Home » Featured » Eddie Maddock: The Tale That Wagged the Dog

Eddie Maddock: The Tale That Wagged the Dog


SedonaEye.com columnist Eddie S. Maddock offers Sedona the best of times and the worst of times in the ongoing dispute between the Chamber of Commerce destination marketing program and its local government control in a tale of one city.

Sedona AZ – The following phrase suggesting radical opposites is from the opening paragraph of the famous Charles Dickens’ novel, “A Tale of Two Cities:”

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity …”

Considering the number of ongoing disputes here in Sedona (perhaps beginning, but most assuredly not the ending) was the idea of becoming an incorporated city. Of course that argument was settled by the voters, and the City of Sedona designation became official.

However one ongoing tug of war has existed and continues to this day and it is the extent, if any, to which the Sedona Chamber of Commerce has controlled local government. Logically it stands to reason that a member-driven, non-profit organization should not be playing the role of acting as a tail wagging the dog (City of Sedona)… especially since its primary function is to serve Chamber of Commerce members, many located outside the “city limits” and thus are unauthorized to vote, charge Sedona city sales tax, or allegedly make viable decisions within incorporated Sedona boundaries. Old news? Of course.

However a huge mistake occurred at the time Sedona was seeking a source for a “destination marketing” contract and, instead of following the guidelines set forth to obtain bids by way of RFP (Requests for Proposals) and under intense opposition, a contract was approved with what realistically was the “regional” Chamber of Commerce and war, figuratively speaking, was declared.

This conflict quite possibly has recently been resolved by the Chamber of Commerce giving written notice they would not be renewing its contract as Sedona’s official Designated Management Organization (DMO).

Sedona has newcomers on the City Council. They are smart. They are asking a lot of questions. They are astute. But perhaps best of all, they recognize Sedona residents and respect City Limits as their jurisdiction. They have also expressed interest and intent to cooperate with regards to the spirit of regional communication and indicate willingness to seek and share ideas with other Verde Valley communities, but at the same time always to respect the limitations of their jurisdiction.

At recent meetings, the Sedona City Council has graciously spoken well of the Sedona Chamber of Commerce while at the same time maintaining their position relating to the current differences of opinion existing regarding goals and direction of a DMO (Destination Marketing Organization) under which the Sedona Chamber of Commerce had been under contract. That apparently was the basis by which the C of C made their decision to not renew the contract with Sedona.

Sedona Eye Defund Chamber

Conflicts between Sedona Arizona residents and its city councils began after a council awarded a destination marketing contract to a local non-profit membership-driven organization tasked with promoting its paid members businesses and commercial interests, the Sedona Chamber of Commerce. The contract’s negative impact on city residents quality of life issues before, during and after the pandemic, resulted in contentious local elections and city council meetings. In 2023, after newly elected city council members joined existing, the Chamber program was agendized for discussion, review and action.

Recently the following was on a city council agenda:
3.a. AB 2930 Discussion/possible direction/action regarding next steps towards the development of a municipal destination marketing and management program, including a Resolution designating the City of Sedona as the official Destination Marketing Organization.

Because as it appears the transition of a DMO will revert to where many think it should have been in the first place, City Hall, a great deal of thought and logical strategy is being considered, particularly from the newer faces on City Council beginning, but not ending with hiring a professional consultant for direction.

City Council members display a sincere desire to support the premise that tourism needs to have a positive result. The majority of the city council members favor taking a slower approach, while the mayor stated that he “Can’t support waiting.”

Was expressing the need to work for “all Sedona residents and businesses” in fact a confirmed admission that during years gone by residents have, indeed, been shunned and perceivably treated like irrelevant nuisances? Is it fair to relate the overblown credit bestowed upon the Chamber of Commerce and Lodging Council as being the direct source of Sedona’s tax revenue? Has overextended and, perhaps, unprofessional pursuits actually been the cause resulting in out of control tourism creating overuse and disintegration of our most spectacular attraction, Sedona’s beauty, as well as local quality of life being shunned in the process?

Is it the obligation of Sedona government to promote businesses? No. Tourism should have positive results. Hasn’t too much time already been wasted on a “messy relationship” with the Chamber of Commerce? Yes.

It was suggested and agreed upon that most likely it will be good for the Chamber to do their own thing because, among other reasons, their vision is not the same as that of incorporated Sedona, which as presently stated is to “work for Sedona residents and businesses.” Residents, as stakeholders, should no longer be shunned and treated like second-class citizens or flatlanders.

