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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.

447 Comments

  1. Alan J. says:

    Let’s just suppose there is some merit to the idea of a local transit system. Then why not consider using the Jordan Road property as a holding area for shuttle vehicles?

    That property, purchased with city funds assigned to the chamber of commerce supposedly for destination marketing, continues to be owned by the chamber but at time of purchase was “allegedly” to be deeded to the city.

    So instead of the city purchasing more property at the “Y”why not focus a potential transit holding facility around the Jordan Road property? Or is it possible it was never intended to be reassigned to the City of Sedona?

    Does the C of C still hold the deed to the Jordan Road property or will it (the deed) go to Park City, Utah, with the retiring Pres/CEO and her realtor husband? Just asking.

    Incidentally now that Burger King has shut down, will the city/chamber/lodging council also be considering that for a joint purchase holding?

  2. Jordan Road says:

    If you had to have the RRSnooze tell you traffic was the #1 problem you must have sniffed too many exhaust fumes on your way to buy the rag. People like you can’t come up with a good idea or plan on your own because you want the government to give you the money for stupid….the stupid that’s found in the government’s “Good Ideas for Desert Transit Systems” catalog under the heading “How to Use Taxpayer Money Without Accountability or Jail Time.” Sedona doesn’t need to become a Greyhound bus terminal or Grand Central Station to house future vagrants who’ll piss and sh*t and deal drugs like California. You do remember fellow Californians when our SoCal desert and hills and valleys were spectacular beauties? I’m in my 70s and I do. Now California is a sh*thole. Save Sedona and Arizona from being turned into a sh*thole. Call every city councilor and tell them to Stop! We have TWO roads TWO and we can drive ourselves. It’s time for speaking up. NOW.

  3. Glenn says:

    GD this transportation idea was considered and dropped a few years back even before hotels teamed up & couldn’t keep a free shuttle van service going between VOC & city because no workers would use it

    now there’s a coronavirus pandemic for year or more whose going to ride it

    Tourists won’t Workers won’t Residents won’t so who cause I lived here forever & never seen a body in a bus shelter

    It’s time to save money not spend it

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  5. Aufio says:

    Did you see on news where BLM Mob attacked Sen Rand Paul and his wife and two older female friends on the streets of DC!! They were attacked!! Their lives were threatened and the police officers helping them were attacked!! This has to stop and be stopped. I don’t and won’t support BLM and I’m not a racist and neither is my country or the police or the people I know or my family and friends. I have no white privilege and I am proud of being an American. George Floyd appears to have been killed by excessive force and the policeman responsible should be held on charges and dealt with by the courts and his workplace accordingly. No BLM or athletes or scouts or professors or media pundits are qualified to pass judgement, only 12 men and women who swear to uphold the law and their duty as jurors in a system designed to protect the innocent.

  6. Transportation says:

    All of your transportation questions would easily be answered if you had taken the time to go to the meetings the last 3 to 4 years…Or better yet read the transportation study….But this is the Sedona Eye, so you are to complain about everything, have all the answers to nothing!
    So traffic isnt a problem now?

  7. Maria Mollen says:

    Why did the city council approve the chamber’s purchase of the Jordan Road property if it isn’t to be used for parking? These people are irresponsible and should be recalled. And staff that continues this charade of ill conceived advice also needs to go!

    Sedona deserves better.

  8. @Alan J Donna says:

    Not to worry about Burger King, I saw people in a In ‘n Out Burger van parked in the parking lot. Can someone say; SCORE!!!!!!

  9. John Daniels W Sedona says:

    Oh come on Alan J or who ever you really are. Since you know so much why not apply for the job??? Obviously, you really don’t know squat about building anything if you have to say “Let’s just suppose”, “allegedly” and “supposedly”. Why not leave the transit design to the new transit gal?

    Why would anyone build a hub in the far north side of the city? I guess that haters have to hate, you can’t help yourself, can you? I guess that you think that you know more than the engeneers ( another tRump er) but you didn’t know that a “hub” is in the middle.

