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Sedona Hospitality Industry Questions City Tax Distribution

Sedona AZ (February 23, 2015) – The following is a letter to the SedonaEye.com editor:

Subject: Arizona State Statute for Cities and Towns,
9-500.06. Hospitality Industry; discrimination prohibited.
From: Sedona Sweet Arts
Date: Mon, February 23, 2015 6:55 pm

Below is the email I submitted to Sedona City Council on Sunday, February 22, 2015.

sedona marathon 23There is much confusion on the law as those that are manipulating the city to gain access and control to municipalities money are creating a lot of smoke and mirrors. Please read my email. Let your friends, family and employees know.

Currently we are making it more difficult to do business in the city limits. Under the law, the City of Sedona can use that money in many ways to enhance Sedona. Please write city council and ask them to gracefully bow out of any agreements. This will make the environment better for residents, employees, visitors and businesses.

It doesn’t matter if you work live or play in the Sedona City incorporated area speak up or forever pay. Silence is endorsing or agreeing with what is being done, it makes the businesses, employees and residents work harder without the benefit of the taxes they collected.

City of Sedona Arizona has a population of approximately 10K of which about 6K are considered year round residents.

City of Sedona Arizona has a population of approximately 10K of which about 6K are considered year round residents.

Please let City Council know. Here is link to send a quick email to them http://www.sedonaaz.gov/Sedonacms/index.aspx?page=1096

To Sedona Mayor and Sedona City Council,

I want to thank you each for the thoughtful questions and actions that I have seen so far via City Council meetings. I am very impressed. I can see in each one of you concerns and gestures in making the right decisions for our beautiful city. In watching part of the meeting on priorities, I wonder how we will get enough money to do all that. This morning I came across something that will give you enough money for those items on your wish list plus more.

How would you like enough money to make improvements such as hiking trails, Western Gateway, mitigate traffic, parking, economic development and Brewer property improvements? The answer is simple.

Below is the law that enables you to make these improvements with your existing income. It fits in perfectly with the new community plan. It will also enable you to measure and track the results so that more income is generated from these investments year after year. Watch your investments grow and see the clear returns on your investment. This also fits in seamlessly with Larry’s presentation for Economic Development.

With your visionary insight and leadership this will create sustainability and propel Sedona into the future with a benefit for the entire Sedona community from retirees to our youth including your businesses.

I am over the moon excited for our cities opportunity in this and am willing to help in any way I can.

The Chamber of Commerce advocates a Yes vote on Home Rule

Here is the law and links to State Statute for Cities and Towns, 9-500.06.Hospitality Industry; discrimination prohibited; use of tax proceeds Title 9 – Cities and Towns:

(Click here) – http://azleg.state.az.us/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/ars/9/00500-06.htm&Title=9&DocType=ARS
9-500.06. Hospitality industry; discrimination prohibited; use of tax proceeds; exemption; definitions

This statute guides and mandates what is acceptable and how Cities and Towns can grow their revenues. It gives you options on how you can legally use municipality’s monies. You are able to use 100% of the bed tax to facilitate “expenditures by the city or town to develop, improve or operate tourism related attractions or facilities or to assist in the planning and promotion of such.”

Sedona Arizona

Sedona Arizona

Here are some great things the city can do:

· City Owned Visitor Center- easy access west Sedona
· Parking lots, walk ability, hiking and bike trails
· Attractions – build, buy and operate them. Historical, Event Centers, Wedding venues, Sport facilities
· City owned Websites branding and bringing visitors to Sedona
· Improve traffic and transportation making our city easy to get around
· Acquire assets and develop them into parks, gathering places, entertainment locations.

The list is endless. The law is clear the City of Sedona can do all that plus more with the revenue generated by the bed tax. Take the revenues generated by the bed tax and invest it in your City building City assets and growth.

Here are some examples of how those funds have been misused in a violation of the law:

· Hospitality in Incorporated Sedona does not benefit unless they pay the Chamber for memberships (Chamber plus Tourism). Those Sedona incorporated lodging facilities that are not Chamber members do not benefit from the hospitably tax therefore are being discriminated against.
· Only 30 lodging facilities operating in the city limits, some reluctantly, are members of the chamber. Included in this 30 are timeshares who do not routinely contribute to bed tax.
· The entire amount given to the Chamber had no restrictions or accountability. Therefore, you cannot track the return on investment.
· The majority of your sales tax generators are not Chamber members.
· The Chamber used the entire amount to market their regional membership.

sedona c2015 eric williams

Sedona c2015 by Eric Williams

All marketing collateral generated was 100% targeted to the Chamber and NOT the city of Sedona. Ownership of these assets are owned by the Chamber, including the website and videos all are paid for by the City of Sedona.

