Home » City Council, Community, Featured » Eddie S. Maddock: A World of Controversy for this Independence Day

Eddie S. Maddock: A World of Controversy for this Independence Day


SedonaEye.com columnist Eddie S. Maddock reminds voters to fact check politicians in the upcoming Sedona city election especially the Home Rule issue on the ballot.

Sedona AZ – In a world that seems to reek from ongoing controversial matters, global, national and local, it is enough to make one wonder if things will EVER be normal again. “Normal?” and what does that mean? Is it not another subject for yet a myriad of differing opinions?

Nationally the tug of war rages between the “left” and the “right” posing a question of “Is there anyone out there capable of being in the middle?” Each faction puts forth the best effort to convey a position and are any firmly “right or wrong?” Without mudslinging what would remain to rationally support their frequently questionable endeavors?

Perhaps the truth?

Ballots in Sedona are in the mail for early voters. During the course of time, positions from the mayoral and city council candidates (vying for a place on the ballot in the deciding November vote) have been offering their thoughts and opinions while upholding reasons for those positions on local issues. Opportunities for direct contact with candidates have been available, thus leaving no excuses for registered voters to remain uninformed – unless that is their choice. Listening to opinions of others without checking factual aspects of data is not always a good idea.

And, of course, in Sedona, the ongoing controversial issue of “Home Rule” is first and foremost under the gun with those pro and anti activists at each other in full force. There is little doubt (if any) that in Sedona politics there is rarely (if ever) anything that doesn’t create a battle of pro and con input.

However, one must be very careful and aware to check out facts from fiction, especially on the “Home Rule” issue. For example, scare tactics imposed with threats that without the umbrella of “Home Rule” Sedona will not have the public library! That simply is not true.  

The Sedona Library and the Sedona Humane Society were established long before Sedona incorporated. Both were supported and funded because that’s what “local” people did back in those days. They made things happen because of coming together, uniting, and seeing successful outcomes for what the “majority” of those in support of a particular effort had the spirit and determination to facilitate. It was done with joy, social gatherings, and creating an atmosphere of cooperation from kindred spirits with mutual goals.

The success or failure of issues came about without “city” funding because there was no City of Sedona.

As for Home Rule, this issue appears on our ballot every few years, the end result has always resulted in approval of the measure. Generally, however, very misleading information is the underlying reason – because resident voters are (unfortunately) led to believe that certain benefits would be eliminated if Home Rule failed and Sedona would be limited to Arizona State restrictions. Again not true!

Simply stated, any issue of great importance to voting residents would be decided by themselves instead of the “Home Rule” option to rush things through because of what city leaders, both council and staff, decide .. based on what THEY think is best for US.

In a sense, isn’t that somewhat insulting? To assume that we, the people, are not capable of conveying our own decisions by way of legitimate voices via the constitutional right of voting? Is that something to think about?

If the answer is yes, then please do it. Check out both sides of input from intelligent people who take time to research and provide factual information. By all means, please do not fall for unwarranted scare tactics which simply are not true.

Although time is limited, early ballots are not required to be immediately returned.

Happy Fourth of July 2022, Sedona. Celebrate your independence. Cast your vote .. wisely.


  1. Rene, Sedona says:

    Great article and reminders Eddie Maddock. Everyone needs to request a ballot and do their part to keep Sedona beautiful and safe.

  2. Suzanne says:

    A shout out ” To assume that we, the people, are not capable of conveying our own decisions by way of legitimate voices via the constitutional right of voting. Is that something to think about?” Yes it is. The attitude of “they think they know what’s best” is definitely NOT necessarily true and it’s rude and insulting. The time is long overdue for big changes to be made here in OUR beautiful Sedona. It’s now or never, Folks. That is unless it’s already too late.

  3. Jim D, Uptown Sedona says:

    How smart was it for Sedona, under the thumb of Home Rule, to approve the pedestrian crosswalk at Tlaquepaque? Just who benefited from that besides the owner of Tlaquepaque? Most assuredly NOT tourists and/or residents. Proof? Miles and miles of backed up traffic on SR179. Need another example of Home Rule decisions? When Sedona took ownership of the uptown portion of 89A. OMG – ultimate disaster!!