With the task of tackling the logical decision to relocate the official DMO under the roof at Sedona City Hall, a new focus will be directed on the beauty of the area with a realistic approach and recognition of its capacity and thus indicating the need to include a method of educating our visitors. “Brand Sedona” and allow the Chamber of Commerce to deal with commercialization to benefit its members? The suggestion of an Advisory Board consisting of both residential and business participation to work in conjunction with the proposed hiring of a consultant was well received.

Newer members on the Sedona City Council were prudent in inquiring about return on investments. To-date nothing has been made available to speak to the success or failure of the contract with the Chamber of Commerce. For example, was the end result merely the extensive miles of backed up traffic? Who knows? What about success, failure, return on investment, use and participation of the newly created Sedona Transit System?

Here is the answer: In fiscal year 2023, the city’s budget for its transit program was $2,598,390 — not including an additional $75,000 in transit marketing funds paid to the Chamber of Commerce to promote the shuttles — bringing the program’s total cost to $2,673,390. On Oct. 12, 2022, the council discussed the likelihood that the transit program’s FY24 budget would be in the neighborhood of $4 million; Cost per visitor to the city on the basis of the current year’s budget is $19.09.

But all things considered, it seems logical to accept that certain changes, no matter what they are, will result in perhaps “the best of times” for some while for others they will, from their perspective, complain about suffering through “the worst of times.”

However, when seeking an answer about Sedona’s investment in the transit system, most assuredly not a profit producer, perhaps the following is the nicest tribute of all to those fortunate enough to call Sedona “Home:”

“Our ROI comes from all the residents telling us they appreciate our work to restore their neighborhood, from the over 283,000 passenger boardings we saw in a year and from the emissions reduction of 286 metric tons of C02 in the first year.” – Lauren Browne, Sedona Communications Manager.

By establishing an appropriate Sedona City Designated Management Organization and, to include an “official” City of Sedona Visitors Center to rightfully represent ALL Sedona licensed businesses, then . . . at that time . . . won’t the City of Sedona finally revert to being the “dog” who rightfully takes control of wagging its own “tail”?

The best of times?



  1. Al says:

    Bingo ND

  2. Bill M. says:

    Agreeing with Nutshell Dan and others of like minds, it wasn’t incorporation, city hall, or numerous city council members that put Sedona on the map. Long before that questionable concept but in a favorable way it was and remains Scenic Beauty!

    Unfortunately incorporation seems to have brought out not only the ugly self serving side of control freaks and developers. Hasn’t ill conceived and extremely costly promotion instigated by more amateurs all too often resulted in feeding the negative pull towards local vortexes?

    Already with new faces on the city council and much to the chagrin of former city hall favorites who had everything their own way for too many years, isn’t there presently an opportunity to change direction?

    Sadly many bad mistakes cannot be corrected, but with new ideas and consideration for all Sedona residents (versus the regional concept) do we not presently stand a chance to change direction and make improvements?

    Good luck to all of you who had the courage to remove the chamber of commerce from playing the roll of the tail wagging the dog. Hasn’t City of Sedona just about been wagged out?

  3. Jim, west Sedona says:

    the best of times

  4. Green Jeans says:

    Kindness is everything!

  5. SueAnn Woodlane says:

    Biden’s negligence of our border crisis has turned every state into a border state but Arizona bears the brunt of it like CA TX FL NM and gulf states. Gear up city hall for using those bus facilities to send illegals back to Mexico border crossings to register.

  6. TK says:

    what positives going on here
    weather (deleted by editor) sure

  7. E. E. CUMMINGS says:

    “To be a nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else – means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.”

  8. Rick says:

    Shout out to Sedona veterans!

  9. Marian, Uptown says:

    [Sedona is simply ageless looking at the views then you realize you’re sitting in traffic aging while sniffing car exhaust for hours and turning around isn’t an option.] A daughter in law texted this from 179 trying to get to our 89A area neighborhood. Please Stop advertising Sedona __we voted for new faces and want not to regret it.

  10. Frank says:

    keep it up

  11. Sedona Greg says:

    @BillM Words fall on deaf ears at Roadrunner when paychecks and perks aren’t tied to performance. Visit our veterans memorials and thank them for your peaceful homes and stop by elderly veterans and thank them and give them a token of your appreciation like an hour of your time listening. God bless America and bend a knee to the Almighty.

  12. Mr. & Mrs. J. Robinson says:

    Good example of word-of-mouth advertising: “. . . you’re sitting in traffic aging while sniffing car exhaust for hours and turning around isn’t an option.” @Marion, Uptown

    What more proof is needed? Former council members, essentially, gave power of control and ownership of not only Sedona but the entire Verde Valley to the (Sedona) chamber of commerce by approving the ill-conceived contract for “destination marketing.”

