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Eddie Maddock on Campaign Cover Ups

SedonaEye.com columnist Eddie Maddock

SedonaEye.com columnist Eddie Maddock

Sedona AZ (August 13, 2014) – Just how bad and nasty will this election get? Keep in mind the beauty of our surroundings, and yet the potential for implosion perhaps has never been more intense.

We have at least one candidate running for City Council who opted to jeopardize support from legitimate voters by verbally assailing them due to disagreement on a ballot measure. There are those who attack one another; and then there are promoters of candidates with their own agendas and substantial backing who obviously are lurking about.

However, an e-mail from Sedona Lodging Council Chair Steve Segner to Al Comello of Comello Media Services and Moriarty campaign manager, cc’d to Sandy Moriarty, candidate for mayor, drifted throughout Greater Sedona and did appear as a comment on Sedona Eye. (See Article: “Eye on Sedona’s Vocal Discord,” comment from “A ‘Real’ Flatlander” 7/31/14.) What was not made clear about that e-mail is that originally it was sent as an “attachment.”

The Sedona Eye received the attachment and the email from several sources and upon contact with its authors, Steve Segner and Michael Shroeder, both affirmed they had indeed written and wholly stood by their email (letters) content now in the public domain. Therefore, here it is, in entirety, the cover letter to the attachment of the Segner e-mail defined as “Subject: let’s meet please do not pass around” dated Sun, 27 July 2014:

 “I was sent your personal comments regarding the candidates for the upcoming Sedona elections. I do not know all the candidates, but I am very familiar with two.

In the mayoral race, I do not know Moriarty, but I do know Hamilton quite well, especially having worked with him on various projects. In fact, the comments regarding the Sedona Chamber that you made was precisely the conversation, one of many, I had with Cliff at your restaurant.

I, along with many others have for some time questioned the effectiveness of the Sedona Chamber of Commerce and the management, especially since Sedona city councils have handed the chamber $100s of thousands of taxpayer dollars for “destination marketing” and have never been provided proof of performance for these dollars. Something that frankly is not rocket science to do. In fact, at some past council meetings, proof of performance was requested only to either be shot down by some council members or ignored by chamber Management. It certainly makes one wonder what is going on when fiscal irresponsibility occurs at this level and to this extent.

This is public money, not a hand out to a local entity who comes with proposals for programs that are not verifiable. Being public money, where was the RFQ?  (REQUEST FOR QUOTE). Why wasn’t, and I will remind all, the marketing of our city put out for bid?  What’s going on here? The fact that it was not is irresponsible and counter to the fiduciary responsibility of council and the mayor.

There are companies whose sole job it is to promote small tourist cities. Their management costs, unlike ours, is spread over multiple clients, creating more bang for the buck to bring tourists to the city. And through contracts, proof of performance is verifiable.

I don’t get it, why there are some in our city who think the chamber is doing such a great job. Businesses closing, empty stores everywhere and a population that had zero increase over the last decade as confirmed by the 2010 census. (AZ had a 10% increase overall)

The chamber claims four million tourists a year. They made the same claim when I was part of the group who fought for the 179 project against ADOT. Four million was bull then, and it is bull now. No substantiation then, and none now. After traffic counts back then it was confirmed that it was a number pulled out of the air to promote an ADOT four lane highway.  They have not changed their tune.

That’s over 3000 tourist vehicles a DAY, 365 days a year at 3.5 per vehicle.

Not only does the chamber refuse to provide verifiable data on their marketing results, but they keep asking for more dollars. In some cities, chambers are supported by the businesses, not TAX DOLLARS.

And for all their hype, the NUMBER ONE THING THAT PEOPLE USE TO SEARCH FOR INFORMATION IS THEIR SMART PHONES AND TABLETS. This trend has been rising sharply for the last five years, and ANY site that does not auto configure for these formats is in the dark ages. Even our local churches have figured that out.  Whoever is running IT for the chamber is incompetent, and the fact that this form of marketing is huge in today’s world exacerbates the incompetence of chamber management for not instituting this years ago.

The failure of the chamber to verify results is incredible, and the people in this town, and on council continually fall for their pitch. So when Cliff said the “jury is out”, it is time to start doing things a bit smarter. As a business owner, and taxpayer, you should DEMAND that the council stop wasting your money and put the marketing of our town out for bid. Let the chamber bid it also.  This “good ole boy” stuff has got to stop. Maybe Moriarty will, I don’t know, but Hamilton will for sure.

The other person that I know is Angela Lefevre. I have worked with her on the 89a project, and she is a hard worker and a nice person. I have also had more than one detailed political philosophical conversation with her over coffee.

