent and Developer, always successful through every negotiation. Why? Experience, research, knowledge and always emotionally prepared to negotiate.

Considering all circumstances I would never move forward with the purchase of any property during an election year and certainly not when we know there’s the possibility for another financial recession.

When moving forward within favorable conditions I first request a current appraisal to be accomplished by the property owner. While waiting for the appraisal, I personally research all comparative properties in order to compare to the appraisal. When the appraisal comes in, I scrutinize the hell out of it making sure everything is accurate and up to date. When negotiations begin, I never offer appraised value, starting the negotiation below appraisal, especially when it’s a cash transaction.”

Questioning the wisdom of the city having paid $100,000 OVER appraised value at the recommendation of the city manager, Mr. Gehlbach stated:The people of Sedona have now been ripped off through pure ignorance!”

His conclusion is the city of Sedona has now set a precedent for any FUTURE land acquisitions to be overvalued, questioning the premise of “property is only worth what the Buyer is willing to pay.” Is that true when the investment was overpriced to begin with?

Regarding future Uptown parking, here’s what Kurt Gehlbach has to say:

A recent ADOT traffic study found the majority of Sedona tourist traffic backs up miles just to drive through the Sedona city limits without stopping before continuing along SR 89A to reach their northern destinations.

“$11.5 million to place 300 automobiles in the center of uptown, and that’s one of two parking structures, totaling roughly an additional 500 automobiles in Uptown Sedona. Add another $500,000 or more for the “ledge work” they will find digging down at least 2 floors or 30 feet (??)”

Kurt continues: “Not long ago our Mayor, Sandy Moriarty, was headstrong to be part of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, designed to cut emissions, basically decreasing Sedona’s carbon footprint within the next three years. Does this make sense to anyone?”

Regarding Sedona residents, Kurt Gehlbach relates:

“Prior to lockdown, I spent days and many hours walking door to door throughout our city gathering 200 signatures myself while sharing in conversation.

The emotions are all over the place, and many of our residents are very angry. I’m truly, truly worried about the future of Sedona so I believe the conversation needs to be about Sedona herself and our residents, to include their mixed levels of anger toward this government. We, as a city, must now come together to create change through a government that will listen, respond, inform, create and prosper with and for the Residents of Sedona. How about grasping the opportunity for such a collaboration giving new life and hope for Sedona’s survival?”

End of input from city of Sedona mayoral candidate Kurt Gehlbach. Read, study, ask questions and by all means plan to vote in August. Life in Sedona continues and be grateful each and every day for what we have and consider by way of your own judgment what will be the best way to preserve and protect this special corner of the world.

Over and Out. Cheers. Be Safe. Stay Well.

415 Comments

  1. TGIF says:

    “Republicans believe in forgiveness for your actual sins and Democrats believe in hating you for imagined sins. That difference has emerged as the major theme in this country.” —Scott Adams

  2. steve Segner says:

    It takes courage to tell the truth and be best and not be cowed by voices like Steve Segner.
    Yes, the truth is Sedona is a tourist town always has been, so let’s plan on growth because with Phoenix 100 south we will grow, Sedona held up better than almost in town in America the las 8 months the city only need to cut spending bt $200,000 over 2019. I don’t see anyone complaining about the skyrocketing home values.

    Ray says: As for Segner you constantly step too far in your anarchist tirades.
    All business re-evaluate on how they do business the police should be no different they need new training, there were 996 fatal police shootings last year, would it be such a bad thing to cut that number by 1/2.
    48 officers died as a result of felonious acts in 2019, and 41 officers died in accidents. Just look at the numbers 48 officers out of 800,000 police officers in America 996 innocent (not convicted of any crime) were killed, police officers. I don’t this is an anarchist tirades.

  3. Judeo-Christian Haters says:

    Let’s see how many of you religious people openly step up and support the sick President and First Lady and others with prayers of support and best wishes for a speedy recovery. You Religious people are disgusting and should be stripped of rights. You’re fake. Let the re-education camps begin to eliminate you believers and restore Democrats to control of government because we don’t need religion practiced by nutcases on knees.

  4. Walter S. says:

    We might consider being grateful that USFS land is no longer up for grabs via “trades”. Therefore @Steve Segner, Sedona IS restricted on just how much it can grow. What we DON’T need is more high density development that simply attracts more traffic.

    Parking garages? A “hub” for storing transit vehicles? Get real city planners. How about revisiting the Vision Statement in the Community Plan. Oh – forgot – that plan was long ago watered down to a meaningless worthless document.

    Skyrocketing home values? But of course. And one of the main reasons? Investments for those seeking to profit from short-term vacation rentals! Many if not most of those property owners don’t even live in Arizona! One of Segner’s most favorite examples of “Sedona will continue to grow?”