  4. Jason Williams says:

    A reminder for voters. The desperation for Sedona to provide work force housing continues to heighten. Not only that, the intention to use Forest Road via extension down that hill (towards USFS land) in order to connect to W89 remains on the table. How will they (the city) obtain those beautiful view homes and properties at the end of Forest Road? Ever here of the term Eminent Domain?

    “Eminent domain refers to the power of the government to take private property and convert it into public use. The Fifth Amendment provides that the government may only exercise this power if they provide just compensation to the property owners.”

    “Just compensation.” Decided by whom? Definitely NOT YOU.

    And let us please not forget perhaps the failure of the “city” to follow through and legalize the terms that lodging facilities were required to provide a certain number of work force housing accommodations. The developers wriggled out of “on-site” provisions by finagling alleged “off-site” facilities. How many of them became reality?

    Failed past facilities such as Nepenthe, also approved “allegedly” for the purpose of more affordable housing, conveniently turned out as another bonanza for the developers. “Affordable?” Never happened.

    What more proof is needed to display without a doubt the slick implementation of true negotiations behind closed doors at City Hall? And would this have been so convenient without the benefit of Home Rule to enhance moving along smoothly with slick deals and betrayal of contract terms?

    And why is it the “city” ignores the vast amount of acreage they own by the Wastewater Treatment Plant? Why do they continue avoiding using that land for development of reasonably priced and more “affordable” housing provisions? Could it be because that land is outside the jurisdiction of the City of Sedona?

    Plain and simply, what reason is there to continue “trusting” our elected officials with making decisions that clearly leave us with too many unanswered questions and no recourse for prevention?

    VOTE NO ON HOME RULE and force the ship of commanders to change course.

  5. Marv, Sedona says:

    Let’s not forget the gosh-awful embracing by the City of Sedona of a regional Chamber of Commerce as part of Sedona city government. What a slap in the face to legitimate tax collecting city businesses – to be shunned by the also phony “Sedona” Visitors Center & Tourism Bureau unless they are Chamber members.

    Incidentally that “Sedona” Visitors Center is yet another example of misrepresentation to put it mildly and never mind that the “tourism bureau” was conveniently added as a feeble attempt to cover up another underhanded deal. One might even wonder if it’s fraudulent? Just wondering. . . Aren’t we long overdue for a change in mayor, city council members, and definitely a NO vote on Home Rule?

  6. Raphael Ciro says:

    Protect canyon creeks by restricting its use to zero. NOW. We can’t sustain residents. We can’t sustain tourism. Our resources are drying up. Chances of fire are extreme out of this world. Need to have a replanting trees weeks to replenish forests or we don’t survive like they’ve done in Middle East. NOW.

  7. Joel says:

    Great Article! You never disappoint Eddie and are always spot on. I look forward to everything you write.

    We residents have been put out while the City Council has permanently damaged the entire region with the city council and chamber tourism marketing.

    We need a NO vote to bring a balance back. Sedona needs to heal from the overmarketing and abuse of tourism.

    Greed they are.


  8. Eddie Maddock says:

    Thanks to those of you who still find time to read Sedona Eye. Whether you agree with my submissions or not, all comments are appreciated.

    It’s gratifying and reassuring to know that not everyone out there is so caught up in social media sources that they still have time to check out online publications. And that is NOT meant to be a bad reflection on social media.

    The intent is to, perhaps, reflect on the suggestion from William Cowper’s poem The Task” (1785): ” Variety is the very spice of life.” After all, if we all agreed on everything how boring might that be? Or maybe a refreshing change? You decide!

  9. Michele says:

    Thank you for this grounded understanding of home rule. I live next-door to the proposed Sunset Lofts development – a “workforce housing“ development sponsored by the city. The city council and mayor want to densify Sedona. This means cutting away at the last bits of green space in our neighborhoods where wild animals and native plants have existed long before we came here. If voting no to home rule will stop the city from pushing an agenda that residents do not want, then I vote no.

  10. Donna Joy Varney says:

    Thank you for another great article.

