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Eddie Maddock: We, the people who govern

SedonaEye.com columnist Eddie Maddock begins the 2020 Sedona Arizona election coverage with the city’s new candidate for Mayor, Kurt Gehlbach, a twenty four year resident and local real estate agent.

Sedona AZGET READY, GET SET, GO!

In a blink of a Sedona eye, candidates for Mayor elected every two years and City Council members scheduled for turnover after four-year terms will be on the agenda again in 2020. Candidate packets are available at City Hall and at least one new potential candidate for Sedona mayor has picked up a packet. He then contacted the publisher of Sedona Eye with a request that his contact information be sent to me for follow up.

Historically, his grandfather established La Solana Pottery awarded for its distinctive quality of Solana Ware Ceramics in Laguna Beach, California in the 1940’s. Early 1950’s the industry relocated to what is now Old Town Scottsdale, Arizona. Sedona artists were among nationwide customers frequently visited by the family, and where Sedona mayoral candidate Kurt Gehlbach settled 24 years ago.

Just recently, Mr. Gehlbach and I met for the purpose of discussing on a limited basis his reasons and visions for Sedona’s future. When surprisingly asked the question “What is your platform?” without hesitation his answer was “Holy Cow! – where do WE begin?” His response when asked about the inclusion of “WE” was simple and concise – Kurt’s platform has been determined after many years of extensive research through personal involvement donating his time since 1997 as a Sedona Firefighter/EMT, member of Citizen Engagement and Fiscal Year Budgeting committees and, currently, on a second three year seat with the Historical Preservation Commission among other important accomplishments.

Mr. Gehlbach continued to use WE within his descriptive focus on what he believes “.. is a democracy whose lost their focus.”

November 19, 1863 the final words of the Gettysburg Address were “…that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” – Abraham Lincoln

Kurt Gehlbach announced his 2020 city election candidacy for Mayor this week.

Kurt Gehlbach feels he, along with the majority, “feel ignored through the actions of OUR government voted into office by the people to protect and preserve our way of life. WE are all aware of ongoing issues, WE are all aware of City funds allocated and spent on various studies, etc. and WE are all aware that WE agree WE are not heard and Change within OUR government is inevitable for WE as a community with extremely intelligent minds must be heard and included within the future decisions of OUR outstanding City.”

One thing however remained first and foremost. Evident was Mr. Gehlbach’s deep love for Sedona as we sat in the restaurant at Poco Diablo and gazed out at the well kept grounds and red rocks surroundings.

With the miracle of a Sedona sunrise or the glory of the red rocks as the sun drops beyond the western horizon, shouldn’t preserving our environment forever remain high priority?

 

67 Comments

  1. Budget committee insider says:

    Already vetted by the insiders, you don’t get on the budget committee unless you agree with the current program.

    Tell us Kurt, what did you challenge or change on the current budget? What, nothing?

    More of the same of what we have now.

  2. Alan says:

    Second that

  3. John Daniels W Sedona says:

    For once I agree with a poster, great questions Budget Insider! I’m sure that as he moves forward in the process for a campaign we’ll be able to hear all about what he has given to the community.

  4. Mike H says:

    We, the people who govern. He’s referring to the Sedona Chamber, City Staff and those that work to maintain the status quo by doling out grants of your tax dollars to their cronies. He will claim to represent everyone. But WE know what the WE he is referring to is.

  5. steve segner says:

    “Tell me what you do want,” Garrison said. “[One home per] two acres is not going to fly in the Verde Valley any more. I think what’s going to end up before Planning & Zoning is going to be very different.” Growth it is a coming get ready

  6. Ann says:

    Because he’s in real estate shouldn’t be a problem! He’s been here 24 yrs! If he’s running, he must care about the city.

  7. Marv, Sedona says:

    @steve segner, you cite Garrison: “Tell me what you do want.” Are you by chance confusing Yavapai County Supervisor Randy Garrison with the subject of this article, Kurt Gehlback, a potential candidate for Mayor of Sedona and the subject of this article?

