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Eddie Maddock: The Tale That Wagged the Dog

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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?

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 answer will not be known unless transparency is practiced.

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?

 

348 Comments

  1. Lisa T says:

    @Rodger… well there goes 12 dollars that will not make it to the “regional” COC.. Funny stuff.Good Luck and God speed

  2. @Roger Allen says:

    Yes, and as I (easily) predicted, the City is building a new bureaucracy around it. More money wasted.

  3. Gwen says:

    “No children” makes anyone’s opinion invalid then half the US would be disqualified.

  4. @Gwen says:

    Well, apparently, you have no children and furthermore you love to spout l misinformation if not outright LIES.. iSAD that you use any and all lies to be relevant.. I actually feel sorry for you that you’re so pathetic..

  5. Carol says:

    He that plants trees loves others beside himself. – Thomas Fuller-

  6. LT says:

    stay safe out there tonight

  7. Jerry says:

    @gwen opinions sound inspired by shotglass, truth lives on, pay no mind Gwen

  8. Sedona Donna says:

    Carol . . . we live in a desert?

  9. Alex N. says:

    Speaking of “shotglass” @Jerry, reading some of these comments might make one wonder how early the New Year’s Eve celebration began here in Sedona.

    At least one thing IS true. “Truth lives on” and will show up sooner or later. A problem here though is that all too often it doesn’t surface until after harmful results have set in. ONE EXAMPLE – CROSSWALK AT TLAQUEPAQUE

    Also another proven problem. Sedona city giving millions of $$$$$ to the chamber of commerce. Was anything ever offered that the return on investment (a joke) was anything other than day trippers and miles and miles of backed up traffic? Of course not.

    Mike Ward (former council member) once offered the advice that if the city were to fund the Chamber visitors center it should promptly remove the Chamber identification and replace it with City of Sedona Visitors Center.

    Of course that never happened and look where we are today. City to do some sort of advertising but C of C remains in the picture. Maybe they are ALL candidates for Alcoholics Anonymous?

  10. @Jerry says:

    Yea Yea Jerry
    More nonsense from you as well!! Come on man…give us all another one of your complaints please… this time. Try to come up with something new OK it’s a new year!

  11. Hello Sedona says:

    Happy New Year 2024 Sedona

  12. Pointless says:

    truth died

  13. Anonymous says:

    Now it’s Time to see what happens in 2024.

  14. @ anonymous says:

    I predict more complaining about the Chamber of Commerce…

  15. Allison says:

    More complaining about the Chamber of Commerce?@@anonymous

    A simple solution would be for the city of Sedona to cease and desist funding a member-driven organization that has no business receiving public tax funding to promote businesses outside Sedona City Limits that includes the Sedona Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center & Bureau of Tourism.

    Really – a very simple solution to a problem that should NEVER have come up in the first place?

  16. @Allison says:

    The same old people have been complaining about this for decades. here ion SE ad nauseam .. give it a rest already.. the same tiresome complaints Nobody’s listening i and the overwhelming .majority don’t care… you sound like a broken robot

  17. Marty W. says:

    Speaking of the same old people have been complaining about this for decades @@Allison, you sound amazingly like one city council member who perhaps has been occupying that seat far too long. Time for change in Sedona.

    Try fighting the ongoing traffic backup at Tlaquepaque created by possible kiss ass decisions made by deadhead council members because at least one enjoys reading Sedona Eye in order to repeat the broken robot syndrome.

  18. @Marty says:

    The one you put your money where your mouth is and run for council do something constructive.. let’s see what a fine job you’ll do as as a Sedona council.. Come on man.

  19. Nyla says:

    Happy New Year 2024

  20. Phil. Sedona says:

    Welcome SE to Sedona fray finding truth and transparency in government and businesses.

  21. FJ says:

    Bullseye

  22. Adele Morris says:

    Zippety-do-dah! City Council has dropped funding the Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center. It’s about time – should NEVER have happened in the first place – since they only promoted their members! Amen & Hallelujah . . . .

  23. Carl Evans says:

    The nonsense about the city funding the chamber of commerce is just that. NONSENSE.