    I first became an Eddie Maddock fan back in the 90’s watching Backfire on Geronimo Cable TV when you were the Co-host. I’d watch the shows repeatedly. I was amazed by you, your knowledge, wisdom, sense of humor and your beauty. I was starstruck by you. When you walked into Chill Out Cafe, a business my husband and I started, I almost fell over with excitement.

    From that moment I felt a strong connection to you, you were my dream model Mom. Beautiful, funny and smart all in one. If I needed to know anything about Sedona you were my go to person for facts.

    Throughout the all the years you have mentored me, help guide me through the tough times and taught me so much. You have helped our community so much.

    I have read and follow everything you have written in both the print and online. I have even saved copies of Sedona Times in print. I enjoy our weekly phone dinner dates, cherish every call and moment we’ve spent together.

    If I haven’t said it enough or loud out enough, please forgive me.

    Thank you, I adore you, respect you and I love you with all my heart. You are my sunshine.

    Donna Joy Varney

  11. Dana Varney says:

    Thank You once again for your thoughtful insight on this most important upcoming Home Rule vote. I would be hard pressed to find one redeeming project that the city of Sedona has implemented through the power of Home Rule. In other words it has been nothing but, destructive. It is time for the people to take back their power. Vote no on Home Rule and vote out all incumbents.

  12. No Rocket Scientist Here says:

    About the proposed Sunset Lofts, don’t forget nearby Nepenthe. It has come up a time or two before but continues to serve as an example of betrayal by those in charge. Workforce housing was gone with the wind when the contract was written.

    They don’t give a hoot about Sedona residents. Tourists have always come first and now they have so much revenue from “them” (forget that we, too, pay city taxes and unlike tourists it’s every single day of the year).

    They, the city administrators, can toss that dough around as if there’s no tomorrow. Just look at the outrageous city payroll.

    If they aren’t stopped the Cultural Park will be next on the chopping block for wildlife and natural beauty. Sedona has surpassed enough!

    Vote NO ON HOME RULE and put the scoundrels in their proper place. Hopefully out the back door.

  13. Lorraine R. , west Sedona says:

    Lake Mead has only one boat launch in operation as of today. Flat bottom boats only and a four hour wait to get most into water and 4 hours to get it out. No more day trips.

    Hoover Dam has about 5 generators of 17 working because water too low so what is Sedona Going to Do???????

    Colorado River is becoming dry and dead and heavily affects Arizona. What’s the plan to keep those tourists coming without water and electricity because residents must be first? You got a solar meter on your house ? You got a wind turbine? Lake mead will be closed after they soak tourists for July 4 weekend. No more lake mead tourism and no more tourism. Get started Sedona in this Biden administration real world. This admin isn’t going to tell us. Check out people posting info to YouTube.

  14. They Must Be Stopped says:

    “Eminent domain refers to the power of the government to take private property and convert it into public use. The Fifth Amendment provides that the government may only exercise this power if they provide just compensation to the property owners.”

    Unless the control of the city council is shifted with this pending election, they WILL do it! Change of Mayor; Change of council members: NO on Home Rule!

  15. Independence Day says:

    July 4, 2022 – Let the process begin to set us free! It CAN happen. Demand transparency. Let the Chamber of Commerce do it’s own thing. It is NOT part of our city government.

    Let City Hall honor us with an authentic “Sedona City Visitors Center” like is displayed by Flagstaff and most other cities across this great country.

    Cut the nonsense. Demand transparency. Out with the old. In with the new. Including no more scare tactics relating to Home Rule.

    Independence Day for Sedona will depend on the outcome of the election.

  16. Bettye says:

    Eddie- Thank You once again for Your timely and important Post!
    I personally will be voting with all the factually information I can find.

    As for Home Rule, My vote is a NO as a safe guard if any of the present Council are reelected. I’m so tired of Poor Decisions, Lack of Sustainability, and OMG the real possibility of Eminent Domain being used now, etc., etc….

    I don’t understand the argument against Home Rule saying “It’s Our Money and We should be able to Spend It”. Have we forgotten, or don’t know how much Debt Sedona has? This may be an old fashion idea, but I believe if you have Debt you don’t throw money away on whims or poor decisions.
    If I were to add up All my Debt at this time it would be $130.00 for the Sudden Link bill I got 2 days ago. Let’s be Responsible, and, save for a rainy day.