  10. John is correct says:

    You are right….It all out there for everyone to read…
    The “hub” is to be located off Brewer….Keep as many out of the “Y”..
    Get people on buses, and off the streets…
    Take a bus to Slide Rock….West Fork….Get people staying in VOC onto a bus..
    Yes the meetings are very insightful, and helps the ones who are clueless..
    So the loudest voices on the Sedona Eye are the most uninformed!

  11. @John Daniels W Sedona says:

    Are you denying then that the city approved for the chamber of commerce to purchase that Jordan Road property for the purpose of parking? And that the property would be deeded to the city after five years? Was that all a hoax?

    If that property was good enough for considering as a use for mitigating the parking situation back then, then why not now? What will it be used for?

    As for the “Y” being considered for the holding place for vehicles, how dumb is that? More traffic pulling in and out of an intersection already frequently dealing with miles of backed-up traffic in all directions? What’s become of the “slip lanes” and how will the congestion of little buses factor into that?

    OOPS! You don’t care to be bothered with trivial details, Karin?

  12. Dave & Angie says:

    So what’s the real deal anyway? We watched that city council meeting back when Rob Adams was mayor (2013?) and the big discussion was going on with the city/chamber proposed contract. Barbara Litrell (then on city council) asked Jennifer Wesselhoff pointedly if ALL Sedona businesses located within Sedona City Limits were treated equally and given referrals from the city financed Sedona Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center) NOT officially that of the City of Sedona!! Her response was that ONLY Chamber Members were granted referrals!

    Therefore @Nancy Johnson Lower Red Rock Loop, if you are, in fact, having your short term vacation rentals (also a bone of contention) promoted via the city funded Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center, consider yourself extremely fortunate.

    Too bad Ms. Wesselhoff will soon be leaving Sedona and won’t be available to address the issue in detail! Too bad? NOT!!!

  13. steve segner says:

    Dave & Angie says: to answer your question , Easy chamber recommends member, Sedona visitor bureau handles the marketing of Sedona under a city contract they recommend no business just promote Sedona and the Verde Valley. I have asked over the years for an ad recommending a business paid for by the city ….. still waiting.

    A chamber of commerce (or board of trade) is a form of business network, for example, a local organization of businesses whose goal is to further the interests of businesses.

    Business owners in towns and cities form these local societies to advocate on behalf of the business community. Local businesses are members, and they elect a board of directors or executive council to set policy for the chamber. The board or council then hires a President, CEO or Executive Director, plus staffing appropriate to size, to run the organization.

    A chamber of commerce is a voluntary association of business firms belonging to different trades and industries. They serve as spokespeople and representatives of a business community.
    They differ from country to country.

    What is a Convention and Visitors Bureau?
    A convention and visitors bureau (CVB) is a non-profit organization that provides information, resources, and support for the hospitality and tourism industry. Through the CVB you can learn about hotels and convention facilities in the area. They can also provide information about the area and help identify properties that can be helpful when planning an event.

    The CVB is especially helpful in the initial stages of planning. They can help identify hotel and lodging facilities that meet your requirements for number of rooms needed. You can also find out about the types of conference services available, entertainment options in the area, and restaurant and dining options. While you will want to work with the individual facilities to plan specific details, the CVB can point you in the right direction when you are starting your research in an area. In meny cities the chamber handles both jobs.
    hope that helps

  14. John Daniels W Sedona says:

    To my annonomus questioner; what does a parking lot have to do with a transportation HUB? They serve two different functions.

    You posted; “As for the “Y” being considered for the holding place for vehicles, how dumb is that?” I don’t know if that is dumb or not, I’M NOT AN ENGINEER and I would venture to say that neither are you. The problem with many people on this site, you’re against everything except for pulling up all of the blacktop and installing hitching posts.

    I have news for you, we’ll never go back to the 70’s nor should we.

  15. Nancy Johnson Lower Red Rock Loop says:

    Dave & Angie:

    Boy you really like to spout “fake news” don’t you.