· The visitor center is a chamber visitor center not the City of Sedona’s. Only Chamber members get promoted there. The chamber sends the visitors to their members outside the city district to shop stay and play without generating businesses fees or taxes.
· These actions have created an unlevel playing field. Large events and business routinely get lost to outside city limits.
· The businesses and hospitality industry within the confines of the City limits of Sedona are all being discriminated against.

Now is the time for all City revenues to come back to the city to build and grow a better Sedona. The contract with the Chamber only needs a thirty day written notice to terminate.

It is not the city’s responsibility to market chamber members. The chamber is responsible for their members. The City is responsible for only the city district. More confusion occurs when the city forces the city district businesses to join a non-city regional trade organization in order to get the benefits they are legally entitled to.

I find it appalling when the chamber takes credit for all sales tax and bed tax. We all work very hard as businesses in the City. The Chamber does not collect taxes, the city district Hospitality industry does. Appreciate those that bring in revenue and they will appreciate the city in return. Adding another layer of government via the chamber is outlandish. The chamber is not 100% exclusive, focused on the city district. They have numerous conflicts of interests. To gift $1.3 million dollars to build any other business to anyone from taxpayers money is simply wrong and violates 500.06. Discrimination.

wet wednesdays in sedona arizona parks

Sedona AZ park

Just like citizens engagement program, economic development and city growth does rest on reducing layers, bringing residents, businesses, staff and city management together as a team appreciating one another. Only those in the incorporated area can create “Product Development” and “City Branding.” Partnering and engaging with the city district businesses directly inspires creativity, community networking which in return, markets and lets the incorporated area grow.

Sedona Leadership please utilize the law 500.06. Hospitality Industry; discrimination prohibited; use of tax proceeds; to make Sedona more positive by using”expenditures by the city or town to develop, improve or operate tourism related attractions or facilities or to assist in the planning and promotion of such”.

Leading is hard work and is not always appreciated. Positive brings positive, appreciation brings appreciation. The community plan guides us, please take control of Sedona.

Lead Sedona into the future.

Thank you,

Donna Joy Varney
Sedona City Resident and registered voter
Sedona City Business owner
Sedona City non-profit trade association founder

For the best Arizona news and views, read www.SedonaEye.com daily!

For the best Arizona news and views, read www.SedonaEye.com daily!

45 Comments

  1. Stuart says:

    Great. Thanks for speaking up.

  2. Bill, uptown says:

    Best said yet Mrs. Varney and thanks for that, much work to be done. I’m a fan of Sandy and think she’s up to the task of not being influenced by the Chamber yahoos. Let’s give her the benefit of the doubt, expect good things of her.

  3. Jim says:

    The funds collected by bed tax do not belong to the Chamber nor to the lodging businesses. These funds belong to the City, and are needed to mitigate the impacts of tourists — traffic management, maintenance and improvement of infrastructure, and measures to improve the quality of experience for visitors and quality of life for residents in the face of these increasing impacts.

  4. JeanJ says:

    Thanks Jim!

    Some of the $20 Million for needed drainage projects (Ref. 7/30/13 Council Meeting) could benefit from the $1.48M the City is squandering on the regional Chamber of Commerce this year. Under AZ law, only last year’s one-half percent increase in Bed Tax is required to be used for tourism. The other 3%, NO, as the law was different years ago.

  5. steve segner says:

    Jean,
    Most of the tax collected in Sedona comes from visitors ,65% 70%.
    55% of the bed tax is is used for the city advertising program and other visitor programs the other 45% goes to the city of Sedona.
    Why should visitors pay for city drainage? the bed tax was asked for by the hotels and approved by the last two city councils to help with advertising and visitor programs, the bed tax is charge only to people staying in hotels , It only seem fitting that the bed tax be used only used for that purpose.
    Remember the locals pay no city tax .
    If we need drainage projects money then land owners(and Hotels) of Sedona should pay it with a bond.
    Oh, and by the way we are way over budget with bed and sales tax income, why because the advertising is working.
    Remember Jean, Sedona is not 8,000 to 10,000 people it is closer to 15,000 because of our visitors, and they pay more then their fair share of taxes.
    Steve Segner

  6. JeanJ says:

    You are wrong, Steve. In one form or another, most of the money coming into the City coffers from taxes and fees is from residents and non-tourist local businesses in West Sedona, both directly and indirectly. And by the way, according to the Arizona Dept of Revenue, the City already has the 7th highest per capita bond debt of Arizona’s 91 cities. Look it up. Sedonans don’t need a bigger albatross than we currently have.

