Home » From The Readers, Letters to the Editor » Sedona Council Candidates Pass Fail Question

Sedona Council Candidates Pass Fail Question

Sedona AZ (June 17, 2018) – The following is a letter to the SedonaEye.com editor:

Council Candidates on Tourist Advertising
Information & Perspective by Warren Woodward
Sedona, Arizona ~ June 17, 2018

I was recently forwarded responses to a question that a resident asked all candidates for Sedona City Council.

In response (or by not responding) to one simple question, the candidates revealed much about themselves that should help voters in determining for whom to vote in the election coming up on August 28th.

The question emailed to all candidates was this:

Hi, I see you are running for Sedona City Council. In order to help me make an informed decision, I would appreciate your answer to the following question. I know all the reasons both for and against, so please answer just YES or NO. If elected, would you support the City’s long standing practice of financially supporting promotional advertising for Sedona tourism?

If no response was received after few days, then candidates were emailed this follow-up:

Hi, is there a reason why you have not replied to my question (below) that I emailed you the other day? If I don’t get a response from you I can only assume that you don’t care about my vote so I will not vote for you. Also, if you are non-responsive to voters I will recommend that my friends not vote for you either:

Hi, I see you are running for Sedona City Council. In order to help me make an informed decision, I would appreciate your answer to the following question. I know all the reasons both for and against, so please answer just YES or NO. If elected, would you support the City’s long standing practice of financially supporting promotional advertising for Sedona tourism?

Remarkably, three candidates chose not to respond at all, even after being told they would automatically lose votes for being non-responsive: Janice Hudson and Jim Weiss, who are running for Council, and Pete Conrad, who is running for Mayor, could not be bothered to answer a simple Yes or No question, and chose instead to be Missing In Action.

Responding, but essentially giving a non-response by not answering either Yes or No, were the following candidates:

Jessica Williamson: “I would be delighted to sit and talk with you. Please let me know when would be convenient for you.”

Scott Jablow: “Thank you for writing me with your question. I find Emailing back and forth very impersonal so I would rather speak with you on the phone so we can discuss your question about Sedona tourism in more detail.”

The question made it clear there is nothing to discuss. No sitting and talking. The only detail requested was a Yes or a No. Simple question. Simple answer.

Three candidates answered Yes, but could not do so simply:

While promising to be “super brief and respect your time,” Brock Delinsky took 331 words to say Yes.

Bill Chisholm’s Yes answer ran 280 words: Chisholm claimed the City was obligated to advertise for tourists because “To follow Arizona law ARS 9-500.06 the city must spend the 0.5% bed tax increase Sedona City Council authorized starting 7/2/2014 for the ‘promotion of tourism’.”

Evidently it did not occur to Chisholm that if the City repealed the tax increase then the City would not have to spend a single dime on tourist advertising. Chisholm’s largely equivocal response can be read in full at his largely equivocal website.

Usually windy, Mike Ward managed to keep his Yes to 66 words.

Out of twelve candidates, only three answered the question correctly with just a Yes or a No.

Tony Tonsich, the mayoral candidate, and Council candidates Noelle Julian and Sam Tardio responded with a clear and unequivocal No.

While only those three candidates were able to properly answer the question in just a word, at least the other candidates who responded basically understood the question – except for one candidate.

Poor incumbent Mayor Sandy Moriarty, who is running for another term, was lost: (begin Moriarty) I appreciate your email, but I cannot answer yes or no until I understand the question. Please be specific about what you mean by “the City’s long standing practice of financially supporting promotional advertising for Sedona tourism”. Then perhaps I can answer yes or no. I would also be happy to meet with you to discuss the issue. (end Moriarty)

Since advertising commercial interests is not a proper function of government, and because it leads to cronyism, discrimination and other civic ills, I’ll be voting for Tony Tonsich, Noelle Julian and Sam Tardio.

Voters who want business as usual can pick from among the others.

Warren Woodward
Sedona AZ

Read www.SedonaEye.com for daily news and interactive views!


  1. Gotta appreciate you Warren says:

    Mr Woodword –
    Bless you for all your honest, helpful and insightful things you do to help the “us” of Sedona, and Arizona, the people that just need peace and safety and a reasonable life. I know I am not the only one appreciate what you have and are doing.
    Tony, Noelle and Sam have my attention and I hope others too.

