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Joyce Clark Unfiltered

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It has been 17 years and 83 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

Well, well well, Assistant City Manager Julie Frisoni resigned today, March 25, 2015. It appears it will be effective April 22, 2015. Frisoni started her career in Glendale in the Communications Department, eventually rising to become Director of that department. While Ed Beasley was City Manager she was identified by many as a member of his “inner circle.” She was not charged with any culbability in the past audit of the Risk Management Trust Fund. She was appointed Assistant City Manager by former City Manager Brenda Fischer. At the time of her appointment Frisoni did not meet the minimum qualifications for the position. The only rumor floating on the street is that Frisoni may hook up with Brenda Fischer to form their own consulting/PR firm. It’s speculative to say the least but not an unreasonable speculation.

Now all that leaves is Assistant City Manager Jennifer Campbell. We all wonder if she is still AWOL at Glendale City Hall on Fridays and if she is still teaching at Glendale Community College. Pulling down two pay checks is sweet.

Today the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee voted out H.R. 308, Representative Trent Franks Keep the Promise Act of 2015 reintroduced in the House of Representatives as HR 308 on January 13, 2015. This was Representative Franks’ original bill, now renumbered as a result of its reintroduction. It would prevent the Tohono O’odham from building its casino in Glendale.

That’s enough good news for one day, don’t you think?

© Joyce Clark, 2015

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

It has been 17 years and 82 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

This afternoon, March 24, 2015 at 1:30 PM the city council will be meeting in workshop session to receive more information on the proposed Fiscal Year 2016-17 budget. The focus will be on the Capital Improvement Program.

The City of Glendale has posted the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) 2016-2025 on its website.  Here is the link: CIPDRAFT3_24v

The current proposed CIP has no funding from the General Fund for anything other than construction of a parking garage at Westgate. One note: you will see funding for water, sewer and sanitation projects but their bond repayment is not from the General Fund. They are paid from stand alone Enterprise Funds and the Enterprise bonds issued are paid back from the rate payers who use those services. You will also see funding for some street and airport projects but the funding for those does not come from the General Fund either. They are funded from the voter approved, dedicated portion of the sales tax that goes into the Transportation Fund.

The city’s General Fund is used to pay ongoing operating (the largest line item being employee salaries) and maintenance expenses (for city facilities) as well as to pay back bonds that have been issued for the following categories:

  • Fund 1980 – Street/Parking bonds
  • Fund 2140 – Open Space/Trails bonds
  • Fund 2060 – Parks bonds
  • Fund 2160 – Library bonds
  • Fund 2040 – Public Safety bonds
  • Fund 2080 – Government Facilities bonds
  • Fund 2130 – Cultural Facility bonds
  • Fund 2100 – Economic Development bonds
  • Fund 2180 – Flood Control bonds                                                                                              

The major General Fund bond issuance in the draft CIP 2016-2015 is for a parking garage at Westgate. It is Project 68124, Parking garage at Westgate with the following schedule of funding:

  • FY 2016 $  2,404,337
  • FY 2017 $20,000,172
  • FY 2018 $23,999,730
  • TOTAL  $46,404,239

Within the General Fund bond capacity funding are a few, small street projects (about 3), each less than $350,000; $1.6 million to upgrade storm drains; and an upgrade of the police digital communication system for $1.9 million. There is nothing even considered until after 2020 for Open Space/Trails, Parks, Library, Government Facilities, Cultural Facilities or Economic Development. These are all quality-of-life amenities that make a city great. They are the projects that attract new residents to Glendale and new businesses that appreciate the amenities that will help them attract quality employees. All of that is forsaken for a new parking structure at Westgate for over $46 million dollars. Trust me…that price tag will increase over time.

This new parking garage will cost a little under a million dollars annually for utilities and maintenance. A new operating expense will be added to the General Fund. For the past ten years staff was required to show where new money for a new operating expense would come from. The narrative for this expense within this CIP is cursorily dismissed with “Additional O and M will be absorbed within the current operating budget.”

The bottom line is that Glendale still has a structural deficit. To date, former City Manager Fischer and the Director of Finance, Tom Duensing, have used band aids. They have refinanced the city’s debt (done previously and historically when the market is favorable) and they have relied on making the temporary sales tax increase permanent. They have never attacked the real problem – the city is spending more than it takes in while it’s major debt components (construction debt for the arena and ball park and the annual $15 million dollar payment to Ice Arizona for managing the arena) bleeds the city dry.

