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Sedona Defund the Chamber Petition

Sedona Eye Defund Chamber

Sign this petition to defund the Sedona Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau today. The City of Sedona has paid the Sedona Chamber 15.3 million dollars since 2014. The current policy is NOT working for our communities.

February 22, 2022 – The following is a letter to the SedonaEye.com editor:

Defunding the Chamber is a request to change the public policy for tourism management.

Watching Sedona City Council meetings and workshops is exhausting. Our city council and staff spend thousands of hours in meetings with the regional Sedona Chamber of Commerce. These meetings run 3-4 hours each time. The resources used are easily 2-4 million dollars a year.

Defunding the Chamber translates to less confusion, less mayhem, a lot less work, and creates a target aligning the City of Sedona with their jurisdictional boundaries.

The City of Sedona has paid the Sedona Chamber 15.3 million dollars since 2014. We all see and feel the results of “regional marketing and management.” Our businesses, residents, visitors are burdened and are paying for the Chamber to play with public funding. The current policy is NOT working for our communities.

Defunding the Chamber would bring the policy in house, 100% controlled by the city management. The ideal policy would be modeled after the Arizona Office of Tourism (AOT) policies and would mirror cities that have a City Office of Tourism with a Tourism Advisory Council (TAC), the industry standard for Municipalities: It is fair, balanced, enables positive cost saving improvements for our community and would bring the City of Sedona tourism policy in line with other destination cities.

The ideal city “Office for Tourism” would bring our community together by having representation exclusive in-city businesses “Tourism Advisory Council” (TAC) creating policy, process and procedures for city council to OVERSEE and approve.

The City Council would no longer be trying to control an organization that does not align with Sedona city limits. At the July 28, 2021, City Council meeting Candace Carr Strauss, CEO Sedona Chamber stated, “Chamber Board of Directors is the body that determines the scope of work.” Why should our city council have to barter for services paid to a vendor?

The ideal policy, process, and procedure can be tweaked and grown in a transparent way. The Sedona City Council and staff won’t have to rebuild the program every year dealing with the revolving door of council, staff, and a Chamber board of directors. Performance metrics, research, reports and performance dashboards can continuously guide management in the right way. Growing and improving year after year. Collateral and assets would be owned by the City of Sedona.

It would be fun, exciting, making an engaging positive solution for the City of Sedona, our area communities, while creating a fair and balanced playing field.Please reach out to friends, family, customers and businesses. Share the petition, explain the details, share this letter and be part of the SOLUTION. Let the City Council know you care and want change.

As my wise father told me, “It doesn’t matter who you like when it comes to public funding.”

https://www.change.org/p/sedona-city-council-defund-the-chamber

Donna Varney
Sedona AZ

 

67 Comments

  1. Sedona Lightworkers Movement says:

    478 and climbing, move it up Lightworkers be the force and spirit of the petition

  2. Jenny says:

    540 have signed on its way to 1000 signatures, keep it going folks and send a message, candidates you should be using this petition to make political points to get rid of council and chamber working against us in favor of destructive tourism

  3. From the petition -Join 548 people who signed now says:

    City Council Mayor Moriarty and 6 others
    Sedona Mayor, Vice Mayor and City Council,
    Our community is being hurt by your actions. We don’t agree with using taxpayers money to market, educate or work on any community issues by a City vendor, the Sedona Chamber of Commerce, a corporation, of private regional business members. The Sedona Chamber is city vendor that you have hired in a NO-BID contract year after year. 15.3 million has been given to the chamber 2014-2021.

  4. suppot this action says:

    (Deleted by editor)

  5. Peter & Paul but definitely NOT "Merry" says:

    Whether or not we object to the extensive funding by City of Sedona to the Chamber of Commerce is not our reason for commenting here.

    What we do find appalling is the questionable use of this online publication to promote this petition. Why doesn’t the sponsor of the campaign pay for a legitimate ad? We send kudos to the SE Editor/Publisher for deleting at least one “support this action” comment.

    Are those promoting this defund the chamber cause so desperate they are inclined to resort to anything? If so, why not take your campaign and petition to Face Book or other social-media sites? Aren’t they the current go-to sources for information regardless of whether the input is accurate or not? In fact, how many people even read such trite publications as Sedona Eye these days?

    Thank you again SE editor for displaying the integrity to delete at least one of the campaign posts offered under this blatant political issue and questionable use of your reliable news source.

  6. Ward Fallings says:

    Impressive. They need to pay attention then.

  7. Dave says:

    587 signed and your name?

  8. Petition Readers says:

    Petition says:

    The City of Sedona misleads the public, indicating that 55% of City Bed Tax is required by state law to be used in tourism promotion. When in actuality only 0.5% was flagged for tourism use. This state law was activated by a City Council vote raising the city bed tax higher than city sales tax rate. This tax was not required to be used for tourism marketing.
    The City of Sedona is still using the 55% city bed tax marker even after the AG informed them they could not. The City of Sedona is navigating the service contract with the Chamber to reflect the same 55% dollar amount.

  9. Valarie says:

    This 588 people’s petition request is for the City of Sedona to halt all vendor activity with the Sedona Chamber of Commerce and any other trade name the Sedona Chamber goes by. Sign it please for Sedona’s future.

  10. SMoffatt says:

    Register to vote by July 5th

    https://servicearizona.com/

    Once registered, you can see which candidates that you are eligible to vote for.

    Check them out – and then VOTE – in the Primary on August 2nd.

    http://www.sedona-residents-first.org/

  11. MShobert says:

    Yo! …If you reside in VOC – your silly signature – “no workie.” YOU DO NOT count. Wasting your wasted time.

  12. Sondra says:

    592 signed & where’s yours

  13. Condaell says:

    have to pay for a life of leisure Sedona city in a town of favorites for tourists and not
    Residents or go to Vegas or Phoenix

  14. Rob says:

    According to the latest September polls, Republicans are widely expected to take control of the House in November, though Democrats are battling to limit the size of a potential GOP majority. According to FiveThirtyEight, Republicans are favored to win control of the lower chamber over Democrats, 71 percent to 29 percent.

    Several online betting pundits are saying the odds are higher than that for Republicans and expect a sweep in the Senate and the House because the Silent have decided to Speak.

    Why aren’t they speaking up for Sedona?

  15. NoWay says:

    @Rob, what? …your BS is WRONG. The *converse is true.

    *opposite

  16. Building on Washes is Illegal says:

    Sedona Public Safety Issues : City of Sedona stop putting the public in harm’s way!
    663 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!

    Donna Joy Varney started this petition to Sedona City Council.

    Our forest is dying with over marketed tourism…….. residents are being pushed out, our water resources are declining, Tourists & Residents are getting stuck in the canyon or on interstate 17 and not able to move. We haven’t had any rain and we are very dry.

    We the people have several things we can do, regardless of where you live. City of Sedona has no voter-approved-Tourism-Authority and no jurisdictional power to market the region.
    We are all being put in harms way. City of Sedona continues to market the region without the proper infrastructure and paid the well over $21,000,000 million to do so.The City of Sedona, has made it about city-revenues and not Public Safety.

  17. Barbara, Sedona says:

    664 and climbing the charts to 1000 voices – add yours above by clicking on the picture to sign the petition! Go vote Nov 8.

    Our forest is dying with over marketed tourism…….. residents are being pushed out, our water resources are declining, Tourists & Residents are getting stuck in the canyon or on interstate 17 and not able to move. We haven’t had any rain and we are very dry.

    We the people have several things we can do, regardless of where you live. City of Sedona has no voter-approved-Tourism-Authority and no jurisdictional power to market the region.

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