From her mouth, to my ears, she is a firm believer of the Welfare State. Period. I have asked her who pays for this, only to have no answer forthcoming. Some people say that being on council is not political. Maybe from a Party standpoint, I would agree.  However, that kind of philosophy, spending other peoples money and having no hard answer as to who pays the bills is EXACTLY what this city does not need.  Too much of that has already been done in stupid projects like collapsed domes and a botched sewer system. And with the number of 501c3 organizations in Sedona with their hands out to the city all of a sudden we find ourselves not providing the basic structure that a city needs to survive.

Philosophy is important, ESPECIALLY FISCAL POLICY. We have had enough irresponsible members on council over the years to last a lifetime.

Mike Schroeder”

Without further editorializing this will conclude by thanking Sedona resident Mike Schroeder for allowing Sedona Eye to share his profound thoughts with our readers.

Over and out.

For the best Arizona news and views, read www.SedonaEye.com daily!

For the best Arizona news and views, read www.SedonaEye.com daily!

135 Comments

  1. @Charley says:

    Yes your correct about the fire district thing.. (deleted by editor)

  2. Belinda says:

    @pitchforks

    What you talking about on the take? They dedicate thier time to be useful and barely even get compensated. What do you do for Sedona but complain?

  3. Sorry Charley, YOU'RE WRONG! says:

    You are correct as far as the fire district is concerned. 4 of the board members were found to have violated the open meeting law by having a meeting at one of the member’s houses just a few days before a specific agenda item was to be heard at a public meeting. I don’t remember back that far but the item discussed was very important back then. Those 4 board members were found guilty by the AG’s office. Unfortunately, those 4 were never held accountable by the AG because they were recalled by the community and removed from their seats. That recall was record-setting in the State of AZ because it was the first time in AZ history where 3 elected officials were recalled at the same time. Fortunately, Cooperman, Shoen, and Hazime were elected for those 3 seats.

    As for elected officials just “attending a public or even private gathering not related to the city business”, not even remotely correct. All 5 of those councilmen just being in the same room for a general gathering, nothing wrong with that.

    Know the law and stop with the “fake news”!

  4. Steve Segner says:

    Where must public bodies post meeting notices?

    FYI,The notice must be posted on its website and at the locations identified in its disclosure statement. An agency is required to provide a disclosure statement on their website that includes the location of their physical and electronic postings
    I will make sure it is posted (Steve)
    The meeting in October is our first step in introducing people running for office to Sedona Liberal voters…..Each speaker will talk about one great idea he or she thinks is important to Sedona , Verde Valley and the State of Arizona.
    It is important that we have leaders with “ideas”

  5. Charley says:

    Excuse me, but the nature of the question of a quorum arose at this time because of an invitation to Steve Segner’s Oak Creek Canyon Estate to be held in October which appeared on this website. The reason for the get-together is to discuss matters pertaining to 2020 elections including but not limited to potential candidates.

    Therefore, if that doesn’t light some fires relating to the open meeting law – when admittedly elected officials in unidentified capacities have been invited to this soiree, then what in God’s name would?

    But, of course, Mr. Segner appears to be at least one exception who isn’t required to play by rules – only his own which are established to benefit him and his associates. MY OPINION and with good reason.

  6. Hey Charley says:

    You do realize that this is Aug correct. The meeting isn’t until October which leaves plenty of time for notification. Stop finding fault in everything(oh yea that’s what you live for)

    You crack me up… looking at SS website, you must live to complain lol

  7. John Daniels W Sedona says:

    Charley, is Segners party to discuss “town business” for a future Sedona Town Council meeting? No.

    The town council as a whole never renders decisions as to who runs and who doesn’t. You can try to spin this any way that you wish, YOU’RE JUST WRONG.

    You obviously don’t know that the states meeting law does not pertain to any State or Federal elected officials so any potential candidate for the 2020 election is just a social gathering of like-minded people.

    You may not like it but Segner is a normal citizen just like you and there are no rules that he needs to play by. Of course, this ASSUMES (and you know what they say about assuming anything) that any current town council members attend his shindig.

    So Charley, either learn the real meaning of the state law or just go away and come back with your real name.

  8. Also a Sedona Liberal says:

    This is to extend my congratulations to Arizona Liberty for most likely being responsible for turning Sedona “liberal.” Wasn’t it because of your ability to have a third mayoral candidate on the ballot last election which split the vote, easily making it a landslide for Mayor Sandy to be reelected.

