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The Power of Cooperative Efforts

SedonaEye.com columnist, Eddie S. Maddock,

SedonaEye.com columnist, Eddie S. Maddock, reminds Sedona residents and City Council of days gone by when cooperative efforts served the Sedona community best

Sedona AZ (September 20, 2013)In mid 1984, Sedona Broken Arrow Vista residents, with the late John Crandall as Trustee, collectively made installation of a desperately needed fire hydrant at Morgan Road and Cypress Drive a reality. 

Spearheaded by Crandall, who investigated the process and wrote a letter dated January 16, 1985, was the following:

“To All Residents of Broken Arrow Vista:

At long last the fire hydrant is installed! Total cost of the project was $1,500. Twenty-two of twenty-four homeowners participated, which means there is a refund of $11.82 per participant. Mrs. Judith Friedman on Sherman Hill kindly became the twenty-second contributor.

Refund check of $11.82 is enclosed, along with a copy of the agreement and work sheet showing receipts and disbursements.

Those not joining in are Simpson, Lot 25, who has his property for sale. The other person who has not contributed is Fleming, Lot 15.

To those who did contribute we extend our sincere appreciation for your help. You are the kind of people it is a real pleasure to have as neighbors.

Thank you,

s/ John Crandall

Memo to Bill, Mac and Spencer:


Fire hydrant provided by Broken Arrow Vista residents in 1985

If you fellows don’t stop throwing your cigarette butts along the road, Keep Broken Arrow Vista Beautiful Enforcement League is going to get you!



For the record here, Mac and Spencer were NOT smokers! Oops…

During the middle of the night, on February 28, 1988, the Simpson property identified as Lot 25 in John Crandall’s letter mysteriously caught fire and within minutes the residents at Lot 24 next door were awakened and called 911. By the time fire trucks arrived, smoke had wafted from Broken Arrow Vista to SR 179, lower in elevation and whose visibility was now zero, mandating for fire equipment to be “walked in.”

Flames shot high into the sky making eerie reflections from the stand of trees throughout the area, causing observers to wonder just how bad would be the end result.

Good luck prevailed. A few days previously a light rain had perhaps saved the situation by providing just enough relief to quell a more disastrous outcome. After an all night battle, the fire had been fortunately contained to the wood portion of the residence.

Again those bearing witness had to ask the question: With only water pumped fire trucks, what would have been the outcome had we not joined forces and installed that fire hydrant just a short three years earlier?

During an extension of Cypress Drive commencing near the end of 1991, a request was made to Larry Wright, at that time Senior Engineering Technician for the City, for a fire hydrant. Although the City has no requirements for enforcing the installation of fire hydrants, Mr. Wright did send a letter to Dan Newman who developed the first three one-acre lots of six vacant acres, and, fortunately for all, Newman agreed to install a second fire hydrant on the section of Cypress Drive identified as a “Private Drive” which was not part of the Broken Arrow Vista Subdivision. This was, indeed, a kind, generous, and worthwhile gesture from Sedona artist Dan Newman who did not have to go that extra mile.



Fire hydrant voluntarily installed by Sedona Sculpture Artist Dan Newman when he developed the first three one-acre lots to the north (of a total of six vacant acres) which required extending Cypress Drive. That was sometime in 1992.

Yet another neighborhood endeavor has recently been activated by the Broken Arrow Estates HOA, officially “The Broken Arrow Civic Improvement Association,” spearheaded by Dave Soto, President. It’s their mission to acquire support for producing a tasteful sign to be located at a visibly acceptable location in conjunction with the new alignment of Morgan Road which resulted in the roundabout on SR 179.

The term “Broken Arrow” as related to Sedona subdivisions becomes somewhat confusing because there are several (Broken Arrow Estates, Vista, Hills . . . maybe more) established at different times by different developers and located both to the west and east of SR 179.