    How about sticking to the facts, Mr. Segner. Regardless of who is elected Mayor of Sedona next year, their jurisdiction is limited to the area of Sedona clearly defined by “city limit” signs.

    It’s time our city staff and elected officials also redefine the extent of their control and refrain from acting like big brothers and big sisters to those outside the confines of our incorporated municipality.

    And that should definitely apply to financing, with Sedona city revenue, membership organizations that have no justification for receiving outlandish amounts of Sedona City funds to serve their members.

    Hopefully Mr. Gehlback will be addressing his position on that highly controversial topic in the months ahead.

  8. Nancy Johnson Lower Red Rock Loop says:

    If my memory serves me correct, I think that Gehlbach is immersed in CoC activities and events.

  9. Bob, west Sedona says:

    Do we want a real estate guy with a conflict of interest? Rest of you out there better be prepared to run for office or watch those high rises go up. I can’t run or would. Most of you can but aren’t and that’s flat out wrong.

  10. steve Segner says:

    steve segner, you cite Garrison: “Tell me what you do want.” Are you by chance confusing Yavapai County Supervisor Randy Garrison with the subject of this article
    I am saying I agree the statement “[One home per] two acres is not going to fly in the Verde Valley or Sedona. Sedona is out of balance nothing wrong with smaller houses on smaller lots some apartments.

  11. steve Segner says:

    Bob, West Sedona says:Do we want a real estate guy with a conflict of interest? Really, and just who should run some retired old fart with (no conflicts).
    There is no such thing as conflicts, business people should run to support business
    Realtors should run to support their business growth.
    Residents should run to support their neighborhoods.
    Most people that run for office have ideas on what they want to do and want to fix.
    They are not running on the will of the people, because there is no such thing.
    If there was we would not have a city council and we would vote on everything. We give our representation to the city council.
    I know Mr. Gehlbach he is a good man, I will not support him but he works for the good of Sedona.

  12. Verne & Jeanette says:

    When will City council members & P & Z commissioners get it through their thick skulls? Their job is to listen to the residents – all of them – and as was reflected at that recent P & Z meeting clearly a majority do not want higher density zoning. Steve segner, are you paying attention?

    Two large developments are planned between Sedona and Cottonwood. Even high density there will have a huge impact on local traffic here – wait and see.

    Oh – and are you all dumb enough to think people will give up their cars and ride bikes or walk? Climb down out of your ivory towers – back to earth and reality. We voted you in hoping you would cut the umbilical cord attached to the asinine chamber of commerce control freaks.

    Might it be possible this new fellow will come up with some compassion for residents? Isn’t that what’s meant by his pitch? The “we” thing versus “I, I, I, – Me, Me, Me?”

    That’s all you hear from current commissioners and council members! Gawd – talk about ego trips. Too bad they aren’t all scheduled for a one way ticket out of Sedona and take the dog and pony show actors from the C of C and lodging council with them.

  13. steve Segner says:

    Verne & Jeanette says:Their job is to listen to the residents – all of them – and as was reflected at that recent P & Z meeting clearly a majority do not want higher density zoning.
    So you are saying they should do as they want until 10 people come to a meeting or is it 20 or is it 30? 10,000 people live and work in Sedona,100 people at a meeting is what %….. nothing.
    Verne & Jeanette says:Two large developments are planned between Sedona and Cottonwood. Even high density there will have a huge impact on local traffic here – wait Yes they will, I have been saying all along growth is coming get ready, some, smaller lots will be good for Sedona we need work force housing and some Apartments.
    You say Oh – and are you all dumb enough to think people will give up their cars and ride bikes or walk? Well thousands do no look at up town and the history walk it go people to walk, look Sedona and the valley are growing and will grow , the county wants growth, Sedona not so much…. But it is coming and you can not stop it people have the right to build and Pand Z job is to see they follow codes that is it. City planning is not mob rule….. The city is putting in new roads and working on transportation but Sedona will not be anything like to was 10 years ago that is life, some of us will stay and some will leave. Verne & Jeanette says:Their job is to listen to the residents – all of them – and as was reflected at that recent P & Z meeting clearly a majority do not want higher density zoning.
    So you are saying they should do as they want until 10 people come to a meeting or is it 20 or is it 30? 10,000 people live and work in Sedona,100 people at a meeting is what %….. nothing.
    Verne & Jeanette says:Two large developments are planned between Sedona and Cottonwood. Even high density there will have a huge impact on local traffic here – wait Yes they will, I have been saying all along growth is coming get ready, some, smaller lots will be good for Sedona we need work force housing and some Apartments.
    You say Oh – and are you all dumb enough to think people will give up their cars and ride bikes or walk? Well thousands do no look at up town and the history walk it go people to walk, look Sedona and the valley are growing and will grow , the county wants growth, Sedona not so much…. But it is coming and you can not stop it people have the right to build and Pand Z job is to see they follow codes that is it. City planning is not mob rule….. The city is putting in new roads and working on transportation but Sedona will not be anything like to was 10 years ago that is life, some of us will stay and some will leave. Verne & Jeanette says ME ME ME ME !