    Hopefully you will be appropriately honored at the Segner Gala Event and if you’re lucky maybe he’ll give you your next assignment for the 2020 elections???

  9. Sedona City Residents says:

    We’re wondering why such a professed knowledgeable person @John Daniels W Sedona insisst on referencing our elected officials as the Sedona Town Council?

    Most people are well aware Sedona was incorporated as a CITY (not a TOWN).

    There is a difference oh worldly sages. Surprised you didn’t check it out when you were so outraged by anyone questioning the Open Meeting Law?????

  10. Janele Hopewell says:

    It’s so much fun reading comments from aggravated SE readers such as @John Daniels W Sedona (one example). Reaction(s) frequently appear to be knee jerk and end up conveying the image of having been caught with their panties down! Not necessarily a pretty sight to imagine. Maybe getting caught with a hand in the cookie jar might be more picturesque? At any rate for sure they keep an eye on Sedona Eye!!!!

  11. @also a sedona liberal says:

    You forgot to mention…that group you referenced, was on the LOSING side of every ballot issue they endorsed as well as lost any election thier candidates ran for..

  12. @@also a sedona liberal says:

    There have been many comments about the LOSERS AZ Liberty on Sedona Eye @Belinda Seville 8/14/19 as well as under other articles.

    However since you suggested it and to appease you, yes indeed, the “liberty” people didn’t unite and thus they fell big time!

    The many references to their failed effort to enter a dark horse in the race for Sedona mayor is just one example as well as the other comments about their failure to control the Sedona-Oak Creek Fire District Bd of Directors. All mentioned numerous times on SE.

    They clearly weren’t team players and now the residents of Sedona will live indefinitely and quite possibly at least to some extent with the results of their in-your-face blunders!

    Sedona Socialism – you will be officially off and running in October with the big event at the Segner Oak Creek Estate.

  13. John Daniels W Sedona says:

    To the unnamed person who goes by Sedona City Residents:

    I find it interesting that the biggest question burning a hole in your head is why I sometimes slip and call Sedona a town instead of a city, allow me to be more transparent then you and most are on SE by not using your real names:

    I am a retired attorney from Tusayan (which is a town) before retiring and buying a home in West Sedona and at 80 years young I tend to slip back when making references to government topics.

    There really isn’t a big difference between Tusayan and Sedona because a town is a populated area with fixed boundaries and a local government. A city is a large or important town.

    So the next time that I “surprise” you perhaps you should be the one to do some checking first.

  14. Oh Really? says:

    And why should we believe your spiel @John Daniels W Sedona? With such a phenomenal background why in the world would you be troubled with insignificant trivia as you find on Sedona Eye? Poor soul.

    Arizona State Statutes are specific in explaining the difference between a city and a town. As an attorney it’s surprising you didn’t pick up on that. @A city is a large or important town. Large? Important? Sedona?

    Oh – and BTW – I’m a rocket scientist but prefer to not toot my horn. OMG – can’t stop laughing. Better yet: Kan’t Desist from Opining!!!!!!

  15. John Daniels W Sedona says:

    To Oh Really?

    I’m sorry, what did you say your real name was????

  16. Oh Really? says:

    You want to know my “real” name? Coincidentally same as yours:

    John Daniels W. Sedona

    Small world isn’t it??

  17. Nora & Saul says:

    We just learned of the Segner Soiree to be held in October and judging from his own comment @Steve Segner August 16, 2019 at 10:22 am it will be a public event. It sounds extremely interesting and because we’ve heard so much about Mr. Segner and his vast knowledge relating to Sedona politics, we will be anxiously waiting for further details. Thanks Sedona Eye – you truly do represent voices from the entire area.

  18. Jack Daniels says:

    I’m the real John Daniels, I go by Jack. I am OUTRAGED, yes OUTRAGED they people are commenting under my name and calling others fake.

    I’m going back to listening to Chamber propaganda, um instructions, um guidance on how to be a sustainable citizen. I still have not figured out why the chamber needs $2.5 million of city funds to tell me this, but I’m sure they will splain it to me.

  19. Kate Diane Olsen says:

    @Jack Daniels, what you neglected to clarify is that $2.5 million of city funds is just for this year: Fiscal 2019-2020. And it’s slightly LESS than what the chamber received for the last fiscal year.

    And of course the amount will be renegotiated prior to July 1, 2020 – the beginning of the next “fiscal year.”

    Suck up the advice that might be forthcoming from the chamber. Lord knows it cost enough so it must be valuable.

  20. John Daniels W Sedona says:

    To Jack Daniels, I’m so sorry I guess that two people in the same city can’t have the same name, GO FIGURE!