Until senior management decides to live within its means by cutting General Fund expenses and resolves the construction debt burden and the $15 million annual payment burden we won’t see the city build amenities that can be used by its residents.

Apparently senior management believes there is some debt repayment capacity within the General Fund. What is it being used for? A parking garage at Westgate. Can you imagine what could be done with $46 million dollars? The city could build the West Branch Library, and still have money left over to renovate and upgrade existing parks and build some new parks as well. In other words, that money could be used to upgrade your quality-of-life and attract new business development to Glendale.

Why a parking garage at Westgate now? There is a 2002 contractual obligation with the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority (I no longer have a copy of the agreement) that requires the city to guarantee 6,000 parking spaces for games. Those spaces have been located within Westgate since the stadium opened. As Westgate’s land is used for new development those 6,000 spaces diminish. However, there is still a great deal of raw land to the east and north within Westgate. The purpose of the Youth Sports fields construction just to the east of the stadium was to relieve any parking spaces lost in Westgate proper. It provides 4,000 to 6,000 overflow parking spaces that still fulfill the agreement’s requirement for parking. Apparently that’s not good enough for the Bidwill’s who have been grousing and pushing for this parking garage for several years. So, the city has caved and will build the parking garage to be completed by the end of 2017. Great for the Bidwills…not so great for the residents of Glendale.

It’s a matter of priorities. It seems the greatest priority is to build a parking garage in Westgate while bonding for another $46 + million dollars and lesser priorities — to be fulfilled someday — are the quality-of-life amenities that Glendale citizens can enjoy.  Is this your priority? If not, what are you going to do about it? Sit back and eat it? Or let your councilmembers know what matters to you?

© Joyce Clark, 2015

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

 

It has been 17 years and 81 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

I received the following press release today, March 23, 2015 from the Recall Councilman Gary Sherwood Committee.

“For Immediate Release:

Recall Councilman Gary Sherwood Campaign In Full Swing

March 15, 2015 – Glendale, Arizona

“The Recall Councilman Gary Sherwood Committee announced today the launch of its website, STOP SHERWOOD, a new contact point for the recall of Gary Sherwood, the current Councilmember from Glendale’s Sahuaro District as well as its signature-gathering petition drive.

“Committee Chairperson Anna Lee said, ‘The Stop Sherwood website contains pages and pages of documents that prove what Gary Sherwood has done against the interests of Glendale and its citizens, especially those of us he is supposed to be representing, here in the Sahuaro District. It also contains contact information for those who want to sign a petition, share their experiences, put a sign in their yard or join the campaign. We will also be adding a Calendar of Events page so the public can attend rallies and other functions pertaining to the Sherwood recall.’

“This, the committee’s second effort to unseat Councilmember Sherwood, was filed February 20, 2015. The first time, the committee attempted to submit nearly 4,400 Sahuaro District voter signatures to the City Clerk’s office, but because of a technicality in the printing on the petition form, they were all invalidated. Lee said, “What a shame! More people signed a petition to get Sherwood out of office than voted for him in the first place.  We will be sure that these constituents are heard from in this campaign.”

“The Recall Councilman Gary Sherwood Committee has already begun its petition campaign to once again gather the required signatures for a recall vote. “Our website and the aggressive outreach campaign we have planned should get the word out. We know we’ll prevail this time,” said Lee.

“For more information about the STOP SHERWOOD recall campaign, call the committee message phone at 602.657.0303, e-mail: info@stopsherwood.com, or visit: www.stopsherwood.com.

###

Contact:  Anna Lee, 602-657-0303 / info@stopsherwood.com

March 21, 2015….17 years and 80days without a West Branch Library

It’s week four and once again you are asked to choose the photo of the correct Vice Mayor. My readers are pretty sharp people who keep up with Glendale issues and events. So it stands to reason that you would have no trouble in selecting the correct photo. The mayoral selection that ran the first week was a roaring success with nearly everyone picking the right photo. The choices for Councilmember Aldama were nearly as high. 82% or 40 votes were correct in choosing photo # 3. However, this time 16% or 8 votes were for # 2 and 2% or 1 vote for # 1. Last week you were asked to pick out Councilmember Chavira. 92% or 33 votes were correct in choosing photo #1. There were 3 votes (8%) for #3.

This week (Saturday, March 21 to Saturday, March 28) you will pick out the correct photo of Vice Mayor Hugh:

Number 1

Number 1

Number 2

Number 2

Number 3

Number 3

 

© Joyce Clark, 2015

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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