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Joyce Clark Unfiltered

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Stuck

Posted by Joyce Clark on January 30, 2015
Posted in City of GlendaleGlendale and the Super Bowl  | Tagged With: , , | 5 Comments

For the past few nights Direct TV has been hosting a Musical Festival across the street from the stadium. They chose to use a farm field still in production. Bet they’ve learned their lesson and will never do that again.

Courtesy Joyce Clark

Still stuck! Courtesy Joyce Clark

Last evening, January 29, 2015 it rained gently in my neighborhood, a mile away from the Direct TV site. The trouble is that it rained all night and is raining today. It didn’t take long for the Direct TV parking site to turn into a mud pit. When happy fans left the music venue they quickly became

Calling for help Courtesy of Joyce Clark

Calling for help
Courtesy of Joyce Clark

very, very unhappy. It seems many of the fans’ cars were stuck in a veritable mud pit. Unhappiness soon turned to anger as some waited for over two hours to be extracated. Wonder who paid for tow trucks? Direct TV who provided the parking or a bunch of ‘mad as a wet hen’ (literally) fans?

Even a truck was no match for the mud Courtesty of Joyce Clark

Even a truck was no match for the mud
Courtesty of Joyce Clark

Wonder what the back up parking plan is for tonight? Fans, a word to the wise. If you will be attending the Direct TV Musical Festival tonight, be careful where you park.

 

 

 

© 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.

On January 29, 2015, just days before the Super Bowl,Glendale’s Mayor Jerry Weiers got his 2 tickets to Sunday’s game. Weiers had said publicly that to see a Super Bowl played in his hometown,Glendale, was on his bucket list. Mitchell Modell, CEO of Modell’s Sporting Goods, a chain located in the Northeast, bought Mayor Weiers the 2 tickets from the NFL. Weiers received them today when he attended a Friar’s Roast of Terry Bradshaw at the Arizona Biltmore. I suspect the tickets for the roast came from Mayor Weiers’ official budget…that means the taxpayers of Glendale. Weiers said he will donate the face value of the tickets to the Shriners.

Now we are two for two. In 2008 former Mayor Scruggs publicly whined about not being invited to the Super Bowl. The NFL offered her 2 tickets at a face value of $700 each. She turned them down saying she couldn’t afford them. Shortly thereafter the Arizona Host Committee gave her 2 free tickets.

It is embarrassing that 2 successive Glendale mayors have literally begged, publicly, for Super Bowl tickets. Is there no pride?

By the way, 99% of the Valley’s elected officials have not purchased tickets even when available and most are not attending the Super Bowl. The only acknowledged officials going are Governor Ducey, Senator McCain and Representative Ruben Gallego and his wife Kate. All paid for their tickets. Way to go, Mayor, past or present.

© 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.

After the Super Bowl life returns to normal in Glendale and on Tuesday, February 3, the city council will have its first budget workshop at 9 AM and a regular workshop at 1:30 PM. The afternoon workshop has 3 topics, all of which present future implications for its citizens. The 3 agenda items are: Potential relocation of the Foothills Branch Library; Overview of the Certificate of Necessity (CON) Process; and At Will Employment for Mayor and Council Staffing.

Agenda Item 1 on the potential relocation of the Foothills Branch Library is being driven by staff and Midwestern University. Be aware that former Mayor Scruggs is on the Board of Directors of Midwestern. It seems Midwestern has its eye on the Foothills library building and wants to buy it. Naturally, senior management and Midwestern had to come up with a plan to sell this idea to city council.

This council, to date, has not proven itself to be very aggressive in questioning senior staff on issues that come before it. Let’s hope at this workshop they will reverse this trend and question staff vigorously about this proposal. The library would be relocated to the Foothills Recreational and Aquatic Center (FRAC).

Here is where the sale hype comes in. Note that there are no negative points. Senior staff would have everyone think this idea is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Senior staff contends that:

  • There would be increased library hours (matching the hours of the times when the FRAC is open) for the public with 13 additional hours a week
  • Continuation of provision to patrons access to physical books, materials, technology, meeting space, study room space, special interest classes and events, book drop and online ordering capabilities
  • Increase digital material collections and provide a new array of technologies (tablets, green screens, 3-D printer, new desktop computers, enhanced Wi-Fi)
  • Relocation costs covered by transaction revenue
  • Reduced annual operating expenses without eliminating full-time library staff

The carrot Midwestern University dangles, after buying the Foothills library, is an expression of partnership interest for:

  • Continuing to allow community groups to use the meeting rooms
  • A new and potential partnership with an organization dedicated to helping veterans with health related issues
  • Additional special interest health classes
  • The mentoring and tutoring opportunities for youth
  • The sponsorship of free health-related clinics
  • Partnering with use of medical research and health related materials

This scheme deserves thorough and intensive questioning by city council. Just a sampling of questions to be asked are:

  • The Foothills library is 33,500 square feet in size. The FRAC is 69,000 square feet. How much FRAC space will be used by relocation of a 33,500 SF library?
  • Foothills library was specifically built to be technologically adaptable. Why does relocation only offer the possibility of the library’s technological advancement?
  • What are the costs associated with adapting FRAC to meet the needs of a library?
  • What amenities and services at FRAC would be lost to dedicated space for the library?
  • What amenities and services currently offered at Foothills library would be eliminated due to relocation to FRAC?
  • Dale Chihuly is a world renowned glass artisan. One of his latest exhibits was this past winter at the Desert Botanical Gardens. The city has his ‘Moon and Stars’ piece over the main circulation desk. In addition there is an 80-foot mural by Melissa Paxton, Kathy Bradford’s ‘Magic Doors’ to the children’s reading room as well as countless other pieces of fine art throughout the building. Will senior staff agree to a stipulation that all of the art work within and outside the building remain the city’s property, would not be part of the sale and would be relocated to other city properties?
  • The cost to build the Foothills Library itself (without the fixtures within) was $6.1 million dollars. Will senior staff agree to a stipulation that it would not accept a price lower than the original cost to build the facility?
  • Senior staff was directed by city council to identify city property it could sell. Was the Foothills library one of the properties identified for sale? Were Glendale’s Main Library and Velma Teague Library also identified as potential properties that could be sold? Were the 3 libraries identified by and approved by this council as appropriate for sale?
  • The sale of city property was identified as a means of shoring up Glendale’s financial situation. It can be assumed that after paying the costs of relocation of the library and its art work, the balance would be placed in Glendale’s General Fund where it could be used for anything, including the $15 million dollar annual payment to IceArizona for its management of Glendale’s hockey arena. Yet Glendale library system is woefully inadequate to serve a population of 239,000 residents. On certain days various of the libraries are closed and hours at all 3 have been reduced. Will senior staff agree to stipulate that the first priority for any money realized from a sale of Foothills would be utilized to enhance and upgrade the Main Library and Velma Teague? Are they further willing to agree to stipulate that the funds would not be used for sports related debt or activity as well as the media center, Westgate parking garage and the Public Safety Training Facility?

In summary, on the face of it, the proposal to relocate Foothills Library is driven by senior staff and Midwestern University. This is an idea whose time has not come. It does not serve the best interests of Glendale’s residents. Add to this proposal senior staff’s intent to hire an “outside facilitator” (at thousands of dollars, to be sure) to oversee and coordinate a public input process. Phooey…this facilitator will, in reality, try to sell the idea to the general public. Who is kidding who? This proposal should be rejected. I urge all Glendale residents to contact their district councilmembers before Tuesday, February 3, 2015, pose their own questions about this proposal and let them know that they do not support it. Here are their email addresses:

In my next blog we’ll take a look at the other 2 agenda items: The Fire Department’s request for a Certificate of Necessity (CON) and at-will employees for the mayor and council.

© 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.

Before I extend Thank Yous to the people who really merit them I have a few thoughts about the Super Bowl to be played in 4 days a scant mile from my home. Life goes on as normal for those of us adjacent to the site. We have seen the Direct TV Musical Fest site go up in record time. We have seen vacant parcels scraped, leveled and marked for additional parking. On game day we know better than to travel in the direction of the stadium. At my insistence while I served as a Glendale councilmember, the city will protect adjacent neighbors from hoards of fans seeking to find a free parking spot.

The only discernible difference has been the army of helicopters flying over our home. Apparently every agency whether federal, state, county or local, has been granted permission to fly over the stadium and hence, our home. I guess the boys are displaying their toys to see if they can top one IMG_0243another with the biggest and the best. There has been one particularly pesky bird. It belongs to a federal agency and it has been flying a one mile grid pattern for over a week. It wouldn’t be a big deal except for the fact that it is flying low…really low…perhaps a 100 feet or so above the ground. I have been told that it is surveying radiation levels in the area and that this is a normal practice for many large events, like the Waste Management Open and NASCAR races, etc.

No matter my position on the excessive billions the NFL will earn on game day, the reality is that Glendale is hosting the event. I, just as 99% of the nation’s population, couldn’t afford to attend with nose bleed seats going for a base price of $800. Then I thought about it. Even if I could afford the price of a ticket, would I go? The answer is no. I would not contribute my hard earned money to enrich the coffers of the NFL and the team owners.

In the light of the fact that Glendale is hosting the Super Bowl it is appropriate to thank not the city council or senior administrative employees but the line personnel who make Glendale a success. These are our unsung heroes and heroines…the unseen, silent majority of Glendale’s employees who take pride in guaranteeing Glendale’s extraordinarygood performance.

They did the planning and preparation. They will perform countless duties during the event and they will clean up the remnants after the event is over. Their duties range from reviewing licenses and permits; overseeing the construction of temporary structures; planning approval for siting special events; making countless trips to pick up piles of waste material, insuring that our streets are safe, keeping event traffic moving safely and quickly; checking that all traffic signals and message boards are functioning properly; guaranteeing the health and safety not just of event attendees but responding to the needs of our residents.

This is just a sampling of all that is required to host a Super Bowl. There are far more duties performed than I have mentioned. For those not listed, please accept my apology. These employees, often unseen, are the work horses of our city’s organization. They are rarely thanked and their performance is often taken for granted.

To those employees who made Glendale shine and once again, proved that Glendale is without peer in hosting the Super Bowl game, please accept my genuine and deeply held appreciation and thanks for a job not just well done but extraordinarily done. Go Patriots!

©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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