  2. Warren Woodward says:

    This is a PS to my letter to the editor.

    Candidate Janice Hudson contacted me today to say that she never got any emails asking this question on tourist advertising. After I sent her a date stamped copy of one of the emails showing that it in fact had been sent to her and to the correct address, she responded to the email sender and Cc’d me. The following is her response:

    Ms. Carmella, I have been sent a copy of your email of May 22 by Mr. Woodward. It is my understanding that you sent this email and a follow-up email to jhowes3309@gmail.com. I wanted to let you know that I have searched that email, including spam, as well as my campaign email, janiceforsedona@gmail.com, including spam, and nothing with your email address is showing up in my email system. I do not know why your emails did not arrive.
    I have responded to all resident requests that I have received within a very short period of time and, I can assure you that, had I received your emails, I would have responded to you in a timely fashion as well.
    Now that I am in possession of your original email and you wanted a simple “yes” or “no” response, my answer is “yes”. If you would like to discuss my reasoning for this answer, or you have questions regarding any other issue, please feel free to contact me at janiceforsedona@gmail.com or, given our recent email problems, please feel free to call me at (928) 301-2120.
    Janice Howes Hudson

  3. Tony Tonsich says:

    Warren tries to make the world a better place. He single handily fought the utility companies against the potentially deadly smart meters and won. He’s trying to inform the residents. This is our town, we can take it back from the special interests.

    WE can truly make RESIDENTS FIRST again.

  4. Responsible Voter says:

    The simplistic, false, dichotomy of “yes” or “no” is indicative of the approach of all of Sedona’s NIMBY contingent. It is easy to frame issues in black or white, but that is not dialog, it is not a solution and it will NOT create real-world, workable solutions to Sedona’s problems. It is lazy, non-engaged, easy-peasy propaganda.

    Instead of accepting the candidates’ offers to sit down, face to face, and engage in a civil, responsible dialog about differing perspectives and solutions, the person who requested “yes” or “no” uses this simplistic approach as a launchpad for negativity and personal attacks on the candidates’ integrity. That does NOT contribute to a better Sedona.

    I, personally, am voting for the candidates who understand that there are many viewpoints and competing needs in Sedona, and have expressed an interesting in engaging in a dialog with ALL residents, and who understand that are are NO black and white answers to complex issues. I will be voting for moderates, not Haters and name-callers.

  5. Tony Tonsich says:

    Moderates have cause this problem. If Sedona traffic only grows at a moderate 8% per year, in 9 years traffic will double. Total gridlock. That’s what moderate growth will get you. We live in a small valley surrounded by forest. All the engagement in the world will not change that. Logically, you can not have unlimited growth in a limited area.

    The total failure of the current leadership is indicated by the loss of about 10% of the Sedona population while millions of baby boomers are retiring.

    It’s time for a change.

  6. @Tony Tonsich says:

    But unfortunately logic in Sedona has apparently taken flight with the 10% of Sedona population. BTW it seems FaceBook comments have become the latest news source which is really frightening. Speaking only from the perspective of word of mouth feedback from FB participants the fake news being propagated is really out of control. People believe it! Tony keep up the good work on SedonaEye and we’ll continue to hope honestly will payoff in the long run. Appreciate Warren Woodward’s contribution too as well as others (Maddock, Jenks, Twombly etc.) Thanks.

  7. steve Segner says:

    Tony said:
    “They can call us &;NIMBY’s; ( not in my back yard ) and close the gate behind us, but Sedona is geographically limited. It’s like denying reality. You can deny reality, but you can’t deny the consequences of denying reality;”

    Yes, Tony
    I agree,”denying reality” Tony and his followers came to Sedona as tourists and then said close the doors.

    Sedona will grow, we have hundreds of home and commercial sites ready to be build on,the Verdi valley will grow with hundreds of new home, all ready in planning.
    Phoenix is one of the fastest growing areas in America and just 100 miles away.
    Sedona sits on two, not ” one” but 2 state hwy’s and one is a scenic hwy.
    Sedona is next to some of the most heavily used state parks in the state.
    Sedona is 100 miles south of the Grand Canyon.
    And Tony solution is to not work on roads (Sedona in Motion) de fund the library, and stop home rule.
    and that will fix Sedona!

