Keene Interview – Podcast October 18, 2021

The Complexities And Frustrations Of City Management. Steve and Guest host Karen McClelland welcome Sedona’s Deputy City Manager, Joanne Keene, to discuss what the city can and can’t do to address common complaints and the city’s most pressing issues. They begin by addressing what can be done about the hundreds of homes that have been converted to short-term rentals creating problems for residents and the workforce. “The reality is that the city cannot do much,” says Keene. “We’re pre-empted by the state. It’s a very frustrating issue.”

She says that the city has been discussing the issue with the state legislature and the League of Cities and Towns. The city is even considering hiring a lobbyist hoping to influence change. However, as Williamson explains that, even if the state law is changed, it would only affect future short-term rentals. He notes that the lack of city of control is entirely a Republican effort led by Governor Ducey. So, if you want change, you have to change the legislature and the governor.

The guest and hosts go on to discuss other difficult and controversial issues such as ATVs, music venues, affordable housing, and traffic. The concern is that, without significant change, there is a risk of Sedona losing its sense of community.

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