    Unintended consequences or did they really know this would happen? Really, would it have taken a rocket scientist to have predicted the negative results of such idiotic action? Arrogance of power in motion?

    Yes, indeed we have “voted for new faces” and apparently the previous movers and shakers are hard at work to have them replaced one way or another?

  13. @ mr robinson says:

    Ok next complaint……move all my please

  14. Michele says:

    I think of Sedona destination marketing team like the Target and Budweiser and Disney and North Face marketing teams: Out of touch with real world marketing and easily manipulated by fakers because they were hired by like people, who answer to the same, and not one has the balls to say we don’t know because we don’t care and we’re here for the money and the title until we’re bored or get in trouble spending the money.

    Boycotts and social media campaigns wake up those corporate clowns. Voting and social media outrage will destroy Sedona marketing team. Ready yet?

  15. Shirley says:

    summers they stay home

  16. Larry W. says:

    “OK next complaint……move all my please” @@ mr robinson. If you are capable of doing so, kindly explain what the @#%@*&* you mean by that?

    @Michelle – in my opinion social media is for the most part destructive. Too much hype and misinformation (disinformation?) and people actually believe what they read there?

    What better way to mislead people and distract them from the true facts of the here and now?

    “Boycotts and social media campaigns” = good suggestions but unfortunately with the current mind set logical decisions appear to be unlikely. “Voting and social media outrage will destroy marketing team.” Not if people wake up and take time to face reality. However and sadly that’s unlikely to happen IMO of course.

    Social Media: A gift of deceit?

  17. Flagstaff Annie says:

    @larry name one that wakes up in sedona to go do or be, they hire and expire there

  18. Chris Lazar says:

    It’s ironic Sedona voters aren’t stunned by the cost figures associated with tourists visits. Are you that poorly educated? Indifferent? Happy about it? {Cost per visitor to the city on the basis of the current year’s budget is $19.09}

  19. Wm. D. says:

    @Chris Lazar – well, DUH. Tourists came to Sedona long before it became incorporated and therefore the “cost per visitor to the city. . . ” was — ZERO!

    Not taken into account here is the increased need for wear and tear on the environment (roads, other infrastructure, etc.)

    No need for an “incorporated city” since Sedona “was discovered” long before that unfortunate event. IMO of course.

  20. Peggy says:

    @chrisl Tourists have to be able to get here to spend money!!

  21. Cliffhanger says:

    the latest on DMOing is what

  22. R. H. Loeb, Sedona Visitor says:

    Sedona school district and Sedona private schools must be held accountable for curriculums. No CRT in the classroom and no gender identification by school personnel is acceptable for students. They are not teachers “children” they are teachers “students” and when discussed that is the only correct way to define that relationship. Some teachers including school boards are anti parent or guardian involvement in their schools. As a past educator, born into a Jewish family, CRT must not be allowed in our schools or discussions of gender reassignment or identification; that was Mengele and he and his ideas must remain dead to this world. Our children must never be mutilated which is a violation of their birthright and a decision only they as adults may entertain. To be silent on this subject is to agree with hate.

    In appreciation for your consideration and your action.

  23. Eleanor of Calm says:

    @Flagstaff Annie. Do not visit Sedona with your negativity because you spoil our karma and we enjoy the blessed karma of beautiful days and nights. We love it here and we’re gifted too with not needing your help either in word or deed. Bye bye bye

  24. @LOWB says:

    Love the way you make the jump from Mengele to a local school board.. Stop being a sheep and a “parrot with prejudiced overtones.. hey here’s an idea. stop being a mouthpiece for the radical far left or far right stop being used to create division. That’s what they rely on you know.. To use a angry low IQ people like yourself(on but sides) to create made up tension… GOODFOR YOU BRW people see rt thru you and the only ones that agree with you are angry and small minded people( like yourself). Now please reply in a different name to show us all how many angry small minded people like yourself post here (deleted by editor)

  25. @Larry says:

    What I ment was ….next complaint, please move along… why get stuck on the same complaint over and over again. When there is a million other things you can complain(find fault with) about ……find something new I’m sure you will.
    Is that clear enough for ya..

  26. Ronnie W. says:

    Speaking of making jumps @LOWB isn’t it rather ridiculous how the comments here have diverted the issue of the above article? That being it’s related to the City of Sedona and their relationship with the regional Chamber of Commerce.