  14. Vote the opposite says:

    When Steve tells you to vote one way vote the opposite. Double check the contributions to make sure it not another one of his switch and bait games.

    His words “I know Mr. Gehlbach he is a good man, I will not support him but he works for the good of Sedona.”

    Vote out any of the cronies endorsements as that means the same old crap with continue. Jablow is endorsing two women which I WILL NOT VOTE for as they are the same old takers.

  15. Public Service Announcement says:

    Please stop with fake facts@steve Segner. There isn’t 10,000 people that work in Sedona proper.

    The state publishes the FACTS https://www.azcommerce.com/a/profiles/ViewProfile/110/Sedona/ your way off Segner! Blotted numbers

    INDUSTRY (RANKED BY EMPLOYMENT)
    Count Share
    Education, health care & social assistance 1,012 21.5%
    Arts, entertainment, food & recreation services 800 17.0%
    Professional, scientific, & administrative services 719 15.2%
    Retail trade 461 9.8%
    Construction 433 9.2%
    Other services, except public administration 342 7.3%
    Finance, insurance & real estate 256 5.4%
    Manufacturing 252 5.3%
    Transportation, warehousing, & utilities 191 4.1%
    Public administration 120 2.5%
    Wholesale trade 75 1.6%
    Information 29 0.6%
    Agriculture, forestry, fishing, hunting, & mining 26 0.6%
    American Community Survey

  16. Chris Wentworth says:

    yes

  17. Kent & JoAnn A. says:

    We can’t stop laughing and are embarrassed to admit we took turns reading through not once but twice the contribution from @steve Segner says November 24 at 7:10 am. The repetition of at least a portion of the comment indicates the addled state of mind this poor fellow must have been enduring when he posted it. (our opinions)

    Clearly it hasn’t been a policy of city planners, staff, or elected council members to acknowledge or even care about Sedona residents. Under protest they have continued to finance millions of dollars to the operation of the chamber of commerce (old news) without benefit of competitive bidding for advertising. And now presently continue to throw millions of $$$$ at them so they can tell residents how to recycle and become sustainable?

    @Segner is even more amusing as reflected in his comment also highlighted by @Vote the opposite says “I know Mr. Gehlbach he is a good man, I will not support him but he works for the good of Sedona.”

    Huh? If he’s such a “good man” then why wouldn’t Segner vote for him? Think maybe he knows something the mere 100 or more attending the last P & Z meeting are ignorant about?

    Unless this Kurt Gehlback continues to allow Sedona to be ruled and controlled by the chamber of commerce and their associate Sedona Lodging Council, or maybe supports rezoning for higher density for any reason, including proliferation of alleged “workforce (affordable)” housing on the remaining but dwindling vacant properties in Sedona, we will continue to monitor his progress and hope to find out what he’s really about. Unfortunately, however, all too often we don’t find that out until after a candidate is elected then it’s too late.