    I never said that the Chamber promoted MY vacation rentals. What I said was that because of the Chamber’s destenation marketing it attracted people to Sedona. Those people booked on AirBnB and many find my rentals.

    While you may feel that my vacation rentals are a “bone of contention”, if you don’t like it, go talk to Dopey Ducey. They’re legal now and will be here until the end of time.

  16. Joe Lee says:

    @John is correct “The “hub” is to be located off Brewer….Keep as many out of the “Y”.”

    If that’s true then why is it reported the city is buying the corner “Y” property where the former Chevron station was for the purpose of staging their shuttle vehicles??

    That corner strip mall has already been wiped clean of former businesses with exception of the nail shop. Are you aware who just might have a vested interest in any of that property? Specifically a driveway accessing those properties off Brewer Road?

    Just asking.

  17. John Wilson says:

    Among all these sage comments none address the future of the property on Jordan Road. Need a reminder? That property purchased with Sedona revenue by the regional chamber of commerce (tagged “Sedona” C of C) for the purpose of accommodating a parking area, but intended to be deeded back to the City of Sedona at a future date?

    As for Missy Nancy Johnson Lower Red Rock Loop: Could it be thou dost protest too much? Especially from one who doesn’t even live within incorporated Sedona?

    Any thoughts about that @John Daniels West Sedona?

  18. Owen says:

    Flagstaff news sites blaming trash and water pollution in Oak Creek on tourists brought in by Sedona and its low level caliber of tourists. No matter how much it’s cleaned or how often those kind of tourists keep on defacing, sharting and dumping. It matters to us Sedona. It matters to all of Arizona. Get rid of the crapping tourists. Go back to when people came who wanted to come and they didn’t come for Overpriced Cheap Chinese Fake Navajo.

  19. Jose Rodriguez says:

    @John Daniels W Sedona 8/29 7:53 pm – you write “Why would anyone build a hub in the far north side of the City?”

    Then why, pray tell, did the “City of Sedona” approve for the Chamber of Commerce to use city revenue to buy the property on Jordan Road for the purpose of a parking lot? What difference would it make if used for parking autos, RV’s or transit vehicles?

    Es muy stupido en mi opinion. Huelo una rata.

  20. @Joe Lee says:

    If your JUST ASKING why not JUST ASK THE OWER of that strip mall to get a real answer, if you really want one.

    As for the Burger King building, which is right behind the strip mall, keep an eye out for In n’ Out Burgers within the next year. This will be great, new corporate banners and employement for my 2 teens.

  21. Nancy Johnson Lower Red Rock Loop says:

    Wow John Wilson you just figured out that I don’t live in the city even though I’ve said that several times. Protest too much, I own 5 vacation rentals, how many houses do you own?

  22. @John Wilson says:

    Never once has the city floated any ideas about buying anything at the Y….Now they are acquiring some land for the slip lanes…..And also some by Blackmarrs furniture, for same reason….Their are 2 properties along Brewer they are looking at for the main hub, at that point the buses go 3 directions….But all this information can be found….Hek, just call the city and flipping ask !

  23. steve Segner says:

    Dave & Angie: I never said that the Chamber promoted MY vacation rentals.
    What I said was that because of the Chamber’s destination marketing it attracted people to Sedona. Those people booked on AirBnB and many find my rentals.
    Yes that is how it works the chamber has a webpage you can advertise on if you like for a fee, the chamber destination marketing job is to keep market Sedona not any business people hear about Sedona and then the start looking, they go to Airbnb&b or your own booking site great. Bed tax marketing is to drive upscale travelers to Sedona. Even Disneyland and Coke name brands run reminder ads the city knows this and supports the marketing it helps us all and is paid for 100% by visitors.

  24. Wanda & Walt Stevens says:

    Since you reside outside Sedona City Limits @Nancy Johnson Lower Red Rock Loop but own five houses here (sounds very much like another fellow here who lives in Oak Creek Canyon but owns a similar number of “Sedona” properties), perhaps you can explain the reason for city purchase of the Jordan Road property?