    In closing, My Father had a saying, “They say they own a house and a nice car,
    but the fact is the Bank Owns Both”.
    Let’s vote No on Home Rule at this time.
    Kurt Gehlbach for Mayor.

  17. Richard Greenhouse says:

    Happy 4th of July America and don’t give in to radicals and murderers and drug addicted subhumans wanting to make us a socialized country of lazy uneducated government paid for worker bees. Be proud to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

  18. David & Joyce says:

    We agree with Bettye. NO on Home Rule and definitely a change in mayor and council members. When they reneged on honoring the “sunset clause” in conjunction with that .05% sales tax increase and took it upon themselves to continue the rip off that was ENOUGH FOR US.

    Why should we continue to elect people that betray their commitments and follow the tired old policies that continue to ruin Sedona? At least we have an opportunity for a change. Yes, Miss Bettye, we will vote as you suggest in your last two lines.

    Oh and BTW if Scott Jablow fails on being elected Mayor will that mean he relinquishes his present chair as Vice Mayor? We can only hope.

  19. Sanvia Gee says:

    July 4 celebrate
    First generation citizen

  20. Stanley N. says:

    That’s the problem with politicians and elected officials. Once they are “in” all past promises are soon forgotten. Proof? They found a way to hang on to that temporary .05% tax increase instead of sun-setting it as was the original deal.

    Yep – taxation is their method – and none of then have ever seen a tax proposal they didn’t like. They are NOT to be TRUSTED! Be grateful we do NOT have a city property tax!!!

    We need a majority of four on that city council of seven in order to make significant changes. It cannot happen with the likes of what we have.

  21. Bethany Silver says:

    Californians who rejected high taxes and their crappy state and local representation over decades and who also live here now always in conversations puppet the need for increasing our taxes and keeping special assessed taxes. But they can’t tell you why it’s a sound economic decision.

    Those same Californians tell Arizona locals and long time residents to be grateful for the city government who runs our city and displaces citizen involvement and voices because unelected politicians and employees are smarter and more qualified than AZ citizens who pay taxes here.

    Their sense of entitlement is now an AZ problem.

    They are 99.9%ers who pretend to be we the people, but are closet bigots and racists name-calling to shame us and try to keep us on the run and our mouths shut. They are driving us into a government manmade economic recession and want to blame former President Trump, which is like expecting Whoopi to relinquish her Jewish stage name of Goldberg.

    It all comes down to being a Karen like Whoopi, Californians. Sedona doesn’t need more than an active local population of self representation- like AZ had before they fled California as a 10% diaspora fleeing taxation and poor schools and uncontrolled immigration and bankrolled elections.

    Why is a Mayoral election being conducted when we know it is illegal? Answer why it has not been removed from the ballot?

  22. Vanessa, Uptown says:

    Arizona getting sued by Biden Administration to let people vote in Arizona without IDs!!!!! It’s (deleted by editor) nuts!!!!!! Sedona better vote & get ballots!!!!!

  23. Marilyn T. says:

    Sedona’s new definition: Sanctuary City in progress @Vanessa, Uptown.
    Really are there any other words to describe what’s going on here?

  24. Sonny in Sedona says:

    Ask the council about this: we can’t afford one single new tap turning on and using our water or sewer systems. That’s scientific FACT. We DON’T GENERATE WATER and our CREEK has a limited lifespan.

    Close the park at the end of August and let the creek and Sedona rest. Tourists burned down the trees that protected our canyon a few years ago and it hasn’t recovered and won’t because of the continued drought that’s now worse because of fires.

    Phoenix is predicted to be uninhabitable in our lifetime.

    The Hoover Dam is failing.

    The Colorado is failing.

    Illegal immigration has created a strain on our limited job markets and there will be no jobs for unskilled workers in the near years and your taxes will be used to pay them to eat and to build them housing and offset its cost of crime and medical costs. It’s smarter to remain in South and Central America where there is future food and water sources but they listen to our media saying otherwise.

