Troubled Sedona: Rumors, Conflicts And Social Media. Democratic Perspective host Steve Williamson welcomes Al Comello and Steve Segner back to the show to discuss the many issues facing Sedona, one of the world’s premier tourist spots. Comello is Vice Chairman of the Board of the Sedona Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau and Segner is the owner-operator of Sedona’s El Portal hotel and President of the Lodging Council.
Lately, conflicts surrounding issues such as ATVs, short-term rentals, traffic, parking, and low-cost housing have exploded on social media resulting in much anger directed toward the City Council and the Chamber of Commerce. Segner says that it all may be a political reaction to how they view government and a lack of understanding of how government works. He says, “We’re not discussing problems. We’re fighting them. People blow things out of proportion. What it comes down to is that they just don’t want any change.”
“They say that the city doesn’t listen to the residents. They only listen to the tourists. But nothing could be further from the truth,” says Comello. Addressing the reluctance to build affordable housing in the city, Comello explains, “There are about 10,000 people who have jobs in Sedona. But only about 15 percent live here. Restaurants here are closing because they can’t find staff…Right now, the town is in a real bind.”
Segner notes that there are plenty of opportunities to provide real input to the city. He encourages more people to get involved, to discuss issues at City Council meetings instead of complaining on social media.