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Eddie Maddock: To Buy or Not To Buy

SedonaEye.com columnist Eddie Maddock reports on the Sedona closed to the public March 24, 2020 City Council Meeting.

Sedona AZ – Due to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic mandate requiring individuals to remain socially distanced by at least ten feet, the Sedona City Council meeting on March 24, 2020 was, perhaps as an understatement, peculiar if not downright eerie. In center seat at the dais as usual was Mayor Sandy Moriarty flanked by City Councilwoman Jessica Williams in her typical end seat far to the Mayor’s left and Councilman John Currivan seated at the opposite end. Vice Mayor John Martinez and remaining Council members, Bill Chisholm and Scott Jablow, were strategically located in seats generally occupied by Sedona residents. At the onset of the meeting Mayor Moriarty acknowledged that in conforming to the proclamation of March 18, 2020, this City Council Meeting would not be open to the public in compliance with Coronavirus restrictions.

In order to address some public concerns, Councilman Currivan made the request for more discussion relating to consent agenda 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. Specifically he cited concerns relating to a possible scope of unknown results, particularly with regard to the potential for economic decline and even a recession.

With current lodging occupancy dropping 70% to 75%, essentially shuttered restaurants except for takeout or delivery and other businesses slipping toward the brink of closing and, with Sedona’s primary source of revenue, its sales tax obviously in jeopardy, wasn’t Councilman Currivan’s question exceptionally timely and appropriate?

City Manager Justin Clifford, however, offered assurance that necessary funds could safely be transferred from Uptown parking meter proceeds and purchasing the property at this time would preserve the ability to maintain progress on a long term project: Providing Sedona with a much needed parking structure.

Sedona AZ Forest Road viewpoint – Exclusive SedonaEye.com photo credit Eddie S. Maddock 2019

A stipulation in the 430 Forest Road Real Estate Purchase and Sale Agreement between the City of Sedona, Buyer, and Daniel E. Saunders, Trustee of the Daniel Saunders Revocable Trust, Seller, included agreement that no commissions shall be paid and Buyer (City) agrees to leaseback the Property to Seller at no cost for a period of up to nine (9) months from the date of the Agreement. Both parties agreed to employ Empire West Title Company as the Escrow, and enhanced the affirmation that neither party has contracted with, retained or otherwise employed a real estate broker relative to this Agreement.

Motion to approve was unanimous by Sedona City Council.

Therefore, the second of two transactions to create an Uptown parking facility is now in progress. The first, of course, is the land presently owned by the Sedona Chamber of Commerce, allegedly to be deeded to the City of Sedona at some future date.

Is that not a catchy phrase? “At some future date” who will be seated on the Sedona City Council? Who will be the City Manager? Sedona has been advertising for another City Attorney, and likewise there will be a turnover of other staff members.

Will this well-meaning transaction ultimately be justified, or down the road stifled with redirection for purposes unrelated to the stated cause for which it was purchased?

Or eventually will that questionable acquisition slip through the cracks and become a permanent, but unwarranted asset of a Chamber of Commerce, obligated to serve only their members, many outside Sedona City Limits and not contributing to the city tax base.

But most of all, when and if Sedona merchants including the lodging industry fail to produce adequate revenue to maintain even the barest essentials at City Hall, what will be the source of funding?

Sedona residents sit back and consume a breath of fresh air and sigh with relief. We do NOT have a Sedona property tax. You see in the darkest of times there is always something for which to be grateful, and in Sedona one really needn’t look too far.

529 Comments

  1. @daves in big park says:

    Oh please dave…..you ain’t that important . What a frigging EGO. Get a life please moron

  2. Tim says:

    people still buying in sedona with covid

  3. John Wilson says:

    Admirable words from Sharrie S. A. Gatlin indeed. If only they would hold true and thus be realized.

    However the chances for that to happen perhaps are slim to none. For example, already border fencing is proposed to be removed and illegals are champing at the bit for “free” entry. What became of the “law” encouraging immigrants to enter this country but only according to sensible regulations thoughtfully enacted to benefit everyone?