    Food for thought won’t keep you from starving in Sedona because we grow no food here and cannot feed ourselves now even with a little population and with no gas to help us get it here or move us somewhere else across the desert and mountains.

    It takes water to live in Sedona and gas to keep us mobile. At its peak, solar and wind will only provide 11% of our needs. Prior native civilizations moved on, and we will one day soon be forced to leave Arizona for a food and water source.

    No no no more taps, no no no more new builds, no no no more asphalt, no no no more rock demolition, the death of our fragile Sedona.

    This isn’t about Chicken Little. He already moved to the Ozarks with the many Californians who moved to about 40 different states in droves and who left because of poverty, crime, taxes and no water by a state that accelerated its demise by electing over and over really bad politicians who keep implementing really high taxes with no true value return!

    Even Gov Newsom is vacationing in Wyoming, a state he banned state employees from going to because of its politics!! He isn’t vacationing in California, his state is drying up, and according to major newspapers its economy and standard of living is now among the worst in the US. Even Hollywood is thinking of relocating much of its industry.

    Great job blue state politicians for killing the golden geese.

    Don’t be the same, Sedonans, and demand a NO GROWTH moratorium to save us. Kick out bad political ideas this election. Try new ones on for size.

    We don’t need Sunset Lofts, we don’t need more people. We need sustainable development and that’s an oxymoron for Sedona and Arizona.

    Demand our politicians get in the bus and stay here before they leave like Pelosi and Newsom do for better places to be.

    Monthly Drought Status Summary: MAY 2022

    Arizona moved back into Exceptional (D4) drought (3%) for the first time since August 2021, branching into western Mohave County.
    https://new.azwater.gov › drought
    Drought Status – Arizona Department of Water Resources

  25. Fake Outrage says:

    Oh my ….someONE been very busy venting….

  26. Thank you angry one says:

    Way to turn a local “home rule” issue into national politics!!!!
    A sure way to lose ONCE AGAIN.. keep it up … your the Sedona Councils sure fire ANGRY weapon to win once again.

  27. 2 Cents says:

    Sedona is drier and my yard is small but feeling example. Should be mandated by counties to have zero scape yards unless its planted with native plants. Leave roads unpacked on forest lands and in scenic areas. Firewise smart.

  28. Erin says:

    @took class in Boulder Colorado couple years back & snowpack is predicted to be half in the near future

  29. Leon says:

    Get a ballot
    Fill it out
    Return it

  30. JD, West Sedona says:

    Good suggestion @Leon – “Get a ballot. Fill it out. Return it.”

    How about considering one addition?

    If it’s mailed in, please use the U.S. Post Office. In the event the “city” still provides a “drop-box” at City Hall, beware! How can they be trusted?

  31. @somny says:

    If I lived in Cali I’d move to AZ as well. After all their tired of contributing more taxes the they get from the Feds. Their tired of contributing to the freeloader Arizonans who take Fed taxes while contributing at a Deficit. I think that’s called Freeloading.

  32. Alexis , Sedona says:

    vote for change that’s what Sedona needs

  33. @ JD says:

    Do you know the city doesn’t collect ballots! LOL….That would be Yavapai or Coconino county election officials which are overseen by the sate of Arizona!!!….God help us, people like you vote! Your clueless!

  34. Luther says:

    Ask veterans to explain that life changed and we’re facing wars with Russia and China and if they beat us then we have no place to go except prison camps and it won’t be in Sedona it will be death camps in Phoenix deserts. Get organized to have food and medical care and staples to survive even earthquakes or road sinkholes.

  35. FT says:

    God help us problem like you vote @JD and @somny – you’ve tossed this pithy little California pays more taxes than God and Arizona and that’s why Californians would move here around before and you were thoroughly debunked about why that disparaged AZ – when it had nothing to do with either state management. It’s not a comparable and has nothing to do with taxation without representation. Educated in Cali always means a lesser quality education and it’s tiring. Either way it comes down to quality of life and California lost its value and over 10% have fled for better governments. Don’t ask this Arizonan, ask the hundreds of thousands of Californians who’ve moved north and east and south.

  36. JD says:

    And since when did City Hall make provisions for two drop boxes? One for Yavapai County and one for Coconino County @@JD?

