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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?

 

79 Comments

  1. L. C. T. A. K. Jordan Road says:

    I live in Sedona. 4 of 5 of us live in Sedona. I don’t like the changes neither do us coworkers and we AAAAALLLLL despise the lights!!!!! NOBODY thinks their a good idea and ALL of US think their not good. If you need life or auto insurance be sure to get it in town. Lights ruin wild life trying to get across roads and NOBODY like you cares because we like sitting out side seeing the stars and hearing the drums . 89 a Looks like a football stadium and it looks like ugly stuff in Phoenix druggy neighborhoods. Sedona’s going ugly says A.

  2. Bob, VOC says:

    I know the majority of homeowners on Red Rock Loop Road an there’s no Nancy Johnson but there is a Joan. Sounds like your psychosis about being a Nancy needs nursing back to health?

  3. Nancy Johnson Lower Red Rock Loop says:

    To Bob, VOC:

    As you said, you know the “majority of homeowners” is that “majority” closer to knowing ALL of us or is that closer to 55%, 60%. You see even if you “think” you know 99% you don’t know me. I fail to understand why “Bob in VOC” thinks he knows my neighbors at the other end of town.

  4. @ Nancy Johnson says:

    In actual fact, the SRRN does NOT “turn over every stone to get the facts.” In my case they banned me “for life” because I proved they printed a lie about me. Rather than deal with that, and other related shortcomings, they just got rid of me. Read about it here:

    https://sedonaeye.com/freedom-of-expression-essential-to-a-free-society/

    Warren Woodward

  5. MShobert says:

    Rebuild the lower loop – Red Rock Crossing! ASAP! – in the name of Public Safety!!! NIMBYs stay home! You no longer matter.

  6. John, Sedona says:

    I’m reminded of MShobert now after reading Nancy Johnson and @Joan and seeing his/her comment, one voice raised loudly to echo in our canyon that he/she wants to blast away for a multi lane highway or a fragile environmental car and truck crossing? Toss the litter out of your car window America! Move away MShobert, you are an asp. We love our homes here and when enough is enough it’s righteous to be a protectorate of our Sedona that you can’t and won’t appreciate. Sedona’s reasons for holding the line are the same as the Grand Canyon, it isn’t rimmed with timeshare and high rises or shopping malls and galleries stocked with Chinese imports by greedy and petty city halls vying for tourist tax monies like our Democrat Party city hall relentless taking the people out of government and instituting a government for its friends. I’ll not vote for one single sitting person on the council and will vote for anyone else who runs and leave the rest of my city ballot blank. Sedona might find its Jacques Cousteau of the Red Rocks if we keep trying.

  7. @Warren Woodward says:

    Well, Warren

    That is so SHOCKING since you are such a warm and fuzzy guy.

  8. Joan says:

    @ Nancy Johnson Lower Red Rock Loop
    You are extremely naive, related to one of the rag employees or owners, more likely a city employee or chamber member. IMO

    I stand behind my statement.
    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.

    @ Bettye Thank you! I appreciate your hard work. BTW it is my opinion that so called John Daniels W Sedona is a city employee that tries to shame anyone that doesn’t go her way. Please ignore the cronies.

  9. Freddy says:

    good call @warrenwoodward is a standup man

  10. Charley M. says:

    How about for Sedona to take all that money (millions of $$$$) they give to that regional chamber of commerce – – take that money and invest in a crossing at the end of Back O’Beyond Road – – to connect with Sunset and/or Shelby (roads)?
    @MShobert

  11. Joan says:

    Thank you Warren for all that you do. I am a fan.

  12. John Daniels W Sedona says:

    @ Joan

    So let me get this straight, you have the gonads to say; 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.

    But whenever I stand up to you it’s ok to do exactly what you are trashing me for?!?!??! When ever I speak my mind I get called a “city employee”, “a rag employee” or even a “chamber employee”

    Go look in the dictionary under hypocrite and look at your photo under the definition. IMO of course.

    I think that the bunch of you (oh I’m sorry that’s only 3 or 4 under 15 names) are just jealous of successful people because you’re not successful or well paid and shun those who are.

  13. @John Daniels W Sedona says:

    you are so predictable.