    Are we to look forward to the prospect of having our United States of America become nothing more than a giant size California? That being The Sanctuary States of America? Translated: Socialism?

  4. Larry Michigander says:

    @JohnW & Gatlin
    Obama Biden built those border cages and ordered the people separated to begin with & Trump admin continued the policy. It works like Obama said it would. Biden will keep the wall in place and will keep the Obama decrees. What the Biden admin will try to do and it will cause them to lose more seats in the Congress is undo the Trump policies that worked to better citizens lives. If the Democrats in power want to keep unleashing the dogs of war on American citizens, they’ll allow the spread of street thugs and defunding law enforcement and declaring the borders open. Smart politicians better remember history and no one governs without law enforcement on your side. Learn a lesson from January that Americans don’t allow its government to be undone by a few thugs and our government resumed its interrupted work within hours of removing the thugs. Somebody mentioned Puerto Rico problems. In 1954 five Congressmen were shot by Puerto Ricans nationalists while in session, one of our wannabe states that needs to remain not 51. You don’t have to go far back to understand anarchists don’t rule in this democracy and their causes aren’t embraced except by media and their underwriters. Good Americans are embarrassed and devastated and angry that these people forgot this nation’s principles. Say what you want about Trump but it wasn’t him breaking glass and stealing podium and dressed like B movie Hollywood actors. Give us a break media. If you cared a damn in the beginning this drama wouldn’t have played out but you allowed it and wanted it and encouraged it. Share the blame. You earned it and so did every American who forgot politics in America are a protected belief system that we don’t fight over and we don’t disenfranchise. If you ever told another American that you couldn’t be friends with them because they didn’t agree with you, you helped put the hammer to the glass door.

    We love Sedona.

  5. Harry says:

    Any American that attacks our nations capital or any government building or school or church is scum then let them get shot and hanged. No decent cop or veteran EVER would take up arms against our own. You want to see people that might???! Follow the money and its not likely from America. I don’t believe it.

  6. Becky Hawn says:

    If you ever told another American that you couldn’t be friends with them because they didn’t agree with you, you helped put the hammer to the glass door.

    Shattering to see yourself in the mirror America, eh?

  7. Steve segner says:

    The democratic party platform that Biden ran on Trump is too busy golfing to actually write a plan what he was going to do the next four years so I’m posting this one so you can all read it
    The democratic party platform that Biden ran on Trump is too busy golfing to actually write a plan what he was going to do the next four years so I’m posting this one so you can all read it PROTECTING AMERICANS AND RECOVERING FROM THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC 8
    BUILDING A STRONGER, FAIRER ECONOMY 13
    Protecting Workers and Families and Creating Millions of Jobs Across America 14 Raising Wages and Promoting Workers’ Rights 14 Enacting Robust Work-Family Policies 16 Investing in the Engines of Job Creation 16 Building A Fair System of International Trade for Our Workers 20
    Putting Homeownership in Reach and Guaranteeing Safe Housing for Every American 20 Leveling the Economic Playing Field 22 Reforming the Tax Code to Benefit Working Families 22 Curbing Wall Street Abuses 23 Ending Poverty 23 Protecting Consumer Rights and Privacy 25 Tackling Runaway Corporate Concentration 25 Guaranteeing a Secure and Dignified Retirement 25
    ACHIEVING UNIVERSAL, AFFORDABLE, QUALITY HEALTH CARE 26
    Securing Universal Health Care Through a Public Option 28 Bringing Down Drug Prices and Taking on the Pharmaceutical Industry 29 Reducing Health Care Costs and Improving Health Care Quality 29
    Expanding Access to Mental Health and Substance Use Treatment 30
    Expanding Long-Term Care Services and Supports 30 Eliminate Racial, Gender, and Geographic Health Inequities 31 Protecting Native American Health 32 Securing Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice 32 Protecting and Promoting Maternal Health 33 Protecting LGBTQ+ Health 33 Strengthening and Supporting the Health Care Workforce 33 Investing in Health Science and Research 34
    PROTECTING COMMUNITIES AND BUILDING TRUST BY REFORMING OUR CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM

  8. Jason Williams says:

    Joe Biden hasn’t even been sworn in as U.S. President and foreign troops (caravans) are already marching toward the U.S.A.