    Because City Hall is located in the Yavapai County portion of Sedona is there comparable opportunity for east Sedona to have a similar convenience?

    Isn’t the simple solution to go to the main post office in Coconino Sedona or drop ballots in the the smaller facility at the post office by the movie theater in West Sedona? Bypass City Hall all together! Easy peasy?

  37. Katana, west side says:

    no home rule

  38. Jess Wundrin says:

    Why do you suppose it is? All the folks from CA, the Midwest, & East Coast move to Sedona because they are fed up with big city life @FT. And then once they get here darned if they don’t spend their efforts trying to change things here to be “the way they were back there” (wherever). That’s also reflected to an extent with the elected city council. Always striving to recreate the places they chose to leave. Go figure.

    However maybe if THEY did the smart thing and returned to their heart’s desire Sedona might enjoy a breath of fresh air and regain some charm?

  39. @JD says:

    Well one drop box was at city hall with cameras looking at it…which is a good idea….The other was at the fire dept on 179, yes again with cameras on it….The world is not a giant conspiracy only fools like you belive it!….(Deleted by editor) But dont stop believing, your prognostication is epic!……LOL

  40. Postal Worker Retired says:

    What good does the cameras do? Nobody looks at them unless a court order or crime committed. They are relooped and not on flash drives or internet cloud with no memory for viewing. Wouldn’t stand up in court and ballot collectors know it and should be illegal because no protection for vote. Have to mail them USPS or they aren’t protected. Use post office then it’s a crime to open them.

  41. Early Voter says:

    Thank you and Amen to factual information @Postal Worker Retired!!

  42. RKC says:

    tried to watch @ LWV what a fail for those mayors ——-only ones worth listening to were the 2 young ones —— I’m voting for the mom raised here & keeping Kurt as second – —-no one bothers showing up & shouldn’t get votes

  43. Also A Legitimate Voter says:

    Same as RKC, Kurt got my vote when he went on record to say “NO” on Home Rule! Y E S!!!! And BTW, he had the courage to run for mayor after having lost the election a couple of years ago. Determination and a proven history with Sedona, personally as well as through his father. Let’s also hope he sees through the questionable funding to the Regional Chamber of Commerce! NOT the responsibility of the City of Sedona tax revenue!

  44. Amy Lou, west Sedona says:


  45. Baylor says:

    Got my vote for Kurk.

  46. Jon says:

    Those other candidates not showing up likely fear being exposed like Jablow and Mayor Sandy as career politicians with platitudes and no vision except their own pro growth destroy our red rocks for unneeded roads and parking garages. Stand up and vote for the two who aren’t cows and who believe in possibility of Beautiful serene and good life Sedona.

  47. Andrew & Sally says:

    Now that the big hoop-de-do 4th of July is over with minus any major disasters like forest fires it’s time to enjoy our typical lull in tourism this particular time of the year. We say “YIPPEE”.

    Might another reason for a lag in traffic congestion be due to the high cost of gasoline? Even though the price per gallon has temporarily dropped a couple of cents in the past day $5.00/gal still adds up to a whopping expense – not to mention inflation and increased prices on EVERYTHING!

    Residents, enjoy the moment! One annual event this time of year apparently remains alive and well. Fewer tourists!!! But most likely not for long.


    Was it ever proven that the questionable “destination marketing” program attracted anything besides day-trippers?

  48. Roy says:

    Maybe we’ll get relief at the Sedona polls because 6 of 10 Democrats think Joe should go. They’re waking up Democrats and government works against the common man like us in Sedona and we like less government and more eco friendly sustainable city unlike their pro growth let taxes climb mentality.

  49. Marilyn T. says:

    Speaking of a break from tourists (Andrew & Sally) the policy in our household is to “Shop Outside Sedona City Limits” and opt for businesses that are NOT members of the Sedona City financed “regional” Chamber of Commerce!

    And, quite honestly, you might be surprised to find out how many businesses are included in that category! Also probably more often than not the sales tax is less.

    When and if the City of Sedona ever ceases and desists funding the C of C – for ANY cockeyed reason – we might again revise our own thinking and find the “Shop Sedona” policy more palatable.

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