  14. steve Segner says:

    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.
    I agree with John, never happened
    first off when you speak at open mike at city meeting, by law the council members can not ask you questions and do not reply. There job is to listen to you and that is all. The city council job is to run the city through the city manager, not to follow the as you say the will of the people we give them the power to run the city , we can offer advice and that is all.

    You say, How about for Sedona to take all that money (millions of $$$$) they give to that regional chamber of commerce – – take that money and invest in a crossing at the end of Back O’Beyond Road – – to connect with Sunset and/or Shelby (roads)?
    First off the city does not GIVE any money to the chamber, the city CVB handles the marketing of the city at the city direction, they are a vender , Charley M. says:as far as the comment on back O’ beyond, you would take traffic off 179 and move it through neighborhoods that are not connected and over Oak creek , so you can get to the west side…. Really , really I am sure the people in Back beyond would have something to say.
    the city bed tax money can not be used for road work perr the State. Traffic in Sedona is nothing 99% of the time….. and that is a fact.

  15. Public Service Announcement says:

    There he goes again blah blah repeating FAKE information.

    BS FAKE news and a flat out lie. steve Segner says:
    ” the city bed tax money can not be used for road work perr the State.”

    He repeats so many lies,untruths over and over. People don’t believe him.
    He must think if he tells the same lie over and over then it will come true.

  16. @Steve and Karen says:

    City cronies, who belittle the contributions of the resident and citizens of sedona. Quotes while soliciting the citizens money were, Jennifer ‘s quote ” the citizens of sedona contribute minimally to the sedona economy somewhere around $6.00 do a month” and who can forget “trust me trust me” from the high school dropout. Millions taken from the local economy, while ignoring the needs of the people of sedona. Commercial rents taxed at a 3% clip every month and ignoring the businesses that collect sales tax is an abomination. City Managers getting paid more than the governor of our state is a joke. Much like the scam perpetrated on the citizens comparing this one horse town of 10,000 residents to places like Scottsdale and San Diego is so laughable as is the fake city government and fake (Deleted by Editor) who just received in 2017 a $39,000 raise. You People need to be prosecuted for this ponzy scheme. You say you are successful. Maybe you are by pulling off the biggest ripoff of the people’s money. ever. Someday you will pay. In this lifetime or the next.

  17. John Daniels W Sedona says:

    I’m not concerned in the least if you think that I’m predictable.

  18. Alan J. says:

    “. . . .the city bed tax money can not be used for road work perr the State”? @steve Segner 12/13. R U Nuts? Wasn’t that last half % SALES tax increase “allegedly” for the purpose of funding Sedona in Motion? The great plan for road improvements (example – uptown Sedona which is predictably another “city” boondoggle).

    Steve, what little credibility you had just flew the coop with your idiotic statement because it isn’t the “city bed tax money” used to make alleged improvements on our city roads (which in general are in shambles except maybe the streets where city council members live).

    What the state shouldn’t allow is for bed tax (or any other public funding) to be used for a wasteful special interest member driven association who represents ONLY their members. And lets not forget the more than $11,000/mo. salary to the President of that club!! Yes folks, keep that in mind – over ELEVEN THOUSAND DOLLARS PER MONTH to the CEO of a regional unofficial non-city of Sedona enterprise.

    That’s one story that cannot and should not be swept under the red rocks. It’s far too blatant.

  19. steve Segner says:

    Alan J. Says: the comment was didn’t give money to the chamber use it for a road through Back O’ beyond. The money that is used to fund marketing is from the hotel bed tax, and as I said it can not be used for city roads. The fund for SIM up town road work comes for the 1/2 ct sales tax increase voted in by the city council. And in fact the majority of that tax is paid by visitors. $11,000 seem fare and the money come from us the chamber members and we pay it and we OK it….If You do not believe me please call the city manager and he will be more then happy to explain the law to you . Hope that helps. By the way you said tax money” used to make alleged improvements on our city roads (which in general are in shambles except maybe the streets where city council members live please back up this statement what road and what council person? Question, How can you have” alleged improvements” and then say the alleged improvements we a “fact” and on the street of a council person? Is it a fact or not? Please be clear.

  20. Marty Sedona says:

    Say what (am I missing)? @steve Segner

    Most of his gripes @Alan J. have to do with what he agrees with!!! Primarily, the sales tax increase was for Sedona In Motion!!! (C of C money from city, how it’s being spent now, remains a mystery – the money spent for advertising only resulted in MORE DAY TRIPPERS) —— duh!(deleted by editor)

    As for “alleged improvements” to traffic, clearly improvements are being made but the question still lingers – will they “in fact” result in moving the traffic any better?