    Remember, city residents pay Fire District and School District taxes, with millions coming back into the Sedona economy annually. The City must cut costs.

  7. Steve segner says:

    Jean, if I am wrong prove it, I am using city of Sedona numbers given at council meetings, and I re checked them with Karen Danes.

    Now, for your over used 7th highest city comment, SO WHAT, we have the income to pay for our bonds because we ,unlike most small cities have a strong tax base, yes, the visitors to Sedona.

    jean,now stay on point, we are talking about the city of Sedona, not the fire or school districts.

    now please comment on ,my last post, we are over.
    You just keep going over the same old stuff, the sky is falling… remember 2008 -2011 sedona did much better then almost all the other 91 cities you keep talking about.
    Ok,so now please show all of us that the locals pay most of the city taxes!
    Or, if you like I can get the number from the city.
    Steve

  8. Donna Varney says:

    Numbers can be tweaked in many ways depending on the assumptions. A perfect example is local versus in city residents. (BTW- there are more examples)

    Defining “local” can be done the same way the chamber-lodging counts their regional membership and the logic they used to rationalize using “city taxes” to promote themselves and their members. Most of which is outside the incorporated city of Sedona. The regional chamber -lodging claims that by promoting all their members, that the visitors that stay outside will come into the city for shopping or eating. They also include all 86336 into the “in City” mix along with PO boxes as they find it “to difficult” to count only those foot printed in the city. When I questioned the above, the chambers representive claimed “to difficult” to count only those inside the city limits. Therefore artificially making their membership appear stronger then it is. Oh I almost forgot, they double count many members.

    So let’s keep the same playing field. Sales that are generating sales tax to local residents or repeat customers are NOT generated by tourism marketing. They are generated by those businesses within the city limits. Just like the sales generated from the residents, our business to business sales, generate sales tax. Many businesses advertise their businesses, those sales are not because of regional chamber- lodging destination marketing.

    Just because someone says it, does not make it true. It is their opinion. Numbers can be manipulated. Instead of giving the regional chamber – lodging credit for everything have them prove it. Bring it full circle. It is easily tracked. All government agencies require this except Sedona. Transparency by disclosing their actual sales. Simple, honest, fair and transparent.

    Let the businesses have their own voice. They do not need a middleman that gets close to 1.3 million to speak on their behalf.

    Sincerely,
    Donna Joy Varney

  9. steve segner says:

    Donna said,
    Just because someone says it, does not make it true. It is their opinion.the numbers
    Well Donna and

    JeanJ says:
    You are wrong, Steve. In one form or another, most of the money coming into the City coffers from taxes and fees is from residents and non-tourist local businesses in West Sedona,
    Sorry ladies,
    From the city, locals pay 34% 2013/2014
    City of Sedona
    Transaction Privilege Tax Sales by Business Classes
    For Month Collected
    Annual Totals July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014
    Annual Local Amount
    Percent of Local Amount
    Advertising
    106,066
    106,066
    100.0%
    Amusement
    18,489,772
    1,580,484
    8.5%
    Commercial Lease
    22,881,476
    8,511,171
    37.2%
    Communications
    7,183,999
    2,483,175
    34.6%
    Contractors
    35,859,150
    13,338,448
    37.2%
    Hotel/Motel
    65,253,568

    0.0%
    Installation
    4,898
    4,898
    100.0%
    Job Printing
    82,301
    82,301
    100.0%
    Municipality


    0.0%
    Owner Builder
    1,779,641
    1,779,641
    100.0%
    Per Property
    6,661,236
    1,396,286
    21.0%
    Publication
    830,894
    830,894
    100.0%
    Restaurant/Bar
    72,462,496
    20,512,915
    28.3%
    Retail
    145,865,427
    81,693,383
    56.0%
    Spec Builders
    114,444
    114,444
    100.0%
    Telco Services
    253,043
    253,043
    100.0%
    Transporting
    310,610
    101,712
    32.7%
    Use Tax Purchases
    10,677,767
    8,572,599
    80.3%
    Use Tax Utilities
    1,235
    1,235
    100.0%
    Utilities
    24,113,014
    8,969,264
    37.2%
    Total Annual Sales for FY 13-14
    412,931,037
    150,331,959
    36.4% tax from locals

