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Sedona Residents Pay Over Fifty Percent of City’s Bills

Sedona AZ (September 9, 2014)The following is a letter to the SedonaEye.com editor:

Hello Mayor and Councilors,

speak out arizonaOnly the richest Americans enjoyed gains in income from the economic recovery during 2010 – 2013, as median incomes fell for all others, a report from the Federal Reserve released last Thursday shows.  (Federal Reserve Bulletin, September 2014, Vol 100, No 4 “Changes in U.S. Family Finances from 2010 to 2013:  Evidence from the Survey of Consumer Finances”)

The Federal Reserve found, among other things, that the annual income for a typical household fell by 5 percent in the years between 2010 and 2013.  The Fed’s data make clear the 5 percent drop occurred during the so-called “economic recovery.”  In other words, there has been no genuine recovery from the crash of 2008.  The income of a typical household dropped by a massive 12 percent, or $6,400, in the six years between 2007 and 2013.

In order to help deal effectively with the budget problems facing the City, I believe the Council needs to approve and make a new Budget Oversight Commission a reality. I did a simple trend analysis for the period from FY 2011 to FY 2015. The City’s General Fund budgeted expenditures have risen from $10.79 million in FY 2011 to $14.83 million today, and City Councils spent $9.75 more than revenues received during fiscal years 2012 through 2014The last year with a surplus was FY 2011.

A look at the tentative FY 2015 Schedules A and C on the Financial Services Department’s website reveals Estimated Revenues of $27.79 million, yet Budgeted Expenditures are a whopping $38.39 million. WHOA!!

I’ve attached Ron Budnick’s  “Budnick for City Council” pdf. (see below) Notwithstanding the Federal Reserve’s findings that household finances dropped markedly during both the great recession and the so-called economic recovery afterwards, the attached “Sedona Tax Origins” document Mr. Budnick produced while a Budget Oversight Commissioner shows residents paid 54.2% of the City’s bills in 2012 and 55.7% in 2011. His Fifty-Fifty bullet goes into this matter in detail.

sedona budnick 1

sedona budnick 2sedona budnick 3As Mr. Budnick points out via other bullets:  (1) No costs have been calculated to identify how much is needed for implementation of the New Community Plan, and (2) This years budget is 373 pages long, and citizens are entitled to an understandable summary.  As you know, I am the party who urged that Table of Contents headings be directly accessible so the document could be navigated–instead of tediously scrolling down sequentially page after page as with prior City budgets. Thank you.

I urge the City Council to end its overspending obsession and to fix inadequate disclosure problems (citizens do not know what’s what).


Jean Jenks
Sedona Resident
For the best in BREAKING NEWS and views, read SedonaEye.com daily!

For the best in BREAKING NEWS and views, read SedonaEye.com daily!


  1. I stumbled on this article a bit late. Thank you for the supporting documentation to bring to light the discrepancies of what we are told and what we are not.

  2. Just because someone makes a chart doesn’t make it true… You can’t make out the chart its to blurry…

    Another thing suspect about this is Jean Jenks name is attached to it… She seems to hate so much about Sedona city government that anything attached to her is suspect..

  3. Sedona Sam says:

    Thank you! Great information. Thanks Larry for bring it to the top of list.

  4. math doesn’t lie until manipulated by governments

  5. James Poole says:

    You got it wrong @ West Sedona Resident, Jean Jenks knows her stuff. She is highly educated and understands more than the average person. Just because she asks questions does not make her someone that hates. In-fact it’s the opposite.
    I’ve read Ron Budnick’s report and he’s correct. You being feed false information. That is why he was also slandered in the council election. The city only wants yes sirs that aren’t smart so they can feed the region Sedona taxpayers money.
    No one understand better than these two professionals.
    The only ones spinning the truth are those non-government groups with their hands out. Chamber, Film Festival, Art Groups. Watch them they provide no service except filling up their own pockets.
    Thank you Jean Jenks and Ron Budnick!

  6. Bettye says:

    …. and Thank You James Poole for laying it out correctly.

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