In consideration to all, the decision to identify a simple “Broken Arrow” has been selected, and acknowledging the City has no requirement to provide or enforce provision of such a sign, the BACIA “has been collaborating with the City of Sedona to erect a new neighborhood sign at the gateway to our community.” This, simply stated, is complying with sign code requirements and, as a refreshing change, not financial demands although it’s become common place for that to occur with many unrelated City non-obligations.

Far more will be served by this sign besides those making it happen:  The Broken Arrow USFS trail head is accessed by that Morgan Road turnoff. It will assist in emergency service (and history has already proven that importance). It will be helpful to utility and repair providers and others. (Hopefully that will not include “takers” of illegal vacation rentals.)


We, the Residents of Sedona, are not flakes who, as recently labeled by more than one member of the present City Council, “do not want to pay for anything.”

What they seem to be missing is that maybe, just maybe, Residents of Sedona are not willing when the City demands that we jump on a bandwagon for City property taxes to agree with a smile on our faces and gleefully reply: “How high?”

As we continue to read reports from City Staff and the Mayor that Sedona is financially sound and then, in the same or a follow-up sentence, “they” are short of funding for a critical Drainage Master Plan, how can it be? The latest on the table is for the City of Sedona to take over (under the auspices of the Sedona Regional Chamber of Commerce which is already excessively financed by Sedona City Taxes) the extremely expensive cost of perpetuating the annual Fantasy of Lights.

Unlike fire hydrants and signs, a Drainage Master Plan IS the responsibility of the City of Sedona and should immediately be placed at the top of the list, Capital Improvements or otherwise.

Maybe, just maybe, if they cut pork spending (most by now know exactly what that means) and discontinue the current disrespectful treatment, short of tossing an occasional gratuitous bone to Incorporated Sedona Citizens as if they are undeserving stray dogs, we the people might regain respect for our elected officials.

It’s a two way street so the story goes. Or does that not apply to voting Sedona residents and, yes, in-city businesses which are losing sales due to “regional” advertising financed by City taxes via Chamber of Commerce’s obligation to serve ALL its members most of which are non-city-tax-collectors?

Good job residents of Broken Arrow. Stand tall for a job well done. Look for the new sign by the end of the year.

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

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


  1. Liked this article on Facebook.

  2. Liked this article on Facebook.

  3. James Poole says:

    Love the citizens joined forces to do this. How wonderful to share.

  4. Donna Joy says:

    Liked this article on Facebook.

  5. Steve E. says:

    It looks more & more like council will give the million + $$$ to the chamber of commerce on October 8. Also looks more & more like residents are resigned to the idea of city property taxes to fix the drainage problems but which probably won’t happen until Sedona becomes another Boulder CO. Don’t laugh. It’s not a matter of if but when.

  6. Sedona has plenty of commercial real estate begging for buyers. West Sedona has plenty, Uptown has plenty, everywhere has plenty of real estate for sale and no buyers.

    VOC lost a jewelery this summer and a movie rental place (bad businesses to be in since 1999). It can’t fill seats at the revue a decent show that should have full seats because no tourists. VOC outlets are emptier than full. Marketplace Cafe in VOC sold by knowledgeable restaurateurs to move uptown. Bookstore closed in outlets this year. Tommy Hilfiger closed in outlets this year. Do we go on? No reason to go to VOC. Go to Flag, Prescott or Phoenix instead.

    Where are tourists? At cheap outdoor venues like airport day or winefest. Why? Because it’s the heart of Sedona, the outdoors, the land, views, cheap. That’s the new economy. Wait, that was the original economy that put Sedona on the map. The present economic decision makers are dragging Sedona into a pit of chaos. Just sayin….

  7. Not Laughing says:

    But none of you seem to understand. Increased taxes will be needed to fix up those two properties (Brewer & old Chevron). After all that’s far more important than whether or not properties flood. Then, of course, once the promoters get a belly full of expenses to keep the Fantasy of Lights to carry on under that new flag, what Tinsel Town? Holiday Central? U no this city will take on the entire enchilada @ w/residents footing the bill. Do you all know that city will give c of c all that money without even asking how they intend to spend it? Yep. watch that Council meeting and u will get the lowdown on how they will tie up money for even long after none of them are still on the council. 7 prophets up there deciding Sedona’s future for ever and a non and no one speaks up.All sit in silence and allow it to happen.