    Answers please, Oh Great Nancy Johnson from the glorious Lower Red Rock Loop. . or should that be “loopy?”

  25. Nancy Johnson Lower Red Rock Loop says:

    Hay Wanda & Walt, I have a unique idea, why not call city hall and ask them about that parking lot on Jordan Road. I only care that the CoC keeps rockin’ it for my business even though I’m not a member.

  26. Steve Segner says:

    it was called land banking great lot at a great great price the chamber is buying it with bed tax marketing money nit being used for marketing. the city can use it for what ever they want. the chamber can by and sell land much easier the the city, It is the city lot used now for parking….. hope that helps look wha the city had to pay for two house lost for the parking grage . the chamber save the city millions.

  27. Mike Campbell says:

    It’s funny how Segner says the Chamber saves the city millions, all the while it receives millions in taxes paid. Taxes while collected from tourists, could be used to remediate tourist impact. I saw a program on the local news talking about all the trash and graffiti in Sedona. I’m sure it was all caused by the high end destination tourists. Great job Segner and chamber.

  28. Gwen says:

    Dissolve the chamber.

  29. Bob, uptown says:

    Heard City trying to condemn Blackmarrs area to get room for more Road. Seems the Tlaq north project was a genuine engineered screw up for Sedona traffic.

  30. Riley Ann says:

    Here’s a shout out for Martha McSally one of the most intelligent and professional senators the state of AZ has ever had. She’s cut from the cloth of women like Supreme Court Justice O’Conner. Women, it’s time to send the men back home and vote for a smart savvy woman.

  31. Joe Lee says:

    Is Segner telling us the local chamber of commerce, “allegedly” an incorporated non-profit, has been given the discretion to act as a purchasing agent on behalf of the City of Sedona? And where, pray tell, was citizen support (registered voter approval) for “such a deal?”

    Hmmm – maybe better things are yet to come? How about the “City” giving the chamber of commerce the authority to purchase that non-existent bridge at Red Rock Crossing? Now wouldn’t that be even more scintillating than this pathetic ongoing shameful scam that has existed for far too long.

    Why was it allowed in he first place? Why wasn’t the bidding process opened to ALL NON-PROFITS?? Why wouldn’t the Humane Society or Meals on Wheels be just as qualified? And little doubt do a far better and less costly job!!

  32. Steve Segner says:

    Heard City trying to condemn Blackmarrs area to get room for more Road ? ok you say you “HEARD” meaning you do not know, did you bother to find out, No you just said Heard, Like Troup say “Some say”…. all BS. THe city allready own the road above 89a and below Blackmarrs.

  33. Mary C says:

    Dissolve the city.

  34. Don says:

    AZ who moved in from CA can’t vote for smart women, they only recognize the letter D from grades earned in school.

  35. Tom Howell says:

    Mary C says:
    Dissolve the city.
    Dissolve the chamber. Just move towns grow people move in and some move out

  36. Sinclair says:

    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

    Upton Sinclair

    You’ll never get city staff or Segner to understand.

    I move to dissolve the city.

  37. Ashley Crawford says:

    This is my own version of something I recently read.

    You came to Sedona from wherever because you didn’t like it there. And now you want to change it here to be like there.

    We in Sedona are not necessarily for or against whatever you represent. We simply like it here the way it is and most of us actually came here because it is not like where we came from.

    If you want Sedona to be like where you came from you should not have left there to come here. We invite you to leave here and go back there at your earliest convenience.

    How about it?

  38. @Mary C says:

    There is one other alternative to disolving the city, you can alway move someplace that fits your expecation.

  39. LOL says:

    So with all the above comments saying “Dissolve the city” that really amounts to the regular 2 complainers here on SE.

    Which will never happen since all they(the two) do is post complaints on Sedona Eye. I think the CITY of Sedona is way safe lol.

  40. Joan says:

    Since most of you are heavily vested in Sedona, Contribute to the tax base, Pay high property taxes, High cost of living, Pay for the Schools and the Fire district,Library, Pay high Sales Tax. Get you utilities and all deliveries sales taxed, Do you really think you should move to make the city and chamber happy?