    The chamber spends the majority of visitor tax (bed tax) on visitor management not advertising.

    So,Tony tell us how you will stop the tourists…. Because you can sure a hell bet business and there10,000 employees will be getting the word out about Sedona,
    The answer is planning and funding for growth….. not (deleted by editor) Tony’s head in the sand approach.

  8. John Boy says:

    @steve Segner continues to rant and rave about 10K employees in Sedona ????? Is that incorporated Sedona, steve, or the “region” which is NOT in City of Sedona jurisdiction???? You’ve been proven wrong by city AND state statistics and you continue to spread lies and misinformation. Who is asking you to do this for them, Steve? Who gains by your lies?

    You ask other for proof and yet yammer on and on without providing evidence. The Mayor and Council Elections are to provide leaders for those of us within City Limits and NOT the entire region let alone the State of Arizona. Why don’t you run for Governor, Steve?

    You fail to ever acknowledge that (Thank God) a good portion of land in Sedona remains under control of the U.S. Forest Service and is NOT up for grabs by developers. You must cry a lot over that one, Stevie.

    Tony, you are a good man and don’t listen to the rants of any nut case. Stay the course and hopefully you will prevail. We need and deserve better than the haphazard journey of the last few years since the crazies have been manning the helm! Let the ship sink if the same old, same old prevails.

  9. Mike H says:

    @steve Segner

    You are saying then that Sedona should welcome all of Phoenix, Tucson and the entire Verde Valley every weekend? Should we evict all the residents and just pave the whole place, except for your hotel of course? You keep repeating the lie about 10,000 employees and how the chamber will educate and train tourists. Do you have a bridge in Brooklyn for sale too?

  10. Jim S says:

    Thanks for this, Warren. You have given me everything I need to know to vote in the upcoming Sedona city council election.

  11. Steve segner says:

    Mike you knew Sedona was a tourist town before you moved here, do you live by your mistakes a lot of us love it as a tourist town we don’t want to change things we welcome the tourism we welcome the work we welcome the money they bring to town it’s a big United States people move all the time

  12. Steve Segner says:

    Mike has been using Made up numbers so I went out and to the real numbers I hope the helps ….
    (Deleted by editor)
    From: Karen Osburn
    Sent: Monday, July 16, 2018 11:32 AM
    To: Steve Segner; Al Comello; Justin Clifton
    Cc: Susan Irvine; Cherie Wright
    Subject: Re: Can I get

    The latest report I have calculating visitor vs. resident sales tax collections was done in 2016 and was 66% to 34% (attached). I have copied Cherie on this email because I also know she has been updating that, so she can let us know where that is in process.

    Between 2008 to 2018 the adopted budget decreased from $60,597,694 to $47,752,118, or $12,845,576 and 21.2%.

  13. Jess Alvarado says:

    CCs more interesting than Steve’s comment & Osburn replies? Clifton &Comello & Segner equal??????????

    Vote out city council. Put in new.

  14. Donna Joy Varney says:

    The is nothing to fear with a No Vote.

    The City Council has been throwing money at the chamber. They have caused the issue we have. Too much money. No controls or checks and balancing. Home Rule is just an estimate but council can spend as much as they want.

    The State Law only requires the city to use .5% of bed tax for tourism enchancement. So why is the city giving the Chamber 55%?
    Because the City Council wanted to

    Required .5% is $614,071
    Chamber got $2,502,865.00
    Source: City of Sedona AP Report

    That $614,071 can and should be used on improving and planning tourism for inside our City. Like Police, Pedestrian Traffic Light, Trail & Street maintenance

    By giving a regional-chamber tax money collected by our in-city businesses we are discriminating, creating hardships and disregarded our own without a voice or VOTE.

    The system is broken. NOW is the time to use YOUR VOICE

    Vote OUT all incumbents.

    Vote NO on Home Rule

  15. Steve segner says:

    more great news Revenues

    In total, General Fund revenues are up 11% over last year, and Wastewater Fund revenues are down 4% from last year. Excluding the impacts of significant one-time capacity fees received in the prior year and significant one- time settlement revenues received in the current year, the remaining Wastewater Fund revenues are up 3% over last year. Total City revenues are up 12% over last year and at 87% of budget.