  8. Some events have occurred since I wrote the above article to which I’m referencing this comment.

    For your convenience the link below is the video of the Council Meeting on Sept. 17th, the first portion of which deals with the proposed increased bed tax (.05%) and also the percentage of revenue from that source which will be returned to the Chamber of Commerce for Destination Marketing.

    The video can be fast-forwarded by using your computer mouse to progress the time bar. You might find it worthwhile to see for yourself the somewhat cavalier attitude and response to plans for spending one million dollars when asked their intentions by Mayor Rob Adams. If anyone one can ascertain concrete plans from Steve Segner’s repeated pleas of “Trust us, trust us, trust us and trust me” then it would be a service to the community if you will share.

    Chamber of Commerce President Jennifer Wesselhoff’s vague mention of various task forces (committees or something) seemed curious since again nothing concrete was offered relating to what they meant or what they would do except somehow include out-of-city venues as Enchantment and The Hilton to be included to reap wealth from the City of Sedona’s one million dollar investment to support the Chamber of Commerce under the banner of Destination Marketing. (Neither Enchantment nor The Hilton collect city bed or sales taxes since they are located outside City Limits.)

    The second portion, as indicated, covers the decision for the City to proceed with participation in the proposed “Tinsel Town/Holiday Central” festivities.


  9. Donna Joy says:

    I have read this a few times……. Enchanting Thank you! Such a wonderful Sedona story. Everyone working together for the same cause.

  10. Marty says:

    Wow, watched some of the video meeting. Caught a few of the “Trust us/me” statements. When Ms. Hessolhoff took exception when Barbara Litrell said the proposed contract would be for an “advertising agency” (Ms. H. stated she was “devastated” at that term because the chamber was “so much more.”)

    Well both were correct in a way. The chamber certainly isn’t qualified to do the type of destination marketing the city is hoping to have. It was admitted the chamber will have to contract a “real” ad agency for that. Isn’t the chamber a non-profit member driver agency? (at least that was the original intent?) Dedicated to serve their members who pay dues for representation whether in the city limits or not. Nothing wrong with that but what’s going on here appears to be crossing the line.

    What is with this city council pledging over a million $$$ to an outfit pledged to serve ONLY their members many not collecting city taxes? What about incorporated city businesses who choose to NOT be members of the c of c? The c of c is “legitimately” contracted to operate the visitors center and then they get funds for the tourism bureau and even more city funding to Main Street group.

    True representation of Sedona City tax revenue for Destination Marketing would be better spent on a legitimate “professional” ad agency based on a “legitimate” bidding process. Shame on this council and chamber of commerce for scamming incorporated Sedona businesses and residents. Not even a proposed plan?

    Oh, forgot. “Trust them.” Unbelievable!

  11. Sheri says:

    Eddie’s article is so very correct in that she depicts how Sedona used to be!

    Takes me back to the good old days when we all – citizens prior to and early on in our new government structure – actually worked together.

    Seems to me a rewrite of history is not necessary…yet that is the new trend.

    We all, as tax paying citizens, chose and continue to choose to resolve issues in the most cost effective ways. Business’s are the driver of our economic development and have always been in that role.

    The concept of “Trust Us” without a business plan is absurd.

  12. Clearly Sedona is NOT a place to move whether to retire or work. It was on our list to consider but after following issues and how residents and businesses are treated by city government, no way! Little wonder big bucks must be spent to even get tourists to visit anymore

  13. N. Baer says:

    Spot on Eddie!

  14. Eddie says:

    Thanks to all who took time to read what I wrote, submitted comments, and especially to those who understand the positive side of the message.

    Unfortunately the negative is and remains the city’s mission to serve the best interest of the “regional” Chamber of Commerce and their dues-paying members. (City Council? Didn’t read? Don’t care?)