    I guess my mom and dad should have known better 89 years ago that their son (me) would someday move to the CITY of Sedona where another John Daniel would be living. Or perhaps I should have moved to Cottonwood because Sedona only allows one person per name.

  21. Steve Segner says:

    In most cases people found Sedona and the VOC, as a visitor/day trippers
    Visitors Got “Red rock fever” and moved to Sedona, bought a home or built one.
    No one ever said to them “Sedona would not grow”, new homes, Apartments, business and hotels.
    No one ever said the “Open” land in Sedona would never be built on.
    No one ever said local “dead end street” would not be connected.
    No one ever said the city owned land would never be built on.
    No one ever said zoning laws “never” change.
    No one said views are protected.
    No one ever said all the housing should be Mc Mansions.
    You were “told” there is no “city” property tax.
    You were aware that Sedona is a tourist town and tourism pay our bills 75%+
    No one ever said you would be the last person to move too Sedona .
    You should have been aware that cities” Grow “and land get built on.
    Remember what you call “Balance” is just your view ,Balance is in the eye of the beholder, visitors, business owners and employees and residents.
    The city council and county need to look at the need of Visitors, workers, business owners and residents.Residents do not necessarily come first.
    Communities function best with a “mix” of age ,race and income levels.
    50 year old do not have kids and our school system and community as a hole suffers.
    Sedona need more smaller and affordable housing.
    Sedona housing market and prices have grown because of tourism, and all the amenities tourism brings.
    The people on Sedona Eye like to bring up the “Good old days” but Arizona is growing and so will Sedona and the VOC. Yp in the 1960 Apples and cattle so what.
    Locals do not own the Red Rock we are just the” keepers” so other can enjoy them.

    I write this as a guide, to all the “NIMBY” that post on Face Book and other local sites, I think this will answer most of your questions.
    Learn to love change , Change it is a coming.

  22. Response to steve Segner says:

    I quote Steve in his post August 18 at 6:11 pm

    “community as a hole” ” I think this will answer most of your questions.
    Learn to love change , Change it is a coming.”

    Segner and his group cares not about quality of life, only change and MONEY. He would make our town a hole in the ground and call it change as long as it made money.

    You have the right to say NO. Voters were conned in the last election about non-profits.

    Is Sedona your home , or is it a “hole” ? The Chamber would strip mine Sedona if it made a profit and say it produced jobs, making it literally a giant hole.

    YOU have to show up and work in the next election. It’s not somebody else’s job.

  23. Jack Daniels says:

    Don’t worry John Daniels, there are many that have wrongly taken your name. Most are just trying to divert attention from the Sedona crime scene. Qui Bono

  24. Matt, Attention Steve Segner etal says:

    One thing you overlooked in your diatribe @Steve Segner is the FACT it was the RESIDENTS and NOT the tourists who voted to approve incorporation of Sedona. That can’t be twisted even with all your skewed thinking. It’s also the residents who are presently allowing the SOCIALIZATION of Sedona to rapidly become reality. That’s because of the apathy displayed by voters during the last few elections.

    What better example of the truth YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW!!?

  25. All for Taylor CD-1 says:

    Vets and Firefighters and Police and Unions Unanimously Will Vote Taylor because other candidates are unanimously not as qualified to be honest representatives for all of Arizona.

    2019 – 2020 Arizona Elections,

    Candidates, Races and Voting
    https://uselections.com/az/az.htm

    Aug 12, 2019 · 1st District Candidates: Eva Putzova (D) ~ Ex-Flagstaff City Councilwoman, Ex-University Official; Larry Williams (D) Tiffany Shedd (R) ~ Attorney, Farmer, Artist; Chris Taylor (R) ~ Safford City Councilman, Firefighter, Afghanistan War Veteran

  26. Steve Segner says:

    Matt, Attention Steve Segner etal says: RESIDENTS and NOT the tourists who voted to approve incorporation of Sedona.
    Yes ,you did and now the city council and city manage run the city.
    If Sedona was not Incorporated we would be managed by TWO counties and lucky to have one policeman.
    You are still bitching about an election in 1988 you lost wow.
    SOCIALIZATION of Sedona to rapidly become reality. Yes ……. it is.

  27. Integrity, Where Art Thou? says:

    Sedona Community Plan – Maintain a Small Town Character? What a joke but who’s laughing? Chamber of Commerce, Steve Segner, and companions – all the way to the bank! Disgraceful? Of course not! Just ask them (him).

