By Michael Schröder
Sedona, Arizona: You get what you voted for. This does not happen by chance.
Voters continue to put people on the board who have never built anything, or who are ideologues and never had the money or the resources to try their experiments which most of the time do not work.
You vote for incompetence, they hire incompetence (not all of course but many) and expect what, a different outcome?
Now we have a council funding what appears to be a quasi-government – the Chamber of Commerce and the Office of Tourism with an operating budget of about a million dollars, BEFORE they started doing things .
Good gig if you can get it.
Are there candidates who want a thankless job that pays nothing?
We have to PAY the board. In for money.
We need talent and experience with resumes in leadership, finance, and other accomplishments in successfully building or managing a $70M+ business.
That’s what Sedona’s last budget was I believe…an incredible amount for a population of 9,700 people.
And you need full-time ACTIVE members. It IS a full-time job if you do it right to give direction to staff and make big decisions that are NOT political or ideological.
Talent costs money.
It has been stated by some council members that it is a “staff-run town”. Oh great. Who hires the staff, the board-hired management?
Example: They just promoted the assistant city manager of Sedona to city manager when the previous city manager resigned. Why was this appointment made? Was it just “convenience?” Or just laziness on the council’s part?
I’m not picking on the newly appointed City Manager, and she may be the BEST qualified and capable person in the country to run a $70,000,000 operation. But how does the board know?
Show me, a voting, tax-paying resident of Sedona, the national search that was done for a city manager. Does anyone on the board know how to do this?
The new city manager could have applied as well of course. Being number two for a long time is not a qualification. But his talent could be. But what do you compare to without a national search? Did the city get the best available? Nobody knows.
I currently sit on the board of a $4 billion public company. We have been looking for a CEO/President for two years. Our current CEO is doing a great job, but needs to retire. The maintenance process and the hunt was infuriating. It is not easy.
Until you make Sedona City Council positions attractive to talented and experienced people, you will get what you vote for.
A board member should earn at least $5,000 per month. Mayor, $7,000 a month.
Otherwise, you’re not going to get qualified people to run for office, just ideologues using taxpayers’ money for their special projects.
This does not mean that some people want to “make a difference” and commit their time. Nice thought, but with no background or experience in running something big, that’s all, nice thought.
If you don’t want to change anything in Sedona, keep doing what you’re doing.
Editor’s note: Sedona resident Mike Schroeder is an electrical engineering technician who graduated from technical school in 1968. In 1980, along with several dozen others, he helped start the satellite television industry. In 1998, when he merged his company with another company west of the Mississippi, he had 10 distribution warehouses east of the Mississippi, from Wisconsin to Florida. His company was located in Indianapolis, Indiana. He was a distributor of satellite television programs representing companies like HBO and CNN, and had more than 400,000 regular retail customers in the United States, Mexico and Canada. He was an RCA distributor and served over 5,000 dealers, becoming one of the first DirecTV distributors in 1993. He currently serves on the board of EchoStar, which has owned Hughes Communications (NASDAQ, SATS) since 2002. The sister company is Dish Network. He is Chairman of the Audit Committee and a member of the Remuneration Committee. He is an accomplished pilot and primarily does charity flights for post-911 veterans and environmental NGOs.
* sedona.biz encourages community members, regardless of their beliefs or political positions, to share their thoughts with readers through letters to the editor, op-eds and relevant articles. The article above reflects only the opinion of the author and not that of the publication.