    Any guesses to what answers would be forthcoming to those questions in the City Council’s dreamworld of reality? Ho hum . . . :-)

  15. What about Diamond Resorts? Do they collect a bed tax for all of the millions they take in per year at their four local resorts? Or does that flow into the timeshare abyss never to be seen? The Ridge, Bell Rock Inn, Los Abrigados (too poor for the Christmas Light show) and Sedona Summit. The Hyatt, Wyndham? Shed some light on that, if you please.

  16. @Are Timeshares Sharing the Burden: To answer your question, the following is a reprint of an interview with former Sedona Asst. City Mgr. Alison Zelms.

    (Keep in mind that “The Ridge and Bell Rock Inn are not in Sedona City Limits.” Also for clarity, Sedona City Limits are approximately defined as going west, the high school, going north, Midgley Bridge, and going south just past Back O’Beyond. Eastern boundary is defined by USFS land.)

    When posed the question “In lieu of bed taxes, do timeshares pay a comparable form of revenue to the city?” here is what she had to say. “First, yes, some of the timeshare units pay fees in-lieu of taxes. The intent of the ‘in-lieu fee’ was to recapture the amount of bed tax we could have collected if the timeshare in fact were required to pay a bed tax.”

    Continuing, Ms. Zelms said, “I can’t say it is exactly comparable to what would be paid if the development were paying bed-tax, although depending on how the timeshare is sold – fractional property ownership or sale of ‘time’ – it is questionable as to what, if any local authority we would have to impose a Transaction Privilege Tax (sales or bed). I can say that in some cases we collect as much as $400,000 a year in ‘fees in-lieu of taxes’ from one development – a large portion of that is based on a significant increase in the formula for the later phases of development that just took effect two years ago. Several of these agreements created Community Facility Districts (CFD’s) with specific parameters for the use of funds and other fees to be used for general operations of the city.”

    Ms. Zelms was emphatic that the dollar figures she provided be recognized as general numbers not to exact amounts. Detailed dollar specifics obviously would require more time consuming research.

    “The reason that some units do pay an in-lieu fee and some don’t is that the fees were created as part of development agreements when new development was approved through P & Z and Council. Each development agreement is slightly different and fees/formula charged for various phases, etc. of development are different – either charged as ‘in-lieu’ or annual assessment. They are based on aspects such as: size of units, fractional time sold, annual fee for timeshares sold/available, etc.”

    In particular it’s been difficult to understand why not all development agreements didn’t include in-lieu of bed tax requirements. Ms. Zelms explained as follows:

    “We don’t have development agreements or an in-lieu fee requirement for most of the units at Los Abrigados and all of the units at the Hyatt. There are two reasons for this. For Los Abrigados, this resort was approved and constructed in 1985-86 prior to Sedona’s incorporation. Los Abrigados has added a handful of units (I believe 10) after incorporation and we do have a development agreement on these units and these handful of units pay an in-lieu fee. For the Hyatt, it was approved at a time when lodging was a permitted use in the C-1 (General Commercial) zoning district and the Hyatt did not require a rezoning, so we had no leverage. When a rezoning is required, that gives the city the leverage to negotiate an in-lieu fee. In 1998, the City of Sedona removed lodging as a permitted use in the C-1 and C-2 commercial zoning districts and created an L (Lodging) zoning district that required a rezoning for all new lodging facilities. By doing so, this allowed the city to negotiate an in-lieu fee and development agreement during the rezoning process. So, since 1998, all new timeshare projects have paid an in-lieu fee.”

    It might be of interest to note that the original intent of Los Abrigados was to function and operate as a “resort hotel” but then, at a later date, converted to timeshare sales.

    Again quoting Ms Zelms, “Of the total number of 798 timeshares units in Sedona, 336 were approved/developed with associated development agreements that assess in-lieu fees. The city collects, on average, about $550,000 a year from these units as non-sales tax in-lieu fees. We don’t break out all the rental nights that are paid as a sales/bed-tax, as that is collected separately as part of the overall sales tax.”