    Executive Summary

    The City’s largest revenue sources are sales and bed tax revenues. Year-to-date City sales taxes are 12% higher than the prior year and year-to-date bed taxes are 18% higher than the prior year. Excluding the impact of the additional half-cent sales tax for transportation projects effective March 1, 2018, City sales taxes are 7% higher than the prior year

    city is doing great, hotel stays up only 1.5% but income way way up marketing to high end is working…..

  16. Gretchen says:

    (Deleted by editor)I’ll take Karen Osborne’s facts and figures

    I’m voting YES on homerule.

    (Deleted by editor)

    Ps. Been talking to my neighbors about this this and everyone I talk to is in complete agreement… Particularly after they are told about you “less then honest” fact twisting

  17. JeanJ says:

    Steve Segner says on July 17, 2018 at 11:49 am–using figures he claims are from Karen Osburn–that “Between 2008 to 2018 the adopted budget decreased from $60,597,694 to $47,752,118 or $12,845,576 and 21.2%.” This is comparing apples and oranges and is very misleading in my opinion.

    Gretchen, according to the EYE ON SEDONA FINANCES WITH COUNCILOR MIKE WARD (June 27, 2012), “In the past, the city’s budget was set artificially high. For example, the FY 2008 budget was approved at $61 million when only $28 million was expended. Under our new City Manager, Tim Ernster, who joined the city in 2009, our city budget much more realistically reflects the real anticipated costs of running the city every year.”

    Although FY 2008 expenditures were $28 million, FY 2018 actual expenditures were $39,640,263. That’s an increase of 41.6%.

    Support for 5 of 9 GOVERNANCE ratings in the NCS “Sedona, AZ Community Livability Report 2017” lagged behind the national average, as follows:

    Overall direction, 31%
    Confidence in City government, 35%
    Acting in the best interest of Sedona, 34%
    Being honest, 40%
    Treating all residents fairly, 42%


  18. Steve Segner says:

    Thanks Tony, last night was great you save me a lot of effort you did your self in with no help from anyone. (Deleted by Editor)

  19. Christine M. Kagawa says:

    When is enough, enough? God bless the tourists for the money they bring into this city. But what about the quality of life for those of us who live here? The traffic is horrendous. Long waits to get into the city and out of it. We don’t go out on weekends because it’s impossible to move around in this town anymore. The city has spent tons of moneys on “studies” that for the most part, don’t alleviate the problems we have. The Chamber has done too good a job and needs to be reigned in. The City Council is a joke. How much money is enough? Where are our police? Certainly not in town , directing traffic. I could go on, but why bother? Home rule just gives the Council more money to throw around. Vote No!

  20. Brad says:

    City needs help draining its swamp at city hall. Received fake news email several times and it’s making me mad but delete it and can’t wait for ballot to delete incumbents that sent it out.

  21. Inquiring Minds Want to Know says:

    A review of the Arizona Secretary of State’s election campaign finance report website below


    and the City of Sedona’s election campaign finance report website below

    reveal the following facts as of July 21, 2018:

    AZ Elections 18 PAC
    – Registered on October 11, 2017 with Arizona Secretary of State’s Office
    – Registered on July 12, 2018 with the City of Sedona’s Clerk’s Office
    – Chairman is Steve Segner, President of the Sedona Lodging Council
    – Treasurer is Charles Williamson
    – Filed three quarterly financial reports in 2018 with Arizona Secretary of State’s Office
    – Filed NO quarterly financial reports in 2018 with City of Sedona’s Clerk’s Office.
    – Quarterly financial report filed with the Arizona Secretary of State’s office shows that almost $30,000 has been raised since it was established in 2017.
    – Quarterly financial report filed with the Arizona Secretary of State’s office shows that $11,000 was raised in the Second Quarter, 2018, all from Sedona hotels, businesses and restaurants.

    Sandy for Mayor Campaign Committee
    – Has not filed a statement of organization (required by the State of Arizona).
    – Has not filed a Second Quarter, 2018 financial report
    – Has been running paid ads in the Red Rock News with financial no disclosure.

Leave a Reply

Copyright © 2008-2017 · Sedona Eye · All Rights Reserved · Posts · Comments · Facebook · Twitter ·