    Face it – most city decisions of the past have only increased traffic back ups. Case in point? Foot traffic crossing resulting after Tlaquepaque North was approved!!!!

    Moving foot traffic should have been a priority PRIOR to expansion – not after the FACT Mr. S.

    Poor fellow seems to be delusional?

  21. @Marty Sedona says:

    ? So you wonder how the millions of $$$$ the C of C gets from Sedona City is spent? Almost $12,000/mo. goes to the Pres/CEO. And that’s just ONE example.

    The Jordan Road property uptown also purchased and owned by the C of C – courtesy public revenue – is another example just under a Mil Bucks? and it’s never been made public who made listing and/or sales commission on that transaction.

    But lax monitoring and auditing of tax revenue the city transfers to the C of C bank account, how do we really know? Hmmm maybe the city attorney will go to work for them that’s got the big bucks to spend for probably EVERYTHING?

  22. Barney says:

    The D.N.C. reached its nadir when Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz was forced to resign during the party’s 2016 national convention after it emerged from hacked emails that she had helped rig that year’s primary to help Hillary Clinton, and had scheduled debates to limit exposure for Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. These are the same schmucks wanting to call out the GOP? Oy.

  23. Steve Segner says:

    Foot traffic crossing resulting after Tlaquepaque North was approved!!!!
    Sorry, Tlaquepaque North did not need city approval it had the zoning and the cross walk is the call of ADOT 179 is a state hwy. Sedona is a tourist town and we will have traffic on week ends and Holidays 98%0f the time there is no traffic issues. Thousand of people depend on tourism so get over it. It is not the job of the city to stop growth but to manage it , the up town project will help but as Phoenix grows so will Sedona , and get ready for the thousands of new home coming between Sedona and Cottonwood.
    Moving foot traffic should have been a priority PRIOR to expansion – not after the FACT Mr. S. web past city councils did not act but the last two have, they are doing what they said they would do and You need to understand the city can not stop growth and it can not approve a project that has zoning it is called property rights. The city is working on work force housing and people on the Sedona eye are goin nuts and they did when the city approved the $250,000 traffic study. Perhaps it is time to move because Sedona will grow.

  24. Public Service Announcement says:

    There he goes again making false untruths. His nose must be growing.

    Steve that is not true. What are you smoking?

  25. Fake news Again from SS says:

    Please people read the documentation yourself. Steve continues to post fake information.