    “Also of the 798 total timeshare units, 462 were approved/developed prior to the current development agreement in-lieu fees. There is no in-lieu being captured although, like above, these units are required to collect a bed tax when a room is rented on a nightly basis. This occurs less than 20% of the time at best due to most business being timeshare related. Again I don’t have a breakout of what is paid as far as bed tax,” so states Ms. Zelms.

    When asked if it’s possible for the city to track and collect bed taxes in those cases of timeshares being used as short-term rentals, Ms. Zelms’ response was: “As far as tracking of sales tax reported is concerned, the city could track some bed tax reporting through TPT reports internally, but it wouldn’t show a number of nights rented, just total sales tax collections by business reporting. Also much of the specific TPT information by business is confidential, and bed tax payment vs. the regular local sales tax payments are regularly reported incorrectly (reported in the wrong category). This misreporting is part of why the city is looking at options to self collect, through a contracted third party rather than hiring staff, so that we have specific, clean data to use,”

    In conclusion, Ms. Zelms added: “The restaurant and retail locations within each timeshare do pay the local tax for their sales.”

  17. In Appreciation says:

    Thank you to the Editor/Publisher of Sedona Eye for maintaining access to previous articles via your Archives index.

    The above report in particular revives vivid memories of what can happen in the blink of an eye. With current prevailing winds and extremely dry weather fire danger remains at an all time high.

    Thank you for availability of the reminder relating to neighborhood cooperation and a memorable group activity which with little or no doubt made a huge difference in what could have been a devastating outcome. Our collective effort to provide that much needed fire hydrant was, indeed, a blessing in disguise.

    Never – EVER – take anything for granted. One never knows what tomorrow holds.

    Eddie S. Maddock

  18. Bert & Maria says:

    This is an important reminder especially because the upcoming weekend will be Memorial Day. Please, please refrain from turning it into a future “memorial event” because of a disastrous wild fire.

    Tourists, residents be extra careful. Natural events do not offer rehearsals prior to an opening performance – and maybe – the final show!

  19. Delray Shores says:

    Jail cells for every person with diet foods and no mobiles or tv for 2 weeks. They’ll resign instead.

  20. OD says:

    fire hydrants need to be in each neighborhood

  21. Leon says:

    Hurrah OD what’s news today not yesteryears buddy

  22. Lawrence G. says:

    Sorry @Leon
    IMO opinion and in many instances today’s news is a repeat of “yesteryears”. However and sadly enough, in the case of Sedona it’s definitely a repeat of bad decisions!

    Example(s): Pedestrian crossing @ Tlaquepaque, constant rezoning to accommodate high density development such as current proposal for Schnebly Hill Road, over-funding to an amateur chamber of commerce for unwarranted advertising resulting in day trippers and backed-up traffic, expanding questionable services requiring renting office space on Brewer Rd. In if they decide to purchase and rezone the Cultural Park property won’t that be a WHOPPER?

    Just a few examples of nonsense wasted dollars from control freaks with access to public money they just love to spend on questionable endeavors. And who knows how much is allotted to staff etc. for personal expenses such as meals, automobile, medical insurance, and who knows what else?

    But perhaps the biggest of all “yesteryears” news is the questionable decision for Sedona to become an incorporated City in the first place. Icing on the cake laced with venom from rattlesnakes?

    And BTW in case you didn’t know, the fire department is a DISTRICT and not a department of the City of Sedona. However wouldn’t it be a wise idea if city planners took fire hydrants into consideration and made recommendations to the Sedona Oak-Creek Fire District when approving so many high density developments?

  23. Mike says:

    HOAS and homeowners need to demand city put fire hydrants in. Period. Thanks for highlighting SE again what other politicians and media reporters fail to inform us. We can get on a fire faster if finders start spraying it down. Good comments above. Thanks ESM for amplifying.

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