  18. steve segner says:

    When Steve tells you to vote one way vote the opposite. Double check the contributions to make sure it not another one of his switch and bait games
    Let me make it easy for you go to my web page
    https://azelections20dotcom the people I support or on it.

  19. Joel says:

    https://apps.urban.org/features/cost-of-affordable-housing

    Could you ALL learn something before mouthing off & assuming facts ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  20. Sandy says:

    Thanks, will check it out.

  21. Kurt Gehlbach says:

    Hello and Thank You for responding. First and foremost – I have absolutely no relationships, nor do I engage in groups or clicks. Another factor is that all of you think I can be bought or that I lean toward ??? With regards to Nancy Johnson, First I congratulate you for having the courage to use you name! Your memory may have witnessed me being present at Chamber events yet as I mentioned I have no relationships with anyone or any business or any club, group, etc….. I initiate personal involvement in many respects in order to research and engage within educating myself while understanding the dynamics of the internal structure of our Government. For example – with regards to the Budgeting Committee Insider and Alan – and with regards to John Daniels, again Thank You for your courage to offer your name and if all of you read what was written you would have noticed I sat on a fiscal year budgeting committee, 16/17. As part of this committee we discussed the crosswalk at Tlaquepaque. We discussed and determined for short term improvement by placing 15$ an hour employees at the roundabouts with Tlaquepaque employees manning the crosswalk. All trained and on radio communicating in turn creating flow of traffic. The ultimate goal was to create the walkway under the bridge as soon as possible…. That never happened and as you all can see they are just now getting around to it.
    This is just an example – – – I will offer all of you what I’ve accomplished for our City but before I do I have one very important question for all of you. Have you place your life on the line for every resident in Our City? Have you given everything you have, everything you own to keep every resident safe within Our City? More to Come! In the near future and into next year I’ll organize time for all of us to meet and continue these discussions.

  22. Life on the line. says:

    Life on the line, I so love that phrase. Please Kurt, in the over 30 years there has been a City of Sedona, give us the names of those that have lost their lives being police or first responders, putting their lives on the line in Sedona so we may honor them.

    What , none?

    The surround and drown fire department? Give up everything you have working 2 days on and 4 days off? Were you doing that for free Kurt? Did you donate all your assets to the Fire Department or were you well paid?

    The Fritos truck driver has a statistically more dangerous job.

    What did you try to cut from he budget Kurt? What , nothing?

    BTW Kurt, John Daniels is a fake name. Probably a city or chamber employee.

    (Deleted by editor)

  23. Mike H says:

    The more Kurt Gehlback says, the more I see he is just another politician and no change, only BS will come from him. I would not vote for him if he was the only candidate on the ballot. Having a discussion with him would be like having a discussion with Martinez or Yablow.

  24. Kurt Gehlback SFD Employee says:

    SFD is a Union shop, you can be sure Kurt Gehbach did not work for free. How’s that pension treating ya Kurt?

  25. @ Life on the line by John Daniels says:

    Say all that you’d like but I can assure you that I am using my real name. So Gehlback get ready to have these bunch of misfits that use dozens of names to attack you.

  26. Kurt Gehlbach says:

    To Life on the Line – You are obviously an angry person who loves to talk a lot of hot air. You also seem to be someone who has no respect for all who have placed their lives on the line for our city. I look forward to speaking to you in person.

    To Mike H – Have respect and learn to spell my name and Mr. Jablow correctly. By the way Mike, I was honest within my verbiage and thought it was important to offer a bit about myself since everyone ASSUMES everything.
    Thanks to Mike I’m not going to waste my time with any additional words because my actions have already proven what I’m willing to do for all of you and our city.

    I’ll be initiating meetings so we can all have a face to face. I expect both of you to be present…..

  27. Mike H says:

    As expected, Kurt Gehlback did not answer any of my questions.

    I spelt Yablow as it should be spelt.

    No I will never waste my time in a meeting with someone who does not answer questions and demands respect without having earned it.