    Why do people feel the need to pursue the over-hyped national crisis of the battle between Democrats and Republicans? Is the true underlying reason just for the purpose of avoiding local controversies or is it to pursue the current battle over a democracy versus socialism??

  27. Jim, west Sedona says:

    worst of times

  28. Jordan Road says:

    city plans to alleviate congestion ALWAYS increase it let’s impeach city council

  29. Sunset says:

    https://youtube.com/shorts/kDC1ayNKnAE?feature=share (offsite link) let’s get BRANDED city mayor & council LMAO

  30. TT says:

    Wrong Sedona’s being BRANDONED

  31. @Ronnie says:

    I think your WAY over thinking it and making Sedona Eye comments as a savior to overcome the brutally of Sedona city council over its residents.., way way to serious there Larry. Posting nonsense on a local blog is hardly a crusade for good…lol

  32. Quinn Arches says:

    June’s when people leave for homes in cooler climates!

  33. Ronnie W. says:

    Responding to @Ronnie – “posting nonsense on a local blog is hardly a crusade for good” at least some of us couldn’t agree more. Do you favor posting nonsense on social media (Facebook, Next Door, etc.) a more logical method to display “a crusade for good”?

  34. Ryleigh Myka, CCSD says:

    Luv museum!

  35. Loru Esham says:

    Social media is magnified ignorance and you’re welcome to quote me. Zuckerberg never had friends and needed to find imaginary ones with Like Me baby one more time and one more time and one more time and you get it yet?

  36. Dolores Gomez says:

    When someone staggers, we help steady the load. If he is straining, we help bear the burden. And if he stumbles, we lift him up. – John MacArthur

  37. Ralph says:

    https://youtube.com/shorts/LX92fiaR0BE?feature=share (offsite link) think think think sheeples

  38. Gretchen, Prescott says:

    Why Sedona continues to have identity issues is ridiculous.

  39. Sedona Lovers says:

    Red Rocks In Love With You

  40. Ashley, Uptown Girl says:

    times are changing for the best

  41. Curtis says:

    traffic needs stopping at 17 or its never moving forward AZDOT does it for other cities and county roads during peak rushes or events or seasons & counters can keep road from getting blocked

  42. @TT says:


  43. Julie says:

    Anyone else seeing the irony of world liberals suddenly being in charge of the world truth and morality while professing contempt of all established truths and realities? Liberals are pro-abortion (or best said the killing of humans) while fighting successfully in California courts for the rights of pig mothers (sows) not to have their piglets aborted or taken away from the moment of conception until after birth? Anyone? You better be afraid Sedona, first human babies and then human elderly and then those imperfect like retardation and diabetes and homosexuality and so on. Beware those who usurp your personal rights and freedoms to be different in thought, word, speech and ideas.

  44. @Julie says:

    Yea Yea.. paranoid much?

  45. Saycare Sedona says:

    Not hearing it on news but LA Rodeo Drive wouldn’t let richest man in world build a 115 room boutique exclusive high end hotel in its area. Why? Residents said it would ruin their community character and overtax its roads and resources and they didn’t want their place having too many tourists and traffic and its resulting byproducts. Ask Siri or Alexa to tell you more about it. Learn from people with money how to keep it and not give it away to daytrippers.

  46. Team Blaine says:

    Voting makes the difference. Goodbye Chamber.

  47. Bill, Uptown says:

    1ST, Dems introduced a D.C. statehood bill. THEN, Biden gave it the green light. NOW, your call to Senators can stop the 51st state nonsense for good. Tell them Arizona doesn’t want less power in the Senate because they don’t know the nation’s history of setting aside DC like the reservations carved out of states and territories, except DC swampland was given up by Maryland and Virginia to keep states out of federal lands, and they can have their 8 miles square back.

    Sedona doesn’t need more government control by idiots.

  48. Amy, VOCA says:

    Tuesday Morning confirmed it is going out of business and closing all 200 of its remaining stores. One down, more businesses to go. Get rid of the Chamber.

  49. Ted says:

    California passes law making it illegal for shoplifters to be stopped by store security or employees. Sedona needs same, I’m going to help myself like those cartels and thugs do, BLM rules and Dems rules everywhere now, send the bus loads up here, good going Sedona chamber wokenuts.

  50. TR says:

    Cinemax & Cinnabon left SF cultural & economic collapse -Gov Newsuck parties while people laid in feces & flies dying on street & Sedona councilors do bad choices

Leave a Reply

Copyright © 2008-2017 · Sedona Eye · All Rights Reserved · Posts · Comments · Facebook · Twitter ·