  10. Donna Varney says:

    Focus @Steve ~ Numbers can be tweaked in many ways depending on the assumptions. A perfect example is local versus in city residents. (BTW- there are more examples)
    Defining “local” can be done the same way the chamber-lodging counts their regional membership and the logic they used to rationalize using “city taxes” to promote themselves and their members. Most of which is outside the incorporated city of Sedona. The regional chamber -lodging claims that by promoting all their members, that the visitors that stay outside will come into the city for shopping or eating. They also include all 86336 into the “in City” mix along with PO boxes as they find it “to difficult” to count only those foot printed in the city. When I questioned the above, the chambers representive claimed “to difficult” to count only those inside the city limits. Therefore artificially making their membership appear stronger then it is. Oh I almost forgot, they double count many members.
    So let’s keep the same playing field. Sales that are generating sales tax to local residents or repeat customers are NOT generated by tourism marketing. They are generated by those businesses within the city limits. Just like the sales generated from the residents, our business to business sales, generate sales tax. Many businesses advertise their businesses, those sales are not because of regional chamber- lodging destination marketing.
    Just because someone says it, does not make it true. It is their opinion. Numbers can be manipulated. Instead of giving the regional chamber – lodging credit for everything have them prove it. Bring it full circle. It is easily tracked. All government agencies require this except Sedona. Transparency by disclosing their actual sales. Simple, honest, fair and transparent.
    Let the businesses have their own voice. They do not need a middleman that gets close to 1.3 million to speak on their behalf.

    @steve your members should have no problem reporting the return on investment. When they do the chamber – lodging will gain creditability. You can with transparency prove what the return is on investment. Just as any organization getting funding from a government agency usually does. It is up to the organization to clearly prove the return on investment. It’s up to the municipality to define and audit them. Only then will the emotion be removed. Logically you should have no problem doing so. Easy solution to get everyone working together for the same common cause. Remove emotion, clear neutral reporting from those members inside the city limits.
    txs
    Donna Joy Varney

  11. Warren says:

    Actually it does not matter who is right, Steve or Donna. It should not be a government responsibility to fund any businesses of any sort or their clubs. Period.

  12. steve segner says:

    Donna Varney says:
    Numbers can be tweaked in many ways depending on the assumptions.

    Donna :Are you saying the city Staff Sedona is lying?
    If so please prove it, you just talk and talk ,show us the numbers!
    The numbers are correct,
    You can type all the words you like, the numbers are correct 60% to 70% of all city incomes from visitors …. it is fact. AND that is GOOD.
    and the tax income is up for 2015.
    Donna. If business was off you would blame the chamber, and when business is great you will not give any credit to the chamber.
    I think the reader of the blog, know you have ax to grind.
    The Hotel bed tax pays 100% of the city advertising program. the locals pay “0”
    not one cent of sales tax goes to the chamber.
    Donna , you are just wrong the numbers prove you are wrong and the chamber is doing a great job and the city knows it…..
    Steve Segner

  13. Tony says:

    I don’t want my (tax) dollars causing more congestion, drawing more tourists or further decreasing my quality of life. Bumper to bumper tourist traffic might please some businesses, but makes daily life miserable for residents.

    Then there is the safety issue. you ambulance might not make the hospital in time due to all the traffic.

    If you say the tax is collected from businesses, I have a novel idea, reduce or eliminate the tax, and let the businesses spend the tax savings on their own advertising.

    I’m one of the retired people the city council would like less of. As they have decreased the quality of life in Sedona, my house is worth half what it was years ago. Now it is hard for me to sell and move elsewhere. Good Job City of Sedona. Ruin a wonderful small town and make it hard to escape.

    Let the businesses advertise with their OWN money, not my tax dollars.

  14. How about a standing ovation for Warren?
    (Can hardly wait for some snide retort from one of the group who will not use their own names.)

    Eddie Maddock

  15. Donna Varney says:

    Agreed @ Warren ” it is not government responsibility to fund any businesses of any sort or their clubs. Period” We are on the same page 100% This is why I quit the chamber as I strongly felt it was wrong, the chamber taking money from the city.

    @ Steve slow down reread my post. Do not twist it. Go back to the real issue, are you not accepting funding in excess of 1.2 million from the city of Sedona?