    City Council, Staff, C of C, & Lodging Council continue to play second-fiddle to Karma & Mother Nature. Don’t believe it? Then where’s the badly need rain. Have you checked Oak Creek lately? Ha! What creek? Where’s the water?

  5. Lake Havasu Rocks says:

    Quit crowded hot Sedona come to Havasu

  6. June says:

    House values fall in Sedona while other places are showing better outcomes. Thanks city council.

  7. Neyland Stad says:

    @ Lake Havasu Rocks

    Sedona is Hot? Lake Havasu is Africa Hot.

  8. Neyland Stad says:

    @ June

    Where the heck to you get your facts.

    My realtor, who is a very good friend, tells me that home sales in Sedona are going through the roof. Unfortunately because of STR. Investors are buying homes at ridiculous prices. The house next to me just sold $10K over asking price.

  9. Gregg says:

    That house went 10k over because that’s what agents do to help buyers get down payments. Just educating’. Not bad for 3% interest rate buy thanks to current administration.

  10. Mike Campbell says:

    @Neyland Stad

    Don’t you just love comments from a football stadium? Neyland Stadium, home of the Tennessee Volunteers. If it were true people would use their real names.

    Sedona is a tourist trap with greedy tourist businesses and overpaid city staff.

  11. Brian says:

    @neylandatad your realtor friend is (deleted by editor) you, might be your house is wanted for listing by realtor that doesn’t have anything to sell? I knows and June knows.

    STR is made up villain when it’s homeowners that only live here part time doing what they always did. Bet you rented that way once, eh Neyland? I knows.

  12. Sandal Man says:

    U.S. Government Looks to Wenden, Arizona to Help End Reliance on China for Critical Minerals

    WASHINGTON D.C. – Today the United States Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) announced that it has awarded American Manganese Inc. (AMY) a grant to perform work on the United States Government’s manganese ore stockpile located near Wenden, Arizona, with the goal of producing electrolytic manganese metal (EMM) for the nation. AMY will conduct tests of the Wenden stockpile to confirm the viability of using the Company’s patented hydrometallurgical process to recover EMM from the stockpile. If successful, the DLA, together with AMY, will proceed to transform sub-economic manganese resources into a valuable source of EMM.

    Thank you Trump Administration.

  13. Martha McSally says:

    I want to take a couple of minutes to be honest with you. I hope you will take some time to read what I have to say.

    I’ve had my fair share of challenges in my life. I was rejected from being a pilot in the Air Force because I was a little too short. I didn’t take no for an answer. I kept fighting.

    I fought and clawed my way to not only earn my wings but to go on and become the first female in U.S. history to fly a fighter jet in combat and command a fighter jet squadron.

    After 6 tours of duty in the Middle East and Afghanistan, 325 combat hours, and 26 years in the Air Force, I was ready for my next challenge. I wanted to continue serving my country and fellow Americans, so I entered a tough race for the House of Representatives and flipped a blue district red.

    Now, I am facing my toughest political challenge yet – running for Arizona’s Senate seat against one of the best-funded Democrats in the nation.

    I turn on the TV and see vicious lies being spread about me. I look at the newspaper and see the liberal media smearing my record. But I’m doing what I was meant to do – fighting for Americans like you.

    So, when I see the violence happening in cities like Portland or the economic impact that China’s lies have had on Americans across the nation, I know no matter how tough of a fight this is – it is my duty to continue working for you.

    My whole life has been spent putting Americans first. I won’t back down from this challenge – but I need you by my side. Will you stand with me and help support my fight for our shared values?

    I am counting on you. My race will determine control of the Senate for years to come, and with just weeks until Election Day, we cannot slow down now. Can I count on you to be in this fight with me?

    Thank you for your dedicated support!

    In Service,

    Martha McSally

  14. Alex D. says:

    @Martha McSally, very impressive words and FYI you already have my vote, mailed and receipt verified as such by the county where I reside.

    To those who may not be aware, contacts to verify vote-by-mail were included with my ballot. Two phone numbers and a web site. My choice to confirm vote was by computer link whereby my name was verified as well as the ID number on my voter registration card.

    May the best man/woman win. In this case, Trump and McSally. Can hardly wait for the abusive attacks to ensue here on Sedona Eye. However, this is America, the greatest country in the world where that option still remains. Maybe one day Sedona might reclaim the title of being the most beautiful place on earth. Possibly so now that ding-dong the witch is gone?

  15. Escapee from NY Madness says:

    New York governor Andrew Cuomo has been praised for his handling of the state’s coronavirus pandemic, but a closer examination of the beginning of the US crisis tells a less flattering story — one that shows how poor decisions harmed the country – one that shows how poor decisions harmed the country. What you’re missing here is how Bill DeBlasio (who officially changed his German name to be electable) made it even worse still today. Go back to being New York City. Go to work. Open your doors. https://on.ft.com/2HiB6eS

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