    United Sanctuary States of America? Alive, well and in action while many suffer from the deadly COVID-19 which will surely be worsened with the invasion of millions. Who will be footing the bill for the influx of even more undocumented individuals? You intellectual voters that approved for it to happen, that’s who will pay.

    Prepare for tax increases. Question is: Which will increase more rapidly? Undocumented aliens or legitimate US citizen tax bills?

    Welcome to the New World Order thanks to approval of majority voters. And all because you disliked Donald Trump’s personality? Maybe now after the fact(s) you will understand the meaning of you reap what you sow.

  9. West Sedona Dave says:

    Well Jason, you got one thing right!

    Yes your taxes are going up….But why?….Because the Republican party gave over 2 trillion dollars of tax breaks to the riches Americans and Corporations with no expiration….

    What did the average person get?…little to nothing, and those tax breaks for you expire this year 2021!…..So yes they were intentionally written so you lose what little you got……Hmmmmmm I wonder why?

    And for those of you that still work, your company had the opportunity to hold off paying their side of FICA, and you did to…..The only problem is that you still owe that money……

    So yes, your taxes are going up, and it was planned that way…..I do wish people who posted understood the whole picture not some pie in the sky dream…..But I just call it a lie, no matter how you slice it!….

  10. Bill, Uptown says:

    Editors I’m posting this comment on two different articles because it needs to be said in two different places and I hope that you will do me the favor of allowing that to happen.

    Segner continues to be a DDT, Democratic Dictatorship Troll for a party that doesn’t represent the nation except California and New York. Look at all those Californians and New Yorkers back in power. LMAO. As a California escapee of high taxes on his wealth, why should Steve (and his kind) be allowed to tax us in Arizona and then move on? No tax increases Sedona Councillors, a groupthink of DDTs that poison Sedona and Verde Valley golden geese with poor decisions. Turn off the TV and go for a walk or sit quietly. It’s a day for being outside. There’s a chance of rain. Figure out what you love by being here in the city while not accepting people who value more than the view. Sedona is all about the view nothing else.

  11. Judy says:

    save us from the moral irregularities of West Sedona Dave

  12. steve segner says:

    Jason Williams says:Prepare for tax increases. Question is: Which will increase more rapidly? Undocumented aliens or legitimate US citizen tax bills? Yes I hope so he said no new tax under 400,000 in income……. W need a system to bring in new blood people that want to work. We need a work and return program for farmers and construction workers….. No more whites from Europe taking away jobs from Americans we need workers from south America Sedona and Arizona are experiencing a huge shortage of workers and let hope for a $17.00 min wage that I will work for , get ready.

    Bill, Uptown says Segner continues to be a DDT, Democratic Dictatorship Troll for a party that doesn’t represent the nation except California and New York. Look at all those Californians and New Yorkers back in power Bill I have lived in Sedona over 25 years? And you ? You pay nothing in Sedona taxes a little sales tax that it hotels guests are paying for your free life style. Oh by the way Trumps lost and Arizona has two blue senators ….. Sedona is in great shape and there has been no talk of any new taxes, county taxes are based on property values averaged over 3 years they will and should go up .

  13. Lawrence Gibson says:

    Following articles on Sedona Eye (this one and some posted archives) there appears to be a solid theme very much representing national politics. Apparently incorporated “City of Sedona” fails to contain its jurisdiction within “city limits.” And the federal government? Judging on how much in federal taxes they toss out to foreign countries, isn’t it amazing?

    There have been occasions when VOC and RR Loop areas have been invited to annex into our city limits. Ha! No way! And why should they? And let us not forget the unforgivable financial support to the “regional” chamber of commerce to promote ONLY their members, many if not most don’t even contribute to Sedona “city” revenue. To hell with legitimate “city” businesses collecting taxes but choose to NOT tarnish their reputations by joining the C of C. Much to be admired? Me thinks “YES”.