  28. @Jack Daniels says:

    It seems to me that you may be trying to bully the real Jack Daniels after his posting of the truth about the SFD recall election. For those new to Sedona that want to know a bit of history, feel free to check out this SE page:

    https://sedonaeye.com/sfd-fire-board-recall-election-results/

  29. Rover on Brewer Road says:

    Thank you @Jack Daniels for the link. As a newcomer to the red rocks, I had no idea. After seeing your post I did a Google search and found another link that would be of interest:

    https://ballotpedia.org/David_Blauert,_Charles_Christensen,_and_Phyllis_Erick_recall,_Sedona,_Arizona_(2012)

  30. Sedona Sam says:

    @Rover on Brewer Road keep digging. Sedona scandals have continued to run amok since it incorporated and gave license to what IMO is legalized extortion (city/chamber of commerce). Shameful. And it’s disheartening the State of Arizona apparently has no authority to regulate this rancid behavior. They’re too busy creating rules such as legalizing short term rentals to deteriorate the integrity of our subdivisions.

    To hell with morals and ethics relating to a member driven nonprofit organization, Sedona Chamber of Commerce, buying up prime commercial property with public revenue and holding title to same. That’s just the icing on the rancid, putrid cake, infested with greed gremlins groveling for the biggest slice of the prize package amounting to millions and millions of $$$$ most of which clearly remains under questionable disposition.

    The Sedona Oak-Creek Fire District scandal(s) are mild and the cast of characters are amateurs compared to those controlling the graft and subterfuge tainting the management of incorporated Sedona.

    There’s little doubt those objecting to my opinion here will be lined up with comments to take me and anyone else down on Sedona Eye or elsewhere because they do not want their perpetual giveaway to end. It should never have happened in the first place.

  31. Boy's club says:

    There is another group of people with their hands in your pockets, they call themselves the “Boy’s Club”. Not a formal group, to allow deniability. Rumored at least one of our current city council is a member, as well as at least one member on the Sedona Library Board. Some were also promoters of the third candidate for mayor in the last election.

    As George Carlin one said, ” It’s a big club, and you ain’t in it !!”

  32. Steve Segner says:

    Sedona Sam says: Sedona Chamber of Commerce, buying up prime commercial property with public revenue and holding title to same.

    One more time for new readers.
    The lot was for sale, good location for future parking lot or a visitor staging area.
    The city of Sedona can not buy property if it is not in( that )years budget. Take up to 2 years to get money in the budget.
    If Sedona was to buy it out right and then decided at a later date it did not need it by law it can not be sold with out a public Vote the city will be stuck with land it does not need.
    Ok got that , now the chamber got a loan and used money from the marketing budget to make the payments the city ok the deal.
    Great use of the bed tax, money was not used for advertising but for future parking. it is called land banking.
    When the lot is paid off the city can take it from the chamber at no cost. or have the chamber sell it and the money would go to the city, WOW
    The city council has full control because they control all bed and sales taxes.

    Hope that helps

  33. Sedona City Residents says:

    Surprise @Sedona Sam. We happen to agree with you. Sadly, however, the majority of those voting in the last local election are the ones who did not (agree). Therefore we have the “rancid” state of City of Affairs you so appropriately pointed out.

    Nothing will change until the voters in this sorry example of a “city” make it happen – simple as that.

    In the meantime enjoy this summer without a monsoon and record-breaking heat. Ain’t it a shame? El Nino maintains control and City Council/Chamber of Corruption cannot do a single thing about it except sweat with the rest of us.

  34. Joe Lee says:

    Oh please @Steve Segner. It takes two years to get money in the budget for the city to purchase property? Since when has that been a problem? Without giving away millions of $$$$ to the C of C they could have easily have afforded it. Didn’t they (city) successfully purchase the prime W89A frontage property (rear acreage of present city hall) and subsequently land at the Posse Grounds as well as Brewer Road property? Selling of any of that land with or without a public vote, depending on the reason, has never become a problem.

    Fraud? Co-mingling of funds? Arizona State Attorney General? oh – – forgot – – we have a high priced city attorney to give instructions on how to deal with such technicalities.

    Shameful is right – IMO!

    Hope that helps.

  35. steve Segner says:

    Joe Lee says
    One more time read slow and try to understand. If money is not in the city budget it can not spend it, yes the city has the money but by law it could not spend it.
    The city used money in the marketing bed tax budget, bed tax money must be used for areas set out by the state and parking in one of them.
    The property was on the market at a great price and would have been sold before the 14 months it would have taken the city to ad it to the budget. The city has a buy sell agreement with the chamber..
    The land banking is a good business practices and used by all cities.

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