    It’s not about you and it is not about me. Do not turn it into something personal. Just like you try to do in the past on this site. You know nothing about me, my business or the Sedona Bridal Fair. Yes I saw your post on the Sedona Bridal Fair. Flat out false slander. The Sedona Bridal Fair was around long before the Hilton show. I can prove that. The Sedona Wedding Association long before you arrived in town. We have done so as a team, unpaid volunteers. In fact ,the Sedona Wedding Association has pooled millions of dollars together to market and advertise Sedona. 100% from the businesses and without one penny from the City of Sedona. The Sedona Bridal Fair brings in around 6.5 million dollars in economic stimulus to the region annually, all as volunteers, all without funding from the City.

    So you can call me anything you want, I am a honest, fair minded, hard working entrepreneur who even set up Biological Medical Devices Companies aboard, gosh I was in People Magazine for Best in US- Wedding Cakes, Arizona. Even though you posted there are no good cakes in Sedona.

    What started this was the chamber-lodging, asking for the city to fund their regional membership. The real issue is exactly what @warren said. But since you took millions of taxpayers money, it now it is time to show your integrity by having each one of your members show their return on the investment.

    BTW your postings is the reason for me standing up and speaking out. You should have let the busy ole lady alone.

    Stay on the subject. @steve your members should have no problem reporting the return on investment. When they do the chamber – lodging will gain creditability. You can with transparency prove what the return is on investment. Just as any organization getting funding from a government agency usually does. It is up to the organization to clearly prove the return on investment. It’s up to the municipality to define and audit them. Only then will the emotion be removed. Logically you should have no problem doing so. Easy solution to get everyone working together for the same common cause. Remove emotion, clear neutral reporting from those members inside the city limits.

    Stop diverting from the real issue. Want me to go away? Stop slandering me, my business and show me the return on the city’s investment.

    It not just me @Steve Segner I just read a great article addressing all the millions of dollars the chamber has gotten from the City of Sedona . Just under 10 million. Very well written, great research. My kudos to the author.

  16. STEVE SEGNER says:

    Donna Varney says:

    @ Steve slow down reread my post. Do not twist it. Go back to the real issue, are you not accepting funding in excess of 1.2 million from the city of Sedona?

    The city of Sedona is not funding the chamber or the hotels or a club,the city pay to have it’s advertising and visitor services handled by the chamber . The chamber is a vendor and there is a contract written “by” the city and approved by the city council , get a copy of it. they provide a service for the city.
    The return on investment will be more bed and sales tax…. And it is way way up.
    and remember 60%+ of the city taxes come from visitors.
    The city council is investing in our visitor business and 55.% OF THE BED TAX PAY FOR ALL OF IT, WHAT A DEAL locals pay nothing.

    steve

  17. JeanJ says:

    Before the Budget Oversight Commission was disbanded, Chair Peter Fagan stated residents were paying more of the City’s bills.than tourists, indicating sewer taxes were the determining factor. Naturally, sewer taxes are missing from City Hall’s cherry picked data.

    The Budget Oversight Commission produced a “Sedona Tax Origins” document proving residents provided 54.2% of City revenue in FY 2012 and 55.7% in FY 2011. In addition to sales, bed and sewer taxes, shared revenue in the form of state income taxes, state sales taxes, vehicle license fees, and gas taxes were included in the calculations.

    City Councils and City staff are out of touch with reality. Consequently, the City’s beauty, environment, and livability keep deteriorating. Health, welfare and safety are City responsibilities, not funding the regional Chamber nor any other business.

  18. Tony

    Your miserable no matter what….
    That a joke about the ambulance….if you had your way there wouldn’t be any…

    Hard earned tax dollars!!!!??
    Get a grip or have you GF get a job…
    What’s up Eddie no comments on the FACTS Steve laid out….no consripacy theroeys? Just the facts please …
    Thanks Steve

  19. sharlett says:

    @steve segner

    #1) the Hotels (at large) did not call for a hike in the Bed Tax! It was the Lodging Council who did so Without ever so much as a nod towards their membership to actually allow the members to Vote on that issue. Do you, steve segner, agree or disagree?

    #2) Seems to me you and City tweak numbers to please yourselves…everyone knows a good bookkeeper can craft their numbers as they see fit to substantiate their stance. And anyone who understands budget 101 also knows that before the end of a budget year the typical way to deal with all the accounts is to Journal Entry transfer monies from one account to another all in order to make the proposed budget come out on track! That is a no brainer.

    #3) Chamber of Commerce has no means of attributing to the higher occupancy they want to take credit for as they Admit they have no way to track that.

    #4) ” It should not be a government responsibility to fund any businesses of any sort or their clubs. Period.” …as Warren says. I believe Warren is referencing the Affinity group called Sedona Lodging who is in bed with Regional Chamber etc.)