    I don’t. Change out city hall. Stay and enjoy your retirement. You worked hard and deserve it.

  41. John Daniels W Sedona says:

    Hi Joan:

    What city have you ever lived in where you didn’t have all of those taxes; Property tax (of which Sedona has none), School, Fire etc? To answer your question, YES I think that YOU SHOULD MOVE. People who contibute all of those taxes (according to the RRN tourists pay 80%) want a healthy city not one that has not evolved.

    I know a neighbor in the Kachina neighborhood that, over the years, had a commercial food business around town and kept being evicted by his landlords because he wanted only what he wanted. One location was too noisy, another location had an ajoining food business that produced too much smoke from a smoke stack. He kept making a annoyance of himself and kept getting kicked out of each.

    It’s the same in Sedona. Every city has to grow as does Sedona.

    It’s a shame that the same bunch of misfits on this site have to post over 390 comments about the same old, same old instead of banding together to fight against the vacation rentals.

  42. Nina says:

    Hay Joan::

    Why would I want to change out city hall when do their jobs. Maybe you should try for those jobs if you think that you can do a better job

  43. BJ says:

    @Joe Lee: What bidding process? There was no bidding process. Jennifer W. merely showed up at a Council Meeting and informed the Council that the Chamber had opened an escrow to purchase the Jordan Road property [the old bank building property]. She mentioned the C of C could get out of the escrow at that point without a loss of money. The City Council did not object to the escrow.

    The matter was not agendized.

  44. @joe lee(yea ok) says:

    Snooze!!

  45. Pat says:

    @johndanielswestsedona I’m one of your proud misfits and happy to live in Sedona and it’s the Sedona that once had great respect for its citizens and I’ll keep encouraging it to return to its best global positioned self. You could move though.

  46. @BJ and Joe Lee says:

    Who gives a rats tail.

  47. George says:

    I stand with Ashley Crawford. I left California and wouldn’t go back because of bad government, lousy communities with illegals and gang members having more tax paid gifts than the other 99%ers. It cost more taxes to live there than the land and homes were worth. The taxes were for city hall and state government employees ineptness and not for the people. Nancy Pelosi at a hair salon while the people crap in streets? That’s California Normal. Pay to Stay. No tax is worth paying for tourist enhancements that benefit a few out of state business people and ruin the rest of our lives. I approve of Gov Ducey and I’m a Democrat. The little man has to have the same opportunities as the big hotels. I’d like to put them out of business like in Europe where bed and breakfasts are the normal. You don’t want party houses then put pressure on those homeowners. The rest of us are doing nicely to earn a little extra without it being noticed. Expect no less from landlords. I help pay my mortgage with the money. I don’t need any government collecting what’s mine to keep as a good citizen. Like you Sedona Eye! Now I’ll go to work.

  48. John Daniels W Sedona says:

    To Pat (yeah ok)

    I don’t need to move, I believe in what the city hall folks are doing and support SMART growth.

  49. Maxwell & Susie says:

    We’re with you George and Ashley Crawford! It’s great to have the opportunity to rent out our Sedona property to vacationers. Pays the mortgage for when and if we ever decide to retire there. Although that possibility looks doubtful based on reading how your incorporated city allows a chamber of commerce to dictate – spend tax revenue at their (chamber’s) discretion, purchasing property in particular – and enter into other deals without benefit of requests for bids.

    We never heard of such nonsense and thank those who reveal the truth here on Sedona Eye. Very refreshing. Too bad national media doesn’t follow the policy of this local publication?

  50. Jerry says:

    Smart Growth was a NY ad agency term from the 1980s. It was an abysmal failure and ad agencies were hired to rename it Mixed Use Developments and then the government desired to rename its failed Fair Housing programs which were so poorly handled at the federal level that the government had to reorganize its agencies and rename. The federal government was solely responsible for failed busing programs that had worked best at the state level – at that level citizens could sue for issues and at the federal level citizens lost that right. Just sayin…

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