  28. Sedona Larry says:

    Lay it out for us. Where do you stand on buildings exceeding 3 stories in Sedona? Where do you stand on housing not infringing on neighbors views? Where do you stand on Airbnb’s? Where do you stand on citizen input at council meetings and citizen committees? Where do you stand on the chamber contract with city funding? Where do you stand on city giving funds to library and Sedona Recycles? Feel free to tell us where you stand on those and more.

  29. Mike H says:

    I second Sedona Larry’s questions. Give us an answer Kurt, or do you insist we lowly non government employees bow and show our respect before you answer?

  30. Mary C says:

    Can you believe this guy? If this is how he talks to us BEFORE he is in office, just imagine how he will be given a little power.

    “Have respect and learn to spell my name ”

    “You are obviously an angry person who loves to talk a lot of hot air.”

    Yes retired “public servant”, a lot of us are angry. You appear to be clueless on many levels.

  31. Nancy Johnson Lower Red Rock Loop says:

    Even though I know that it’s not his real name, I SECOND Sedona Larry’s questions.

  32. @ Mary C says:

    Right on Mary C! That, plus his pathetic glomming on to fire and police employees (guilt tripping and a variation on patriotism being the last refuge of a scoundrel), is despicable. The only good thing that can be said is that the illiterate Segner does not support him.

  33. Alex D. says:

    “I know Mr. Gehlbach he is a good man, I will not support him but he works for the good of Sedona.” Quote from Steve Segner 11/23.

    Quite a mouthful. A “good man but he works for the good of Sedona?” And Segner will NOT support him? In other words does this mean Segner will only support those who continue to represent his special interests, including the regional Chamber of Commerce? Forget about electing “good” people?

    Something to think about during the next few months? Remember someplace there was email communication from Segner posted on Sedona Eye setting forth plans to elect “their gal Sandy” for mayor – and – guess what – it worked?

    Nuff said?

  34. No answers says:

    Kurt, your not being willing to put answers to legitimate questions in writing speaks more than any words.

  35. Ray says:

    @no answers Maybe he’s not replying to people like you that aren’t using a real voter qualified name? Running for office is about voters, not citizens. You don’t vote, you don’t get heard. Got it? When you speak to a politician or write a politician, use your real name and even your street because otherwise you don’t count.

  36. @Ray says:

    Got it Ray, you think everyone on SedonaEye is fake. That would mean you too, right?

    Have you ever been personally attacked when you used your real name on the SedonaEye?

    I have, and I live in Sedona, and vote.

  37. WE says:

    Knowing that he regards us as illegitimate, we have no choice but to return the favor.

  38. Ray says:

    @Ray I don’t think anyone on Sedona Eye is fake. I think they’re (deleted by editor) when they don’t use a name and mega stupid when they use @ signs. Personal attacks are just that, get over yourself if you can’t stand it because maybe you’re not all that? If you vote, good for you. Stop being a coward. Gehlback put his name out there. You ought to try it.

  39. who govern? says:

    They’re living embodiments of what Ferdinand Lundberg wrote in 1968:

    …it is a settled conclusion among seasoned observers that, Congress apart as a separate case, the lower legislatures — state, county, and municipal — are Augean stables of misfeasance, malfeasance, and nonfeasance from year to year and decade to decade, and that they are preponderantly staffed by riffraff, or what the police define as “undesirables,” people who if they were not in influential positions would be unceremoniously told to “keep moving.” Exceptions among them are minor. Many of them, including congressmen, refuse to go before the television cameras because it is then so plainly obvious to everybody what they are. Their whole demeanor arouses instant distrust in the intelligent. They are, all too painfully, type-cast for the race track, the sideshow carnival, the back alley, the peep show, the low tavern, the bordello, the dive. Evasiveness, dissimulation, insincerity shine through their false bonhomie like beacon lights.

    (https://prabook.com/web/ferdinand.lundberg/2434010)

  40. @ who govern? says:

    Good one, but I think this one’s even better — and check out the date. Nothing changes except superficialities.

