By John Roberts, Sedona Resident
(December 9, 2018)
The following comments are each based upon reading just two of the nine articles written by staff journalists for the biannual magazine, Lifestyles of Sedona.
The story about the Menekse family new owners of long time Sedona restaurant, Nick’s Westside, is charming as it also highlights how America welcomes immigrant assimilation into an American community. The owners, Ekin and Ramazan, raised and educated in Turkey arrived 13 years ago and became employed at Enchantment, settled nearby, married and are now raising two children who are being schooled here. Spike their mixed breed part greyhound doggie completes the family make up.
The parents were both assigned to Enchantment on graduating with hospitality degrees with an only knowledge of this area as being “desert, Indians riding horses, cactus all over and cowboys”. This changed as ” We fell in love” became their new theme for their new Sedona home. Nick’s Westside remains basically unchanged, same menu and same good tasting food with only a little bit of the Turkish diet creeping in. That success is on tap even this quickly speaks well of their good management style.
But that only would occur with the attitude prevailing in America to welcome immigrants who have their heads screwed on right and are willing to work to reach their goal to become Americans like the Menekse family. The new Sedonians participation with us old timers doesn’t lessen their need to maintain family ties and good customs back in Turkey. Just as my own German family did.
My interest in this story is possibly traceable to one of my grandsons being born in Ankara, Turkey. He, too, is a success.
However I cannot be so glowing about the other article I read which told us about the newly hired city Sustainability Coordinator position. McKenzie Jones, with excellent credentials, mans this job.
In this reading I could not find a single practical reason for creating the position at city hall. Other than maybe to enlarge the staff and spend tax monies. When I asked city manager, Justin Clifton, what a Sustainability Coordinator would do for the city I received a very lame explanation. Having come from a well managed large corporation in which I was the marketing manager for a new product which grew from zero to $50 million sales and high 30% RONAs in just a few years I full well knew exactly what I had to accomplish to help us reach excellent results.
This article had nothing but generalities to say about how this new city job would be conducted. Maybe the city management knows something which I have overlooked. As this job now stands I am of the opinion it is a total wasted effort but I will be alert to any good which hopefully may develop to benefit us tax payers and voters. With nothing on the horizon to revise my judgement I am hardly optimistic.
So, thank you for these two very interesting articles about goings on in Sedona. I’ll read the other 7 stories and look forwards to future issues of this magazine.
It’s a fact that Agenda 21, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, and the Statement of principles for the Sustainable Management of Forests were adopted by more than 178 Governments at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 3 to 14 June 1992. The agenda has been updated and fast-tracked to see changes by 2030.
A Sustainability Coordinator’s goal is to curtail private property rights and deprive Sedonians and tourists alike of precious constitutional freedoms. The ultimate goal is to herd humans into crowded cities so that the rest of the world can be devoted to wildlife preservation.
Sedona was recently on the chopping block as a National Monument. Local democrats, Keep Sedona Beautiful and even City Council and VOC leaders wanted the monument. A National Monument would make draconian measures on our forest, take away local control, and create a loss of property rights. Not to mention that the enjoyment of the forest would be limited. It’s the Department of the Interior that runs National Monuments, not the Department of Agriculture, which allows freedom to enjoy fishing, hiking, swimming, boating, camping, etc. To make Sedona a National Monument is a long-term goal, private property will be bought up by large corporations and the entire city will be one giant Airbnb.
ADOT could have chosen many different options for Hwy 179, however, the option they chose looks like it was designed for people-mover trolleys and buses. The accidents on 179 will continue, people will complain, and to solve the situation the City won’t allow cars — having park and rides from VOC to uptown and west Sedona.
If you don’t think private property rights have already been infringed by the United Nations policies, think again. The Sedona in Motion plan is going ahead full speed and connector roads are being built without consent and approval for these roads by the citizens. We’re told that 78% of the population is FOR the roads. We’re told the SIM plan has been put on the back burner, meanwhile stakes are appearing in lots around town where maps show the connecting roads to be built.
Recent there was an article where the UN said it will soon try to enforce open borders as a ‘human right’ … saying it was “inconsistent with US immigration and refugee policies”. My family came here during WW1 to work as day labors. During WW2, my father fought in the Army, my mother served in the USO. Both my parents were born here, but my grandparents applied and became citizens after their arrival. This is our law. This is how it is supposed to be done — not rush the borders because you can’t find a job in your home country.
Sedona is headed in this direction. The goal of the Sustainability Coordinator is to “reduce damage to the environment.” How does one achieve that? Keep humans away.
Now is the time to stand up and say NO THANKS.
Last year the Chamber and City awarded a contract to Nichols Tourism Group and ASU for a Sustainable Tourism Plan. The City Manager’s Office gave a 60 minute presentation on the draft Plan during the November 28th and December 14th City Council Meetings.
Destination marketing will become “tourism management.” The focus is expanding from economics to include quality of life [deteriorating IMO], health of the environment, and quality of visitor experience. WTF? I feel government and/or business intrusion into private lives is unreasonable and plain wrong.
According to the 9-12-2018 RNN, the state Attorney General’s Office is investigating the City’s contract with the Chamber under Arizona Revised Statute #35-212 (Injunctive and civil remedies; time limit; definition). In addition, the AG was requested to examine Sedona City Ordinance NO. 2013-07 relating to the city partnering the public bed tax revenues with the Sedona Chamber as a possible violation of the AZ Constitution “gift clause” prohibiting a municipality from becoming a ‘joint owner’ of assets with a private entity. So, is the City receiving adequate value for the multi-millions it grants the Chamber each year to market Sedona? The statute of limitations is five years.
Arizona Constitution, Article 9 Section 7,” reads as follows: “Neither the state, nor any county, city, town, municipality, or other subdivision of the state shall ever give or loan its credit to the aid of, or make any donation or grant, by subsidy or otherwise, to any individual, association or corporation, or become a subscriber to, or a shareholder in, any company or corporation, or become a joint owner with any person, company, or corporation.”