    The C of C existed long before Sedona became a city. It was highly respected and supported by – guess who? – LOCAL RESIDENTS. Many of us, members or not, attended frequent annual fund raisers like the old “Mellerdramas” uptown. We went to events at Poco Diablo and elsewhere to support OUR chamber of commerce. Not THAT of the unheard of Lodging Council.

    The tide seemed to change after that .5% sales tax was approved – which turned out to be an ongoing ticket to the C of C and the affinity group Lodging Council. They used it to manipulate control of City Hall and apparently are still attempting to do so. Give it a rest.

    Speaking for myself but knowing full well others agree, stick to your new policy SEDONA CITY COUNCIL and CEASE AND DESIST FINANCING A VISITORS CENTER THAT ONLY REPRESENTS MEMBERS OF THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE. Enough said?

  24. Lisa cave creek says:

    @Carl. Visit for a couple weeks/month your town that is.,.. what a beautiful place posse grounds cultural Park, hiking trails, beautiful scenery. you live there and all you can do is find fault. I guess y’all can find fault with a beautiful sunset (ya know it’s caused by pollution) get a grip and enjoy your life ….sound like spoiled children.

  25. Joshua says:

    “Enough said?” asks Carl Evans. It remains to be seen. The answer will be forthcoming when and if the newer members on the Sedona City Council finally pull the plug on funding the Sedona Chamber of Commerce spending city tax money to promote only their members – inside and outside city limits.

    Not fair to those businesses in Sedona collecting city sales tax only to have their hard earned money go for competition not paying to play.

  26. @lisainyourcave says:

    Sedona’s impressive, your peculiar comment isn’t. @carlevans offered Sedona monetary issues coupled with Sedona political instability. You must know the closer you are to Scottsdale, the better any AZ life is.

  27. Bill. Uptown says:

    Raise a glass for Sedona’s absent friends and appreciate what they crafted before the Chamber ruins it.

  28. Sedona Keith says:

    tail wagging 2024 2025 2026 ..

  29. Lisa cave creek says:

    “ particular comment isn’t” neither are your comments helpful. They just sound like a bunch of empty complaints. Same old complaints going on for decades go enjoy your life we all will be dead soon….. and the Chamber of Commerce will live on as well Sedona.. you just sound like a bunch of whiny kids running around with cake in your hand!! Just saying

  30. Joe says:

    Tail Wagging Dog? Explain this to Leftist Democrats and President Biden standing on picket line as Their Puppet who supported that union getting raises and then that Union lays off 12,000 workers and no newspaper coverage.

    Anybody pro union these days are rip off artists for workers. The people of this nation better wake up that unions are anti workers and have always been union leaders and politicians cash cows.

  31. TK says:

    @ billuptown dead an gone had there days its our days now

  32. Just Desserts says:

    California just passed law that allows sex change operations for illegally here people allowable at California taxpayer expense. Whack a crazies and illegals getting what they deserve on both sides now. LMAO

    Keep going down this rabbit hole Arizona . . . .

  33. @just desserts says:

    Oh please reference the information you reference you frigging liar…. Love to see it moron

  34. Rock City says:

    There’s a crisis on the border and this Democrat refuses to turn a blind eye to the hell on earth we gave now. Drive down Sedona to the border and see for yourself like lots of us here have the past few years. You drive toward the wall and black cars appear to watch you and probably log your license and photograph who’s in car and put on a list? But the people coming over get a blind eye? Got an answer for that?

    During my visits to the border I have heard horror stories of:
    – Overwhelmed border patrol agents.
    – Women and children enduring unspeakable crimes.
    – Deadly drugs flooding our communities, claiming American lives.

  35. @justhernando says:

    keep Trump on ballots

    this isn’t Russia or China or Venezuela or Cuba or Gaza yet

  36. Just Desserts says:

    https://calmatters.org/health/2022/08/california-transgender-health-care-refuge/
    (Offsite link)

    Keep Googling idiot and learn something.

  37. Rob says:

    If that effing kid can make a major life change decision at 11 to cut off his balls to be a girl and grow a vagina, how come he wasnt dialing a Gdamm phone himself to find doctors to do the job for deballing him?

    Why need his mamasita to do it? That mother’s a psycho that destroyed her kid and she goes and finds unscrupulous Doctor that does harm.