    Hats off to those with integrity who refuse to play the game of politics as established primarily by Rob Adams, Babs Littrell, and John Martinez and the policy apparently continues to be upheld by the city manager and his assistant. Wonder who controls them? Could it be the extremely active SE contributor with the initials SS?

  14. Alison M. says:

    Ah c’mon @Lawrence Gibson. You rich Sedona people can well afford to provide for the entire Verde Valley. Especially since your aggressive leaders are planning for the new shuttle service. Love it mostly that a multi-parking garage will be part of the deal. And scuttlebutt is “affordable” housing for the Verde Valley will be next. More high rise buildings should really enhance your red rock scenic views. Even those chicken-coup structures west of the “Y” – well – may not be high-risers but OMG! Scenic Sedona? Way to go big time operators!!

  15. Kathy, Sedona says:

    This jerk’s anti Semitic racist and a promoter of illegal activities, time Sedona parted ways with him involved in local affairs. No one needs to associate with this wannabe demigod. Any citizen or guest of my city associating with him is a racist anti Semitic and anti POC. Cancelled.

    steve segner says:
    January 20, 2021 at 11:59 am
    Jason Williams says:Prepare for tax increases. Question is: Which will increase more rapidly? Undocumented aliens or legitimate US citizen tax bills? Yes I hope so he said no new tax under 400,000 in income……. W need a system to bring in new blood people that want to work. We need a work and return program for farmers and construction workers….. No more whites from Europe taking away jobs from Americans we need workers from south America Sedona and Arizona are experiencing a huge shortage of workers and let hope for a $17.00 min wage that I will work for , get ready.
    Bill, Uptown says Segner continues to be a DDT, Democratic Dictatorship Troll for a party that doesn’t represent the nation except California and New York. Look at all those Californians and New Yorkers back in power Bill I have lived in Sedona over 25 years? And you ? You pay nothing in Sedona taxes a little sales tax that it hotels guests are paying for your free life style. Oh by the way Trumps lost and Arizona has two blue senators ….. Sedona is in great shape and there has been no talk of any new taxes, county taxes are based on property values averaged over 3 years they will and should go up .

  16. Nate & Maureen, Flagstaff says:

    Guess what you Sedona stupid people at your so-called “city hall.” Coconino County is very much a huge part of Sedona. Don’t believe it? Then where is your “uptown” located? And how about your proposed 4-story parking structure to be located on Forest Road?

    We share opinions with those in Yavapai County such as the VOC and elsewhere. Butt out of our jurisdiction!

    We do NOT want for you to bring in our Coconino County taxes to help finance your big plans to rein in YOUR parking problems! No way! If our County Supervisor, Matt Ryan, buys into YOUR BS about assistance for financing YOUR needs to alleviate tourist traffic problems in Oak Canyon Canyon, thus attempting to filter OUR county taxes for any related Sedona city projects, we will vote AGAINST Matt when the next election comes up. That’s not just a threat. It’s a promise!

  17. Brian, Flagstaff AZ says:

    taxes high here

  18. Mel Culver says:

    (deleted by editor) Kelly BLUE Senator supported the cut 70,000 union jobs. Biden lied during the campaign. He said he wouldn’t cut those jobs and did it with a stroke of his deposit slip writing pen. why? those jobs employed whites and blacks and browns called Americans. We’ll get our oil now from Russia, that Russia is whiter than white and hates browns and blacks doesn’t matter. Hunter Biden and his dad did it again. Not one peep out of fellow Democrats or media. I’m done with the party.

  19. Marv, Sedona says:

    Yes indeed, the voters decided and the lefties wasted no time in taking action. Border fence has been stopped. Caravans of illegals are already moving forward. Sedona’s self-appointed leader has his way. And who will pay? This isn’t a free trip for legal citizens because we rightfully furnish funding via taxes. And that’s what we will be doing for the free-loaders. Voters have spoken nationally as they have done in Sedona and local county elections. United Sanctuary of America – a new era for sure.

  20. Ron says:

    Voters were re-educated by the Chinese and Russians. The Phoenix Times is owned by the Chinese Communist Party. Simple fact. Get educated fools.

