Identifying And Addressing The Issues Facing Sedona. Steve Williamson welcomes three candidates for Sedona City Council: Brian Fultz, Pete Furman, and incumbent John (JT) Thompson. Steve leads the candidates in a wide-ranging discussion that addresses many of the most important issues facing the city. All three offer their takes on the need for workforce housing, traffic, off-road vehicles, short-term rentals, water supply, fire risks, the area’s fragile environment, and more – almost all of the issues created by the city’s status as one of the world’s premier tourist destinations.
The candidates agree that there is little the city can do, or would want to do, to curtail tourism. As Furman says, “Sedona will always have people coming. Every photo ever taken of Sedona is an advertisement for people to come to Sedona.”
Indeed, Thompson explains, “It’s in our official statement of our vision for the community that we’re welcoming to visitors and future residents alike.” But, he says, “There are always lots of things we can do to manage it.”
Fultz notes that, with 3.4 million visitors annually, Sedona would rank as the eighth-busiest national park. He suggests that the city could look at the type of access programs that the national parks have put in place. “I think there’s a misnomer that, in the desert, you can’t really cause any damage. But this is a sensitive, ecological environment.” He says that Sedona needs to educate tourists and continue to ramp up messaging as part of its sustainable tourism plan.