    Call the police! Lock the adults up and send kid to Scandinavian family to raise and kid will turn out normal with his balls intact.

  38. @rick city says:

    Then why don’t the Republicans pass a immigration Bill seem like a very nice conservative senator worked on it very hard you know he’s a non-Trump lover he’s just trying to do his job but I guess you just keep using it as a talking point…. some Republicans still think for themselves, but certainly not here in Sedona.eye… gulp gulp gulp

  39. jimmy says:

    can someone help me get in contact with the editor of this website. no response from any email listed. greatly appreciated.

  40. Dot Loves Truth says:

    Democrats won’t pass border bill or help for Israel or Ukraine but they’ll promote Gaza and Palestine as victims and Israel as aggressors which are lies. Shame on Democrats.

  41. Carol, Joe the Slow Cooker says:

    These are my two cents and don’t care if you agree or not, tired of old dog being marketed for Rottweiler:

    Watched the President campaigning on stripping abortion rights from women when State rights are more powerful for women’s freedom than his federal Roe vs Wade rights message, according to American Constitution and law.

    Why can’t he find staff smarter than Google or The View morons for God’s sake?

    Pres. Biden holding cheat sheet in hand at these stops is horrible messaging.

    Pres. Biden spent minutes of that extremely short campaign stop googly-eyed while bending over two young white girls – after which local and national stations created half hours of pro-Biden from nothing burgers.

    One stop had an out of state black woman’s abortion drama (she had to drive an hour for abortion OMG but drove 8 hours to be on tv OMG).

    No discussion that Pres. Biden plan pushes constitutionalized abortion until BIRTH by choice – WHO CHOOSES TO WAIT UNTIL 9 MONTHS BEFORE THEY KILL THE BABY?) Yes folks, that’s murdering a baby. Give the baby to adoption agencies if you don’t want to raise it, they do that for horses.

    Don’t they think we think? Yes folks, they know you don’t give a damn or understand.

  42. Jim, West Sedona says:

    California, Colorado, New York must reel in its fake facts when passing race based legislation. Sedona must reel in its use of fake facts to promote tourism and taxes! Take this for Sedona affordable housing which isn’t necessary. Don’t pay taxes, don’t get Sedona tax money , don’t need incentives.

  43. Sandy says:

    love Jim West Sedona —- slammed dunked it

  44. Sedonalana says:

    See this ad today by Kennedy –

    ROBERT F. KENNEDY JR.
    INDEPENDENT 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE I read the Epoch Times every day because it’s very rigorous about good reporting and ethical reporting and
    truthful reporting. –

  45. Chad says:

    City bureaucrats ought to be removed if they don’t represent us period

  46. Tale of the Justice Dog says:

    This trial was designed to INTERFERE in our elections.

  47. Janet says:

    https://youtube.com/shorts/0iTLOB8LR2k?si=iYk99rCgxCcqYupF (offsite link)

    California by committee passed legislation to approve money for reparations to people who never were slaves by taxpayers who never owned slaves in a state that never had slavery. Don’t watch the news clip above if you can’t stand the F word spoken out loud because God knows your ears might fall off hearing truth.

  48. In 2019 people spent $29Billion dollars on pet healthcare and in 2024 they spent 38 Billion dollars on pet healthcare. Holy S!!!!

  49. No Joe Or New States For Me says:

    200+ Radical Liberals have just cosponsored and introduced a bill admitting DC into the union with taxpayer funded statehood bureaucrats the House floor that could result in the most damaging move to happen in our nation’s history: Tale wagging dog? You bet we’re the dogs. This is no fire drill. This is the real drill.

    Arizonans and every state that sends a Democrat to DC, is voting YES to new states which is the party mission for DC and Puerto Rico to become states this next year – both notoriously poorly run debt ridden crime ridden graft and scandals Democrat strongholds.

    The Democrats will receive at least two additional governors, four solid blue Senate seats, and too many to count radical House members! We taxpayers in the 50 states will have to cover the trillions in debt these two places have stacked up over years already and our taxes will soar in California and New York and Illinois and in this state to pay their debts. NO JOE! NO MORE STATES! NO TAXING US TO CANCEL PUERTO RICO AND DC DEBTS!

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