    So, steve segner – will you answer (rather than deflect away from truthful answers) my #1, 3, and #4?

  20. steve segner says:

    sharlett says:

    #1) the Hotels (at large) did not call for a hike in the Bed Tax!

    Answer

    It was the Lodging Council agenda over 12 time, was voted on by board twice

    Once for a 1% and once for the .5% tax the .5% won and 12-E -mailings to hotels.

    #2) Seems to me you and City tweak numbers to please yourselves

    Answer “Seems to me”. That is not an answer it is an excuse when the numbers do not go your way.

    .

    #3) Chamber of Commerce has no means of attributing to the higher occupancy they want to take credit for as they Admit they have no way to track that.

    Answer, we said at several council meeting the proof would be in the town being full and in the bed tax..up. .

    #4) ” It should not be a government responsibility to fund any businesses of any sort or their clubs.

    Answer, the chamber is a city vender for the city advertising programs.

    So, A question for you Sharlett, why do you not use your full and real name I did? from now on

    no more answers to people that hide behind made up names,

    Oh, and show me how the Numbers from the city are wrong

  21. SUGGESTION says:

    Tony says: “. you(r) ambulance might not make the hospital in time due to all the traffic.”

    And from West Sedona resident: “That(‘s) a joke about the ambulance….”

    Question for West Sedona resident: And how would you know that? Have you ever been in an ambulance and listened to EMT’s express reluctance about taking a patient to Sedona Emergency Center versus Cottonwood hospital because of potential traffic tie-ups in Sedona?

    Have you ever been admitted to the Sedona Emergency Center and listened to a doctor, voluntarily, express concern about increased traffic conditions in Sedona?

    Well, I have and the safety issue is alive and well. Wake up, you fools.

    And no, I’ve no idea who Tony is nor do I much care except that he has made a very valid point.

    Eddie S. Maddock

  22. Donna Varney says:

    Thanks for bringing things back to the article. Sedona Hospitality Industry Questions City Tax Distribution. Arizona State Statute for Cities and Towns, 9-500.06. Hospitality Industry; discrimination prohibited.

    This statute guides and mandates what is acceptable and how Cities and Towns can grow their revenues. It gives you options on how you can legally use municipality’s monies. You are able to use 100% of the bed tax to facilitate “expenditures by the city or town to develop, improve or operate tourism related attractions or facilities or to assist in the planning and promotion of such”.

    Tourism is up all over the country. Only those regional chamber members are benefiting from the city funding the chamber. Most are not contributing to the sales or bed tax. Go ahead and count those chamber members that do collect bed tax. You will be shocked. Discrimination, each and every one deserved a vote. Then ask yourself why would these hotels agree to share the bed tax to promote those hotels outside the city limits. They didn’t. That again is discrimination.

    Sedona has bigger issues to address rather than funding a regional club. 10 million dollars buys a lot.

  23. Eddie you took my comment out of context…

    You know exactly what you did……

    Don’t twist my words

    Of course public safety is important Duh…
    Tony doesn’t care about that at all like I said if it was up to him all public safety would disappear to save his hard earned tax dollars… Plus he says he is retired at 57 yo. Boo hoo
    Sounds like you have a new toy drum to beat
    Tony doesn’t care about public safety he using that as a self serving excuse..he a fraud..
    Now go back to writing a ricvoting biased news article

  24. I think Tony & Eddie have great points.

  25. BTW One more thing regarding Tony and his house value..He said “it’s worth half of what it was years ago and it won’t sell” Actually Tony your house on Hillside you bought it for 220k in 1998..According to zillow estimate it’s worth around 350k Stop your lies and get a job crybaby

  26. Tony says:

    @West Sedona Resident

    Interesting that you know so much about me, yet you don’t have the guts to use your real name. FYI my house is worth about half what it was worth 8 years ago.

    Due to the increased traffic and taxes, Sedona is not longer one of the best places in the country to live. It was when I bought here. I guess you were not working for the city then.

  27. (name removed by editor)….Who cares about 8 years ago… You bought the house in 1998….Plus you have the wrost house on the block, you should of put some of your hard earned tax dollars in maintaining it and perhaps a garage would of helped..Or you can save some money from Motor Vechicle registrations by selling a few of you vehicles… That’s you biggest household t expense I’m sure..Too bad you can’t make money off those SECRECT anonymous websites you love to create..

  28. Rockin Roger says:

    @ Tony

    First off, Tony IS my real name.