    “The state lies in all the tongues of good and evil, and whatever it says is lies, and whatever it has, it has stolen, everything it is, is false, it bites with stolen teeth, and it bites often, it is false down to its bowels.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche, Also Sprach Zarathustra [1896]

  41. Wm. D. says:

    Are you prepared, Mr. Gehlback? Steve Segner may think you’re a nice guy but he went on record with his above comment he will not support you. Based on that the following link to an article relating to Sedona elections might be of interest to you: https://sedonaeye.com/eye-on-sedonas-vocal-discord/ In particular check out the comment from “Flatlander”

    A Real “Flatlander” says:
    August 6, 2014 at 8:10 pm

  42. Get ready says:

    Wm D. has a good point.

    If you don’t agree to subsidize the chamber then Segner will campaign against you Mr Gehlbach. He ran ads and did this when Cliff Hamilton ran.

    This is what happens when you give special favors, $$$$$ and enrichments to third party clubs. The local print paper gets paid by the Chamber so imo they help by writing untruths and misleading articles, editorials. They even wrote a really bad piece against Cliff in the last issue before the vote. They play dirty imo as Cliff had no chance to respond and the paper knew it.

  43. Key issues. says:

    Still no answer on questions asked a week ago for Kurt (Deleted by Editor) on key issues. I guess WE on the SedonaEye are not worth his time. Maybe he was Gobsmacked anyone would ask a real question.

    You’re done Kurt, unless of course you are the Chamber’s candidate.

    IMO of course.

  44. Bettye says:

    I’ve just read through the Comments above and have to say I’m shocked that even though you are complaining about the City Government, you are willing to either vote for our current Mayor again, or not vote at all.

    Here is a new brave person who is willing to run against our present Mayor and Chamber of Commerce, and your remarks rip Him apart before we know anything about Him. Let’s remember Vice Mayor Cliff Hamilton, a reasonable person, who listened to the residents, and what They did to Him.

    I don’t know anything more about Kurt Gehlbach then Eddie has written here, but I will be one of the first to attend a gathering where I can learn more, and suggest you do the same.

    I highly suspect that many of the people complaining here about Kurt, and not using there real names, are in fact City, Chamber or Red Rock Rag employees. Or, if you just like to complain and rip people apart without knowing who they are first, why not call your long lost cousin Elmer.

    Hope to meet You soon Kurt.

  45. Another Sedona Peon (resident) says:

    But when somebody backed a third party for mayor the last election, wasn’t that really what assured the re-election of Sandy? Of course there’s really no way of knowing for certain, but splitting the mayoral vote three ways? Nice assistance to the local publication known for hatchet editorials the 11th hour of Sedona elections? Just asking.

  46. Cousin Elmer says:

    To Bettye:

    I’m guessing that you are the same “Bettye” mentioned in last Wednesday’s paper. I must say that since I really do know you I can say without reservation that you are an interesting person. I appreciate you standing up for Gehlbach but you have a long proven record for crying wolf for really non-issues, IMHO

  47. Joan says:

    They work hard to keep you under their control.

    When ever someone stands up, speaks ups for anything not on the agenda of city-employees & chamber-members including a local rag they get shamed called out. It is complete BS IMO.

    Stop buying the rag, stop enabling the trash and fake information they print. The local rag are cronies that make money off the subsidies going to chamber.

  48. Bettye says:

    To: Joan,
    Exactly!! And Thanks.

  49. @Joan from Nancy Johnson Lower Red Rock Loop says:

    Joan:

    How do you justify saying that ” stop enabling the trash and fake information they print. The local rag are cronies that make money off the subsidies going to chamber”.

    I have had letters printed in the RRN once or twice and it’s very evident that they turn over every stone to get the facts instead of what you say is “trash and fake information”. I wonder if you’d be saying such nasty comments if you were required to use your real name on this site.

  50. John Daniels W Sedona says:

    To Bettye:

    Aren’t you one and the same Bettye who was against the lights on 89a and worked with a group of people who caused the city to waste tens of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money trying to prove their point???? Gee those lights don’t look anywhere as bad as your advertisements said they’d be.

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