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Sedona Home Rule Voters Sucker Punched

Sedona Arizona

Sedona AZ (December 7, 2012) – The SedonaEye.com received this Letter to the Editor from Sedona resident, Warren Woodward, saying, “This City document should make your blood boil.”

Woodward writes:

Dear SedonaEye.com Editor,


Read pages 1 through 7 of the above Sedona City staff generated document.

It is on the 12/12/12 agenda for the City’s Budget Outtasight Commission, the rubber stamp outfit that lends an air of legitimacy and “citizen involvement” to the City’s profligate spending.

Myself and others have been telling the Moronic Convergence (AKA Council) for years to stop the spending. We have been ignored and ridiculed. We have been told we didn’t know the “facts” and are treated as cranks. We have been told that City finances were never better. Mayor Adumbs and other Council fools have even boasted they were “fiscally conservative.”

Well, reality has finally caught up with the real cranks of this issue, those who were too stupid to understand basic economics and budgeting.

Unfortunately, while the City has finally realized the money is running out, they still do not see cutting expenditures as a solution.

In incredibly Orwellian double talk, what the 7 pages actually say is what myself and others have been saying for years — Council will not stop spending and the 60% of us connected to their ridiculous sewer “system” are going to pay for it. Either that or Council will come up with “new funding sources” (read “taxes”).

In light of the above, I have no problem saying this: Anyone who voted for Home Rule in the last City election was a sucker.  

Sedona, will you ever wake up?

Warren Woodward
Information & Opinion
Sedona AZ

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  1. Thank you Warren (I think) for a dose of reality and wake-up call to the true pulse of Sedona . . . that being the residents themselves who approved Home Rule and thus nourished the ongoing trend of spend, spend, spend.

    Obviously taxpayers find the real potential of increased taxes appealing, be it special improvement districts, voter approved bonds and/or city property taxes since clearly in the seven pages of reading material which you conveniently made available, that is the name of the game.

    As specifically defined by City Manager Tim Ernster: “General & Capital funds will require additional ongoing revenue in order to fully support ever increasing demands for increased levels of service.” Is it not so that Home Rule constraints would have served to at least stem this consideration if not essentially eliminate it? Increased demands from “service groups” for more money, and pie in the sky projects would have been off the drawing boards, at least for a little while, had the vote gone the other direction.

    However, like it or not people seem to be content with the system. A good example is evaluation of what transpired last June 26th at the City Council Meeting regarding disposition of the 9.15 acres of City owned land on Soldiers Pass Road for the purpose of securing other property along Oak Creek. Two out of six of Tim Ernster’s recommendations reflected on the process of commission/committee input:

    (1) He recommended that City Council should delay disposing of any City property until after the Park’s Master Plan is completed and consider doing decision on disposition of any property until the Community Plan Update is completed, which would be in the spring of 2013.

    (2) He recommended review by both Parks & Recreation and Budget Oversight Commissions.

    And that’s how it works. Community Plan committee sets precedence; Parks & Rec make their evaluation; Budget Oversight give heads-up, and we are off and running based on what? “Community input” from maybe twenty people? Not necessarily so considering it was the majority of votes at a legitimate election that allowed the barn door to remain open.

    However, at this juncture it’s obviously unfair to knock the system since it seems to be working. Even more interesting is that it remains in motion long before the public has even been afforded the opportunity to vote on the Community Plan. Might this suggest a foregone conclusion to the outcome? Nah.

    The ultimate winner(s) will be whomever-it-is working behind the scenes to earn(?) a healthy sales commission for serving up creek side property up on a golden platter, as the mayor sits in his lofty position, knowing all along this well contrived plan will amount to a no-brainer because the voters of Sedona have already given their stamp of approval by saying OK to Home Rule.

    Although I don’t follow all that closely the recommendations of the Budget Oversight group, one instance I do recall . . . that being their objection for the City to give an additional $100,000 to the Chamber of Commerce. As usual, City ignored that sensible call and doled out yet another large amount to satisfy the ongoing begging from the C of C.

    Would anyone care to place bets when and if the C of C wheels and deals for the City to establish a Convention Center at the former Cultural Park and then contract with C of C to operate it, as they do the Visitor’s Center, what the outcome will be? Hmm . . . yet another point to ponder.

    How about it Budget Oversight people? Realistically what will it take to break the backs of the many struggling Sedona residents before you take a stand, do the proper thing, and pull in the reigns? Believe it or not, not all of us are millionaires with unlimited resources to be tapped.

  2. Warren says:

    @ Eddie – I wouldn’t give the Budget Outtasight clowns too much credit for not recommending an extra $100K for the COC. If they were truly exercising informed “oversight” they’d have nixed all the free money that goes to the COC, and all the free money that goes to all the beggar groups — I mean “the City’s service contract organizations and small grants recipients.”

  3. Eddie says:

    @Warren – of course I agree w/you. It especially bugs me since I lived here prior to incorporation and realized that all of these “groups” (especially the C of C) managed to function without handouts from the city. However, if the Budget “Outtasight Clowns” denied funding, City Council would over-rule them anyhow. And, of course, the more they receive the more “they” ask for.

  4. Too many voters fall for “if it comes from government it is free.” BS. All those of us with brains can do is keep trying. When it all goes bust those who voted themselves handouts will wonder what happened.

  5. Liked this story on Facebook.

  6. mike says:

    Just thinking that a more professional response might garner more attention. Regarding the council, most are liberals and therefore money grows on trees. They say ideology plays no part in city management… wrong. Basic lack of how to balance a budget permeates through all levels of government.

  7. Most people listen to the city government instead of looking at other material available also, so when the government says everything is hunkie Dorie the majority say great. What I fail to understand is when the tax bill continues to go up why that is not a wake up call.

  8. Warren says:

    @Glenn Shannon – In order for people to wake up they must first realize they are asleep.

  9. We tried our best to urge Sedona citizens to vote “No on Home Rule.” We’ll have our next Home Rule Vote in three years. We can only ‘cross our fingers’ that our City Council doesn’t spend all of our Rainy Day Reserves by then. They have already budgeted to spend down 1/4 of those Rainy Day Reserves in one year alone (that have been amassing since Sedona’s incorporation in 1988). And even if City Council and City Management wake up today and become fiscally responsible, I fear that those Bonds they keep refinancing – making Sedona the 6th highest per capita bonded indebtedness out of 91 cities in Arizona – amount to a monumental tsunami headed our way. Let us pray…. Terrie Frankel

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