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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.

257 Comments

  1. padding pockets says:

    All they are doing is padding the pockets of greedy chamber, lodging owners as they’re two cheap to pay their own bills.

    If they were are great as they pretend to be they wouldn’t be beggars and pay their own bills

  2. Sedona Ray says:

    They’ll vote for that do nothing Biden group and they’ll turn us into marching commies paying more taxes for less quality.

    At least commies don’t allow local government and chambers of commerce or people to keep their money. Not PC, baby.

    Hong Kong kisses democracy goodbye today. Bet you didn’t hear it on the news? How about Pakistan letting the man who cut Daniel Pearl’s head off in front of you on TV went free today?

    You keep saying that you don’t believe the virus came from China with ill intent? Start practicing your mandarin POC and others. Your time has come and gone and now you belong to China. Enjoy the gulag and re-education. Working in the factories and fields for pennies a day. All because you couldn’t see more then skin color in the greatest and free-est land ever on the planet. LMAO

  3. Ernie says:

    Be grateful for luck. Pay the thunder no mind. Listen to the birds. And don’t hate nobody. -James Hubert “Eubie” Blake

  4. Steve Segners says:

    Sedona Ray says:
    Wow you need to wean yourself off fox news.

  5. Sedona Ray says:

    And you should stop loving Nazis and Stalin and Mao. You should learn your party’s history, right? Of course you do because you white democrats are still telling African Americans how to vote and how to be black. Best lives matter for POC. Best lives matter for all of us. We are Americans all of us until you white Democrat demigods finish destroying our City State and Nation. Any American with half a brain will vote Republican. You nearly destroyed our nation under Biden VP and will complete it under a Democrat presidency. Facts speak louder than your poorly advised political belief system to keep POC on welfare and social programs and under your thumb. LMAO

  6. Miri Hay says:

    @stevesegners In your words, Mr. Pearl’s death is the exclusive purview of Fox network because it is the only American major network concerned with anti Semitism? Is that your comment’s subtext?

  7. Von Nguyen says:

    Democrats try to fear you be afraid virus and not vote at poll and mail not always good go be body at poll. Be good American. Do not
    be fear.

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