    http://www.sedonaaz.gov/Home/ShowDocument?id=29925
    c. PZ14-00001 (DEV), Tlaquepaque North, 313 State Route 179, APN 401-18-030P. Approved
    by the Planning and Zoning Commission on August 19, 2014.
    The Commission and staff arrived at the Tlaquepaque North site at 10:16 a.m. and Cari
    explained that the property owner was on vacation, so staff would be giving the tour. Cari then
    pointed out the three new buildings and an existing building that had been refaced and had the
    second floor removed. Cari explained that they originally designed it for potentially multiple
    tenants in each building, but they ended up with one tenant in each building. There is some
    storage space upstairs, but it is all just one-story. Their lighting was done to match what is at
    Tlaquepaque, but it is dark sky compliant.
    Commissioner Barcus commented about what used to be a house and indicated that his wife
    knows a woman who grew up here as a child. Chair Losoff asked about the walkway and Cari
    indicated that they’re running into some problems with ADOT, so her understanding is that they
    gave the City the money. The condition was that the developer either do it or give us something
    Planning & Zoning Commission Site Visit
    July 19, 2016
    Page 6
    like $20,000, so they could open while we figure out what is going on with ADOT. We’re all
    working together, but in order for them to open, they had to either install the crosswalk or give
    the City the money, and her understanding is that they gave the City money.
    Vice Chair Levin asked what the City is looking to do and Cari stated that they are looking to do
    the rapid reflector crosswalk, the flashers, but the power wasn’t available where they originally
    thought it would be so we are trying to come up with something; she can find out from
    Engineering.
    Commissioner Barcus asked if it was going to be a walk, don’t walk set-up and Cari indicated
    that she didn’t know. The Chair indicated that it was a major bone of contention that affected
    the Commission’s approval, and Cari restated that she could check with Public Works.
    Commissioner Brandt commented that it needs to be something like that, so it is metered and
    people don’t’ just continue to walk — or have like a traffic cop on busy weekends. The Vice
    Chair added that you might want to manipulate the cycle, and Cari explained that for their
    events they do provide . . . Chair Losoff interrupted to say that he thought they approved the
    lighting on it too. We should go back and look; that was a major bone of contention and he
    would have voted against it had that not been agreed to. Vice Chair Levin indicated that it
    sounds like they are investigating it now, so let’s find out where they are; however, the Chair
    stated it should be done before they get too far into it, because it is partially open.
    The Vice Chair stated that interestingly enough, there are only three tenants and a restaurant;
    however, the Chair stated that the point is that we talked about the trees and stuff. We make
    them improve and then it doesn’t happen, and that is both a staff issue and developer issue, so
    we have to somehow do as we say and say as we do.
    Cari again stated that she can check on that, but as far as the site visit, obviously they saved all
    but one of the trees, and Vice Chair Levin commented that a beautiful entry to the community
    could be this.
    Cari referenced the gate and indicated it is in case some kind of creek walk is done, they can
    just unlock the gate. Commissioner Brandt noted that in 2002, he was here and the creek
    flooded and was up 14 ft., so the wall kept it from flooding, but with it now being open rail, it
    would actually flood out; of course, the building is higher. He then asked if they raised the
    building, but Cari indicated no, other than if they put in new flooring. The Commissioner
    commented that they did a fantastic job.
    The group entered the restaurant area and Vice Chair Levin mentioned that they provide dog
    dishes, and the Chair pointed out something hanging that should have a big reflector on it.
    Commissioner Brandt indicated that he knows that this was special, because it was connected,
    but what keeps new developments from saying this one did it, so how come they can’t do it.
    Cari stated that they were tying it into this development, so . . .
    Cari indicated that a mural was being painted and pointed out the bus stop that they
    incorporated and their public art. The City gave the approval to not have their art done before
    they opened, because they wanted people to walk by and experience the mural as it was being
    painted. Vice Chair Levin asked who the artist was and Tom Fish introduced himself. Vice
    Chair Levin noted that he did Dr. Singer’s place and Mr. Fish replied yes, plus the Mary Fisher
    Theatre and some orthodontist’s office in Cottonwood. The Vice Chair indicated that he did
    great work and noted that he was penciling in and then using an air compressor. Mr. Fish
    clarified that it was an air brush, and then showed his rendering for it.
    Commissioner Brandt stated that it is going to be great, because driving by you will mostly see
    the woman. Mr. Fish indicated that they are close to life-size and will be in bright colors. Vice
    Chair Levin asked how he protects it and Mr. Fish indicated that he will put a clear coat on it,
    and good paint, so it is as good as paint can be for outdoors, and then he will have another
    Planning & Zoning Commission Site Visit
    July 19, 2016
    Page 7
    clear coat on top of that. This time of year the sun is never hitting it, but this building blocks
    some . . ., so it should be in pretty good shade from direct sun. Vice Chair Levin indicated that
    it is fabulous. Mr. Fish indicated it had taken him about a week and he thinks probably about
    another week to finish. Drawing it takes time and maybe more time than painting it sometimes.
    Warren Campbell pointed out a location where they had raised the grade and the trees were
    down quite a ways, and Cari pointed out where you could see what the original grade was.
    The Commission and staff left Tlaquepaque North at 10:31 a.m

  26. Sedona City Residents says:

    Thanks to “Fake news Again from SS” for a factual accounting of the Tlaquepaque 179 corridor. One thing we can count on is Sedona Eye as the source to go to for providing the real-deal on Sedona facts.

    We are wondering if Mr. Segner will find eating crow as tasty as canned soup? Oh, but of course, he will be offering an admission of his false news and apology for same? Sure – like a gift from the “real” Santa Claus would be more realistic?

  27. Pickers says:

    Agree

  28. Cece Rosales, West Sedona says:

    @honestgov. where’d you get that to read —— —

  29. John Daniels says:

    Kurt,

    There are some SFD haters that write on here.

    Please tell us about the times you nearly lost your life or sustained major or minor injuries putting your life on the line. Since you put your life on the line every day I’m sure you have many great stories.

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