  21. Ed Reitz says:

    people not putting up with open borders & votes count in 2022

  22. @marv says:

    Speaking of freeloaders you do realize that Arizona is only one of a handful of states they’re taking more money from the federal government then they contribute so in a sense all this Arizona residents are freeloaders including Marv. Oh my God the crybabies are up in arms and you talk about liberals being crybabies LOL

  23. @mel says:

    Oh please. Even if your statement about cutting a union jobs was true which it ain’t.
    You hate unions anyway and Anything to do with those jobs. Me thinks you speak out of both sides of your mouth phoney

  24. Dixie Edwards says:

    I would like to join the Republican women’s organization and do whatever I can to help turn our country back around.

  25. Lonnie R. says:

    Speaking of “to buy or not to buy” have y’all checked out the big plans for the Posse Grounds? Great ideas for a community center (huge building) etc, etc, etc. Translated? More loss of OPEN SPACE which was among the top reasons for Sedona to incorporate. To SAVE open space. The exact opposite continues to happen.

    Let’s not forget the failure of the Teen Center. An albatross gifted to the city representing another white elephant to add to the growing collection of Sedona’s failed endeavors.

    What about the broken down Cultural Park? Although not a city operated venue it was doomed from the beginning. Actually the property is presently up for sale. Wonder why this city government with its grand ideas hasn’t put in a bid for it? With all that free money floating around, why not? @@marv

  26. Jim, west Sedona says:

    Cultural Park will be future trash dump in this city government hands. Give it back to USFS.

  27. Mel Culver says:

    Damn difficult to deal with a Kool ade drinking fool like segner but here goes:

    Biden with a swipe of his lefty leaning pen leaning all the way to China after a Russian stopover and a Swiss bank deposit, took away our US gas and oil independence in favor of fattening those governments with American money. After a half century of dragging China out of the dark ages of brutality and slavery and fratricide and genocide and imperialism and murdering millions of citizens, American leftists want to drag us into that cesspool and call it change? That’s not change. That’s elitism.

    Biden singlehandedly destroyed 70,000 middle class citizens incomes and lifestyles and their kids futures in ways the coronavirus would appreciate. Businesses like segner hotels are now going to go out of business and the families and towns and government coffers that relied on that income, like we do the tourists, are gone or evaporating. Forever. Or until a better Democrat or Republican President is in office who doesn’t hate America exceptionalism and opportunity and its poor people like this administration. More than half of the richest counties voted for Biden! Wake up people! The wealthiest know something you kool ade drinkers don’t.

    Democrats are elitist wealthy people also power lackeys. They LOVE power so much they wouldn’t kick their old decrepit richer than rich has beens out and clean up the mess they made of the Democrat party. You young people love to be ruled by elitists like Bernie and Kamala, wealthier than your neighborhood combined. Go make solar panels in your dark factory confines beside mommy and daddy like they do in China. You can’t stand being free. You need leashes. Biden destroying Obama’s pipeline, recognized by Trump as necessary, was destroyed by him alone with the help of his advisors, who will outlive him. That’s Scary s*** kids.

  28. Sonja, Big Park says:

    President Obama golfs without masks.Masks aren’t healthy for heavy smokers like him. Probably his doctors said ignore it outside.Why are we building things for crowds?Didn’t you learn new life now.Ad agencies aren’t doing Super Bowls.No planes won’t be flying.Crowds won’t be a regular.Goodbye festivals.Movies done.Ace Hardware a small town success.Ditched big town empty buildings.Close big halls.No crowded eating places.Bulldoze parking garages.We need mobile homes to move away in crisis.We need hospital doctors not truck parking.Lame idea building for crowds.Love the snow.

  29. George says:

    Cultural park? Park the (deleted by editor) cars there on rented land with free trolley shuttles departing every 2 hrs. Opens at 10 and closes at 4 PM to new arrivals. No Sedona store opens before 10 and the workers are on their way home at 5. There’s going to be almost no demand for it, but the Sedona city council can crow about it until the next year when they review it and close it. Now build that woman a hospital.

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