    Second, I SO AGREE WITH YOU! My house in Sedona is worth much less from what I paid back in 2005. We locals in Sedona can all blame the traffic here. We can also blame it on chem trails and smart meters. The fact that every house in the country has lost value since 2007 has nothing to do with anything.

    I have a friend in Tempe that had his taxes go up and another one in PHX with the same issue. I have news for you my friend, taxes and everything go up because salaries go up along with the cost of everything. This doesn’t just happen in Sedona!

  29. Rockin Roger says:

    Sorry, that posting should have been Roger IS my real name.

  30. When will enough be enough? The petty squabbling between the unidentified West Sedona resident and Tony is no more than an abuse to this web site. The sniping from WSR certainly displays an uncontrollable obsession to get even with this Tony fellow, and none of it has anything to do with the article.

    This makes me wonder how long the editor/publisher will tolerate the abusive use of Sedona Eye and pull the publication entirely. But, of course, that’s probably exactly what WSR is hoping for. “Tony” isn’t the real target at all. It’s SE that has rocked the boat and given the opportunity for too much valid information to be exposed to the public. That, of course, is my opinion.

  31. Jackie says:

    Donna did you get any responses from city council on your letter? I have written them and gotten no response. It appears to me that they don’t like the citizens or businesses in the city limits. My partner worked for the chamber and really did not like the way they intimated businesses to join.

  32. Thank you says:

    Thank you Sedona Eye.

    The RR Nuckles are up to old tricks. Sedona Eye puts facts out there.

    Thank you to Eddie for reporting important information.
    Thank you Donna for letting us know about what was happening. Hopefully the AG will take care of this now. I find it interesting you two ladies started informing us back in 2013 about the shady deal with the chamber.

    Please vote no and take our city back.

  33. Eddie Maddock says:

    Thank you to @Thank you for your kind words. For the record, anyone who really knows me is aware I’m an independent agent but totally appreciate support from those who remain astute and aware of the changes that have occurred since the City Council voted in 2013 to put the Chamber/City contract in motion.

    To those who continue to strive for fair government, including but not limited to Donna and Dana Varney, a round of applause is well deserved. However, another battle is about to occur shortly. Please keep in mind the term “battle.” This war is far from over in my opinion.

  34. Steve Segner says:

    By Steve Segner, Sedona Resident
    (July 30, 2018)

    Everyone seems to want Sedona to be their Utopia.

    They will fight over every detail to get what they want. Roads, parks, parking, lighting, roundabouts, you name it. Whatever it is, they want it their way.

    They envision a Utopia, where they are handed a YOUtopia. What they’ve forgotten is that Utopia means no where.

    More importantly, they’ve forgotten what communities are. Communities aren’t all about you. Communities are all about us—residents and visitors alike.

    Trying to fit Sedona into a personal YOUtopia is killing it. At least it’s killing the sense of community.

    Travelers are the soul and lifeblood of Sedona. How many people who live here now were born and raised in Sedona? Very few. The people who live here now were tourists themselves once, but they seem to have forgotten that.

    Living, or working in Sedona doesn’t give anyone exclusive “rights.”

    Sedona is a living breathing, growing entity. It is an organic, evolving community and it changes every day, with every new visitor for the better.

    Hospitality is not just an industry. Hospitality is a virtue. It is a mark of good character to be hospitable to visitors.

    We should welcome our visitors and invite them to enjoy, reflect, discover, and invite them to find a new joy that Sedona inspires.

    We should be doing everything possible to respect and protect the environment as we accommodate our visitors and residents.

    Sedona has the government, the leadership and the resources to grow. Let’s embrace new ideas, fix our roads, build new trails, parks and sidewalks. Let’s put our utilities underground. And let’s make this a community choice. Keep local control, and, as far as possible, keep the state out of it.

    The idea of turning over our local government control to the state of Arizona to fulfill the Utopian dream of a few selfish people is just wrong.

    Vote YES on Home Rule and start “Sedona in Motion.”

    Forget your Utopia and your YOUtopia. This is our community. Let’s make it a great place for everyone!

  35. Sedona Larry says:

    Is that treated gray water in our city park? Turn the water off. We don’t have water to waste.

  36. Tony Tonsich says:

    Time to take the exclusive rights from the Chamber and tourist businesses. Time to get back to a balance of retired, artists and people who work from home, not just tourist business. Sedona should be more than just a tourist town. Sedona used to be a center of art and healing, now it is a center for traffic.

    Sedona is Motion is a boondoggle.

    City staff have commented “If it only takes one car from the roads, it is worth it.” You can’t have unlimited growth in a geographically limited area. Do you want to pave paradise?

    Tourists should be welcome, to fall in love with Sedona, to get Red rock Fever. Instead the chamber advertises for day trippers. As Jennifer Wesselhoff of the chamber has said.. “We have businesses that depend on day trippers.”

    The same people that have failed Sedona are saying an idea of Utopia is wrong. Don’t accept their vision of a crowded paved 3RD rate Disneyland.

    It’s time for a change.

    Cut off the new lanes and chamber funds. Vote No on Home Rule. Vote in a new city council with no incumbents and no past government employees.

    We can save our town.

  37. Donna Joy Varney says:

    The PAC is fighting hard to keep PUBLIC Taxpayer’s Money for their exclusive use.

    VOTE NO on Home Rule

    The PAC is primary funded by the HOTELS that are using YOUR money to advertise their private businesses. NOT a chamber entitlement. Hotels & Businesses in-city never signed a waiver giving the chamber their voice or vote.

    Their actions have caused a 7% higher hotel tax in-city, increasing traffic and driving tourist to stay outside the city jurisdiction to chamber members that DO NOT collect city – bed tax- sales tax like the Hilton, Enchantment and more.

    The Chamber- lodging council have made the playing field unbalanced.

    Stop special interests AKA Chamber- Lodging and VOTE NO on Home Rule.

    Steve Segner created the PAC AZ Elections 18
    Learn more http://www.sedonacity.com/PAC.htm

  38. Gretchen says:

    My God man

    That man Tony Tonsich and Donna Joy V..
    Sure sound like they are full of you know what.

    Give it s rest man… less I’ds more. Stop bellyaching and go outside and look around at the good…

    I’m voting for homerule and am also voting agaisnt anyone that your nonsense team endorses…

    Appreciate you helping me make my decision

  39. Steve segner says:

    Dano I will call you were a liar , I have asked Donna over the last three years to show one incident where a bed tax money was used to advertise a hotel or a business and she has never been able to do it the bed tax money which is a tax on visitors Is managed and spent at the discretion of the Sedona city Council and it’s committees and the chamber is an agent to handle the process Donna Donna and Arizona liberties and run to trade a put a PBA on the ballot just failed their illegal petitions are being thrown out They need a better attorney one who can explain to them how to fill out a petition correctly they also stated that they didn’t use any paid professionals when in fact they did do you really want people like this running your city

  40. J. Rick Normand says:

    @ All Readers at The Eye,

    Re: Steve segner says on July 31

    Well, this missive does appear to be written by the real Steve Segner instead in my opinion of his ghost writer and accomplice, Lonnie Lillie? How do I know? Because the illiterate little twit can’t write a coherent nor intelligible sentence. Does anybody know what Segner is trying to say here? Here’s some advice (deleted by editor). Learn to use periods to signal the end of a thought expressed as a sentence. Finally, Segner, you’re trying to divert voters from the real issue of our time which is that you, and the Chamber, are the one’s DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DESTRUCTION of the quality-of-life standards that induced most of us to move here! You’re personal greed is a direct contributor to the demise of the Sedona we all once loved. You, (deleted by editor), are Sedona’s enemy, along with the Chamber, and you will pay a price for your treachery and influence-peddling to local politicians. Mark my words!

    JRN

  41. West Sedona Dave says:

    JRN, does it ever stop? You have threatened violence against fellow Sedonians. Now you just berate, and insult?
    Hey, please dont be rude like this joke of a President…

    You have taken your lump, miss played, your hand….Now just fade away quietly, like you did before….

    Your hatred for fellow man is disgusting, and is old..

    Now crawl back under your rock, till next election!

  42. Hilliarious says:

    Interesting how a certain little missy-prissy-busy-girl abot town in Sedona is now attempting to take over Sedona Eye. OMG – won’t she evah give it a rest????? Why don’t she start her own on-line paper? Or maybe she has?

  43. West sedona resident says:

    Oh isn’t that cute…. (deleted by editor)

  44. ARIZONA LIBERTY says:

    So where’s the money coming from?

    https://youtu.be/Uk_sAw_9shA

  45. J. Rick Normand says:

    @West Sedona Dave,

    So, tough talkin’ WSD hiding in anonymity, why are you such a coward? I’m willing to sit down and meet you face to face. Are you willing? I doubt it. Now, go back into your little abode and cry some more.

    JRN

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